- Impressive 144Hz G-Sync Display
- Specification on Steroids
- Good Thermal - Well Maintained
- Good heat dissipation
- Best Speakers I've heard on a Laptop
- Can be Overclocked further
- Satisfying 2.5mm Key Travel
- Can Handle pretty much anything
- Costs a cool RM 19,999
- Battery Life is not it's strongest suit
The ASUS ROG Chimera is a true ROG laptop at its core. You are in for the performance, specification and the experience because nothing holds this laptop back.
Gaming laptops has been on the rise for a while now and thin ones are getting popular. Some might even think that the T H I C C Gaming laptops are no more. But that’s where you are wrong. T H I C C Gaming laptops are actually the ones that captures the core essence of what gaming laptop should be. That’s what the Asus ROG Chimera does. This laptop has been around with us for more than 2 weeks – all thanks to Asus Malaysia, we have been savoring it for a while. It’s about time for us to finally give our verdict in this Asus ROG Chimera Review – here at The Adventures of Vesper.
Design and Build Quality
The ROG Chimera is no joke. The first time I saw, I went “How in god’s name am I going to carry this with me?”. It’s that big. But before that – let’s take a closer at the design itself. On the outside, the ROG Chimera looks like their new series of ROG Laptop – with the logo on the side and a line that cuts in between.
Following that, it has this beautiful bronze/copper color finish that stands out and screams that it’s a gaming laptop. On the inside, you’ll see that it has a black soft touch finish with a brushed metal design on the side, that looks classy and nice. Overall, the design is fine and there isn’t any unpolished look to it. The thermal vents on the side has this ripped design that looks good too. Flipping it over, you’ll realize that the laptop has a D-Door for easy access to RAM and Storage – for easy upgrade.
The Build Quality of the ROG Chimera – it’s well put together. The laptop is thick – it has a thickness of 5.1cm, width and depth of 42.5cm and 31.9cm. It weighs 4.7kg – making it one of the heaviest and thickest laptop in the market. You can see a quick comparison in size with the World’s thinnest laptop beside the Chimera. One thing that I really liked is how solid everything feels. The hinge that holds the display and the body together is amazing and there is very minimal flex around the keyboard area.
I/O & Connectivity
The ROG Chimera comes with a huge selection of ports that’s located at three different sides. On the left, you’ll find a Kensington Lock, SD Card Reader and 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 with 10Gbps. On the right, you’ll find an Ethernet port, another USB 3.1 Gen 2 with power bypass, a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 and a separate Headphone and Microphone Jack. On the back, it has 2 x DC-IN Power adapter, a mini Display Port 1.4 and a HDMI 2.0.
That’s a solid selection of I/O’s on the ROG Chimera. Other than that, as for connectivity – it comes with 802.11 ac 2×2 Wave 2 WLAN and a Bluetooth 4.1 as well. Another thing to note is the fact that, ASUS has also gone to a point where they included an external mouse, the ASUS ROG Pugio as a nice touch.
Get ready for this because, it’s going to blow your socks off. The Chimera, just like the name suggests – it’s a AAA Gaming Grade Laptop that literally has pretty much what only a Rig has. As for the processor, the Chimera comes with an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor. This is a High performance Processor that’s actually unlocked.
Following that, it comes with a Desktop Grade NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 with 8GB of GDDR5X RAM. As for the RAM, you get a whopping 32GB DDR4 at 2666MHz. Finally, the storage – it has two – 256GB PCIe NVME Gen3x4 M.2 SSD in RAID 0 – making it ultra-fast and a 2TB SSHD with 5400 RPM.
The ROG Chimera has a 17.3”-inch Full HD IPS-Panel Display. Since it’s a gaming laptop, you’ll also get a gorgeous NVIDIA GSync Support because this display has a 144Hz Refresh rate with 3ms Response Time.
When you see the display, considering the fact that this laptop is indeed made in 2018 – it doesn’t have any ultra-thin bezels to fit in a big display of sorts, which ASUS has been doing lately. The bezels have the normal size all around, except at the bottom where it’s thicker due to the Tweeter and the ROG Logo. Personally, I am completely fine with this look and it’s still a pretty huge display to play with.
When the first time I used a G-Sync display, I described it – Orgasmic. The buttery smooth movements all around makes it super pleasing to the eyes. Of course it’s a gaming laptop, that makes it a huge win for those who wants immersive experience. During my time using the Chimera, I installed Overwatch, Evil Within 2, DMC: Definitive Edition, Need for Speed: Payback. The laptop does not hold back to be honest – the frame rates are just phenomenal. This is only possible thanks to the Raw power under the hood.
Overwatch handled 144 fps. Evil Within 2 at 129 fps. NFS: Payback at 133 fps. Ultra Setting.
So, you have seen the specification the ROG Chimera packs under the hood. The Core i9 coupled with 32GB RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 can take anything over. In fact, performance was snappy and there was minimal to no lag at all. It can handle anything you throw at it – be it running Premiere Pro, Photoshop or Vegas Pro – all thanks to the desktop grade GPU. Games on the Chimera is quick and held up very well – I tried my best to push it to its limit but nope, the Chimera handled every pretty good.
We performed CrystalDiskMark for the Storage, PCMark and Cinebench as a benchmark to see how much it can handle. You can find the scores below. In order to verify what’s powering the Chimera, we used Speccy. One thing to note about the Chimera is that – it is still overclockable up to 5.0 GHz – which you can find the settings in the ROG Gaming Centre.
One of the important aspect of a gaming laptop is the thermals. The ROG Chimera uses an Anti-Dust Cooling system that avoids dust cluttering inside the system. It houses 12V Fans with ultrathin 0.1mm thermal fins. Just like any other ROG Laptop, the Chimera also has three different fan modes – Silent, Balanced and Overboost.
During our time benchmarking in PCMark – was hovering around 65 – 70 degrees. We did play games on it. During Overwatch with the fan running in Balanced Mode, the temperature was around 78 – 83 degreed. Even playing Evil Within 2 pushed the laptop to similar temperature. It was good to see that the thermals were okay. But there were times it shot up to 90+ in Evil Within 2, so we toggled to Overboost and we saw the drop in temperature well below 80 degrees. If it wasn’t for the huge thermal fins and 8 heat pipes covering both the GPU and CPU, this thing would have been boiling hot.
There are times when the laptop switches to OverBoost Mode when it requires more power, which is good. Also, one good thing is that you don’t feel the heat around the keyboard – which is a good sign.
If there’s one thing this laptop is bad at – that’s the battery life. During my time using the laptop – it barely lasted an hour because of it’s power hungry specification under the hood. In fact, to charge and power up this beast, it requires two power bricks – with a power output of 20A and input of a whopping 50-60Hz. If you were to attempt to even play anything without it’s power brick, well expect the laptop to drain it’s battery from 100 to 0 in matter of minutes.
The Chimera having a battery is more of an additional touch rather than a way to use it on the go.
Keyboard, Trackpad and Speaker
The Keyboard on the Chimera is a Chiclet keyboard with a keytravel distance of 2.5mm. I have to say, this is the most satisfying keyboard I have ever used on a gaming laptop. I enjoyed playing games and even typing on the Chimera. The keys were clicky and responsive. Oh and for those who loves RGB, you’ll be so happy with these keyboards because each key has it own RGB Backlight. So, you can customize it any way you want. If you were to connect your peripherals with the support for Aura Sync, you can play with the colors – Thanks to the support for Aura Sync.
Other than that, there’s marked WASD Keys to make it more prominent. There’s 7 hot keys located right up top: Volume Controls, Mic Mute, AURA, Xbox, Xplit Gamecaster and the ROG Gaming Center.
The trackpad on the Chimera is in a rectangle shape with two dedicated left and right button. It runs based on Windows Precision, so the tracking and the movement of the cursor is accurate. Even performing gestures was easy and responsive.
One other thing I like about the laptop is the speakers. It has 2 x 2W Speakers and 2 x 3W Speakers with Smart AMP technology. I have to say, the listening experience in this laptop is simply amazing and uncompromised. If you are planning to consume series on Netflix or even watch some videos on YouTube – you’ll enjoy it. In fact, you don’t really need an external speaker if you want to watch a movie at your dorm with your friends.
Imagine carrying your rig with you everywhere, you can’t right? This is where the Asus ROG Chimera comes into play. It’s a portable mini rig. Not only you get a good display, you even get a factory overclocked Intel Core i9 Processor with a desktop grade NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080.
This thing is heavy and if you think you’d like to carry this around in your bag, yeah sure – by all means because it’s like doing weight lifts every day. Who said gaming doesn’t keep you fit? 😉 The ASUS ROG Chimera is a true ROG laptop at its core. You are in for the performance, specification and the experience because nothing holds this laptop back. Except for one – it comes at a price – a cool RM 19,999.