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Reviewed: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GXR

THE ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS S

Take a quick look at the Asus ROG Zephyrus S: The world's thinnest gaming laptop with a cutting-edge RTX graphics, stellar design, and a few extra features. Our Editor, Ren goes through what the laptop has to offer before the full review comes out in the September issue! The Asus ROG Zephyrus S is available at all ASUS ROG concept stores now! #GadgetsMagazine #AsusROGZephyrusS #worldsthinnestgaminglaptop

Posted by Gadgets Magazine on Friday, August 9, 2019

Ever since I started gaming I’d wanted a machine that could handle any game thrown at it, yet remain practical enough for other work as well. The obvious choice back then was a desktop, which lacked the portability I needed as a student. On the other hand, laptops I had access to were underpowered. I think I finally found the answer to my problems: the Asus ROG Zephyrus S.

DESIGN: 5/5

One look at the Zephyrus S and I immediately fell in love. Apart from the cool RGB lighting, it isn’t over the top with its gamer aesthetic. It’s a laptop that you could bring into a meeting and not look ridiculous.

The Zephyrus S has a variety of I/O ports. It has three USB Type-A ports and two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, one of which you can use to charge the device using a power bank or phone charger. At the back of the device is an HDMI 2.0 port, and a Kensington lock port, though it does lack an ethernet port.

The keyboard is the usual chiclet type. Key spacing is great, making typing a joy. The keyboard layout also places the touchpad beside the keyboard, instead of below it. Coming from the traditional laptop setup, I needed some time to get used to this layout. The touchpad also transforms into a num pad, useful for people who still rely on the num pad like me.

HARDWARE: 5/5

Our model is the highest end GX531GXR equipped with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor and Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU with 8 GB of VRAM. It has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS screen with a 240 Hz refresh rate and 3 ms response time. As a bonus, the screen is also 100 percent sRGB and Pantone validated for accurate color reproduction.

Underneath the hood, the Zephyrus S has 8 GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2666 MHz, plus it has another SODIMM slot that can accept another RAM chip, for up to 24 GB of RAM, just like our review unit. For the internal memory, the Zephyrus S completely drops HDD for NMVe SSDs, our model had 1 TB available but there are three more slots free for additional memory.

What makes the Zephyrus S special is its revolutionary cooling system. Asus’ Active Aerodynamic System (ASS) gives the laptop five heat pipes and four heat sinks with vents all throughout. Part of the AAS is the elevation of the bottom of the laptop to add another envelope where the laptop can take in more cool air.

USER EXPERIENCE: 5/5

Playing FPS games such as Apex Legends and PUBG was really fun using this machine. The 240 Hz screen refresh rate and 3 ms response time is really a huge leap from a laptop with 60 Hz. As someone who owns a budget gaming laptop, playing with this machine is an out of this world experience.

Thanks to its NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q the Zephyrus S can handle any AAA games thrown at it with ease. We ran Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at max settings and it ran smoothly, coming in at an average of 50 fps. Hitman 2, a slightly less intensive game managed between 90 fps to 110 fps.

One of the few problems I encountered with the laptop was the battery life. Using the laptop at full load only yielded about two to three hours.

One thing that disappointed me was the lack of an ethernet port. I do, however, respect Asus’ choice of an Intel WiFi chip capable of 802.11 ac wave2, which gives consistent and fast gigabit WiFi.

What’s great about Asus’ ROG line is the various applications it has for gaming enhancement like the Armoury Crate and the Sonic Studios, making the user experience very personal.

Aside from gaming, the Zephyrus S was also great for some content creation and consumption. Rendering photos and videos was a piece of cake thanks to its RTX 2080, massive RAM, and SSD, while watching movies is extremely immersive thanks to the screen display and audio quality of the speakers.

VALUE: 4/5

The Zephyrus S is a bit pricey, coming in at around PHP 200,000, but it is extremely worth it. With the latest processor and GPU, you can be sure that it could last for the foreseeable future. For someone who is always on the go but still wants maximum power and performance, this machine is for you.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60 GHz (4.5 GHz boosted)
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 2080 (Max-Q)
  • Memory: DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM, 8 GB on board + 1 x 16 GB SO-DIMM
  • Storage: M.2 NVMe PCIe3.0 x4 1 TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS-level panel, 240 Hz, 3 ms, 100%
    sRGB, Pantone® Validated
  • Audio: 2 x 2W speakers
  • Keyboard: Chiclet Keyboard with N-Key rollover and Asus Aura 4-Zone RGB
    backlighting
  • Ports: 1 x DC-In, 1 x USB3.1 Gen1 Type C, 2 x USB2.0, 1 x 3.5mm audio jack, 1
    USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x Kensington lock, 1 x HDMI

What’s Hot:

  • Very portable
  • Extremely versatile and powerful
  • 240Hz display
  • Great speakers
  • Asus ROG software provides customization

What’s Not:

  • Battery life is not that great
  • No Ethernet port

Bottomline:

I will gladly do anything to get my hands on this for myself.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE September 2019 Issue.
Reviewed by Gabriel Pe

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