Asus just announced a slew of new ROG Zephyrus gaming laptops packed with mesmerizing 240Hz panels and Intel’s latest 9th Gen processors. Asus even ditched the forward-facing keyboard layout for a standard one. And I got to play with them. Intel's latest processors are also making its way into the Razer Blade Pro, Razer Blade 15, ROG Mothership, TUF FX505 and ROG Strix.
The Zephyrus S GX502 and the Zephyrus M GU502 will be available sometime during Q2, while the Zephyrus G GA502 will launch on April 23 at Best Buy starting at $1,199.
Asus ROG Zephyrus S/M/G Price and Specs:
|Zephyrus S GX502||Zephyrus M GU502||Zephyrus G GA502|
|Display||15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080: 144Hz or 240Hz||15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080: 60Hz or 120Hz|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-9750H||AMD Ryzen 7 3750H|
|RAM||Up to 32GB|
|Graphics||RTX 2060/2070||GTX 1660 Ti/RTX 2060||GTX 1660 Ti|
|Storage||256GB/512GB/1TB SSD||256GB/512GB SSD|
|Ports||Three USB 3.1, one USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI 2.0, RJ45, 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone input, Kensington lock slot||Three USB 3.1, one USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI 2.0, RJ45, 3.5mm headphone jack, Kensington lock slot|
|Size||14.17 x 9.92 x 0.74 inches|
|Weight||4.41 pounds||4.19 pounds||4.63 pounds|
You can configure the Zephyrus S GX502 and the Zephyrus M GU502 with up to a Core i7-9750H processor, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. As for the GPU, the S GX502 caps out with a RTX 2070, while the M GU502 stops at RTX 2060.
The cheaper alternative, the Zephyrus G GA502, is configurable with a Ryzen 7 3750H CPU, a GTX 1660 Ti GPU, 32GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.
The Zephyruses… Zephyri(?)... The Zephyrus lineup all have the same ports (mostly), with three USB 3.1 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, an HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ45 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Kensington lock slot. The S GX502 and the M GU502 get a seperate input for the microphone. And interestingly enough, you can actually charge the laptops through their USB Type-C port.
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As you might expect, these machines are as slim and sexy as ever, coming in at 14.2 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches and weighing under 5 pounds. As with the previous generation, the top covers have a brushed aluminum design and are accompanied by a cutout where the hinge is and an RGB-lit ROG logo engraved on the right hand side. However, the chassis are actually made of reinforced magnesium alloy, topped off with a soft-touch finish.
What’s unique to this new lineup is that Asus finally decided to go with a standard keyboard as opposed to the usual forward-facing keyboard layout that its predecessors had. Unsurprisingly, the new keyboard felt much more comfortable to type on, but the keys still felt shallow, which is disappointing. And now that it does have a standard layout, you’ll be losing out on a numpad and a discrete mouse buttons. On top of that, the M GU502’s left shift key is ridiculously small, which is unfortunate because most games use that button for sprinting.
As far as the display goes, each Zephyrus has a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, Nvidia G-Sync/Optimus panel. Asus is revamping its refresh rates and entering the world of 240Hz, which will be available on the Zephyrus S GX502 and the Zephyrus M GU502, but you can also opt for the 144Hz. As for the Zephyrus G GA502, its maximum refresh rate is capped at 120Hz and it can be downgraded to 60Hz. When I saw them in person, the panels looked super colorful and relatively bright.
Asus rates the Zephyrus S GX502 and the Zephyrus M GU502 for 8 hours of battery life, and claims that the Zephyrus G GA502 can run for 7 hours. That’s a particularly bold claim, and while we hope that is the case, we sincerely doubt it, considering that the RTX laptops we’ve tested so far have landed under the 3 hour mark and that’s without a 9th Gen CPU.
Asus’ Active Aerodynamic System (AAS), which lifts up the underside when the lid is open to keep the system cool, is back but only in the Zephyrus S GX502. However, all three new laptops have Asus’ new ROG Intelligent Cooling feature, which lets you adjust the fans to Turbo, Balanced and Silent in the Armory Crate app.
Another feature that the Zephyrus laptops don’t have is a webcam, which keeps the bezels razor-thin. We first started to see this trend with the Zephyrus S GX701 at CES 2019, and like with that laptop, an external webcam will be offered as an option.
Overall, we’re pretty excited to get these machines into our lab and put them through the ringer with our benchmarks. Stay tuned for our full reviews.