LAS VEGAS - Asus is evolving the sexy-slim ROG Zephyrus S to a 17.3-inch laptop with a brand spankin’ new RTX Max-Q GPU. There’s no word on pricing as of yet, but you can expect to see the Zephyrus S GX701 to launch sometime in late January.
The Zephyrus S GX701 can be configured with up to a Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 24GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
The new Zephyrus S is still slim and sleek as ever, measuring just 15.7 x 10.7 x 0.74 inches and weighing in at 5.95 pounds. It’s similar to its 15-inch predecessor in terms of design, except its aluminum hood has a carved cut out for the LED indicators instead of a bulky extension.
It also has the same underside-popping vent made possible thanks to Asus’ Active Aerodynamics System, which is designed to keep the system cool and provide some more RGB flair.
The Zephyrus S GX701 packs a feature we haven’t seen on a gaming laptop before: USB-C charging. It likely won't hold up during gaming or other GPU-intensive tasks, but it will, at the very least, get you through casual tasks like web browsing.
In addition to the two USB-C ports (one with DisplayPort 1.4), you’ll get three USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a headphone jack and a Kensington lock slot.
Its 17.3-inch panel packs a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a smooth 144Hz refresh rate with a 3ms response time. The panel covers 100 percent of the sRGB according to Asus, but there will be an HDR configuration coming later down the road. The GX701 also has the capability to switch the panel between Nvidia G-Sync and Optimus viewing mode via an exclusive GPU switch designed by Asus’ engineer team.
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Of course, the Zephyrus' forward-facing keyboard layout is back, but this time it’s bringing stronger RGB lighting and a neat little audio wheel just above it. Asus also claims that the keys have 1.4 millimeters of travel, which would be an incredible improvement upon the previous Zephyrus S (1mm). The keys certainly felt deeper and more satisfying when I typed on them. Unlike the previous iteration, the GX701 has two neatly placed up-firing speakers on either side of the keyboard.
Asus did made a bold move by deciding to kill the webcam on the Zephyrus S GX701. Instead, Asus is offering a dedicated webcam that shoots in 1080p at 60 frames per second. It’s unclear whether it will be bundled in the US release, but if not, Asus will be selling it separately for $50.
The company told us that the Zephyrus S should be able to last around 4 hours and 30 minutes on a charge, which is an hour longer the 15.6-inch version we tested.
We’ll have more details to share once we get the Zephyrus S GX701 through our lab. Stay tuned for our full review and benchmarks as well as more CES 2019 coverage.