When the Asus ROG Zephyrus debuted last year, we were impressed by its svelte dimensions and innovative design.
But as good as the laptop was, there's always room for improvement as Asus has proven with its latest iteration of the award-winning laptop, the ROG Zephyrus S (GX531). Preorders for the sleek system start August 31 and will be available September 15.
Gamers will have a choice of two systems: a Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU version priced at $2,099 and a 1070 Max-Q GPU model for $2,199.
The Zephyrus has always been a slim notebook, but Asus managed to shave of a few tenths of an inch, bringing the Zephyrus S dimensions to 4.6 pounds, 13.8 x 10.6 x 0.6~0.58-inches. According to Asus, it's the thinnest ROG laptop in the company's lineup. In addition to being slimmer, the notebook is also sturdier thanks to the magnesium-alloy plate used for the rear exhaust vent, which is a major part of Asus' Active Aerodynamics System (more on that later).
The rest of the notebook is constructed from black CNC aluminum. The lid still has that alluring two-toned finish with a large glossy ROG insignia that glows red when the laptop is turned on. In order to make room for all the components and fans necessary to keep a laptop this thin cool, Asus moved the keyboard to the front of the laptop similar to the original Zephyrus and brought back the digital touchpad/num pad. The top of the deck is occupied by strategically-positioned vents.
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The Zephyrus S is a proud member of the skinny bezel club. Measuring a mere 0.28-inches on the sides. That means that Asus was able to cram a 15.6-inch display into a 14-inch chassis. The matte 1920 x 1080p display has a 144-Hertz refresh rate with a 3 millisecond lag -- another first for Asus. Although I didn't have much time with the laptop, the display looked colorful and bright during my demo. However, we'll have to wait until the laptop arrives for testing to get a real measurement.
The thinner the laptop, the harder it is to keep cool. Asus hopes to solve that problem with its AAS system. In addition to the the rear exhaust vent that's revealed upon opening the laptop, the Zephryus S sports smaller fan blades. Each of the fans in the Zephyrus S sports 83 blades, which should help to keep the system at a crotch-friendly temperature.
When it ships, the Zephyrus S will be one of the first of Asus' gaming laptops to feature Armoury Crate, the company's redesigned gaming software. It's got a clean, easy-to- use interface that has separate tabs for fan speed, keyboard lighting and system diagnostics.
The Zephyrus S will be available in two configurations. Each notebook will have an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1080p display. However, the $2,099 base model will have a full Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with SSD storage options ranging from 256GB to 1TB. The $2,199 version will feature a GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU with storage ranging from 512GB to 1TB.
There's no denying that the new Asus Zephyrus S is one of the leanest ROG laptops we've seen. However, we're looking forward to putting the laptop to the test, especially in the heating, performance and battery life sections. Stay tuned to Laptop Mag for our full review.