Asus ROG Zephyrus S Review

Last year’s Asus ROG Zephyrus was the very first gaming laptop we have tested constructed to adapt to Nvidia’s Max-Q Layout doctrine. In brief, Max-Q enables strong graphics chips to match within thinner-than-ever laptops by restricting the processors’ energy ceiling and heat output. It is impressively thin to get a top performer, although its battery life stays subpar. Needing to plug so frequently counters the notebook’s portability, even though it’s simple enough to fulfill when required. Its 144Hz screen appears excellent, even in case you won’t frequently reach frame rates that packed with its center elements.
Watch Me? I am the Slimmest in My Course
Lots of the design cues in the very first Zephyrus iteration carry over here. The most evident: The computer keyboard is pushed all of the way to the near edge, and the lanky touchpad is situated to the right on the keyboard . This permits space for the excess venting between the keyboard and screen hinge essential to maintain powerful parts cool in this slender chassis.
The remaining part of the exterior layout also went through several changes. Its overall aesthetic stays the same, for example, split-tone lid and aluminum trim. The lid emblem is presently a red-backlit net rather than silver, however, and the venting area forward of this computer keyboard has an entirely different feel than previously. Where before this weapon has been perforated to permit cool air through the surface, the Zephyrus S includes a slatted aerodynamic layout.
This Zephyrus version undoubtedly earns that”S” for slender: in only 0.62 inch thick, so it is even thinner than the prior model (0.66 inch). It is sleek for any notebook, but particularly so for a gaming-minded version. These machines are traditionally rather large, readily across an inch thick, but ultimately you are able to discover multiple thin, high quality gaming laptops on the market.
It is as mild as the Blade in 4.63 lbs, although the GS65 is, impressively, even milder at 3.9 lbs.
It is not only through refinement which Asus got the notebook thinner, nonetheless. Considering that the less-powerful card requires cooling, Asus engineers needed that even more leeway to cut the chassis. The fall in the Max-Q GeForce GTX 1080 is united with a redesigned cooling scheme–the enthusiasts have blades (currently 83 bladesup from 71 over the prior version ) and operate in a higher spin speed than previously. The CPU and GPU discuss two pipes and heatsinks, and each includes a different pipe connected to a committed heatsink. (That is the inner device below.)
Much like the first Zephyrus, a floor venting flap opens as you pull on the display clamshell open, propping up the notebook by about an inch. This is just another technology component Asus designed to cool the parts in this thin body, however, the very first time round, the device was somewhat flimsy for a superior machine. The flap on the new version is somewhat stricter: Along with employing a magnesium alloy rather than plastic, it merely begins halfway up the base of the chassis, rather than running all of the way from back to front.
Therefore, it is not quite as lengthy and saggy, and you also won’t put strain on the flap should you hold the notebook on the floor. On the first Zephyrus, the underside panel’s bend once the notebook was open was utterly painful, delicate for something really pricey. The new bottom is not rock-solid, but it will inspire more confidence. Customizable LED mood shine also pours from every opening, for a few additional flair.
More noticeable compared to that small fall in thickness in the first version are the lean display bezels, which seem great.
Thinner bezels always make a system appear sleeker and more contemporary. For all of the thinness of the first Zephyrus, its thick bezels stood outside. The new version’s bezels allow exactly the identical 15.6-inch display to fit into a smaller overall footprint, with all the notebook coming in 0.8 inch thinner than the first-generation version (when an almost negligible 0.2 inch heavier ).
The screen itself seems excellent, and that is where a chunk of this high cost comes from. But, unlike this variant, the new display has a 144Hz refresh rate along with also a 3ms response time. The first had”just” a 120Hz speed, although it did contain support for Nvidia G-Sync, which this version doesn’t.
The boost in refresh rate and reaction period should interest performance-minded fans, though you will appreciate the smoothness of G-Sync more. A Max-Q GTX 1070 probably won’t drive frame rates that exceed that refresh rate in many AAA matches (lightweight esports names are another thing ), but getting as near as you can still uses the superior display here, compared to the”wasted frames” you would not see on a normal 60Hz notebook panel.
The image quality of this IPS panel is topnotch, and it enhanced my enjoyment of whatever I played. Between the sharp image (it could have fooled me into believing it was a greater resolution), the panel’s matte finish, its vibrant colours, and the large refresh-rate ceiling, it is among the best screens I have played in a little while. I am not saying you ought to purchase the notebook solely for the display, just. However, you will be delighted to possess it, as video and games actually pop.
As previously edition, the nonstandard keyboard and touchpad places take a little getting used to. I kept hitting toward the middle to your touchpad before remembering where it had been, and the keyboard is somewhat awkward to sort on in the border of the notebook, but it is a change you may adapt to with sufficient time. The computer keyboard is still somewhat awkward once the notebook is against the border of a desk, since there’s nowhere to break your wrists. But if you put it back slightly, it functions as a desktop-like encounter.
The keys themselves are so-so in texture, somewhat on the side without a lot of opinions, but they do the task. You can not expect much vertical journey given the measurements of the machine, however a bit more snap could have been perfect.
I believe Asus is gambling the touchpad will not get a lot of use on a gaming laptop, and hefty typing jags will not be in the cards for this sort of notebook, either. It will keep a neat trick in the initial version, however: a digital number pad. By pressing a dedicated button, then you can flip the touchpad to a touch-sensitive number pad. (This is a feature initiated, ironically, with a scandalously big MSI mega-laptop several years past, that the MSI GT80 Titan SLI.) It stays a smart tip for fitting one on a more compact body in which there is not physical space to get more keys.
Both include the identical chip (a strong Intel Core i7-8750H”Coffee Lake” six-core processor ), 16GB of memorythe exact same screen, and also the very same ports. (More on these below.)
The very first version, the GX531GM, carries a full-power (maybe not Max-Q) GeForce GTX 1060 plus a 1TB PCI Express SSD for $2,099; this really is actually the version accessible across retail and etail stations in the States. (As of this writing of the review, it is available on Amazon for $1,699, a much better price.)
Over the touchpad is a committed ROG button, which brings up all of the Asus applications you will want. This was accurate on the first version, also, but it brings up completely various applications on the Zephyrus S. Asus has united its own Aura Sync light and ROG Gambling Center component-monitoring and controller applications into a new program, called Armoury Crate. (Yes, head the”U.”) It is shared across brand new ROG laptops, desktops, and parts, while this is not technically unique to the Zephyrus S, it might be your first chance to view it in action if you don’t have a newer platform. The UI is fairly intuitive and clean, and I managed to determine how to operate different segments following a couple of minutes of experimentation. If nothing else, it is inherently pleasant to have light controls, shortcut performance, and system tracking all in 1 app, instead of needing to poke and watch on many programs.
As for vents, Asus retains it fairly straightforward and does not allow the focus on thinness kick anything crucial to the curb.
You can say an Ethernet port is a casualty of this slender design, but you are not ensured on a slender laptop. A USB-to-Ethernet dongle may be a fantastic purchase alongside this machine at precisely the exact same e-order.
For the operation benchmarks, I contrasted the Zephyrus S for a couple of machines which are either equally priced or similarly outfitted concerning components. I must note here that at PC Labswe recently started testing using a brand new suite of benchmarks and thus, for now, have a restricted set of information to compare the new results from. To help alleviate this issue, we back-tested a couple of current gaming laptops to get as many important points of contrast as we can.
We do not have the information from a number of the aforementioned sparse flagship gaming laptops, but the sample collection below still supplies a crystal clear idea of functionality and in which the Zephyrus S drops in the marketplace…
It is possible to view their specs from the graph above.
PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic operation suites developed from the PC benchmark experts at UL (previously Futuremark). The PCMark 10 evaluation we run simulates distinct real-world growth and content-creation workflows. We use it to evaluate overall system functionality for office-centric tasks like word processing, spreadsheeting, Internet surfing, and videoconferencing. The evaluation creates a proprietary numerical score.
The Zephyrus S did fairly well on those tests overall, revealing its processing characteristics despite being the thinnest choice here. It is not the quickest here, but using a high score one of these systems, it is still quite eloquent.
As it is the only drive on board, you are in for a few rapid boot and load times.
Following is Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 evaluation, which is completely threaded to use all available processor cores and threads. Cinebench worries the CPU as opposed to the GPU to render a intricate picture.
Employing an early 2018 launch of this Creative Cloud edition of Photoshop, we employ a collection of 10 complicated filters and results to some typical JPEG test image. We time every operation and, in the end, add up the entire execution time. The Photoshop test emphasizes CPU, storage subsystem, and RAM, but it could also make the most of the majority of GPUs to hasten the procedure for employing filters, so systems with strong graphics chips or chips may view a boost.
The Zephyrus’ rapid functionality generally usage is all good and well, however as you can see, you will also find high rates if you would like to use your expensive machine for more technical jobs. You are probably considering the Zephyrus S for a gaming laptop, but if you really do want it for networking side tasks, it is up to the job.
Artificial Pictures Tests
3DMark steps comparative graphics muscle by producing sequences of exceptionally detailed, gaming-style 3D images that highlight lighting and particles. We conduct two distinct 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Attack, that can be appropriate to various kinds of systems. These two are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is appropriate to notebooks and midsize PCs, whilst Fire Strike is tougher and created for luxury PCs to strut their stuff. The outcomes are all proprietary scores.
Next up is another artificial graphics evaluation, now from Unigine Corp.. Much like 3DMark, the Superposition test pans and leaves via a thorough 3D scene and steps how the system deals. In cases like this, it’s left in the organization’s eponymous Unigine engine, supplying another 3D workload situation than 3DMark, to get another view on the system’s graphic artwork.
Given that the graphics cards here, these programs fall precisely where they need to on the above graphs. These evaluations lean and reflect the graphics card , barring a producer dragging down or improving a GPU’s capacity with cooling or behind parts. That does not appear to be happening with all the Zephyrus S, and therefore, just the non-Max-Q GTX 1070 at the Helios 500 and the considerably stronger GTX 1080 from the Alienware 17 R5 performed . The fantastic news it’s possible to glean from this is that the normal GTX 1070 is not all that far before this Max-Q version, so based on those tests, you are not giving up too much electricity to your thinness.
Real-World Gambling Tests
The artificial tests above are great for measuring overall 3D capability, but it is difficult to conquer complete retail video games for estimating gaming functionality. Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider are equally contemporary, high-fidelity names with built-in benchmarks that illustrate the way the system manages real-world video games in different configurations. These are conducted at 1080p on both moderate and highest graphics-quality presets (Regular and Ultra for Far Cry 5, Moderate and incredibly High for Rise of the Tomb Raider) at native resolution to gauge functionality for any particular system. Far Cry 5 is DirectX 11 established, whilst Rise of the Tomb Raider could be flipped into DX12, which we perform to the benchmark.
Due to the time on our newest testing-procedure rolloutwe do not have comprehensive performance information from previous machines to compare employing these matches. What information we’ve draws a mixed decision. That is just over the perfect 60fps goal, or even by far.
Hitting that degree of functionality in this a slim form factor is a bonus, but when the average is just over 60fps, so it’s going to dip under 60 in feverish minutes or visually rough scenes. If you would like to prevent these kinds of often-visible drops, then dialing down a couple of visual preferences to high or moderate will help.
If you are spend this much on a gaming laptop, I would not blame you for needing comfortably over 60fps, instead of toeing the line. It is still quite good functionality, but what you are paying extra for this is your super-slim layout and elaborate coolingsystem, so be sure you appreciate the thin design more energy.
Also, these frame rates are not coming anywhere close to the 144Hz refresh rate of the screen, which means that you’re paying more for this screen feature with no becoming used to the full in these kinds of games. Visually simpler games such as Fortnite and a few MOBAs might just reach frame rates that large. If these are the types of games you are intending to perform with, and high frames are all for you, which will make this system a much better match.
After completely recharging the notebook, we put up the device in power-save manner (rather than balanced or high performance mode) and also make a couple additional battery-conserving tweaks in prep to our unplugged video rundown test. (We also turn off Wi-Fi, setting the notebook in Airplane mode) In this evaluation, we loop a movie –a locally saved 1080p record of Tears of Steel, a open-ended movie in the Blender base –with screen brightness set at 50 percent and quantity at 100 percent before the machine conks out.
As you can see in the graph, the battery test is awful news for your Zephyrus S. Asus cautioned us that even with no further draining GTX 1080, this system needed to sacrifice battery life to accomplish the form element. The Helios 500 was worse, but it does not absolve the Zephyrus S. Even in my youth usage when not running movie, I found the battery life short. Just using the notebook on a sofa for chatting and internet browsing needed me going to your charger every couple of hours.
Much like lots of slender gaming laptops, battery life that this brief is antithetical to the notion of becoming more mobile. Sure, it can be thinner and lighter for carrying about, but a couple of inches and fractions of a pound that there have diminishing returns. You may be burdened bringing your Zephyrus S on you, but you have to still hope to plug it in if you arrive in your destination; it will not last all that long at a cafe or on a plane. Of this great deal, just Razer has escaped this trap with battery life normally longer than seven hours our present and battery evaluations, and it deserves praise for it.
It’s the capability for high-fidelity 60fps gambling, a gorgeous screen, and super-slim layout.
It has its own share of disadvantages also, however: this battery life, the computer keyboard acclimation curve, and also the simple fact that keeping 60fps while gambling at maximum settings isn’t any warranty. You might not make whole use of this 144Hz refresh rate frequently, possibly, but the display does look good. Much like almost any lean notebook, you need to be certain that you’ll really travel with your notebook regularly, as you are paying additional (and giving up some muscle) to your lean design.

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