The Zephyrus S GX531 is the mid-2018 replace of the unique Asus Zephyrus line, with a extra compact and thinner construct, an up to date 144 Hz IPS display and trendy specs (eighth gen processors and both GTX 1060 or 1070 Max-Q graphics).
Asus advertises it because the “thinnest gaming laptop” available on the market. I’m not a sucker for skinny laptops and somewhat contemplate the general footprint and weight extra essential standards on a thin-and-light pc, particularly as a result of thinness and video games don’t often play nicely collectively, as highly effective hardware wants correct cooling to be able to work as is meant to. Thus, earlier than we get our hopes up, we’ll need to look previous the high-quality advertising strains as a way to discover out if this Zephyrus S is an effective purchase or not, the place it shines and the place it falls brief.
We don’t have a assessment unit on the time of this text (we’ll replace with a hyperlink to the assessment as soon as we publish it), so for now we’ll simply look into what’s modified and the way the Zehpyrus S GX531 compares to the earlier Zephyrus GX501/GM501 strains, in addition to the opposite premium-tier gaming ultraportables it’ll compete towards: the Gigabyte Aero 15X, Razer Blade 15, MSI GS65 Skinny and maybe the Acer Triton 700.
To start with, let’s take a look on the specs sheet:
|Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GM / GX531GS|
|Display||15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px decision, IPS AHVA, 144Hz, matte, non-touch|
|Processor||Intel Espresso Lake Core i7-8750H CPU, six-core 2.9 GHz, Four.1 Ghz turbo|
|Video||Intel HD + Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB (GX531GM) of 1070 8Gb Max-Q (GX531GS)|
|Reminiscence||as much as 24 GB DDR4 (8GB soldered + 1x DIMM)|
|Storage||2x 80 mm M.2 NVMe slots|
|Ports||3x USB-A, 2x USB-C, HDMI 2.zero, mic/earphone combo, kensington lock|
|Connectivity||Wi-fi AC Wave 2, Bluetooth 5.zero|
|Battery||50 Wh, 180 or 230 Wh energy adapter|
|Measurement||360 mm or 14.2” (w) x 268 mm or 10.5” (d) x 15.75 mm or .62” (h)|
|Weight||2.1 kg or Four.63 lb|
|Extras||Aura multi-colored keyboard backlighting, backlit trackpad/numpad combo, HD digital camera, ambient mild sensor|
The Zephyrus S is extra compact than the earlier Zephyrus variations, and you may simply inform it has shrunk from the small bezels across the sides and prime of the display. It’s additionally a tad lighter, at round Four.6 lbs, in comparison with the Four.95 lbs of the unique Zephyrus, in addition to thinner, at .62″, in comparison with the .70 of the GX501. Asus and most different web sites that reported on this laptop computer made an enormous fuss of its skinny profile, thinner than of different gaming-ultraportables obtainable at this level, however I for one discover the smaller footprint and lighter weight extra essential with every day use.
Not a lot else has modified on the surface, because the Zephyrus S seems and looks like a child model of the Zephyrus. They share comparable aesthetics strains, options and format designs. As an example, this laptop computer nonetheless implements the AAS mechanism that lifts the main-body to be able to enhance the air-flow in the direction of the inside elements, there’s nonetheless a chin beneath the display and sufficient room for a digital camera on the prime (regardless of the thinner bezels), the construct high quality continues to be prime notch and the keyboard continues to be positioned on the backside of the inside, the place most different laptops get a palm-rest, with the trackpad at its proper.
This specific format leaves additional room on prime to correctly cool the elements inside, however would require a while to get used to. As Derek factors in our evaluate of the unique Zephyrus, the typing expertise ought to be high-quality so long as you retain the pc on a spacious desk, the place it might really feel identical to typing on a compact desktop keyboard with none kind of arm help. You’ll wrestle nevertheless in some other state of affairs, like in cramped areas or when typing on the lap. The clickpad is much more troublesome to adapt to, because it’s tall and slender, and also you’ll need to carry your proper hand and transfer it to the proper to get to it, which is impractical and naturally signifies that it’s a particular no-no for lefties.
The decreased footprint of the Zephyrus S attracts a couple of different modifications: the audio system are not flanking the keyboard, as an alternative they’ve been positioned within the small hump slightly below the display, which additionally integrates the standing LEDs now, and the IO is barely snipped. The specs solely point out two USB-C ports and nothing about Thunderbolt Three, which is a downgrade from the unique Zephyrus.
One other essential replace regards the display: nonetheless 15.6-inch in measurement, however with a 144 Hz IPS AHVA panel. An AHVA panel is generally a bit quicker than a normal IPS display, which is right for a gaming laptop computer. It additionally will get deeper blacks and higher distinction, however solely common colour accuracy. Asus mentions 100% sRGB protection for this panel, which must be round 70% aRGB, sufficient for every day use and video games, however not precisely what you’ll need to for color-graded work.
In contrast to the unique Zephyrus, the S not will get GSync, which on one hand impacts the gaming expertise, however on the opposite is changed by Optimus, which permits for considerably longer battery life.
After which we get to the hardware. The Zephyrus S is construct on Espresso Lake processors with GTX 1060 (the GX531GM mannequin) or GTX 1070 Max-Q (GX531GS model) graphics. It nonetheless will get as much as 24 GB of DDR Four RAM, with eight GB of reminiscence soldered on the motherboard and one obtainable DIMM, however this time two M.2 storage slots.
In fact, all of us marvel how this type of hardware goes to carry out in such a skinny physique, and I’d anticipate it’ll do nicely. That’s based mostly on how the older Zephyrus carried out, which was marginally thicker, however was capable of maintain the demanding GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 Max-Q at bay. The Zephyrus S takes the graphics a notch down, however hold the AAS system, the identical format with ample air consumption on the highest and what seems to be like even a extra complicated cooling ensemble, so I’d anticipate each the GS and the GM variations of this laptop computer to work properly with video games and demanding masses. They’ll in all probability run scorching, however ought to supply the sort of efficiency anticipated from these chips.
Asus claims they particularly checked out enhancing the cooling on this laptop computer. It nonetheless will get two followers and and ample format of heatpipes, however the followers have extra fins and elevated CFM, and every of them will get two radiators this time round, one firing on the again and on on the aspect. The aspect vents have been designed to circulate air barely backwards and away from a mouse that may be positioned close to the laptop computer, but in addition barely upwards to ensure that the recent air to not end-up again inside via the intake-gap created by the AAS system.
These small tweaks sound sensible and can hopefully maintain the S cooler and quieter than the opposite comparable thin-and-light gaming laptops on the market.
On prime of those, you also needs to contemplate that different OEMs are capable of cool comparable elements in additional commonplace laptops, with out shifting elements which might be designed to enhance airflow and with keyboards truly positioned in the usual place, above the hardware. If MSI, Razer or Gigabyte can do it on their laptops, Asus ought to higher do a fair job with this Zephyrus S, given the compromises potential consumers have to simply accept right here.
In fact, these are simply assumptions proper now, however we’ll additional look into efficiency and thermals/acoustics as soon as we get a assessment unit.
What hasn’t modified
A number of points of the Zephyrus S haven’t modified from the unique Zephyrus, and maybe crucial is the dimensions of the battery.
The up to date line nonetheless will get a 50 Wh battery, which is small in comparison with what the opposite producers placed on their models. In fact, with Optimus you’ll get longer runtimes with on a regular basis use in comparison with final yr’s appalling outcomes, however you shouldn’t anticipate extra then Three-Four hours of real-life use and about 5-6 hours of video.
This apart, the keyboard and trackpad don’t appear to have modified a lot both, though the S will get 1.2 mm deep keys versus 1.Four mm keys within the unique Zephyrus, so the typing expertise may differ. There’s nonetheless solely Four-zone illumination although, and never particular person management as with different laptops.
After which there’s the design, with the identical accents that recommend this can be a gaming pc, and the identical annoying lights: the ROG emblem within the lid, the lights within the AAS system, the all the time lit power-buttons and the standing LEDs. A few of you may just like the design and all these parts, however some may choose the easier aesthetics obtainable with the opposite premium thin-and-light gaming notebooks.
Pricing and availability
The Zephyrus S will make it to shops in September 2018. There are not any actual pricing particulars out there simply but, however I’d anticipate round $1800-$1900 for the GX531GM fashions and round $2200 for the GX model with GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics.
We’ll replace as soon as we all know extra.
Wrap-up and competitors
I’m fairly stoked about this laptop computer and Asus did a great job with the replace. The Zephyrus S feels much more like a contemporary laptop computer than the 2017 era, with an excellently crafted physique, compact and lightweight design, a matte IPS display with 144 Hz refresh-rate and small bezels, in addition to up-to-date hardware. Nevertheless, potential consumers nonetheless have to simply accept the keyboard/trackpad’s uncommon placement, the small battery and the gaming-inspired design strains, so the Zephyrus S must compensate for these with higher efficiency than the competitors, cooler/quieter emissions and a aggressive worth.
We’ll let you already know if it does as soon as we get out assessment unit.
These of you interested by a extra normal laptop computer with even quicker graphics also needs to take a look on the Zephyrus M line, with full-power GTX 1070 graphics and 144 Hz display with each GSync and Optimus, whereas these of you interested by small, skinny and lightweight fashions also needs to take a look at the MSI GS65 Skinny, the Razer Blade 15 and Gigabyte Aero 15x.
Every have their execs and cons: the MSI GS65 is extra reasonably priced than the competitors, lighter as nicely, performs properly with video games and will get a superb keyboard, however shouldn’t be that properly constructed. The Razer Blade 15 is excellently made, however is dear, will get a relatively uncommon keyboard format and doesn’t carry out in addition to the others. The Gigabyte Aero 15x is the most effective ultraportable gaming laptop computer of the second, with easy appears, nice construct high quality, strong efficiency and an enormous battery, however is just not out there all all over the world.
|Gigabyte Aero 15X||Razer Blade 15||MSI GS65 Stealth Skinny||Asus ROG Zephyrus S|
|Display||15.6-inch – FHD 144 Hz matte, UHD 60 Hz 100% aRGB matte||15.6-inch – FHD 60Hz/144 Hz matte, UHD 60 Hz 100% aRGB contact||15.6-inch – FHD 144 Hz matte||15.6-inch – FHD 144 Hz matte|
|Processor||Core i7-8750H||Core i7-8750H||Core i7-8750H||Core i7-8750H|
|Video||Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q, with Optimus||Nvidia GTX 1060 or 1070 Max-Q, with Optimus||Nvidia GTX 1060 or 1070 Max-Q, with Optimus||Nvidia GTX 1060 or 1070 Max-Q, with Optimus|
|Reminiscence||as much as 32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs)||as much as 32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs)||as much as 32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMM)||as much as 32 GB DDR4 (2x DIMMs)|
|Storage||2x M.2 PCIe||1x M.2 PCIe||2x M.2 PCIe, 1x 2.5″||2x M.2 PCIe, 1x 2.5″|
|Ports||3x USB-A Three.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt Three, HDMI 2.zero, miniDP 1.Four, LAN, SD card reader, mic/earphone||3x USB-A Three.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt Three, HDMI 2.zero, DP 1.Four, mic/earphone||4x USB-A, 1x USB-C withThunderbolt Three, HDMI 2.zero, miniDP, LAN, mic/earphone||3x USB-A, 2x USB-C with out Thunderbolt Three (?), HDMI 2.zero, mic/earphone|
|Battery||94.2 Wh||80 Wh||80 Wh|
|Measurement||356 mm or 14.01” (w) x 250 mm or 9.eight” (d) x 18.9 mm or .75” (h)||355 mm or 13.98” (w) x 225 mm or 9.25” (d) x 16.eight mm or .66” (h)||358mm or 14.08” (w) x 248mm or 9.75” (d) x 17.5mm or .69” (h)||360 mm or 14.2” (w) x 268 mm or 10.5” (d) x 15.75 mm or .62” (h)|
|Weight||~2.08 kg (Four.6 lbs)||~2.08 kg (Four.6 lbs)||~1.9 kg (Four.1 lbs)||~2.1 kg (Four.65 lbs)|
|Worth||begins at $2299||begins at $1899, $2399 for GTX 1070MQ/144 Hz display||begins at $1899, $2199 for GTX 1070MQ/144 Hz display||TBA|
|Particularities||principally aluminum construct, easy design, independently lit RGB keyboard, backside audio system||unibody aluminum development, clear design, Chroma RGB backlit keyboard, front-facing audio system||easy design, not one of the best construct high quality, nice keyboard, troublesome to improve, backside audio system||gaming design, skinny development, uncommon keyboard/clickpad placement, Four-zone Aura RGB backlit keyboard, entrance audio system|