ASUS ROG Zephyrus evaluation: Gaming laptops will by no means be the identical again

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus is a completely new breed of gaming pocketbook. It packs inside the maximum powerful laptop photographs hardware in the marketplace, NVIDIA’s GTX 1080, in a frame it truly is almost 1/2 the dimensions of similar machines. It is mostly because it is one of the first notebooks to characterize NVIDIA’s Max-Q layout preferred, which is laser-targeted on slimming down gaming laptops with beefy GPUs. That does cause some compromises, specifically around battery lifestyles, but the Zephyrus is still a surprise to behold.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus evaluation: Gaming laptops will by no means be the identical again 13

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The ASUS ROG Zephyrus is in contrast to any gaming computer we’ve seen before. It’s thin but additionally exquisite powerful. While its battery life suffers because of that, it’s also a machine that would take the area of many gaming gadgets.


The Zephyrus, part of ASUS’s Republic of Gamers brand, is noticeably thin at 17.9 mm thick. You might not mistake it for an ultraportable, just like the MacBook or ASUS’s Zenbook. However, it additionally does not betray itself as a totally decked-out gaming pc, like Dell’s Alienware lineup. It clocks in at four.93-pounds, three kilos lighter than the Razer Blade Pro, which became considered lightweight for a gaming machine when it came out the ultimate year.

When it’s closed, the Zephyrus features one of the most diffused and attractive designs we have seen from an ASUS gaming pc. The simplest factors that certainly stand out are its polished metal lid and copper vents, but it does not name interest to itself in any other case. It’s narrow and unassuming enough to fade into history, but it packs in a ton of electricity.

Open it up, and the PC’s gaming DNA becomes clear. The bottom rear of the Zephyrus expands as you lift the lid, creating a noticeable gap that pushes the display up at an attitude, and lets in for higher air consumption. That open part of the pc also rocks crimson LED lights whilst you plug it in. (The mantra for most gaming machines: Got some space? Put a LED on it.)

Cool air is available from underneath, at the same time as warm air is exhausted via vents on the perimeters. ASUS additionally developed thinner and more potent fan blades made out of a brand new polymer to push air in the course of the device. The company worked collectively with NVIDIA to layout its cooling technology, and it indicates. There’s certainly extra ingenuity concerned with getting rid of warmness from the system than we have commonly visible from ASUS. And you could count on future Max-Q laptops to be similarly resourceful.

The computer feels strong, normal, although I could see capacity issues with its increasing bottom 1/2. All it takes is one fall from a table, or one spilled drink, to throw a wrench into the meticulous cooling design. Thankfully, there are none of the sloppy build fines we’ve seen from other ASUS laptops, just like the Zenbook 3.

Port-sensible, the Zephyrus is a bounty. It includes 4 USB 3.1 connections, a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, a full-sized HDMI connection, and a headphone jack. And since the laptop is just too skinny for a full-sized Ethernet port (that is thoughts-boggling, to be sincere), ASUS consists of a USB converter inside the field. We don’t normally point out AC adapters in opinions; however, inside the Zephyrus case, it seems important: It’s large! Honestly, it appears greater harking back to a PC electricity supply than a laptop’s. That’s possible because of the large amount of juice the laptop wishes while you’re gaming.

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Unlike maximum different laptops, ASUS drove the Zephyrus’s keyboard and trackpad all the way to its front area. That allowed the corporation to vicinity all of its excessive-powered hardware towards the again of the case — specifically, the CPU and GPU — so it may all be cooled at once. It took me a while to get used to the Zephyrus’s bizarre keyboard orientation, or even longer to modify its trackpad, which sits to the right of the keys in preference to underneath it.

Not exceptionally, it turned into higher suited to gaming than typing. Moving round first character shooters, the usage of the WASD keys felt as responsive as my laptop keyboard. The keyboard is secured to kind on, even though the keys have a rapid journey distance. There’s additionally an array of LEDs in the back of each key, which you may personalize using an app. ASUS bundles a cozy wrist relaxation inside the box that is useful if you’re worried about repetitive pressure injuries.

While the trackpad placement is a bit peculiar, we’ve visible similar laptops just like the Razer Blade Pro location it at the right facet as properly. When it comes to video games, I definitely discovered it extra useful than a normal trackpad since it almost mimics the feeling of using a mouse. It’s spotless and responsive — in many methods, it felt more correct than a fashionable trackpad. Obviously, it’s no longer something you’ll use for an FPS, but it gives you a way to play slower-paced games in areas wherein you cannot shape a gaming mouse.

You can also remodel the trackpad into a virtual number pad by hitting the important thing above it, which a few gamers may recognize for hitting hotkeys. It wasn’t as accurate as having a bodily number pad, but it felt more convenient than simply counting on the same old pinnacle number row.

The Zephyrus’s 15.6-inch, 1080p display screen doesn’t appear particularly remarkable in the beginning, particularly while different gaming laptops include 4K presentations in recent times. But its 120Hz refresh fee and aid for NVIDIA’s G-Sync era need to be appealing to game enthusiasts since it lets in for clean play no matter what frame rate you are getting. The display shined whilst gambling colorful, fast-paced video games like Overwatch and Doom. There wasn’t any tearing at all — it is an experience greater reminiscent of a high-stop gaming display than a well-known pc display screen.

ASUS desired to consciousness on speed instead of pixel count. However, it might have been best to peer a slightly better resolution to gain the laptop’s bountiful horsepower. 4K could have been first-class, specifically since the Zephyrus can actually play games at this type of high resolution, but even 1,440p could be a respectable compromise. A 1080p display feels dated, and it’ll seem even greater restricting over the following few years.

While the Zephyrus display becomes brilliant enough for indoor gameplay, it did not properly feel as honest as the exterior. I liked its matte end, which minimized reflections but did not count on fragging your buddies while sitting inside the park. The laptop’s audio system, towards the front near the keyboard, is loud yet tiny. You wouldn’t need to apply them for any extreme music or film periods. That does not matter an awful lot for games since the general public will plug in a tricky pair of headphones; however, it is sad.

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