Gaming

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW Review: Powerful and portable gaming laptop

The 15.6in Republic of Gamers Zephyrus S GX531GM Gaming Laptop from Asus is designed to be thin, fast, and quiet without sacrificing gaming performance.

The 15.6″ Republic of Gamers Zephyrus S GX531GM Gaming Laptop from Asus is designed to be thin, fast, and quiet without sacrificing gaming performance.

Specs-wise, it’s powered by a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor and 16GB DDR4 RAM. Even though it only measures 0.6 inches thin, the Zephyrus houses an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card for high-resolution gaming performance. Thanks to its Active Aerodynamic System (AAS), a portion of the bottom opens when the display is lifted to increase the amount of space for air circulation, letting you game for hours without throttling.

CPU8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H @2.2GHz (Turbo Boost upto 3.9 GHz)
RAM16GB DDR4 2666MHz
GPUNvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q
Storage512GB M.2 NVMe SSD
Display15.6-inch Full HD IPS-level Panel, 144Hz, 3ms Response Time
I/O1 x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C with DisplayPort™ 1.2 and Power Delivery

1x USB3.1 Gen 1 Type C
1x USB3.1 Gen2 Type A
2x USB 2.0 Type A
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
1x Kensington lock
ConnectivityIntel® 802.11ac (2×2) Gigabit Wi-Fi;
Bluetooth 5.0
PriceAED 8,133 onwards

Following the redefinition of ultra-slim gaming laptops, as provided by the original Zephyrus model, ROG brings hardcore gaming wrapped in an even slimmer design, surrounded by a super-slim frame. Cooling your GeForce RTX ™ 2070 with Max-Q design and Intel® Core ™ i7 processor ROG Zephyrus S uses innovative technology so you can be immersed by an uncompromising 144 Hz/3ms display.

Design and Build

The ROG Zephyrus is the flagship thin-and-light gaming laptop from Asus, and it lives up to everything that Asus mentions on its product page, including the fact that it is incredibly thin and light and it looks absolutely stunning. In fact, the bezels are so thin that Asus opted not to build a webcam into the housing, choosing instead to include an external 1080p webcam in the box.

The Zephyrus S has a two-tone black design that splits diagonally, dividing an elegant matte and brushed-aluminum coating. The ROG logo sits on the brushed side and shines a glossy silver.

The Zephyrus S has copper accents streaking across each side, eventually leading to the hinge’s neat Zephrus logo. When you open the lid of the laptop, the underside will lift up, initiating Asus’ Active Aerodynamic System, which is accompanied by two RGB lights on each side.

On the left, there’s the power jack, one USB Type-C port, two USB 2.0 ports and a headphone jack. On the back of the laptop, there’s an HDMI 2.0 port and a Kensington lock slot. The right side features one USB 3.1 port and one USB Type-C/DisplayPort.

Display

It’s a 15.6-inch IPS-level panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, and 3ms response times – things that an everyday user might not care about, but if you’re a gamer buying a laptop that’s almost AED 10,000, you obviously do.

The Zephyrus S’ panel hit a solid 113 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which narrowly passes the 111 percent average for mainstream gaming laptops. While the Zephyrus S doesn’t have the most colorful panel, it does have the brightest of its competitors, at 335 nits, which soars past the 294-nit category average.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Asus has shifted the keyboard to the very bottom of the laptop, with the trackpad on the right hand side, and it doubles up as a numpad if you need it to. It means you can game for hours without having to endure a hot keyboard. What’s missing is a palm-rest here because typing on this keyboard becomes very difficult very quickly.

The keyboard has individually lit RGB keys and the volume control along with the ROG logo both light up as well. The volume control is handled by a wheel above the keyboard on the left side that rotates up and down, adjusting the volume in the respective direction, or you can press it to mute the sound. 

For anything more than casual typing, this keyboard quickly becomes difficult. The keys have some travel to them, which is nice but we’ve not yet been able to get a hang of typing on this as easily as we can type on many other laptops.

The trackpad on this laptop isn’t something you’ll use unless you have no other option left. It’s also positioned to the side which makes getting used to this very difficult. Although the company did figure out a nice way of putting a numpad inside a laptop where there’s absolutely no space for a numpad. There’s a button above the trackpad that converts it into a touch-numpad and that’s pretty cool, even if it’s not really something you’ll probably use a lot.

Performance

The ROG Zephyrus packs in an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.2GHz with a Turbo Boost of up to 3.9GHz, paired with 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, and the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU taken from Nvidia’s latest lineup of raytracing enabled graphic cards. Together, all of that translates into amazing performance, and thanks to the excellent thermals, this laptop can keep that performance going as long as you need.

Benchmarks via notebookcheck.net
  LOW MED HIGH ULTRA
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 248.2 246.2 252.5 221.7
BioShock Infinite (2013) 298.2 250.6 228.5 109.4
GTA V (2015) 145.5 133.1 97 51
The Witcher 3 (2015) 197.6 129.5 70.9 40
Team Fortress 2 (2017) 127.2 120.2 109.6 108.1
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 96 82.1 70.4  
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 111 56 51 43
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018) 90 63 54 32
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (2018) 142 74.6 72.5 65.9
Hitman 2 (2018) 82 61.8 58.1 55.5
Farming Simulator 19 (2018) 195.6 146.9 121.9 97.2
Just Cause 4 (2018) 115.5 73.9 57.7 56.3

Battery

The Zephyrus GX531GW comes with a 60Whr battery, which is a pretty small battery for a laptop packing in hardware like this. The Intel Core i7-8750H and the RTX 2070 themselves are a power hog and with 60Whr of battery,.

The Zephyrus S’ battery life isn’t bad for a gaming laptop, but its competitors last longer. After continuously surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Zephyrus’ battery lasted 3 hours and 33 minutes, which falls slightly below the 4:06 category average. However, the Alienware 15 (5:15), Stealth Thin (5:40) and Razer Blade 15 (5:54) all lasted from 5 to 6 hours.

That’s not stellar battery life by any means, and if you’re looking to use this laptop for everyday work, don’t ever forget to carry that bulky 230W charger that comes with it.

8.8

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW

The Asus ROG Zephyrus S once again offers a ridiculously slim chassis without sacrificing performance. It also packs a vivid 144-Hz, 1080p panel and a pair of solid speakers. If you're looking for the slimmest gaming laptop out there, the Zephyrus S can't be beat, with its incredibly innovative Max-Q design and strong overall performance.

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