The slimmest GAMING LAPTOP in 2019? Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX Review!

The slimmest GAMING LAPTOP in 2019? Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX Review!


Hi guys, this is Dan K for TechniQualities! Towards the end of last summer a new line of laptops emerged, claimed to
be the thinnest gaming machines and although time flies in this market,
six months later I still believe that Asus ROG Zephyrus S holds true to the
company’s statement. The AXE effect of IT folks, we laugh, but when it comes to
design you can’t deny the new Zephyrus GX531. The laptop measures
just 16 millimeters at it’s thickest with the lid closed and when the lid is
open, the bottom part which shelters all the gaming arsenal from the NVIDIA
GeForce RTX 2080 MaxQ video card to the Intel processor, memories motherboard
and everything else including the 60 watts hour battery, is just one centimeter
thick. This is the thinnest gaming laptop, facts not words! Practically this chassis
has the size of a 14 inch laptop made of aluminum and magnesium alloy with
premium flawless finishes. The cover is anodized in two phases, creating an
exciting effect that gives the laptop an elegant look, akin to the ZenBook Range. As a
bonus to fans, the ROG eye, the backlight is enough to be noticed and admired without
disturbing with powerful LEDs. And you can turn it off, if you like.
So far so good, but there’s still a niggle of doubt in my head: how can such
a beastly GeForce RTX 2080 MaxQ GPU and the top-of-the-line Intel i7 with
its 45 watts thermal design power rating fit in here. How’d they pull it off?! Let’s
see if any compromises have been made to the heat at bay. But before we do that, we
still need to answer another important question: how did Asus succeed in
creating a 15 inch high performance gaming laptop, while keeping it so
compact? First off, like other ultra compact laptops, such as the recent
excellent Zenbook 13, the manufacturer has thinned the edges of the screen to
the minimum around 7 millimeters lateral and the 10 millimeter upper bezel
slightly thicker in order to accommodate the webcam. The
second element that helped drop the size of the laptop was the revamped touchpad-
numpad system. The touchpad also serves as a numpad, the switch between the two
being done by pressing a single button. Once the numpad-touchpad button is
pressed, the numbers and symbols found on any numpad appear,
obviously illuminated in the red ROG style, because of course, they are. A new
Zephyrus fashion statement is the moving of the keyboard to the bottom of
the chassis that is bye-bye palmrest. This is okay, because we have a very thin
chassis. But if you don’t have the laptop on a desk,
ergonomics suffers. It forces you to move your elbows backward and glue your arms
against your body. When working on my laptop on the couch it feels like a
T-Rex, with small hilarious front limbs tapping away.
The reason Asus chose this design is obvious: the CPU and the GPU require a
complex cooling system, occupying the entire area between the keyboard and the
base of the screen. With the battery hidden under the keyboard, placing all
the hot components away from the keyboard helps provide a better typing
experience as the keyboard area remains cool. The keys have a very short 1.2 millimeter stroke, but after a while you get used to it and life goes
on. And it will go a long way with this keyboard, as the manufacturer specifies a
20 million click lifetime for these keys. With N-Key Rollover technology. Typing is
nice, I always appreciated that little hump
before the key touches the trigger point. The WASD Keys are well shaped and
highlighted, so I’ll have little to whine about the small directional keys that
are mostly sacrificed. But when your tolerances are scoped by the millimeter,
you must compromise. The backlight is also enjoyable: four independent zones and
even if the illumination is perky, it is appealing and quite customizable. Armory
Crates Aura software can create various effects as well as synchronize the
keyboard lighting with other Aura peripherals: mouse, headset so on. And
though it’s nothing to do with the Aura keyboard theme, I will mention the side
lights that light up the moment you open the lid. In the ventilation
slot, there are RGB LEDs that make your nights more colorful. A third very
important feature that has allowed the chassis size reduction, is the unique ROG
active aerodynamic cooling system. Introduced for the first time in the
Zephyrus series. As you can see, when you lift the aluminum lid of your laptop,
the hinge engages a system that opens the lead on the bottom of the Zephyrus, to
allow it to breathe better. More precisely, with the 5 millimeter slit
that introduces cold air into the system the ventilation system is 22 percent
more efficient than that of a regular laptop.
According to Asus, the hot air is then expelled from the system through four
exhaust vents on the left, right and back of the laptop.
I must admit, even gaming advanced graphics editing and rendering make the
system noisy on turbo mode available from the Armory Crate control center.
Neither the GPU, nor processor have exceeded 70 degrees Celsius. Wow! So yes,
we can have decent performance and temperatures in a case worthy of
Guinness Book pages, at least with headphones, because otherwise the airflow
generated by the over 7,000 rpm fans will have your family kick you out. Or
vice versa. It takes 12 volts of power to get the
fans that fast but fear not, there are plenty of quieter operation modes. Though
obviously performance will suffer a little. The screen offers a Full HD 144
Hertz, 3 milliseconds experience. No G-Sync, possibly to save space or battery
times. As far as the Full HD screen is concerned, the frame rate in most games
will be very high with little obvious tearing. Most of the time you’ll not feel
the lack of G-Sync, unless you go over 144 FPS. Colors are
displayed correctly the sRGB color space coverage is 100%, ideal for
video as well as photo editing and Pantone validated. We finally reached
what we all care about: gamers. I passed the system through all the important tests
to see the behavior of the processor, video card and SSD, but especially the
system, so let’s find out how Asus dealt with the rising temperature. I tested the
laptop in three ways: turbo to see maximum gross performance, good only if
you are alone in a room with headphones, balanced and silent mode, which provides
a very quiet operation at a 9 to 15 percent performance drop from the
maximum. The difference between modes is obviously due to the CPU frequency, its
voltage etc, enhanced temperatures and the need for better cooling. When in
silent mode, the CPU is asleep, keeping to lower frequencies and so keeping the
fans quiet. The balanced mode, unfortunately, is closer to turbo, with
fans spinning up to 6000 rpm in intense scenes which is quite noisy. I would have
liked a less aggressive balanced mode. However, the difference in performance
between turbo and silent is not so terrible. I don’t really see the reason
for the balanced mode, it complicates matters unnecessarily. The silent has
about 2700 rpm but in some cases it rises to 4500 rpm, without the noise
becoming upsetting. Personally it seems strange to me that a flagship gaming
laptop only comes with a 500 gig SSD. We installed 6 new games and… poof! 100 gig
left! There is no second free slot so plan well what games you play by an
external SSD or upgrade to a 1TB SSD. By the way, our test model
GX531GX, with 512 gig has the SSD connected to PCI Express 3.0 x2,
which may bottleneck a top-of-the-line SSD. Not the case for the 660P series on
our model, but a Samsung 970 would have seen its maximum speed cooled. Like other
Asus laptops I tested lately, the Zephyrus GX531GX also shines when it comes to
wireless LAN. When all games download at over 50 megabytes per second,
whether it’s Steam, Epic Store, Origin or Uplay,
I can only say yes, go Asus! The Intel wireless AC9560 did not leave me
out to dry. As for a wired connectivity things are also great here; unfortunately
a Thunderbolt 3 port is nowhere to be found on the Zephyrus.
Perhaps it got shy when ROG engineers we’re putting the design together. The 60
watt hour battery is a little tiny, the laptops autonomy isn’t very good. For
example, working in battery saving mode, with screen brightness at 70%, I managed
to browse YouTube for only 2 hours and 20 minutes. The screen isn’t very bright
and working in a well-lit room with the window behind me, I just could not go
below this level of illumination. You don’t get to fool around with such as
module everyday, boasting a CPU with a TDP of 45 watts and which reaches 80 to
85% of the performance of my PC’s 8700 K in Cinebench. Moreover it has an NVIDIA
GeForce RTX2080 MaxQ, which although gimped by Nvidia with clocks between 835
and 1195 megahertz, only 100 Hertz boost above base clocks, still has an 80 watt
TDP. Overall I’m impressed! The performance is great for a compact and
thin laptop. It can also be used in turbo mode, if you have well insulated
headphones. For the more demanding folk I recommend silent mode. Don’t be too
hopeful, it’s not exactly silent when we talk about 4500 rpm in load. Silent mode
is on average 12% slower than turbo, so I strongly recommend it if you
can’t stand noise, the Zephyrus S GX531 GX is probably the smallest, coolest and
most advanced 15-inch gaming laptop on the market. With the Intel i7
8750H processor and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 MaxQ. If you enjoyed this
video, please subscribe to our young Channel. And there’s more to come! Thank
you all!

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