Introduction, Design Features
Nvidia finished a headlines during Computex 2017 with a introduction of its Nvidia Max-Q technology, an engineering judgment and set of doing discipline directed during assisting cover makers pattern thinner, lighter, and quieter gaming notebooks. Nvidia says that trimmed-down gaming notebooks contracting Max-Q can keep 85 to 90 percent of a opening of normal gaming notebooks that use a same graphics chips. So, for example, a cover with a GeForce GTX 1080 with Max-Q won’t be as quick as a normal cover with a GTX 1080 in gaming situations, nonetheless it would have a aforementioned advantages.
The Asus Zephyrus, sole underneath a company’s entire Republic of Gamers brand, is a initial Nvidia Max-Q-equipped cover we’ve perceived for testing. (At Computex, customarily a handful were announced detached from a Zephyrus, from MSI, Gigabyte, and a OEM Clevo.) This 15.6-incher fits a trim form of a Max-Q notebook; it’s reduction than 0.7 in. thick when closed, weighs reduction than 5 pounds, and uses a GeForce GTX 1080 chip with Max-Q. A few months back, we wouldn’t have believed wise such a absolute graphics chip into a framework this slim would have been viable, nonetheless we’re all too blissful to be proven wrong. Well, that is, if Nvidia’s claims about Max-Q live adult to a promise.
We previewed a ROG Zephyrus during Computex 2017. The indication we’re reviewing (specifically, Zephyrus SKU GX501VI-XS74) is a highest-end pattern Asus offers, autocratic a not-insignificant sum of $2,699. The hardware is all high-end; it sports a 15.6-inch arrangement with a 120Hz modernise rate and Nvidia G-Sync support, an Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics chip implemented in Max-Q fashion, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCI Express-bus solid-state-drive (SSD).
As high-end gaming-notebook hardware goes, a going rate for a Zephyrus seems fair. A larger, thicker notebook, such as a 17.3-inch MSI GT73VR Titan ProAorus X5 v7, that goes for $2,399. It packs a 3K arrangement and a Core i7-7820HK CPU, nonetheless it has “just” a GeForce GTX 1070. We’ll see how good a GeForce GTX 1080 with Max-Q stacks up.
So nonetheless serve ado, let’s see what a Asus ROG Zephyrus is all about.
The pricier an object gets, a some-more a pattern matters. After all, no one would compensate a supercar cost for a supercar that didn’t demeanour a part. That’s since Asus went all-out with a Zephyrus. If this cover looks bad from any angle, we couldn’t see it.
Let’s start with a numbers. For a cover with a 15.6-inch display, a 4.9-pound weight of a Zephyrus is low, even for a gaming notebook. It’s lighter than a Gigabyte P35X v6, that was one of a lightest 15.6-inch gaming notebooks we had tested adult until now. The framework measures 14.9×10.3 inches, or about a approaching measure for a cover with this distance of display. The bezel going around a edges of a shade isn’t small, nonetheless it’s also not oversize.
Thinness is where a Zephyrus breaks new ground. With a lid closed, it’s customarily underneath 0.7 in. thick. With a lid open, it’s accurately 0.7 inch. The reason that a tallness varies stems from a bottom cover of a chassis, that is hinged. It opens adult a few millimeters to assent additional airflow into a framework when a lid is opened. (In a thermals territory of this examination entrance up, we’ll have some photos of this.) That bottom row is all plastic, and it didn’t feel all that stout when it was in a open position. However, we didn’t have a problem regulating a cover on a path or a soothing aspect while in that state.
The rest of a Zephyrus is as plain as a rock. There’s probably no space in a skinny framework for any flex to be possible. Brushed aluminum covers many of a surfaces, save for a bottom cover.
The aluminum finish attracts fingerprints, nonetheless they come off with a microfiber towel.
The pleasantness to fact on a outward of a framework is admirable. Take, for instance, a diamond-cut edges, and a copper-colored behind edge…
The Asus ROG trademark on a behind of a lid was also intricately backlit. This cover looks each bit of a lofty cost point.
No wrist rest was enclosed with a Zephyrus, nonetheless a framework was skinny adequate that we didn’t feel a need for one.
The thought behind a front-mounted keyboard is simple: roughly all gamers will use an outmost mouse. (A rodent is indeed enclosed with a Zephyrus, that we’ll speak about soon.) We’d determine with this logic. The advantage of a keyboard oriented like this is that we can lay serve divided from a screen, and we also don’t have to worry about a hold pad removing in your way.
We found a right-handed, vertically-oriented hold pad took some mental orientation, nonetheless it fast became second nature. It customarily creates sense; for right-handers, that’s where we would pierce your palm to control a mouse, anyway. Sorry, lefties; there’s unequivocally no unsentimental approach to use a hold pad with your left hand.
Touching a number-pad symbol during a tip of a keyboard now transforms a hold pad into a practical series pad. It’s a crafty conceit, nonetheless it’s not a initial such pattern we’ve seen; MSI’s GT80 Titan SLI we mentioned progressing pioneered it in gaming laptops. It was surprisingly responsive, nonetheless as we competence expect, it compulsory a bit some-more thoroughness to use than a normal series pad since of a miss of pivotal feedback. Other than that, a hold pad’s anti-glare aspect felt glorious to us. The dedicated left- and right-click buttons were quiet, and they supposing good feedback.
The keyboard provides an glorious typing experience. There’s positively no flex in a keyboard deck. The keypress movement is scarcely quiet, as well. The blueprint leaves something to be desired, though. You do get dedicated Page Up and Page Down keys, nonetheless they are above a hold pad; also, a Home and End keys are respectively integrated into them as delegate functions. Furthermore, a keyboard lacks a Print Screen key.
The 4 keys above a hold pad are backlit customarily in red, nonetheless a rest of a keyboard can be altered to any one of a 16.7 million colors in a RGB spectrum. This is finished regulating a preinstalled Asus AuraCore software…
The QWER and WASD pivotal clusters can be altered on their possess to other colors, nonetheless a rest of a keyboard can be customarily one color. Essentially, a keyboard doesn’t support per-key backlighting, as do a ones on a competing Razer Blade Pro (2017) and a Aorus X5 v7 we mentioned earlier. We won’t make a large understanding out of that, though; a keyboard backlighting on a Zephyrus looked good to us, generally in a color-cycling mode. The tip liughtness turn offering copiousness of daytime visibility. (Three liughtness levels are available, and off.)
The 15.6-inch arrangement on a Zephyrus has all of a latest and biggest technology. First and foremost, it’s a wide-viewing-angle panel; a pattern doesn’t crush when looking during it from above or below. That charge in itself isn’t remarkable, as far-reaching observation angles are an approaching underline on high-end cover displays.
It’s important on a Zephyrus, however, since a arrangement also has a 120Hz modernise rate. Up to 120 frames per second in games can be displayed during any given time, that a GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q graphics label is able of achieving in some games. If a arrangement had customarily a 60Hz modernise rate, as is loyal of many wide-viewing-angle displays, carrying a graphics label as absolute as a one in this cover wouldn’t make sense.
On tip of a 120Hz modernise rate, a arrangement on a Zephyrus supports Nvidia G-Sync to serve well-spoken out a support rate. Combined with a high contrast, copiousness brightness, and well-saturated colors, gaming and looking during customarily about anything else on a arrangement is a provide for a eyes.
Just above a display, you’ll find a 720p/30fps Webcam. It has endurable pattern quality, nonetheless it has customarily a smallest fortitude and upheld support rate we’d demeanour for in a Webcam on a complicated notebook.
The dual upward-facing speakers in this cover are tough to mark during initial glance; they’re located during a front corners of a chassis…
They lacked bass, nonetheless we found they had a good magnitude response and supposing a convincing soundstage for a one-person audience.
The pier preference on a Asus Zephyrus is sincerely strong for a indication as skinny as this one. Along a left corner are a headset jack, a span of USB Type-A 3.0 ports, an HDMI video-out port, and a AC energy jack. You can see them all here…
The right-most of a USB ports supports charging inclination while a cover is in standby.
The right corner of a chassis, meanwhile, has a USB Type-C pier with underlying support for Thunderbolt 3, another span of USB Type-A 3.0 ports, and a Kensington-style cable-lockdown notch…
The Zephyrus doesn’t have a local Ethernet port, nonetheless Asus includes a USB Type-A-to-Ethernet adapter in a box. A important repudiation on this cover is an SD label reader. There’s no visual drive, either, nonetheless that’s some-more or reduction a foregone finish on today’s notebooks.
The chain of a ports on a right side of a cover works out for right-handers; if we block in something over there, a extending connectors shouldn’t meddle with your outmost mousing space, as they’re located distant adequate towards a behind of a chassis. However, a same isn’t loyal for a ports on a left side, that are located mid-chassis or some-more forward. The energy jack, fortunately, has a right-angle connector that juts out reduction than an inch. Everything else is serve to a front of that, though. It looks like this was an destined pattern decision, given that a cooling empty takes adult a behind partial of a left side. There are no ports on a front or behind edges of a chassis.
Asus includes a RoG Strix Impact rodent with a Zephyrus. This is a simple gaming rodent with customarily 4 buttons: a common left-, right-, and center-click, and an additional symbol to switch DPI settings. The all-plastic pattern is ambidextrous. The figure of a rodent is accessible to several hold types, including claw, where customarily your fingertips hold a rodent buttons. The sides of a rodent don’t have an anti-slip coating, nonetheless we found a rodent was high adequate that a fingers had copiousness of purchase.
The Omron switches behind a left- and right-click buttons have a accurate feel. We also favourite a rubbery notched movement of a corkscrew wheel. The DPI symbol behind a corkscrew circle is easy to strech with an index finger. The LED indicator behind a corkscrew circle illuminates in white on a low DPI setting, and turns off when a high DPI sourroundings is active. The rodent is rated for 5,000dpi, nonetheless we weren’t certain what a high and low levels were indeed set at.
The rubber wire isn’t detachable, nonetheless it feels durable enough. We totalled it from finish to finish during 6 feet and 8 inches. The Asus ROG trademark during a behind of a rodent is RGB. By default, it cycles by a rainbow of colors during sincerely brief intervals. The lighting is presumably customizable around a square of program called “ROG Armoury,” nonetheless a program wasn’t pre-installed on a ROG Zephyrus examination unit, and we didn’t find a couple to download a program on a Asus support site.
The Strix Impact rodent is altogether a good-quality peripheral. It’s odd to see a rodent enclosed with a notebook, so a gesticulate doesn’t go unnoticed. That said, if ever a laptop were matched to regulating an outmost rodent for gaming, it’s this one.
Acer Predator 21X, contra a GTX 1080 Max-Q in a Asus Zephyrus. Percentage differences are shown relations to a GTX 1080 Max-Q in a non-overclocked state.
Given that a series of shading units between a Max-Q GPU and a customary GTX 1080 label is a same (they are a same core silicon), it’s judicious to interpretation that many of a opening disproportion between a dual should be attributable to a differences in how that silicon is clocked. The core and boost clock-speed advantages for a customary GTX 1080 chip are indeed significant; a bureau overclocking in a Zephyrus doesn’t do many to slight a gap, nonetheless during slightest it’s something.
The clock-speed differences alone don’t tell a full story behind Max-Q. As we remarkable earlier, Max-Q brings additional engineering changes to a card. However, a benchmarks in a subsequent territory will uncover that a opening opening between a customary GTX 1080 and a GTX 1080 Max-Q was incomparable than we were anticipating it would be. In a testing, a GTX 1080 Max-Q was consistently faster than a customary GTX 1070, nonetheless customarily not by some-more than 10 percent.
The cooling-system pattern is one of a many intriguing aspects of a Asus Zephyrus. Just to reiterate, this 15.6-incher has a 0.7-inch, 4.9-pound profile, nonetheless houses an Nvidia GTX 1080 with Max-Q, and an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor. This kind of hardware is typically customarily found in larger, thicker notebooks.
With a lid closed, a Zephyrus measures customarily underneath 0.7 in. thick. However, when a lid is opened, a hinge on a bottom of a framework pushes a bottom row divided from a notebook, formulating a slight angle and permitting increasing airflow by a chassis. You can see this in a photo…
The empty atmosphere is carried out of a cover pleasantness of dual fans, one located on possibly side. The heatpipes inside a framework are common between a components, nonetheless a fan on a right is essentially obliged for a feverishness from a CPU, and a one on a left for a GeForce chip. What we customarily described rounds out a active tools of a thermal design. In a cover this thin, it’s destined that a framework itself is used as a pacifist heatsink, too.
We’ll give we a bad news first. The framework of a Zephyrus gets really prohibited while personification a latest games. With a laser thermometer, we totalled a rise aspect heat of 124 degrees F customarily above a keyboard, and 107 degrees F on possibly side of that area. The keyboard itself totalled in a mid-90-degree F range, that is tolerable. The underside of a cover had roughly matching temperatures in a same areas. We acknowledge there’s no genuine reason to hold a area above a keyboard during any time, nonetheless still, it was prohibited to a indicate where you’d bake your palm if we overwhelmed it for a quantifiable length of time. Consider also that we did a contrariety in an air-conditioned room during 75 degrees F, so it’s not like it’s going to run any cooler in a warmer environment.
The good news is that a fans were unusually quiet. Thin gaming notebooks tend to roughly zodiacally have fans with a good volume of bemoan and noise, nonetheless that’s not loyal of a Zephyrus. We’d feel gentle gaming with this cover in a still room nonetheless fear of interrupting someone carrying a review or examination TV.
In a march of a gaming session, we available a Core i7-7700HQ processor commanding 94 degrees C, customarily a few degrees bashful of a maximum-rated temperature. We suspect that’s glorious from an engineering perspective, nonetheless we’d like to see it run during slightest 10 degrees C cooler. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 strike “only” 84 degrees C, that is cold enough, and that was with a bureau GPU overclocking enabled.
Based on a GPU-Z logs, a GTX 1080 Max-Q did say a bureau overclock utterly well. Our logging showed that a core time consistently stayed above 1,400MHz, and it spasmodic reached over 1,500MHz, descending to a overclocked boost time during a minimum. The memory stayed during 1,251MHz, that is what it was rated for. The pivotal takeaway is that a clocks remained fast above their rated thresholds. That’s not something that can be pronounced about each gaming notebook.