Yesterday Asus launched their new lineup of ROG laptops and we got the chance to have a hands on experience with them. The range includes ROG Zephyrus S GX531, ROG Zephyrus S GX701, ROG Strix SCAR II and ROG Strix HERO II. The main highlight is that all come powered with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 20XX series GPU capable of Ray-Tracing and DLSS that has previously not been available to consumers. Here is what we thought of the ROG lineup in the brief time spent with them.
ROG Zephyrus S GX531
Asus calls it the world’s slimmest laptop that doesn’t compromise on gaming experience. Credit where it’s due, it is indeed very slim and packs in some impressive hardware to boot that includes an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, HyperDrive SSD storage and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with Max-Q technology. For keeping the temperature low so as to not lead to any throttling, the Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) has been implemented. It comprises of 12V anti-dust cooling fans, 5 heat pipes and 4 heat sinks with vents to drive more airflow to cool down the laptop. The 15.6 inch FHD IPS screen is a beauty that has 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time and an anti-glare coating that helps a lot when playing in bright environments. The port selection is adequate with HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, Type-A ports and a USB 3.1 Gen1 port. The Zephyrus S GX531 is priced at Rs. 2,39,990.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
This 17.3 incher aims to be a desktop replacement without the bulk and weight associated with it. The 17.3″ FHD display has the same specs as the one used in the GX531 with added Pantone validated colours with factory calibration and ProArt TruColor technology that will help provide content creators with accurate colours. The build quality is really solid with no creaking or unwanted flexing. The keyboard boasts of customisable per-key RGB backlighting that also extends to the RGB ROG logo above that can be matched with compatible peripherals via Aura Sync. Interestingly, the touchpad doubles as an illuminated numpad as well which is something we saw earlier in the UX series. The volume roller, however, was the standout as it is not something seen often in laptops and had the right amount of resistance and feedback allowing for precise volume adjustment. GX701GX includes the previously mentioned AAS that increases airflow by upto 32% when the lid is open. Add in the anti-dust tunnels and you have a machine that can endure long hours of hardcore gaming sessions. For everyday usage, the GPU switch will help save battery life by turning off the discrete GPU and switching to onboard graphics. The hardware inside is a Core i7-8750H CPU, 24GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port (with DisplayPort video output and power delivery support), USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A and Type-C ports. The ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX will set you back by Rs.3,49,990.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II & HERO II
Both Strix models have undergone aesthetic improvements over their predecessors along with the obvious hardware upgrade. They pack in a 15.6 inch 144Hz anti-glare FHD screen, Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and a dual 256GB PCIe SSD+1TB 5400rpm SSHD with the OS installed on the faster PCIe SSD. Coming to ports, we have USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, Type-A port each, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and SD card slot. Both are similarly designed with RGB backlit keyboards having 4 lighting zones along with an RGB LED light bar and lid logo. They are the first to include ROG RangeBoost, a multi-antenna WiFi setup promising 30% more range, higher throughput and lesser connection drops. The 2×2 configuration of the 4 antenna sets will automatically switch to give the best wireless coverage. We weren’t able to test this out but it should be a boon for multiplayer gamers. The key difference between the two: SCAR II is (literally) aimed at FPS players with translucent WASD keycaps while the Hero II is for MOBA players with translucent QWER keycaps. Pricing starts at Rs.1,64,990. The SCAR II with RTX 2070 and 512GB SSD storage costs Rs.2,09,990.
Gone are the days when gaming laptops had power adapters the size and weight of bricks supplying power to them. The power adapter has lost a lot of weight and become much more manageable, similar to the ones seen in regular laptops. It was also good to see easy accessibility to internal hardware when taking off the bottom cover of one of the ROG models. We walked away impressed but wish something can be done about keeping prices similar to what they are in the international market. Strix SCAR II & HERO II are available for purchase immediately but the other models will go on sale from 11 April in India.