- Operating System: Windows 10 Home
- Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
- Memory: 16GB DDR4
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Input/Output: 1x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 1x USB3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 1x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm jack (audio out + mic)
- Dimensions: 360 x 268 x 14.95 mm
- Weight: 2.1kg
- Thin and light
- 144Hz display
- Good audio
- Loud fans
Big Power In A Small Body
When ASUS launched the ROG Zephyrus in 2017, we got to see something that’s innovative again for the first time in years. Of course, the first Zephyrus had some flaws, so how does its successor and younger sibling fare?
The new ROG Zephyrus S is a sleek metallic beauty clad in black. It has an ultra-slim body that is really light, yet maintains good build quality. In terms of style, it definitely scores high with its pixel-dot lit ROG logo on the lid, thin display bezels, and an RGB-backlit keyboard.
Having three USB Type-A ports and two Type-C ports is a good combination for a gaming notebook, especially since the one on the right side supports DisplayPort 1.2 and Power Delivery. Of course, you can also use the HDMI 2.0 port at the back for video output. Another good thing about having Type-C ports is that you can use VR headsets on this machine. The only thing we wish wasn’t left out was an SD card reader.
When you open the lid, you’ll find a display with very thin side and top bezels. You’ll also find that the keyboard is right below near where a user’s palms would usually be, while the trackpad and mouse buttons are on the right of the keyboard.
There are a few pros and cons with this design, of course. For one, the PC components are towards the upper part, which ensures that the heat is away from the user’s palms. However, this also makes the keyboard and trackpad slightly awkward to use so you might want to consider getting a wrist rest.
This notebook does get warm when it’s running games, but the fans can ramp up quickly to reduce its temperature. If you use Turbo mode, you likely won’t even feel the heat. But that, in turn, makes the fans very noisy. Fortunately, you can switch modes by pressing the FN + F5 keys, so you can quickly swap from Silent to Gaming mode when needed.
The desktop class Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 was more than capable of handling most AAA games without too many compromises in graphical fidelity. But depending on the game, you’d have to switch graphical presets to have frame rates around 60FPS. In addition, its display has above average brightness and colour, which is obviously great for games. Audio wise, it has a good balance of treble and bass, though the latter isn’t as punchy as we’d like.
CHIP CONCLUDE: Performs well in overall performance while delivering good video and audio quality, making it a better purchase option than its predecessor.
(to be published in issue January 2019)