ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX701GX) 17-inch Gaming Laptop – Hands-on And First Impressions

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ASUS unveiled its ROG series gaming laptops in India and we have the bigger sibling, the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 which is a 17-inch gaming laptop priced at Rs 3,49,990. The ROG (Republic of Gamers) is a laptop brand by ASUS focused more on gaming. Take a look at our first impressions of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX gaming laptop featuring the 6-core Intel Core i7-8750H and 8 GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics.

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ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX Specifications

  • Display: 17.3-inch IPS-level panel, Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), 144 Hz frequency, 3ms, 100% sRGB, Optimus, G-SYNC, Pantone Validated
  • Software: Windows 10 Home (Single Language)
  • CPU: Up to 3.9 GHz, Intel Core i7-8750H, 9M Cache
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design, 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
  • Memory: 24 GB DDR4 SDRAM (2,666 MHz)
  • Storage: 1 TB M.2 NVMe SSD (PCIe 3.0 x4)
  • Keyboard: Per-key RGB; backlit chiclet keyboard, AURA SYNC, Support N key, Ten-key Function (ROG Armoury Crate)
    Audio: 2x 2.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology, Array Microphones
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 WLAN, Bluetooth 5.0, 2x Type-C USB 3.1 (1x Gen 1 & 1x Gen 2), 2x Type-A USB 3.1 (1x Gen 1 & 1x Gen 2), 1x HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack, Kensington lock
  • Camera: External Camera (1080p@60FPS), micro USB port
  • Power Adapter: 230 Watts (19.5V DC, 11.8A)
  • Other: VR Ready, Armoury Crate, ROG GameFirst, ROG GameVisual, Sonic Studio & Sonic Radar, Aura Core, XSplit Gamecaster (Free), Android/iOS App
  • Price: Rs 3,49,990

Design, Built & Ergonomics

The GX701 strongly resembles the 15-inch model, the GX531, this is the company’s slimmest 17-inch gaming laptop running on Windows 10 Home. The ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is an ultra-slim gaming laptop with a 17.3-inch IPS display with a 144 Hz refresh rate for smoother playback. The display uses an Anti-Glare IPS panel with a resolution of Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio) and a refresh rate that goes as much as 144 Hz.

The build is impressive, the casing is very well built, it is made of brushed metal. The display has a slim profile and uses thinner bezels all around. The laptop doesn’t feel too much bulky, it weighs around 2.7kg.

Speaking of the design aesthetics, opening the lid creates a space at the back below the display to improve air circulation thereby increasing a tad thickness by a few millimeters. There are a total of four grills, the back has two vents, one on the right side and one on the left side.

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The keyboard offers per-key RGB backlight and rainbow lightings that can be changed via the AURA software. Users can also change the lighting with a quick shortcut by pressing the function key and the Up/Down arrow keys.

The ROG Gladius II mouse bundled with the notebook syncs the AURA lighting which looks great. The Touchpad doubles as the Numpad and can be toggled with a dedicated special key provided above it.

There are stereo speakers on the sides of the keyboard and the audio quality is pretty much good for a slim notebook. It doesn’t offer any subwoofer, you get 2x 2.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology.

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The left side offers a Type-C USB 3.1 port (gen 2), USB 3.1 Type-A (gen 2), HDMI 2.0b, power input, 3.5 mm headphones and microphone combo jack. The right side has 2x USB 3.1 Type-A (gen 1), USB 3.1 Type-C (gen 2), and Kensington lock.

The notebook has no dedicated camera on top of the screen, you have to attach an external webcam to the provided holder in the box. You need to connect it via a micro USB cable.

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Right

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External Camera

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Hardware, Performance & Gaming

When we talk about the specifications of the laptop, there’s no denying that you get the top-of-the-line hardware which includes the Intel Core i7-8750H hexa-core CPU clocked at 3.9 GHz and coupled with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics for the first time in its class and a massive 24 GB of DDR4 SD RAM clocked at 2666 MHz. The Intel Turbo Boost Technology boosts the base clock of 2.2 GHz to up to 4.1 GHz (single core) and up to 3.9 GHz (four cores) considerably.

On the storage side, the laptop carries a huge 1 TB of M.2 NVMe SSD utilizing the PCIe 3.0 x4 port. There’s no HDD available, the GX701 solely relies on the SSD storage which is far better than the HDD. No, you don’t get a DVD ROM or any 2.5-inch drive bay for external hard disk, the GX701 has one M.2-2280 slot occupied by the SSD.

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The brand new GeForce GPU is exciting and worth a shot for gamers, there’s no looking back when it comes to gaming, the RTX 2080 Max-Q is the second most powerful mobile graphics card as far as we know and the GX701 has it. It is based on the Turing architecture and the Max-Q design which lowers the power consumption.

The GX701 enjoys the performance advantage, thanks to the 8 GB RTX graphics and the 24 GB RAM. The RTX 2080 Max-Q has the power to run all the latest video game titles at Full HD resolution on the max settings utilizing the 144 Hz IPS panel.

The GX701 features a 76-Wh built-in battery larger than a typical laptop battery with the power adapter rated 19.5V, 11.8A i.e. 230 Watts, however, compared to the competition in its class, it’s a tad smaller than the Razer Blade 15 (80 Wh).

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Early Verdict

Power-packed gaming laptops with a slim design are limited, most laptops designed for gamers are bulky and less portable than the regular laptops. The ASUS Zephyrus S GX701GX is the slimmest gaming notebook in its class right now, however, comes at a premium price. But, is it the ultimate portable gaming machine? For the price ASUS asks, the laptop guarantees top-notch performance and a reliable 144 Hz display for a smoother gaming experience.