As offices shift home, the humble laptop is gaining more importance than ever before. Today, there are laptops meant for every occasion and usage, but very few are capable of doing everything. Wouldn’t it be great if a laptop can play the most graphics-intensive of games, and also seamlessly switch roles for when you simply want to surf the internet or make presentations for the boss? It may seem like wishful thinking, but the folks at ASUS have cracked it.
The ROG Zephyrus M16 (GU603) and S17 (GX703) offer a level of versatility that sets new benchmarks in what laptops are capable of. They are not only designed to grab attention, but also pack enough hardware to tackle any and every game or software without breaking a sweat. Let’s take a deeper look at what makes ASUS’ latest ROG Zephyrus laptops tick.
If looks could kill
They say first looks can leave a lasting impression, and ASUS’ designers seem to have taken that mantra very seriously. The ROG Zephyrus laptops are monsters at heart, but on the surface a contemporary design means they look comfortable whether you’re at home, an office, or a quaint café.
The ROG Zephyrus M16’s lid with its unique asymmetrical dot matrix design will surely grab some eyeballs. This futuristic design comprises 8,279 CNC holes with a prismatic film beneath, which creates a shimmering effect on the dark chassis when light hits at just the right angle. Even the bigger S17 features a stylish Dot Insight pattern on the lid — talk about showing off!
The moment you open the lid and the laptop comes to life, the first thing you invariably see is the display. Whether you’re a gamer, a creator or simply watching OTT content, the display can make or break the experience. Fortunately, both laptops feature displays that can be described as eyegasmic.
The ROG Zephyrus M16’s edge-to-edge display can put laptops with large bezels to shame. ASUS’ designers have fit a 16in screen into a 15in chassis, which results in near-invisible bezels, and a whopping 94% screen-to-body ratio. The ROG Zephyrus S17 gets a bigger 17in screen, and offers buyers a choice of two panels – WQHD optimised for gaming, 4K UHD for creative projects.
The displays are also calibrated to show the full spectrum of colours at maximum accuracy. 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut with Pantone®-validated accuracy means what you see on the screen is as close to real-life as possible. The displays are also able to show cinema-level visuals thanks to Dolby Vision support.
Music to the ears
When talking of experience, what you hear is as important as what you see. Sometimes in the heat of battle, you may not see where a bullet is coming from, but it is hard to miss that thump when you get hit. It is that kind of audio prowess you find on the ROG Zephyrus laptops.
Offering a rich spatial soundscape is a six-speaker system, which includes a pair of tweeters, and two sets of force-canceling woofers. The latter involves upward and downward facing speakers angled in such a way that they cancel out each other’s vibrations. This results in clearer, more natural sounds, and a richer bass. Adding to the audio experience is Dolby Atmos support, which really brings the games and videos to life.
Whether you want to talk with your crew in a game or host a streaming channel and a podcast, having the right kind of mic is very important. ASUS’ laptops have you covered with their customisable 3D mic array.
There are different recording modes suited to different scenarios. Cardioid mode captures sound from the front of the laptop, making it ideal for gaming or streaming. Stereo mode uses right and left channels to record a wider soundscape for live music, while omnidirectional mode picks up sound from all directions equally for clearer conference calls.
There’s also a built-in two-way AI noise cancelation that clarifies sound from your end as well as receiver’s end. You can remove noise from not only your mic, but also from incoming mic feeds. Unlike other laptops, you don’t use the GPU, and thus your games have all the resources free to tap into.
Keys to perfection
The keyboard plays an important role when you’re gaming or typing up your next bestseller. But why should you have to buy an external keyboard to get the right experience?
The ROG Zephyrus S17 comes with one of the best keyboards you will see on a laptop. The opto-mechanical keyboard promises responsiveness as the keys activate in just 0.2ms, and durability of up to 100 million keystrokes. It’s also hard to miss the RGB lighting under the keys, which stays true to ROG’s gaming roots. But what really takes the cake is how ASUS has married ergonomics with cooling.
The keyboard is raised at a 5 degrees angle that serves two purposes. The angle optimises the wrist and hand position, so you can comfortably type or play games for long hours. The elevation is also part of ASUS’ Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) Plus cooling solution. It basically opens a 12mm intake behind the keyboard that draws in air resulting in better cooling, and keeping the surface temperature low.
Cool as ice
Being cool is not only a style statement, but also important to keep your laptop performing at its peak and reliably for a long time. ASUS’ laptops are cool in both senses thanks to their design, and the advanced cooling system.
Besides the elevated keyboard, keeping things cool is a unique liquid metal thermal compound from Thermal Grizzly. It is said to reduce CPU temperature by up to 16°C in some scenarios. Heat is dissipated through four exhausts, each lined with 0.1mm ultrathin copper fins. There are also six heatpipes pulling heat away from the critical components.
This cooling system also includes two new Arc Flow fans with 84 blades that vary in thickness, and capped with special aerodynamic tips. A lot of research has gone behind designing these fans allowing them to draw in more air while minimising noise. Speaking of intelligent touches, there’s a venting by the WASD keys on the keyboard, which allows for more airflow, and keeps the most-used keys during gaming, cool.
Packed to the gills
When it comes to pure power, there is plenty on offer. You get an 11th Gen Intel® CoreTM i9 CPU with eight cores and 16 threads that can clock up to an astounding 4.9GHz. It is aided by up to 48GB DDR4 RAM, and a GeForce RTXTM 3080 GPU with AmpereTM architecture and clock speeds up to 1545MHz at 115W. On the Zephyrus S17, this can go up to 140W with Dynamic Boost, which efficiently switches power between the CPU and GPU, allowing whatever is needed most to be boosted.
Together they are able to tackle even the most graphics-heavy games as well as demanding 3D and video editing apps with ease. If you want any more proof of just how powerful these laptops are, a quick glance at the eye-watering scores on benchmarking platforms like PCMark, 3DMark, and Cinebench should put all your doubts to rest.
All that power may feel overwhelming at first, but they can be easily controlled via the various built-in operating modes. You can choose from silent mode that is optimised for when all the power is not needed. This keeps noise in check, and is best for light work and entertainment.Then there are the performance and turbo modes that maximise the use of the resources to give you the best experience while gaming or using high-end software.
On paper then the ROG Zephyrus laptops may seem like a powerful American muscle car. But in reality, they are more like beefed up German sporty sedans. When you need the power, there is plenty to tap into. But when you need them to be silent and unintrusive, they can easily be that too. It is that versatility that sets the ROG Zephyrus laptops apart from many of its competitors.
Lightning fast charging
All that power will mean little if you have to constantly hunt for a power socket every few hours. The demanding and mobile nature of today’s work also means you can’t be chained to a desk for hours waiting for your laptop to fully charge.
ASUS’ laptops come with a 90Wh battery built-in, which is impressively thin at just 19.9mm, and will keep you backed up for up to 13 hours depending on your usage. When you do need to top-up, fast charging will juice up the battery from 0-50% in just 30 minutes.
Taking portability to another level is the ability to charge the laptops even without carrying a charger. With USB Type-C charging, you can charge the laptop using a power bank as well. And yes, there’s fast charging via Type-C port as well. Talk about forward thinking!
If you’re on the hunt for laptops that can do everything, you should be considering the latest ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 and S17. They are not your stereotypical gaming machines, but can do everything, and be comfortable wherever you go.