The S in the new ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) probably stands for Slim, because it is the world’s SLIMMEST gaming laptop!
We were amongst the first in the world to get some hands-on time before its official demonstration at Gamescon 2018. In fact, ASUS flew us all the way to their top-secret ROG headquarters in Taipei to check it out in person!
So here is our hands-on video, and the key features of the ROG Zephyrus S gaming laptop, as well as its price and specifications!
Introducing The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) Gaming Laptop
At 15.75 mm at its thickest point, the new Zephyrus S (GX531) is 12% slimmer than the original Zephyrus (GX501). It’s equipped with the Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics.
It boasts a 15.6-inch display with super-narrow bezels, a 144 Hz refresh rate and 3 ms response time, – all packed into a 14.2-inch chassis. The all-metal chassis meets military-grade durability standards, with a premium finish.
It also comes with the proprietary Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) — a design and engineering hallmark of the Zephyrus series.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) Price + Availability
The ASUS ROG GX531 is available for purchase at authorised ASUS dealers with a recommended retail price of RM 7,999 / ~US$ 1,918 / ~£1,519.
Here are some direct purchase links (prices accurate as of 17 December 2018) :
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) Key Features
All-metal chassis with Zephyrus Air Intake
The ASUS Zephyrus S (US | UK | MY) uses a mix of aluminum and magnesium alloys in the construction of its chassis. It is so tough, it meets military-grade durability standards for jolts and vibration.
Each lid is machined from a solid block of aluminium, using a precise CNC-milling process that takes five tooling stages and nearly 72 minutes to carve out all the intricate details. This creates a lid that is extremely rigid, yet slim.
It also boasts the unique and distinctive Zephyrus air intake. Scissor-door hinges keep a low profile, until the laptop is opened. The act of opening the lid lifts the rear and exposes the Zephyrus air intake for improved cooling performance.
Narrow bezels allow the 15.6-inch display to be squeezed into a 14.2-inch chassis. This reduces its footprint, while creating a more immersive gaming experience.
The 120 Hz display panel on the original Zephyrus has been upgraded to a 144 Hz AHVA panel in the Zephyrus S (US | UK | MY), while the response time was reduced to only 3 ms. It now covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut, with wide viewing angles.
Proprietary AAS cooling
Cooling an ultra-thin gaming laptop is a difficult engineering feat. ASUS and ROG thermal engineers came up with a solution they call Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) which debuted in the original Zephyrus.
When the lid of the laptop is lifted, a special vent opens underneath the chassis to let the laptop draw in more cool air. Similarly, the Zephyrus S (US | UK | MY) has an AAS intake of 5 mm across the entire back of the chassis to improve airflow by 22% compared to traditional designs. Additional airflow is provided through the keyboard, while the keyboard’s forward layout creates more room for the AAS cooling system.
The Zephyrus S (US | UK | MY) boasts five heat pipes that pull heat away from the CPU, the GPU, and the VRM circuitry that feeds them power. The CPU and GPU are connected to both shared and dedicated heatsinks to ensure efficient cooling for any workload, and the power components stay under 80 °C to improve long-term reliability. Thermal energy is channeled along the pipes to four heatsinks and exhaust vents at the rear corners, twice as many as in the first Zephyrus.
Keeping the heatsinks free of dust and debris is key to preserving cooling performance over the long-term. To achieve that, the ROG engineering team added self-cleaning fans to eject particles through anti-dust tunnels. This prevents accumulation of dust and particles on the fins to ensure consistent cooling and improve long-term stability.
12V AeroAccelerator Fans
The Zephyrus S (US | UK | MY) comes with dual 12V AeroAccerator fans, which boasts 83 blades each – 17% more blades than the fans in the original Zephyrus. Airflow is also improved by the fan’s shaped aluminum shroud, which has curved edges and raised guides to help channel more air into the blades.
Aura Sync RGB lighting
Integrated RGB lighting lets gamers customize the Zephyrus S (US | UK | MY) to their preference, or to match the mood of the game being played. Four independent zones illuminate the keyboard, and additional LEDs create a subtle glow inside the AAS vent.
The keyboard-forward layout not only improves its cooling capability, it also allows for a more comfortable desktop-like typing position. Overstroke technology fires earlier in the key travel for quicker responsiveness, and the longer post-actuation distance maximizes the 1.2 mm key travel to improve the overall typing feel.
The switches are rated for 20 million presses, so they can withstand heavy use, and N-key rollover ensures each press registers precisely regardless of how many keys are mashed at once.
The Zephyrus S (US | UK | MY) includes an upgraded sound system. Dual front-facing speakers embedded in the hinge cover are powered by smart-amplifier technology that keeps the speakers within thermal and excursion limits, so volume can reach higher limits without distorting the output or damaging the cones.
Sonic Studio III adds virtual surround-sound for deeper immersion with stereo headsets, and it features a new APO injection capability that extends speaker virtualization to a wider range of gear, including standard analog headphones along with USB headsets, external DACs, and VR devices.
Storage and connectivity
Its Intel Core i7-8750H CPU is backed by fast DDR4-2666 memory and NVMe storage, while 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi connects to compatible wireless networks at greater-than-gigabit speeds.
It comes with USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C and full-size HDMI 2.0 ports, for fast transfers and to support up to two desktop monitors and big-screen TVs.