Asus has just launched a number of new gaming products in the Indian market. Among these, the company announced two new gaming laptops along with a desktop while refreshing its existing STRIX Scar lineup of gaming laptops. The new products launched include the Republic of Gamers (ROG) GL12CX desktop CPU, ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW gaming laptop and the ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX. The existing STIRX SCAR lineup including the GL504GV/GW laptops come with latest Nvidia RTX graphics cards and the processor along with other internal things.
This brings the laptops on part with the offering from the competition in the international market. However, this new lineup by ASUS is likely to be one of the first in the Indian market to bring the RTX graphics cards in the Max-Q form factor. The company has priced the ROG GL12CX desktop CPU at Rs 329,990, ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW gaming laptop at Rs 239,990 and the ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX at Rs 349,990. These devices will go on sale starting from today March 11, 2019, on both offline as well as online channels.
Right before the announcement, I got some time to use both the ROG GX531GW and its bigger sibling the ROG GX701GX. The GX531GW did not have any games for me to try while GX701GX was all set with a number of games including Battlefield 5, Anthem, and PUBG. Considering that I was able to properly get a taste of what GX701GX could offer both in terms of general usability and gaming performance, here is my first impressions of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX.
Improved design of Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX
Right out of the gate, the GX701GX comes with an impressive, comparatively much sleeker and modern looking design than what we have seen in the gaming laptops of the past. In addition to the inclusion of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with the Max-Q design to reduce the bulk and weight of the design, the company also claimed that it has made improvements in the design as compared to the last year. With the improvements in the design, reduced display bezels and removal of the webcam, the company was able to fit a 17-inch display in a form factor of a 15-inch Zephyrus GX501.
In terms of design, fitting a 17-inch display panel with 144Hz refresh rate along with a 3ms response time along with Pantone calibration was more impressive than the 15-inch form factor. This is because many other companies have been able to do the same but with somewhat less impressive displays. In addition to the improvements in the design and the form factor, the laptop also comes with a transformer-like air intake at the bottom of the device.
The bottom intake is known as “ROG Active Aerodynamic System” and as part of this, the bottom lid of the device opens up to create a significant airflow intake. According to the claims by the company, the laptop manages to take “up to 32 percent” more air as compared to previous designs. Asus also claims that the anti-dust air tunnels help keep the heatsink in the laptop clean to maintain the cooling capacity and stability of the system over extended periods of use.
The balance of the force with raw potential
In the limited about of time that I was able to use the laptop along with some time while playing games such as BattleField V and PUBG, one thing that was evident was the impressive raw power of the laptop. This along with the design improvements make GX701GX a great gaming package for interested buyers in 2019. The power offered by the laptop is more than evident from the specifications on the paper including Intel Core i7 8750H Hexa-core processor along with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q design and 8GB RAM.
You must have noticed the balance of the force above, what I mean by this is how Asus has managed to create a balance between two polar opposite aspects of the game. Considering that it is a gaming laptop, one does not really expect anything from the laptop in terms of battery life. However, Asus has added a GPU switch to move between a game ready mode to a second mode that is more kind on the battery life while focusing on general usability.
I was not able to use the feature properly in the limited time to see how it works in the real world. I will dig deeper into the GPU switch later point to see if it is more than a fancy gimmick-like feature. On that point, it is worth noting that we need to do more tests to properly gauge the performance of the gaming laptop which will be covered in our complete review at a later date.
All about the web camera and other changes
One interesting aspect of this laptop is the absence of the webcam on the display. Instead, the company has packed a USB-powered web camera in the box which boasts a far better quality than anything in the segment. The company claims that this was done after a lot of feedback from the gaming community across the globe. Other changes include per-key RGB lighting in the keyboard with a desktop-like layout, physical roller for volume control. The company has also improved the software to control the lighting and other key aspects of the laptop with its Aura Sync.
The initial impressions of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701GX paint me extremely impressed with the design, performance, and the overall package. The fact that the company has listened to the gaming community it evident in bold decisions like the removal of the webcam along with the top of the line hardware specifications. We will be conducting a more thorough test of the gaming laptop at a later date to see if it is worth your hard earned Rs 349,990. But so far, we love what we see here.