We had high praise for the original ROG Zephyrus when we reviewed it last year , which partially owes its thin and light design to Nvidia's Max-Q GPU design. The latest model is even thinner than before, and now sports a 6-core 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor as found in MSI's GS65 Stealth Thin, our favorite gaming laptop at the moment.
The new Zephyrus S (GX531) sports a 15.6-inch "IPS-level" display with a 1920x1080 resolution and fast 144Hz refresh rate, up from 120Hz from its predecessor. It is also 12 percent slimmer, measuring 0.62 inches at its thickest point, and 0.59 inches at its thinnest section. Weight checks in at under 5 pounds.
There are two versions available—one with a GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) and a higher end SKU with a GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5). Both models can be configured with up to two M.2 NVMe solid state drives.
Since they use the same chassis and motherboard, both also share the same collection of ports, including two USB 3.1 Type-C ports (Gen1 and Gen2), a single USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and HDMI 2.0 output. There is also a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack, and a Kensington Lock slot.
As with before, the new Zephyrus is made from metal instead of plastic or carbon fiber.
"One of the biggest challenges with creating such a thin laptop is making sure that the chassis strikes the best balance between strength and weight: Zephyrus S uses a mix of aluminum and magnesium alloys in its construction to achieve this balance. Each lid is meticulously machined from a solid block of aluminum. This precise CNC-milling process takes five tooling stages and nearly 72 minutes to carve out all the intricate details that ensure a perfect fit, creating a lid that is remarkably rigid, yet slim," Asus says.
Asus also points to the "super-narrow" bezels (thinner than its predecessor), which allowed the company to offer a 15.6-inch display in a 14.2-inch chassis.
The new Zephyrus will be available in September, with pricing information to be revealed later.