Asus is rolling out thin and light 6-core gaming laptops starting at $1,499

Intel on Tuesday lifted the curtain on its 6-core/12-thread mobile processor lineup based on its Coffee Lake architecture, and as expected, related product announcements have started rolling in. Joining MSI (which we covered yesterday) and others, Asus is utilizing the new processor stack in its thin and light gaming laptop line.

Specifically, Asus refreshed its ROG Zephyrus with the new chips. Its Zephyrus M GM501 is a 15.6-inch laptop that is less than an inch thick (0.7 to 0.78 inches, depending on where exactly you measure), and weighs 5.5 pounds. There are three models available, each built around Intel's Core i7-8750H processor.

While the CPU is not traditionally the bottleneck for gaming in modern systems, the Core i7-8750H is a spunky part that should hold its own, both in games and when tasked with other workloads, such as video editing. Whatever the use-case, it is a 6-core/12-thread part with a 2.2GHz base clock and 4.1GHz boost clock, and 9MB of L3 cache. It has a 45W TDP that OEMs can configure down to 35W if they choose.

The least expensive Zephyrus M (GU501GM-BI7N8) costs $1,499 and pairs the processor with a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GPU. It also has 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, 128GB SATA SSD + 1TB FireCuda SSHD, and Windows 10 Home. For the display, Asus is using a 1920x1080 IPS panel with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Asus notes that it's not using Nvidia's Max-Q design in its Zephyrus M. "Unlike slim gaming notebooks that limit performance with Max-Q designs, the Zephyrus M runs the GPU at full speed to maximize frame rates for the high-refresh display," Asus says.

Each of the two other models (GM501GM-WS74 for $1,899 and GM501GS-XS74 for $2,199) feature an upgraded AHVA IPS-type panel with a higher 144Hz refresh rate and G-Sync support. They both also bump the 128GB SATA SSD to a 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD. Where the top-tier model separates itself is by also also upgrading the GPU to a GeForce GTX 1070 and the OS to Windows 10 Professional.

All three offer 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, a single USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port (Thunderbolt), two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0 output, a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack, and an RGB backlit chiclet keykboard with N-key rollovaer and 1.7mm key travel.

You can find the GM501GM-WS74 now at Newegg and the GM501GS-XS74 at Amazon and several other places. The least expensive SKU will be available at Best Buy (online and in-store) beginning May 6.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).