ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus line-up is all-in thin and light gaming solutions. It was exactly the Zephyrus GX501 that started the niche of gaming ultrabooks. Now, the market is populated with the likes of Acer Predator Triton 500 and MSI GS65 Stealth, which have stolen the thunder of the ROG Zephyrus devices.

Now, however, they return stronger than ever. Equipped with the latest 9th Generation Core i7-9750H and counting on NVIDIA’s RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 to drive the beast. Well, you surely need something to display the content from these monster GPUs. In this case, you have the choice of a 144Hz IPS panel or a super-fast 240Hz IPS display – both support G-sync and ASUS state that both are Pantone Validated for maximum accuracy of the colors. You can count on us to check if that’s true, of course.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zephyrus-s-gx502/

Contents


Specs Sheet

ASUS Zephyrus S GX502 – Specs


OS


Windows 10, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home


Battery


76Wh, 4-cell, 76, 76Wh


Dimensions


358 x 251 x 18.8 mm (14.09″ x 9.88″ x 0.74″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2), DisplayPort
  • 1x USB Type-A 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2)
  • 2x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • Ethernet LAN Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi Intel 9560 2×2 802.11ac Wave 2 Gigabit WiFi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio jack 2x 3.5mm audio jacks

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • Backlit keyboard optional
  • Microphone
  • Speakers 2x 2W
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

ASUS has done a great job with the presentation of the ROG Zephyrus S GX501. When you open the box, you’re going to see two portions – one for the power brick (230W) and one for the laptop and the manuals. In a very elegant manner, the box that contains the laptop opens from the middle to the side. After that, you pull the opened part and the laptop shows right in front of you.

Design and construction

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502 is boasting a sub 2.00 kg weight of its chassis and a profile of only 18.9 mm. This is possible thanks to the Magnesium-alloy, used to build it. This makes it extremely portable, compared to other gaming laptops, however, put side by side to the MSI GS65 Stealth and the Triton 500, it sits slightly heavier. By the way, in contrast to its competitors, the Zephyrus is using a technology that ASUS developed a little while ago – when you open the lid of the notebook, the entire chassis lifts up, as the bottom plate is acting as a platform. This brings more air to the fans, enhancing the cooling capabilities of the design.

Speaking of opening the lid, it can be done with a single hand. In terms of strength, there is some bend on its top when you put something heavy one it, but we found more worrying the fact that it flexes pretty much when you stress it on both ends. Additionally, there is no Web camera anywhere to be seen, as this laptop joins some other ROG devices, as well as the VivoBook S13 S330.

Now moving down to the base of the device, which is home to the NumPad-less keyboard. We would forgive the lack of NumberPad keys, because contrary to the Zephyrus GX501, this laptop’s keyboard is on the right place – with a distinctive palm-rest area and centered touchpad. By the way, the touchpad is pretty large in size and feels pretty snappy.

Let’s get back to that per-key RGB backlit keyboard. It is such a petty that it is not comfortable for gaming, whatsoever. This is mainly because of the very short key travel – something is often seen on ultrabooks. Honestly, we would have forgiven ASUS about that, if it wasn’t for the great keyboard Acer has put on their Predator Triton 500.

Ports

Connectivity-wise, there is the power plug on the left, followed by an RJ-45 connector, an HDMI 2.0b port, as well as a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2) port and two audio jacks. On the right, you’re going to see another two USB Type-A ports (one 3.1 (Gen. 1) and one 3.1 (Gen. 2)), and finally a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) without a Thunderbolt support.

Drivers

ROG Zephyrus S GX502’s drivers can be downloaded from ASUS’ official web page: https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ROG-Zephyrus-S-GX502/HelpDesk_Download/

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. Similarly to its 17-inch compatriot – the ROG Zephyrus S GX701, the GX502 is equipped with a 76Wh battery pack.

We found the laptop to be capable of providing around 6 hours of Web browsing time and 5 hours of video playback, only on battery power.

CPU options

ASUS has picked the hexa-core Intel Core i7-9750H for this gaming machine. It is truly capable enough for the purposes of use. Its works at a base frequency of 2.60 GHz and is able to Turbo up to 4.50 GHz.


GPU options

In terms of graphics cards, you can go for the RTX 2060, which is equipped with 6GB of GDDR6 memory, or the RTX 2070, paired with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.


ASUS Zephyrus S GX502 GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the ASUS Zephyrus S GX502 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which ASUS Zephyrus S GX502 model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests

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Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Core i7-9750H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502 3.77 GHz (B+45%)@ 87°C 3.69 GHz (B+42%)@ 90°C 2.93 GHz (B+13%)@ 76°C
Lenovo Legion Y740 17″ 3.31 GHz (B+27%)@ 93°C 3.35 GHz (B+29%)@ 93°C 3.00 GHz (B+15%)@ 80°C
Acer Predator Helios 300 15 (2019) 2.98 GHz (B+7%)@ 63°C 3.03 GHz (B+18%)@ 68°C 2.98 GHz (B+10%)@ 72°C
Lenovo Legion Y540 2.78 GHz (B+7%)@ 74°C 3.08 GHz (B+18%)@ 90°C 2.87 GHz (B+10%)@ 79°C
ASUS ROG G731 3.38 GHz (B+30%)@ 87°C 3.43 GHz (B+32%)@ 94°C 2.63 GHz @ 73°C
ASUS ROG G531 3.41 GHz (B+31%)@ 95°C 3.23 GHz (B+24%)@ 95°C 2.72 GHz (B+5%)@ 79°C
HP Omen 17 2019 3.44 GHz (B+32%)@ 86°C 2.74 GHz (B+5%)@ 71°C 2.67 GHz (B+3%)@ 71°C

Clearly, in both of the temperature tests we performed on this device, we noticed something weird. It seemed like it was overperforming, which is in contrast to what we saw on the synthetic benchmarks. Believe it or not, the ROG Zephyrus S GX502 was able to push the Core i7-9750H at around 3.70 GHz for the first and the second part of the Prime95 torture test. Additionally, the temperatures were pretty high, but yet, respectable at that clock speed. In the end, the clock speed was down just below 3.00 GHz, and the temperature was stable at 76C, while the fans were pretty ramped up.

Real-life gameplay

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX502 1648 MHz @ 84°C 1609 MHz @ 86°C
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 1415 MHz @ 74°C 1395 MHz @ 77°C
HP Omen 17 2019 1483 MHz @ 72°C 1474 MHz @ 74°C
ASUS ROG GL704G 1595 MHz @ 83°C 1588 MHz @ 83°C

Yet, another weird result. As we saw from the performance in some AAA titles, the ROG Zephyrus S GX502 performs significantly worse than the more bulky laptops. However, when we measured its clock speeds, it shocked us to see them around 150-200 MHz higher than those on the HP Omen 17 (2019). When you factor in the 86C maximum temperature, this may impede the longevity of the hardware.

Gaming comfort

As far as comfort during gaming is concerned, we can’t say that we had the best experience, either. You most definitely would need a pair of headphones to dull the high noise from the fans (which is a pity, because the speakers are amazing). Additionally, the keyboard heated up pretty much.

Verdict

So, would we recommend this laptop to you, guys? Well, the answer to that question is not the easiest. With that said, we would probably play the safe game and tell you to just go for something bulkier. However, it totally depends on what you intend to do on your laptop PC. From our gaming tests, we could say that you can surely play most of the latest AAA titles at around 45-70 fps on Ultra at 1920 x 1080p resolution. And this was with the RTX 2070 graphics card onboard. However, we had the feeling that this GPU was underperforming in this laptop.

Especially when comparing it to something like the HP Omen 17 (2019) or even to the MSI GS65 Stealth, equipped with an RTX 2060. Does this have something to do with the drivers? Probably, because the frequencies we saw during the GPU load, were higher than usual, yet the frame rate was not on par with the competition.

Yet, the laptop has a beautiful 1080 144Hz display and comes with the option of a 240Hz one. Additionally, you get a 6 hours battery life when you are browsing the Web and this drops to 5 hours if you enjoy watching movies. Honestly, if you are a fan of movies, you would love this device, because its speakers are superb – they are loud and have a punchy bass. We really like when manufacturers put decent speakers on their laptops.

What we don’t like, though, is when they discredit the importance of the input devices – more importantly, the keyboard, because let’s face it – nobody is playing shooters on their touchpads… unless they are crazy or mega skilled. Either way, the thing is, that the Zephyrus S GX502 has a very shallow keyboard. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you have eye-catching RGB backlight when the thing is not comfortable to play games on.

Additionally, the laptop heats up pretty significantly on the inside – mainly on the GPU side. Not only that, but the outer body is can’t keep with the high inside temperatures as well. Let’s add the Lack of a Thunderbolt support, and you’re better to go for the Acer Predator Triton 500, or the MSI GS65 Stealth.

Pros

  • Magnesium-alloy to keep the profile thin and the weight – low
  • Packs a killer hardware in a sleek chassis
  • Butter smooth 144Hz display and optional 240Hz one
  • Per-key RGB backlight
  • Great stereo speakers

Cons

  • Uncomfortable keyboard for gaming
  • Lacks Thunderbolt support
  • Goes pretty warm during gaming

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zephyrus-s-gx502/





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