ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus series was one of the pioneers of the thin and light gaming. Not long after the release of the ROG Zephyrus GX501, the rest of the big names on the gaming laptop market started issuing their own slimmed-down versions. In fact, one of the main reasons all of this was possible, is actually the Max-Q design by NVIDIA.

Despite that, however, ASUS was able to put a full-fledged RTX 2070 on their new ROG Zephyrus S GX701. As we can understand by the name, with our mentalist powers, the laptop comes with a 17-inch display. Its body is all aluminum and despite the footprint, it weighs only 2.60 kg. What is more stunning is the thickness of the body – 18.7mm. We are very eager to see whether ASUS has improved its design, and were they able to overcome the challenges set by using such a thin chassis.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-zephyrus-s-gx701/

Contents


Specs Sheet

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 – Specs


OS


Windows 10 Home, Windows 10, Windows 10 Pro


Battery


76Wh, 4-cell, 76Wh, 74Wh, 6-cell


Dimensions


399 x 272 x 18.7 mm (15.71″ x 10.71″ x 0.74″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2), Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • 1x USB Type-A 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2)
  • 2x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • HDMI
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2×2)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio jack 3.5mm audio jack

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • Backlit keyboard optional
  • Microphone Digital-array microphones
  • Speakers 2x 2.5W
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slotKensington lock

What’s in the box?

ROG Zephyrus S GX701 comes in a branded package. Upon opening, the device is presented you in a black protective cloth. What is more interesting is the way it does so – the cardboard of the box is bend in such way that when you open the cover the side, where the laptop is resting at, lifts from the back – hinting at what to expect when you open the laptop itself. Expectedly, the power brick is a 230W unit and is placed in a separate compartment. By the way, there is a secret envelope containing some stuff, but sadly we cannot tell you what is inside… It wouldn’t be a secret anymore if we do.

Design and construction

Okay guys, where should we start. Ah, yeah – the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 looks like an enlarged copy of the Zephyrus GX501 we reviewed two years ago. It has the same look on the outside, the same placement of the keyboard and more importantly – uses the same mechanism of cooling its internals – more on that later. One of the newcomers this year is the size of the bezels – on the sides and on the top, there is almost no bezel to be seen. On the other side, there is a pretty sizeable chin, and despite that – no camera on board. Quite honestly, we are not great fans of the usual stuff, manufacturers put, as they need a lot of light to work properly, otherwise you look like a potato on steroids.

Nevertheless, as we mentioned, the laptop is made out of aluminum and weighs 2.60 kg. Indeed – it is not the lightest 17-incher on the market. However, for the hardware it packs, it is reasonable. Additionally, the profile of the laptop is its selling point at 18.6mm – MSI’s GS75 and the Predator Triton 500 are similar in size.

What the others don’t have, though, is the keyboard that sits exactly on the palm rest area. Sadly, there are no expansions that come with the laptop to make using the keyboard more comfortable. On top of that, it feels exactly the same as the 2017 ROG Zephyrus GX501 – mushy, short traveled and very uncomfortable for gaming. Moreover, the touchpad is still on the side and it has a dedicated button that turns it into a Number pad.

Now let’s take a look at the way the laptop maintains its thermals. ASUS has come a long way developing laptops that lift themselves from the ground. If you remember the ErgoLift hinge of the ZenBooks and VivoBooks – it has a similar idea – breathing the more fresh air to the fans while keeping the thinnest form factor possible. Well, with the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 it keeps the bottom plate on the ground, while the hinges act like a lever to pull up the entire body a couple of millimeters on its backside.

You can check the temperature segment of this review to see how it fared against the competitions. By the way, we forgot to mention that the speakers are surrounding the keyboard and spoiler alert – they sound amazing.

Ports

On the left side, you can see the power plug, followed by an HDMI 2.0b connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2), a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) and an Audio Jack. On the other side, you will see the rest of the I/O – another USB Type-C port – this time 3.1 (Gen. 1), as well as two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports.

Display quality

We’re going to update this part of the review, as soon as we get our lab results.

Drivers

ASUS has all of the drivers and utilities for the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 if you need them here: https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ROG-ZEPHYRUS-S-GX701/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. This laptop is equipped with a reasonably big battery pack – 76Wh.

We got around 7 hours of Web browsing and 5 hours and 45 minutes of video playback.

CPU options

ASUS has picked probably the best price/performance rated CPU for gaming – the hexa-core Core i7-9750H.


ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 model is the best bang for your buck.

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


GPU options

In the GPU department, you actually have a choice – you can go for the full-sized RTX 2060 and 2070, or the Max-Q version of the RTX 2080.


ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 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 GX701 3.79 GHz (B+46%)@ 74°C 3.00 GHz (B+15%)@ 90°C 2.32 GHz @ 79°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

Interestingly, the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 started with a strong pace in the early times of our torture test. Apparently, short bursts of very high clock speeds are the strongest point of this laptop, as it finally thermal throttled to below the base 2.60 GHz frequency of the Intel Core i7-9750H. It might just mean that a six-core processor is the ultimate limit of the cooling.

Real life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 1415 MHz @ 74°C 1395 MHz @ 77°C
ASUS ROG Strix G731 1461 MHz @ 73°C 1398 MHz @ 79°C
HP Omen 17 2019 1483 MHz @ 72°C 1474 MHz @ 74°C
ASUS ROG GL704G 1595 MHz @ 83°C 1588 MHz @ 83°C

When we turn our heads to the GPU we see a pretty similar performance to the ROG Strix G731 – both in terms of clock speeds and temperature. Indeed, it falls back behind the HP Omen 17 2019, but it is still not very far behind.

Gaming comfort

Due to the layout of the laptop, its keyboard remained relatively cool at most times. However, the plate with the glowing ROG logo was feeling like it glows due to heat, rather than RGB LEDs.

Verdict

As the gaming laptop market starts to saturate with absurdly thin gaming laptops, the competition grows even more aggressive. This means, there is no space for mistakes. However, it is inevitable to make mistakes in an area that is lead by compromises. In order to achieve a thin and light gaming machine, you have to give up on something and the major issue manufacturers are dealing with is cooling.

In battling this issue, some of them are keen on trying extreme designs – like the one on the ROG Zephyrus S GX701. As it turned out, even that wasn’t enough for the finest of the Zephyrus line up to shine today. Despite looking stunningly in its all-aluminum build the laptop had problems with dissipating the heat of the six-core Core i7-9750H in longer tasks like video editing or 3D rendering. On top of that, the noise coming from the fans was immense. Honestly, we would prefer the HP Omen 17 (2019) with its barely audible fans, despite it being significantly thicker and heavier.

Moreover, its keyboard is not very suitable for gaming. Yes, it has a great per-key RGB backlight and a touchpad that doubles as the NumberPad upon pressing the dedicated button. However, the travel of the keys themselves is just too short and mushy for a gaming device.

On the bright side, we were really happy with the battery life of this notebook. We were able to extract more than 7 hours of video playback and 5 hours and 45 minutes of video playback – decent performance from a gaming machine.

Whether you should buy this laptop or not, is totally up to you. However, our recommendation would be to head to its competition – the Acer Predator Triton 500 or the MSI Stealth GS75, as they are both really solid machines, that have something more to offer.

Pros

  • Great all aluminum build
  • Packs a killer hardware in a sleek chassis
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Uncomfortable keyboard for gaming
  • Throttles the CPU below the base frequency after a long full load period

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-zephyrus-s-gx701/





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