With ROG Zephyrus M, Asus' high-end laptop game line is still equipped with unique design and high-level configuration but the price is no longer difficult to access as the first version of Zephyrus.
At Computex 2017, Asus was surprised when it announced the first ROG model Zephyrus using GTX1080 graphics card, at that time was the most powerful GPU of NVIDIA. Although the device is heavily configurable, the original Zephyrus retains a modest amount of thinness and weight compared to a popular gaming laptop thanks to the application of NVIDIA Max-Q technology, applying pulse and power reduction solutions. to reduce the load for the power system, heat sink.
With a special design and powerful configuration, Zephyrus is a high-end gaming laptop and sells for up to 80 million for the highest configuration in Vietnam. Although gamers are always more willing to pay, this is still a difficult price to reach. So in the Zephyrus M 2018 version, Asus offered a more reasonable price for both versions, starting from 50 million.
Configuration and price of ROG Zephyrus M in Vietnam
In terms of configuration, except for the lower graphics card, many other details of Zephyrus M (GM501) are even more attractive than the previous generation: New generation CPU with more cores, higher screen refresh rate, The keyboard also has key stroke adjustments, while using regular GPUs rather than Max-Q versions. In terms of design, Zephyrus M retains many of the attractions of Zephyrus design. Although still a high-end gaming laptop, the price of 50 million is more accessible than the previous generation.
The metal back cover with the previous generation ROG logo continues to be used on Zephyrus M
Looking at the appearance, the Zephyrus M is almost identical to the previous generation. The machine still uses aluminum alloy material, the top cover has a scratchy pattern and an interesting crossover, the ROG logo sets off and glows red. The angle of the camera is quite square, combined with copper yellow in the diamond cut edges create an elegant feeling, not strong and color like the usual gaming laptop.
The laptop plays this game in a light, light and convenient way, but you need to consider the weight of the charger too
Considering in gaming laptops, the weight and size of GM501 are quite thin and light. Machine thickness from 1.75 to 1.99 cm, weight 2.45 kg, thick and slightly heavier than the previous generation. Although not the lightest gaming laptop available today (MSI GS65 Stealth Thin weighs only 1.8kg), the Zephyrus M is still thin, light enough to carry around, even for people who buy machines to work.
When opening the hinge, the back cover also opens to dissipate heat more efficiently
The lid is designed to have a gap so that when you fold it, you can still see the status light
One of the reasons for the first time Zephyrus obtained the thinness of the device is the heat sink design that Asus calls Active Aerodynamic System (AAS). When opening the hinge, the lid is also lifted up slightly to reveal the wide space for the radiator fan to push the hot air out. GM501 continues to use this heat sink design, in addition to the heat dissipation effect, the motion when opening the machine is also very unique.
The screen edge of the device is still quite thick
If the heat dissipation design is very modern, the screen border of Zephyrus M has not followed the trend of thin edges like many other Asus laptops. All of the screen's edges are quite thick. The current ROG series only has the Strix Scar II model, which has a thin border screen, and perhaps the next generation Zephyrus has this design.
The keyboard of GM501 has returned to the traditional design, not the same way as the first generation
After breaking the way with the original keyboard design, Asus has returned to the traditional design on Zephyrus M. The keyboard and number keys are placed in the middle of the key surface, the bottom is the compact touchpad. This design makes the use of keys more comfortable thanks to the armrests, the use is also more natural.
The long-distance journey brings the feeling of pressing the keys well, typing long text is also comfortable
Four function keys are separated for easy access
Navigation buttons and slightly small number keys can affect the gaming or working experience
The size of the main keys is reasonable but the numeric keys and navigation buttons are a bit small, the key stroke (1.7 mm) is longer than the previous generation. The feeling of typing is fine, even when typing long text is quite comfortable. Many gaming laptops usually have shallow keys to get faster, but the feeling of typing on Zephyrus M makes it not bad at office work.
The backlight is bright and can be adjusted in great detail
Asus also provides Aura Core software in the ROG Center toolkit, allowing users to adjust the key's RGB backlight at will. Overall RGB is the trend of gamer devices, so Zephyrus M follows this trend, it is not strange.
The touchpad is smooth and supports good gestures but its size is small
The touchpad of the phone is covered with glass to provide a smooth finger-surfing feel, supporting Windows Precision gestures. The size of the trackpad is a bit small, but probably not a big deal for buyers, as gamers will often be equipped with a separate mouse and a trackpad that can only be used on the move.
Most connections are concentrated on the left side. Due to the strange heat dissipation design, the power outlet port must be switched in the middle
The right edge has only a regular USB port and a Type-C port
The list of connectors on the Zephyrus M includes 4 USB 3.1 ports, 1 USB Type C port supports Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0 ports and headphone / microphone jacks. The most unfortunate omission is probably RJ45 network port.
The lack of network portals can be explained by the thin body, but Asus should have included a USB port adapter as in the previous generation. For many online gamers, wired network to ensure stable connection when playing is still essential. There is also no memory card slot, which is quite inconvenient for those who need to handle movies and photos on this laptop.
Zephyrus M inherited high-end design, light-weight body from the previous generation. The appearance of the machine is not too pitiful, so it is suitable for users who need a nice laptop to work and sometimes play games.
Screen and sound
The quality and speed of feedback of the screen gives the feeling of playing FPS games very well
The screen of the Zephyrus M has Full HD resolution, 15.6 inch size and uses IPS panels. However, the highlight of the screen is in the refresh rate parameter and the screen response time: 144MHz and 3ms, G Sync support. Experience a high-frequency screen with a very smooth gaming experience, and the feeling of playing a shooting game is much better.
Thanks to G-Sync, when playing games in action scenes, the picture is not torn. Normal visibility of the machine is quite good, wide viewing angle, color display is fine. The screen has an anti-glare layer, so when used outdoors it is still possible to see the image, not uncomfortable. If there are unsatisfied points, it is not impressive contrast, but the game often has dark scenes or differences in light and dark.
The loudspeaker of GM501 has high volume and good sound quality, which is good for playing games or watching movies and music
Sound is also an impressive point on this laptop. The speaker of the device is arranged on the bottom, when opening the screen, there will be a space for sound to bounce. The loudspeaker's volume is loud and audible in an office of 20m2, quite noisy. In addition to high volume, the sound quality is also impressive, quite solid and the high range is not bad if turned on at a volume level of about 70%. If there are no good headphones, the Zephyrus M's external speakers are still enough to meet the entertainment needs of movies and music.
Performance and temperature
The only upgrade of the configuration on Zephyrus M is the Intel 8 processor, and this is a very valuable upgrade. 6-core microprocessors help to make multitasking machines much more efficient. With streamer, new generation microprocessor helps both play and stream softer.
Score to evaluate CPU processing performance with Cinebench R15
With the Samsung SM961 SSD using M.2 NVMe standard, the benchmark speed via CrystalDiskMark is impressive
Of course, most users are not streamer, but they will also feel performance from new processors in heavy tasks like playing games or handling movies and photos. The combination of Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM capacity and high-speed PCIe M.2 SSDs make it easy to handle all my everyday needs.
Not only playing games, Intel Core 8 processor also satisfies work tasks such as editing photos and editing movies
As a gaming machine, surely gaming performance will be the most concerned. With Full HD resolution screen, GTX 1060 graphics card from Zephyrus M is able to meet most of today's games. Except for some first-class games, which require high configuration, the new medium setting should be stable above 60 fps, the rest with most of the game's configuration games is enough to play smoothly and stable above 60. fps.
In PUBG "parachute" game, with High graphics setting, the player is stable with a frame rate of over 70 fps
When playing Project Cars 2 at the High setting, it also easily reached over 110 fps. In the picture, when connecting via Steam Link to export the image to the TV, the frame rate is locked at 60 fps, the wireless image is still beautiful and clear.
Even so, game performance is only half the problem for a gaming laptop. Heat dissipation is an important aspect. When playing PUBG for 30 minutes, the CPU temperature reached 83 degrees Celsius, and the GPU fluctuated around 80 degrees Celsius, which is a reasonable number for a slim gaming laptop like Zephyrus M. Now the keyboard part and The arm rests only slightly warm, but the upper part of the keyboard, where the heat sink assembly is very hot. With Project Cars 2 and CS: GO games, the temperature when playing long is similar.
CS: GO of course is not enough to "do hard" GTX 1060 graphics card. It runs smoothly at over 150 fps, the image is very impressive thanks to the 144 Hz screen.
The performance of the machine is also directly affected when changing the fan cooling mode. Asus offers 3 modes of operation of the fan: silent (Silent), balance (Balance) and acceleration (Overboost), allowing automatic or user switching can be switched by shortcut (Fn + F5) or in the ROG Gaming Center software.
The area above the keyboard is quite hot when playing long games, which can reach nearly 50 degrees
When switching from Silent mode to Overboost, the performance of the machine increases markedly, up to 30%. Of course when playing games or doing heavy work, you need to switch to the strongest fan mode to get the best performance. In this mode the fan runs quite noisy, but if you play games and use headphones, this is not a problem.
Strong configuration, thin machine so Zephyrus M hard to get long battery life. The device's battery capacity is 55 Whr, not a high level for 15.6-inch laptops. Despite turning on Optimus graphics mode and working normally (web browsing, Office software and short image editing) the Zephyrus M only works for about 3 hours. So if you take the device out for a working session, you will still have to bring the charger, and the charger is also not so light.
Charger is an object that does not separate the user Zephyrus M. This charger weighs nearly 1kg, the size is also quite large
For gaming laptops, thin and strong are two factors that cost gamers money, and when these two factors come together, the price of a laptop can increase several times. The first Zephyrus had both elements, but there are still many things to overcome such as unreasonable keyboard design, heat dissipation and especially high price.
Zephyrus M carries the same design as the previous generation, reducing the GPU but upgrading both CPU, screen and keyboard. More importantly, the price is much lower than the early Zephyrus, so really passionate gamers can "try hard". However, it can be seen that the price of "light thin" when the price of the Zephyrus M is nearly the same as many gaming laptops with stronger configuration but also heavier, thicker from Asus or Acer and MSI firms. In the segment, the thinnest laptop title does not belong to Asus but MSI to the GS65.
Anyway, no laptop can meet all the factors such as configuration, light weight, heat dissipation, battery and reasonable price, so choosing which product depends on the needs of people Buy a machine. When accepting to buy laptop gaming means that players want to configure it strongly, play good game, but still have certain mobile capabilities, and will have to sacrifice one of the above factors. Readers can synthesize strengths and weaknesses of each machine and choose according to their needs.
– Personality design, light weight compared to the configuration
– High quality screen, 144Hz and G-Sync support
– Configurable enough to play most games smoothly in Full HD resolution
– Good speaker quality
– Price is more comfortable than last year's version
– Lack of LAN port, memory card reader
– Short battery life