Gamescom 2018 | Next generation Asus Zephyrus S GX531 will be even thinner than the Razer Blade 15
The year-old ROG Zephyrus GX501 will now have a proper successor coming later this year as the ROG Zephyrus S GX531. Unlike the Zephyrus M GM501 series that was designed to be in market parallel to the GX501 series, the GX531 will directly supplant the aging GX501.
The most obvious and perhaps biggest change from the GX501 is the introduction of narrow bezels to better compete against the MSI GS65, Gigabyte Aero 15X, Lenovo Legion Y530, Razer Blade 15, and HP Omen 15. Asus first introduced narrow bezels to its ROG lineup via the mainstream GL504 series earlier this year, but it wasn't until today that the flagship Zephyrus series would receive the same treatment. The resulting chassis is smaller, thinner (15.7 mm vs. 17.9 mm), and lighter (2.1 kg vs. 2.3 kg) than the original GX501 while incorporating the same AU Optronics 1080p/144 Hz IPS panel as found on the aforementioned GL504.
|Zephyrus S GX531||Zephyrus GX501|
|CPU||Core i7-8750H Coffee Lake-H||Core i7-7700HQ Kaby Lake|
|GPU||GTX 1060, GTX 1070 Max-Q||GTX 1070 Max-Q, GTX 1080 Max-Q|
|RAM||1x SODIMM, 8 or 16 GB + soldered||1x SODIMM, 8 or 16 GB + soldered|
|Display||15.6-inch 1080p IPS, 144 Hz, 3 ms Gray-to-Gray, 100% sRGB, 7.5 mm bezels||15.6-inch 1080p IPS, 120 Hz|
|Storage||1x M.2 2280 NVMe up to 1 TB||1x M.2 2280 NVMe|
USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C, USB3.1 Gen1 Type-C, 3.5 mm combo audio, USB3.1 Gen2 Type-A,
2x USB2.0 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, Kensington Lock
|Thunderbolt 3, 4x USB 3.0 Type-A, 3.5 mm combo audio, HDMI 2.0, Kensington Lock|
|Battery||50 Wh||50 Wh|
|Dimensions||360 x 268 x 15.7 mm||379 x 262 x 17.9 mm|
|Weight||2.1 kg||2.3 kg|
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Internally, we are seeing more copper heat pipes, more heat sinks, and thinner twin fans with more fins (83 vs. 71) than the original that should all hopefully keep fan noise to a minimum despite the notable reduction in overall chassis size. Nonetheless, Asus says there will not be a GTX 1080 Max-Q option even though the original GX501 made its debut with the GPU. The GX531 will instead max out at the GTX 1070 Max-Q possibly due to the different thermal limitations between the GX501 and GX531 designs. The Core i9-8950HK will not be an option as well even though it is available on the thinner XPS 15.
The core hardware features that defined the GX501 will all be returning on the GX531 for better or worse. Thus, be prepared for the controversial "forward layout" keyboard, trackpad numpad, and angled bottom plate yet again. From our short time with the preview unit, the keyboard keys and smooth matte trackpad feel exactly the same as on the GX501 while the auto-lifting back plate is a tad bit stiffer. These peculiar-but-unique features are what allow the Zephyrus GX series to be so incredibly thin in the first place. If you didn't like them before, however, then you're not likely going to like them here, either.
Asus is not yet ready to announce prices just yet, but they are promising a launch by this coming September. Here's hoping that it will come cheaper than the initial $2700 USD launch price of the original GX501.
Both the GX531 and GL704 will make appearances at the Gamescom 2018 show floor next week.