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Gamescom 2018 | Next generation Asus Zephyrus S GX531 will be even thinner than the Razer Blade 15

Next generation Asus Zephyrus S GX531 will be even thinner than the Razer Blade 15
Next generation Asus Zephyrus S GX531 will be even thinner than the Razer Blade 15
The new "thinnest gaming laptop in the world" is just 15.75 mm thick at its thickest point to be even thinner than last year's ROG GX501. The GX531 introduces narrow bezels and 144 Hz displays to the Zephyrus family with plenty of changes both internal and external. Expect a worldwide launch as early as September.

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 GX531Zephyrus GX501
CPUCore i7-8750H Coffee Lake-HCore i7-7700HQ Kaby Lake
GPUGTX 1060, GTX 1070 Max-QGTX 1070 Max-Q, GTX 1080 Max-Q
RAM1x SODIMM, 8 or 16 GB + soldered1x SODIMM, 8 or 16 GB + soldered
Display15.6-inch 1080p IPS, 144 Hz, 3 ms Gray-to-Gray, 100% sRGB, 7.5 mm bezels15.6-inch 1080p IPS, 120 Hz
Storage1x M.2 2280 NVMe up to 1 TB1x M.2 2280 NVMe
Connectivity

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
Battery50 Wh50 Wh
Dimensions360 x 268 x 15.7 mm379 x 262 x 17.9 mm
Weight2.1 kg2.3 kg
(Source: Asus)
(Source: Asus)
Positioning of USB and audio ports do not favor left-handed users
Positioning of USB and audio ports do not favor left-handed users
The rear has been completely redesigned from the GX501
The rear has been completely redesigned from the GX501
Just 15.7 mm thick when closed
Just 15.7 mm thick when closed
Opened to maximum angle. The bottom plate lifts 5 mm for improved airflow
Opened to maximum angle. The bottom plate lifts 5 mm for improved airflow
Same keyboard with 1.2 mm key travel. Four-zone RGB backlight with no per-key RGB lighting
Same keyboard with 1.2 mm key travel. Four-zone RGB backlight with no per-key RGB lighting
Bezels are just 7.5 mm compared to the 15.7 mm bezels of the GX501. Webcam placement is preserved!
Bezels are just 7.5 mm compared to the 15.7 mm bezels of the GX501. Webcam placement is preserved!
Same superficial outer lid design as the GX501
Same superficial outer lid design as the GX501
Some ports have been moved to the rear
Some ports have been moved to the rear
The familiar sharp edges and rounded corners return
The familiar sharp edges and rounded corners return
Servicing is still difficult because of the unique bottom plate
Servicing is still difficult because of the unique bottom plate

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.

smooth profile texture from front to back
smooth profile texture from front to back
No more Thunderbolt 3!
No more Thunderbolt 3!
New "scissor-door" hinges are stiff, but maximum angle is limited
New "scissor-door" hinges are stiff, but maximum angle is limited
Same trackpad and backlit NumPad as last year
Same trackpad and backlit NumPad as last year

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.

Much of the surface above the keyboard is dedicated to cooling and airflow
Much of the surface above the keyboard is dedicated to cooling and airflow
A total of four heat sinks with 250 fins between them. Asus is promising components under 80 C when under load
A total of four heat sinks with 250 fins between them. Asus is promising components under 80 C when under load
Revised cooling solution with more heat sinks and heat pipes
Revised cooling solution with more heat sinks and heat pipes
New fans are more resistant to flexing to enable higher RPMs
New fans are more resistant to flexing to enable higher RPMs
The lid begins life as a single thick slab of CNC-milled aluminum alloy
The lid begins life as a single thick slab of CNC-milled aluminum alloy
After a 5-stage process, the familiar design begins to take shape. The lid feels stronger when compared to the GX501
After a 5-stage process, the familiar design begins to take shape. The lid feels stronger when compared to the GX501

Source(s)

Asus

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 08 > Next generation Asus Zephyrus S GX531 will be even thinner than the Razer Blade 15
Allen Ngo, 2018-08-16 (Update: 2018-08-16)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.