Battery Life and Pricing
To evaluate battery life, we test our mobile devices while browsing the internet with Google Chrome. While we know that Chrome isn't exactly an easy application on battery life, it's the most popular browser, and that's what we use day-to-day at the office. We want the result to be as close to real world browsing as possible, which is also why we run the screen brightness at a fixed 180 nits which is bright enough to be usable in all indoor environments.
Despite the advances in form factor in the ROG Zephyrus compared to other gaming notebooks, they share one weakness – battery life.
In our web browsing test, the ROG Zephyrus lasted just under 2 hours. While this isn't the worst result we've seen from a notebook with desktop-level components, it's still disappointing. With the vastly improved portability of the Zephyrus compared to other gaming notebooks, I would like to be able to use it in more environments, where being tethered to the wall isn't an option.
At the time of this review, ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VI is only available on backorder from retailers. Additionally, we can only find product listings for the SKU with 16GB of RAM, as opposed to the 24GB in our review sample.
At $2699 (Amazon and Newegg), the ROG Zephyrus is surprisingly one of the cheaper options for gamers looking to purchase a notebook with a GTX 1080 in it. The MSI GT73VR TITAN can be found for $2199, but it also only has a 128GB GB SSD combined with a 1TB hard drive. Keep in mind that this much larger notebook should have results closer to a desktop GTX 1080, rather than the Max-Q version which performs at GTX 1070 levels.
After my time with the ASU ROG Zephyrus, I am conflicted about what value it provides to the gaming notebook market.
For gamers looking for a portable gaming machine, that they can take from location to location, set on a table, and start gaming, the Zephyrus is a great option. In this scenario, there is little trade off between a traditional gaming notebook form factor and this Max-Q design. You gain portability while maintaining acceptable performance levels for the integrated 1080p display. Even though performance of the GTX 1080 with Max-Q Design seems to more closely mimic the performance of a desktop GTX 1070, that is still a lot of power for a 1080p screen. And it is possible that other OEMs Max-Q implemenations may fare better.
However, for users looking for the one computer to rule them all, I think the ROG Zephyrus is not ideal. The tweaks made to the keyboard and mouse layout, combined with the less than stellar battery life means the Zephyrus is worse is usability for most traditional productivity tasks when compared to a much cheaper notebook. Decreased footprint and weight are great, but if the notebook isn't flexible enough to use in an array of different scenarios, I'm ultimately not sure how much of a benefit it is.
As a whole, the Zephyrus is an excellent implementation of its given design. It's a very well built machine at a reasonable price for the market segment; I just don't agree with some of the design decisions.
I look forward to seeing more Max-Q notebooks from other vendors to see if there can truly be one notebook to rule them all.
Nice piece no doubt. Battery
Nice piece no doubt. Battery life is a killer though. More disabling tech needed to be incorporated when on battery (i.e. on chip iGPU switch over with disabled dGPU, lower multipliers, cores disabled, lower DDR4 speeds etc.). <2hrs on battery is unusable in the real world.
Is the RAM running in dual
Is the RAM running in dual channel? With on board chips and then two DIMMs, I thought this non-symmetric design might kick it back to single channel?
Intel chips have been smart
Intel chips have been smart enough to do a split dual/single channel partition of the RAM for a little while now. In most scenarios you won’t notice the difference
What the hell is the point of
What the hell is the point of an ultraportable that lasts less than two hours? Seriously who approves such a product?
Maybe I’m in the minority
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’d be more interested in a push for more durable, reliable, and serviceable laptops rather than this focus on thinness.
This is honestly a stupid way
This is honestly a stupid way to go with laptop design. If I’m buying a laptop for gaming, I don’t want thin and light to compromise battery life, thermals, noise, throttling and all sorts of other criteria. I /want/ a thicker laptop that has a larger battery, better cooling and temperatures. I’m all for Nvidia GPUs, but this idea is complete non-sense and a waste of time.
So it’s a 1080m…
So it’s a 1080m…
“You’ll find four USB 3.1
“You’ll find four USB 3.1 Type-A ports”
should be: You’ll find four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. But the spec sheet table lists them as “4 x USB 3.0″(old USB-IF nomenclature) and at least there is a TB3 so that’s not so bad.
Really a gaming laptop and Ultrabook/Thin And Light means only one thing: thermal throttling and crappy battery life. And the deal killer is that Thin/Apple like form over functionality design for a gaming laptop that costs $2700.
Why does it have a
Why does it have a significantly smaller battery than my Surface Book? Two hours is a joke. I had a Clevo gaming laptop that wasn’t much thicker than this thing back in 2005 that had three hours of battery life…
I think the compromises here are in all the wrong places.
Needs a 90whr battery.
Needs a 90whr battery.
In a world where external GPUs are looming I don’t think the form factor makes sense.
Having a single machine to do it all is a good goal. But, Nvidia and AMD should OEM eGPUs in a small, sleek form factor. No need for an enclosure, if the GPU itself is designed to sit on the desk with an integrated 120v PSU on the PCB. I don’t think an eGPU has to be much bigger than a large conventional GPU if it’s done right.
I think this laptop is
I think this laptop is amazing.
Yes….the battery life let’s it down, but all Asus has to do is design and manufacture an external power-bank to attach to the Zephyrus, thus making it more portable.