Along with the announcement of high-performance 8th Generation mobile processors from Intel today, comes plenty of announcements from partners about new gaming notebooks built around these processors.
One of the most appealing notebooks to be announced so far is the all-new ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501.
Previously launched alongside NIVIDIA's Max-Q initiative, the first ROG Zephyrus served as ASUS's flagship thin-and-light gaming notebook. We were quite impressed with the performance in our review but had some qualms about the odd form-factor decisions, including keyboard placement.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M address these concerns, moving the keyboard and trackpad to a more traditional location along with a plethora of hardware changes.
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM501)|
|MSRP||$1499 (Best Buy Exlusive, coming 5/6)||$1899||$2199|
|Screen||15.5" (1920×1080) IPS 120Hz||15.5" (1920×1080) IPS-Type 144Hz G-SYNC|
|CPU||Core i7-8750H (6 core / 12 threads)|
|GPU||NVIDIA GTX 1060 + Intel UHD 630 (Switchable)||NVIDIA GTX 1070 + Intel UHD 630 (Switchable)|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage||128GB SATA + 1TB FireCuda SSHD||256GB PCIe + 1TB FireCuda SSHD|
|Network||Intel 8265 802.11ac MIMO (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
|Connectivity||1 x Thunderbolt 3
2 x USB 3.1 Gen1
2 x USB 3.1 Gen2
1 x HDMI 2.0
1 x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
|Weight||5.5 lbs ( 2.45 kg)|
|Dimensions||15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7~0.78 inches
(304mm x 199mm x 8 -13.7 mm)
The biggest hardware change of course is the move to Intel's 6-core, 12-thread i7-8750H processor.
Instead of the previous Max-Q GPU options (GTX 1070 and 1080), ASUS has opted for configurations up to a full GTX 1070, as well as the GTX 1060 on the lower end models.
In addition, the new iteration of the Zephyrus gains switchable graphics, which should help with battery life. ASUS says there will be a dedicated keyboard shortcut to manually switch between graphics modes, potentially alleviating some of the issues users have with Optimus technologies in certain applications.
Battery capacity also sees a 10% bump to 55 WHr from the previous 50 WHr. Hopefully, these changes will provide a much-needed battery life improvement over the original Zephyrus notebook.
Storage options for all configurations of the GM501 will contain both an SSD and a 1TB Seagate FireCuda SSHD hybrid drive for fast mass storage. The highest-end GM501s will be offered with 256GB NVMe drives, while the lower end will stick with just a 128GB SATA SSD.
Pricing for the new Zephyrus M is in line with the last generation, meaning that users looking for the ultimate marriage of gaming performance and portability will have to sacrifice a bit on price. However, I think the $1500 Best Buy exclusive SKU coming next month is a pretty compelling package for a lot of gamers.
Expect these notebooks to start shipping on April 16th for the two highest configurations, with the lower end option coming in May.