There is a reason why most of the best gaming laptops available have chunky designs and weigh so much that they pull you down. The Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 is a response to that reason and a really good one at that.

The ultra-portable nature of this laptop is possible thanks in no small part to Nvidia’s GeForce Max-Q GPU. This new GPU family has the advantage of allowing devices to be faster without being so thick in the process. This makes it possible to have desktop-level gaming performance in a laptop.

While there are still a few departments that need to be worked on, such as the battery life, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 is a high-performer as you’d get to know in the remainder of this article.

Design

How do you describe a gaming laptop that is thinner than the majority of conventional laptops? Incredible, isn’t it? Well, that’s what you get with the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 gaming laptop. Measuring only 17.9mm or 0.7 inches thick and 2.2 kg heavy, this ultra-thin gaming machine is one of the thinnest laptops ever.

The Zephyrus GX501 has a futuristic-looking design, with an all-black exterior and aluminum/magnesium chassis that looks more like a square. Doubtless, this piece of hardware is an aesthetically pleasing device in all its glory. You might think that I’m exaggerating here, but just look at the image renders and confirm for yourself.

To summarize, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 is a masterpiece that combines a powerful hardware setup with great software.

Display

Moving on, the display on this laptop is a Full HD 15.6 inches screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. This screen also comes with support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology – for syncing the display frame rate with that of the GPU.

Brightness level on the display is not the highest per se but is still bright enough for outdoor use. Also, the screen has average response times and color reproduction, which makes it not so nice. However, the wide viewing angle of the panel is an advantage.

Keyboard and Touchpad

This section is an interesting part of this laptop, with an unusual arrangement. The keys on the Zephyrus GX501 are quite large and have decent key travel. Much of the lower half of the laptop has been occupied by the keyboard and touchpad, leaving little room for resting the palms. The keyboard has a special RGB backlighting that can be altered through software. For the lack of available space for resting the wrist, a wrist rest is included.

The touchpad is positioned closely to the right side of the keyboard instead of the usual bottom placement. Below the touchpad are two clickable buttons. In addition, the touchpad area is not so large enough and may require you to swipe several times before the cursor actually moves. However, the touchpad has high precision and supports multi-touch gestures. You also have a cool feature where with the press of a button, the touchpad turns into a digital number pad.

Performance

A gaming laptop needs a powerful CPU + GPU combo for delivering the smoothest gaming experiences. As such, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 comes with a fast and powerful processor: the popular Intel Core i7-7700HQ, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 Max Q (with 8GB of VRAM) or Intel HD Graphics 630.

There’s 16gigs of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of PCIe-based SSD – for faster read and write speeds.

The hardware combination means that the Zephyrus GX510 handles all games seamlessly, especially in 1080p. The frame rate is also high averaging about 50 fps for even the most graphically intensive titles.

Battery Life

As suspected, the slim and ultra-portable nature of this device would mean reduced battery life. A 4-cell 50Whr Li-ion battery keeps the show running on the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501. This means that get a maximum of about 3 hours of usage on battery, which is disappointing for a gaming laptop.

For comparison, there are slimmer devices which last longer such as the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin. As a result, this could be the deciding feature/factor for gamers when buying this laptop.

Connectivity Options

In as much as this is a thin laptop, the array of ports is decent enough to include four USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, headphone/microphone jack, one Thunderbolt 3 port, and a slot for a Kensington Lock. Disappointingly though, there is no microSD card reader, nor an Ethernet port.

Bluetooth 4.1 and Dual-Band Wi-Fi are also part of the bundle and can help for your wireless network needs.

Pricing and Availability

With the exciting features that come with this laptop, there is so much that you need to part with in order to claim it. This means that you will need a minimum of $3000 before you can walk home with one piece of the Zephyrus GX501.

Specs at a Glance

Screen Size 15.6-inches
Maximum Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
RAM 16GB DDR3
Internal Storage 512GB SSSD
CPU Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Dimensions 379 x 262 x 17.9 mm
Weight 2.2 kg

Conclusion

In tune with the introduction, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 is a masterpiece of great hardware. However, the battery life pulls it down, as well as its pocket-burning price. In all, if you can overlook the few flaws of this laptop and embrace its advantages, you’d be making no mistake.

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