ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus series was one of the pioneers of the thin and light gaming. Not long after the release of the ROG Zephyrus GX501, the rest of the big names on the gaming laptop market started issuing their own slimmed-down versions. In fact, one of the main reasons all of this was possible, is actually the Max-Q design by NVIDIA.
Despite that, however, ASUS was able to put a full-fledged RTX 2070 on their new ROG Zephyrus S GX701. As we can understand by the name, with our mentalist powers, the laptop comes with a 17-inch display. Its body is all aluminum and despite the footprint, it weighs only 2.60 kg. What is more stunning is the thickness of the body – 18.7mm. We are very eager to see whether ASUS has improved its design, and were they able to overcome the challenges set by using such a thin chassis.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-zephyrus-s-gx701/
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 - Specs
What’s in the box?
ROG Zephyrus S GX701 comes in a branded package. Upon opening, the device is presented you in a black protective cloth. What is more interesting is the way it does so – the cardboard of the box is bend in such way that when you open the cover the side, where the laptop is resting at, lifts from the back – hinting at what to expect when you open the laptop itself. Expectedly, the power brick is a 230W unit and is placed in a separate compartment. By the way, there is a secret envelope containing some stuff, but sadly we cannot tell you what is inside… It wouldn’t be a secret anymore if we do.
Design and construction
Okay guys, where should we start. Ah, yeah – the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 looks like an enlarged copy of the Zephyrus GX501 we reviewed two years ago. It has the same look on the outside, the same placement of the keyboard and more importantly – uses the same mechanism of cooling its internals – more on that later. One of the newcomers this year is the size of the bezels – on the sides and on the top, there is almost no bezel to be seen. On the other side, there is a pretty sizeable chin, and despite that – no camera on board. Quite honestly, we are not great fans of the usual stuff, manufacturers put, as they need a lot of light to work properly, otherwise you look like a potato on steroids.
Nevertheless, as we mentioned, the laptop is made out of aluminum and weighs 2.60 kg. Indeed – it is not the lightest 17-incher on the market. However, for the hardware it packs, it is reasonable. Additionally, the profile of the laptop is its selling point at 18.6mm – MSI’s GS75 and the Predator Triton 500 are similar in size.
What the others don’t have, though, is the keyboard that sits exactly on the palm rest area. Sadly, there are no expansions that come with the laptop to make using the keyboard more comfortable. On top of that, it feels exactly the same as the 2017 ROG Zephyrus GX501 – mushy, short traveled and very uncomfortable for gaming. Moreover, the touchpad is still on the side and it has a dedicated button that turns it into a Number pad.
Now let’s take a look at the way the laptop maintains its thermals. ASUS has come a long way developing laptops that lift themselves from the ground. If you remember the ErgoLift hinge of the ZenBooks and VivoBooks – it has a similar idea – breathing the more fresh air to the fans while keeping the thinnest form factor possible. Well, with the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 it keeps the bottom plate on the ground, while the hinges act like a lever to pull up the entire body a couple of millimeters on its backside.
You can check the temperature segment of this review to see how it fared against the competitions. By the way, we forgot to mention that the speakers are surrounding the keyboard and spoiler alert – they sound amazing.
On the left side, you can see the power plug, followed by an HDMI 2.0b connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2), a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) and an Audio Jack. On the other side, you will see the rest of the I/O – another USB Type-C port – this time 3.1 (Gen. 1), as well as two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is equipped with a Full HD 144Hz IPS panel, model number AUO B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D) – the same panel used on the ROG Strix G731. Its diagonal is 17.3″ (43.94 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 127 ppi, and a pitch of 0.2 х 0.2 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 69cm (27″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).
Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
The measured maximum brightness of 283 nits in the middle of the screen and 279 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of only 3%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6610K – slightly colder, almost matching the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 6670K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is fine – 1320:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers only 92% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 10 ms.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
The backlight of the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 doesn’t use PWM to adjust its levels of brightness. This means the display is comfortable for use, without presenting any excessive eye strain in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701’s display has a Full HD IPS panel with a good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and adequate default settings. It has a relatively wide color coverage and its backlight lacks PWM. Its response time is probably its greatest feature that is going to appeal to gamers with the 144Hz refresh rate.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 configurations with 17.3″ FHD IPS AUO B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D).
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701’s speakers produce a loud sound with very good quality. Its low, mid and high frequencies are clear of deviations.
ASUS has all of the drivers and utilities for the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 if you need them here: https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ROG-ZEPHYRUS-S-GX701/HelpDesk_Download/
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop is equipped with a reasonably big battery pack – 76Wh.
We got around 7 hours of Web browsing and 5 hours and 45 minutes of video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
ASUS has picked probably the best price/performance rated CPU for gaming – the hexa-core Core i7-9750H.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
In the GPU department, you actually have a choice – you can go for the full-sized RTX 2060 and 2070, or the Max-Q version of the RTX 2080.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average||95 fps||92 fps||88 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average||127 fps||79 fps||52 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average||77 fps||69 fps||48 fps|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Highest (Check settings)|
|Average||88 fps||84 fps||56 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Core i7-9750H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701||3.79 GHz (B+46%)@ 74°C||3.00 GHz (B+15%)@ 90°C||2.32 GHz @ 79°C|
|Lenovo Legion Y540||2.78 GHz (B+7%)@ 74°C||3.08 GHz (B+18%)@ 90°C||2.87 GHz (B+10%)@ 79°C|
|ASUS ROG G731||3.38 GHz (B+30%)@ 87°C||3.43 GHz (B+32%)@ 94°C||2.63 GHz @ 73°C|
|ASUS ROG G531||3.41 GHz (B+31%)@ 95°C||3.23 GHz (B+24%)@ 95°C||2.72 GHz (B+5%)@ 79°C|
|HP Omen 17 2019||3.44 GHz (B+32%)@ 86°C||2.74 GHz (B+5%)@ 71°C||2.67 GHz (B+3%)@ 71°C|
Interestingly, the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 started with a strong pace in the early times of our torture test. Apparently, short bursts of very high clock speeds are the strongest point of this laptop, as it finally thermal throttled to below the base 2.60 GHz frequency of the Intel Core i7-9750H. It might just mean that a six-core processor is the ultimate limit of the cooling.
Real life gaming
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701||1415 MHz @ 74°C||1395 MHz @ 77°C|
|ASUS ROG Strix G731||1461 MHz @ 73°C||1398 MHz @ 79°C|
|HP Omen 17 2019||1483 MHz @ 72°C||1474 MHz @ 74°C|
|ASUS ROG GL704G||1595 MHz @ 83°C||1588 MHz @ 83°C|
When we turn our heads to the GPU we see a pretty similar performance to the ROG Strix G731 – both in terms of clock speeds and temperature. Indeed, it falls back behind the HP Omen 17 2019, but it is still not very far behind.
Due to the layout of the laptop, its keyboard remained relatively cool at most times. However, the plate with the glowing ROG logo was feeling like it glows due to heat, rather than RGB LEDs.
As the gaming laptop market starts to saturate with absurdly thin gaming laptops, the competition grows even more aggressive. This means, there is no space for mistakes. However, it is inevitable to make mistakes in an area that is lead by compromises. In order to achieve a thin and light gaming machine, you have to give up on something and the major issue manufacturers are dealing with is cooling.
In battling this issue, some of them are keen on trying extreme designs – like the one on the ROG Zephyrus S GX701. As it turned out, even that wasn’t enough for the finest of the Zephyrus line up to shine today. Despite looking stunningly in its all-aluminum build the laptop had problems with dissipating the heat of the six-core Core i7-9750H in longer tasks like video editing or 3D rendering. On top of that, the noise coming from the fans was immense. Honestly, we would prefer the HP Omen 17 (2019) with its barely audible fans, despite it being significantly thicker and heavier.
Moreover, its keyboard is not very suitable for gaming. Yes, it has a great per-key RGB backlight and a touchpad that doubles as the NumberPad upon pressing the dedicated button. However, the travel of the keys themselves is just too short and mushy for a gaming device.
On the bright side, we were really happy with the battery life of this notebook. We were able to extract more than 7 hours of video playback and 5 hours and 45 minutes of video playback – decent performance from a gaming machine. Additionally, the 17.3-inch 144Hz IPS panel (AUO B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D)) has very good characteristics. It is fairly bright, has a decent contrast ratio and covers the sRGB color gamut almost fully. Moreover, it doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness and the response time of the pixels is blazing fast – something that enhances the gaming experience quite a lot.
Whether you should buy this laptop or not, is totally up to you. However, our recommendation would be to head to its competition – the Acer Predator Triton 500 or the MSI Stealth GS75, as they are both really solid machines, that have something more to offer.
- Great all aluminum build
- Packs a killer hardware in a sleek chassis
- Good battery life
- Screen doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness (AUO B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D))
- Its display has a 144 Hz refresh rate and produces punchy colors (AUO B173HAN04.0 (AUO409D))
- Uncomfortable keyboard for gaming
- Throttles the CPU below the base frequency after a long full load period
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-zephyrus-s-gx701/