Editorials

Review: ASUS ROG Zephyrus M 15.6″ Gaming Laptop

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M delivers an unforgettable gaming experience as it perfectly incorporates sought after gaming elements while delivering a powerhouse of performance and paying close attention to the aesthetics that it offers. Performance driven laptops normally fall upon the heavier side of the spectrum, but this is not the case with the Zephyrus M as it is efficiently packed in a surprisingly light 2.45 kg design that features a sleek brushed aluminum finish that warrants your attention.

The Zephyrus M is an ultra-slim gaming laptop that features impressive specifications such as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of memory and an 8th-Generation 6-Core Intel i7-8750H processor capable of up to 3.9 GHZ. These specifications bring a high-end gaming desktop experience to the portability of a laptop. It is also VR ready, creating a complete package that is highly sought after by gamers and creative content makers.

The panel is also a gamer’s dream as it features a 144 Hz refresh rate on its 15.6” HD IPS gaming panel with NVIDIA G-SYNC and a 3ms response time. The differences that the display offers can be noticed immediately and this laptop will provide every possible advantage needed to succeed in competitive gaming. The 16GB DDR4 memory, 512 GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD, and a 1TB Seagate FireCuda SSHD ensures that every process starts quickly and multi-tasking can be executed with no slowdowns. The panel and colour reproduction are also impressive as it can handle games at maximum settings and anything else you can throw at it. The inclusion of G-SYNC also makes for a smooth gaming experience that reduces input lag and various negative effects that gamers fear such as tearing and ghosting.

It also features an Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) to help keep the Zephyrus M run cool and quiet while engaging in more demanding applications. However, playing Fortnite and games from the Civilization and Total War franchises resulted in an increased amount of heat over an extended gameplay session. These graphically intense games also increased fan noise which resulted in increasing the volume to hear certain audio sounds, but everyday usage resulted in a quiet experience.

The keyboard feels perfectly suited for typing and gaming sessions. The keys are solid and responsive and requires little time to familiarize yourself with the layout. You can also customize the design of the RGB LEDs on the keyboard and sync them up with Aura Sync accessories to showcase your preferred lighting modes.

It also features software to let the user switch between integrated and discrete GPU modes, letting the user customize their experience. The power saving mode emphasized extending battery life, while G-SYNC mode delivered a graphical experience unlike no other. The issue with the Zephyrus M is a direct result of its own success. All of its glory, power, and graphical intensity greatly strains the battery life, resulting in the necessity of an outlet close-by to ensure it remains powered during your gaming sessions. The battery lasted for around two hours when playing Northgard, Civilization VI, and Fortnite on the highest settings. However, anyone researching the Zephyrus M to purchase will already know that they will need the AC adapter plugged in for the majority of the time in order to experience it to the fullest. The multitude of ports available makes connecting your peripherals to the Zephyrus M a breeze. You will find four USB 3.1 ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. I would have also liked to see a built-in Ethernet port instead of having to rely on an adapter to gain increased internet speeds. Another minor drawback also pertains to the positioning of the AC charging port as it feels awkward and out of place on the left side.

Conclusion

The Zephyrus M is the closest you will see a gaming laptop get to perfection. Careful attention to detail and planning resulted in an aesthetically pleasing sleek design that houses a powerhouse experience waiting to be discovered. Casual gamers will rejoice in the visual presentation it holds, but competitive gamers will applaud the various elements that gives them the upper hand when trying to be victorious over their opponents. The two main negative factors of the experience pertain to battery life and loud fans when trying to cool down the system. However, these can be overlooked as the overall package makes for a lasting and extremely enjoyable experience.

The Good
  • Powerhouse of performance
  • IPS display with 144hz refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC
  • Light and sleek ultra slim design is impressive
  • RGB backlit keyboard
  • Able to switch between integrated and discrete GPU modes
The Bad
  • Battery life
  • Loud fan noise when playing graphically intense games
  • No Ethernet port
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