Asus has a new gaming laptop that’s not only powerful, inventively designed, and extremely portable, it’s also one of the very first systems with a new wave of high-performance laptop CPUs from Intel.
Inside the Asus ROG Zephyrus GM501 is the Intel Core i7-8750H, which is a six-core processor — the first one we’ve tested — up from the usual quad-core. No, it’s not one of the coming-soon, but it’s definitely a sizable step up in performance over even recent chips from last year, at least according to our initial benchmark tests.
It makes sense that Asus should put this new component technology in the Zephyrus line, as it was originally used last year to debut the, which fits more GPU power into a smaller, thinner laptop, to impressive effect. But here the spotlight is reserved for the six-core Core i7 CPU, as the graphics have moved from a Max-Q GeForce 1080 to a standard GeForce 1070.
How does a laptop that’s just 19.9mm thick (and weighs about 5.5 pounds) fit in a high-power graphics card and six-core CPU? Asus calls the cooling solution an Active Aerodynamic System, or AAS, and it’s a bottom panel that lifts up when the laptop’s lid is open, exposing a hidden vent used for cooling. This vent rises up about 9mm from your desk, which is 2mm higher than the previous Zephyrus. It’s a pretty subtle effect, lifting the rear of the keyboard up slightly.
There are even more changes from(named after the Greek god of the west wind, in case you’re curious). The price of the 2017 model was about $2,700 in the US, while this new version is $2,199. That’s especially notable because even though the 2018 model was much faster in performance benchmarks and just about tied in 3D and gaming benchmarks. Asus says online retailer NewEgg will also carry a version that drops the GPU to a still-decent Nvidia 1060, for $1,899.
Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501
|Price as reviewed||$2,199|
|Display size/resolution||15.6-inch, 1,920×1,080-pixel display|
|CPU||2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H|
|Memory||32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz|
|Graphics||8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)|
The non-touch 1,920×1,080 display gets tweaked as well, moving up to a 144Hz refresh rate and support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, which matches GPU output to the refresh rate of the display, resulting in smoother-looking games.
The new Zephyrus will start shipping in the US on April 16.