CES 2019, which took place in January, was brighter than ever in the past few years — chipmakers and leading hardware manufacturers presented a rich scattering of new products. ASUS, being among the main newsmakers, immediately after the end of the exhibition organized a presentation already in Europe, where it brought the devices presented a few days ago. In this article, we summarize this announcement and go through the main features of the new products demonstrated.

ROG Mothership GZ700 — spaceship

This candy bar, outwardly looking like an overgrown laptop, has become one of the main announcements of the Taiwanese vendor. The device is quite specific and, in my opinion, is more of a demonstration of the company’s potential. Although there are several very real use cases, the Mothership will probably find its customers. In general, the guys from ASUS once again «reinvented» a new form factor.

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When folded, the device looks more like a laptop, but the top cover suddenly turns out to be a folding wireless keyboard with an integrated touchpad, and a larger part is a monoblock with a flip-out stand.

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The keyboard, visually reminiscent of that of the Zephyrus line of laptops, can be “magnetized” to the case when unfolded, or used wirelessly when folded.

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In the end, this system is positioned as a gaming one, so you can generally use any other keyboard that is convenient for you, putting the bundled one aside. This possibility, by the way, is separately noted by the manufacturer. After all, many gamers are accustomed to playing with the keyboard not at all parallel to the screen, which is not as convenient to do with a laptop as with the GZ700.

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The monoblock is held vertically with a flip-out stand, with several angle options. Moreover, for tilting the stand on the bottom of the monoblock there are two “buttons” — it is assumed that when the device is moved to the “vertical” position, they will be pressed and the guide will snap off.

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The body of the system is made entirely by milling from solid pieces of aluminum. This process, according to the manufacturer, consists of 114 separate steps and generally takes up to 20 hours per device.

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At the bottom of the case, under the display, there are four speakers for sound reproduction, and this area also has RGB lighting with Aura Sync support. Naturally, the keyboard of the device was not without illumination.

The monoblock is equipped with an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor (6 cores / 12 threads) in conjunction with a video subsystem based on the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with 8 GB of GDDR6 video memory. The maximum amount of installed RAM is 64 GB, and the disk storage is three M.2 NVMe drives combined in a RAID 0 array.

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The cooling system has 8 heat pipes that transfer heat from the processor, video card with video memory and the circuits that feed them to four radiators located on the top and sides of the case, consisting of 375 copper plates, each 0.1 mm thick. Thanks to this, in such a fairly compact case, radiators with a total fin area of ​​​​about 200 thousand square meters are located. mm. And the monoblock form factor in itself contributes to better cooling of the filling, and the user does not have to worry about heating his limbs due to the side exhaust, as can often be found in laptops.

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The Mothership GZ700 is offered with a 17.3-inch 1920×1080 resolution 144Hz IPS panel with a 3ms response time. Support for NVIDIA G-Sync is also announced.

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The thickness of the body of the device when folded is three centimeters, and the weight is about 4.7 kg. The overall dimensions of the monoblock are 410x320x29.9 mm.

Zephyrus GX701 — even more compact

The Zephyrus line of laptops also received an upgrade, where in addition to the updated GX531 (configurations with RTX graphics chips appeared), a completely new model is also presented — the Zephyrus S GX701.

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Traditionally, the main feature of this line is the compactness of devices, with a rather impressive filling. The novelty, of course, follows this rule, moreover, the GX701 is a laptop with a screen size of 17.3″ with dimensions of 399x272x187 mm, which is almost comparable to 15-inch models.

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This was achieved by reducing the body of the device and thin bezels around the display, less than 7 mm wide. The screen at the same time began to occupy 81% of the surface. During the presentation, ASUS representatives demonstrated how easily this 17-inch model fits into a backpack designed to carry 15″ devices.

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The Zephyrus GX701 comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU in Max-Q design. Modifications with RTX 2070 or RTX 2060 chips are also possible. The amount of RAM can reach 24 GB DDR4-2666 in the maximum configurations (8 GB are soldered on the board). As a disk subsystem, two M.2 format SSDs are used, with a capacity of up to 1 TB each.

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The new marshmallow uses an IPS-type display with Full HD resolution. The response time is 3ms and the refresh rate is 144Hz. All in all, the display appears to be similar to the ROG Mothership mentioned above.

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The keyboard is traditionally shifted to the lower part of the case, which heats up noticeably less, leaving the user with more «thermal» comfort.

To the right of the keyboard (in which, by the way, each individual key can be highlighted in any color of your choice, and the proprietary Aura Sync, of course, is present), as in previous models, there is a touchpad that can work, including in the digital block mode .

Just above the top row of keys, the developers placed the volume wheel. In principle, the solution looks convenient and tactilely pleasant, but for some reason it seems that the user will accidentally cling to one of the function keys located below. Although, in any case, it is a matter of habit.

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In the Zephyrus GX701, the cooling system uses fans made of durable plastic, containing 83 blades each. The air duct itself is aluminum, which made it possible to create a very thin CO frame for placement in such a compact case.

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An interesting feature is also a separate dust outlet channel. According to the manufacturer, such a scheme will significantly reduce the pollution of the cooling system, and even after several years of active use, it should remain in an acceptable condition. It’s not for me to tell you how important this is for such a device, because in such a thin and small case, the temperature regime will certainly leave much to be desired.

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At the same time, three main fan operation modes are “sewn in”, and even in Silent mode with a noise figure of 35 dBA, the manufacturer promises reasonable temperatures for the laptop electronics. As they say, «a strong statement.»

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The cooling system layout itself has five heatpipes and, like other Zephyrus, “opens” at the rear of the case to improve ventilation. The body of the novelty is made of magnesium and aluminum alloys.

To ensure comfortable operating modes in various tasks, the manufacturer has provided a hardware switch for integrated and discrete graphics. That is, for example, if you do not intend to run gaming applications, you can simply switch to the integrated video core. At the same time, such a switch is fully hardware-based, as ASUS claims, and it should also have a positive effect on battery consumption. True, such an operation will entail a reboot of the system.

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In the race for the size of the device and the thin bezels of the display, engineers had to abandon the installation of a camera in a laptop. But for those who still need it, ASUS offers an external camera ROG GC21. It is hung on the top edge of the display lid and is capable of processing video with a resolution of 1920×1080 at 60 frames per second.

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A good feature is the ability to use both the main 230W charger and the ability to charge via USB Type-C, which is convenient if you take a laptop with you and do not plan to play on it while you are on the move.

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This adapter is much smaller in size, lighter, and the power it produces is 65 watts.

ASUS Zenbook S13 UX392 is the new flagship

The line of ASUS Zenbook ultrabooks has also been replenished with a new model, which has incorporated all the achievements of the company in this segment and has become the flagship of the series today.

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The Zenbook S13 has a 13.9-inch screen, slightly larger than the earlier Zenbook S UX391 at 13.3 inches. At the same time, the physical dimensions of the devices are identical.

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The screen of the novelty, due to the thin frames of 2.5 mm, began to occupy 97% of the inner surface of the lid! Moreover, to accommodate the HD camera, a small protrusion was made on the upper edge, which has already been nicknamed the “anti-monobrow”. In fact, this solution turned out to be extremely successful, and this ledge is used to open the display lid. Performing this operation with one hand will not cause any problems.

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Everything is done really as ergonomically as possible and outwardly looks very nice. It can be seen that the designers have done a good job on this part to achieve usability. At the same time, the far side of the device rises slightly to improve ventilation and a more comfortable angle of inclination of the keyboard — the proprietary ErgoLift hinge has not gone away.

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The laptop case as a whole repeats its predecessors — it is made of aluminum and circles from grinding diverge from the center of the top cover. In addition, this ultrabook is presented in a new color, which ASUS called Utopia Blue — in fact, it’s more of a gray color with a very slight «reflection» of blue.

Let’s move on to the technical specifications. As a central processor, models up to Core i7 on the core of the Whiskey Lake-U architecture are used. In particular, today it may be an Intel Core i7-8565U or Core i5-8265U. Both processors are quad-core with support for Hyper-Threading technology. The mobile accelerator GeForce MX150 is responsible for graphics processing. The laptop is equipped with a maximum of 16 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, operating at a frequency of 2133 MHz. The storage is PCIe x4 SSD up to 1 terabyte.

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The IPS-type display has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and ASUS claims 100% coverage of the sRGB color space. The brightness value is at 400 nits. The dimensions of the device fit in 316×195 mm, and the thickness almost reaches 13 mm. Weight S13 — 1.1 kg. This is probably the most compact device with a 13.9″ diagonal screen at the moment. The single-color backlit keyboard occupies the entire width of the device. The key travel is 1.4 mm — in general, this is the same permanent keyboard that is installed in the company’s top products.

Given its compactness, the laptop is limited to a few ports. Although in general, the available connectors should be enough for this form factor. So, on the right side face you can find a USB 3.0 port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, as well as battery and power indicators. On the right side are two USB Type-C with fast charging, but no support for Thunderbolt 3, and a slot for memory cards microSD.

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The Zenbook S13 comes with a 50Wh battery. Charging is done via Type-C connectors, which has already become an unspoken standard for such devices. The manufacturer claims a battery life of about 15 hours, and the fast charge function provides a battery charge of up to 60% in 49 minutes.

Summing up, we can say that the Zenbook S13 at first glance turned out to be a good laptop, which absorbed all the advantages of earlier products in the line. This ultrabook will soon appear on the shelves in Ukraine, but the final price has not yet been formed.

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