It is the race for the best ultra thin gaming laptop these days. We all know Razer Blade, we have also seen Gigabyte Aero 15 , and now we have this beauty called ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 by ASUS.
This is a premium gaming laptop that still holds true to the ROG roots. It does have a distinct look and feel to it in comparison to a conventional ROG laptop, but that doesn’t stop it from a delivering a beast.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 is available in two models. One offering the GTX 1070 and the other one that comes packed with GTX 1080.
This is ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 review is for the GTX 1080 model.
In this review, we will also explore whether this laptop is able to hold its light in front of all the high end gaming laptops that out there.
Who is this laptop for what does it accomplish?
ASUS ROG has a long history of some of the best gaming laptops out there. In fact, they were one of the first to manufacture specialized gaming laptops. The conventional ASUS ROG laptops are big and bulky.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus fills that gap in the ROG line of laptops. This is an ultra thin laptop that hovers somewhere in the size range of an Ultrabook, yet packs a behemoth underneath.
Ultra thin gaming laptops aren’t something new in the market. Razer Blade was the first to exploit this niche market. However, the latest Razer Blade Pro with 17″ screen and GTX 1080 costs a whopping $3,999 at least. Therefore, it is not a viable option for all.
Similarly we have seen decent ultra thin gaming laptops by Gigabyte like the AERO 15 which only comes with an NVIDIA GTX 1060 configuration.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 enters the fray to close this gap. This is an ultra thin gaming laptop that offers NVIDIA GTX 1080 at the lowest possible cost. After all, in the end what a gamer really needs is a powerful graphics card. It doesn’t matter whether you have a 4K touchscreen or not (as is the case with Razer Blade Pro).
Let Us Talk About the Hardware of ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71
So what makes this laptop worth your attention? Do you like the looks, the style, or are you getting it for he great hardware it boasts?
Lets see what this laptop packs underneath its subtle hood.
Design & Display
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 really wins the market in this category. It doesn’t have a thin bezel display like the Gigabyte Aero 15, but its functionalities are second to none.
It offers a 15.6″ FHD IPS display. Where it truly shines is in the fact that screen has a refresh rate of 120 Hz. A higher refresh rate means a better motion. The good news is that GTX 1080 installed does have the capability of supporting 120 frames per second to meet the 120 Hz refresh rate of the display.
Furthermore, it comes with NVIDIA G-Sync which is a proprietary technology that removes screen tearing effects.
As far as the design goes, it still holds to the style of the original ROG laptops. It still has the unmistakable ROG logo along with the black overall body.
Of course its real difference is in the fact it is the slimmest ROG yet to come to the market. At a thickness of 0.7 inches, and 4.9 bounds, this is as mobile as it gets for a high end gaming laptop.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 is a high end gaming laptop. It offers top of the line hardware and has the capacity to run all of the latest and future AAA titles to come at Ultra graphics.
Like most of the high end gaming laptops, this one also features a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700 HQ processor. This is a quad core processor with 8 threads and base clock speed of 2.8 GHz per core. However, when gaming the speed can ramp up all the way to 3.8 GHz.
Compared to Razer Blade Pro which boasts Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, the i7-7700HQ is only marginally slower. In fact, if you will primarily be using your laptop for gaming, then you won’t notice the difference.
Anything above Intel Core i7-7700HQ are workstation grade processors that do not have applications for all the common users.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 is one of the thinnest gaming laptop to offer the high end NVIDIA GTX 1080. There is nothing higher than that other than an SLI configuration.
To have this graphics card with such an incredible form factor is truly a feat of accomplishment.
It should be noted that this laptop uses the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 with the Max-Q design built for ultra thin laptops. In terms of performance, it is 15% slower than normal NVIDIA GTX 1080 for laptops. However, it does run cool and quite.
In terms of performance, you should be able to run even the most demanding games at ultra settings with a frame rate much higher than 60 FPS.
Needless to say that with this laptop, you don’t need to worry about upgrading for another 5 years.
RAM & Storage
In order to maintain a slim profile ASUS has gone for an all SSD configuration of this gaming laptop. ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 features 512 GB of SSD using the NVME technology, which apparently is faster than conventional SSD drives.
We all know the benefits of an SSD, Not only do they encourage the production of a slim laptop, they also directly affect the core. Everything benefits from a fast drive. You would be able to load up your games or software at a much faster speed. Furthermore, they are also power efficient.
The laptop features 16 GB of DDR 4 RAM operating at 2400 MHz frequency. This is a decent amount of RAM but the fact that you can find the same amount in laptops a thousand dollar cheaper makes it a bit lacking.
Ports and Other Additional Features
There is a vast array of connectivity options here. ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 offers x Microphone-in/Headphone-out jack, 1 x Type C USB3.1 (GEN2) Thunderbolt, 4 x USB 3.0 port(s) Type A. 1 x HDMI 2.0.
The only relative drawback here is that it only has one M.2 slot which is already occupied by the SSD. Secondly, there is one USB 3.1 thunderbolt port. Since everything is moving toward USB 3.1, it would have been nice to have more.
Enthusiastic gamers can also rejoice with the fact that this laptop offers an RGB Keyboard with anti-ghosting. You can change the color of the WASD and QWER separately.
Value For Money
For a thin and Ultra Light gaming laptop, this laptop gives you quite the bargain. We have seen generally that ultra thin gaming laptops ask for a very high premium just for the form factor. This notebook challenges that notion as it is available at a price tag of any high end gaming laptop of this configuration.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 Review Conclusion
ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501VS-XS71 is here to stay permanently. This line of ultra thin gaming laptops may well be future of ASUS gaming laptops as well as for all the brands out there.
With this laptop, ASUS has proved that you can have the most powerful hardware in laptop that is as thin as 0.7 inches without costing a fortune like the Razer Blade Pro.