First Impressions: ASUS ROG gaming laptops with AMD processors and RTX 3000 series graphics seen in real!
By: Alex Chub | 12.01.2021, 20:40
At CES 2021 exhibition ASUS has unveiled a number of new (and updated) gaming laptops from their Republic of Gamers product line.This year's CES is entirely digital, but even so we've been able to keep some in our hands. Of course, all the models got fresh hardware. This concerns both processors and graphics cards. To be exact, they got new AMD CPUs and GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards, which were introduced almost simultaneously with the new ROG devices.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX551)
Last year's flagship gaming laptop ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 with two screens has been updated significantly. In fact, only the unusual, recognizable design remained without dramatic changes. As for the inside and features, the upgrade appeared to be very significant. The laptop's body is made of magnesium alloy, the top cover has a recognizable design with diagonal split and a large ROG gaming line logo. The keyboard, just like last year’s one, is shifted towards the user, on the front edge of the laptop. The touchpad is placed to the right of it, and can work also in touch-screen numeric pad mode.
And here is that extra touchscreen IPS-display ScreenPad Plus with a 14.09 inch diagonal, in different configurations with a resolution of 3840x1100 or 1920x550. It can display additional information during the game (e.g. chat), Overwolf overlay, Xplit Gamecaster, Adobe toolbars, or you can just use it as an additional display in Windows. The design is made in such a way that when you open the laptop, the additional screen is lifted towards the user. This solution fulfills two tasks. The more obvious one is that you can better see the information on the screen. Less obvious - there is a cooling system right underneath the ScreenPad Plus. And in this position it can intake more cool air. The Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) Plus cooling system itself has been redesigned to increase airflow by 30% over the previous model. Liquid metal is used as the thermal interface.
And now about the specification. The main display has a 15.6-inch diagonal and IPS panels. There will be options with 4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate, or FullHD and 300 Hz. Inside it is even more interesting. The laptop will be available exclusively with AMD's new processors, which were unveiled just a couple of hours ago. To be exact – Ryzen 9 5900HX or Ryzen 7 5800H, and the graphics are the latest GeForce RTX 3080 Max-P, 16 GB GDDR6, GeForce RTX 3070 Max-P, 8 GB or GeForce RTX 3060 Max-P, 6 GB. RAM is 16 GB DDR4 3200MHz on the board and another 16 GB can be installed in a free slot. Two M. 2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots are provided for drives, in which you can install a 1TB SSD. There is RAID0 support.
Four speakers are responsible for the sound, there is support for Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio (HRA) and AI noise cancellation. Interfaces: WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0, 1xUSB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4, Thunderbolt, PD, 3xUSB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A, HDMI 2.0b, combined audio jack, RJ-45, MicroSD card reader (speed up to 312 MB/s). The notebook is powered by a 90Wh battery. The included power supply has 240W, and there's also support for USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 up to 100W. With all these extras, the laptop is not too big: 14.2x10.5x0.83 inches (36x26.8x2.1 cm), weight – 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg).
ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301)
Now let's move on to a more exotic model. ASUS ROG Flow X13 is positioned as an ultraportable gaming laptop-transformer with an external graphics card, which is coupled with a docking station. At first glance we see a modern, stylish ultrabook, the design of which hardly looks like a gamer’s. So it will look quite natural in any office environment. The black case with diagonal decorative lines is made of magnesium alloy, its thickness is 15.8 mm and its weight is 1.3 kg. The cover is able to rotate 360° (in tablet mode). At that, ErgoLift hinges are used: in laptop mode, the back part of the case is lifted.
The display is touchscreen naturally. The diagonal is 13.4 inches, the aspect ratio is 16:10. As for the other characteristics, two variants are available. Both are IPS, with Adaptive Sync support and Pantone certification. One with a resolution of 3840x2400 and a refresh rate of 60 Hz, the other is 1920x1200, 120 Hz. The laptop has inside a new AMD Ryzen processor up to 8-core Ryzen 9 5980HS and a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card with 4GB of GDDDR6 video memory. RAM can be 16 or 32 GB LPDDR4X, 4266 MHz. It is soldered onto the motherboard and works in dual channel mode. Storage: SSD 1x512 GB or 1 TB (M.2, 2230, PCIe 3.0 x4).
To make it all work at full power, you should connect a 100W Type-C power supply. Although the laptop can be charged even from power banks and third-party PSUs. The graphics card is not the most powerful, but it is enough for not the most demanding games, and for work tasks related to graphics. But the most interesting is the ROG XG Mobile external graphics card, which is paired with a docking station. Inside you can insert a graphics card up to the 16GB mobile version of the GeForce RTX 3080 (that's the version we were able to get our hands on). It is connected by a large adapter that combines USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3) and proprietary PCIe 3.0 x8 to provide the necessary bandwidth.
The docking station has a 280W power supply, its own cooling system and a very good set of ports: 4xUSB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI 2.0a, DisplayPort 1.4, SD card reader and RJ-45. That is, in fact, everything you need. Considering all of these features, the ASUS ROG Flow X13 is a very appealing all-in-one option: take a laptop with a compact power supply to work. And when you get home, plug it into a docking station (which already has all your peripherals, a large display, or your TV) for a powerful gaming solution.
In addition, the company has introduced updated ASUS ROG Strix and Zephyrus models. You can read more about them, as well as prices and sales start dates in our news. And also in the near future we will publish more personal impressions of ASUS ROG Flow X13, which turned out to be an extremely cool device.
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