ASUS unveils the svelte ROG Zephyrus M Windows 10 gaming laptop

It used to be, if you wanted a gaming laptop, there was a huge price to pay. No, I am not talking about a financial price, although they can be expensive. Actually, I am referring to the excessive weight and thickness. A portable gaming machine was historically a very big and bulky product.

These days, however, a gaming laptop can be quite svelte comparatively. They are continually getting thinner and lighter. Today, ASUS unveils its latest such notebook, the ROG Zephyrus M. That "ROG" stands for "Republic of Gamers," which is ASUS' premium gaming brand. This new laptop certainly is premium, as it features a hexacore Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 -- depending on configuration. This is all crammed into a very thin body. And yes, the keyboard features RGB lighting, because... Gaming!

"The Zephyrus M features an ultra-responsive 15.6-inch IPS-level display with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and NVIDIA G-SYNC technology for super smooth, seamless visuals. A wide 72 percent NTSC color gamut guarantees great color contrast and color reproduction, while wide-view technology ensures colors stay true, even when viewed from angles of up to 178 degrees," says ASUS.

The manufacturer further says, "The ROG Zephyrus M brings gaming-desktop levels of performance to the gaming laptop scene, with up to an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of DDR4 2666MHz dual-channel memory, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. It also features cutting-edge storage with a 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD and an additional 1TB Seagate FireCuda SSHD storage drive."

What's really cool about this laptop is the ability to easily switch GPU modes, moving from NVIDIA to Intel to save battery when not gaming. This also disables G-SYNC, which further adds to the battery conservation. Because, let's be honest, gamers use their computers for things other than gaming -- it is wasteful to utilize the discrete graphics and G-SYNC technology when it isn't needed.

ASUS shares detailed specs and configurations below.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM501)

GM501GS-XS74 GM501GM-WS74 GU501GM-BI7N8
Processor Intel® Core™ i7-8750H, up to 3.9GHz on all 6 cores Intel® Core™ i7-8750H, up to 3.9GHz on all 6 cores Intel® Core™ i7-8750H, up to 3.9GHz on all 6 cores
Operating system Windows 10 Professional Windows 10 Windows 10
Display 15.6” Full HD (1920 x 1080) AHVA IPS-type panel with anti-glare

144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time with NVIDIA G-SYNC™

15.6” Full HD (1920 x 1080) AHVA IPS-type panel with anti-glare

144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time with NVIDIA G-SYNC™

15.6” Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS panel with anti-glare

120Hz refresh rate

Graphics NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 8GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6GB
Cooling Dual 12V Fans

Active Aerodynamic System

Dual 12V Fans

Active Aerodynamic System

Dual 12V Fans
Chipset Intel® HM370 Intel® HM370 Intel® HM370
Memory & 
storage
16GB DDR4 2666MHz

256GB M.2 NVMe SSD

1TB FireCuda™ SSHD

16GB DDR4 2666MHz

256GB M.2 NVMe SSD

1TB FireCuda™ SSHD

16GB DDR4 2666MHz

128GB SATA SSD

1TB FireCuda™ SSHD

Wireless 802.11ac Wave 2 Gigabit Wi-Fi

Bluetooth® 4.2

802.11ac Wave 2 Gigabit Wi-Fi

Bluetooth® 4.2

802.11ac Wave 2 Gigabit Wi-Fi

Bluetooth® 4.1

Connectivity 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C over Thunderbolt™

2 x USB 3.1 Gen1

2 x USB 3.1 Gen2

1 x HDMI 2.0

1 x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack

1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C over Thunderbolt™

2 x USB 3.1 Gen1

2 x USB 3.1 Gen2

1 x HDMI 2.0

1 x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack

1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C over Thunderbolt™

2 x USB 3.1 Gen1

2 x USB 3.1 Gen2

1 x HDMI 2.0

1 x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack

Camera Built-in HD camera and array mic Built-in HD camera and array mic Built-in HD camera and array mic
Keyboard ASUS Aura SYNC backlit chiclet keyboard with N-key rollover; 1.7mm key travel, 0.2mm key curve ASUS Aura SYNC backlit chiclet keyboard with N-key rollover; 1.7mm key travel, 0.2mm key curve ASUS Aura SYNC backlit chiclet keyboard with N-key rollover; 1.7mm key travel, 0.2mm key curve
Battery 55WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion 55WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion 55WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
Size 38.4 x 26.2 x 1.75~1.99 cm

15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7~0.78 inches

38.4 x 26.2 x 1.75~1.99 cm

15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7~0.78 inches

38.4 x 26.2 x 1.75~1.99 cm

15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7~0.78 inches

Weight 2.45 kg

5.5 lbs

2.45 kg

5.5 lbs

2.45 kg

5.5 lbs

Price $2199 $1899 $1499

You can pre-order this beauty starting today, at the usual places, such as Newegg, Amazon, or from ASUS directly. They should begin shipping in the middle of April. Amazon, for instance, lists April 16 as the release date.

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