Asus is therefore one of the many manufacturers to have followed in the footsteps of the NVIDIA announcements of January 12. The Taiwanese brand has thus largely focused on its new laptops during its ROG conference dedicated to the gaming world, laptops which will obviously display GeForce RTX 30 logos on their chassis. The TUF, Strix and Zephyrus ranges will therefore experience some upheavals, but rather than addressing all the changes made in a description that promised to be as long as it was boring, we decided to focus on two representatives who seemed particularly interesting to us.
Let’s start this detailed review with the Two ROG at 15, a portable PC that will mark the continuation of two technological strategies already developed by the manufacturer: the integration of more AMD components in its lineup, and the desire to offer new features based on the use of a secondary display . Because this is one of the strengths of this Zephyrus model: it has a second 14.1-inch IPS screen called ScreenPad Plus and located just above the keyboard. The latter can then be used to display additional elements (social networks, control panels or streaming managers, for example), or can turn into a tactile and customizable toolbar at will. At the same time, the main panel is equipped with high-end specifications: 2160p / 120 Hz or 1080p / 300 Hz, still in IPS. Note that both screens will benefit from Adaptive-Sync technology.
And we have underlined on the components side, not only will users be able to benefit from the technological refinements of the new RTX 3060, 3070 or 3080, but at its heart, the Asus PC has a latest generation AMD processor, Ryzen 7 5800H or 5900HX. And of course, all the classics of gaming laptops are part of the game: offers full I / O, Wi-Fi 6, backlit keyboard, 2 M.2 SSD slots for the storage part, and the possibility of recharging the machine via one of the USB-C ports. Asus has not communicated a price range for the Zephyrus Duo 15, but given its positioning in terms of features, it seems obvious that it will not be accessible to everyone.
As for the second laptop that we wanted to discuss, it is a newcomer, the ROG Flow X13. As its name suggests, it is a 13-inch ultraportable model convertible thanks to a 360 ° hinge, which one would more readily associate with professional tasks than with video games. However two elements will come to modify its apparent purpose. First, the X13 will be equipped with solid internal components, capable of supporting a great gaming activity: Ryzen 9 5980 HS, GTX 1650, and Full HD 120 Hz display, at best. Then, the X13 can be associated with an additional module, the ROG XG Mobile, an external box for GPUs capable of containing up to an RTX 3080.
So of course, when we talk about eGPU, we immediately imagine a huge box as noisy as it is bulky, and that’s quite normal: this is what the market had accustomed us to until now. Except that Asus has imagined a much more compact and functional solution. The XG Mobile case weighs only one kilogram, for very modest dimensions compared to the competition: 208 x 155 by 29.6 mm. And as a bonus of the surplus graphics power that it brings, it adds additional inputs and outputs: 4 USB 3.2 Type A, 1 DGMI port, 1 SD card reader, or an RJ45 port. Of course, the connection interface between the PC and the box remains proprietary, and the user will not have the choice of the graphics circuit, the latter being the subject of a particular integration. But when it comes to eGPU boxes, this is the most exciting thing we’ve seen since this trend started. Obviously, it remains to be seen what this system has to offer in terms of power or cooling management. Aspects that we will not fail to address if we manage to get our hands on a test copy.
In the end, Asus offers us an interesting start to the year even if it should always be remembered that when it comes to laptops, nothing beats practical experimentation, a sexy specification sheet that can quickly turn into a daily nightmare, at the end of the day. detour from a cooling system or a chassis that would not properly fulfill its role.