Asus ROG Zephyrus M (GM501GS) review: Should it be your first pick?
Asus ROG Zephyrus M(GM501GS), one of the top offerings from Asus, also one of the best laptops available in the market. The laptop is actually a premium gaming laptop, which not only lets you play but also sports a premium design not very similar but with some similarity to Apple’s MacBook. The laptop has class leading 8th generation Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 on the graphics department and 144hz display. All set up in an aluminium chassis with Aerodynamic underside vent with 2 fans, making the laptop more efficient.
The ROG Zephyrus M sports a 15.6inch 144hz display with a resolution of 1920×1080. Features an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.2ghz(can be boosted up to 3.9Ghz) paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM. In the graphics department, the laptop has an NVIDIA GTX-1070 with 8GB of VRAM. In the memory department, the laptop houses a 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD primary and additional 1TB Seagate FireCuda SSHD running at 5400rpm.
The ROG Zephyrus M brings in an all-metal bulky design with dual tone finish on the aluminium lid giving a premium look overall. The lid also holds an engraved ROG logo which has RGB lighting. The laptop has an aerodynamic underside vent which is unveiled after opening the lid of the laptop. The chassis looks strong and is as narrow as 17.0-19.9mm incorporating two anti dust fans in it. Thanks to the underside vent the laptop feels thinner.
The internal chassis of the laptop which holds the keyboard also has RGB lighting can be adjusted using ROG Aura settings. The experience of the inner side seems pretty impressive. With a backlit keyboard, underside vent and the external metal frame make you feel premium all along.
External chassis does make the laptop feel complete robust, while the durability of the laptop may be a question to ponder upon, The metal frame seems premium but adds upon a lot of bulk to the laptop.
While the all-metal frame does bring in shortcomings of its own such as laptop not at flexible at all. The underside vent runs mechanically with the lid, there is no option to switch to not opening the vent when not required. So after opening the lid laptop is always 19.9mm tall.
The ROG Zephyrus M comes with a 15.6-inch IPS LCD display which has a resolution of 1920×1080 on a 144-Hz panel. While the panel is very similar to the one seen on ROG Strix Hero II. But we witnessed a bit of difference in the brightness of the screen, the colours on the screen were more vivid than the peer but the brightness was slightly on the lower end.
While playing games on this laptop was no less than a joy ride with FPS of the games always running between 60-90FPS as recorded by the GeForce experience tool. In Fifa 19, the game felt like as if I am watching the game on the live broadcast. The display of the laptop caters every bit of detail available.
On the other hand, we were able to run Youtube 4K video on the laptop. Thanks to Intel Core i7 chipset, but the display did work efficiently, The details brought by the 144hz 1080p display was impressive and it didn’t seem that the display is incompatible to the higher resolution. Even 4K movies played on the laptop brought more details and the laptop fared similarly to the 4k resolution TVs.
The laptop has a Matte anti-reflective layer on the screen, which gets rids of the unwanted reflections of the light from behind and gives an unhindered experience.
The ROG has a typical ROG backlit keyboard with the key structure being sharper than other laptops. The keys on the Zephyrus M are more towards the squarer shape with keys being highly responsive and ultra soft. The keyboard of the Zephyrus is not at all different from the previous generations of ROG laptops.
While the RGB lighting of the backlit keyboard can be changed from the options available. ROG aura provides 4 different colour profile to switch between. The brightness of the keyboard backlit can be changed using option available on the cursor keys.
The segment where the laptop outperforms peers from the same parents and gives a big challenge to other companies flagship products. The laptop uses 2.2 GHz clocked 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor which can be boosted up to 3.9 GHz upon its six cores. In the graphics department, the laptop brings in NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 on an 8GB of VRAM. While the laptop has a 16GB of RAM on board.
With this hardware, the phone is no denying a beast. The laptop handles all high profile games very well, even when multi-tasking between high-end games the laptop doesn’t even sweat a little. The Cinebench scores and the Geekbench scores just add validation to the term beast.
The ROG Zephyrus M comes with a 512Gb SSD which adds more speed to the laptop. The normal usage is so fast on this laptop that sometimes it feels the app was just waiting for the moment when would you open and it will hop out.
Gaming is what ROG series is all about. The ROG Zephyrus M does keep up the tag of a gaming laptop. With amazing hardware cooling system and a top end graphics card. Surfing internet and normal usage on this laptop were just smooth. When it came on to hardcore gaming. We tested games such as DOTA 2, FIFA 19 and NFS.
NFS we were able to get a constant fps between 60-70 while the laptop was on battery. The numbers rose to 80-100 while the laptop was plugged in. While playing FIFA 19, a regular 70-80FPS was observed during plugged in mode.
The laptop offers you multiple fan modes for when you are intense gaming or when you are just scrolling the web. There is a silent mode when the fan is inaudible, there is balanced which is good enough for casual gaming and overboost which is for hardcore, High FPS gaming. The overboost fan mode is loud but was a bit less loud as compared to the hero strix III. Which is one of the plus points?
Sound and Battery
The Zephyrus M fared badly on both these segments, while on the sound segment the laptop has a top quality speaker with good treble and bass. But lacks higher volumes, Sometimes in a busy room, the laptop was not able to fulfill the needs. Many a time there was a requirement of an extra volume unit.
In terms of battery, the laptop has a huge battery. But still, we have only around 4 hours of regular usage on the device. The device comes with a very bulky charger, sure the charger charges fast but the retention is very low and possibly because of the high-end chipset and always on backlit.
Asus offering the Asus ROG Zephyrus M(GM501GS) is among the best laptop available in the market with its Robust metallic design and Aerodynamic underside vent. It sure does appeal premium customers as well. While the laptop is ideal for the gamers and content creators. It might not suite normal web users due to low battery retention and heavy weight.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M(GM501GS) starts at a price of Rs 1,64,990 in India. The laptop is ideal for gamers and is recommended for anyone who would like on the go gaming performance without any compromises and isn’t afraid to splash the cash for the device.