As gaming notebooks got thinner and thinner, they also inadvertently got wider and wider. It’s as if whatever is lost in height has been added to width and length instead. But if the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S is a sign of things to come, then perhaps we will be seeing more gaming notebooks that are not only thinner, but also have a smaller footprint as well.
It may not be immediately obvious, but due to the thinner bezels, ASUS has essentially squeezed a 15.6- display into a 14.2-inch frame. This, then, satisfies those who like the now-standard display size of 15.6″, while also gratifying gamers of a previous age who prefer the more portable 14-inch form factor. And with the rarity of 14″ gaming notebooks these days, this is a major plus point for us.
The ROG Zephyrus S shares a similar trait with its larger brothers – an extremely thin profile, and as a result, am extremely thin lid housing the display. Once you flip it up, you’ll see the familiar chiclet keyboard with very shallow travel.
Fortunately, actuation only happens when you press a key nearly all the way, so typing shouldn’t feel too awkward. On the other hand, though, there’s the mousepad / numpad hybrid from the first Zephyrus, which could go both ways depending on your preference.
Also making a return is the unique feature of the bottom panel coming off the main unit for better airflow into the fans. ASUS claims that it has figured out the dust buildup issue, but since we didn’t have much time with it, it’s hard to say for sure if that’s really the case.
The same goes for the noise and heat, though we suspect nothing much has changed on this front. Also worth noting that the bottom panel this time felt especially delicate. This, combined with the thin lid and equality slim bezels, gives the impression that it will require more care to go with the better portability.
While there hasn’t been any major updates in the Zephyrus S compared to its predecessors, the smaller (and dare we say, perfect) form factor has definitely renewed our interest in the series. However, there are also a few important questions left unanswered, such as battery life. But if there’s a chance to discover that the Zephyrus S is the perfect mobile gaming machine, then we’d like to take that chance.