Overnight ASUS’ gaming brand Republic of Gamers (ROG) held a new product announcement event online. During the event, the company unveiled 2 new laptops, the ROG Zephyrus S17 and S16.
The S17 is definitely the more exciting of the two, so let’s focus on that. The premium gaming laptop has a unique rising optical mechanical keyboard that enables superior cooling. It seems ASUS are hot on this angled section on their laptops with the 15″ Zephyrus Duo using a similar angle to provide a second screen, however its an interesting approach to do that with a keyboard on the S17.
ASUS says the Zephyrus S17 delivers top-of-the-line performance for gaming and more in a slim package with the style for any occasion. Inside you’ll find the latest Intel CPU capable of using up to 90W of power, plus up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU that reaches 140W with Dynamic Boost, deliver top performance.
Given the heat generated by those two parts, ROG is using their Intelligent Cooling technologies to keep everything at acceptable temperatures and avoid throttling while you leverage the performance for gaming and/or content creation.
The keyboard lifts up at a 5° angle, which is designed to improve typing comfort. This makes sense as many of the keyboards in front of our PCs are angled, so why not on a laptop? We’ll have to use it to really understand just how well this works.
Having the keyboard raised, also provides an opening that allows for ASUS’ AAS Plus cooling system with new Arc Flow fans to quietly pull cooling air into the laptop. Combined with liquid metal thermal compounds on the CPU, these enhancements let users enjoy powerful computing in a machine that’s slim, quiet, and cool to the touch.
While most people use a laptop somewhere in the 13-15″ range, the massive 17” screen would certainly be spacious by comparison and with an option for 4K resolution, could actually be usable without bumping up the scaling in Windows 10.
There are two panel to choose from: a WQHD display with Advanced Optimus and G-SYNC for higher frame rates, or a 4K option with greater detail and Adaptive-Sync. Both offer high refresh rates, brilliant colours, and out-of-the box colour accuracy. A powerful six-speaker system with dual force-canceling woofers lets users travel with high-fidelity sound.
When it comes to storage options, you’ll have a three-drive HyperDrive Ultimate SSD RAID array offer lightning-fast access to games and media. The optical-mechanical keyboard delivers precise and responsive input, while the configurable Multi-wheel puts a wide range of useful functions within reach.
Rising keyboard meets superior cooling
The Zephyrus S17 introduces a bold new design that balances powerful processing, quiet acoustics, and cool temperatures in a chassis less than 20mm thin. As the user lifts the lid, the keyboard rises at a 5° angle, opening broad vents that increase intake airflow by 25%. This unique implementation of ROG’s innovative AAS Plus technology brings outsized cooling and performance to the super-slim system. Raising the keyboard also reduces its surface temperature, keeping the user’s fingers cooler.
Additional ROG Intelligent Cooling features further bolster the S17’s thermal capacity. ROG’s latest Arc Flow fans move air quietly and efficiently; the blades vary in thickness to maximise flow, and they’re capped by a special aerodynamic wave pattern to minimise turbulence and noise. When component temperatures drop below 50°C, the fans automatically spin down to 0dB mode for completely silent operation.
Exotic liquid metal thermal compound applied by ROG’s patented process efficiently diverts heat away from the Intel processor. It reduces CPU temperatures by up to 10°C compared to traditional thermal paste. A total of six heatpipes draw heat away from the CPU, GPU, VRAM, and VRM circuitry and out of the chassis through four heatsinks with ultra-thin fins. The thermal module’s updated self-cleaning design uses anti-dust channels to direct particles away from critical cooling components, ensuring consistent cooling over time.
Cooling requirements change based on the task, so ROG offers multiple modes tuned for different situations. Silent mode reduces speed slightly to keep acoustics low, which is ideal for everyday tasks. Performance mode provides the horsepower required to push high frame rates in games without excessive noise. Turbo mode takes the CPU up to full power with a louder fan profile.
Users can switch between operating modes manually with a quick keyboard shortcut or automatically with Scenario Profiles. Available through the ROG Armoury Crate utility, Scenario Profiles let users associate individual games and apps with specific operating modes, lighting effects, and other system settings. Profiles are activated by the foreground application, providing seamless transitions between preferences for different tasks.
Powerful new Intel processor
The latest Intel CPU in the top configuration is clocked up to 4.9GHz, and thanks to ROG’s innovative cooling, it runs on up to 50W of sustained power when the GPU is active and 90W on its own. This high-end CPU is engineered to deliver exceptional performance in slimmer and more portable devices. Its eight cores and 16 threads supercharge gaming, streaming, and creating, and it’s paired with up to 48GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM for fast and efficient multitasking. Creators can produce large projects using high-resolution assets, and gamers can simultaneously stream, chat, and play.
The Zephyrus S17 unleashes high FPS even in the most demanding games with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU. Cooling upgrades allow the graphics processor to clock up to 1545MHz at 115W with ROG Boost and reach 140W with Dynamic Boost.
Like the rest of the GeForce RTX 30 Series, the 3080 is based on the cutting-edge Ampere architecture. It combines new streaming multiprocessors with 2nd gen RT cores and 3rd gen Tensor cores to enable the most realistic ray-traced graphics and advanced AI features.
These improvements enable lifelike visuals while pushing frame rates to new heights. They’re backed by support for NVIDIA Reflex technologies that lower latency in select multiplayer games and NVIDIA Broadcast effects that add instant polish to live streams. It’s also backed by up to a massive 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM reserved exclusively for the GPU. Support for Resizable BAR enables the CPU to access all of the GPU memory at once, which can improve performance in many games.
Next-gen storage options let users load games and access huge files with astonishing speed. Transfer speeds reach an amazing 10.5GB/s—the world’s fastest in a gaming laptop—with a HyperDrive Ultimate RAID array that uses three separate NVMe drives. Other configurations use a single PCIe 4.0 SSD featuring transfer rates twice as fast as PCIe 3.0, and they offer two additional M.2 slots for future expansion.
Immersive 17” display options
The spacious 17” screen immerses the user in games and creative projects. It’s surrounded by super-narrow bezels that slim down to 5.65mm on the sides. Quick 3ms response times minimise blur in fast-moving scenes. Full coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, plus enhanced contrast with Dolby Vision support, produces vivid hues in games and media. All Zephyrus S17 displays are factory calibrated and Pantone Validated for exceptional out-of-the-box colour accuracy, so creators can fine-tune their projects with confidence.
Two panel options let users choose the best experience for their needs. The first combines a 165Hz refresh rate with a WQHD resolution for fluid, responsive gameplay with rich details. This panel also comes with NVIDIA Advanced Optimus technology, which blends the battery saving tools of Optimus with the fluidity and responsiveness of G-SYNC. It uses a dynamic display switch to intelligently shift between the integrated and discrete GPUs to maximise battery life or performance depending on what the user is doing. When running off the discrete GPU, the display’s refresh rate synchronises with the GPU’s frame rate for smoother, tear-free gaming.
The second display option is a 4K panel that offers even more detail while still enabling fluid gaming with a 120Hz refresh rate. Adaptive-Sync eliminates tearing and makes gameplay smoother, and 500 nits of peak brightness ensures a clear and vivid picture even outdoors.
World’s best speakers in a gaming laptop
Six speakers with Dolby Atmos further maximise immersion. Two tweeters team up with dual force-canceling woofers to produce crisp highs and clear bass. Each woofer comprises two speakers that are slightly offset to cancel each other’s vibrations, which reduces unwanted resonance. This helps the Zephyrus S17 produce deeper bass and louder volume than competing gaming laptops.
The 3D mic array offers recording modes optimised for different scenarios. Cardioid mode captures audio sources immediately in front of the laptop, making the user’s voice loud and clear for streaming and chat. Omnidirectional mode picks up sound from the entire room, making it possible to draw an entire group into a call. Blending the two in stereo mode opens up rich recording opportunities for music creation.
To improve voice chat, advanced Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation removes unwanted sounds from both input and output audio. It can be applied to any device and even customised on a per-app basis, so users can limit noise-canceling to chat apps without affecting in-game sounds. Gamers can communicate better with teammates, creators can record cleaner audio in any environment, and everyone can enjoy clear conversation. Because Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation runs on the CPU, the GPU is free to focus on maximising frame rates.
The Zephyrus S17’s magnesium-aluminum chassis is draped in a low-profile Off Black finish that resists fingerprints. This sophisticated hue gives the system an easy elegance that’s never out of place. Diamond-cut edges and a translucent accent behind the keyboard provide subtle contrast and memorable touches of personality without attracting too much attention.
The slim design and understated looks make it easy to take the S17 everywhere. Its substantial 90Wh battery augments that mobility, and when it’s time to top off the battery, fast charging pushes it to 50% in just 30 minutes. Support for USB Type-C charging up to 100W lets users leave the main adapter at home. While the full-sized adapter is required for maximum performance, the laptop can handle everyday work running off a smaller Type-C adapter or even a portable USB power pack.
Comfortable inputs, broad connectivity
The rising keyboard’s 5° angle maximises typing comfort with an ergonomic tilt that echoes the slope of desktop mechanical keyboards. It’s easy to find the right keys thanks to a desktop-style layout and number pad, complete with independent arrow keys and full-sized caps. The touchpad is always in reach with a surface area that’s 125% larger than the last generation.
Ultra-responsive optical-mechanical key switches put users in control. They actuate in just 0.2ms with no debounce delay, minimising latency. The optical mechanism is highly durable, extending the switch’s lifetime to 100 million keystrokes. N-key rollover ensures that all key presses register even in the middle of frantic battles. Per-key RGB lighting adds personalised style that users can customise for different games and workflows, and it also synchronises with the lighting on other Aura Sync gear.
Common controls are easier to access with the configurable Multiwheel in the upper left corner of the keyboard deck. Clicking the roller brings up a menu with different functions. Users can adjust input and output volume, keyboard backlighting, display brightness, Operating Modes, and more. Customisation options in Armoury Crate also let users choose which functions appear in the pop-up menu and the default for scrolling on the fly.
An integrated webcam and fingerprint sensor offer convenient tools for logging in and staying in touch. Traditional cameras use either 2DNR technology that analyses individual frames to correct noise, or 3DNR technology that analyses frames in sequence to improve fidelity with moving objects.
The Zephyrus S17 blends 2DNR and 3DNR technology to ensure users look their best in any situation, even in low-light environments. The fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button offers an especially seamless Windows Hello experience. It briefly caches the user’s fingerprint when they turn on the laptop and then automatically logs in with the correct account.
A rich selection of ports offers exceptional flexibility and convenient places to connect peripherals. Thunderbolt 4 introduces a wide range of possibilities. It can connect to a versatile docking station or an external display with up to an 8K resolution. The interface offers especially high-speed access to large files on external storage. And with power delivery, it can be used to charge the laptop or top off the battery of other devices.
For users who need to connect another display, a USB Type-C port with DisplayPort stands ready alongside a dedicated HDMI port. The SD card reader supports transfer speeds up to 312MB/s, enabling quick access to photos and videos. WiFi 6 networking lets users get the most out of compatible routers, and plentiful USB ports make it easy to connect additional devices.
Overall this new, mega 17″ laptop sounds like an absolute beast and for high-end gamers, or those creatives working on 4K video editing, this could be a great option for your next device.