Asus is out for revenge. In August 2020, the Alienware m15 R3 claimed our Editors’ Choice award among high-end gaming laptops, ending the nine-month reign of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX502. The ROG Zephyrus S15 seen here ($2,999.99) is the successor to the latter system, matching Alienware’s move to the higher-than-high 300Hz screen refresh rate that marks a flagship gamer nowadays. Compared with the m15 R3 we reviewed, the Asus also packs a swifter CPU and GPU and more memory, giving this fast, lavish rig an extra 6 or 8 frames per second (fps) in our game tests. That said, since the Alienware is a better value, at $840 less, we’ll let it keep the Editors’ Choice award…at least for the few days until Alienware, Asus, and their competitors all ship laptops with Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs.
While the late-2019 ROG Zephyrus S GX502 had a 15.6-inch Nvidia G-Sync display with 1080p resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate, today’s ROG Zephyrus S15 model GX502LXS-XS79 has a G-Sync panel with 300Hz refresh and 3ms response time. To be sure, even multiplayer games set to low image quality rarely exceed 240fps and other genres of games come nowhere near—even given the newer laptop’s blazing Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU—but if you want the fastest screen available, Asus obliges.
Acer Predator Triton 500 (0.7 by 14.1 by 10 inches), though it’s a little lighter at 4.2 pounds. Compared with many garishly styled gaming laptops, it’s an understated, sleek slab, with a handsome, brushed-black finish and a prominent Republic of Gamers logo on the lid.
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition and Asus’ own super-deluxe ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, which combines a fire-breathing Core i9 CPU with a 4K resolution display. You can see the quintet’s basic specs in the table below.
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Tears of Steel—with screen brightness set at 50 percent and volume at 100 percent until the system quits.
January 21, 2021