If you’re looking for a thin and light gaming laptop, your options are surprisingly little. At least, that’s the case for the Malaysian market. I personally love the Acer Predator Triton 500, and now, there’s a promising competition to it: enter the Asus ROG Zephyrus M.
Much like the Triton 500, the Zephyrus M is a slim and light gaming laptop, and it’s adequately powerful too with an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti under the hood. But how does it compare against Acer’s offering in other areas? Let’s find out.
In terms of dimension, the Zephyrus M is actually a tad thicker than the Triton 500. Where the latter measures only 17.9mm, the Zephyrus is 1mm thicker at 18.9mm. However, it’s a lighter laptop: the Triton 500 weighs 2.1kg, but Asus’ offering tips the scales at only 1.9kg. 200g may seem negligible, but you will notice the difference.
To make the Zephyrus M as light as possible, the laptop is constructed out of magnesium alloy. I quite like the material choice here, especially on the palm rest area – it doesn’t have a glossy finish like most laptops. Instead, it’s more of a rougher, matte finish, and it feels really good to the touch.
Powering the Zephyrus M is a GTX 1660 Ti GPU, and in my opinion, it offers the best price to performance ratio in the market now. In terms of performance, it’s only slightly slower than the higher-end RTX 2060 GPU. Granted you won’t get RTX-exclusive features like Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), but in terms of raw gaming performance, you’re not missing out much.
In the CPU side of things, the Zephyrus M comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor – standard affair for today’s gaming laptops. On top of that, this laptop also has 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage.
What is becoming increasingly standard on higher-end gaming laptops is a fast display, and I’m happy to report that the Zephyrus M comes with a 144Hz, 15.6-inch 1080p IPS panel. It has great viewing angles, fantastic motion clarity, and it supposedly covers 100% of the SRGB colour gamut – very impressive.
Plus, the slim bezel surrounding the display is a nice bonus too. Not only does it make for a really sleek and modern-looking machine, it also reduces the overall dimensions of the laptop. But there is one caveat here: there’s no webcam anywhere around the display area.
Input devices of the Zephyrus M are also very good. The keyboard’s decent amount of travel and tactile feedback make for a comfortable typing experience, and as expected, you also get RGB lighting here. If I were to nitpick, I’d say the left Shift button could be longer, though I’m not entirely sure if the consumer version would have a different keyboard layout.
Trackpads on gaming laptops have also improved dramatically these days, and it’s no different with the Zephyrus M. It can track my fingers accurately, gestures work very well, and I reckon I won’t even need to plug in a mouse to the laptop to do anything outside of gaming. That’s high praise for a trackpad on a gaming laptop.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M, at a glance, feels like a really refined gaming laptop with reasonably powerful gaming performance. On top of that, it’s not all that costly either, retailing at RM6,299 once it is available in Malaysia sometime in July next month.
Yes, that is not exactly an affordable price tag, but that’s how much you’ll have to pay for a thin and light gaming laptop in this segment. But until I’ve spent more time with it in a full review, it remains to be seen if the Zephyrus M can absolutely command that kind of asking price.