I felt pretty special earlier this year when I finally got my hands on a 144Hz gaming laptop from System76. Then Dell came along and launched the Alienware m15 laptop with with a drool-inducing 240Hz display. Not to be outdone by a paltry refresh rate like that, Asus just announced it’s refreshing its 17-inch ROG Zephyrus S GX701 with a ridiculously responsive 300Hz display. And it’s hitting retail next month.
The newest ROG Zephyrus S GX701 will also boast an Nvidia RTX 2080, which The Verge says will will be clocked up to 1230MHz at 100W in Turbo mode. That doesn’t come close to the reference desktop version of the RTX 2080, which packs a base GPU clock 1710MHz. Then again, you don’t want to catch your expensive new laptop (or yourself) on fire.
The Zephyrus S is a unique beast because of its “keyboard forward” configuration. The keyboard is slotted all the way up to the front of the body, with the trackpad (which doubles as a touch-sensitive NumPad) is aligned to the right of the keyboard. Asus defends this configuration by saying it allows for better cooling designs and facilitates a more comfortable “desktop-style resting position.”
The placement of that trackpad is probably irrelevant for the intended audience, though. With a 300Hz display and 3.3ms response time, this is absolutely meant for competitive gamers, and more specifically the esports arena. The mobile RTX 2080 isn’t going to run Control, Gears 5 or Doom Eternal at such high framerates, but it can be viewed as a distinct advantage for Dota 2, Overwatch and League of Legends players.
Here’s what Asus has to say about that:
“Raising the refresh rate to 300Hz represents a 25% increase over the current standard for high-level esports tournaments. At that speed, the screen can draw 5X more frames than the 60Hz panels found on conventional laptops. Paired with a GPU that produces enough frames per second to keep up, the faster display makes gameplay silkier than ever before.
Higher frequencies can also improve the experience when the refresh rate is fixed and the FPS drops below the maximum. The delay between refresh cycles is shorter, allowing the display to respond faster to fresh frames produced by the GPU. When the system is running Vsync to eliminate visual tearing, the higher frequency mitigates visible stuttering that can occur when the display is forced to wait until the next cycle to show a new frame. At 300Hz, it’s ready to draw a complete new frame every 3.3ms, which matches the 3ms response time of the pixels.”
For those of you with sharp eyes and twitch reflexes, this could indeed be a dream machine.
Asus is also planning several more laptops — including those in the Strix line — with 300Hz display in 2020.
Just don’t ask about price. You don’t want to know. . .