What a gaming laptop looks like when you put all the best components you can find on the market; we can best see in the example of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703. So, yours is just to put your hand deep in your pocket, and for “a handful of dollars more,” you will get a top gaming laptop.
1440p screens aren’t standard on most laptops, but you can be satisfied because you get that with this Asus laptop. QHD (1440p) is a good departure from the traditional 1080p screens, although you can also find 4K screens on the most expensive models.
Who needs 4K on a laptop? Most people who do serious work and make serious money from it: designers, photographers, video editors, and the like are looking for uncompromising performance and craft quality. The problem is when you try some gaming on 4K, and a mobile graphics card isn’t intended for that resolution and purpose of the laptop.
Asus has found a golden mean, so it has offered a QHD (1440p) resolution on the 17.3-inch screen, which will be a real hit in combination with a powerful mobile graphics card.
Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703
Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703
17.3 inches, 2560 × 1440 px, (16: 9), IPS, 400 cd/m2, contrast 1000: 1, response time 3 ms, viewing angles 170°/170°,165 Hz, anti-glare
Intel Core i9-11900H, 2.5 GHz (turbo 4.9 GHz), 8 physical cores (16 logical), 24 MB cache, 10 nm, TDP 45 W
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, 16 GB, 120-145 W + Intel UHD Graphics
32 GB (2 × 16, max. 48 GB), DDR4, 3200 MHz
2TB, M.2 PCIe Gen4 NVMe, Samsung
Realtek 1 GbE LAN, Mediatek MT7921 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
1× HDMI 2.0b
1× Thunderbolt 4
1× Card reader (SD)
Aura Sync, additional 2x M.2 slot
90 Wh, power supply 280 W
Dimensions (W x D x H)
15.51" x 10.39" x 0.78"
2.60 Kg (5.73 lbs)
Windows 10 Home
ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 is a robust and craft-quality laptop on which Asus made no savings during production. The case is all metal made of an alloy of aluminum and magnesium, in black. The top cover is divided diagonally into two parts. The upper part has the ROG logo, and the lower has decorative perforations.
Considering the screen size of 17.3 inches and the metal case, the weight of 2.6 kg (5.73 lbs) is not that big, and Asus considers this model an ultra-portable gaming laptop. The laptop looks luxurious and elegant and isn’t intrusive with RGB lighting.
As you lift the lid, the keyboard’s back lifts simultaneously and tilts toward the user at a 5-degree angle. This position makes the keyboard more natural, but it also improves the cooling of powerful components under the hood. The only drawback of this concept can be easier penetration of dust, pieces of food, hair, etc. You have to maintain the S17 regularly. So, always have a bottle of compressed air on hand.
The main attraction of the ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 is undoubtedly an angle-raised keyboard. It’s an optical mech keyboard with a keystroke of 1.9 mm, which is excellent for any laptop. It’s very comfortable to type but much noisier than other models. Of course, this laptop also comes with larger keys, so the keyboard is the closest to desktop variants in terms of ease of use.
Above the left corner of the keyboard, there’s a roller for adjusting the volume. Still, you can also program it for another function (screen brightness, task switcher, vertical scrolling) via Armoury Crate software. In addition, the keyboard comes with support for N-Key rollover, macros, and all the advanced features that come with a serious gaming keyboard.
The RGB backlight comes with full support for Aura Sync, and it’s possible to adjust the brightness for each key separately. The touchpad is well made and serves a purpose, but every gamer will have a better weapon in hand in the form of a quality gaming mouse.
165 Hz 1440p IPS panel
As for the screen, this test model came with an IPS panel in 1440p resolution (QHD), a refresh rate of 165 Hz, an excellent color gamut, and support for G-Sync. The right and left edges of the screen are very thin, and on the top is a 720p webcam of average image quality. In addition to this model, Asus also offers a 4K screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz.
The QHD (1440p) screen is better for gamers due to its lower resolution and higher refresh rate. Asus has also implemented MUX, i.e., an improved version of Advanced Optimus technology that allows direct connection of the RTX 3080 to the monitor (without intermediaries in the form of integrated graphics as in cheaper laptops). The advantage of using Advanced Optimus is undoubtedly in the better performance of the discrete mobile graphics card.
CPU Intel Core i9-11900H
The Core i9-11900H is the best you can get from an Intel mobile processor for laptops. It’s a top 8-core processor (16 threads) based on the Tiger Lake generation. The speed depends on the TDP, and for the 45W variant, it is 2.5 GHz and with turbo mode up to 4.9 GHz (one core). All CPU cores can run at a maximum of 4.5 GHz. In addition, this great mobile processor comes with 24 MB of L3 cache and supports DDR4-3200 MHz.
The integrated graphics are Iris Xe, called Intel UHD Graphics, but you indeed won’t game with it because it’s a lot slower than the new AMD Ryzen APUs. The Intel Core i9-11900H is the fastest you can find for laptop platforms, even faster than AMD Ryzen 9 mobile processors.
Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 comes with a generous 32 GB DDR4-3200 RAM (2 x 16 GB), which will be enough for all the gaming challenges on this laptop. Quality DDR4-3200 MHz memory comes with Micron signature, but Asus can put components from different manufacturers with similar specifications depending on the state of the stock. The laptop comes with 16GB of RAM soldered to the motherboard, while another module of the exact specifications is inserted into the only SO-DIMM expansion slot.
In this ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703, Asus decided to install three M.2 slots for storage, one of which was filled with Samsung’s fast PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD of 2 TB. Since it has three M.2 slots, it’s possible to combine NVMe SSDs into various RAID combinations with two or three disks. It follows from the above that Asus didn’t leave room for installing a 2.5″ SATA 3 HDD or SSD.
GPUs: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 16 GB + Intel UHD Graphics
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU is undoubtedly the fastest graphics card for laptops in 2021. The graphics card is based on the Ampere chip and comes with 16GB of GDDR6 video memory and a 256-bit bus. The TDP is 120 to 140 W, and the RTX 3080 has a Resizeable BAR included.
There’s RTX 3080 mobile GPU on the market with higher TDP, but Asus has limited TDP value due to the compactness of the case and the prevention of GPU overheating. Through Armory Crate, it is possible to adjust the cooling and thus the noise at different load levels. In addition to the cooling profile, it’s possible to change the graphics card’s clock and memory.
I tested the Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 and compared it with the AMD configuration from Asus – ROG Strix G15 Advantage. You can see the results in the following table:
As we can see, the RTX 3080 Laptop GPU is a potent graphics card that’s faster in any gaming test than the combination of the Ryzen 9 5900HX and the Radeon RX 6800M. This result is the 1080p resolution, but we don’t expect many FPS if we go for native resolution and ultra details. In this case (QHD), Cyberpunk 2077 will have a maximum of 52 FPS and Assassin Creed Valhalla 64 FPS, far lower than the monitor refresh rate of 165 Hz.
With Amoury Crate software, you can regulate performance and cooling noise ratio through several profiles. A silent profile means no noise in idle mode due to inactive fans. The performance profile is standard, and you can expect noise of around 46 dB, while in the Turbo profile, you can expect over 50 dB.
Processor temperatures range above 80°C under maximum load, similar to GPU. The case heats up moderately (around 35°C) while the highest temperature is on the exhaust of warm air and is around 58°C.
Connectors and more
The Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 has an excellent range of connectors, which we expect from a laptop of this equipment and price.
The following connectors come from the left:
- power supply
- HDMI 2.0b
- 1GbE RJ-45 LAN
- USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
- Thunderbolt 4 (DisplayPort/Power)
- USB .32 Gen2 Type-C (DisplayPort/Power)
- 3.5 mm Combo Audio Jack.
HDMI and Thunderbolt 4 ports are connected to the integrated graphics, while USB-C (Display Port) is connected to the RTX 3080 for better mobile graphics card performance. You can also charge the laptop via Thunderbolt 4 ports, but much slower (up to 100W) than the included power adapter (280W).
The following connectors come from the right:
- 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
- SD card reader.
The ROG Zephyrus S17 supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.2, but unfortunately, the built-in MediaTek MT7921 lags behind Intel’s AX201, which is twice as fast.
It’s also imperative that the laptop run as long as possible when powered by only 90 WHs 4-cell Li-ion battery. So, when you turn off the external power, Armoury Crate activates the Silent profile, where the screen refresh rate drops to 60 Hz.
Under conditions of moderate use, the autonomy time can be almost 7 hours, which is a great result. Of course, if you reach for a demanding game, the laptop will drastically reduce the autonomy time. Still, in any case, I don’t recommend any gaming without an external power source.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful laptops you can find on the market and can comfortably match and replace a gaming desktop. So, if you want uncompromising quality, design, and performance in the laptop edition with Zephyrus S17, you will not go wrong. In addition, you also get an excellent optical-mechanical keyboard, a good screen, great design, etc.
Despite its larger dimensions, the laptop is relatively easy to carry. Of course, all of the above have a pretty high price if you want the best. However, compared to the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage, Zephyrus S17 isn’t so fast that it justifies a significant price difference, so it’s up to you to compare and think before buying.
If the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage is also expensive for you, then look at selecting the best gaming laptops under $ 1000 because I believe they will satisfy most gamers for enjoyable gaming in 1080p.
Lastly, if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.