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A few years back, Asus worked across a couple of different designs before this ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703. They experimented with a couple of designs to be able to put powerful, robust hardware inside the slim and compact laptop formats, resulting in the creation of the S17 GX703. Most other standard performance laptops must, to some extent concede on the hardware’s overall performance and power allocation to maintain the temperatures and noise levels in the compatible parameters. Although, Asus to some extent, have also such designs, in a way tried to go a diverse course on their top-level models, such as the ROG Zephyrus S15 and Zephyrus Duo or this updated Zephyrus S17. These models incorporate a similar type of hardware and performance which is generally possible only on thicker standard products.

Design & Construction

At first glance, the Zephyrus S17 GX703 seems to be a regular 17-inch notebook. But then…

A couple of years ago, as Asus worked through different designs, they initially proceeded with down-shifted keyboards on the Zephyrus G501 and the GX701, putting the top completely earmarked for the hardware and the cooling system. But then put in an extra screen over the hardware as seen in the ZenBook Duo and Zephyrus Duo models. Nevertheless, leaving the keyboard at the front of these laptops. Subsequently, Asus tweak and utilized a bottom-oriented cooling system and a standard keyboard position, as have been seen in the Zephyrus S15. Then today Asus has this Zephyrus S17 GX703 design.

In the Zephyrus S17 GX703, the keyboard reflexively lifts and splits from the main chassis when the lid is open. Thus, the thermal module pulls in fresh air from beneath the keyboard and from underneath the laptop and finally shoves the hot air out all through the back behind the screen. Moreover, it no longer compromises the laptop’s ergonomics style since it can now allow for a full-size keyboard and click pad. Additionally, as the keyboard’s deck gets separated from the main components, it does not get as hot to the touch as it does on a standard design while running games and other demanding loads. In addition to all of these, it allowed Asus to implement a full-power 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 CPU cooled with liquid metal and GeForceRTX™ 3080 GPU running at 140W of power. All are tucked in a 20 mm thin chassis.

Finally, with a camera at the top and on some configurations with Advanced Optimus, a 90Wh battery, a complete set of ports, and paired with quality craftsmanship, inputs, and screen options, this ROG Zephyrus S17 might well end up be the best 17-inch performance ultraportable gaming laptop of this generation.

The 2021 ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703, is in my opinion the best gaming laptop so far.

The 2021 ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 Streamlined Elegance

ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 Streamlined Elegance

This notebook which oozes with quality feels extremely robustly made in a completely off-black design. The lid is made of a thick slab of aluminum, like the Asus ROG Scar 17 or the Zephyrus Duo, and the interior and bottom are crafted of magnesium-aluminum alloys, like the Zephyrus M16, this puts you in full control with aesthetic elegance. The speed and power are distilled into a slim 17” resilient all-metal chassis with subtle off-black coloring and diamond-cut edges. A stylish Dot Insight pattern with laser-polished accents also blends stealthy in this elegantly understated design. Opening the Zephyrus S17 GX703 reveals an immersive 88% screen-to-body ratio and at 5° angles tilt up the keyboard for superior comfort and cooling. Although the tilt angle is small, it is enough to make a difference. Additionally, the design resists fingerprints smudges for a pristine look, and a translucent accent at the back of the keyboard provides a peek at the power within.

Also, if cables or something gets stuck in between the keyboard and the main chassis when trying to close the laptop, no problem with that. In real usage, the user can easily tell something is not right when applying normal force on the lid to close it. It just won’t close! Although the mechanism is strong and forces to close it, it can probably snap. So, be very extra careful when doing it.

Furthermore, the real advantage of this design is the fact that the status LEDs are perfectly hidden just at the back of the raised keyboard, otherwise, it would be annoying if placed in the line of sight under the screen. It is the same kind of big and bright LEDs that Asus also placed in the ROG Scars. However, it looks like there is a simple way to disconnect these though if you want to. Aside from that, at least there is no longer a light in the power button, instead, it incorporates a sensor much like the one on the Zephyrus G15 and M16 models.

Anyhow, users can also tell this Zephyrus S17 GX703 is compact for its class by the bezels around the screen, by the slimness at the sides, and the typically sized top and bottom. And ultimately, Asus also placed a decent-quality 2 MPx camera at top of the screen. Lastly, insofar as the port selection goes, there is nothing to grumble as yet about as it has a 3x USB-A, 2x USB-Cs, one of them with Thunderbolt 4 support, a LAN, an audio jack, and a fast SD card reader. Plus, fast Gig+ wireless and Bluetooth.

The Display

The Display: Zephyrus S17 GX703

Asus offers two exceptional screen-option for this 2021 ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 series, both of which have 16:9 matte and non-touch, however with two different panels and sync options, to wit.

1) A UHD 3840 x 2160 px IPS, 120 Hz 3ms with 100% DCI-P3 and sRGB, with AdaptiveSync

2) A QHD 2560 x 1440 px IPS, 165 Hz 3ms with 100% DCI-P3 and sRGB, with Advanced Optimus and GSync

The ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703 delivers both fluids, low-latency gameplay, and long battery life, thanks to NVIDIA Advanced Optimus. This technology combines the advantages of Optimus and G-SYNC to bring in the best of both worlds. One, it uses a dynamic display switch (DDS) to smartly shift between the integrated and discrete GPUs thereby maximizing battery life or performance based on what the user does. Two, it also synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the discrete GPU’s frame rate for smooth, tear-free immersion in games. But the QHD 165 Hz would be a preference, if I may choose, for a couple of reasons and features:

           1) It is well suited for gaming even on an RTX 3080 configuration most especially with Ray Tracing.

           2) It is sharp enough at QHD resolution

           3) It is more reasonably priced and more efficient

           4) The QHD configurations support Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus technology

The Performance

A couple of things about the performance ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703. The exceptional GeForce RTX™ 3080 GPU at 140W with Dynamic Boost and Advanced Optimus, plus an 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 CPU unleash top-of-the-line performance in the most demanding games and creative apps. It also comes with up to 3 NVMe SSDs in a HyperDrive Ultimate RAID array, pushing storage speeds up to an amazing 10.5GB/s, thus making large files a breeze to handle. So, with sufficient memory to accommodate the heaviest creative workloads, the ROG Zephyrus S17 is prepared to take on anything.

Full Specifications

> Operating System: Windows 10 Home

> Processor: Intel® Core™ i9-11900H Processor 2.5 GHz (24M Cache, up to 4.9 GHz, 8 Cores)

> Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3080 GPU with ROG Boost of up to 1645MHz at 125W (140W with Dynamic Boost), 16GB GDDR6

> Display: 17.3-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 anti-glare display, DCI-P3:100% | Refresh Rate:120Hz | Response Time:3ms | IPS-level | Pantone Validated: Yes

> Memory: 16GB DDR4 on board | Max Capacity: 48GB

> Storage: 1TB + 1TB + 1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 4.0 RAID0 SSD

> I/O Ports: 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack | 1x HDMI 2.0b | 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A | 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A | 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support DisplayPort / power delivery | 1x RJ45 LAN port | 1x Thunderbolt™ 4 support DisplayPort™ / power delivery | card reader (SD) (UHS-II, 312MB/s)

> Keyboard and Touchpad: Optical Mech Keyboard Per-Key RGB

> Camera: 720P HD camera

> Audio: Smart Amp Technology | Audio by Dolby Atmos | AI mic noise-canceling | Built-in array microphone | 2x 1W tweeter with Smart Amp Technology

> Network and Communication: Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) +Bluetooth 5.2 (Dual band) 2*2;(*BT version may change with OS upgrades.) -RangeBoost

> Battery: 90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion

> Weight: 2.60 Kg (5.73 lbs)

> Dimensions (W x D x H): 39.4 x 26.4 x 1.99 ~ 1.99 cm (15.51" x 10.39" x 0.78" ~ 0.78")

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