ASUS definitely set standards last year when it came to gaming laptops with really thin profiles. Being one of the first to use NVIDIA’s Max-Q design to squeeze a top-tier GeForce GTX 1080 graphics chip into the ROG Zephyrus was a feat in itself, but it came with certain drawbacks.
Earlier this year, the Taiwanese company announced an update to its high-end gaming laptop, and it’s called the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM 501). It seems like they heard the collective groans of gamers so they shuffled things around, while still keeping the Zephyrus DNA intact.
Starting from its lid, the new Zephyrus M has that brushed metal finish previously seen on its predecessor. Even the segmented design has made its way here to clearly convey it’s from the same series.
Even the chassis is built with the same polycarbonate material with a familiar Active Aerodynamic System. More on that later.
Just like the first model, there’s no mistaking you’re wielding a Republic of Gamers laptop with this glowing emblem slapped on its lid.
While the new Zephyrus M is thinner than most laptops at 19.9mm, the sizable bezels are still there and could use some trimming.
More branding is seen just below the display.
Connectivity-wise, it has a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack, four USB-A 3.1 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and one USB-C 3.1 port. We’re not fans of the power port situated in the middle of the rear chassis, but one thing that has been conveniently relocated is the entire keyboard.
Last year’s ROG Zephyrus
With the first Zephyrus packing most of its internals at the top part of the chassis, the keyboard was squeezed at the bottom and had to sit side-by-side with the trackpad. This presented a steep learning curve, so we’re glad things are more traditional now.
The trackpad is now back to where we’re used to. It’s a bit small for our liking, but if you’re using it to play games, you’d end up using a mouse either way.
It’s a lot easier to type on the Zephyrus M, not only because of its more comfortable relocation, but also due to the backlit keys having more travel in them than the previous model.
As mentioned earlier, it keeps the same Active Aerodynamic System that aids in keeping the laptop well-ventilated. This works by using a special mechanism which lifts a portion of the chassis up once the lid is opened.
Since there’s better air flow than on other gaming laptops, the temperature is reduced during long usage and demanding tasks. And yes, the mechanism still looks cool in motion.
Edges are chamfered and accented by a colored strip to break the monochromatic approach of the body.
The 15.6-inch Full HD screen of the Zephyrus M is backed by a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, which is an upgrade from last year’s model. It should display faster and smoother movement, especially in intense games. Additionally, since G-Sync is also supported, screen tearing and freezing are kept to a minimum.
Inside, an Intel Core i7-8750H runs the show with up to 32GB RAM. Its software also allows users to switch between two different GPU modes depending on the situation. There’s the Optimus power-saving mode if you don’t have your charger around, while its G-Sync mode unleashes all the capabilities of your graphics unit.
Buyers now have the option to choose a variant with either NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 GPU depending on their budget and needs, whereas the first Zephyrus only came with a GTX 1080.
This means the Zephyrus M is a more affordable option that doesn’t skimp on features and still packs a punch (in addition to being more ergonomically sound). The variant with a GTX 1060 is priced at US$ 1,899 while the GTX 1070 option will go for US$ 2,199. For comparison, the Zephyrus last year started at a heftier US$ 2,700.
Sony unveils PlayStation Classic, comes pre-loaded with 20 games
It brings back good memories
Since gaming consoles today are all about great graphics and superb gameplay, it’s nice to have a break from them and enjoy a classic title. That’s what Nintendo realized with the reborn retro consoles, and now Sony wants to join the fun with the introduction of the PlayStation Classic.
The PlayStation Classic comes almost 25 years after the first PlayStation. It’s a miniaturized version that’s approximately 45 percent smaller than the original release, but it still emulates the look and feel. Here’s a short video showing off the new retro-style console:
Fans of the original PlayStation will be able to relive 20 legendary titles including Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms. All of the pre-loaded games are playable in their original format.
Unfortunately, you can’t put in your old but still working PlayStation game because it has no CD drive. The open disc and reset buttons have been remapped to serve different functions, but they’re nice to have for the complete nostalgic feel. The PlayStation Classic also comes with a pair of original PlayStation controller replicas.
Sony is already accepting pre-orders in key markets for around US$ 100. The PlayStation Classic will be available in stores starting December 3.
Razer Phone 2 launch date confirmed
This year’s best gaming phone?
No more speculation needed: The next Razer Phone will arrive on October 10.
Currently named the Razer Phone 2, it succeeds the Razer Phone that was launched in November last year. This will be Razer’s second gaming smartphone, and it’ll likely be a familiar-looking product.
This means Razer will have a new gimmick to present in order for it to separate itself from the original — plus more powerful hardware, of course.
We’ll definitely see the return of the 120Hz display, which enables smoother gameplay for certain mobile titles. The inside should get significant upgrades as well, such as a Snadrapdargon 845 processor, up to 8GB of memory, 512GB of integrated storage, and at least 4000mAh of battery capacity.
The event will happen transpire in Hollywood based on this invitation sent to select media:
4 big announcements headline the latest Nintendo Direct
Not even an earthquake could stop them from dropping something big
Nintendo did not let an earthquake deter their chances of bringing something explosive to its audience. After being rescheduled to a week after its original air date, Nintendo Direct finally took place and brought with it a whirlwind of game releases. So, if you don’t have a Nintendo Switch yet, now would be a good time to get one.
More classic games for Nintendo Switch
The company’s cloud-based hub Nintendo Switch Online adds more classic titles to the mix before its official release on Tuesday. Apart from the original ten titles announced back in May, games such as Yoshi, Excitebike, Ice Hockey, and Ghosts ‘n Goblins are among the additional titles added. Nintendo also expects to add in a few more titles within the coming months. The company also mentioned that these titles will now feature online multiplayer — both cooperative and competitive gameplay.
Apart from these titles, there will also be new Final Fantasy games for the Switch in 2019. Square Enix will bring Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy X to the Switch through the Nintendo eShop. It was also announced that there will be a remastered version of Final Fantasy X-2 available around the same time as these games.
More Super Mario for the Switch
The popular Wii U platforming game New Super Mario Bros. U will be arriving on the Switch, now in a deluxe package. It will feature the same level of platforming from the Wii U classic, along with your lovable plumber brothers Mario and Luigi. What’s new about New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the introduction of two new characters in Nabbit and Toadette. Nabbit is a magician-like rabbit that will not take any damage from opponents, while Toadette has the ability to turn into Peachette when grabbing a super crown.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe will also come with another game in New Super Luigi U, with Luigi finally getting a starring role in their adventures. Both games are scheduled for release in January 2019, with New Super Luigi U bundled for free. And speaking of Luigi and his adventures:
Luigi’s Mansion 3 announced for the Switch
While Nintendo still claims this to be a working title, it was also announced that Luigi’s Mansion 3 will also come to the Switch. While a Nintendo 3DS title is already on its way in October this year, Nintendo said that the Switch game would be a new title altogether. This is the first time that the Luigi’s Mansion franchise will return to a console since its initial Nintendo GameCube release in 2001. The company also included new features for the 3DS title, including multiplayer and amiibo compatibility.
Animal Crossing finally gets a Switch title
Arguably, the biggest announcement during Nintendo Direct is the arrival of Animal Crossing to the Nintendo Switch. Part of a two-part announcement at the end of the live stream, Nintendo revealed little details as to the release date of the new Animal Crossing title, but it is expected to come out in 2019. Company executives also revealed that this will be a mainline game, meaning it will feature the same gameplay from before.
The announcement came in two parts, with the first part revealing that Isabelle will be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. After showing gameplay footage from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it quickly transitions into Tom Nook looking at his computer in a possible setup as a playable character. Instead, he decides to prepare the town when they stop “camping and smashing,” leading up to the reveal of Animal Crossing‘s release.
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