ASUS has just revealed the new ZenBook 13 UX325 and ZenBook 14 UX425 that have been revamped in terms of form, function and performance with 10th Gen Intel Core processors along with a lighter, slimmer design than ever before.
For the last several years, the Asus ZenBook series has been their preeminent productivity notebooks that featured their lightest and slimmest form factors that has only recently been superseded by the ExpertBook B9 (B9450) but the new ZenBook 13 UX325 and ZenBook 13 UX425 look to give it a run for its money. Not only are they still one of the lightest and slimmest laptops available in the market, they’re arguably one of the rare few with full sized ports for easy connectivity. The ZenBook 13 UX 325 and ZenBook 14 UX425 are both built to be ultra light and slim notebooks with the ZenBook 13 UX 325 being just 13.9mm thin and weighing just 1.07kg while packing a 13-inch FUll HD display. The ZenBook 14 UX425 has a similar thinness as the ZenBook 13 UX325 but is slightly heavier on account of the larger 14-inch 1080P display at 1.13kg. Both ZenBooks also boast of MIL-STD 810G ratings for drop proofing and protection. In terms of colour options, you get two this time around – Pine Grey and Lilac Mist. Both laptops have a similar arrangement of ports with the right side packing a microSD card reader and a USB 3.2 Type A port while their left sides host a full sized HDMI port and two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports that allow you to charge the laptop too.
The interesting feature that ASUS has integrated here with the new ZenBooks is that they not only support fast charging via the provided USB Type-C chargers but are able to take lower voltages, allowing you to charge the laptop off smartphone power banks which is a lifesaver when you’re away from a charging point. On paper, the notebooks are capable of up to18 hours of Full HD payback which is impressive indeed.
One thing the new ZenBooks lack though is a headphone jack but ASUS is bundling in a free 3.5mm-to-USB-Type-C dongle with every ZenBook to salve the pain. The keyboards are another interesting feature and include ASUS’ NumberPads- a numeric keypad underlay on the touchpad that effectively give you a full sized keyboard with either notebook. While exact hardware specifications haven’t been fully nailed down yet for Malaysia, the notebooks are quoted to come with up to an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor with Intel Iris Plus graphics, up to 8GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM and up to a 512GB SSD.
The ZenBook 14 UX425 has however been released for sale in on the ASUS Singapore online store with two configurations – one with the Intel i5-1035G1 variant with a 512GB SSD and Intel UHD graphics costs SGD$1,398 (about RM4,300) . The more powerful version with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 8GB RAM, Intel Iris Plus graphics and a 1TB SSD costs SGD1,698 which is about RM5,223. Once ASUS Malaysia has officially announced local specifications, we’ll let you know.
Many laptops end up in rather plain, safe colours that are either variations of black, gray or white but ASUS aims to walk down the path less travelled as their new VivoBook S14 S433FA and VivoBook S15 S533 FA both sport stylishly eye-catching colours and exceptional bang for the buck too, making them ideal for the Gen Z crowd and those looking for a different yet affordable option for general computing tasks.
The new VivoBook S14 S433 and S15 S533 have a series of design refinements that include chamfering on their keyboard frames, the aforementioned fetching metallic textured finishes and a rather quaint Gen Z touch – an Enter key rimmed in neon green on the keyboard.
The 14-inch VivoBook S14 S433 and the 15-inch VivoBook S15 533 come in a colourways with up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics solutions, 8GB RAM and uniquely, PCIe SSDs with Intel Optane Memory for blazing fast storage.
One subtle difference with both notebooks, bar the size of the display and choice of processor for Malaysia units is that the S14 has a fingerprint reader inset into the touchpad while the S15 does not though they’re look aesthetically similar at first blush with similar colourways to choose from.
Both VivoBooks also have fast WiFi 6 connectivity and fast charging support with the ability to get a 60% charge in just 49 minutes. They’re also both available to buy on Shopee and Lazada. Here’s the official specifications for the VivoBook S14 S433FA and VivoBOok S15 S533FA for Malaysia:
Asus VivoBook S14 S433FA
The more compact of the two comes with an Intel Core i7-10510U 1.8GHz processor, a 14-inch Full HD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics and a 512GB SSD with 32GB of Intel Optane H10 Memory. The 50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery in the Asus VivoBook S14 S433FA has fast charging support with the ability to juice up to 60% in 49 minutes. In terms of colour choices you can get the Asus VivoBook S14 S433FA in Dreamy Silver, Indie Black, Gaia Green and Resolute Red. ASUS is throwing in a free backpack to go with it, the whole affair is priced at RM3,699.
Asus VivoBook S15 S533FA
This larger sized VivoBook has a bigger 15.6-inch Full HD display that also has a 16:0 aspect ratio. The processor is a notch below the VivoBook S14 S433 with an Intel COre i5-10210U 1.6GHz processor though the rest of the hardware is similar with 8GB RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics solution, a 512GB SSD with 32GB Intel Optane H10 memory and a similarly sized 50Wh battery with fast charging. Like the smaller VivoBook S14, the S15 also comes in Dreamy Silver, Indie Black, Gaia Green and Resolute Red.
While larger, it’s also cheaper too and priced at RM3,199.while also coming with a free backpack You can check our review of the VivoBook S15 S533F here.
Shopee and Lazada RM100 discount for VivoBook S15 S533 FA
The first 30 buyers online of the ASUS VivoBook S15 S533F on either the ASUS online store on Lazada or the ASUS Shopee store will get a RM100 discount off their purchase with the special code ASUSV100 that you can apply on checkout which knocks the price of the notebook down to RM3,099. It’s on a first come first served basis so you’d best hustle!
ASUS Malaysia is also hosting a unique ‘ASUS SAY IT!’ product review campaign where you can review your purchased ASUS Laptop and stand a chance to get an RM40 Grab Food Voucher as well as the chance to participate in a lucky draw to get a set of free Bluetooth speakers too! For more details on the campaign swing by their page at https://www.asus.com/my/events/info/activity_SayIt
As the latest addition to their workhorse VivoBook line-up for Malaysia, the Asus VivoBook S15 S533FA brings a combination of stylish looking colourways and updated specs that are ideal for students and those looking for a general purpose notebook.
Events of late have kept everyone stuck in our homes and for many people both office desk jockeys and students alike, their main means to get work done has primarily been a laptop in some form or fashion. But, like tastes in music, not every laptop is intended for everyone.
My college-going niece dropped by one day, asking me, seeing as I’m the resident technophile, what would be an appropriate laptop for someone with her, as she appropriately puts it, ‘cool’ style as she was in the market for one seeing as her present rig gave up the ghost.
When I showed the ExpertBook B9 (B9450) to my niece, she didn’t seem particularly keen, citing the fact that its slick corporate-chic was less for college students like her and more for, as she jokingly puts it, people of more advanced age like me. Granted, that’s a good two decade age gap and her generation thinks the Carpenters is a profession, not a band. I was miffed but reached into the storeroom for something else that had just arrived fresh off ASUS’ warehouses. The response when she saw the external packaging was nonplussed but that changed immediately when she saw the contents – ASUS’ latest VivoBook laptop that’s been built from the ground up for the Gen Z crowd. She cooed in delight at its striking Gaia Green finish and then nodded appreciatively at the price tag before attempting to make off with it before I finished testing it.
It took some effort to pry it from her fingers, including liberal applications of bubble tea but we managed to put the ASUS VivoBook S15 S533FA through its paces. Here’s our review of Asus’ latest affordable laptop for a new generation.
ASUS VivoBook S15 S533FA Design
The ASUS VivoBook series has evolved in recent years, adopting increasingly more unique colour schemes that set it apart from the primarily black or metallic silver colourways festooning most laptops. The latest VivoBook S15 S533FA is the latest example of their aesthetic revamp and the packaging that it came with does not do it justice.
The plain brown box that it is packaged in is as different as night is from day, as the laptop came in what ASUS called a striking shade of Gaia Green; a deep metallic green bordering on teal that graces the entirety of the top lid. The Gaia Green finish also repels fingerprints nicely and it remained pristine even after extensive handling.
What makes it especially interesting, especially for Gen Z users is that ASUS is issuing a set of stickers to further personalise your VivoBook though you can naturally add your own to decorate the top lid, which makes the laptop distinctively your own even in a sea of similar looking VivoBooks.
The rest of its sides, palm rests, keyboard frame and underbody of the laptop retain the usual signature brushed metallic silver finish in keeping with many other contemporary notebook designs. If you peer closer, there are a few compromises in its design but for what you’re paying for, it’s still a very fair tradeoff. The chassis itself is a combination of metal and polycarbonate, with the top lid, and most of the keyboard frame coming in the former and the underbody and display bezels coming in the latter.
Like the Gaia Green top lid, the rest of the brushed metal finish across the VivoBook is equally durable and repels fingerprints and smudges which is gratifying if you have to haul it around all day for classes and work.
As a new aesthetic touch, the top lid itself sports a subtle groove all across one edge to indicate which is the business end when you open it. The build quality here is solid with little play or give in the top lid itself while the keyboard frame has subtle chamfering to give it a classier look.
Rather than the Ergolift hinge, the underside uses 4 rubber stoppers with the two rearmost ones being more prominent than the others to give the notebook a slight tilt for easier typing and for better ventilation for the underside and better sound quality for the downward firing stereo speakers.
Flip it open and you’re greeted by a conventional hinge design along with the aforementioned plastic bezels framing the 15.6-inch display.
Previously, we tested its AMD-powered sibling the S14 M433 which had a similar build and finish but the key advantage here with the S15 in terms of displays is that you have 1.6-inches more of screen real estate to work with.
The top and bottom lids are somewhat chunky by 2020 standards but the left and right sides are gratifyingly slim at less than 4.9mm.
With the larger dimensions offered by a 15.6-inch chassis, the VIvoBook S15 S533FA has the space to cram in a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad. Much like the S14 M433 we tested recently, the Enter key is highlighted in a striking shade of neon green with the keys made out of plastic. They’re functional if somewhat plasticky especially when viewed from an angle.
In terms of connectivity, the laptop is very well kitted out with WiFi 6 GIG+ (802.11ax) support and a full bevy of ports on its left and right sides. Much like the S14, the left side has a HDMI 1.4 port, a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port and a single USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port along with an audio combo jack. The right side packs two USB 2.0 ports.
This combo covers most bases, lets you dock a phone to the laptop to transfer photos and documents while trickle charging it, hook it up to a projector or TV for presentations and Netflix and have enough ports left to also hook up a mouse or separate keyboard.
As far as build quality goes, ASUS has managed a fair compromise of quality without compromising on sturdiness and most of the plasticky bits like the underside are hidden out of sight. It’s a bit heavier than other notebooks of its ilk at 1.8kg but it’s still well under what gaming notebooks weigh and can still be comfortably crammed into a backpack along with its charger that’s the size of a squarish-bar of soap.
ASUS VivoBook S15 S533FA Specifications and Benchmarks
In Malaysia, the ASUS VivoBook S15 S533FA comes in your choice of three other colours and one specification. If Gaia Green isn’t to your taste, you can opt to get it in Resolute Red or the usual Dreamy Silver and Indie Black colourways with all colour variants costing the same price. The model that we’re testing is the retail unit for the Malaysia market though a smaller sized VivoBook S14 is also available with Intel processors. Price RM3,199 Display 15.6-inch Full HD IPS LCD, 1,920 x 1080 pixels. OS WIndows 10 Home Memory 8GB 2,666MHz DDR4 RAM (non-upgradable) / 32GB Intel Optane H10 + 512GB M.2 NVMe PCie SSD Graphics NVIDIA GeForce MX250 w/ 2GB GDDR5 VRAM Battery 50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer w/ 64W power adapter Size/Weight 359.8 x 233.8 x 16.1mm/1.8kg
Compared to last year’s model the VivoBook S531F, the key improvements here for the VivoBook S15 S533FA are a complete migration towards faster SSDs and they’ve doubled the available RAM and the processor to an Intel 10th Gen CPU which are reasonable upgrades to keep it current. They’ve also added Intel Optane memory though it still retains a similar entry-level NVIDIA MX250 graphics card.
One irksome factor remains – you can’t upgrade the RAM unlike older versions of the VivoBook like the S15 S530U that we reviewed awhile back. Fortunately, it has a second unused SSD bay that you can take advantage of to add in additional storage later on.
Unlike the VivoBook S14 that we reviewed last month that had an AMD Ryzen 4000 series processor, this variant of the VivoBook S15 has a more popular 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U processor paired with 8GB of DDR4 RAM that has been soldered in and no additional DIMM slots to add more.
For storage, ASUS has plunked in a 512GB SSD with 32GB of Intel Optane H10 memory to offer faster boot times and enhance system performance. This comes as standard for all VivoBook S15 variants in Malaysia.
Rather than rely on the Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics solution, ASUS has kitted the laptop out with an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card which is an entry level graphics solution.
The MX250 card here is the slightly more powerful 25W variant, denoted when you look at it in the settings with the product ID 10De 1D13. This is intended for larger sized affordable notebooks while the lower powered 10W variant with the product ID code 10De 1D52 is for more compact notebooks.
In terms of synthetic benchmarks, the S533FA got the following when the laptop was set to maximum performance settings on the battery management slider::
For general computing, the VivoBook S15 is an excellent performer though the inability to upgrade the RAM is a downer which is compensated in part with the addition of Intel Optane memory. The laptop booted up to desktop in under a minute, apps opened up in a similarly swift fashion and it was able to smoothly tackle a good two dozen open browser tabs in Chrome.
Like its immediate predecessor, the VivoBook S15 S531F, it’s a solid performer that’s able to handle general duties across the board. It can handle a bit of gaming too like PUBG on low 1080P settings, Saint’s Row: The Third at 1080P on medium settings, DOTA 2 on low settings and also tackle photo editing, spreadsheets and the odd simple video edit or two.
The underside got somewhat warm after two to three hours of intensive use so it’s something you’d best use on an in-flight tray or on a table if at all possible. Even under relatively warm loads, the fan noise was inaudible and the laptop runs in a mostly silent fashion.
The provided display is generously sized and gives you quite a bit of screen real estate to work with enough space to comfortably compare two word documents or two browsers side by side with good colour rendition and detail though it’s capped at a 60Hz refresh rate; which is fair seeing as this isn’t intended as a gaming laptop.
The provided keyboard has good spacing and a reasonable 1.4mm of key travel that makes typing on it a pleasant affair. We managed a good 110wpm on it and the addition of the numeric keypad makes it a good proposition for those who need to handle heavy number crunching like accounting, maths and engineering students.
In terms of battery life, we kicked off our battery test with a full charge and our usual workload which had a balanced battery profile, the screen set to average brightness and a workload involving Google Docs, Open Office and heavy use of Chrome with a dozen open browser tabs.
Naturally, your mileage will vary depending on if you max out your screen brightness and performance settings but we also managed to get a couple of hours of YouTube in along with an hour worth of gaming in too and the laptop managed to last a decent 8 or so hours before it got down to less than 10% which is enough for a decent day’s worth of work though this isn’t the best on test.
It took just under an hour to get about a 65% charge on account of its fast charging capabilities and the fact that it is exceptionally compact and light makes it a very viable prospect to carry with you all day.
ASUS VivoBook S15 S533FA Verdict
Much like its predecessors, the VivoBook S15 S533FA offers a very reasonable price point that brings you a large display, a full-sized keyboard and decent performance across the board for general computing tasks.
There’s some quibbles of course, like the middling battery life which they haven’t addressed even in the prior S15 from last year but it isn’t a major issue if you’re hovering between lectures or short work meetings outside of the office.
For what you pay for, the VivoBook S15 S533FA represents an excellent choice for casual users and for kitting out those heading over to college or uni. If you’re looking for an affordable smaller sized laptop, the S14 S433FA with a 14-inch display is an option as is their AMD-powered variant the S14 M433 that we just tested.
What we likedStylish design, good keyboard, fair balance of performance for price, large display, generous array of ports What we didn’t No way to upgrade RAM as it’s all soldered in. average battery life We say Sporting vibrant hues and an eye-catching design with a good performance to price ratio, the ASUS VivoBook S15 S533FA is a colourful refresh of their workhorse notebook that offers a generously sized 15.6-inch display, an updated 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, Intel Optane memory and an NVIDIA MX250 GPU too.
ASUS has been knocking things out of the ball park recently with the release of their ultra light, high-performing business laptop dubbed the B9 in Malaysia and now their gaming-centric arm Republic of Gamers looks set to repeat that with their ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop that the claim is the world’s most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop and it’s not an idle boast by any means.
Unveiled at CES 2020, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is an ultra-slim 14-inch gaming notebook that aims to redefine the concept of a gaming laptop. Back in the day, gaming laptops weighed as much as a pachyderm and were just as chunky with all the portability of a bank vault.
With recent refinements in chassis materials, processors and GPUs, Asus has managed to craft a high-performance gaming laptop in a chassis of a standard 14-inch laptop with an NVIDIA RTX series GPU, the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 series processors and an impressive 14-inch 1080P 120Hz refresh display all shoehorned into a chassis that is just 17.9mm thin and weighing just 1.6kg.
These savings in weight are on account of advancements in how they create the chassis with the use of magnesium aluminium alloy for lighter weight while they’ve integrated honeycomb-style structural reinforcements for added strength without compromising on durability.
Ogleworthy? Yes, indeed, but wait, it gets better. Just to troll the competition and to impress your peers, the Zephyrus G14 also has an ace up its sleeve – the rear has an AniMe dot matrix display that lights up to depict anything you want whether it’s a corporate logo or the proverbial finger rendered into sprite form. All this is charged via your choice of either traditional DC or a Type-C port via a 65W power adaptor if you’re handling lighter non-gaming workloads and the laptops come with WiFI 6 (Gig+)
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Price, Variants and Availability
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus is available in a variety of configurations. To be specific, ASUS Is shipping in not just one but variants, all at different price points and with slightly different configurations.
You get different permutations in terms of colours, whether it comes with a 14-inch Full HD 120Hz display or a higher resolution WQHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) 60Hz display, what AMD Ryzen processor you get ( AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS, Ryzen 7 4800HS or Ryzen 5 4600HS), the amount of storage on the onboard SSD (1TB or 512GB), what NVIDIA GeForce graphics card you are issued (NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650, GTX1650 Ti, GTX1660 Ti or GeForce RTX2060 Max-Q) and if you get the AniME dot matrix display on the rear.
Of note is that the Zephyrus G14’s panels, whether you get the 120Hz or WQHD variant, are both Pantone validated for colour accuracy with 100% coverage of the sRGB range which ought to endear them to creators.
Starting in on the ground floor, you can get the entry level variant dubbed the Zephyrus 14 GA401l-HHE027T for RM4,499 which lacks the rear AniME dot matrix display, has a 14-inch 120Hz panel, an AMD Ryzen 5 4600HS 3.0Ghz processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX160 card with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM, a 512GB SSD and 8GB DDR4 RAM with a spare DIMM slot to upgrade it as needed.
At the top of the technological food chain is the GA401l-VHE340T that comes with everything but the kitchen sink. Not only does it have the coveted AniMe dot display on the back, it comes with a 14-inch Full HD 120Hz resolution display, an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS processor, 8GB RAM DDR4 RAM, a 1TB SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce RTS 2060 Max-Q graphics card with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM. All this costs you a cool RM7,699 and your choice of either a shade of Eclipse Gray or Moonlight White. This variant will arrive sometime in September 2020.
The official variant that is available now for immediate purchase, designated as the GA401l-HE103T gets you the rear AniMe matrix display, an AMD Ryzen 5 4600HS processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650Ti graphics card, a 14-inch 120Hz display panel, 8GB RAM with a spare RAM bay, a 512GB SSD and a price tag of RM5,299. We’ll be reviewing this particular variant so stay tuned for our full review!
With this many variants, not all are immediately available but most will be arriving this August with the remainder by September with several already in the market right now. For more details check out their official page at https://www.asus.com/my/Laptops/ROG-Zephyrus-G14/
When it comes to business ultraportables, portability is every much as important as performance and it’s an elusive grail that many notebook vendors strive to achieve with very mixed results.
For ASUS, they’ve gone to extreme lengths this time around to fulfill both with their new ExpertBook B9 (B9450) notebook that has just been launched in Malaysia as it weighs under a kilogram.
Depending on configuration, the lightest variant weighs a mere 870g. That’s almost 400g less than most mainline business ultraportables that usually weigh in at the 1.2kg mark.
The ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450) notebook is the premier offering in the brand’s growing professional ExpertBook range. Intended for the suit and tie crowd, it has the enviable honour of having Project Athena certification by Intel; quite an achievement indeed.
All this is icing on the cake as as the B9’s main raison d’etre – it’s exceptional lightness and power is what also makes it an ideal ultraportable for mainstream use.
ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450)build, MIL-STD810G rating and design
Weight aside, our test unit is barely thicker than an early 20th century pulp magazine at 14.9mm with the width and length of a sheet of A4 paper.
To achieve these incredible weight savings without compromising on quality or durability, ASUS has opted to make to machine the chassis out of solid slabs of magnesium lithium alloy to ensure superb structural integrity.
To protect against drops, the motherboard itself sits on several shock absorbing pegs that soften inadvertent impacts. In terms of toughness, the B9450 is rated MIL-STD 810G, a US Military standard for toughness which means it is capable of surviving a 120cm drop to the floor when powered on without damage, endure 30kg of force on the top and bottom lid without damage and generally take the sort of punishment that would total lesser laptops. Materials and MIL-STD810G rating aside, the ASUS ExpertBook B9 adopts a business-chic design with an understated matte black finish all around that feels wonderful to the touch and repels fingerprints nicely.
On the connectivity front, the ExpertBook B9 is well equipped with a comprehensive array of ports. Where ultraportables have been steadily removing their ports to a bare minimum, the B9450 still has the works while still being one of the lightest and slimmest around.
On the left side, you get two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a full sized HDMI port and a micro HDMI port. They’ve also thrown in a free micro-HDMI-to-RJ45 dongle to plug into wired ethernet.
Either of these Thunderbolt ports can be used to charge the notebook. Combined, you’re able to support two external 4K displays via the HDMI port and the other via one Thunderbolt 3 port. In lieu of the RJ45 port, you also have fast WiFi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity.
On the right side, lo and behold, you have a full sized USB 3.1 Gen 2 port so you can plug in flash drives, hard disks and other peripherals without having to deal with fiddly docks.
There’s also a 3.5mm combo audio jack too for headphones and a Kensington lock. This line-up covers all the bases for almost any corporate samurai to tackle everything from presentations to docking all manner of kit on the go. Flip the top lid up and you’ll discover one of ASUS’ greatest engineering innovations – the Ergolift Hinge. When opened, the Ergolift Hinge gently lifts the keyboard up to about a 25-degree angle to make typing easier and to improve airflow.
The hinge mechanism is so smooth this time around that you can open it one-handed, helped also in part with a machined indentation in the top lid for a better grip for your fingers. There’s no give or play in the top lid and absolutely no wobble whatsoever from the hinges that allow the notebook to fold almost all the way down flat like an inverted tent of sorts. The underside is tastefully bare save for four rubberised feet and two grilles for the downward firing speakers.
Up front, the ExpertBook B9 hosts a 14-inch matte NanoEdge display with 1080P resolution and breathtakingly 4mm slim bezels even on the bottom bezel to give it a 94% screen-to-body ratio. The top is slightly thicker than the size bezels and for good reason as it hosts a 0.9MP webcam and four omnidirectional far-field mikes for better quality video calls.
It also has support for Windows Hello so you can unlock the laptop with your mugshot. Better yet, the webcam itself has a physical slider that privacy advocates will appreciate. In our new age of remote working, all these features give it a decisive edge indeed.
The keyboard for the ExpertBook B9 is backlit and in keeping with many other notebooks of its ilk lacks a numeric keypad but ASUS has handily solved this annoyance as their touchpad integrates a light-up numeric keypad. Basically this is an underlay that activates on demand so it stays out of the way when not needed. Next to it in the corner is a fingerprint reader to unlock the laptop.
Better yet, the keyboard itself is splashproof and is capable of surviving a sousing from up to 66cc of water; about a quarter of the contents of a mug. There’s also a glowing neon light bar located at the bottom of the touchpad that lights up when you interact with Cortana or Alexa virtual assistants with your voice.
ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450)Variants and Specifications
In Malaysia, the ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450) comes in a variety of different configurations that all have the same chassis and 14-inch NanoEdge 1080p display but vary in terms of processor they use though all are Intel 10th Gen CPUs, storage, RAM and battery size.
Coming in on the ground floor is the B9450F-ABM0284T entry level variant which has a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U, Intel HD graphics, 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, the aforementioned 2-cell 33Wh battery and an RM6,299 price tag.
On the other end of the scale, our test sample is a retail unit with the most powerful configuration available and an equally princely price tag at RM9,299. Our top-of-the-line B9450 rocks with the following specifications and model number: Specifications ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450) – B9540F-ABM0278R
Price RM9,299 Display 14-inch NanoEdge display, 1,920 x 1080 pixels Processor Intel Core i7-10510U OS WIndows 10 Pro Memory 16GB RAM/ 2 x 1TB M.2 NVME PCIe x 4 SSD Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620 Battery 4-cell @66 Wh lithium-polymer (24 hours battery life, quoted) w/ 65W fast charging USB Type-C Size/Weight 320 x 203 x 14.9mm/ 970g (lightest variant is 870g)
This substantial investment gets you one of, if not the lightest 14-inch business notebook in the world while retaining a rated 24 hours of battery life on its 4-cell 66Wh battery.
It’s a bit heavier than the stock variant which weighs 870g but at 970g our top of the line variant still keeps the weight to under a kilo.
The entry-level variants of the B9450 get their weight savings on account of a 2-cell 33Wh battery that halves the battery life to 12 hours but which keeps the weight to the advertised 870g.
The provided Intel Core i7-10510U processor is a high-powered CPU with a 4 cores/8 threads arrangement that has a 1.8GHz base clock and 4.9GHz boost capable of tackling most productivity related tasks.
Our test unit lacks a dedicated GPU and instead relies on an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 solution. Storage needs are sorted out by two 1TB SSDs from Samsung with the first partitioned into two sub-512GB partitions with one storing the OS for one drive and another 1TB drive on its own solely for storage. This amount of storage space is staggering and dwarfs the stock options from many other competing ultrabooks. We dialled the settings to maximum ‘high performance’, put it through the usual wringer of benchmarks and got the following scores:
3DMark NightRaid 3,911 3DMark FireStrike 871 3DMark FireStrike Extreme 379 3DMark Time Spy 310 3DMark Time Spy Extreme 142 CineBench R20 828 PCMark 2,254 SuperPosition 1080P High 245 SuperPosition 1080 Medium 278
Interpreting these numbers, the ASUS B9450 proves to be an ideal platform for document-based productivity such as processing Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets, web browsing and basic photo editing. It’s not intended for heavy pixel crunching or gaming seeing as it’s reliant on the integrated Intel UHD graphics solution but you can eke out some retro gaming if you’re keen.
In terms of actual performance, the B9450 fulfills the role of a portable paperwork cruncher with deft aplomb. In Open Office and Google Docs, it tackled everything thrown at it including graphics-heavy documents chock full of a ton of slides and attachment images for good measure.
Web browsing was pleasantly fast as well on Chrome with over two dozen open tabs that we switched to at will back and forth in seconds. It was able to handle some light photo editing in GIMP and Canva and managed to tackle some retro-gaming too with modest titles like FTL, Into the Breach and a bit of Portal 2.
The provided 14-inch NanoEdge display isn’t rated for colour accuracy and is capped at a modest 60Hz refresh rate but nonetheless performed in a suitably stellar fashion with deep, vibrant hues on test footage and pin-sharp detail.
The provided quad mic array is perhaps one of the more impressive audio setups in a laptop. While the webcam isn’t anything to write home about, audio quality was excellent, especially for online calls while the provided stereo speakers were loud enough to carry a tune in a quiet room without tearing with fair sound staging and detail. Seeing as this isn’t intended as a gaming or entertainment laptop, these shortcomings are easily overlooked. When it’s focused on its mission profile as a productivity performer, the ExpertBook B9 is one of the lightest, best performing notebooks in its class.
The addition of the numeric keypad underlay makes it fantastic for spreadsheet jockeys while the excellent 1.5mm key travel and slightly concave keys make typing close to a desktop-like experience with the addition of three-stage backlighting allowing you to use it under all but the dimmest work scenarios like a night flight on a plane (unlikely) or a rush job in a pub (more likely).
Granted, hashing out your work in a dingy pub isn’t the best of circumstances but at least with this – it’ll survive a sousing from a pint, a drop to the deck and more while letting you get the job done.
In terms of battery life, it managed to last the equivalent of a full work day on balanced settings with about 9 hours of active usage with a normal workload that had WiFi, intermittent usage of Netflix (for work, serious!) and YouTube plus a few Zoom calls thrown in for good measure.
With light usage and energy saving settings, it was easily able to get close to 16 hours meandering between idle moments, basic web browsing and emails and an hour or two of videos.
This kind of battery endurance is phenomenal indeed. To date, the B9450 has the best battery life in its class.
Naturally, your mileage will vary and dialing it to maximum performance mode and maxing out the screen brightness will radically reduce battery life. The provision of a compact, fist-sized 65W fast charger means it’s easy to charge the notebook on the go with a full charge in under two hours.
ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450) Verdict
In its chosen arena as an ultralight premium business laptop, there are few contenders especially if you prize lightness and performance save perhaps for the 8th generation Lenovo X1 Carbon in Malaysia. In terms of chassis and design, the B9 (B9450) edges out with a slightly smaller size footprint at about 1.5cm smaller in length on account of a chunkier lower bezel for the X1’s display.
The ExpertBook B9 (B9450), even with its heaviest configuration at 970g is still lighter than the X1 Carbon’s lightest configuration that starts at 1,090g and up. Where it edges out though is its addition of a numeric keypad underlay and faster USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports and HDMI 2.0. The addition of a free micro-HDMI to HDMI dongle with every unit is also a tempting proposition.
The ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450) is currently the best ultrabook that ASUS has ever made. Their engineers have lovingly hewn a masterpiece from a ridiculously light slab of magnesium lithium alloy then shoehorned in top class hardware capable of tackling anything a desk jockey would conceivably handle while offering an excellent keyboard and outstanding battery life.
The highest end model is also staggeringly expensive but you get what you pay for and if you prize lightness, battery life and outstanding portability, the ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450) ought to be at the top of your list.
What we likedAwe inspiring lightness, superb build quality and military-grade durability, great battery life, excellent performance, generous array of ports What wedidn’tNot cheap, no touchscreen capable variants, display not colour calibrated, RAM is soldered in We say TheAsus ExpertBook B9 (B9450) represents an impressive new milestone for ASUS with a stunning combination of power and endurance in the lightest chassis in its class. If money is no object and you prize portability and performance, this should be your top pick.
When you’re a high-flying business professional who has to flit from one power meeting to another, weight is a critical factor. No, we’re not referring to the pounds you pack under your belt.
We’re referring to the kit you have to carry about all day which can weigh quite a fair bit which is why Asus’ spanking new ExpertBook B9 (B9450) comes into the picture as it’s currently the lightest 14-inch business laptop in the world that money can buy.
The ExpertBook B9 comes in a variety of configurations but at its lightest, weighs a mere 870g while being 14.9mm thin and packing the profile of a sheet of A4 paper which makes it an absolute delight to carry around. These weight savings are achieved on account of the use of magnesium lithium alloy in its construction, which gives it incredible weight savings.
While it’s light, the laptop is no pushover in the work department as it’s also certified under Intel’s Project Athena, which means it meets their lofty requirements as a business ultraportable for size, connectivity, boot-up times, charging speed, performance and battery life.
Asus ExpertBook B9 (B9450) Specifications and Price
In terms of hardware, the ExpertBook B9 can be equipped with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB DDR4 RAM and two 2TB PCIe 3.0 x 4 solid state drives.
It doesn’t have a GPU but relies on an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 solution. The display itself has super thin bezels on all sides in order to fit in a 14-inch Full HD display into a 13-inch form factor with an impressive 94% screen-to-body ratio.
In keeping with its emphasis as a business laptop, the ExpertBook B9 is armed for bear on the connectivity front. It has WiFI 6 (802.11ax) connectivity, a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, a full sized HDMI port and a bundled dongle that lets you hook up to wired Ethernet.
Ultimately, you can hook up to two external 4K displays via the HDMI port and one of the Thunderbolt ports, which adds volumes to your potential for off-site productivity
It also has an array of business-friendly extras like a shutter on the webcam, a numeric keypad underlay on the touchpad that lets you crunch spreadsheets like a boss and, above all, almost absurd durability with MIL-STD810G grade certification so it’ll take modest drops and survive. It’s also able to shrug off a spill or two on the keyboard without any damage.
As far as endurance is concerned, the ExpertBook B9 can keep going until the cows come home as it has a rated 24 hours of battery life on its built-in 4-cell lithium-polymer 66W battery. It also packs rapid fast charging with the ability to juice up to 60% in 50 minutes.
Naturally, all this costs a pretty penny and the ExpertBook B9 will come in a variety of configurations that vary based on processor, RAM and storage though all will have the same 14-inch FUll HD display. The highest end variant for Malaysia retails for RM9,299 and will have an Intel Core i7-10510U, 16GB RAM, 2 x 1TB SSDs along with a 66WHr battery. You can check out our review of the highest end variant of the ExpertBook B9 (B9450) here.
The entry level variant will have an Intel Core i5-10210U processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD and a 4-cell 33Wh battery for RM6,299. There are also 3 other variants that are a balance between these two extremes with a combination of specs of both.
Launched recently in Malaysia and first seen at CES 2020, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 notebook embodies two aspects of notebook design that we hold very dear to our hearts: value for money and durability.
Unlike many other competing notebooks, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 eschews the use of Intel’s processors for the new 4th generation AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processors paired with NVIDIA RTX series graphics.
ASUS is also one of the few brands who have opted to ditch the ghastly looking approach of jamming every possible orifice and surface of the notebook with RGB lighting and have instead opted for a more practical, military-esque aesthetic which we appreciate.
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Build and Design
Externally, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 has a distinctive angular silhouette with a ruggedised chassis made of polycarbonate and metal finished in a shade of Fortress Gray with matte black trim all around.
In keeping with its rugged sensibilities, the finish repels fingerprints nicely though the whole affair is a bit chunky and on the heavy side for a gaming notebook at 2.3 kilos. This hasn’t even factored in its power pack which also weighs a good kilo on its own.
To offer additional structural reinforcement and durability, ASUS has designed a unique honeycomb like framework on the interior that reinforces the chassis while offering some weight savings. They’ve also mirrored this as an aesthetic touch on the underside of the notebook. In keeping with its gaming pedigree, the notebook adds in a pair of downward firing speakers placed on the underside approximately where the palm rests are.
One interesting aspect of the TUF A15’s design is its angular cut off corners on the edges. They aren’t merely a design affectation as they help to minimise edge-on impact damage in the case of drops.
If you had a single edged point like on the corner of a monitor or phone, it concentrates all that impact damage onto one point which can cause significant damage; it’s a subtle but ingenious design feature.
According to ASUS the TUF Gaming A15 is rated for MIL-STD-810H for drops, vibrations and extreme temperatures, all of which would turn other notebooks into expensive art deco sculptures. While we certainly can’t put this to the test with a review unit, this offers owners extra peace of mind.
Flip the lid open and you can appreciate the amount of engineering that has gone into the hinges as they’re built like a tank without any wobble. The hinge mechanism itself is extremely smooth but needs two hands to open as the base jerks up slightly if you attempt to open it one-handed.
The top lid itself which is shod in aluminium is similarly robust without any give or play while offering beautifully slim bezels on all three corners save for the bottom to ensure structural durability. To add to the tough look, each corner of the top lid also has a faux screw printed into its though it’s purely for aesthetics.
This hexagonal motif is extended to the TUF Gaming’s striking looking palm rests which have brushed chrome accents and its honeycomb-shaped power button. To their credit, they’ve managed to integrate a full sized keyboard here with a dedicated numeric keypad and translucent W,S,A and D keys for FPS gamers as well as a slightly longer than usual space bar.
The only concession to RGB lighting on the TUF Gaming A15 here is its keyboard which offers simple single-zone backlighting that can be tweaked via the ASUS Armoury app and Aura Sync support to change colours on cue with other RGB-embellished ASUS hardware. You can pick from over a million colours under the rainbow.The only downside is that it lacks per key lighting but that’s not an issue in our books.
Aesthetics aside, ASUS has put a significant amount of thought into port placement with the right side, which traditionally has a mouse plonked next to it mostly bare save for a single USB 2.0 Type A port as well as a Kensington lock slot.
The left side of the notebook is where the action is at with the DC-IN for power, an Ethernet port, a HDMI 2.0b port to plug in another monitor, projector or TV, a pair of USB 3.2 Ge 1 Type A ports and a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port which lets you project a feed via DisplayPort 1.4 alternate mode to a G-SYNC capable monitor.
As an extra bonus, ASUS is also bundling in a free backpack with a roll-up top along with a sticker sheet to personalise your notebook.
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 specifications
In Malaysia, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 comes in a plethora of variants alongside the larger sized A17. Our particular test unit was just a notch short of the highest end, most powerful variant that is otherwise similar save for the choice of processor with the higher end variant coming with an AMD Ryzen 9 4900H processor. Much lower down the line are entry-level variants that have an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU with prices just above RM3,499 and up.
Here’s what our particular review unit, which is also designated as variant model FA506IV came with:
Specifications for ASUS TUF Gaming A15 FA506IV Price RM5,699 Display 15.6-inch Full HD matte IPS LCD, 1,920 x 1080 pixels 144Hz refresh rate Processor AMD Ryzen 7-4800H Memory 16GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM (2 x SO-DIMM slots) / 1TB PCIE NVME M.2 SSD (2 M.2 slots + 1 hard disk slot) Graphics NVIDIA RTX 2060 w/ GDDR6 6GB VRAM Battery 48Wh Size/Weight 359 x 256 x 25mm / 2.3kg
Coming as standard for all A15 local variants is a 15.6-inch LED backlit IPS matte LCD with a 144Hz refresh rate. One thing to note is that the screen itself isn’t colour calibrated which may give content creators pause but the high refresh rate means that it’s superb for gaming, which is what the A15’s original mission profile is about.
For memory, the TUF Gaming A15 comes with 16GB DDR4 3,200Hz RAM split across two 8GB sticks in two SO-DIMM sockets as standard. You have the option to swap them out for up to 32GB of RAM at your own discretion.
On that note, the TUF Gaming A15 has a very upgrade friendly chassis as you’re able to gain easy access to the aforementioned RAM, SSD and hard disk bays on the underside with the addition of a pop-up screw that makes it easier to open up the chassis without the risk of damaging it
Another thing to note is that the TUF Gaming A15 notebooks intended for the Malaysia market ditch the larger 90Whr battery seen in selected regions for a smaller 48Whr battery.
The tradeoff, is that you get more space to add an extra hard disk bay alongside the spare SSD bay. Local units come with either a 512GB or 1TB PCIe Gen3 solid state drive but our test unit came with a generous 1TB SSD which offers plenty of space for content.
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Performance and Benchmarks
The pairing of an AMD Ryzen 7-4800H processor paired with the NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM in the TUF Gaming A15 is an interesting design choice that optimises performance and affordability as Intel’s processors come with a premium.
Announced earlier this year at CES 2020, the AMD Ryzen 7-4800H mobile processor is built on an 7nm FinFET manufacturing process with a total of 8 CPU cores and 16 threads, with a base clock speed of 2.9GHz that can be boosted up to a maximum of 4.2GHz.
On paper, they have a performance envelope that’s nearly as fast as their desktop siblings The bundled 16GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM is more than sufficient for tackling most AAA games. When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, the TUF Gaming A15 acquitted itself in a very respectable manner with the following scores –
Time Spy Extreme2,414 points Time Spy 4,619 points Port Royal 954 points Fire Strike Ultra3,550 Fire Strike Extreme 6,962 Fire Strike 14,430
PCMark 10 5,473 points PCMark 10 Extended 6,547 Cinebench R20 1,427 points Deus Ex: Mankind Divided benchmark 60.5fps Modern Warfare Warzone: 60fps average Far Cry 5 Internal benchmark 88fps average
When we put the TUF Gaming A15 through its paces with some serious gaming it did not disappoint. We first put it through Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in the built-in benchmark and through an hour or two of gameplay and it managed to run smoothly with Ultra textures and 144Hz refresh rate. You can refer to the screencaps of our benchmarks here:
The insanely popular game Modern Warfare: Warzone was also put to the test and we managed to get a steady 63fps average with graphic settings set on High all around on Full HD resolution.
As the game lacks an internal benchmark, we’ve averaged FPS across several hours of gaming in Warzone.There was a bit of initial lag on account of the need to load all the textures in several games but this is pretty much expected for a game that has a ridiculous 90GB in storage size and is getting bigger by the month.
Frame rates tend to dip slightly down to 55fps if there’s more action onscreen like incoming airstrikes or in the initial parts of the game where there are still multiple surviving combatants but picks up in the middle and later stages where there are less survivors.
Even with intensive gaming over the course of several hours, the notebook’s cooling array managed to keep things at a fairly balmy 86°C while the fans ran at a decent 39.5 decibels on average and ramping up slightly to 45dB or so when gaming.. Fortunately, none of the critical parts like the keyboard or palm rests incurred any thermal dispersion issues with most of the heat vented to the underside and rear.
The 1080P 144Hz panel on the TUF Gaming A15 did not disappoint. While it’s not colour calibrated, it nonetheless was able to serve up pleasingly well saturated hues and pin-sharp detail onscreen for movies and gaming.
On the audio front, the paired stereo speakers on the A15 don’t boast of any exotic pedigree but do the job, with a relatively lively sound stage for Warzone so that you can tell where incoming rounds are zinging in from and sufficient clarity for Netflix and YouTube videos.
The bass is more than enough to register incoming grenades, RPG rounds and whatnot in games and managed to give Bear McCreary’s ‘Prelude to War’ a decent sounding off.Having a good keyboard can make or break a gaming notebook and it’s pleasing to see that ASUS has put in the effort to ensure that the A15’s keyboard is up to snuff. There’s a good amount of key travel here and enough of a crisp response that it does equally well for touch typing and for gaming too. We managed a respectable 110wpm in a typing test on the A15’s keyboard.
The one gripe we have is the shortcut implementation on the direction keys. Typically for gaming notebooks, they’re set to control screen volume and brightness but in the case of the A15, they’re set to swap Aura Sync profiles and to control keyboard RGB brightness.
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 Price, Battery Life and Conclusion
The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 has a 48Whr battery that can offer reasonably fair endurance in the field for non-gaming related tasks. With WiFi on and modest web browsing and editing on Google Docs as well as a few hours of YouTube on the side with screen brightness set to 50%, the notebook managed to last short of 8 hours of use. If you’re using it for gaming, that estimate goes down drastically and we managed to get about 3 hours and 30 minutes of gaming on Warzone away from the mains.
As it stands, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 notebook is a truly impressive contender that offers exceptional performance and durability for what you pay for. For RM5,699, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 offers an excellent price-to-performance ratio.
The respectable combination of a 144Hz display, a powerful Ryzen 7 4800H CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and a combination of 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD allow it to tackle any game currently in the market with enough pixel crunching power to handle work-intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop and serious video editing work too.
If you’re not obsessed with getting the slimmest or shiniest gaming notebook in the market and want practical design and stellar performance, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is your best bet. If you need even more performance, you can opt for the top of the line variant of the A15 with an AMD Ryzen 9-4900H CPU and much of the same hardware which costs RM5,899.
What we liked Exceptional MIL-STD-810H rating, striking military design, good keyboard, easy to access chassis for upgrades, excellent cooling setup, vibrant 144Hz display What we didn’t A bit chunky, display not sRGB or DCI-P3 rated, a bit plasticky We say The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 represents a superbly tuned combination of performance and rugged good looks that lets you tackle the latest games and heavy duty content creation at a reasonable price point
Asus Malaysia and AMD today rolled out a host of AMD Ryzen 4000 series mobile processor powered laptops for Malaysians in the form of the new Zephyrus G15, the TUF Gaming A15 and A17 as well as the VivoBook S14 M433.
The ROG Zephyrus G15 is intended as an ultra-slim, highly portable, high-performance gaming laptop that’s ideal for creators and gamers alike while the TUF Gaming A15 and A17 are designed as durable yet reasonably priced gaming rigs with MILSPEC-grade durability. Last but not least, the new generation of VivoBook S14 M433 notebooks are designed for beautiful aesthetics with sufficient performance as daily workhorses.
Here’s how they stack up and all the listed notebooks are available nationwide in Malaysia. For more details check out https://www.asus.com/my/
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 continues the brand’s lineage of crafting light yet high-performing rigs as it comes with a 15.6-inch 144Hz Full HD IPS panel with Adaptive sync and comes with an AMD Ryzen 7-4800HS processor paired with an NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti Max-Q with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM.
The rest of the hardware consists of 16GB DDR4 RAM with an 8GB stick soldered in and an additional 8GB in the notebook’s sole SODIMM slot. If needed, you can augment with up to 16GB for a maximum of 24GB RAM.
Storage is sorted out by a 1TB PCiE NVME M.2 SSD with two additional M.2 SSD bays to augment space if needed. To keep it juiced, the ROG Zephyrus G15 has a 76WHr 4-cell lithium ion battery that should offer a decent amount of endurance for work and gaming. Of note is that the ROG Zephyrus G14 is powered by Type-C PD so it’s a lot more compact and easier to charge in the field. It’s incredibly portable as well at a svelte 19.9mm thin and a relatively light 2.1kg carry weight for a gaming laptop.
In Malaysia, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 will retail for RM5,299 and will come with a free ROG backpack to tote it around too. Malaysia will also see a high-powered Zephyrus G14 first seen at CES 2020 that is slated for an imminent appearance in the near future.
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 and A17
Originally known as the TUF Gaming FX505 series but rebadged to the catchier sounding A-series, the ASUS TUF Gaming range is enjoying a renaissance of sorts this year with the power and affordability afforded by AMD’s new Ryzen range lending it a better performance envelope while keeping costs at a fair median. The TUF Gaming series renowned sturdiness has been retained and the notebooks are all MIL-STD-810H rated for durability so they’re more than able to survive the odd ding or dent in the field.
This time around, they’re shipping in nine possible variants that differ in terms of storage, what Ryzen CPU they pack, available storage, GPU and also what screen size they pack (either 15.6-inch (denoted by the A15 suffix) and the 17.3-inch (the A17 suffix) though all will have 144Hz panels.
The highest end variant will cost RM5,899 come with a 15.6-inch 144Hz 1080P display with Adaptive sync, a Ryzen 9-4900H processor paired with 16GB DDR4 3,200MHz RAM, an NVIDIA RTX2060 GPU with GDDR6 6GB VRAM and a 1TB PCIE NVME M.2 SSD though it also has a spare hard disk slot if you need to add in additional storage. Power is provided by a 48Wh lithium-polymer battery and regardless of variant, all TUF Gaming A15 and A17 notebooks in Malaysia will come in a shade of Metal Fortress Gray and ship with a free TUF backpack. All TUF Gaming notebooks are now immediately available in Malaysia.
Asus VivoBook S14 M433
The workhorse Asus VivoBook S14 M433 range comes at surprisingly reasonable prices this time around with a performance envelope intended for light photo editing and casual paperwork. The highest end variant clocks in at RM3,199 and only comes in Indie Black but has a 14-inch Full HD panel, an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 3.6GHz processor, non-expandable 8GB DDR4 RAM and an a 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD.
It also has a full suite of slots that include a HDMI 1.4, 2 USB 2.0 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A and a USB Gen 1 Type C port as well as a microSD card reader. The VivoBook S14 is also rated for up to 11 hours of usage with a 49 minute charge getting you a 60% charge from a dry state.
The more affordable variant retails for RM2,899 and retains similar specifications as the higher end model save for the use of an AMD Ryzen 5 5400U 2.4GHz processor to save on cost. Fortunately you get more colours to choose from in the cheaper model with your choice of Gaia Green, Indie Black and Dreamy White. Both variants of the Asus VivoBook S14 M433 are available nationwide, ship with a free backpack and are pre-installed with Office 2019 which is a very nice bonus.
Heat is the enemy of any form of electronics, more so gaming notebooks that can generate searing amounts of heat that can fry eggs but Asus’ vaunted gaming marque, the Republic of Gamers aims to tackle it head on as they will be integrating Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid-thermal compounds as standard for their entire 2020 ROG gaming laptop range with 10th generation Intel Core processors.
The Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid-thermal compounds aka liquid metal are capable of superior heat dissipation, decreasing temperatures by 10-20°C in order to free up more thermal headroom and thus better performance while also reducing the effort (and noise) by cooling fans trying to keep the heat manageable.
Prior to this, the application of liquid metal thermal compounds needed to be laboriously done by hand which increased the cost and decreased output seeing as there’s only so many one chap with a brush and time on their hands can do in a given day but ROG has patented a customised, unique machine that applies a perfect coat each and every time onto the CPU.
Watch the video to see ROG’s liquid metal application machine in action as it makes 17 specific passes to ensure complete coverage of the CPU. To prevent spillage onto other components, a special stainless steel shim is put in place to ensure the liquid metal compound stays where it’s supposed to be. It’s poetry in motion, really.
Gaming notebook pundits will also note that ROG’s Mothership notebook, a behemoth that was first seen at last year’s Computex 2019 was the first to benefit from this Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid-metal thermal compound.
The fact that it’s seeing widespread deployment now in their atest notebooks like the new Zephyrus Duo 15, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 and their new Strix G15 is a welcoming bonus indeed as it’ll ensure all their gaming notebooks, moving forward, will offer better performance across the board. For more details on Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid-metal thermal compound, you can have a look at their page here.
Even in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Asus is going in at full tilt with a slew of new models from their Republic of Gamers (ROG) line-up that include this rather princely beast of a gaming laptop dubbed the Strix SCAR 17.
While most would figure the designation SCAR to be related to some cosmetic mishap, it’s not. The term SCAR, as ROG would put, pays homage to the Fabrique Nationale Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle aka the FN SCAR which has been adopted in limited numbers by the US military.
Homage aside, the ROG Strix SCAR 17, like its namesake, is a powerful and sturdy looking gaming rig that’s designed for intensive gaming and for e-sportsmen looking to gain an edge over the competition.
ROG Strix SCAR 17 Specifications
The hardware is suitably impressive with the ROG Strix SCAR 17 coming with a 17.3-inch Full HD display that has a blazing fast 300Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. The hardware consists hasn’t been fully nailed down yet but can include up to a 10th generation Intel Core i9-10980HK processor and up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics card.
Seeing the beefy hardware on offer, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 also packs equally impressive cooling hardware too with four heatsinks versus the three seen in more conventional Strix gaming rigs along with an extended heat spreader and a whopping six heatpipes with the slight tradeoff of a 1.4mm increase in height to accommodate the more powerful cooling module.
The laptop also integrates an enhanced thermal conducting compound on the CPU versus the usual thermal paste in order to dissipate heat better and which will see use in other Asus laptops further down the line such as the ROG Strix G15 Electro Pink edition and the massive Zephyrus Duo 15.
Depending on region, you can get up to 32GB DDR4 RAM shoehorned into it along with the option for a pair of M.2 NVMe PCIE 3.0 SSDs in RAID 0 configuration with an additional bay for a storage SSD for a grand total of 3 SSDs.
Other mod-cons include a backlit per-key RGB backlit Chiclet style keyboard, WiFi 6 (Gig+) (802.11ax) support augmented by ROG’s RangeBoost tech for stronger signal strength, Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and a rather nifty unique underglow light bar that wraps all around the base of the laptop that can be customisable in the ROG Aura Creator application bundled with the laptop.
There’s no word on price or local availability yet but we’ll keep you posted!