IEM Sydney 2019 – ASUS Republic of Gaming Hardware Preview

IEM Sydney 2019 draws in the best pro-gamers from around Australia and the world. But it also draws in the best in movers and shakers in gaming tech.

ASUS has cemented itself as a leader in pro-gaming hardware. So, naturally, it was in attendance at IEM Sydney 2019 to showcase its latest Republic of Gaming (ROG) products.

Far removed from the spectacle and roaring crowds of Qudos Bank Arena, I sat down with ASUS in a conference room overlooking a dreary and wet Olympic Park to preview the upcoming gaming laptops.

Business and Pleasure

Amidst a jungle of cables and power units sat four impressive pieces of hardware. 

As an Apple fanboy I’m immediately attracted to the best-looking laptop on display; the surprisingly light and compact Zephyrus S.

Striking the perfect balance between work and play, the Zephyrus S boasts a sexy form factor that rivals the similarly priced MacBook Pro; no easy feat, since the metallic grey colouring itself is highly attractive. But unlike Apple’s offering, the Zephyrus S provides an actual gaming experience.

Under that sleek hood, the Zephyrus S can come loaded out with a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU; which can scale up to the rig to 1540MHz at 115W with ROG Boost in Turbo Mode. 

While this type of performance is typically reserved for larger gaming laptops, the Zephyrus S manages to achieve this benchmark due to some innovative cooling mechanisms. The Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) features n-blades and multiple fan modes built in to ensure the rig avoids overheating.

Take Me Anywhere

One of the most appealing aspects of the Zephyrus S is how it caters to serious gamers and professionals. 

Weighing barely 2.0kgs, the Zephyrus S features exclusive ROG technology that allows you to optimise the GPU’s performance; thereby granting superior battery life up to 8 hours on the go. 

Then there’s the keyboard. Boy, I just love a gaming laptop that allows you to optimise those strobing key-lights; but sometimes you need to knuckle down and do that cost report Susan from accounting is hounding you for. The GX502 not only provides precise input but also allows you to customise the intensity, colour and effect of the backlighting via exclusive integrated software.

Light Me Up, Baby

Moving further up the power spectrum is the Strix G. While its form factor is noticeably bulkier than its sleeker brother, the Strix G line is still attractive; even to my Apple sensibilities.

The most striking aspect is the Aura Sync. Presented on the table, the Strix G glows with a spectrum of colour thanks to the light strips installed around its base. And well, I just fell in love.

What’s more, ASUS boasts that its Aura Sync technology syncs up to ASUS peripherals and compatible games to provide an immersive, colour-soaked experience. So, hook up your ASUS headphones and watch it and the Strix G put on a dazzling light show.

However, what really won me over was the switchable number pad display. To provide the slim form factor, the Strix G does away with the traditional number pad, but with a quick tap of a small button a dazzling laser-red display pops up on the trackpad. It’s such a small and inconsequential feature, but one I certainly didn’t think I needed. 

Cool Me Down

The Strix G has been designed for serious gamers and as such boasts an impressive 144Hz display. Moreover, the display optimises the GPU to achieve truly high FPS. 

The Strix G can be outfitted with the latest 9th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. Much like the Zephyrus S, the Strix G can reach 1540MHz at 115W via Turbo Boost.

Though whereas the former uses AAS cooling, the latter is augmented with a well-ventilated exterior and integrated self-cleaning dust tunnels. Despite sounding very cool, this maintains performance and increases longevity so you can keep focused on that KDR.

The Mothership Approaches

While the Zephyrus S and Strix G are impressive, they pale in comparison to the mother of gaming laptops; the ROG Mothership G2700

This rig is an absolute beast. Huge and bulky, yet boasting an elegant, almost slender, design, the Mothership G2700 is the perfect marriage of desktop performance and laptop portability. The CNC-machined body requires almost 20 hours for it to be carved solid blocks of aluminium.

Featuring an upright position, made possible with a (very) sturdy kickstand, the Mothership G2700’s keyboard can be detached and folded to suit your ideal position. The keyboard itself is fully stocked, complete with every possible key and quick function you’ll ever possibly need; right down to a ‘flight mode’ button.

Despite its bulk, however, the Mothership G2700 chassis sits at only 29.9mm; a seriously impressive feat for a rig of this power.

Kneel Before the Mothership

The Mothership G2700 comes locked and loaded with an Intel Core i9-9980HK clocked at 4.7Ghz. Further, it boasts a HyperDrive Extreme RAID array for 8.7GB/s read speeds and up to 64GG of DDR4 RAM.

On the visuals side, there’s a factory overclocked NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and an FHD panel with a 144Hz refresh and 3ms response rate. Alternatively, there’s a 60Hz 4K UHD display model for those wanting to maximise their creative side. That model includes a full Adobe RGB display with a wide-gamut colour palette.

Unfortunately, our limited time with the Mothership G2700 meant I wasn’t able to put this beast through the paces. Even still, the unit on display was a manufacturing unit to show proof of concept ahead of the Mothership G2700’s release later in 2019.

If it’s performance benchmarks are realised as well as its visual design and overall form factor, then the Mothership G2700 is well worth its steep asking price.

ASUS at IEM Sydney 2019

For those attending IEM Sydney 2019 this weekend, be sure to check out the ASUS ROG booth in the Expo Hall.

In addition to offering open free-play tournaments and prizes to be won, you can also check out the impressive Zephyrus and Strix lineup at the booth. So, be sure to head on down and enjoy the festivities of the weekend.

For tickets, you can head to the IEM Sydney website, or watch the action on the official stream or Twitch.

 Jayden Williams travelled to Sydney, Australia as a guest of Acer. All accommodation and meals were provided by Acer.

Jayden Williams
Jayden Williams
I started playing video games on my grandmother's Sega Master System (go, Alex Kidd!) and after almost 3 decades haven't looked back. I've written for various gaming outlets over the years and enjoy playing across all console platforms and genre types, though have a penchant for action/adventure, RPGs and loot-shooters. Pokémon is my favourite franchise and was there at the birth of the infamous 'rare candy' hack.

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