Review of a powerful laptop with two screens ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551Q for 350 thousand rubles

We continue our acquaintance with the new products of the company ASUSpresented in January at the exhibition CES 2022, namely gaming laptops from the series Republic of gamers

Last year we told you about a powerful dual-screen gaming laptop ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550LXS with processor Intel Core i9 10-th generation and graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q… Recently, a new model from the line came to our editorial office. ROG Zephyrus – ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551Q, which, like all gaming solutions from ASUS in a new generation, switched to mobile processors AMD Ryzen 5000 series, as well as mobile graphics accelerators from NVIDIA on architecture Ampere… Official price starts at 248,990 rubles, and the price of our top configuration is 352,990 rubles

PACKAGING AND COMPLETE SET

In terms of packaging, ASUS does not change itself, and its approach is exactly the same as in the previous generation. The laptop comes in a large black box with a comfortable plastic handle and a single Republic of Gamers logo in red. On the back and side, the manufacturer traditionally placed stickers with the model number, various technical numbers and part of the information about the characteristics.

Inside, the laptop and accessories are arranged in two different boxes – a black thick rectangular box and a gray one made of very thick cardboard with an unusual lid. In the first one you will find accessories: a powerful, large and heavy 280 W power supply; small, light and square 100W power supply with USB Type-C connector; as well as two different mains cables for each charger. Also, the lid of this box, judging by the visual instructions on it, you can use as a stand under the back of the laptop. This position is likely to be convenient for those who like to work or play while standing.

The second box effectively opens and lifts the laptop, and one of the covers is engraved with the long-term Dying Light 2 logo. Under the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551Q, the manufacturer put a small cardboard envelope with various documentation: a booklet with information about proprietary software; a card with details on how to get a copy of Dying Light 2 when it finally comes out; brochures describing the laptop; warranty card; as well as a thank you card from the Russian division of the Republic of Gamers. In addition, in the secret compartment, you will find a rubber wrist rest. As before, it does not attach to a laptop.

It should be noted that this time there is no webcam in the test kit, but according to the manufacturer, it will be available in almost all configurations. Also, from additional accessories in the boxes, a backpack and a mouse may be available.

APPEARANCE, SCREENS AND SOUND

Externally, the new Zephyrus Duo has remained virtually unchanged. All the same futuristic style in a metal case and a mirrored ROG logo on the lid. Of the differences, it can be noted that now the laptop is made in black instead of gray, and part of the lid divided diagonally is dotted with a texture in the form of dots. Also in the recess behind the screen, where there are three system status LEDs, there is a relief texture of dots. Among these points are the speaker holes. Despite the matte surface texture, fingerprints remain on the lid at the slightest touch, as before. It will not work to erase them with the same hand, so lovers of perfectly clean technology should always have a terry cloth for such purposes.

The laptop case has become a little larger. It is 27.4 cm long and 36.6 cm wide. The thickness at the widest point of the case, excluding the legs, remains the same and is 20 mm. Another 6 separate rubberized feet increase the height by 5-10 mm.

In terms of connectors and holes, there were also few changes compared to the GX550, and they all touched the left side. Between the ventilation hole and the power connector for connecting a 280 W unit, the manufacturer has placed perhaps the most demanded slot for microSD cards, since such solutions are used by many not only for games, but also for working with video or photography, where these media are very popular. The card reader, like other ASUS 2022 laptops, has a bandwidth of 312MB / s. Also, the laptop has lost a separate microphone jack and now there is only one 3.5 mm audio output for connecting headsets / microphones / headphones. On the right, you will still find two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A connectors and one USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C with support for DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery, as well as another hole for exhausting hot air. 3 more connectors are located in the back in the middle: RJ45 for connecting wired Internet, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A and HDMI 2.0b for connecting to monitors / TVs / projectors. Cooling outlets are located on the sides of the connectors at the back.

The lid can be easily opened with one hand. When opened, the hinge begins to lift the auxiliary touchscreen up to 13 degrees for ease of use. Since there is no built-in camera for the entire Zephyrus series, nothing has changed in terms of the size of the frames around the main screen, that is, there are 8 mm on the sides, 6 mm on the top, and 50 mm on the bottom. On the lower part of the screen frame, the manufacturer put the Zephyrus Duo inscription in the middle, hung stickers signaling about the hardware from AMD and NVIDIA inside, and also applied a texture of dots like on the outer part of the lid, where two holes of the built-in microphone are not immediately visible. The microphone has a noise canceling function.

The main display was updated this time, but judging by the characteristics, only in 4K versions of laptops. The manufacturer continues to use 15.6-inch 4K displays from AU Optronics with 100% Adobe RGB coverage and the main difference is now the 120Hz refresh rate instead of 60 on the previous generation Zephyrus Duo. This allowed for much better response down to 3ms gray-to-gray. The screen, as before, has a brightness of 400 nits.

On a completely black display, microscopic flares can be seen around the edges, but when watching movies or during screensavers in games, they are not visible. This model should be perfect for those who are looking for a solution not only for entertainment, but also for work, since it simply contains more information due to the permission. For games, there is a model with a Full HD panel with 100% sRGB color gamut, a refresh rate of 300 Hz and a response of 3 ms.

As for the additional display ROG ScreenPad Plus, the manufacturer decided not to change it, and it is exactly the same as in the model of the previous generation Zephyrus Duo, that is, it is a 14.1-inch IPS-matrix from BOE with a color gamut of 100% sRGB. 3840 x 1100 resolution, 60 Hz refresh rate and 300 nits brightness. On black, we noticed a couple of microscopic highlights on the bottom edge of the display, closer to the left and right corners of the screen. The thickness of the frames has not changed either – 5 mm on the sides, 7 mm on the top and 22 mm on the bottom. As before, for effective cooling, a 28.5 mm high air intake is located under the screen, the efficiency of which, according to the manufacturer, has increased by 30%. It should be noted that in models with a Full HD panel, the resolution of the touch screen is also 2 times lower and amounts to 1980 x 550 pixels.

The keyboard unit and small touchpad take up the rest of the interior of the base. The power button is located in the upper right corner above the touchpad and is traditionally highlighted in red when the device is turned on. The rest of the keyboard is also equipped with RGB backlighting, the brightness of which can be adjusted using the FN button in combination with the arrows, where “up” and “down” are responsible for turning off / on / adjusting the brightness of the backlight, and “right” and “left” for control lighting effect AURA. You can fine-tune the backlighting through the application, right down to each key. True, the power button cannot be configured, as well as turn off its backlight.

As for the convenience of the keyboard, the manufacturer also did not change anything here, and, as before, it is quite convenient for typing texts. The key travel is soft and quiet. Convenience is added by the presence of a wrist rest in the kit. The F1-F12 buttons are used to use convenient functions, such as controlling the operating modes of the laptop and disabling the touchpad. Above the latter, there are also additional buttons for quick access to the Armory Crate app, control of the arrow button modes, and for quickly turning on / off the secondary display.

Due to the maximum use of the base space, the manufacturer has installed a small 65 x 85 mm touchpad. In addition, below the touchpad are two large buttons that mimic the right and left mouse buttons, despite the presence of gesture support on the touchpad. In the upper left corner there is a touch-sensitive button built into the touchpad for activating the digital block on it. You can use it, but without much convenience.

The acoustic capabilities of the laptop have also been improved. Now, instead of two speakers, there are already four of them in the new product. Two tweeters are located in front of the main display and behind the ROG ScreenPad Plus on the platform, flanking the system status LEDs. In turn, two low-frequency speakers are located in the corners of the bottom under the keyboard unit. The sound quality for a laptop is beyond praise. The speakers turned out to be very loud, and the output sound was clear and without wheezing. I especially liked the way the low-frequency drivers sound, which offer spacious and deep bass. The ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551Q features Dolby Atmos surround sound, customizable via the preinstalled Dolby Access app. It allows you to adjust the sound both manually and automatically thanks to the available dynamic profile that adapts to the content being played. In general, the built-in sound is enough for games, and for watching movies and listening to music. Moreover, at maximum volume, the built-in speakers drown out the noise of the cooling system without any problems.

FILLING, BATTERY, OPERATION AND TESTS

The top-of-the-line ROG Zephyrus Duo GX551QS is powered by a 7nm AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor clocked at 3.3GHz. The processor is 8-core and operates in 16 threads and 16 MB of L3 cache, and the maximum frequency is 4600 MHz. There are two video accelerators in the laptop. The first is AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 with 512 MB of video memory, which is built into the CPU. The second is a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop card with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. Unlike Zephurus G15, whose graphics have a TDP of only 80 W (and 100 W with Dynamic Boost), the RTX 3080 Laptop in Zephyrus Duo already has a TDP of 115 W, and even 130 W in boost thanks to NVIDIA Max-Q Dynamic Boost, which distributes TDP between the graphics and the processor. The frequency of this GPU can reach 1645 MHz thanks to the proprietary ROG Boost technology and even higher with Dynamic Boost.

Cooling of the main components of the laptop is carried out by the powerful built-in active cooling system AAS Plus, which, thanks to the air intake under the screen, allows to greatly improve the cooling efficiency, and in the increased speed mode to reduce the noise level from the system. As with all ROG laptops, the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551Q uses Thermal Grizzly’s liquid metal for thermal interface, which does a much better job of cooling than thermal paste. To remove air, four radiators are used, connected by five heat pipes, which are designed to cool not only the CPU and GPU, but also the elements of the power system. The air inside actively passes its way thanks to two Arc Flow fans with a large number of specially shaped blades for more efficient and quieter cooling.

The laptop has two memory modules of 16 GB each (operating at 1600 MHz in dual-channel mode) with a maximum frequency of 3200 MHz from Micron. One module is soldered on the board, and the second is installed in the expansion slot, which supports installation up to 32 GB, which in total with the soldered ones gives 48 GB, so it should be enough for games and more complex tasks. The internal storage in the test sample is played by two terabyte NVMe SSDs from Samsung, which are combined into a single RAID0 array. Naturally, you shouldn’t expect additional slots for SSD here.

The CrystalDisk Info benchmark cannot identify internal drives that are combined into a RAID0 array. Disk speed in CrystalDisk Mark was 7099 MB / s for reading and 5995 MB / s for writing. A very impressive result. The AS SDD test, as usual, shows much more modest results – 4524 MB / s for reading and 2803 MB / s for writing, but still much faster than the previously tested models.

The laptop comes with a 4-cell 90Wh Li-ion battery. A full charge will last for 5-6 hours of normal use (at 50% screen brightness), such as surfing the Internet, working with documents, watching videos and listening to music. In active gaming (efficiency) mode, the laptop runs for about 60-70 minutes. Charging from a 280W PSU takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes.

In standard (quiet) mode, NWiNFO64 shows the following temperatures on average:

  • CPU – 47 ° C
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 – 43 ° C
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop – 0 ° C

With a long maximum load in tests, the laptop’s CPU heated up to 99 degrees, and on average under load, the temperature remained at 87-89 degrees. In the multi-threaded test Cinebench R20, the processor was able to score 5281 points, and the frequency was kept around 4.2 GHz. In a single-threaded CPU, I was able to earn 562 points at an operating frequency of 3 to 4.5 GHz.

In graphics tests and games, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop performs well enough. All tests were run in system performance (turbo) mode with power on.

In the Superposition benchmark test on the Unigine 2 engine in 1080p mode at extreme settings, the system showed from 41 to 62 frames, while in the optimized mode in 4K the GPU was able to show from 58 to 83 frames.

In the Chinese Boundary 4K ray-traced benchmark, the laptop was able to achieve an average frame rate of 58.4 frames per second with DLSS in Ultra Performance mode. In DLSS quality mode with the same settings, the average FPS was 22.5 FPS.

In the Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition benchmark, the laptop at high settings at 1440p was able to score 8133 points and a score of “High”, and in 4K – 4863 points and “High enough”.

We also tested hardware at 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p in Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and Red Dead Redemption 2:

  • In the Playground race at maximum graphics settings, the laptop was able to produce an average FPS of 64 frames per second in 4K, 94 FPS in 2K and 117 FPS in Full HD.
  • Gears 5 with ultra settings, maximum GI beams and ultra texture pack installed, averaged 36 FPS at 2160p, 69 FPS at 1440p, and 97 FPS at 1080p.
  • The in-game gaming benchmark RDR2 was run on ultra settings with Vulkan API and TAA anti-aliasing and ended up with an average of 47 FPS in 4K, 61 FPS in 2K and 77 FPS in Full HD.

Next, we tested the laptop for performance in 4K at maximum graphics settings directly during gameplay. For testing, we chose three projects that use NVIDIA DLSS and / or ray tracing technologies – Death Stranding, Control and Cyberpunk 2077:

  • Kojima’s ingenious design was tested with DLSS antialiasing in performance mode, where it averaged around 75-85 frames per second. It should be noted that the picture quality in this mode is excellent and there is no need to switch to DLSS “Quality” mode, where the average performance drops by 5-10 FPS, but on a screen with such a small diagonal, you will hardly notice the difference without a magnifying glass.
  • Jesse Fayden’s adventure in Control was accompanied not only by the full range of available ray tracing settings, but also DLSS 2.0 anti-aliasing at 1080p rendering resolution, which should be enough for a given display size. At these settings, the picture on the screen looked very nice, and the average frame rate in complex battle scenes was kept at around 45-55 frames. If you lower the rendering resolution to 720p, then the average frequency will rise to a stable 60 frames, but the picture will become a little less clear.
  • Finally, we took a peek at the Night City light, where we used the Incredible tracing level and DLSS in the Ultra Performance mode. As a result, we got around 45-50 frames in dynamic scenes during battles in closed locations, as well as 30-40 frames while moving around the city.

We were able to fix the maximum temperature of the GPU at around 90 degrees, and on average under load in games it kept at around 80-85 degrees.

In terms of noise performance, the laptop is almost inaudible in quiet mode with a room noise level of 30-35 dB. Under heavy loads, powerful cooling starts to work and the device becomes noisy, and the case near the keyboard gets very hot as usual. The average noise level under load in turbo mode with two fans running at an average speed of 4700-4900 rpm is 47-48 dB, which is within the normal range for gaming laptops. When operating in efficient mode from the built-in battery, the fans spin up to a maximum of 2500 rpm under load and the noise does not exceed 40 dB, and with the power supply connected in this mode, the maximum fan speed did not exceed 4500 rpm with a noise level of up to 44-45 dB. However, even at maximum volume, the rumble of the fan will still be heard in the background, so it’s better to play with headphones.

RESULTS

ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE GX551Q continues to evolve into a convenient, powerful mobile solution for those who don’t have enough screen with them. Особенно в новой версии радует основной 120-герцовый 4K-дисплей, который показывает не только хорошую картинку, но и отличный отклик. Хотя для игр такое разрешение на данной диагонали кажется избыточным, так что игрокам всё же стоит обратить внимание на более выгодный вариант с экраном Full HD 300 Гц, который стоит на целых 64 тысячи дешевле при таком же железе внутри, а 4K-модель больше подходит профессиональной работы. Также стоит похвалить работу над улучшенной аудиосистемой ноутбука, которая действительно предлагает добротное качество звучания.

Author: Сергей Дьяконенко (Madnfs)

Read also: SEAGATE IRONWOLF PRO 16TB Large Hard Drive Testing

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