Asus Announces New Zephyrus M16 and S17 With a Keyboard That Rises up

Asus laptops
(Image credit: Asus)

Asus is announcing a slew of new gaming notebooks today, timed with Intel's 35-65W Tiger Lake H processors and Nvidia's new RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti.

The new gaming laptops are a mix of old and new designs, flagship Zephyrus notebooks, more affordable TUF laptops, Strix G refreshes, and an update to the ROG Flow X13.

Among the Zephyrus lineup, the Intel flagship is the Zephyrus M16, with Intel's latest and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, as well as a 16-inch, 16:10 QHD display at 165 Hz. That screen is surrounded by narrow bezels on all four sides, allowing it to fit in a 15-inch chassis. Oddly, Asus didn't specify exactly which CPUs it uses in the chassis.

Oh, and Asus is finally bringing the webcam back for this model, too. Hallelujah.

Asus will use liquid metal to cool the CPU and pair it with up to 48GB of DDR4-3200 memory and up to 2TB of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage. The 90 WHr battery should help it out with endurance, but that's something we'll have to test on our own.

The lid has a matrix design similar to that on the Zephyrus G14, but with a film that makes it look colorful from different angles. The chassis will come in either black or white, and both will offer that effect.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 Asus ROG Zephyrus S17
CPU 11th Gen Intel Core H-Series 11th Gen Intel Core H-Series
GPU Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (16GB)
RAM Up to 48GB DDR4 3200 MHz Up to 48GB DDR4 3200 MHz
Storage Up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD Up to 3 PCIe Gen 4 SSDs in RAID0
Display 16-inch, 2560 x 1600, 165Hz, Pantone validated 17.3-inch, QHD 165Hz with G-Sync or 4K 120 Hz or 4K at 120Hz, Pantone Validated
Battery 90 WHr 90 WHr
Availability Late Q2 Late Q2

There's also a 17-inch model, the Zephyrus S17, which will use a liquid metal thermal compound and go up to an RTX 3080 for graphics. The S17 has room for up to three PCIe Gen 4 SSDs inside.

Asus laptops

(Image credit: Asus)

The S17's design borrows from the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo. The keyboard lifts up like the ScreenPad Plus, moving to a five-degree angle to assist with cooling and ergonomics. The 17-inch display comes in two options: a WQHD display at 165 Hz with support for advanced Optimus and Nvidia G-Sync, or a 4K, 120 Hz panel with adaptive sync.

Asus has moved the keyboard to a more traditional spot (it had previously been jammed in the front to make room for cooling, prior to this model's lifting design), and the touchpad is under the keys, rather than next to them. There's a wheel to control the mic, volume, and keyboard backlight, and the keys now use optomechanical switches. 

Asus laptops

(Image credit: Asus)

Lastly, Asus is also relaunching the TUF series. The new machines will support up to 32GB of RAM, include an open m.2 slot for user-upgradeable storage, and go up to an RTX 3060 on the graphics side. The F15 will have a 240 Hz display, while the F17 will settle for 144 Hz.

All of these devices are scheduled for late in the second quarter of 2021, and Asus hasn't announced pricing just yet. Asus will also be refreshing a number of existing notebooks with Nvidia's new RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti GPUs.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon