Pre-orders begin for ASUS Sky Selection 5 Pro: Top-tier 13th Gen i9, RTX4060 for $8499.

Are any of you eagerly anticipating the launch of new laptops lately? After all, the first batch of Intel Core Ultra models are already on the market, so won’t other new products be far behind? However, there seems to be little change in the gaming laptop market currently. Take for instance the ASUS ROG Zephyrus 5 Pro Series, which is currently available for pre-order. This laptop is still equipped with a 13th generation Core processor and an RTX40 series gaming graphics card. However, two models with “forthcoming CPUs” are being introduced by ASUS and we will only know what these CPUs are on January 9th.

Let’s discuss the models with known specifications. The cheapest among them features a 13th generation Core i9. Yes, the most affordable model. It’s equipped with a Core i9-13980HX processor, paired with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. The screen features a high-resolution display of 2560×1600, a 165Hz refresh rate, and a peak brightness of 400 nits. The graphics card is the full-powered variant of the RTX4060. The starting price is 8499 yuan, but the green version will cost you 8799 yuan. Upgrading the graphics card to an RTX4070 brings the price up to 9999 yuan.

Considering the configuration options offered by ASUS for the ROG Zephyrus 5 Pro, there’s also a Core i7-13650HX model available. But the price of this configuration will only be revealed on January 9th. As for the yet-to-be-released CPU, it’s possible we may be looking at a specific Core Ultra processor. Comparing it with the existing 13th gen Core, we cannot yet definitively say whether using a new CPU would be an upgrade or a downgrade.

In terms of graphic cards, ASUS offers RTX4060 and RTX4070 options. However, these specifications are slightly different from what we know of standalone notebook graphics. For instance, the full-powered RTX4060 only has a 130W power limit, not 140W, which is available only in the RTX4070. Yet, considering these laptops belong to the Zephyrus line, this should not be an issue.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus 5 Pro offers tri-mode output, which may be more user-friendly for machines equipped with the Core Ultra. After all, the integrated graphics on the Core i9-13980HX only has 32 EU. While it can’t accomplish much in integrated graphics mode, the theoretical performance of the integrated graphics on the Core Ultra should be much stronger.

In terms of I/O expansion, nearly all ports are located on the left side, with only a single USB3.2 on the right. Altogether, it incorporates a 2A2C layout, including a Thunderbolt 4 port. It supports 8K60Hz full bandwidth HDMI 2.1, and additionally includes an Ethernet port. However, it may still feel somewhat lacking.

This laptop also comes with a 90Wh battery, which is where the advantage of integrated graphics comes into play. If you turn off the RTX4060, you will achieve a very long battery life for office work. It also supports 100W PD fast charging.

One very generous aspect of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus 5 Pro is its hardware configuration. It has two memory slots and two M.2 SSD slots. The stock memory is a single 16GB DDR5-5600, leaving the other memory slot open for an upgrade to 32GB of full-blooded dual-channel memory at a relatively low cost.

In conclusion, at a price of 8499 yuan, it’s a middling option considering the current gaming laptop market. Other laptops with similar configurations are pretty much offered at the same price. However, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus series still has unique selling points, such as the pop culture concept, distinctive exterior, features like dust-proof fans, easy maintenance design, and better optimizations of the screen and memory, which might justify the 8499 yuan cost. Compared to previous Zephyrus series, it is arguably their most ambitious product yet.

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