ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU 502 Review: Gaming Powerhouse


ASUS ROG has been a series of gaming powerhouses that have now created a global cult following. The machines are well known for their gaming muscle and solid performance. Couple that with high quality crafting and materials and you know why the series is a massive hit. I spent considerable time with the new ROG Zephyrus M GU 502. Here is my review.

Here are they key specifications

Model GU502GU
Operating System Windows 10 Home



Intel® 9th Generation Core™ i7-9750H


Intel HM370 Chipset









Up to 32 GB (16 GB onboard memory)
SSD M.2 NVMe PCIE 3.0 512GB SSD with RAID 0 support (2x M.2 slots)
Display 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS-level panel, 144Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB, Pantone® Validated
VR Ready Yes





Backlit chiclet keyboard


N-key rollover


RGB lighting


Aura Sync


Hotkeys (Volume down, volume up, mute, Armoury Crate)



2 x speakers with Smart AMP technology


ESS 9118 Saber HiFi DAC






I/O Ports

1 x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C™ with DisplayPort™ 1.4 and PD charging (input 20V/3A, output


1x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet
1x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-A
2x USB3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x HDMI 2.0b

  2x 3.5mm Audio Jack: Separate headphone and microphone jacks
1x Kensington Lock


Built-in 76Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery

6 hour battery life (Web browsing)



Wi-Fi / Bluetooth

Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac 2×2) Wave 2 WLAN
Bluetooth 5.0

*Bluetooth version may vary with OS version

Dimension 360(W), 252(D), 18.9 mm(H)
Weight 1.9kg

The new 9th Gen Intel Core mobile processors and latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics can handle everything from hardcore gaming to serious content creation, but it’s hard to find that kind of high-end horsepower in a portable and professional package without paying a premium. Flashy gaming laptops have the requisite power without the subtlety, making them stick out in more subdued environments like client meetings and co-working spaces. And while ultra-slim gaming systems from the ROG Zephyrus M series ooze luxury and sleek style, their first-class designs can be beyond the reach of everyday gamers looking for a refined jack of all trades.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GU 502

The Republic of Gamers Spring 2019 Collection bridges the gap with the brand-new ROG Zephyrus M GU502. Blending style, portability, performance, and value in a neatly wrapped package, it is an equal parts gaming laptop and work  machine. The slim-bezel display is available with a 144Hz refresh rate that’s fit for esports champions, plus Pantone validation that guarantees color accuracy for creators. NVIDIA Optimus tech dynamically switches between integrated and discrete graphics to balance speed and battery life, while Intelligent Cooling combines hardware and software to optimize performance and acoustics.

The impressively lightweight form belies heavyweight power. At 18.9mm thin and 1.9kg, the Zephyrus M GU502 is 25% thinner and 45% lighter than typical 15-inch laptops. But it refuses to compromise between work and play, delivering dynamic performance and refined styling that’s truly the best of both worlds. Its sleek, reinforced metal chassis makes it resilient against everyday use and wear, while the subtle, soft-touch skin along the palm rest keeps it looking clean and professional for work anywhere

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GU 502

The all-new Zephyrus M GU502 is part of an ultra-slim range of gaming laptops that are the most versatile yet; tailored to satisfy everyone with a demanding performance need from hardcore gamers to professional content creators. Compared to the prior GX501 design, the new GU502 adopts a more traditional user layout that works better in cramped quarters and on your lap.

The palm rest hides honeycomb reinforcements that make the chassis stiffer where you need it most, yet also keeps it as light as possible. A die cast magnesium alloy is finely-machined to create its sturdy structural core. This resists the flexing that makes some other ultra-slim laptops feel flimsy and cheap. The result is the GU502 has a 14% smaller volume and is 22% lighter than the previous generation. On top, a soft-touch paint adds a smooth finish that repels fingerprints and even adds a subtle sparkle when viewed at the right angle.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GU 502

When it came to the external design, ASUS made sure the product balanced ROG design DNA in a way both gamers and professionals could embrace. The mix of textures and styles show a unique flair and use of premium materials, drawing attention without being ostentatious. The display cover features a diagonal-cut design that pairs Diamond Sand Brush in Mystic Black (lower half) with a High Reflection Brush in Glossy Black (upper half). The ROG logo itself is either Titanium Black or backlit a deep Fire Red. The V-cuts around the rear air exhaust are a deliberate design choice to follow through the chassis style and also increase the airflow space.

The ROG Zephyrus M GU502 boasts a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display with refresh rate of up to 144Hz and 3ms response time. The esports-grade display makes fast-paced shooters silky smooth and crystal clear, while factory calibration with 100% sRGB and Pantone validation and ASUS ProArt™ TruColor Technology that utilizes factory pre-calibrated process guarantees accurate color reproduction for content creators who also make a living on their laptops.

With a screen-to-body ratio of 81%, gamers get a more immersive experience and an attractive, modern slim-bezel design. The decision to forgo the inbuilt webcam is a deliberate design choice: integrated webcams often yield poor quality results and are not independently adjustable, which does not reflect the premium quality elsewhere.

ROG Zephyrus M GU502 is powered by the latest 9th Gen mobile i7-9750H processor, a hexa (6)-core processor with

12 threads that can boost its clock speeds up to 4.5GHz. The hexa-core handles gaming and all other tasks quickly and efficiently. The Zephyrus M supports faster DDR4 2,666MHz memory modules, with 16GB affixed directly to the board with another SO-DIMM slot available for up to 16GB DIMM and 32GB total.

The NVIDIA® GeForce GTX™ 1660Ti clocks up to 2100MHz at max load in Turbo mode with ROG Boost, delivering formidable graphics performance.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GU 502

The Nvidia Turing™ architecture on the 1660Ti, offers exploitable performance enough to keep esports fanatics happy as well any casual gamer who may use this machine for office purpose and may game in free time. The GPU pushes scores beyond the Pascal powered GTX 1060 which was itself good enough from the beginning at handling games at 1080p. On the GU502, having a colour calibrated display is a plus and you can enjoy all that pixel glory in 144Hz refresh rate at a class leading 3ms refresh rate.

ASUS ROG Intelligent Cooling solution combines the innovative thermal technologies with simple software control to maintain a great balance between performance, temperature and fan noise for optimal usage based on the scenario. With intelligent scenario profiles, the ROG Zephyrus M GU502 will automatically switch between different modes for different user configured software.

The CPU, GPU and power-control related hardware are all cooled via copper transfer plates and heat pipes that lead to 4 thin-finned heatsinks and exhaust vents. The 0.1mm ultra-thin cooling fins are 50% thinner than regular fins. Narrower fins allow for more in the same space, increasing available surface area.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GU 502

The two fans run on 12V power, versus the usual 5V used in notebooks. This lets them have a faster peak speed and greater airflow performance when needed most. Exhaust air is pumped through four outlets near the rear corners of the chassis, each one with a subtle ramp that helps separate warm outflow from the layer of cool air flowing into the  AAS. Aside from the curved fan surface and air deflector design, the fans are made from a specialty liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material.

Each fan has 83 fins that are 33% slimmer than typical, improving the airflow by 17%. The fan housing features the Anti-Dust Cooling design that uses centrifugal force to drive the heavier dust particles into specific dust tunnels, so they don’t get caught by the cooling fins. This ensures the cleanness of the interior cooling equipment, enhancing the long-term durability and reliability.

The rotational speed of the fans can be controlled automatically by finely tuned algorithm, or users may also configure the fan speed manually. Users can toggle the fan speed between Turbo mode, Balanced mode and Silent mode with the keyboard shortcut Fn + F5 or the Armoury Crate utility.

Many home routers do not provide sufficient bandwidth to users when they move their notebook further from it. ROG Zephyrus M GU502 features the patented ROG RangeBoost technology that combines a 2T2R (four) antenna array located at the back and front of the notebook. A unique algorithm constantly scans the wireless environment and selects the best pair of antennas to make the connection, resulting in the strongest possible signal.

ROG Zephyrus M GU502 supports the latest Wi-Fi 5 standard: dual frequency 5GHz/2.4GHz Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Wave2, supporting MU-MIMO 160MHz channel bandwidth. This provides up to 1733Mbps* wireless bandwidth.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus GU 502

The Zephyrus M GU502 integrates an ESS 9118 Saber Hi-Fi Audio that brings supreme quality sound through a greater audio range with less distortion and noise. Compared to typical notebook sound chips, the ESS 9118 can generate an 8-fold increase in range of sound, 92% less in distortion, and incredibly low noise floor. This DAC delivers broader dynamic range with less distortion, giving you richer, clearer highs and lows, and an immersive virtual 7.1-channel surround sound GU502’s 2x speakers feature a Smart AMP technology the doubles the volume, and boosts bass and dynamic range by 3.5X.

The Aura Sync keyboard backlighting puts a personalized spin on the styling, and optional per-key control ups the ante for custom layouts that identify critical keys for your favorite games and workflows. Players can also control the backlight effect via AURA function provided by Armoury Crate software.

In a change from the previous GX501, the GU502 now has a more familiar keyboard position placed closer to the display. The desktop-style layout includes spaces between three blocks of function keys, above which are four isolated hotkeys. Along the bottom the spacebar features an extended lip under the left thumb and the arrow keys are isolated so they can be easily felt-for and found without looking.

With HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4 (via USB Type-C connection) display outputs, the GU502 can connect to the latest 4K HDR monitors. This is ideal for content creators who need larger displays with more resolution to work in, or gamers who want to use the GU502 on the go and have premium gaming monitors such as the ROG Swift PG27UQ or PG35VQ at home.

ROG Zephyrus M GU502 has all the connectivity needed for gaming and working on the go.

   1 x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C™ with DisplayPort™ 1.4 and PD charging

   1x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet

   1x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-A

   2x USB3.1 Gen1 Type-A

   1x HDMI 2.0b

   Separate 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks

   1x Kensington Lock

The three USB Type-A ports are ideal for a mix of gamepad, mouse, fast USB storage or USB headset, while USB-C connectivity is designed for smartphone connectivity, universal charging or DP display output. Despite the extreme thinness in design, ROG has squeezed in RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet socket for those who prefer the tried and tested wired connection

The newly designed ROG Armoury Crate provides detailed system information, including CPU and GPU frequencies, usage, temperature and voltage. It also offers Game Profiles, memory/storage usage, fan speed and much more. Moreover, users can easily toggle on/off the Win key lock, ROG key or touch pad.

Aside from the basic system monitoring features, ASUS has provided a settings view through an easy to understand radar chart. The default is balanced mode, but gamers also have the freedom to choose between several other tuned modes such as turbo, silent, windows and fully manual.

Armoury Crate even allows Wi-Fi Direct connections to a smartphone for conveniently monitoring the laptop status remotely.

We have benchmarked the GU502 with the following software and games, and the scores are as follows.



Test / model GU502GU

Cinebench R20

CPU 2937
Single Core 435

Cinebench R15

CPU 1265
Single Core 179


Test / model GU502GU




Port Royal 1473
Fire Strike 13200
Time Spy 5666
Sky Diver 30616


Test / model GU502GU




PCMark 10



Overall 6140
Essentials 8122
Productivity 7316
Digital Content




Gaming 10535


Test / model GU502GU





  Read Write
Seq Q32T1 1830 979.5
4KiB Q8T8 341.4 808.5
4KiB Q32T1 339.4 474.7
4KiB Q1T1 60.26 154


Test / model GU502GU



Uniengine Valley Benchmark

FPS 74.8
Score 3130
Min FPS 26.3
Max FPS 145.7


The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GU 502 is the best gaming laptop we have seen in a while.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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