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The Asus X570ZD is the first notebook to combine a Ryzen APU and Nvidia GTX 1050

By Brian O'Cralley , last updated on July 27, 2018

When AMD launched the Ryzen 5 2500U and Ryzen 7 2700U it marked their return to competitiveness in the ultra-low voltage (ULV) processor market. Performance is similar to Intel’s quadcore ultrabook processors, the i5-8350U and i7-8550U.

The ace up AMD’s sleeve was the more powerful integrated Vega 8 and RX Vega 10 GPUs that handily outperformed the integrated UHD620 that Intel was using. However, while manufacturers combine Intel’s ULV processors with dedicated graphics from Nvidia (e.g. MX130 or MX150), this hasn’t been done with AMD’s ULV options.

At least it hadn’t until Asus showcased the X570ZD that pairs a Ryzen 5 2500U or Ryzen 7 2500U with the Nvidia GTX 1050 in a setup that is functionally similar to Nvidia Optimus. This technology allows a laptop to use the integrated graphics during normal computing, but to then seamlessly switch to the more powerful dedicated graphics during tasks that benefit from GPU acceleration.

Asus hasn’t yet shown the process of graphics switching, so we can’t be sure if it is as seamless as Optimus, or if it will show the teething problems often seen in early product iterations. It is exciting to see this as a future option that gives consumers a choice when looking for laptops that utilize efficient components during normal use and have access to more performance when needed.

The base configuration comes with a paltry 4 GB of DDR4-2400 memory, but it does support up to 16 GB for those who want a more usable amount. There are three 15.6-inch FullHD 1920 x 1080 display options. Based on the specifications provided by Asus we would assume that the first was a TN panel, the second a standard IPS panel, and the third appears to be a good quality IPS panel (100% sRGB, 72% NTSC). There are no higher resolution or touchscreen choices.

The Asus X570ZD combines a Ryzen 5 2500U or Ryzen 7 2700U with Nvidia GTX 1050

From the factory Asus will put up to a 512 GB M.2 SSD, although these are all SATA. There is a 2.5-inch hard drive space that allows for larger capacity storage drives up to 2 TB. Many will welcome the ability to add cheap storage capacity, but the downside is that the hard drive bay takes up battery space, restricting the X570ZD to a 48 Wh unit. The keyboard has an optional backlight and key travel is 1.4 mm.

I/O consists of 1 x USB3, 2 x USB2, 1 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x RJ45, 1 x 3.5 mm audio, 1 x MicroSD, 1 x Power, 802.11ac with Bluetooth 4.1 (some models with 2×2 WiFi). The body measures 375 x 256 x 21.9 mm (14.76 x 10.08 x 0.86 inches) at 1.9 kg (4.19 pounds).

The Asus Z570ZD is a 15.6-inch gaming ultrabook.

Source: Asus X570ZD product page

I started tinkering around with notebooks years ago. This included testing various Linux distributions for compatibility and opening them up to upgrade components, repaste heatsinks, or fix solder connections. While I appreciate the sleek designs and ultraportable advantages of sealed chassis with custom components, I lament the decline in user upgradeability and reparability over time.

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