ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) announced new 300Hz gaming laptops, 120Hz 14-inch gaming panels and high-resolution displays at CES 2020. Display technology is advancing rapidly, especially for gamers. Higher refresh rates and quicker response times make gameplay smoother and sharper, while richer colors and deeper contrast enhance picture quality. Displays play a significant role in defining the frames per second actually experienced by viewers, which is why ROG is committed to being at the forefront of panel technology. This leadership is highlighted by a CES 2020 Innovation Award for a 300Hz version of the Strix SCAR III esports gaming laptop, along with a purpose-built 14-inch panel that brings high refresh rates to ultraportables in the all-new Zephyrus G14 gaming notebook.
While speed and responsiveness have arguably the greatest impact on gameplay, use of factory calibration with PANTONE validation improves color accuracy to produce better visuals for gamers and creators alike. To that end, ROG is staying on the cutting edge of HDR displays. ROG was the first to show and manufacture a gaming laptop with a real HDR panel in special editions of the Zephyrus S GX701 and GX531. Now, in a CES 2020 technology demo, ROG is showcasing a new AUO panel whose mini LED backlight offers amazing local dimming detail that looks to the future of gaming visuals.
The ROG commitment to faster displays began in 2016 with a 120Hz refresh rate AHVA display that doubled the speed of conventional panels available at the time. ROG was first to reach 144Hz thanks to a special project with chemical giant Merck to develop a new liquid crystal structure and suspending solution capable of operating at higher speeds. This effort also led to a 7ms grey-to-grey pixel response time that was nearly four times faster than contemporary alternatives, followed by a further reduction with the first 3ms panels. The bar was raised again when ROG introduced laptops with blazing-fast 240Hz displays at CES 2019.
Ultra-high refresh rates are favored by competitive and professional gamers who want an advantage over their opponents. The ROG Zephyrus GX701 was the first gaming system available with a 300Hz display, beating even the fastest desktop monitors used in esports tournaments. That 300Hz panel has now migrated to a special version of the ROG Strix SCAR III, which was honored with a CES 2020 Innovation Award. The esports-oriented laptop puts the display in its native environment, where every millisecond matters.
High refresh ultraportables
While the move to 300Hz is especially important for pros, everyone can benefit from life beyond 60 Hz. That’s why ROG was adamant about putting a high-refresh option in our new Zephyrus G14. No existing 14-inch displays were up to the task, so ROG worked closely with panel providers to create one specifically for the machine. The display’s 120Hz refresh rate is well-suited for the system’s mid-range GPUs and dramatically improves the gaming experience compared to the 60Hz panels typically found in ultraportable laptops.
Calibrated for color accuracy
It’s no longer necessary to sacrifice picture quality to reach higher speeds. Internal research at ROG has shown that a significant portion of gamers use their gaming laptops for content creation. For gamers who also create their own graphics, edit photos and pursue other creative enterprises, it’s critical to have a display that generates accurate colors.
From the beginning, the high-refresh gaming laptops at ROG have used IPS-level panels with rich colors and wide viewing angles. More recently, ROG has added factory calibration with PANTONE validation to ensure faithfulness to an industry-standard palette. Color accuracy is quantified with delta E, which measures the difference between the color displayed and the intended shade. Across a large sampling of affected displays, the factory calibration at ROG has reduced the average delta E by at least 40%, delivering a clear improvement in fidelity.
At CES 2020, ROG is illustrating the difference factory calibration makes with 4K Ultra HD panel demos running inside Zephyrus GX502 and GU502. Almost all Zephyrus slim gaming laptops come with PANTONE Validated displays, making the family ideal for gamers who are also creators.
Improved high dynamic range
ROG pioneered high dynamic range for gaming laptops with a special version of the Zephyrus GX701 introduced one year ago at CES 2019. This edition of the GX701 brought HDR to a high-refresh panel with a quick response time and slim bezels for the first time. Leading-edge technology like this is often ahead of its time. At release, the panel’s potential was limited in part by the existing support for HDR throughout the gaming industry. Still, these HDR panels offer a glimpse into the future of gaming graphics, and as the software ecosystem matures, so will the capabilities of the hardware.
The HDR display in the GX701 has a Full HD resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate, 400 nits of peak brightness, and local dimming across 16 zones arranged in vertical strips. At CES 2020, ROG is demoing a next-gen panel from AUO with a 4K resolution that can push up to 1000 nits.
The new panel currently supports local dimming across 240 zones arranged in a grid, which dramatically reduces the halo effect evident on displays with fewer zones. A cutting-edge backlight made with mini LEDs is responsible for this fine-grained detail, and its potential is only just being explored. The backlight is capable of local dimming across over a thousand individual zones, promising unprecedented granularity.
CES 2020 provides another opportunity for ROG to show its leadership with cutting-edge displays. ROG continues to bring high-refresh, high-resolution panels to an increasingly broad audience that spans esports professionals, hardcore gamers, mainstream players, and content creators. In addition to improving the everyday gamer’s visual experience today, close relationships with panel providers will help ROG shape the future of what’s available in the gaming laptops of tomorrow.