I'm currently underway to the store. It's a 2 hour train journey so I figured I might as well post a status update.
Called the retailer (Alternate) and they told me that I could either send the machine back by mail or actually go to the store and turn it over there with the ability to either get a replacement or a loaner for the time being.
However, what I'm afraid of is that, when the machine comes back from the service center, that the keyboard will still be warped, and that the audio distortion bug that has been plaguing other users will still be present despite the FW / SW updates.
Anyway, we'll see how it all turns out. I'm just admittedly a bit salty about my 3300 euro laptop giving me more trouble than any other machine I've bought before and at this time am even silently hoping that it is beyond saving so I can have my money back and invest it in another device, perhaps even with a bigger screen.
Sorry for the inconvenience. Please contact the service center in your region to have the laptop examined, they will have a better idea on how to proceed.
I have done so.
And then I have started to do some research and have come to the conclusion that ASUS has pushed out a poorly tested products. There are troves of people posting about having this exact same issue with the exact same symptoms in the exact same time frames.
I've curated a small sample of my findings right here
The seller has acknowledged the problem and has sent it back to ASUS for a round 2 of battery replacements.
I can tell you what's going to happen next:
The machine is going to come back, perform OK for a few months, and then this is going to happen again.
A product like this, at this price point, with the keyboard placement where it is, and the battery doing these kind of things, should not be sold period. It's a hazard on so many levels that it baffles me that these machines have not been recalled.
Let's hope I'm wrong, because I'm pushing for a class action lawsuit at this point.