Asus ROG Flow X16 (GV601RW) and ROG Strix Scar 17 SE (G733CX) First impressions

Asus already sells a wide variety of gaming laptops in India, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between all series and all models. There’s the entry-level TUF series; ROG Strix models are for esports and everyday gaming; ROG Zephyrus models are sleek and powerful; and the relatively new ROG Flow series is aimed at ultraportables. This company is also no stranger to experimenting with form factors. Today we have the first production units of two new Asus ROG gaming laptops that somewhat blur the lines between these categories. When they launch in India later this year, they will give players new options. For now, it’s time to take a quick look at the new Asus ROG Flow X16 and ROG Strix Scar 17 SE.

Asus ROG Flow X16

After the ultra-portable ROG Flow X13 compact 2-in-1 and the detachable tablet Flow Z13 last year, Asus today announces a sibling, the 2-in-1 ROG Flow X16. This new model doesn’t quite fit the same mold – it’s much larger and looks more like a standard laptop – but it offers a degree of flexibility that might appeal to people looking for a powerful all-around gaming machine. It’s potentially more powerful and more useful, but will still primarily appeal to a niche audience.

The ROG Flow X16 is relatively thin by gaming laptop standards at 19.4mm, but it feels very solid. It weighs 2kg and is of course large enough for a 16 inch 16:10 screen. The body is wrapped in dark gray metal and the lid has a very interesting diagonal ribbed pattern that makes it very easy to grip. A silver ROG plate in the bottom left corner is the only branding you’ll see, and there are no RGB LEDs other than the keyboard backlight.

The power button is on the right side, so you can access it regardless of how you’re holding or using ROG Flow X16. There’s no fingerprint sensor, but you do get an infrared camera for Windows Hello facial recognition. You’ll also get a reasonable number of ports, including a full-size HDMI 2.0b port, two USB 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps) Type-A ports, a Type-C (10Gbps) port with DisplayPort 1.4, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot.

What’s most interesting is that this device has the same proprietary external PCIe slot as its smaller Flow series sibling, allowing it to take advantage of Asus’ ROG XG Mobile external GPU and station accessories. of reception. It’s not clear that you want or need an external GPU since you’re not limited to the less powerful ones in the laptop body (more on that later), but you have the option. Since this connector is built around the Type-C port standard, you can actually just plug in another Type-C device in a snap.

You can fold the screen completely and use the ROG Flow X16 as a tablet, but it will be unwieldy

As for the screen, which is one of the main attractions, Asus offers a mini-LED option on the high-end variants. It is a 2560×1600 pixel 16:10 165Hz panel with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage and 512 zone local dimming. It’s Dolby Vision and DisplayHDR 1000 certified, capable of a claimed maximum brightness of 1100 nits. It’s also a touchscreen, of course. During my brief stint with the ROG Flow X16, screen content was definitely bright and vibrant. There’s Gorilla Glass for protection, but I found it to be extremely reflective in indoor lighting.

The keyboard doesn’t seem to have any layout issues. Arrow keys are compressed horizontally but there is space around them. There are dedicated volume and mic buttons, as well as a button that launches the ROG Armory Crate software. Key travel is surprisingly good and the action is a little less crisp than I’m used to. The trackpad is quite large and has no separate buttons.

You can fold ROG Flow X16 into “stand” mode, with the screen close to you, or all the way back to turn it into a chunky tablet. The screen flickers a bit when touched with a finger. Unfortunately, this device doesn’t balance very well if you try to stand it upright like a tent. There’s a large vent running through the back, which will push air towards you in tablet mode. ROG Flow X16 is far too bulky to hold in one hand, and you might not find it comfortable if you try to use it as a tablet while lying down or lounging on a couch.

It’s also very likely that the heat will make certain types of situations when using the tablet difficult, although this will only be apparent after a full examination. Asus says it’s used a new three-fan cooling system, but high-end components get pretty toasty in tight spaces. ROG Flow X16 features an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and your choice of GPU up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, along with up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM and up to 2TB of storage (with plenty of storage). space for a second M.2 SSD).

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The XG Mobile connector (top) can be used as an additional USB Type-C port. The power button (bottom) is accessible in all positions

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE

Positioned as a more powerful option than even the 2022 Strix lineup, the new ROG Strix Scar 17 SE is based on Intel’s all-new Core HX mobile processors. They are essentially refurbished desktop processors and redesigned to run at up to 55W, allowing for more cores and higher sustained processor speeds. The ROG Strix Scar 17 SE is clearly intended to be a desktop gaming laptop, but at least it can be moved relatively easily.

This is a chunky gaming laptop by today’s standards, but what you get is absolutely top-of-the-line hardware, including up to an Intel Core i9-12950HX CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU , a 360Hz 1080p or 240Hz 1440p display, 64GB of DDR5 RAM and 4TB of NVMe storage. Asus claims its elaborate cooling system can handle a total of 175W of GPU heat dissipation plus 65W of CPU while remaining silent.

Prices, when announced, are expected to be astronomical. Asus is clearly aiming the ROG Strix Scar 17 SE at buyers who want the most powerful gaming laptop on the market. These performance claims will need to be tested when we receive a unit for a full review.

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The included UV torch will reveal designs and symbols on the lid

In terms of looks, Asus threw a bunch of ideas at this laptop, and there’s a lot going on. First, Asus gave the lid a UV-sensitive finish, and buyers will get a small UV torch in the box that will reveal a patch of graffiti-like neon symbols and text on the lid. The visuals won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it might help you stand out if you’re playing in an environment with black lights. The left side of the lip behind the hinge is a piece of semi-transparent plastic that can be removed and replaced – you get two alternate models in the box and can 3D print your own. A notch on the right is intended to accommodate an ROG Keystone NFC tag that will come with retail units – this allows owners to customize software settings such as performance profiles and macros, and acts as an encryption key to allow you to hide files on your SSD.

Part of the keyboard is translucent and is separated by a white stripe with ROG logos running along it. You can see part of the laptop’s interior frame under the right kind of light, and the per-key RGB keyboard backlighting also creates a neat, but slightly distracting effect. Speaking of RGB, a light strip runs around the front of this laptop’s base, casting light onto your table. The mirrored ROG logo on the lid has RGB lighting around its edges, which is really neat. You’ll also find “MMVI” molded into one of the rear exhaust vents, which references the founding year of the ROG brand. The combined effect of all these design touches is about as unsubtle as it gets, but there should be people who only care about power.

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RGB effects and partially transparent keyboard are part of Asus’ gamer aesthetic

The screen is thankfully non-reflective, but Asus opted to forego a webcam entirely in order to keep the bezels thin. The quad speakers should allow for engaging sound in games and other content. The keyboard layout is comfortable and the arrow keys have room to breathe even though there’s a full number pad. You get Wi-Fi 6E with a 2.5G Ethernet port and Thunderbolt 4, plus additional USB ports, HDMI and a 3.5mm audio jack. The 330W AC adapter is supposed to be huge and heavy.

It’s too early to talk about the performance of the ROG Flow X16 and ROG Strix Scar 17 SE, and we don’t have pricing details for India yet. It will be interesting to see just how comfortable and practical these two devices really are, when we can do full reviews on the Expedition retail units. It remains to be seen if people want a chunky 2-in-1 that can play games and connect to an external GPU, or if there’s an upper limit to what people will spend on high-end hardware. . Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for answers.


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