ASUS’ ROG brand has just introduced a pair of new gaming laptops, geared towards distinct audiences – the “lightweight” ASUS ROG Flow X16 and the extra-powerful ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 Special Edition. The latter is a more powerful edition of the existing ROG Strix Scar 17, now featuring Intel’s extra powerful HX series processors, while the Flow X16 is a larger and more powerful version of the company’s gaming convertible, the Flow X13. These laptops are slated to launch later this year.
ASUS ROG Flow X16
Starting with the ASUS ROG Flow X16, it’s exactly what we just described above. It brings the sleek and lightweight design of the ROG Flow X13 to a larger size, now featuring a 16-inch display with the same 16:10 aspect ratio that its smaller sibling has. It’s still a convertible, meaning the 360-degree hinge allows you to use it as a tablet, in tent mode, or as a standard clamshell laptop. It also supports pen input so you can use it for doodling and taking notes, too.
Of course, the larger size also makes room for beefier internals. The ASUS ROG Flow X16 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS, which is a 35W processor with 8 cores and 16 threads. More impressive is the inclusion of an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, which is a major upgrade from the RTX 3050 Ti you can get in the Flow X13. This should mean you can actually run almost any modern game without turning down the settings as much. Of course, you can still use the ROG XG Mobile external GPUs if you need more power, but that’s not as much of a necessity with this model. The laptop also includes a MUX Switch, which allows the entire graphics rendering processing to be handled by the discrete GPU by disabling the graphics processor inside the CPU.
These components are cooled using a liquid metal thermal compound from Thermal Grizzly, and a new “Frost Force” cooling system featuring a total of three fans and multiple heat pipes running through the chassis to drive heat away from the components. A large heatsink runs across the entire rear of the laptop, helping dissipate heat even more efficiently thanks to over 330 fins that are just 0.1mm thin.
But that’s not all, ASUS is also equipping the ROG Flow X16 with its ROG Nebula HDR display – which is ASUS lingo for a mini-LED panel, something we don’t see on a whole lot of laptops. This panel can hit up to 1100 nits of peak brightness and it has 512 local dimming zones, resulting in one of the best HDR experiences you can get on a laptop. The screen also covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space and it’s PANTONE Validated. Plus, it comes in Quad HD+ resolution and it has a 165Hz refresh rate, so games are still going to run smoothly and look sharp.
What ASUS didn’t mention in its announcement was the pricing or availability for the ROG Flow X16. Either way, it-s a promising device considering how great the Flow X13 already was for its size.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 Special Edition
Next, we have the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 Special Edition, or SE. ASUS had introduced the 2022 edition of the ROG Strix Scar 17 back at CES, featuring 12th-generation Intel processors and up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. This special edition of the laptop comes with even more power – starting with a more powerful GPU. It’s still an NVIDIA GeForcde RTX 3080 Ti, but it can now use up to 175W of power using Dynamic Boost, up from the 150W of power in the standard model. On top of that, the top-of-the-line configuration now comes with up to an Intel Core i9-12950HX.
Intel recently introduced the HX series of processors, and it includes the most powerful processors we’ve seen on a laptop. They have a 55W base TDP, and in the case of the Core i9-12950HX mentioned above, you get a whopping 16 cores and 24 threads – that’s the same core count that Intel offers on its desktop GPUs. Using Dynamic Boost, the CPU can also use up to 175W of power, assuming the GPU isn’t in use, meaning you can get massive performance out of it.
To keep all of this running cool, ASUS is using a large vapor chamber for cooling that covers nearly half of the motherboard. Additionally, in collaboration with Thermal Grizzly, the company designed a brand-new thermal compound, which it’s calling “Conductonaut Extreme”, and it’s using it on both the CPU and GPU. ASUS touts a reduction of up to 15°C in temperature compared to regular thermal paste, which is also 5°C lower than regular liquid metal.
The display options are the same as on the regular ROD Strix Scar 17, meaning you can choose either a Full HD 360Hz panel or a Quad HD 240Hz option. You get the same selection of ports, too, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI 2.1, 2.5Gb Ethernet, and USB Type-A ports covering all your needs.
Compared to the standard ROG Strix Scar 17, ASUS has also redesigned the power adapter. It can still deliver up to 330W of power and it can take the laptop from 0% to 50% battery in just 30 minutes. However, the new adapter is 34% smaller and 27% lighter, so it might be a big help with portability.
Design-wise, the ROG Strix Scar 17 SE also comes with a brand-new paint job, but you wouldn’t immediately know it. ASUS says it developed a special invisible ink that adheres to the metal chassis much better than standard invisible ink. In normal lighting conditions, the printed pattern is very subtle, but under UV light or a blue LED, it glows in blue and green, and you can actually uncover a message leading you to a mini-game called SCAR Runner.
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 will be available in the third quarter of 2022 and it’ll start at £4,000.
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