Asus’ new gaming laptop has invisible ink. OK, I’m getting it out of my head. Let me leave that there for a second while I provide some context: after unveils several Zenbook modelsThe Taiwanese laptop manufacturer turns to gaming and releases two new ROG models: Strix Scar 17 SE and Flow X16.
They are both very…Asus, which means these systems are, for better or worse, unlike anything else on the market. Where other bizarre products like that Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition or Flow ROG Z13 The new Strix Scar 17 SE, a powerful 17-inch gaming laptop with convincing specifications and features, put a childish grin on my face and shook my head in confusion.
Release date and price of ROG Strix Scar 17 SE and Flow X16
Asus told me the Strix Scar 17 SE will start at $3,499 and go up to $3,699. The Flow X16 costs $1,949 and can be configured for up to $2,699. I have not been given any release dates, only that the Strix Scar 17 SE will be available first and that neither model will be available immediately upon its launch.
ROG Strix Scar 17 SE
Getting back to my opening, the Strix Scar 17 SE has “specially developed” invisible ink on the lid that becomes more visible when exposed to the included UV flashlight. Shine UV on the Scar and you’ll find cryptic text in a sci-fi-inspired font. If you were hoping the hidden message would help you unlock more gaming performance, I’m afraid it’s just more branding jargon. It doesn’t appear to be a very convincing magic trick, either. While I haven’t seen the Scar 17 SE in person, the images Asus sent suggest the UV light brightens, rather than reveals the “metallic textured ink.”
In any case, it’s silly and dumb, and I’d much rather have the functional OLED panel from the Space Edition or the fun LED dot matrix from the Zephyrus G14. If this is Asus stripping gadgets down to their basic elements, going invisible might be too literal. Of course, that’s not what Asus does – the Strix Scar 17 SE is visually deafening.
It features a two-tone deck separated by an aggressive forward slash, with Asus branding shamelessly plastered. An RGB light bar below will shine a rainbow of colors on your desk, while each key’s illumination serves as a fill light for the rest of your room. There are also customizable “armor caps” that you can slip on to change the look, much like swapping stock rims for colored ones.
At 6.83 pounds and 1.1 inches, the Strix Scar 17 SE isn’t the best choice for those looking to game away from their office or “battlestation.” For that I refer to the Zephyrus G14. With the Scar 17 SE you get at least a wide range of ports, including a USB 3.1 Type-C input, a Thunderbolt 4 port, two USB-A ports, an RJ45 Ethernet jack, an HDMI 2.1b and a headphone jack .
The performance potential of the Strix Scar 17 SE is clearly visible. It is equipped with 12th Gen Intel Core i9 HX series CPUs with up to 16 cores and up to 65W TDP paired with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU boosted to a 175W power envelope. You won’t be throttled by the other components either, as the Scar supports up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM and up to two 2TB SSDs. Asus promises that the machine runs 15 degrees cooler than the previous model.
Designed for competitive gamers, the Scar 17 SE features the fastest displays, including a 17-inch 1080p@360Hz panel or a 1440p (QHD)@240Hz option. Both IPS panels have 3ms response times and support Adaptive Sync. We weren’t given runtime information, but the Scar’s 90Wh battery charges from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes.
ROG Flow X16
The third member of the Flow family, the Flow X16 is a convertible 16-inch gaming laptop that can be paired with Asus’ proprietary XG Mobile eGPU. It packs an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU and an RTX 3070 Ti GPU paired with up to 64GB DDR5 RAM and up to 2TB SSD. There’s enough swing for all but the most demanding players.
With so much power built in, I wonder why the ROG Flow X16 even needs the ROG XG Mobile. Yes, the eGPU lets you take advantage of the more powerful AMD Radeon 6850M XT or RTX 3080, but the thing is heavy, bulky, and costs $1,500 – reasons I can’t see myself ever recommending it to anyone ROG Flow X16 owner.
Where I can’t find a fault is the display. It’s a 16-inch panel with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 (QHD) with a 16:10 aspect ratio and up to 1,100 nits. Asus says the screen covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, so expect vibrant tones. Better still, the screen has a 165Hz refresh rate, which makes fast-moving videos and games flow smoothly.
At 0.76 inches and 4.4 pounds, the Flow X16 is a bit chunky but relatively light, So it shouldn’t put too much strain on your shoulders when you’re playing games or working in a coffee shop. In addition to the XG Mobile interface with USB Type-C, the Flow has a USB 4.0 Type-C input (for charging), two Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.1, a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. It has a 90Wh battery that will hopefully keep it going for a full day.