PowerUp was recently invited as a guest of Asus Australia for the a fun launch event held in the upmarket Pitt Street Mall in Sydney for the official launch of the 2023 ROG laptops in Australia. Featuring a cool pop-up stand in the middle of the mall, press and customers were able to get some limited hands on of a selection of the new ROG laptops.
For 2023, Asus focused on performance gains across the range thanks to improvements in design and cooling and of course the inclusion of all new Nvidia RTX 40-series graphics, 13th Gen Intel and AMD Ryzen Zen 4 processors and eye melting Nebula Mini LED displays.
I gotta say, laptops have been pretty boring for the last few years, with only minor upgrades but this year we’re getting some pretty big and exciting upgrades and Asus has made sure that there is something for every budget and use case. So much so, there really wasn’t room enough in the pop-up stand in the middle of the mall to host them all.
Here’s a quick snapshot of everything launched in Australia and their pricing:
|ROG STRIX SCAR 16 (G634)||FROM $4,799||AVAILABLE NOW|
|ROG STRIX SCAR 18 (G834)||FROM $4,999||AVAILABLE NOW|
|ROG STRIX G 16 (G614)||FROM $2,499||AVAILABLE NOW|
|ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (GU604)||FROM $3,499||AVAILABLE NOW|
|ROG FLOW X13 (GV302)||TBC||TO BE AVAILABLE SOON|
|ROG XG MOBILE (2023)||TBC||TO BE AVAILABLE SOON|
|TUF ADVANTAGE EDITION A16 (FA617)||FROM $2,299||AVAILABLE NOW|
Everything everywhere all at once
It wouldn’t be a new laptop generation without some hefty new processing power and the ROG lineup comes with plenty of options from both team Blue and Red. 13th Gen Intel processors like the beastly Core i9-13980HX with 8 performance cores and 16 Efficiency cores promise immense power for gaming and creative work loads. The new AMD Ryzen Zen 4 aren’t to be forgotten either and should deliver the same great performance with battery gains.
Then of course, we finally get the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series ranging from the RTX4050 all the way up to the insane RTX 4090 which Asus has somehow crammed into very thin and light chassis. Asus assured us that to do so, they’ve greatly improved the Intelligent Cooling technology inside all the new laptops; proudly showing off a larger full-width heatsink and new triple fan setup unlike the traditional dual fans we’re used to. Additionally, Asus has added Thermal Grizzly’s Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal to both the CPU and GPU – nice!
But perhaps most exciting for me is the new Nebula displays which is Asus’s new standardized way of defining their displays which feature Mini LED technology with up to 240Hz refresh rate. I’m particularly excited to see the QHD 240Hz Nebula HDR Display with a 1100 nits of brightness and a whopping 1,024 dimming zones which should cast a picture quality scarily close to OLED.
These new laptop displays come in a variety of sizes starting at 13-inches on the amazing ROG X13 Flow and go all the way up to 18-inches on the massive Strix Scar 18. Like all other manufacturers, Asus is moving away from the traditional 15/17-inch size to 16 and 18-inches in a taller 16:10 aspect ratio. Fans of the smaller 14-inch Zephyrus G14(one of my favorite laptops of all time) need not worry as that is one display size that won’t be going anywhere.
Call a spade a spade
There’s been a recent trend to Razerfy gaming laptops to look like sleek business laptops made from metal and as thin as leather diary. And for sure, the new Zephyrus M16 and G16 certainly play that role excellently – at least if you don’t get the totally unnecessary but cool AniMe Matrix displays on the lid. However, jump over to the Strix and Strix Scar line and these are unmistakably gaming laptops with their massive heat vents and wrap-around RGB lighting. I love how these totally scream “I’m a gamer and I’m proud” but more importantly, how insanely powerful they are.
The new Strix’s come in either 16 or 18-inch variants and support the monstrous 175W RTX 4090 and i9-13980HX for maximum gaming performance. I was really impressed with the 18-inch model that still fits in a 17-inch chassis albeit with a taller display. That said, these aren’t your travel laptops but rather desktop replacements that sit unmoving on your desk, plugged into dual monitors and peripherals.
But for those of you who really want power that is lightweight and truly portable, the new update ROG Flow X13 is the machine to beat. The X13 comes with a 13-inch, QHD 165Hz Nebula display powered by an RTX 4060 and has a AMD Ryzen Zen 4 CPU with 32GB of DDR5 RAM. The keyboard can rotate fully allowing you to use the X13 like a tablet. A full HD camera on the front unlocks Windows Hello support and the battery is bigger than last years model – growing from 62 to 75Wh.
Going a step further is the updated ROG Flow Z13, a true gaming tablet with dedicated Intel i9 processor and RTX 4060 GPU. We loved the first model from last year which we reviewed and can’t wait to get our hands on this new model. And if that 4060 isn’t enough power for you, the X13 can pair with the new XG Mobile external GPU which comes with a 175W RTX 4090.
$5000 is a lot to pay for a laptop and for those who are on a tighter budget, the new TUF A16 Advantage Edition could be the solution. Starting at just $2,300, this all-AMD machine features the latest Ryzen 9 Zen 4 CPU, up to a Radeon RDNA3 GPU, and AMD Smart Access Graphics. You also get a QHD 240Hz panel though not Nebula but still very good for gaming. The TUF is built for the school of hardnocks with a rugged chassis that now comes in military-inspired Sandstorm paint which should be a delight for all you CoD Warzone players.
Should you buy them?
Well, I only had a limited time with the devices on show at the event which wasn’t enough to really put them to the test. Rest assured, Asus will be sending PowerUp! some samples in the coming weeks and we’ll give you the low down on all the things. But overall, I am very excited with the technical improvements and new features. The combination of RTX 40-series, DLSS 3.0 and those gorgeous Nebula displays should make for some very exciting gaming on the go experiences.
Asus Australia kindly provided flights for this reporter to attend the even in Sydney