back to article Are you ready to go all-in, head-first, on a laptop? ASUS's Zenbook Pro 16X asks for that commitment

ASUS's Zenbook Pro 16X OLED (UX7602) is a sleek beast of a laptop that invites you to take it head-on and go all-in – an offer that should give you pause before accepting. There's nothing significantly wrong with the machine. I found it speedy, pretty, slick, and pleasing to use. But in attempting to suit a niche audience – …

  1. Crypto Monad Silver badge


    "The most visible of those is the ASUS Dial – a circular touchpad with a button in the middle that can be customized to drive apps' menus"

    That's already patented by Apple:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oops

      It's the iPod click wheel.

    2. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Oops

      And does anyone even want hardware shortcuts to apps?

      I've lost count of the number of keyboards I've used that came with a set of dedicated keys for email, internet browser, etc. They never get used. Ever.

      1. JoeCool Bronze badge

        I've customized my mouse along the same lines

        The two buttons under my thumb perform "paste" and "enter". It's quite usefull to me, and a similiar idea.

        Custom keys on keyboards are just a distraction.

      2. fromxyzzy

        Re: Oops

        A 90s fad Apple tried to bring back, but worse, with that stupid OLED touch strip on the Macbook a few generations ago.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oops

        I use the macro keys on my keyboard to open things.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Oops

      Err, no, to everyone's reply here.

      From the location to the implied functionality, it is supposed to mimic the one of the controls on the most popular creator's device drawing input, a Wacom Intuos 5 Wacom Intuos 5 photo

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oops

        If it's that, then it's a stupid, pointless imitation.

        The Wacom's touch surface is actually a primary work surface, while the laptop's touchpad is a useless side input at best.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: touch surface

          You can use a capacitive touch pen to turn just about any touchpad into a mini-tablet, if you really want to push it.

          Still, for quickie & light mods people do indeed use their mouse or touchpad and giving easy control over brush size in a manner that you are used to on your Wacom (that's how I use my Intuos 5's Touch Ring) is always a welcome thing. For me brush size changes are pretty frequent and once I started using the Touch Ring on the left hand with the pen in the right, or my mouse on the left hand and the pen on the right (yes, I dual-hand-it), I got a huge productivity boost.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Arrow keys

    My Dell XPS has a keyboard with small arrow keys that are sort of integrated with page up/down. Great way to lose track of where you are in a document. Fortunately, there are macro utilities that allow you to disable them.

    That said £3000 for a laptop?

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: Arrow keys

      No no no, the quoted price is $3000. Once you factor in the IT industry's conversion rate, that's £3500 for you.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hard pass.

    This is e-waste. For the price tag of TWO decent mobile workstations with Quadro graphics built to a standard by an actual major player in the field.

    What were they thinking?!

  4. Steve Button Silver badge

    How much RAM?

    Would have been nice to include that in the review. Not that I'll be getting one at that price / weight.

    1. ITMA Silver badge

      Re: How much RAM?

      And is it like all too many models of ASUS, where you have to dismantle virtually the whole machine just to upgrade the RAM?

      ASUS have a habit of NOT putting it under an easily accessible cover on the bottom and instead putting it in as awkward a place as possible.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: How much RAM?

        "And is it like all too many models of ASUS, where you have to dismantle virtually the whole machine just to upgrade the RAM?"

        Now you are optimistic. I bet it's soldered in.

        For that price I would demand at least 32GB, personally. (Not that I would pay that price.)

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: How much RAM?

        Maybe this time it's under that pop-up keyboard?

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: How much RAM?

      I also noted the GPU was only mentioned in passing, fortunately I see it is supported by Da Vinci, which is probably more important to users than CineBench.

      So the screen might be high res. And vivid but what is its colour space annd are the colours accurate, can the user recalibrate it?

      As for audio processing…

      It is a shame this review reads like an abridged review from one of the other hardware review sites; as the recent review of putting Linux on a laptop showed; there is an ElReg angle which can provide useful information.


      I note the single HDMI port is HDMI 2.1 FRL, so should be good for 4K, but is it an HDMI input or output only port?

      For digital media I would have thought a couple of discrete HDMI ports would be useful.

  5. K

    "The machine can charge on USB-C"

    Over the past 6 months, I've had the pleasure of several different consumer models, all still DC-inputs, but also had separate Thunderbolt4 and USB C ports, they charged great via the USB-C.. but Thunderbolt? huh nope, forget that.

    Does make me wonder who approves or tests the final spec of these devices - Its a huge oversight, as one of the biggest uses for Thunderbolt is Docks to consolidate all the cabling.

  6. sarusa Silver badge

    That keyboard....

    Yeah, that keyboard sucks, and as you said is obviously the first point of failure. And that touchpad with numpad functionality looks even more annoying than the usual touchpads for accidental presses. Hard pass.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: That keyboard....

      my external keyboard has a fair amount on unspeakable things fallen in there. I shudder to think what would get inside that housing. After the first egg banjo the mechanism would be a nightmare.

  7. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    Stopped reading at The 14-core Alder Lake Core i7-12700H CPU at 2.3GHz

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Legacy

      And every time a machine is reviewed, you post the same thing and praise Apple's processors as the only alternatives you accept, for some reason I don't really understand or care about. I might be able to save you some time in the future: if it's a review and Apple didn't make it, it doesn't have an Apple processor in it, so you don't have to read the article until you find that out.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Battery Life?

    That is an important metric for mobile users. Can that 14 core device run all day on Battery?

    Many Chromebooks, Apple MacBooks (M1/M2 CPU) and others can do just that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Battery Life?

      Yes (according to the article), though you'd need to be working on Venus.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    keyboard that tilts upwards to put it at a more comfortable angle for typing

    I'm not very much into ergonomics, though very much into typing, my long-term impression has been that the keyboard with its back side lifted up is much more strain on wrists, because it forces them into an angle, rather than letting them stay parallel to your forearm, which _seems_ like a more natural position. Obviously, 'content creation' these days has very little to do with typing... which also makes me wonder why they would have bothered to invest into this 'feature' (or gimmick).

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: keyboard that tilts upwards to put it at a more comfortable angle for typing

      Hmm; on the other side of the table, I always pop down the feet at the back of the keyboard to raise it up, as that feels much more comfortable to me.

      Maybe it is a difference between using flat, unsculpted, low-travel laptop keyboards[1] versus big chunky "mechanical" keyboards with sculpted keys?

      Either way, different keystrokes for different folks.

      [1] sometimes I get jealous of those who are comfortable using those keyboards, as they appear to actually enjoy using laptops and can happily take their stuff anywhere: I've tried coding in grassy fields or the hotel lounge and can only do it in extremis.

  10. IGotOut Silver badge


    Why would you light up the keys when you are aiming for designers? Overhead lighting can get annoying enough, but lights from below that flicker as you move you hands around, no thanks.

  11. TonyJ Silver badge

    Had a horrible experience with Asus

    Some years ago I bought a gaming laptop from them. It was a 17" beast of a model and incredibly high spec but for what I should have twigged was just too-low a price.

    When it performed it was, in fairness, blisteringly fast and would play AAA titles of the day without breaking a sweat.

    But... it spent more time back with Asus than with me. From memory it had 3 motherboards due to two GPU failures and one other (CPU, I think). The keyboard missed letters if you were even a moderately quick typer,

    The touch pad had a bizarre fault whereby it was more of a proximity device and would pick up fingers or palms from 10mm away and randomly move the mouse/left click/right click. And turning it off made no difference. Nor did the palm detection, unsurprisingly.

    I think there were other issues but I can't recall now.

    Asus refused to refund me and when I threatened court, said "see you there." I think in the end I just sold it "as seen" on with all the problems listed and cut my losses.

    I wouldn't be in a rush to buy anything else from them, though, for sure.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: Had a horrible experience with Asus

      Ive had the opposite experience. Im typing on an asus laptop now, granted I changed the RAM and M2 as it was cheaper for me to do so than order with. Its an AMD hex core with 1660ti and it has been flawless so far. I even took it apart after a year to see what state the fans and grills were in (it said on the sticker something about dust free design) and whilst skeptical, its fairly clean.

      It does feel a bit flimsy and doesnt have usb-c charging (not surprising with a 150W battery charger of course).

      the only thing that bothers me is the flashing keyboard lights until the driver kicks in.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IEC lead

    What’s wrong with that? Easy to find a spare if you forget it/lose it/gets chewed by an animal etc. actually prefer this to a figure of 8 or the dreaded clover leaf cable. Doesn’t need to mean a big chunky brick charger either. I do get that they’re not necessarily very physically flexible though.

    1. khjohansen

      Re: IEC lead

      .. New-ish chargers are like oversized phone chargers - with the plug cast with the body

      1. MJB7

        Re: IEC lead

        The trouble with having the plug cast into the body, is when you go abroad regularly. With an IEC lead I can take my charger and the right IEC lead and I'm good. With a moulded-in plug, I need an adaptor (which in Switzerland for example will obstruct both the other sockets in the outlet).

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: IEC lead

          Plus if you happen to forget to pick up the correct IEC cable on your way out the door, colleagues in say Switzerland can help…(at worst, the kettle lead will suffice)

    2. Fifth Horseman

      Re: IEC lead

      Absolutely. Some deviant nicked the cloverleaf power cable from my Yamaha THR amp at a gig last year. If it had been an IEC lead I am certain there would have been one in the venue somewhere I could have borrowed, but as it was - game over.

      Maybe they just didn't like my playing.

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    Keyboard too far forward

    I can see right away the keyboard is too far forward. I like a good wrist, but distance almost matters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keyboard too far forward

      I find wrists quite useful too :)

  14. emfiliane

    Screen correction:

    It's a 3200x2000 screen. 3840x would be for a full 4K screen, and its 16x10 would be 3840x2400. (At least, without stretched pixels, shudder.) This one's labeled as a "3.2K" for that reason.

  15. Ideasource

    Sleek chargers

    Those sleek chargers the article writer is referring to kill themselves overtime from normal use.

    Those bricks keep on working.

    Longevity and endurance is more valuable than style.

    1. Down not across

      Re: Sleek chargers

      Sleek chargers may also be somewhat underrated so that when running the device full tilt the battery is draining slightly instead of charging. I suppose that will force you to take a break at some point to do nothing and let the battery charge.

  16. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "The power brick is also a disappointment. It's too big and the accompanying IEC cable is an ugly, bulky, relic. "

    So you prefer a less reliable charger? And why is a charger sitting on the actual outlet an advantage, generally? It limits the distance from outlet to laptop to the low voltage cable's length.

    Also it's unclear how it connects if not with USB-C? (I assume it does. and the article was just muddled.)

  17. ragnar

    Keyboard angle

    Funny that they incline the keyboard that way for more comfortable typing - I thought a negative incline was most ergonomic, so the top of your hand remains at the same angle as your wrist and arm.

    1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Keyboard angle

      Correct any angle between the wrist and the fingers restricts the carpel tunnel and can cause irritation. This will produce a less than optimal angle!

  18. Binraider Silver badge

    When you're into that sort of budget level, really, do you want a laptop at all?

    That said desktop GPU's have been terrible value for 3 years now so this would seem to rather limit options on any front.

  19. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

    Nice, but!

    Nice laptop, I can see that Keyboard breaking, and as the writer said, all kinds of gunk getting under there. If you've seen the condition of some of our corporate laptops, you'd agree. (we are construction, and it's not just the job site laptops the end up looking disgusting!)

    As far as all the other nonsense, does anyone even use a laptop as a laptop anymore? We give everyone a laptop, no matter their position, as far as I know only the people who need to use them while traveling use the as a "laptop" and business travel has been cut by almost 90%! Everyone had monitors, keyboard & mouse both in the office and at home! We could probably replace these with a cheap desktop both in office and at home and save money but they'd all cry and it's not worth hearing all the bitching!

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Nice, but!

      I bought a cheap used laptop the last time I was taking a long trip so I could get my email, check the markets and look things up on the web. The last thing I do with my laptop is serious work. I have a really nice (and expensive) keyboard that's a joy to type on when I'm doing lots of writing, a Wacom tablet when I'm editing photos and a Spaceball to compliment my mouse when I'm doing CAD. All of those input devices are connected to silicon beasts that can be and have been upgraded with lots of cores and RAM. I don't see any point to a 'high spec' laptop that's still nowhere near the HP of my desktops and it compromised in far too many directions. There is certainly utility in having a laptop, but I cringe when I see articles on "The best laptop for photo editing" or editing video, 3D CAD, etc. I find it rather zippy to have 12 cpu cores, an 8tb video card driving two calibrated monitors, SSD's and 128gb of memory when editing photos. It didn't come cheap, but the time saved every year absolutely paid for it. I'd still be working on last year's photo jobs if I was using my laptop or on my third laptop after melting a couple down.

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