The Republic of gamers is the stomping ground of gaming rigs, and the ROG Strix Scar II makes its way into the scene with bells, camo, and a four-zone RGB backlight.
As far as gaming laptops go, this laptop is a powerhouse. It chips in with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor along with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card to make a go for the biggest titles in the gaming arena.
With sufficient reserves of memory and storage provision to pool from, this device will plunge into the thick of the action with a big splash that will blow all opposition out of the water.
Design and Appearance
The lid of the Strix Scar II sports two brushed finishes of contrasting shades on either side of a distinct line that stretches diagonally almost entirely across its length.
When you flip the lid, it opens up to a keyboard deck that is dressed in carbon fiber and military camouflage across a vast expanse. This striking visage seemingly gives it the impression of being battle-ready for the rigors of exertions of gaming.
And when you start pounding on this keyboard at the height of gaming action, the keys and the deck by extension will not waver or flex. It is equipped with a sturdy frame that flatters its plastic build. And when you attempt to steady the screen at a suitable viewing angle, it will not respond with a creaking sound or a significant strain.
This is even more remarkable when you consider that a chunk of its chassis is made entirely from plastic.
And while its compact dimensions give it some bragging rights on the fine margins of portability, a weight of 5.28 pounds will ultimately betray any of such claims.
Ports and Connection
Gamers looking to connect to external monitors for a more vibrant 4K UHD output or monitors with G-Sync compatibility for a seamless display will welcome the addition of an HDMI 2.0b and Mini DisplayPort 1.4. And with three USB 3.0 ports filling out alongside a USB-C port, connecting to a host of gaming peripherals is easy as pie.
Also joining in the fray is an audio jack and a card reader compatible with SD and MMC.
For wireless connectivity, look no further than the 802.11ac wi-fi 5 and its capacity to achieve improved speed and stability with extra help from ROG RangeBoost technology. While the Bluetooth 5.0 provision will also come in handy for quick wireless transfers across shorter ranges.
Keyboard and Input devices
The keyboard is one of the many centers of attraction that feature in this laptop.
Notable highlights include a plastic WASD key group with transparent keycaps and a NumPad that will come in handy outside of the gaming arena. Then there is strong feedback to go with a travel of 1.8mm, along with keys that can turn on the Armory crate, adjust the fan speeds or silence the mic among other things.
Asus deploys its HyperStrike Pro technology to work in cahoots with ROG Overstroke technology and N-key rollover technology in this keyboard to make it as comfortable and durable as a mechanical keyboard.
And to the main attraction, RGB LED panels shed light on the keys in a four-zone offering that is still stunning and eye-catching in all its colors.
The trackpad is fairly sized and made from plastic, with Microsoft precision support to boot and buttons for right and left-click. The surface is a bit narrow, but it is smooth and very responsive to all your two-finger or three-finger gestures, and then it offers you precise control over the cursor movements.
And as it integrates two buttons at the bottom that actuate with a slight force and fire off with passable feedback, its surface is inevitably stripped of a clicking function.
The speakers are mounted on either side of the keyboard deck and this apt choice of site speaks volumes about the quality of the delivery that ensues.
The volume can pack a punch or two and the bass hits the right notes, all while turning out with a clarity that can be perceived at any range.
And there is the Sonic Studio III software that brings you closer to the action with its surround sound setup that is even more spectacular when you plug into headphones.
The in-game audio will resonate with the thrill of gameplay. You can pick up the whiff of an advancing opposition from afar, and the booming sounds from rapid-fire will reverberate so resoundingly, you will think it was happening right in front of you.
The display is generously spiced with a variety of ingredients that mark it out as a feast for the eyes.
For starters, the 17.3″ screen rolls out visuals on a Full HD resolution( 1920 x 1080 Pixels). While its 300cd/m² brightness on an IPS panel accounts for a stream of displays that will capture your eye at any turn and any viewing angle.
And with a 144Hz refresh rate along with a GTG response time of 3ms, the display will largely turn out without flicker and pixelation, as smooth as butter.
Then there is a display density of 141.2 pixels-per-inch that makes for crisp text and vibrant imagery.
The bursts of color will bring all the on-screen gaming characters to life, while the pixels morph fluidly into moving images and seamless visuals that will spur you to action.
Professionals in the creative scene will find its 100 percent sRGB color gamut to be of immense value to the quality of their craft.
It is not all rosy with the screen, a chunky bottom bezel that conspicuously houses a grainy off-center 720p webcam will dot the landscape a little. But this glitch will only ever put a slight damper on what is, without doubt, a brilliant display.
Mid-range gaming laptops are known to parade some of the most powerful graphics cards in the business, and the ROG Strix Scar II is no exception.
With the GeForce RTX 2070 GPU saddled with the task of graphics provider, this laptop delivers amazing returns in the revelry and realism of gameplay that is sure to thrill.
The provision for Ray Tracing in this graphics card is not only a boost for the gaming experience but also provides graphic designers with extra juice for their creative endeavors.
This technology will enhance the quality of works that involve 3D rendering and the application of lighting effects along with color simulation to create output that is visually stimulating and easy on the eyes.
And while this laptop will not completely run the gamut of color coverage in the RPG and Adobe spectrum, it will still churn out some truly impressive graphics.
The ROG Strix Scar II is classified as a gaming laptop and it lives up to its billing, off the bat and off the back of its RTX 2070 GPU, especially with its Ray tracing capacity to boot.
Real-time Ray tracing(RTRT) has greased the wheels for more realistic gaming, and this laptop makes the most of this provision even at the attendant risk of dropped frame rates for compatible games.
This laptop will also take on some of the biggest titles in the gaming roster at high resolutions, with the Armory crate software activated, and at the highest system settings applicable.
Big hitters like the Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3 will play at frame rates above the 100fps mark on Ultra settings. The frame rates can reach as high as 140fps at peak graphic settings for games on the FPS side of the eSports divide like PUBG and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. While multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games like Defence of the Ancients (DOTA 2) and League of Legends will step up a notch higher.
Battery life is a problem area with the ROG Strix Scar II as with most other gaming laptops in the same price range, and so playing games while unplugged from a power outlet is a venture that will be largely short-lived. With a full watt-hour tank and with system settings pegged back at half-mast, this laptop will run out of steam after a meager 3 hours of operation.
You can always make some little concessions like tuning down the brightness or enabling windows 10 power mode to extend the runtimes, but you can only ever get so much in return.
Cooling and Noise Emission
The cooling system employed in this laptop is largely effective, although it comes with some little baggage in the form of attendant fan noise.
With the CPU and GPU running in full steam, the heat production that ensues is driven off by the in-house HyperCool Pro cooling system.
This patent technology deploys a cooling plate and two 13V fans in the vigorous campaign to keep this device running smooth and cool.
And as it incorporates an Anti-Dust Cooling system that ejects dust and dirt from the fan vents, the system components inside the deck will get some much-needed respite.
The fans make their presence felt in a manner that many may find a tad displeasing. And setting the fan speeds to turbo mode will only further fan the flames in return for the rapid expulsion of heat from the system.
The only performance rating metric that really matters when it comes to the ROG Strix Scar II is its gaming performance. And as you might have earlier read in this review, this laptop gets near full marks, and then it gets bonus points for the sheer power and speed with which it executes other computing tasks.
Beyond the blinding lights and the booming sounds, this laptop packs in the punches of a Hexa-core processor; an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8750H workhorse.
And with this much processing power working in concert with a stellar cast for support in the form of 16 GB DDR4 RAM alongside a base storage of 512GB, the ROG Strix Scar II will be on a roll.
It will make light work of regular system tasks like booting up and launching system apps and programs at an expeditious pace too. This laptop will blitz past everyday computing activities like emailing, word processing, and web browsing.
And when you step up the plate with more intensive tasks like video transcoding or 3D rendering, the Ray tracing arm of the graphics card will step up to simulate all the lights and the colors to deliver the spectacular at a canter.
Avid gamers will relish in the tantalizing taste of gaming action that the Asus ROG Strix Scar II serves up in a platter. And while the absence of the Thunderbolt port, a weak battery, and an imposing price sticker rank among the biggest turn-offs, there is more than enough in this laptop to turn heads still.
The hardware under the hood is tailor-made to deliver a truly sensational gaming experience. The keyboard is set against a backdrop of RGB backlighting, and the audio delivery is music to the ears.
And from the game-ready processors to an impressive display, this laptop gets all its props ready to stage a spectacular gaming exhibition.
But it is not all smooth sailing, the battery is a major spoiler and the fans don’t play out according to the script. But this laptop scales all these hurdles to deliver the immersive thrills of gaming to your viewing pleasure.
Max Screen Resolution
1920 x 1080 Pixels
3.9 GHz apple core-i7 8750H
16 GB DDR4
512 GB Hybrid Drive
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
ROG SCAR II GL504
Windows 10 Home
14.2 x 10.8 x 1 inches