Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition review

All the firepower you’d need in a gaming laptop

Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition

The Strix Scar Edition is undoubtedly a souped up gaming machine, with a lot of flexibility and enough power to hold its own against many gaming PCs. That’s all thanks to its incredibly powerful internals. That not only means that regular everyday and multitasking demands are almost a no-brainer to this laptop, but it’s also got enough juice to play any game like butter – even at the highest graphic settings.

Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 26,835; Fire Strike: 6,670; Time Spy: 5,083
Cinebench CPU: 730 points; Graphics: 104.17 fps
GeekBench: 3,686 (single-core); 13,833 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 4,038 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 1 hour and 48 minutes
Battery Life (techradar movie test): 1 hours and 00 minutes
Total War: Warhammer II (1080p, Ultra): 51.6 fps; (1080p, Low): 111.5 fps
ME: Shadow of War (1080p, Ultra): 79 fps; (1080p, Low): 120 fps

The laptop has a 1080p, IPS display powered by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with a 144Hz refresh rate for smooth, beautiful visuals and sharper, crisper graphics, even if the color representation is a tad off at default, leaning more towards a yellow-green tinge. There’s no stutter or discernible lagging in gameplay, which is pretty impressive for a non-PC gaming machine.

In Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, there are no stutters or noticeable frame rate drops. It is easy to tell that the laptop can easily keep up. That’s more than impressive considering the game is visually demanding, has an extremely high frame rate at around 120 frames per second (fps), and it has all these environmental effects going on at the same time. 

It’s a similar, immersive gaming experience to what we had with Tom Clancy’s The Division. This is a pseudo multiplayer game with a detailed, post-apocalyptic New York setting and a plethora of environmental effects, so you know there are many things going on. However, you never notice the graphics exhibit and loss of crispness, texture drops, stuttering or lags.

Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition

Battery life

We can’t say we’re impressed by the Strix Scar Edition’s battery power. Like the GL502VS, this only gets a 62Wh battery, which means the battery life is pretty short. When the computer is on battery mode while playing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the frame rate does drop significantly and has trouble reaching 30fps. Additionally, at full charge, it only had enough power to play Guardians of the Galaxy in full once at 50% brightness plus about 15 extra minutes into a second run of the movie.  

Considering this is a gaming laptop capable of handling complex graphics and physics, space is prioritized for those parts over battery.

Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition

Side-firing speakers

Asus designed the Strix Scar Edition with side-firing speakers, intended for not just clearer and more accurate audio output but for a more immersive soundstage. It’s also designed to boast 2x more volume, 3x extra bass power, and 1.5x increased dynamic range.

We must admit that, for a set of laptop speakers, these are impressively loud and powerful. And, because of their placement, they have a really good soundstage that could almost emulate the immersiveness of surround sound. The actual sound quality is decent, with a good bass presence for gaming, albeit not enough for music, and compressed-sounding mids so voices come out load and clear.

It’s not audiophile quality, and some audio details are missing in movies and music, but it’s good enough for gaming.

ROG Gaming Center

Pressing the fourth hotkey with the ROG logo on it brings up the very involved ROG Gaming Center. This Windows 10 app contains important information about the laptop (processor, GPU, hard drive), the system (CPU/GPU individual core clocking speeds, temperature and amount of memory being used), and storage usage that includes a Free Up Memory button that allows you to free up some space.

Most importantly, the software allows you to set and select gaming profiles as well as adjust other settings for backlighting, fan, pictures modes, certain keys and the touchpad, to name a few. Each Game Profile—there are only three—essentially lets you assign a specific application to it and set the backlighting, fan overboost and picture mode, as well enable/disable the ROG key, Windows Key and touchpad. This way, when you select a profile in the Gaming Center, it will automatically open that application and switch settings. 

Additionally, there are four extra programs accessible through this Gaming Center that are worth noting. There’s the XSplit Gamecaster, which allows you to stream the game you’re playing; Sonic Radar wherein you can adjust the soundstage and virtual surround sound settings; Sonic Studio where you can adjust the EQ and other audio settings; and GeForce Experience, which allows you to optimize game settings, get drivers and capture and share your gameplay.

That’s a lot of access for a nifty app you can quickly access with just the press of a hotkey.

Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition

Final verdict

There’s no doubt you’ll find the Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition as impressive as we do. The performance and speed of this gaming laptop can rival some of the most powerful gaming PCs in the market. As nice extras, Asus also slapped on a decent pair of side-firing speakers, a very responsive gaming keyboard, and an effective cooling system to keep the heat down, to name a few.

This gaming laptop has its share of inadequacies (e.g. the battery and the trackpad), but many of its strongest features make it a powerful gaming machine worthy of its price tag.