Asus ROG Strix Scar 17: Highly effective, Flamboyant, By-product

Asus is at all times on the lookout for a approach to shock me. It is a firm that may produce the elegant ROG Zephyrus G14 and G15 gaming laptops – with the very best within the enterprise when it comes to design and thinness. It might additionally make the Stream Z13, a slim gaming pill with highly effective specs. Then once more, it might go within the utterly wrong way, to create one thing just like the Strix Scar 17, a robust however far much less subtle laptop computer that begins at $1,999 and goes up from there. I’d say it’s clearly a instrument made for players, however I do know a number of players who wouldn’t wish to be seen utilizing the factor.

Its thick chassis is partially translucent, with multi-colored LEDs shining on it, and the enclosure has an angular lower out for its show – simply because! You possibly can even swap between among the included “armor caps” to offer your laptop computer a distinct look from the again.

The 2022 mannequin of the Strix Scar 17 is only a refresh, with little or no change to its exterior from its predecessors (it nonetheless doesn’t have a webcam, for instance). A lot of the main focus was on making important upgrades to its internals. It’s a pace machine, with 32GB of quick DDR5 RAM, a robust Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, and Intel’s Core i9 12900H processor built-in. And to see all that energy on the show (nicely, relying on the video games you play), its 17.3-inch QHD panel has a 240Hz refresh price.

great things

  • wonderful efficiency at a great worth
  • surprisingly good speaker
  • my favourite laptop computer keyboard

dangerous stuff

  • Plastic Chassis Flex and Crax
  • the shortage of a webcam is a miss
  • By-product (and divisive) design

It is a laptop computer the place you possibly can simply entry the most recent Intel and Nvidia {hardware}. The Strix Scar 17 may be trusted to play any recreation at a good body price. Whereas this mannequin doesn’t essentially imply that the laptop computer was able to working lots of these video games nicely on the Alienware QD-OLED gaming monitor, which has the next decision of 3440 x 1440 than the Strix’s built-in laptop computer show.

This laptop computer can’t go toe-to-toe with the brand new Razer Blade 17 or the Alienware X17, not less than when it comes to seems. Each characteristic a slim, spectacular design with high-end building supplies. But when these qualities don’t matter to you, the Strix Scar 17’s worth could also be greater than what you’re on the lookout for. Whereas getting the Blade 17 or X17 with comparable specs will price you over $3,000, the mannequin I examined prices $2,499.99 at MicroCenter. Until you heed a few of Asus’ modest cost-cutting measures, like constructing your laptop computer in plastic as an alternative of aluminum, and different annoyances just like the McAfee anti-virus pop-up, you’re getting a number of energy on your cash.

This strip of LEDs involves life – even when the laptop computer is sleeping.

The Strix Scar 17’s design is in a phrase extreme. Like earlier iterations of this laptop computer, it’s prepared for 9 RGB LED thrives. There’s a big strip of lights on the entrance of the chassis and beneath the wrist relaxation. There’s one other gentle strip within the backside fringe of the show, diffusing gentle (considerably tastefully, truly) onto the raised venting element. The ROG brand is lit on the again of the show, and so are every of the keys on the Asus mechanical keyboard. For sure, it is best to in all probability keep away from this laptop computer when you’re behind one thing that doesn’t have the RGB LEDs seen at almost each angle.

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When seen from top-down, the chassis is split alongside a line that divides an all-black, soft-touch part with a smoky translucent part that allows you to see a bit into the machine. Provides what seems good.

The Strix Scar’s keyboard, as soon as once more, supplies a easy typing expertise whereas carrying across the laptop computer. The keys are almost silent, but they really feel tactile and full for typing. It could take a couple of days to get accustomed to the keyboard format, however I’m with no matter Asus goes to do right here. There are devoted keys close to the highest of the keyboard for quantity, and the facility button so distant from the opposite keys that it might probably’t be pressed by chance. There are even 4 programmable keys that you could customise inside Asus’ Armory Crate software program that comes pre-installed.

This keyboard has every part I need, proper the place I need it.

This large trackpad can fail to click on when you put an excessive amount of weight on the chassis.

Asus takes full benefit of the chassis actual property by together with a quantity pad in addition to a large trackpad. The trackpad itself is nice, although it doesn’t click on on the precise aspect of it when you place a number of weight on the middle of the laptop computer. This shouldn’t be a difficulty for most individuals, until you’re somebody who carries their weight on a wrist relaxation. The plastic round this laptop computer flexes fairly a bit—not a priority, nevertheless it’s sufficient to impress performance on this case. Additionally, the laptop computer’s principally plastic design sometimes crumbles once I decide it up. It’s not one thing you’ll expertise with laptops from Razer or Alienware, although whether or not or not it justifies their increased costs will depend upon the person. It’s value noting that the Strix Scar 17’s construct supplies don’t ship a laptop computer that’s lighter than the competitors, however I wouldn’t name it heavy. It weighs 6.4 kilos, whereas the Razer’s all-aluminum blade weighs in at 17 6.06 kilos. The X17 can go as much as seven kilos.

For port choice, there’s a headphone jack together with two USB-A ports on the left (down from three in earlier iterations). On the again, there’s a proprietary energy connector, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet jack, an HDMI 2.1 port, and two Thunderbolt 4 USB 4 Kind-C ports.

On the precise, there’s the Keystone II NFC bodily key that can be utilized to securely log right into a laptop computer, with all Asus accounts and system settings in tow. Moreover, it might probably activate a efficiency mode and a specified app when inserted. Conversely, you possibly can program it to lock the pc or shut the applying when it’s eliminated. It will possibly additionally give entry to a “shadow drive”, which may be encrypted when you have Home windows 11 Professional. It’s a characteristic I’d anticipate to see on business-class laptops, so it’s odd to incorporate it with a gaming laptop computer.

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Right here’s what the plastic Keystone II NFC key seems like when it’s magnetically connected to a laptop computer.

The rear homes a lot of the great things, together with Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and a USB-C port.

Contemplating how superior most gaming laptop computer audio system are, I didn’t anticipate that one among my favourite issues in regards to the Strix Scar 17 can be its audio system. On prime of its full-size keyboard that sorts like a dream, my music and video games performed higher via this laptop computer’s audio system than any I’ve examined earlier than (at par or barely beneath the place Apple’s audio system are). 16-inch MacBooks have professional). There’s much more punch of their sound in video games than what I’ve skilled with different gaming laptops.

The Strix Scar 17’s show is nice when the laptop computer is plugged in, however just a little low when its battery is drained. It’s because there’s a characteristic that step by step dims and brightens the panel relying on what’s being displayed. It’s on by default, however it may be turned off within the Intel Graphics Command Heart. One other quirk that’s arduous to disregard is the shortage of a webcam on this laptop computer. Regardless of including a webcam to this 12 months’s ROG Zephyrus G14, G15, and others, Asus nonetheless has a handful of gaming laptops with out one — the Strix Scar 17 included. The highest bezel appears large enough to accommodate a smaller lens, so Asus’ choice to drop the webcam looks like a miss.

In any other case, I’ve no complaints in regards to the show. The configuration I’m testing has a 17.3-inch QHD IPS panel with a 240Hz refresh price. It helps one hundred pc of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, and its 300 nits peak brightness makes it shiny sufficient to learn when it’s basking in pure gentle from a window. Asus affords a 1080p show choice for the Strix Scar 17, however QHD is the precise decision for a 17-inch gaming laptop computer. 4K remains to be demanding on the very best cellular {hardware}. By comparability, QHD isn’t as a lot of a problem, but it seems virtually pretty much as good as 4K (to not point out, it seems dramatically higher than 1080p).

The Strix Scar 17 makes a giant recreation speak about bringing what players need, and its specs principally ship on that promise. cyberpunk 2077, at the moment one of the system-intensive PC video games on the market, can run at round 50 frames per second with QHD decision, Extremely graphics settings (DLSS on) and ray tracing settings. That result’s about 17fps shy of what the 2022 Razer Blade 17’s RTX 3080 Ti was able to. It’s in a laptop computer that prices $1,500 much less.

You possibly can swap out the magnetic plate on the again for a barely totally different look.

The underside of the show scatters some RGB lighting onto the hinge.

Asus laptop computer additionally carried out nicely purple useless redemption 2, At Extremely settings (no DLSS) in QHD decision, it achieved a easy 65fps, whereas it acquired a 7fps increase when DLSS was turned on. In each recreation I attempted to play, the Strix Scar 17 didn’t face many obstacles in its finest setting. Its specs can deal with most video games with out requiring the laptop computer’s “Efficiency” or “Turbo” mode (the keyboard has devoted buttons to take action), which bump up the clock pace of the CPU and graphics card, after which amps. Up fan pace accordingly.

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The laptop computer’s fan can get loud, nevertheless it’s not fairly as loud as different high-end gaming laptops. And even at peak efficiency, the Strix Scar 17’s above-average audio system do an admirable job at silencing followers’ voices (although dialogue-heavy video games gained’t fare as nicely, so use some headphones). do if this is applicable to you). Additionally, with reference to cooling, solely the last-most parts of this laptop computer get toasty throughout gameplay, however not so scorching that it might probably’t be used or dealt with comfortably.

The Strix Scar 17 delivers commendable efficiency exterior of gaming, primarily in creative-focused functions like Adobe Premiere Professional. It ripped via our export take a look at sooner than the latest laptop computer we examined, finishing its render of our 4-minute, 33-second 4K video file in simply two minutes and 9 seconds. It additionally carried out very nicely within the Pugetbench suite of benchmarking instruments for the Premiere Professional, scoring 1,001, which beats each laptop computer we’ve examined thus far in 2022, apart from MSI’s pricier GE76 Raider.

Let’s not neglect the always-practical USB-A port and headphone jack on the left.

Photograph by Cameron Faulkner/The Verge

The design of this laptop computer was clearly impressed by the 2 face character.

It’s virtually a provided that no highly effective gaming laptop computer could have such nice battery life. And sadly, right here it’s. Its 90Wh battery can final about three and a half hours beneath regular use, which I outline as working a dozen or so browser tabs, music streaming, and chat apps like Slack. On the intense aspect, you possibly can recharge this 12 months’s Strix Scar 17 by way of USB-C—as much as 100W—with the USB-C PD charger. Earlier variations of this laptop computer required you to hold round its massive and hulking 280W energy brick. Until you intend on gaming on the go, USB-C recharging is a viable choice.

Asus’ Strix Scar 17 proves that you just don’t must lay our a fortune to get entry to a sooner Intel Elder Lake processor or Nvidia’s 3070 Ti cellular graphics card. And for this mannequin’s $2,499 worth, it affords many different nice issues, like its tactile keyboard, sharp QHD show, booming audio system, and above-average port choice.

Nonetheless, you will see lots of its finest options in a few of Asus’ different high-end gaming laptops that provide higher design. The brand new ROG Zephyrus G14 can’t probably stack as much as its energy. However its new ROG Zephyrus M16, for instance, has comparable specs to the Strix, packed right into a sharper design that homes a webcam. Moreover, it has a tall 16:10 side ratio, albeit a barely smaller display screen. Importantly, the M16 is $300 lower than the mannequin I reviewed, which prices $2,149.99—about $300 lower than the Strix. Whereas the general graphics energy of its GPU is prone to be lower than that of the Strix Scar 17, the M16 may very well be a stable selection if you recognize you need a highly effective Asus laptop computer.