The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II (GL504GS) proves how far ASUS can go when it comes to pushing limits in terms of creating gaming hardware. ROG has ticked all the right ingredients to deliver immersive gameplay: a screen with thin bezels, a back-lit keyboard, and power to handle even the heaviest FPS and AAA games.
Design & Construction
True to the ROG line’s aesthetic, the Scar II’s build alone already looks impressive. Weighing 2.4kg, the heaviness is just a compromise considering the features packed in its slim exterior. On the cover is the LED ROG logo with AuraSync, and right beneath the screen is another ROG logo. Near the keyboard is a subtle camouflage design which serves as a nod to most FPS games that feature military themes, and at the front is a LED panel which also syncs with the outer logo and keyboard. The Scar II instantly gives street cred to whoever’s holding it and just judging by its looks you can already infer that this is a lean, mean, gaming machine.
Among the hallmarks of ROG’s innovation are its engineering feats incorporated with the Scar II’s design. Much like the Strix Hero II, it carries the patented anti-dust cooling system unique to the ROG line which not only keeps the laptop’s internal temperature in check, it also helps prolong the hardware’s lifespan by cleaning it from the inside.
The keyboard is also equipped with Overstroke Technology, designed to make pressing buttons more comfortable and adapted to accurately determine pressure. The WASD keys are also highlighted to make it easier to locate, and with the button sizes configured to be identical to that of a desktop keyboard.
Display & Multimedia
The narrow borders surrounding its display contributes to a much more immersive gameplay. It has a 144Hz refresh rate, running the graphics smoothly. During gameplay, this definitely gives you an edge because every second counts while in-game. The enhanced 100% sRGB color gamut also ensures that the Strix Scar II’s display produces colors just the way you are meant to see them.
As for sound, the Strix Scar II’s Sonic Radar III feature creates an effect that lets you visualize audio effects. Incredibly useful in FPS games, the laptop can help you deduce which direction an attacker is coming from with just the sound–giving off the illusion that will fully immerse you into the game. The only downside is, this feature doesn’t work on all games. Once activated, the software scans for supported games and analyzes the audio. If compatible, the Sonic Radar III feature can simulate a 3D-sounding environment through binaural hearing.
The Strix Scar II did fulfill its promise of power and speed when it comes to performance. We tried playing Bioshock Infinite and Fallout: New Vegas on its maximum graphics settings and were still able to play both games smoothly without any issues such as lagging. Since it’s powered by the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX-10 series graphics card, the Strix Scar II is definitely capable in running FPS and AAA games. The 8GB RAM is more than enough to handle even the heaviest entries in your Steam wishlist.
This beast also carries RangeBoost Technology which allows the laptop to switch between different main and aux antennas according to signal strength. This, in turn, reduces blind spots so that you won’t need to worry about losing connection while in-game.
Though, it bears pointing out, that we noticed irregularities in graphics performance. We tested it using Tekken 7 and found that at best, it can only reach 30fps when running on battery alone, but quickly switches to 60fps when plugged. After already double checking game settings, it seems that the Strix Scar II has automatic settings that lower the frame rate to save power when unplugged. We couldn’t determine if this feature can be switched off, but if not, this defeats the purpose of being a portable gaming device if it can’t deliver its best without relying on being plugged.
In conclusion, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II is a truly impressive device streamlined for gaming. This is definitely the kind of powerhouse laptop worth investing on if you want to build a career in esports or make a living out of game streaming. But even if this is a gaming laptop, it can also perform well in other aspects such as video editing, graphic design, and possibly even for rendering 3D art because of its powerful specs. The Strix Scar II retails locally for Php 129,995.