Asus ROG Strix Scar 2 review – a beast that tears through the competition

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As soon as you see the ROG Strix Scar II you know it means business.

The contrasting directions of the brushed metal lid, cut-out screen hinge and off-centre logo light all offer hints at the attention to detail that has been paid to this beast of a laptop throughout its design, and that continues as you dig deeper in.

They keys feel as good as they look, in keeping with the rest of the device

The first impression when you open it up and turn it on can be a little overwhelming. The lighting on the keyboard and running along the front assaults your eyeballs with an instant rainbow of colour, offset against a split camo and carbon fibre pattern case.

They full-size keyboard, complete with num pad, feels as good as it looks, and even if you use it as a pure desktop replacement you won’t feel compelled to plug in an external one.

The keys have a decent travel distance and clicky response that makes using them comfortable and satisfying, and their size and separation make it a pleasure to use for gaming or typing.

The trackpad can be turned off with a simple button-press too, so if you do plug in an external mouse for gaming you can safely ignore it without fear of misclicks or other interference.

It does work well enough so that when you need to use it you can without issues — it’s got full support for Windows 10’s gestures and the like.

 

  • Asus ROG Strix Scar II £1,384.99 from Scan.co.uk (RRP £1.699.99) – buy it now

 

ON THE GO, TO AN EXTENT

The battery life clocks in at just shy of four hours for ‘normal’ use, though the performance hit from some of the power-saving options combined with the fact trackpads and gaming are a terrible mix mean its use away from a power socket are somewhat limited.

When it’s plugged in and going full steam, though, it really does go great guns.

The 1080p 17.3-inch screen is driven by an 8th gen Core i7 processor and dedicated Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, which mean it’ll power through whatever you throw at it.

It doesn’t quite have the grunt to manage the very highest settings of graphically extravagant games such as Anthem, but for any sort of game optimised for competitive play or with fewer graphical bells and whistles the 144Mhz display’s 3ms response time shines.

The speedy SSD also ensures loading times are as short as is humanly possible, while the 1TB hard drive means you’ve got more than enough room for everything you don’t need to stick on that SSD.

The two-tone brushed metal lid and offset light-up logo give Scar 2 a striking look
The cut-out hinge makes for a slightly more compact form when opened, and makes the same set of indicator lights visible when open or closed
  • Asus ROG Strix Scar II £1,384.99 from Scan.co.uk (RRP £1.699.99) – buy it now

NOTE OF CAUTION

One thing you will want to get with the ROG Strix Scar II is a good pair of headphones, though.

While its great cooling tech means it is comfortable to use for extended periods, that comes at the cost of some pretty loud fans.

The form factor and laser-guided focus on performance also leaves the onboard sound a little bit wanting especially on the top end.

At under 3kg it’s also perfectly luggable — though the chunky power supply does add to that weight.

 

The underside reveals a whole host of vents and heatsinks that give the Scar 2 remarkable cooling power but lacklustre on-board sound
A whole host of full-size ports mean you wont be left wanting, whatever you need to plug in


FINAL THOUGHTS

Throw in a mouse and headset and you’ve got a great desktop alternative set-up that should last you for a good few years to come.

Thankfully, Asus has you covered there too — for those who like their kit to match, the Asus ROG Strix Fusion 500 headset and the Asus ROG Gladius II mouse are perfect additions, and both feature Asus’ AuraSync lighting technology to keep your rainbows aligned.

Overall, the Asus ROG Strix II is a pleasure to use anywhere you want to game or work, just as long as you’ve got a power socket to hand.

  • Asus ROG Strix Scar II £1,384.99 from Scan.co.uk (RRP £1.699.99) – buy it now

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