scorecardAsus ROG Strix Scar 17 2023 review
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Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 2023 review

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 2023 review
Tech8 min read
Image credits- Business Insider India
  • ROG Strix Scar 17 has a 17.3-inch display with a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz.
  • It features AMD RyzenTM 9 7945HX Mobile Processor, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 GPU unit.
  • The laptop is available for ₹269,990 in Amazon.
Asus is among the best in the business regarding gaming laptops. Under the Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand, Asus has several gaming laptops to suit everyone’s requirements. The ROG Strix series is my favourite as it features portability, utility, great battery life, and top-of-the-line hardware. The 2023 edition of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is no different and is packed with a powerful laptop CPU AMD RyzenTM 9 7945HX Mobile Processor, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 GPU unit.

The ROG Strix Scar 17 has a 17.3-inch display with a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz (excellent for gamers), over 2 hours of battery life, a punchy keyboard, good audio, and much more.

I have been testing the fully loaded version of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 as my daily driver for the last two weeks, and here is my taking on one of the most capable gaming laptops of this year.

PROS


  • Aggressive yet thoughtful design
  • Phenomenal performance
  • Respectable image quality
  • Lovely sounding speakers

CONS


  • Expensive
  • 720p Webcam is unimpressive
  • No biometric security features or card reader
  • Battery life is sub-par

Price & availability


How much does it cost?
You can purchase this machine at a discounted price of ₹269,990.

Where can you get it?
In India, you have the option to purchase it through various channels, including Amazon, Asus online store, and Asus offline stores.

When is it available?
The device is up for sale.

Offers and discounts (Amazon)
  • Get a 5% instant discount of up to INR 250 on HSBC Cashback Card Credit Card transactions.
  • Avail a flat INR 4000 instant discount on HDFC Bank Card EMI transactions.
  • By exchanging your old device, you can receive a discount of up to INR 14,000.

Familiar design


Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

Asus presents a familiar design package with the latest ROG Strix Scar 17, incorporating minor adjustments. The laptop retains its sleek, all-black appearance with a matte finish, prone to smudging. Particularly, the deck area requires frequent wiping, especially if you have sweaty palms. The monotony is broken only by the ROG-branded plate cap in the top-right corner and the dotted pattern on the remaining area behind the display lid.

A notable design element is a contrasting effect achieved by the modified hinge rib, which adds visual interest to an otherwise plain top lid. The lid features the backlit ROG logo outlined in white and a thin line that matches the angular aesthetics of the corner plate. To emphasize its gaming credentials, the laptop boasts a glass-like transparent RGB light strip underneath the front deck edge, extending to the sides.

While there is a slight flex to the lid when opening the screen, the hinge mechanism holds everything securely without any concerning lateral movements or creaking sounds. The arched hinge provides a tighter and more reassuring experience than the hinge engineering of certain ROG Zephyrus laptops prone to damage. Overall, the ROG Strix Scar 17 offers a design that may not turn heads but remains visually pleasing with its conservative familiarity.

Weighing three kilograms, the laptop is sleek enough to fit into larger laptop bags, making it easy to carry around. However, the charging cable and adapter are somewhat bulky.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

You’ll find a pair of USB Type-C ports and a 3.5mm audio jack on the laptop’s left side. At the back, there is the charging port, LAN port, HDMI port, and a pair of USB Type-A ports, showcasing the changing times. While it's great to have two USB Type-A ports, more USB Type-C ports would be highly desirable. The absence of ports on the right side is notable. Placing the charging cable and LAN port on the side would allow for more comfortable configurations, such as when lying down or using a beanbag and a low table. The charging port at the back increases the likelihood of the cable slipping out, although an on-screen alert notifies you when this occurs. Reaching around the back of the device to reconnect the cable can be challenging, especially when the port is not visible. Additionally, using a wired mouse requires excessive wire length as it needs to wrap around the entire device, a problem that could be easily solved by having a USB Type-C port on the right side.

Display that gets the job done


Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

The ROG Strix Scar 17 features a 17.3-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) panel with a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. However, its standout feature is the impressive 240Hz refresh rate, a quick 3ms response time and support for Dolby Vision HDR. This screen offers a decent viewing experience, delivering high-contrast content with satisfactory colour saturation. The benefits of a pixel-dense, high refresh rate display are immediately noticeable.

Although the viewing angles could be better, it is unlikely a major issue since most of your time will be spent looking at the screen head-on, where colour shifts are less noticeable. The IPS screen of the ROG Strix Scar 17 supports G-Sync and provides precise colour control with full coverage of the DCI-P3 and sRGB colour gamuts. Even when used outdoors under daylight, the need to readjust the screen angle is minimal due to the good brightness output, making it suitable for both work and play. However, in such conditions, colours may appear slightly muted. While Asus offers better screens in their Zephyrus lineup of gaming laptops, the ROG Strix Scar 17 panel is still respectable, especially considering the premium price tag of competing machines with similar CPU and GPU configurations.

Keeping the keyboard and trackpad simple


Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

Asus has successfully struck a balance with the keyboard and trackpad on the Scar 17, which remains unchanged in the latest model. The membrane keyboard provides a satisfying typing experience with a slimmed-down number pad and useful function keys, including dedicated volume controls. Typing on the Scar 17 is a delight, and I appreciate Asus's decision to stick with the membrane keyboard rather than opting for ‘mechanical’ alternatives found in machines like the Alienware x17 R2. Additionally, you can customize the keyboard's per-key RGB lighting using Armoury Crate.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

The trackpad is decent, although it's slightly small. It follows the offset placement to the left, a characteristic seen in other Asus laptops, which I'm not fond of. When resting your fingers on the WASD keys, your palm may unintentionally rest on the trackpad's side. However, the trackpad excels at rejecting inputs from your palm. I repeatedly brushed my palm across the entire trackpad surface, yet it didn't register the slightest unintended input until I intentionally used my finger.

Tunning and heating


The pre-installed Armory Crate app is the central hub for all your aesthetic customization and system tuning requirements. Depending on your usage preferences, you can easily switch between silent, performance, and turbo profiles, each offering a pre-configured level of CPU/GPU frequency and variable fan speed to provide the desired power output. By default, the Turbo profile grants you access to 230W (55W CPU + 175W GPU) power, but utilizing the Manual preset allows for an additional 10W boost from the CPU.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

To ensure efficient cooling, the ROG Strix Scar 17 employs a four-vent system that effectively expels hot air, while a combination of vapor chamber cooling, a liquid metal layer covering the CPU and GPU, and dual arc flow fans prevent internal temperatures from rising excessively. This comprehensive cooling setup truly delivers.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

The laptop impressively remains cool even in a room with a sustained ambient temperature and playing games at peak performance settings. After a 40-minute gaming session, with all the ray-tracing and DLSS features in full effect, the laptop deck never becomes uncomfortably hot—a rarity among laptops boasting such high-performance capabilities. However, it's worth noting that the internal CPU temperature did reach the 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius) mark.

Gaming performance


This laptop boasts a powerful combination of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU and the AMD RyzenTM 9 7945HX Mobile Processor series CPU, delivering exceptional gaming performance. The GPU has advanced features such as RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors, resulting in realistic ray-traced graphics.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Image credits- Business Insider India

During my testing, I played games like Days Gone, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, GTA 5, and Sniper Elite 4, and the gaming experience was a treat on this laptop. I could play all these games at high settings without any noticeable lag. However, I did experience some disappointment in terms of heating and fan noise. If you want to enjoy the sound while gaming fully, I would recommend using headphones to mitigate the somewhat daunting fan noise.

Furthermore, I tested several AAA titles that can achieve a smooth 90 frames per second at ultra settings, and the laptop performed admirably. Undoubtedly, it can handle demanding games like Far Cry 6 and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy at ultra settings, providing an immersive gaming experience.

Battery & charging


The ROG Strix Scar 17 is equipped with a 4-cell 90-watt-hours battery, which comes with a 330W power brick. Asus claims that the laptop can charge from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes, but this is under the assumption that the laptop is not actively engaged in any system activity. In real-world scenarios, with the machine powered on, a few background apps running, and the Silent profile enabled from Armory Crate, it took approximately 42 minutes to reach the halfway mark of the battery's capacity. However, if you prefer to avoid carrying the large power brick around, the Asus machine also offers the convenience of 100W charging via one of the Type-C ports.

Battery life has historically been a concern for gaming laptops unless you are performing regular office or college work that is less demanding. While it's impossible to game on battery power alone, the laptop can last around 4-5 hours with normal work usage before recharging.

Conclusion


The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 has a price tag of Rs 2,69,990. While it's important to compare specifications and acknowledge the shortcomings of each device, when you're in this price range, it's crucial to choose a gaming laptop that resonates with your preferences. The HP Omen offers a powerful and beastly experience, the Dell Alienware provides an otherworldly gaming experience, and the MSI Raider is a formidable contender. All of these options have their merits.

On the other hand, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 takes a different approach. It's like a silent, unassuming, and lethal ninja with hidden features. Striking a fine balance between performance and portability, it's an easy recommendation for me. In fact, if I purchase a gaming laptop, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is my top choice.

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