We've been testing ASUS' powerhouse of a gaming laptop for the past couple of weeks.
For me, gaming laptops have always faced a few different stigmas. Whether that's the farfetched and seemingly implausible concept of being able to play the latest and most demanding of games on a system that is drastically more compact and portable than a desktop PC, or rather the nature of buying a laptop that has a much bigger set of proportions and goes against the core principle of having a device that you can and want to be able to carry with you on the go - for me there's always been hurdles in this section of technology. But, today's systems are significantly different to gaming laptops of a few years ago, and now are being designed to tackle some of these challenges, which is clearly present within ASUS' powerhouse of a product, the ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022), a laptop I've been testing for the past couple of weeks.
For those who are wondering, this isn't some entry level gaming laptop, it's a true monster that is crammed with a whole host of the latest and most powerful hardware on the market. In the instance of the review unit I've been playing around with, beneath the hood there's a 12th Generation Intel i9-12900H processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, and 16GBs of DDR5 RAM. All of this is used to fully utilise the system's 240Hz QHD display, which can either run games incredibly smoothly or instead serve up striking and truly marvellous visuals.
And this is exactly what it does, sometimes at the same time. Over my time testing, I've checked out a variety of titles, including Forza Horizon 5, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Life is Strange: True Colors, and more. For the latter, when running the game on its most demanding settings, the ROG Strix Scar 17 usually ran between 100-160 frames-per-second, meaning you get to experience the vibrant colours of Haven Springs, but also get fluid and smooth gameplay - but this is what you'd hope for a less demanding title like Life is Strange: True Colors.
Which leads me to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, another title that boasts a broad colour palette. Once again, using the most demanding of visual options in the game, this laptop often clocked in at 110 fps, and this generally remained steady regardless of whether in a slower part of gameplay or when in action-packed fight scenes with Star-Lord and the rest of the crew shooting, exploding, and just causing chaos.
This is an ad:
As for Forza Horizon 5, this is where the ROG Strix Scar 17 had to work the hardest. Running the title at its most demanding, the frame rate would dip as low as 20 fps and as high as 70 fps, depending on what was happening in the game at one time. I will say that while the lower frame rate was noticeable, as the display is only 17-inches, the lack of fluidity isn't as off-putting as it would be on a larger monitor.
But what I will add is while performance differs depending on what you ask of this laptop, the one thing that truly remained consistent was the noise level of the ROG Strix Scar 17. Thanks to the liquid metal thermal compound and four unique fans that suck cool air into the top and push hot air out the back and sides of the device, this means that it never gets too hot and also keeps a low noise profile, which is a bonus when using the system's great-sounding built-in speakers during gameplay.
It's not exactly a perfect gaming laptop however, as the battery seems to just melt away when playing games. You have to keep this laptop plugged into the mains if you want to game for a couple of hours or more, as otherwise, you'll have a dead battery in no time at all. This isn't the case if you want to use the ROG Strix Scar 17 for regular work or leisure, such as streaming or browsing the internet, but it is definitely the case as soon as you decide to boot up a game and clock some hours in.
This is an ad:
Otherwise, I'd like to point out that while the ROG Strix Scar 17 does have its fair share of RGB (both under the keys and on a strip on its base), this is a laptop that doesn't have that 'gamery' aesthetic per se. The profile and body is refined and quite subtle for a gaming laptop, and if it wasn't for the four large vents on the back and the sides, or the air intake behind where the display stands, you probably wouldn't think of this as much of a gaming laptop. It does have a bit of heft to it, and it is significantly heavier than you would expect, but when taking into account the hardware it's packing, you can understand why.
But the one thing to again emphasise with the ROG Strix Scar 17 is that this isn't a cheap laptop. It is very powerful, has a great design, has a low noise profile - all the features that you'd want from a gaming laptop - but this all comes at a very expensive price tag. If you're looking for a system to play the most demanding of games when on the go, this ticks most of the boxes. You'll just need to sell an arm and a leg to buy one.
9 / 10
Exceptional performance. Appearance is subtle yet unique. Low noise-profile. Stays cool all the time. Display makes for striking visuals.
Very expensive. Battery life when gaming is almost non-existent. Rather heavy.