- Good Design and Build Quality
- One of the Few RTX Laptop in the Market
- Good Performance
- Great Speakers
- Good Display
- Thermals need a lot of improvement
- Not a G-SYNC Display
Design & Build Quality
The ROG Scar II has not changed a lot when it comes to design as it still rocks the same body and design as the previous Strix Scar II with the GTX Graphics card under the hood. On the top you’ll see the brushed dual-tone finish with the ROG Logo at the side which is RGB Powered. Following that at the bottom you’ll see the Republic of Gamers written and with a windowed cutout to see all the indicators with the lid closed. Opening up the lid, you’ll see that the Keyboard has this transparent WASD keys, and a camo pattern going across the body which is really nice – has that gamer accent to it.
As for the build quality, it’s nothing but solid as it does feel like a well put laptop overall. It is constructed in Polycarbonate with a soft touch material around the keyboard except for the metal brushed panel on top. The hinges on this laptop is pretty sturdy and doesn’t drop when there’s any movement. Upon applying pressure to the keyboard area, we see there’s not much of flex and it’s well put together. Finally, these keyboards are powered by ASUS Aura RGB and it also has a RGB Strip on the front to shine more light into your gaming life.
I/O & Connectivity
This version of ROG Scar II does have a slightly different I/O options – starting from the left side, it has a DC IN port, an Ethernet Port, Display Port, HDMI, 3 x USB 3.1 Gen2 and a headphone jack. On the other side, we have an SD Card Slot, another Full Size USB Port, a USB-C and a Kensington Lock.
As for the connectivity, the Strix Scar II is equipped with a RangeBoost Technology for the WiFi. It supports Dual-band 5G/2.4G 802.11ac Wave2, MU-MIMO and 160MHz bandwidths as well. Connecting your Bluetooth devices should be fine as it is equipped with BT 4.2.
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar II only comes in one variant and it is powered by NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 – which is the new mobile GPU replacing the GTX which we saw last year. You can check out more about the specification in the spec sheet below.
Once again, there’s not much of a difference over the Scar II we reviewed last time. On the front of the laptop, it houses a 15.6” FHD Display with Anti-glare IPS-level Panel. The display has a 144Hz Refresh Rate with 3ms Response Time. The brightness can go up to 300 nits. One noticeable thing about the display is that it’s located higher – giving it a thinner chin and thinner bezels on all the other side. The camera position on the ROG Scar II is a bit awkward and we won’t really recommend you to use it for Twitch Streaming but then you can try if you want. So, in order to test the display – we played games like Overwatch, Battlefield V, Metro Exodus.
|RTX OFF||RTX ON|
|Settings||DLSS/RTX Off||DLSS On/RTX Ultra||DLSS Off/RTX Ultra||DLSS On/RTX High||DLSS Off/RTX High|
Take note that the Metro Exodus scores are based on the benchmark and the numbers you see are the Average Frame rate you’d get. But when it comes to the gameplay itself, it actually is pretty decent. Battlefield V on the other hand just makes the whole game not really playable with RTX ON and it’s kind of a bummer. From what I see, I feel that the RT Cores is just an added feature that just doesn’t add any value to gamers.
The colors on the display is rather nice to see and there’s no color fading at different angles which is nice. Now as the display has no G-Sync capability, you will be missing a lot of features. But if G-Sync is something you really want, then you might want to go for Asus Zephyrus series as it still features one.
Here’s a quick recap on what the laptop is powered on.
- Intel Core i7 8th Generation Processor
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB GDDR6
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
As it is one of the few laptops to feature the RTX card, the only two games we could use to bench the Laptop was with the help of Battlefield V and Metro Exodus. Here are our scores for the display refresh and temperatures on both GPU and CPU.
You can tell that the frame rates shows a huge difference when it comes to RTX OFF and RTX ON. The temperatures shot up to 93 degrees as we were playing games like Battlefield V, Metro Exodus and even games like Overwatch at Epic settings. This is something we did not expect but a part of us wasn’t surprised either because we see a pattern here. Last year, the Scar II with the GTX 1070 had a similar thermal and it was pretty toasty. Knowing the fact that this time we have a much more powerful GPU crammed under the hood, it makes complete sense why it’s toasty. But fret not because the 12V fans which help to cool the device does help a bit.
Here are some of the CrystalDiskMark scores for the 512GB SSD under the hood. This is the first time we see ASUS opting in just for one storage. But you will still have the room to upgrade or even add a HDD which is good. We asked ASUS why they went for this approach and they said something along the line that Storage price will be going down. So, it’s best left at consumers hand to do what they feel like it. It comes with an Intel SSD under the hood and the scores – looks just okay. Nothing more, nothing less.
The ASUS ROG Scar II has a 66 WHr Lithium Ion Battery under the hood and it comes with a 230W Power Adapter – for the 2070 powered Scar II. Just like any other gaming laptop, it’s no surprise the battery life here is pretty much like a gaming laptop. With all the performance, the laptop lasts only for a meagre 2 hours. If you are just going to use it for productivity tasks then don’t worry. As you turn on the Battery Saving mode, it gives you roughly 30 minutes extra battery life.
Trackpad, Keyboard and Speaker
Talking about keyboard, the Scar II has a Chiclet style keyboard with a key-travel of 1.8mm. Also, it has anti-ghosting and N-Key Roll Over. For some reason, the keys on the Scar II feels rigid but none the less, it’s tactile in everyway possible. I didn’t like the key travel as it did also feel a bit mushy and gave some weird feeling while typing. As the body is redesigned, they didn’t eliminate the number pad, which is a good thing. But what they did was crammed up the Arrow Keys – which I am not a fan of. Other than that, it has 4-zone RGB backlight that you can control with the help of Aura Sync.
The trackpad on the other hand has a really huge space to move and navigate around. Also, thanks to the dedicated left and right button, it was amazing to use without any glitches. It comes with Windows Precision Driver and that means, you get good response rate and it works with all the Windows Gestures. Neat.
As for the speakers – it has 3.5W Side-firing speakers with Smart AMP technology. It sounds pretty decent – if you were to boost up the volume to it’s maximum limit, you still get decent listening quality with no issue.
The ASUS ROG Scar II, now with RTX 2070 does have it’s fair share of drawbacks – especially with the thermals. But if you just keep that aside, the ROG Scar II is one of the very few laptops in the market that is powered with the new RTX hard which makes it a choice that’s worth considering. But if you want something that’s way better, then I suggest you wait for the new Zephyrus S. But you have to take a note that it isn’t going to be any cheap.
The ASUS ROG Scar II is priced at RM 9,299 and you can pick it up from the nearest authorized ASUS Malaysia outlet or get it on Lazada.