This is an excellent gaming laptop that delivers performance, power and aesthetics.
The ROG Strix SCAR II packs a ton of power into this small package, it has the hardware, a beautiful screen, amazing sound, a nearly full size keyboard and all of the refinements of the ROG gaming platform.
The screen is a silky smooth 144Hz IPS panel, IPS typically deliver the best color, brightness and contrast reproduction, which this screen does beautifully. The 144Hz refresh rate makes movement and action fluid and buttery smooth.
The processor, an Intel i7 8750-H, features six cores, a maximum turbo frequency of 3.90Ghz, Hyper-Threading, and a built in UHD graphics 630 (which takes over when not gaming, to conserve power).
The Intel processor website lists the maximum turbo frequency of the 8750H processor at 4.10GHz, while the specs on this laptop are listed at 3.90GHz max turbo frequency, which is accurate. ASUS likely dialed down the processor slightly to ensure the temperatures stay within engineering spec.
(turbo is maximum frequency that one core in the processor can reach, so when you have a 6 core processor, only one core can reach that speed, the other five will be close, but will not reach the same peak speed)
The Nvidia RTX 2060 dedicated graphic processor features 6GB of DDR6 and has enough horsepower to handle many demanding titles with ease.
This laptop also features an Intel NVMe SSD hard drive at 512GB capacity (475 GB usable). Its not the fastest out there, but it is certainly very fast for a laptop. Windows, programs and games load incredibly fast, certainly a night and day difference from standard laptop hard drives.
The RGB features add a nice touch and can be customized to your preference. There is a good amount of adjustments you can make: static, rainbow, strobe, breath, color cycle, starry night. And two more advanced functions: Music and Smart. Music mode will react to the active sounds by flashing and changing color. Smart modewill change colors depending on the temperature of the CPU, with user definable settings and colors. If you prefer a solid color that can be done with static mode, or if you want less attention at work or school, you can turn it off with dark mode.
A really cool touch here is on the lid, there is a mirrored finish ROG eye logo, which will light up, matching the RGB settings when the laptop is on. This eye catching feature is sure to bring attention, while you show off your ROG laptop.
Inside the lid there is another mirrored ROG eye logo, just under the screen, subtle but elegant (no RGB).
The keyboard is very close to a full size standard keyboard, its has RGB back lighting, WASD gaming keys (high illumination so you won’t fumble in low light scenarios).
The sound reproduction is really good for a laptop, you won’t get the rumbles of a subwoofer, but it has excellent mid-range and highs. I was actually quite impressed with how loud the volume can get and the mid-range and high note reproduction quality. Considering all of the other hardware they jammed into this, they somehow made space for really good sounding speakers. The speakers are located underneath the body in the front left and right corners.
Another quality feature that complements the sound, is the dedicated speaker volume and mic mute buttons at the top of the keyboard; no need to fumble about with function key combos or feel around the edges of the body for hidden volume controls.
Another feature that highlights the maturity of the ROG platform, is the included ROG Armoury Crate software which serves as the central control panel for the laptop features. The main page will show all the various hardware frequency, temperature and activity, fan profiles, as well as quick access to apps and device configuration. With additional tabs that give access to other laptop features like Aura Sync (the RGB color control panel) and System Configuration. Here you can quickly change the settings for gaming and laptop options like turning the windows key on or off, enabling or disabling the touch pad, boot up sound, and ROG key.
Armoury Crate can also sync with your phone. This allows you to monitor temperature and frequency and turn on or off features like the windows key, while in game without having to alt tab to the Crate. The app shows near real time information and it doesn’t timeout, putting your phone to sleep.
The laptop cooling system is a marvel in itself and is engineered really well. It mitigates heat produced in a way that it doesn’t transfer heat to the surfaces of the laptop, so you don’t feel heat on the keyboard or touchpad areas; it just blows the heat out the back vents. The only area that seems to get warm on the laptop body, is around the power button, in the top right when looking down at the keyboard. Its a small zone effected, outside of the normal area of key interaction.
the only thing I would say is bothersome is the power input port is right next to the CAT5e network port, so I’ve found myself prodding the network port with the power plug a few times.
Overall Review: ~
This is a large laptop, finding a laptop carrying bag that would fit a 17” locally was next to impossible, I eventually found one that fit and was of good quality, but it took a couple weeks of hunting. Most laptop carrying bags are designed for 14” to 16”, with the majority around 15”. I wanted to ensure quality and fit, but in retrospect I should have just ordered one online.
I chose a well padded messenger bag.
The laptop is fairly lightweight given its size, I did not feel like it was heavy or burdensome when taking it for a mile long trek, several times. However; I should note that the power adapter weighs a few pounds itself.
Overall it wasn't difficult to carry or feel like I was hauling a load of bricks.
The fans are fairly noticeable at around 60% and higher, but even at 100% fan speed I can hear games just fine at 60% volume through the built in speakers. The fans are not as loud as others have mentioned, certainly nowhere near jet engine decibels. A gaming laptop the generates heat, which needs to go somewhere... If you think about desktop gaming PC counterparts, they get massive amounts of real-estate devoted to cooling, compared to laptops. Honestly I wear headphones or a headset when I want immersion, or clear coms, at that point the fans are not even noticeable.
I had some very impressive results in game, measuring frames per second using the GeForce Experience fps overlay:
Fortnite many areas of the map fps were peaking in the mid 90s, averaged mid 80’s all setting on epic, 1080p (I am not a fortnite player, but I thought I should include it given its popularity, I didn’t go into much detail with this test)
Apex legends many areas of the map were over 150fps, with an average of 110fps. Settings mid to low and resolution at 1600x900 to maximize frame rate (with a 17” screen there isn’t that much visual fidelity lost reducing the resolution a notch, however; if using a larger external monitor or TV screen, the visual quality would be much more noticeable. Apex is a fast paced game where every frame counts, so I went for quantity over quality.)
Hunt Showdown frame rates (in game) were peaking around 80fps, and averaged mid to high 70’s at 1080p medium settings. (this is a very top heavy game that pushes most systems hard, the frame rate is very impressive considering that this is coming from a laptop)
The processor can run hot, but it runs within design specs: Using the Armoury Crate software, I noticed the CPU temperatures hitting a peak of 91ºC during a session of Hunt Showdown, with an average around 88ºC. Other titles didn’t push the CPU as hard so I had only seen a max temp of 86ºC playing Apex Legends, which is CPU heavy.
These laptops are designed to handle these temperatures so its really nothing to be alarmed at.
(I did try my cooling pad which didn’t make any noticeable difference at reducing the temps, other than the adding fan noise.)
Surprisingly the RTX 2060 graphics only reached a peak of 70ºC while gaming.
The 144Hz display panel won’t disappoint, the contrast is bright and sharp, the color reproduction is rich and accurate, the gamut is good enough for accuracy in photoshop.
The refresh rate is crisp and fluid, when transitioning from a 60Hz display to a 144Hz display, the difference is night and day. Once you get accustomed to 144Hz you won’t want to game or go back to a lower refresh rate display in general.
I couldn’t find much information on the RAM other than the basic specs listed by CPU-Z: a single stick of DDR4 2666, 16GB, running in single channel.
Out of the box it was a bit rocky, but after several windows updates and firmware updates this laptop handles every game that I’ve played with ease, with frame rates worthy of gaming on.
Before the firmware updates to the BIOS and GPU, I was getting mediocre frame rates gaming, which was a bit concerning, but after all of the updates, everything was as smooth as I expect a gaming laptop should be. (firmware updates automatically downloaded and were presented for install, I didn't have to search for anything to “fix” stuff.)
Overall this is an outstanding gaming laptop, with all the amenities that you would expect from a mid-high end laptop. Its slim, light weight and powerful. Its beautiful 17” IPS screen running at 144Hz, customizable RGB lighting, a high tier Intel laptop CPU and a dedicated Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. It does not look or feel like an inexpensive laptop, it features a brushed metal look with a subtle grey camouflage graphic with eye-popping RGB keyboard, RGB color strip on the lower body fascia and the RGB ROG logo on the back of the lid. The sound is much better than expected and the performance
matches what you would expect from a laptop of this caliber.
Finding the right laptop for your needs can be a long process, this laptop has enough features and performance to easily fit the needs of many gamers.
I would absolutely recommend this laptop to anyone looking for mid-high end gaming laptop.
Pros: Intel Core 8750H 6 core 12 thread cpu, max turbo 4.1ghz
6GB Nvidia RTX 2060- Ray Tracing, DLSS
17 inch 144hz 3ms 1920x1080 IPS display with narrow bezels
16GB 2666Mhz DDR4
512Gb M.2 NVME SSD and 1Tb Firecuda SSHD
802.11AC wifi 2x2 antenna up to 1.73 Gbps, Bluetooth 5.0
Multiple ports-USB 3.1 type A and C, mini displayport, HDMI, headphone jack, Gigabit Ethernet
Sleek laptop, not heavy considering screen size, runs cool.
Great looking carbon fiber and camouflage chassis top
Cons: No G-sync
No optical drive
Cooling system can be a little distracting in performance mode
Webcam is not positioned well
1 year warranty
Average battery life
Other Thoughts-Needed More Space so started here:
Let’s get this out of the way; this laptop is an amazing gaming machine, marginally beating my 8770K and Vega 64 desktop in gaming, which surprised me. In order to get the best out of this laptop I ran it at high power and connected to the mains supply.
When I first unboxed the laptop I was immediately drawn to the sleek design with a beautiful brushed aluminum lid. The lid has an ROG RGB logo that matches the RGB keyboard and RGB front light strip. I am not a fan of RGB and using the software I set all three zones to a static muted color. The bezels are very thin and this allowed Asus to use a 17.3in display in a chassis that would usually house a 15.6in display. Having said this Asus placed the webcam on the bottom bezel to the right and this is a terrible place for a webcam, unless you like showing off the underside of your nose!
Initially I was conflicted about the laptop display due to the lack of G-sync as I’m currently running a desktop with Vega 64 and Freesync display and have enjoyed tear free gaming for over a year now. However after many hours of gaming, the combination of the RTX 2060 and 144hz 1080p IPS display is tear free, as long as you configure your games to run at or below 144fps. Tears will only occur if the maximum fps displayed exceeds the capability of the screen refresh rate, in this case 144hz.
Overall Review: Out of the box, the IPS panel looked good and had typical IPS wide viewing angles. I found the color to be a little warm for my eye, but calibrating with my Colormunki fixed the image quickly. There were no dead or stuck pixels and the panel was very responsive with no discernable input lag. Audio was nothing special; the speakers were certainly loud enough, but the sounds were a little dull and muted. I don’t expect much from laptop speakers due to their size and position, but this is not generally much of an issue as I use headphones to game and enjoy music.
Performance was amazing. The Intel 8750H has 6 cores and hyperthreading and runs at a maximum turbo of 4.1ghz on one core and 3.9ghz on all 6 cores. In my testing, under full load, using prime 95 all cores ran perfectly at 3.9ghz and around 85C. Cinebench returned scores of 1228 multi core and 168 single core. For comparison my desktop 8770K running all cores at 4.7Ghz scored 1483 multi core and 205 single core.
The RTX 2060 is a beast and beat my desktop Vega 64 in all of the tests I performed at 1080p. The 2060 has 1920 cuda cores, 6gb of GDDR6 memory a bost core clock of 1680mhz and memory clock of 1750mhz. During my testing the core boosted to an average of 1640mhz with a top boost of 1648mhz. The RTX 2060 introduces new technology including real time ray tracing and DLSS (deep learning Anti-Aliasing). Ray Tracing made BFV look even more amazing but though the hit to framerates was significant. Without Ray Tracing I returned approximately 108fps and with Ray Tracing set to medium I returned 62fps (still very playable), setting Ray Tracing at high or ultra resulted in low frame rates and poor gameplay. I tested Assassin’s Creed Origins at 1920x1080 using the built in benchmark, the laptop with the 8750 and 2060 scored 80.9fps my desktop with 8770 and Vega 64 scored 70.1fps! Using the built in benchmark in Far Cry 5 I returned 107.2fps with the laptop and 105.4fps with my desktop. Running Unigine Heaven at 1920x1080 at extreme setting the laptop scored 2179 and my desktop scored 2150. These were amazing results and clearly showed me how Nvidia mid-range graphic cards can easily compete with AMD’s best.
The NVME drive was very speedy and when tested with CrystalDiskMark returned a sequential read of 2398MB/s and write of 1872MB/s.
The laptop supports a speedy 802.11ac 2x2 antenna setup and when connected to my AC1900 router maxed out my current ISP speed of 100Mbps on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. I noticed no network drops when streaming or playing Battlefield V multiplayer. For best performance I still recommend using wired Ethernet and this laptop does come with an Ethernet port.
Battery life was nothing special, returning approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes gaming, 3 hours and 20 minutes surfing the net or streaming video using wifi. This is a gaming laptop and as such most people will use it connected to mains power in order to get best performance, so I am doubtful of how relevant battery life is here. At full load or while gaming the fans ramped up considerably and could be heard, but the laptop felt cool to touch and performance was rock solid and stable.
I really like the carbon fiber and camo chassis and the keyboard was actually one of the better laptop keyboards to type on, there was almost no keyboard flex, the keys were well sized and separated with an adequate travel to each key. I scored 66wpm with this keyboard which is about the same as when I type with my desktop’s mechanical keyboard. There are dedicated media and gaming center keys. The touchpad was smooth to touch with accurate tracking and two physical keys for left and right mouse button functionality.
I really like this laptop, it looks amazing, the display is almost perfect, the hardware is well balanced and future proof. An RTX 2060 with Ray Tracing and DLSS, a six core Intel cpu, speedy 512gb NVME drive and 16gb’s of 2666mhz DDR4 finish off the package. Speakers and webcam are my only gripe, but headphones and a dedicated webcam will solve these issues. 1 year warranty is a bit weedy, but industry standard. Asus products are well built and should last many years. They have a good support team here in the USA and the one or two times that I have had issues with Asus products previously, they responded quickly and effectively to get my issues resolved.
My time with this laptop has been limited because as soon as my 12 year old son noticed me using it, he decided to adopt it, telling me that I would only be wasting its advance technology working on spreadsheets and word documents!
Pros: - The screen is absolutely one of the best I've ever used on a laptop... the refresh rate makes everything look smooth as buttah!
- RTX graphics... can't get any better than that.
- It's thinner and lighter than other "premium gaming laptops".
- IT HAS STATUS LED'S!!! Remember when laptops came with lights to tell you the status of the Power / Hard Drive Activity / Battery / ETC??? THIS HAS THOSE!!! It even appears that the ethernet port has Link / Activity lights too!!!
Cons: - This thing is LOADED with bloat-ware. McAfee LiveSafe Anti-virus, ASUS Giftbox (discount app store), ASUS GameFirst V (packet prioritization software that only works with ROG routers), ASUS HELLO (product registration, create an ASUS account, create a DropBox account, create a McAfee account...), XSplit Gamecaster ("turn-key" game streaming / recording software.... I can keep going. At a premium price like this, I'd expect a lot less junk.
- A complete lack of documentation as to what ASUS apps are actually necessary to change settings / manage stuff on this laptop. Through my own trial-and-error and with help from the internet... here's what I've figured out so far: ASUS Aura is used to control most of the lighting effects. ASUS Armoury Crate controls different profiles for laptop performance. ASUS GameVisual controls different profiles for the LCD screen. MYASUS looks for BIOS / driver updates straight from ASUS.
- I encountered this several times... even to this date: BSOD referencing "Driver Power State Failure" whenever I select "Battery Saver" from the Power Options. This thing is a battery hog whenever you're not plugged into AC power, so I figured, I'm just doing light internet browsing... I'll put it into "Battery Saver" to try to stretch the power. System is okay for a few minutes then locks up hard and WHAM... BSOD "Driver Power State Failure". I've tried every combination of Windows updates, Intel Driver Updates, BIOS / Driver updates from ASUS... still nothing fixes the issue. Perhaps this is an issue that slipped passed the devs???
- While it is smaller / thinner than other gaming laptops... it's still a beast. Good luck finding a descrete backpack that doesn't scream "I HAVE A GAMING LAPTOP IN HERE!!! COME STEAL ME!!!"
Overall Review: It has RGB lights all over the place and a half-camo / half carbon-fiber texture on the palmrest... but it severelly lacks in the finer details of the overall execution of what could have been a KILLER gaming laptop... read on to find out what makes it just a middle-of-the-road system at an extremely premium price.
Pros: Everything is great and exactly as described. Good speed and screen is nice quality. Laptop itself is well built and just looks good. It is lighter than my old 15" gaming laptop (2006) so that was nice. The power adapter is large. Customizable software was a nice feature to change fan settings, lights etc.
Cons: Fans are loud and seem to spin up even when web browsing.
COIL WHINE! It seems to be most present on High Performance & Balanced Battery Settings. This sound is so annoying and makes me want to return the laptop. I read online that many of them (all brands, styles, etc.) have this noise and there is literally no fix. You will hear a scratchy sound coming from the top speaker area. This does not affect performance, it is just annoying to listen to.
Overall Review: Use the ASUS software to modify your laptop fans, performance etc. The fans stay low when you change the settings to silent (good for browsing etc.) but on balanced or gaming they spin up all the time and are loud. It is a little annoying switching between modes just because of the fans.
Pros: Majority of the peripheral ports are on the left side of the laptop
144hz 17.3" full HD display
Heat is displaced out the back of the system rather than the side.
Wider space bar is awesome.
Not overly thick
Relatively quiet in the "silent" mode
Armoury crate hotkey is a nice feature
Cons: -I have had instances where one of the speakers stops working and the only way to fix it is to power the system off, remove power and turn it back on. I haven't been able to determine the cause of that though. Hopefully its a software or driver issue that can be corrected easily.
- There is only one m.2 slot.
Overall Review: I don't understand why the brand of SSD(Intel) or memory(Samsung) isn't included in the description.
Things the laptop could do without:
- Aurasync flashy RGB keyboard
- RGB bar
- "camou-weave" across the keyboard
- ridiculous start up sound that thankfully can be disabled.
Pros: - Awesome performance, the 2060 is doing very well in my game titles
- Superb temps! Had good temps on CPU and Gpu out of the box, but undervolting and repasting with thermal grizzly conductonaut is keeping the Cpu under 68* in stress test!!
- Build quality is really good.
- The screen is a wow factor! Always had some 120hz tn panels on my laptop, but a 144hz IPS 3ms display is a new level!!
Cons: - Other than the RGB and lightning customisation software thats really bad and the sh””load of bloatware the laptop comes with, none.
Pros: RTX 2070 is super without breaking the bank
came with one 16 gig RAM, one Empty slot...making it cheaper to upgrade to 32gig
Cons: Upgrade the SSD, it's super easy...added a Samsung 860 2.5 1TB for 6gig/sec speed
Overall Review: I wanted a laptop that could play anything, had lots of Video outports and did not weight a ton...
So far I think I made a great choice!
Pros: -The laptop boots up in what it seems to be mere seconds.
-I love the multiple points of Aura lighting.
-Although not G-sync, the frame rate on games is good and that includes the overall picture.
-Lighter and thinner than I expected, for a gaming laptop.
-I enjoy being able to change the fan settings with a touch a button on the keyboard. When on the "silent" setting, it is practically silent.
-I also don't experience the laptop getting "hot" if on my lap.
Cons: -The 5400 rpm hard drive writes very slowly, so at some point I will replace the additional hard drive. However, I do not experience any lag while playing games so it's not a major issue.
-Some of the Asus software is pretty interesting, such as the Sonic Radar 3 which doesn't seem to be compatible with any games I play.
-The touchpad can be a little fussy sometimes, but I generally use a mouse.
-The numpad takes some getting used to because of the key placement.
-The webcam is also very odd because of the placement in the bottom right corner of the screen.
-The battery life could be better, but I'm not going to be playing games without the charger so for everyday menial tasks you get like 5 and a half hours which is enough for me. Just remember to turn off the lighting and dim the screen to stretch it out longer.
Overall Review: After the many Windows updates, everything has been pretty seamless in combination with the tech specs. The cons are not very major compared to what they could be. I assume someone would just become more annoyed than anything. So, this is definitely a great upgrade from my previous laptop.