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HomeReviewAsus ROG Strix Scar II (GL704GM) - Full Review and Benchmarks

Asus ROG Strix Scar II (GL704GM) – Full Review and Benchmarks

Asus’ bestows yet one more elegantly designed system upon the world with the ROG Strix Scar II (GL704GM). For $1,899 (starting at $1,699), the Scar II gets you a powerful 8th Gen Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU that may power through demanding games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider at max settings.

Except for its roaring power, the Scar II incorporates a colorful 17.3-inch panel that runs at a smooth 144Hz and a meaty keyboard with solid RGB lighting. The audio could possibly be better for a gaming machine at this price, but overall, the Strix Scar II is a powerful contender within the 17-inch gaming laptop arena.

Design

The Strix Scar II’s contrasting brushed-aluminum hood is so damn tantalizing that I could not help but sit in a corner and call it “my precious.” The lid is accompanied by a glossy ROG logo that emits RGB lighting when turned on and a sleek cutout near the hinge that reveals LED indicators. The vent grills within the back even have a pointy copper color.JdyoVP3Qpn4Vot9XrCuC6K

As soon as I opened the laptop, the sunshine bar and the keyboard blasted rainbows of color at me. Between the mesmerizing carbon-fiber stitching and the badass brown camo, I used to be in love with the within of the laptop as much because the out. Even the bezels are superthin, but at the price of the webcam’s placement on the underside bezel.

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At 6.3 pounds and 15.7 x 10.7 x 1 inches, the Strix Scar II is average size compared with its competitors, but still relatively thin for a 17-inch laptop. The Dell G7 15 (6.3 pounds, 0.9 inches) is the thinnest, while the Acer Predator Helios 300 Special Edition (5.5 pounds, 1.1 inches) and its 17-inch counterpart, Acer Predator Helios 300 (6.6 pounds, 1.1 inches), are the thickest of the four.

Ports

The Strix Scar II has a ton of ports to accommodate your streaming and gaming needs.

The left side features the ability jack, an RJ45 port, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.0 port, three USB 3.1 ports and a headphone jack.

On the precise lies a Kensington lock slot, one USB 3.1 port, one USB 3.1 Type-C port and an SD card reader.

Display

The Strix Scar II’s 17.3-inch, 144Hz, 1080p panel is sharp, colorful and bright, despite delivering mixed leads to our lab tests. Additionally, it offers a 3-millisecond response time.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I hid behind a truck as its taillights burned a bright, ominous red, illuminating Lara and revealing the pounds of mud on her peach-colored flesh. The image was so creepy and vivid that I assumed I used to be about to go hunt the Predator. The panel was sharp enough for me to identify a rugged laptop across the enemy camp, which made me verbally mouth, “Is {that a} Dell?” The splashing puddles and movements of Lara’s hair looked silky smooth as I rushed in to search out out.

The Strix Scar II’s 17.3-inch, 144Hz, 1080p panel is sharp, colorful and bright.

Within the trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody, I clearly saw every layer and strand of hair in Rami Malek’s wig. In the identical scene, his bright-red jacket and baby-blue tank top radiated within the wood-paneled office space. When the band was on stage at a small venue, I spotted details on people’s faces at midnight crowd, though the band members looked washed out. It was then that I noticed the colour brightness was higher to accommodate for the dim display.

The Strix Scar II’s panel covered 114 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which slips past the 111 percent mainstream-gaming-laptop average. It also took down the Dell G7 15 (62 percent) and Helios 300 SE (113), while the 17-inch Helios 300 nailed 139 percent.

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Despite not being a drastic issue in real-world testing, the Strix Scar II’s display (261 nits) is dim on paper compared with the 294-nit category average. It still beat the Dell G7 15 (232 nits), but got overwhelmed by the Helios twins — 312 nits for the Special Edition and 373 nits for the 17-inch.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Behind the fashionable, techy font and transparent WASD keys lies three solid RGB lighting zones on the Strix Scar II’s island-style keyboard. The keys felt active and punchy as I tap-danced throughout them with my fingers.

I nailed 76 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is quicker than my typical 66-wpm average. The keys travel at an honest 1.4 millimeters and require 71 grams of actuation force, which isn’t removed from our comfort zones (1.5 to 2.0 mm of travel and a minimum of 60 g of force).

The 4.1 x 2.2-inch touchpad offers smooth cursor control in addition to two discrete buttons which are satisfying to press. However, the left and right click actually go too far down, causing my thumb to hit the bottom of the chassis. It did respond well to Windows 10 gestures, like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tab switching.

Audio

The Strix Scar II’s speakers lacked treble, but they were still loud enough to fill my room with Bump of Chicken’s “Hello, World!” The opening vocals were solid, but when the drums kicked in I could barely make out the tambourine. On the chorus, I could not distinguish between the tracks other than the vocals and the lead guitar. I assumed I used to be going deaf, but once I tested the identical song alone speaker, I used to be in a position to make out each drum beat and note from the bass guitar.

MORE: Buying Headphones in: Pros and Cons of Every Type

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I tossed a bottle at a guard’s head and heard him scream in agonizing pain, and while that was hilarious, it sounded somewhat muffled despite me being right above him. I noticed that Lara and the enemies sounded somewhat muted normally, and the bass-heavy sounds, like helicopter blades, overwhelmed everything. Despite that, once I blasted an oncoming enemy with an assault rifle, the bullets sounded so heavy that I felt my ears tingle.

Unfortunately, there is no audio-equalizer app to assist fix the Scar II’s sound issues.

Gaming, Graphics and VR

Whether I used to be turning enemies into cyclopes with my bow and arrow, or skewering them with my handy pickaxe, the Strix Scar II’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU (6GB of VRAM) powered through Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Highest settings at 1080p for a smooth 34 frames per second.

On the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark on Very High settings at 1080p, the Strix Scar II hit 38 fps, climbing over the 34-fps mainstream gaming laptop average but lagging slightly behind competitors. The Dell G7 15’s GTX 1060 Max Q averaged 35 fps, and the Helios 300 SE’s GTX 1060 matched the Scar II, at 38 fps. The 17-inch Helios 300’s GTX 1060 soared past the others at a zippy 59 fps.

Whether I used to be turning enemies into cyclopes with my bow and arrow or skewering them with my handy pickaxe, the Strix Scar II powered through Shadow of the Tomb Raider at a smooth 34 frames per second.

The Strix Scar II came out on top on the Hitman benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), netting 73 fps and getting over the 66-fps category average. The Dell G7 15 (63 fps), the 17-inch Helios 300 (66 fps) and the Helios 300 SE (72 fps) all fell behind.

On the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark (Very High, 1080p), the Strix Scar II got 51 fps, which sailed past the 45-fps category average, the Dell G7 15 (45 fps) and matched the Helios 300 SE (51 fps). The 17-inch Helios 300 pushed out a much higher 73 fps.

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Clean off the dust of your VR headset — the Strix Scar II hit a solid 7.4 out of 11 on the SteamVR performance test, which beats the 6.1 category average and the Dell G7 15’s 6.3. The Helios 300 SE and the 17-inch Helios 300 got somewhat further, at 7.9 and seven.7, respectively.

Performance

The Strix Scar II is armed to the teeth with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 32GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD. It shrugged off the 40 Google Chrome tabs, five 1080p YouTube videos and three Windows 10 bloatware games that I threw at it.

On the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, the Strix Scar II scored 18,618, narrowly beating the 18,451 mainstream gaming average. The Dell G7 15 (19,516) and the Helios 300 SE (19,428) did significantly better with their Core i7-8750H CPUs, however the 17-inch Helios 300 (13,972) lagged behind with its 7th Gen Core i7-7700HQ processor.

The Strix Scar II completed our Excel test (matching 65,000 names and addresses) in a brief 0:46, which surpasses the 0:49 category average but not the Dell G7 15 (0:41) or the Helios 300 SE (0:45).

On the Handbrake benchmark, the Strix Scar II took the longest to transcode a 4K video to 1080p at 11 minutes and 37 seconds, missing the 11:29 category average. The Dell G7 15 and the Helios 300 SE completed the test in 10:40 and 10:30, respectively.

The Strix Scar II took a speedy 10 seconds to repeat 4.97GB of knowledge for a rate of 508 megabytes per second, sailing past the 287 MBps category average and trumping the competition. The Dell G7 15 scored a measly 102 MBps, while the Helios 300 SE (363.5) and the 17-inch Helios 300 (318.1) made the typical but lost to the Scar II.

Battery Life

Like many gaming laptops, the Strix Scar II’s battery didn’t last very long. After continuously surfing the online over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Scar II’s battery lasted 3 hours and 37 minutes, which is just below the 4:03 mainstream-gaming-laptop average. The Helios 300 SE didn’t do significantly better at 3 hours, however the Dell G7 15 registered a powerful 5:39.

Webcam

Even when the Scar II’s webcam was on the highest bezel, it still wouldn’t make up for the way blotchy and grainy the pictures are. My hair looked prefer it was photoshopped on my head.

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Surprisingly, however, it captured the red and blue on my Spider-Man PS4 box incredibly well. And though the sunshine within the room was blaring right above me, it didn’t wash out my face within the image whatsoever.

Heat

The Strix Scar II bends heat to its will like a wizard. After playing quarter-hour of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the underside hit 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which is closer to our 95-degree comfort threshold than most gaming laptops. The middle of the keyboard measured 83 degrees and the touchpad registered 76 degrees. The most well liked it got was 107 degrees, near the middle of the hinge on the underside.

Our normal heat test yielded very similar results. After streaming a 15-minute HD video, the underside, center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 103, 96 and 80 degrees, respectively.

Software and Warranty

Asus packs a number of useful gaming utilities into the Scar II, including the Armoury Crate, GameVisual and GameFirst V. The Armoury Crate monitors the CPU, GPU, RAM and fans, that are customizable with created profiles.

The app also permits you to release RAM and customize RGB lighting through presets like Strobing, Breathing and Rainbow. GameVisual provides color optimization for the display with presets like Vivid, Scenery and Cinema. Meanwhile, GameFirst V monitors bandwidth use for multiple things like file transferring, streaming and gaming.

But does it have Windows 10 bloatware? Why, yes, the Strix Scar II includes Dragon Mania Legends, Candy Crush Saga and its irrelevant twin brother, Candy Crush Soda Saga, among other usual Windows bloat.

The Strix Scar II comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how Asus performed on our Tech Support Showdown, Best and Worst Brands listing and Best and Worst Gaming Brand ranking.

Configurations

The Strix Scar II that I tested comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 32GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD and an Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU. Asus doesn’t actually sell this model, but you may get it from EXcaliberPC on Amazon (opens in new tab) for $1,899. You’ll be able to even outfit the laptop with more storage, as much as a 2TB Samsung 970 EVO SSD and 1TB HDD, which costs $2,525.

However, Asus sells just one model of the 17-inch Scar, which costs $1,699 and has 16GB of RAM rather than 32GB.

Bottom Line

The Asus ROG Strix Scar II is a glamorous piece of hardware that matches a stunning 144Hz, 17-inch panel in a comparatively thin chassis. With its 8th Gen Core i7 and Nvidia GTX 1060 under the hood of a tactile RGB keyboard, this machine will easily allow you to tear through your favorite games on max settings. You need to, however, come prepared with your personal headphones and dedicated webcam since the Scar II just can’t deliver regarding sound and camera quality.

If you happen to’re eager about saving a couple of dollars, the Helios 300 Special Edition costs only $1,399 and offers the identical CPU and GPU but with a much brighter display. However, you will be hard- pressed to search out a 17-inch laptop this thin and practically bezel-free at this reasonable of a price.

Credit: Laptop Mag

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