Thursday, July 25, 2024

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 Review: High-End Gaming PC Replacement

I’ve been a fan of gaming laptops ever since my first gaming laptop – the Alienware M11x- almost a decade ago. They’re unique and powerful but expensive. I’ve owned a couple of gaming laptops, mostly Alienware’s, and have spent a fair share of my younger years building gaming PCs. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 takes me back to the days when I could stay up all night playing games. Asus’ laptop is big, flashy, and a gaming powerhouse. Yes, there’s also RGB lighting that screams, ‘I’m a gamer’.

As a PC gamer for most of my life, it was nice to use a high-end gaming laptop with all the bells and whistles that a gamer would want. I’ve been using the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 for over a week now, and here’s my take on it.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 price in India

Before talking about the laptop, let’s get the price out of the way. High-end gaming laptops are expensive, and so is the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16, available in India at a starting price of Rs. 2,89,990. This variant comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU with 12GB VRAM. There’s also a version that comes equipped with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB VRAM, which is priced at Rs. 3,29,990.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 colour asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-colour

We’re reviewing the base variant with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU. The laptop is available in a single Black colour option with a matte finish.

In the box, the ROG Strix Scar 16 comes with a 330W charging adaptor that weighs more than most thin-and-light laptops, a user guide, and 1 customisable Armour cap.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 Review: Design and display

Asus has done an excellent job when it comes to the design of the ROG Strix Scar 16. The lid features an RGB backlit ROG logo and a slash pattern with the phrase ‘Republic of Gamers’ written on it. The lid is made from aluminium and features a matte finish that gives it a stealthy look. It does gather dust and some fingerprints but wipes off easily. The chassis on the laptop is made from light, durable plastic to keep the surface cool to the touch. There isn’t a lot of flex on the keyboard or the aluminium lid. It’s a solid-built laptop.

Open the lid, and you’re greeted with a translucent design keyboard deck that shows the internals towards the top but gets opaque as you move to the touchpad. You get a tenkeyless keyboard with 2mm key travel, fully customisable RGB backlighting, and five macro keys. Below the keyboard, there’s a glass trackpad that’s 10 percent larger compared to last year’s model. It also comes with the touch Numpad feature.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 rgb asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-rgb

A simple power button is available at the top right corner. The display hinges are big and sturdy, and I never experienced any issues with opening or closing the lid during my time using the laptop. You get slim bezels on the sides and the top, with the bottom chin slightly thicker than the rest. The top portion of the display houses a webcam that sits inside its own bezel.

For lighting, you get an RGB light strip on the front of the laptop that wraps around the edges. There’s also an RGB lighting area behind the keyboard deck. All the lighting on the laptop can be controlled via the Aura Sync utility available on the system. You can disable the lights via the app or keyboard brightness toggle.

Talking about ease of upgrade, the bottom panel comes off easily, and you can upgrade both RAM and storage. The bottom panel has excellent ventilation for the cooling system, along with ROG branding. The laptop looks fantastic from all corners.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 display asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-display

Now, let’s talk about the display. The ROG Strix Scar 16 comes with a new 16-inch mini LED panel that now has double the dimming zones when compared to last year’s display. The panel offers QHD+ resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, HDR support, 240Hz refresh rate, 100 percent DCI-P3 colour gamut, 2048 dimming zones, 3ms response time, 500 nits brightness, and support for both Nvidia G-Sync and Dolby Vision. The display is excellent, with deep blacks and vivid colours, and it gets plenty bright. Watching movies and playing games is a treat for the eyes. The display also gets TUV Rheinland certification and is Pantone-validated for colour accuracy, making it great for video editing.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 Review: Specifications and software

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 has a long list of specifications, just like its name. The 2024 model comes with the 14th gen Intel Core i9 14900HX processor with a choice of either the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 with 16GB DDR6 VRAM or the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 with 12GB DDR6 VRAM. The GPU supports a max TGP of 175W on both variants.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 specs asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-specs

You get 32GB (16GB x 2) DDR5 RAM clocked at 5,600MHz, which is expandable up to 64GB. For storage, there’s a 2TB PCIE Gen4 performance SSD, and you get 2 x PCIE 4.0 SSD M.2 slots that support up to 4TB of storage.

For outputs, there are plenty of options, but if you’re more a creator than a gamer, you’re going to find it difficult to transfer media as there’s no card slot on the laptop. On the left side of the laptop, you get a Thunderbolt 4 port that supports DP 1.4 and G-Sync, a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen2 port that offers 100W PD support, an HDMI 2.1 port, an RJ-45 LAN port, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and the power input port.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 left asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-left

There are dual USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the right side. In terms of connectivity, you get dual-band Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 right asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-right

You also get a 720p web camera, four speakers with Dolby Atmos support, and a 90Wh 4-cell Li-ion battery on the ROG Scar Strix 16.

Coming to the software, the laptop comes with Windows 11 pre-installed, and you get several Asus ROG features, such as the Armoury Crate, MyAsus, and Auro Creator app to control the RGB lighting on the laptop. With Armoury Crate, which is basically a command centre, you can control various aspects of the laptop, such as the CPU and GPU performance, Lighting, and more. You get various Operating modes to choose from to fit whatever you’re doing. Armoury Crate also lets you overclock the laptop.

The Aura Creator app lets you customise the RGB lighting even further. Finally, the MyAsus app is where you can check the laptop’s health, warranty, system app updates, and more.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 Review: Performance and Gaming

The most important aspect of a gaming laptop is its performance and how long it can sustain that performance. You can’t just jam the latest hardware and expect things to perform well. Asus has done a great job in this aspect. The ROG Strix Scar 16 offers top-notch performance and an excellent cooling system that keeps everything running smoothly even after a long gaming session.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 gaming asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-gaming

I didn’t get to spend much time with the laptop to run benchmarks, but I managed to play a AAA game for a couple of hours. In the few hours I played the game, I did not face any lag or choppiness. I consistently got 60+ frames per second in ultra-high graphics settings at QHD+ resolution while playing Marvel’s Spider-Man. It is best to plug in the ROG Strix Scar 16 when gaming for the best performance. The fan kicks in as soon as you launch a game and start playing, and it does get loud, but that helps keep the heat off the keyboard deck. The exhaust vents are on the side, and there’s a large heatsink at the back. Meanwhile, the air is being sucked in from all around.

Asus has included three fans on the laptop and used Conductonaut Extreme Liquid metal thermal paste, which is said to offer 17 times better thermal conductivity than regular thermal paste. The large heatsink, three fans, and the liquid metal thermal paste keep the laptop from catching fire. They also help in providing maximum frame rates even during long gaming sessions. If you’d like to check benchmark numbers, you’ll be able to find them online, but trust me, you will not be disappointed with the ROG Strix Scar 16’s performance.

Gaming on the laptop is bliss; I could probably spend hours playing. It’s really amazing what you can pack in such a form factor these days. The ROG Strix Scar 16 can play any game you throw at it, even Crysis!! Jokes apart, the laptop can run almost all AAA titles without a sweat.

You can also use the laptop for video editing, as the Intel Core i9 14900HX performs very well in all kinds of situations.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 Review: Speakers, Camera, Touchpad, and Keyboard

Although the ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 is an absolute beast in terms of gaming and performance, I cannot say the same regarding things such as speakers and the web camera.

The laptop has four speakers but doesn’t get very loud and lacks bass. I expected it to pack a powerful sound for something so big and expensive. The speakers support Dolby Atmos, though, and you can tweak the settings around a bit in the Dolby Access app, but it’s nothing to write home about. My MacBook Air M1 is louder and packs more bass than the ROG Scar Strix 16. It’s not bad, but for this much money, I’d expect a subwoofer, at least.

Even the web camera is poor. The 720p camera is outdated, and I don’t understand why laptop manufacturers won’t just add a higher-resolution web camera. Again, why not just give a good web camera when you’re paying so much money? Images and videos from the in-built web camera on the laptop are noisy and dull.asus rog strix scar 16 2024 keyboard asus-rog-strix-scar-16-2024-keyboard

Next up is the touchpad, which works fine and supports multi-touch gestures. The num lock touch keypad also works perfectly well. However, most people would just connect a mouse to a gaming laptop, as you can’t really game on a touchpad. The touchpad here is for when you’re using it for work and don’t have a mouse handy.

The keyboard on the ROG Strix Scar 16 is also good. I’m not really a huge fan of laptop keyboards, as they mostly suck, but this one offers 2-mm key travel, and there’s enough spacing between the keys. I got used to the keyboard pretty quickly and even wrote the entire review on the laptop and enjoyed doing so. You also get five macro keys on the top left, which you can customise to perform various functions using the Armoury Crate app.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 Review: Battery life

It’s a gaming laptop, so you shouldn’t expect great battery life. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 comes with a 90Wh battery that can last about 2 hours when performing regular tasks. You can still game in Battery mode, but you’ll run out of juice in about 45 minutes. And this is perfectly alright, as this laptop is meant to sit on the desk, plugged in, ready to game on your command. As for charging, the supplied 330W adapter can charge the laptop to 50 percent in just 30 minutes, but it does require sockets that are normally used to connect refrigerators, ACs, or washing machines. The laptop also supports 100W PD through the USB Type-C port on the left side.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 Review: Verdict

If you’ve got Rs. 3,00,000 to spare and are looking for a high-end gaming machine that you can carry anywhere you want, then the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2024 is an excellent choice. There aren’t a lot of alternatives available at the moment with similar specifications, but you can expect Lenovo, Alienware, and MSI to launch similar spec’d machines. However, what matters the most, apart from performance, is cooling.

The laptop is bulky at almost 2.7 kgs, and it probably won’t fit inside most daily backpacks, but if you do take it with you, then you will be able to play games anywhere in the world. But then again, Asus probably intends you to use this as your main computer and keep it at your desk. And you can do that. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is so good that it can replace your high-end gaming PC.

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