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Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review: Great power, too much plastic

The 2022 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 gaming laptop offers peak performance. But for a laptop that costs over 2.6 lakh, there are quite a few issues

The 2022 Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is powered by a 14-core Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, which you would not max out unless you are running a new-gen AAA title at Ultra-standard graphics. (Asus)

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Gaming laptops have always been a bit of a curveball—they are mighty as computing devices but way too expensive for their configurations. Over time, the arguments against them that have remained consistent include their bulk, the tendency to falter in battery power, and the fact that for their general asking price, you can get a significantly better-configured gaming PC.

Straight off the bat, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, in its 2022 avatar, does nothing to change any of those perceptions. It’s huge, although you can’t expect a 17-inch gaming laptop to be light and easy to carry around. But the bulk isn’t the problem here—at first impression, the laptop looked too plasticky. You don’t expect that if you are paying over 2.6 lakh for one.

Also read: Review: The Sony HT-A7000 is more than just a soundbar

There’s also the eccentricity of all the RGB LED lighting this laptop comes with, which you would either really like—or really dislike. I personally feel Asus could have taken the middle ground by taming the LED light strip that runs around the laptop’s base. But then, if you want an Asus gaming laptop with sober lighting, there are other products to choose from. The Strix Scar in particular is built for those who absolutely love RGB LED lighting.

On the inside, the laptop has soft-touch plastic, which feels much better than the hard plastic outside. It’s still not the quality you would expect from a laptop with an original list price of over 3 lakh but at least it doesn’t feel flimsy. The 17.3-inch screen, which offers 240Hz refresh rate and 3 milliseconds response time, has a slim and even bezel, barring the chin. The angular design of the laptop lid towards its hinges doesn’t make a lot of sense, and the small crevices will accumulate dust you will struggle to get rid of in the long run.

For some reason, both the USB-A ports are to the left, which is a letdown if you plan to connect a wired mouse. The soft-touch palm rests also accumulate fingerprints easily, so you will have to keep cleaning them regularly.

In short, for a laptop this expensive, there are quite a few issues with the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17.

Once you start gaming, however, you can feel the power of this laptop. It is powered by a 14-core Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, which you would not max out unless you are running a new-gen AAA title at Ultra-standard graphics. Even then, the laptop handles smooth frame rates at over 60fps with ease.

So, can the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 truly be recommended? Well, if you are part of a minuscule set of users—mostly professional video editors with a heavy passion for gaming and RGB lights—it could be worth considering.
So, can the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 truly be recommended? Well, if you are part of a minuscule set of users—mostly professional video editors with a heavy passion for gaming and RGB lights—it could be worth considering. (Asus)

Aiding its cause is a whopping 64GB of DDR5 RAM in our review variant, a 2TB NVMe SSD for storage, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory. This laptop is powerful enough to smoothly render 8K oversampled video edit timelines on Premiere Pro, although rendering a 4K video with multiple layers of graphics, while also running FIFA 22 at peak graphics, does appear to make the laptop work a little bit extra.

That, though, is more stress than any of your average work days—we suspect you wouldn’t be editing a heavy music video and gaming at peak graphics every single day, that too at the same time. In case you do, the Strix Scar 17 still has enough performance power to handle your tasks with ease.

Add to that a fantastic display, which produces crisp contrast levels, deep-enough blacks, excellent vibrancy, and speed as well. It is everything you would expect from a gaming display and it keeps up well with the overall performance ability. The SSD included in the laptop is super-fast, and there is almost no complaint regarding the overall performance.

Peak performance on the battery sees a drop of about 10% in frame rates but that is largely acceptable. Battery life, however, is not particularly great. You can probably squeeze out about five hours if you use it in the least power-consuming Silent Mode, only to do browser-based work. The laptop does not offer USB-C charging, using a proprietary port. In terms of connectivity, it supports multi-band internet through Wi-Fi 6E.

What the Strix Scar 17 does have, though, is a likeable trackpad—something I am finicky about in laptops. The feedback is solid and reassuring, making it one that’s really good to use. The keyboard has excellent feedback and is comfortable to type on but the keys are all off-centre. Coming to it from any other laptop, you will need to get used to using the keyboard off the centre axis—something that would bother you if you are particular about ergonomics.

So, can the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 truly be recommended? Well, if you are part of a minuscule set of users—mostly professional video editors with a heavy passion for gaming and RGB lights—it could be worth considering. But, even for them, a full-powered desktop setup (which has the added benefit of letting users upgrade internals every few years) would probably cost at little less—making space for a lightweight, easy-to-carry performance laptop, such as Asus’ own ROG Flow X13.

For pretty much everyone else, the Strix Scar 17 is too expensive (and too plasticky). It’s an excellent performer but you don’t need to pay the equivalent of down payment on a sedan to get yourself a well-performing laptop nowadays.

Also read: E-sports in schools: Can gaming and learning work together?

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