ASUS has the iconic ROG series that has become the default standard that gamers look up to in the recent years and the brand has been diligently updating and making the machines better with every iteration. I got to spend time with the latest addition to this series – ASUS ROG STRIX Scar II GL504GM and here is my review of this powerful gaming notebook
|Model||GL504GS (SCAR II)|
|Category||Esports Gaming – FPS|
|Windows 10 Home|
|Windows 10 Pro – ASUS recommends Windows 10 Pro|
|Processor||Intel® Core™ i7-8750H|
|Graphics||NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 VRAM|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM; upto 32GB RAM support (Dual-channel)|
|SSD||M.2 NVMe PCIe 256GB|
|HDD||2.5-inch 1TB Firecuda SSHD|
|Display||15.6-inch Non-glare IPS FHD (144 Hz / 60 Hz) Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel, 3ms, 100% sRGB|
|Windows Mixed Reality||Basic (min. requirement 8GB RAM)|
|Backlit chiclet keyboard|
|RGB 4 zones|
|Marked WASD keys|
|Hot keys: Volume up / Volume down / Mute / ROG Gaming Center|
|1.8mm travel distance|
|0.25mm keycap curve|
|Audio||2 x speaker with Smart AMP technology、Array microphones|
|ROG Gaming Center 2.5|
|Sonic Studio & Sonic Radar III|
|Aura Core 2.5|
|XSplit Gamecaster (free)|
|Android / iOS App|
|1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)|
|2 x USB3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB3.1 Gen 2|
|1 x mDP 1.2|
|1 x HDMI 2.0|
|1 x RJ-45 jack|
|Only support SD card|
|1 x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack|
|1 x Kensington lock|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||802.11ac 2×2 Wave 2、Bluetooth 5.0|
|Weight and Dimensions||(W)36.1cm x (D)26.2cm x (H)2.61cm、Weight: 2.4kg|
The design of this notebook is very distinctive and yet in line with the ROG principal philosophy. It is made of very high quality material and the crafting is premium. The signature ROG markers and color scheme are present. When I pulled out the notebook and put it on my desk, it definitely turned a lot of heads.
The new ROG Strix Scar II adopts a 15.6-inch IPS Full HD (1920×1080) display with extremely thin screen frames. It is built for a whole new horizon in terms of immersive gaming experience. Strix Scar II is lighter too, with an overall weight of just 2.4kg that maximizes your agility so you can take the fight with you, wherever you go!
The 144Hz high refresh rate display for gamers can fully present every frame of your game. Furthermore, the IPS display and 3ms response speed allows gamers to enjoy buttery smooth refresh rates and enhanced 100% sRGB colour gamut.
In order to create a laptop with extremely thin 0.77cm screen frames, ROG team implemented double material plastic injection so that the display remains sturdy yet compact. A high-gloss metallic ROG logo can be seen right below the display, so that users may feel ROG’s creed both inside and out. On a side note, due to the thin screen frame design, the laptop’s web cam is now relocated to the right side of the ROG logo.
Gamers who play online games know that every second counts. This is why the ROG Scar II uses a physical RJ-45 cable for router connections to ensure minimal lag and optimal ping times. Meanwhile, the ROG Scar II laptops, in addition to being used as a serious gaming platform, also offer the convenience of Wi-Fi for general Internet access, word processing, and entertainment.
The ROG Strix Scar II fully supports the latest Wi-Fi standards, including dual-band 5G/2.4G 802.11ac Wave2, as well as MU-MIMO and 160MHz bandwidths. The ROG Scar II supports MU-MIMO enabled terminal devices so that the bandwidth of the wireless router can be used more effectively for greater transmission volume to achieve the more desirable 1733Mbps wireless bandwidth.
Furthermore, ROG Strix Scar II comes with the latest RangeBoost zero blind spot technology. Via the proprietary 4 antenna configuration, which is 2×2 + 2×2 connection mode, the laptop can switch between different main and aux antenna’s according to signal strength. This optimizes the laptop’s radiation pattern, reducing blind spots, so that gamers won’t have to worry about their Wi-Fi connection when they’re gaming.
For newbies that are unfamiliar with FPS games, besides paying attention to the trivial details on screen, it is equally important to learn to hear what direction your enemies are attacking from. Through software simulation, ROG team presents Sonic Radar III, the radar that visualizes audio effects. The in-game audio is analysed by special algorithms then visualized on a radar, so that gamers may easily see where the sounds are coming from.
When Sonic Radar III is activated, it scans for supported games. The software is capable of calculating the direction of in-game sounds if the game supports 5.1 channel audio. Instead of being a cheat or a hack, this feature simply analyses and simulates the game’s audio. It is a tool for rookies to practice binaural hearing in games, so that they may gain the upper hand in future battles.
The latest Intel Core i7-8750H is not only excellent for gaming but also for tasks that take advantage of multiple cores. For example, converting videos and live streaming. Moreover, the chipset is also upgraded to HM370 so that the gaming laptop may support DDR4 2666MHz memory modules, resulting in a 10% memory performance improvement from its predecessor (DDR4 2400MHz).
ROG Strix SCAR II carries a mid-tier end NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card. It allows gamers to set AAA game graphics settings to ‘High’ and allows regular FPS games to reach over 100 frames per second. Even the hottest trending Battle Royale type games, such as PUBG and Fortnite’s graphics can be optimized by SCAR II, so that gamers can focus more on the game itself.
The latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX-10 series graphics card not only provides gamers unparalleled performance but also supports the most up to date DirectX 12 API. Plus, it is capable of handling virtual reality related content, granting gamers the smoothest GeForce Experience.
The ROG Strix attaches great importance to the cooling system because having stable and excellent cooling ensures players enjoy a smoother gameplay experience. The Scar II laptops continue to boast a multiple heat pipe configuration along with two high-performance 12V fans and proprietary Anti-Dust Tunnels to drive out dust via centrifugal force through exclusively designed dust tunnels. This helps keep the internal cooling module as clean as possible, greatly enhancing the system’s durability and increasing system lifespan
The ROG Strix II laptops have enough room for a 100% full-size keyboard, and by taking gamers’ keyboard preferences into account, its configuration is identical to a desktop keyboard, with a rectangular-shaped Enter key, a longer Backspace key, and extra-wide Spacebar key. In addition, the Scar’s WASD keys feature transparent key caps with black fonts.
In terms of the overall typing experience, the 0.25mm keycap curve provides more comfortable press for gamers and touch typists alike. The 1.8 mm travel distance can accurately determine pressure and feedback. Furthermore, the keys on the ROG Scar II laptop are equipped with the exclusive OverStroke technology developed by ASUS. When a key is pressed, the key reports halfway through the 1.8mm travel distance, providing a faster response time. Not just that, the keys themselves provide a maximum peak value of 62g for a more gaming keyboard like tactile feedback.
Visually, the keyboard is equipped with the AURA RGB backlight technology. There are four light control zones which can be configured by using the ROG Gaming Center’s AURA CORE app. A number of lighting effect presets are already available, but players can also customize the four light zones.
Aura Sync technology gives your entire gaming setup a consistent look and feel. Match the colours of the ROG logo, keyboard, light bar on Strix Scar II with Aura Sync-supported gaming mice, headsets, and other peripherals. The full spectrum of colours and seven different lighting modes can be easily accessed via the Aura control panel.
The most common I/O ports are planted on the left side of the ROG laptop, while the right side is reserved for the USB mouse port, so that users won’t have to worry about other redundant cables or peripherals getting in their way. ROG Strix SCAR II is fully loaded with DC IN, RJ-45, miniDP 1.2, HDMI 2.0, 2 x USB 3.1 gen1, USB 3.1 gen2, 3.5mm audio jack on the left side, on the other hand, there’s the SD Card Reader and a USB 3.1 gen2 port on the right side.
I tried very extensive and prolonged heavy gaming sessions with it and the important things that I noted were that there was absolutely no discomfort while playing and the heat was not an issue at all. The display was a joy to use and there was absolutely no strain on the eyes. The USB mouse port being on one side helps avoid a lot of unnecessary cable tangling and makes game play a joy. The presence of a HDD with an SSD together makes the whole experience fast and nippy.
The ASUS ROG STRIX Scar II GL504GM is a very powerful and sturdy notebook that has been built with gaming and high intensity activity in focus. It has all the features and specifications that make it the ultimate gaming companion. Go for it without a thought if you are a gaming enthusiast, it doesn’t get better than this.