The ROG SCAR III is here to rule them all

Posted by Dexter on January 11, 2020

All hail the new king in gaming laptops.

The Asus ROG Strix SCAR III is a monster of a gaming laptop with a game-changing 240Hz display. The high refresh rate makes it a perfect alternative for gamers craving that extra competitive edge and mobility at the same time.

Our review unit comes in at the reasonable price of RM7,999 with superb specifications, including Intel Core i7, RTX 2070, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and 240Hz display. The ROG Strix Scar III is an all-rounded gaming machine with minor niggles.

The hinge feels durable.

Almost perfect in every way

While premium quality laptops come with aluminium construction, this ROG device offers just a tad more than that. The combination of brushed metal and carbon-fiber-patterned surfaces is impeccable even for the pickiest gamers out there.

The laptop has an iconic “Republic of Gamers” aesthetic with a distinct ROG logo on the top panel. The logo light can be tweaked to oblivion to suit any mood and style. The Aura light bar at the bottom panel makes this laptop one of the most striking tech pieces, handy when attending a LAN party (showoff factor 10/10).

A well-thought design by placing all three Type-A ports at the left.

The in/output ports selection is sufficient with three USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A), one USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C), RJ45 LAN Jack, 2-in-1 Audio Jack and HDMI 2.0. All the Type-A ports are located at the left of the laptop, making it more ergonomic for right-handed gamers who appreciate extra space for their mouse. More importantly, the left-placed Type-A ports provide a cleaner look when various cables are connected. Cable management is also much easier since most ports are at the rear.

The footprint of this machine is bigger than common laptops because of the design of its cooling system. The vents are extended at the rear to ensure additional heat dissipation. The SCAR III has a reassuring weight of 2.4kg, which isn’t too bad for a 15.6” laptop.

The upgradability and modular design of this laptop ensure its future-proof, too.

The cooling is sufficient.

Put in service

For years, laptops have been a lower-tier gaming experience compared to the desktop. But the competition has been turned on its head, what with the enormous power that this ROG heavyweight holds.

The Core i7 and RTX 2070 are more than luxurious for most gamers and professionals alike. The device runs esports titles like Dota 2, LoL, CS:GO, R6 Siege and PUBG like a champ. The latest AAA games, including STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order, Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, work perfectly well, even when graphic settings are set to the highest.

As expected, the SCAR III doesn’t freeze even under extended periods of heavy load. The six cores and 12 threads on the CPU make it a beast of burden for gaming, editing, rendering and multitasking. That said, the laptop can occasionally hit 90°C.

Optimum visual

The display on the ROG Strix Scar III is impressive - the 240Hz refresh rate is trend-bucking. The high refresh rate makes a world of a difference compared to the regular 60Hz and 144Hz. Basically, once you go 240Hz, you never go back … or if you do, it’ll be a drag.

Even an action as simple as moving the mouse cursor feels so much snappier. The gaming performance of this IPS panel is outstanding, with no motion blur whatsoever. The display is good at producing vivid colours and it has decent contrast, as well.

Surprisingly though, this Asus model doesn’t have a dedicated webcam, so spying is fundamentally not an issue here … China or America.

Keyed in to the keyboard

Instead of a numerical pad, the SCAR III comes with a few special keys that come in handy for gaming. For example, the Armoury Crate can be easily activated by pressing its dedicated key, so gamers can customise the laptop performance on-the-fly.

Keys feel comfy when typing, too. Most people can get used to the keyboard because of the traditional layout. The RGB effect is a bonus, but bear in mind that the lighting isn’t as good as Razer’s Blade laptops.

Speaking of sound ...

The dual speakers are loud and clear for casual use, but it’s still unrealistic to expect them to help tracking the footsteps of enemies when playing games like PUBG, CS:GO and R6 Siege. For gaming, a pair of headphones is highly recommended.

The battery life

The ROG Strix Scar III has a durable battery life, given its powerful components. It lasts a full four hours under average use with some office work and video streaming. It can be a trusty travel laptop even without a power adapter close at hand (though after four hours, you’re in trouble).

Armoury Crate

This software is a nice touch by Asus. It acts as a command center for the user to tailor almost every performance-related setting to their heart’s content. However, this software isn’t user-friendly - it takes several attempts to figure out the most basic stuff, like saving a profile.

The user interface is slightly confusing with loads of information misaligned from column to column. But it’s just a minor concern, especially once new patch notes are released.

The wrap-up

The Scar III is the most practical, yet extremely powerful gaming laptop. The machine is stable with no major performance dropouts, even throughout our heavy testing sessions. The CPU and GPU run flawlessly and fully utilise the exceptional 240Hz display.

Speaking of the display, the high refresh rate is unreal. It even makes the 144Hz display look grainy. The combination of high FPS and refresh rate complement the gaming experience perfectly.

If you’re looking for a laptop that will still be applicable to 3A titles and esports games in the near future, this device is a sweet deal.


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