Asus has been a front runner in the gaming laptop competition for the past few years now, taking out stiff competition from many rather more “blue chip” competitors. The selling point for Asus has been the fact that while most gaming laptops feature the most high-end specs coupled with super bulky chassis, Asus ROG laptops have managed to keep things nice and sleek while still packing the biggest punch of them all, and with the Scar 2, they seek to keep this run going. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the all-new Asus ROG Strix Scar 2 –
Asus has been keeping things perfect with their design language and with the Scar 2, they don’t disappoint with a super hardcore brushed aluminum finish with a glowing ROG logo. We Also get the illuminated indicator lights along with the vents which completes an overall tantalizing look on the outside. The moment you open that lid, however, you will see what Asus has over its competitors. We have the multicolor backlight on the keyboard and a brown camo finish which just sweeps us off our feet. Add to that some really narrow bezels and you will really have to be super critical if you want to find something amiss. Yes, narrow bezels meant that Asus had to shift their webcam on to the lower bezel, but that is not a hinder at all.
Even when it comes to the overall external dimensions, the Scar 2 sits right in the sweet spot. Measuring 15.7 x 10.7 x 1 inches, the laptop is neither too thick nor too unnecessarily slim. It is just right for a gaming laptop and absolutely accommodates all required ports and features with ease.
One of the most defining features ion a full-fledged gaming laptop are the ports. In this department too, the Scar 2 has got you covered. On the left-hand side, we have the power jack, the RJ45 port, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.0 port, three USB 3.1 ports and a headphone jack.
If that’s not enough, the right hand side adds to the team, a Kensington lock slot, one USB 3.1 port, one USB 3.1 Type C port and an SD card reader. This is not just comprehensive, but a winning team of ports and features. A huge thumbs up in the gaming and streaming department.
Display, Keyboard and Touchpad –
The Scar 2 features a super sharp 15 inch, 144 Hz, 1080p panel with a response time of 3 milliseconds.
The Scar 2’s panel covers 114% of the sRGB spectrum, which sits just above the industry standard of 111%m making it one of the most capable and out and out beastly display for a gaming laptop. The brightness level of 261 nits however, is a tad bit off from the industry average of 294 nits, which often makes certain high brightness details in games and movies look a bit washed off. Not that it’s a real issue, but when you have laptops like the premium Helios series with a brightness level of 373 nits on the 15-inch model, you really start feeling that gap.
Coming to the keyboard, we have one of the industry’s best keyboards on Asus laptops and with the punching transparent WASD keys, the keyboard on the Scar 2 is no different. We have a sleek island-style keyboard layout with three distinct lighting zones. The key quality is active and punchy and the response is absolutely incredible.
The touchpad is very fluid and responsive and the presence of discrete buttons rather than the inbuilt one is a welcome change and something that makes the overall use and feel a lot more familiar and precise as well as comfortable. All of the Windows 10 gestures work flawlessly on the Scar 2 touchpad, but personally, I really love the discrete mouse buttons because while the arrangement may be a bit old school, it’s still a lot more comfortable and reassuring to the touch than the more recent integrated arrangement.
Coming to the audio, I must say that while the audio output itself was quite punchy, it lacked that sort of refined crispness in the sense that it sometimes becomes very hard to distinguish between different beats in a song. The preference on bass is heavy and while its absolutely a treat to behold, it can get a bit underwhelming at times,
When it comes to gaming laptops, what we are concerned with most is how well the laptop performs, this laptop can run GPU intensive games to the most basic online games like Roulette easily, and in that respect, the Asus Scar 2 is an absolute monster. Featuring the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU (Which features 6GB of VRAM), the Scar 2 holds back nothing when it comes to crushing the gaming department. There are however, some cases where it does get overshadowed by the very capable Helios 300, but that is a rare occurrence with no real consequences to the buyer.
Games like the ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’, which boast graphics intensive elements, work like clockwork on the Asus Scar 2, making it not just a capable, but also a blockbuster gaming device.
VR gaming has been gaining some heat recently but there were no real compelling devices out there, that really gave you the comfortable amalgamation between the laptop and headset. The Asus Scar 2 however, has changed the game altogether by scoring a 7.1 out of 11 on the SteamVR test, making it one of the best laptops out there for VR gaming!!
But how does it manage to put up this impressive gaming performance? Well, not only does it have the best in class GPU, it also literally armed to its teeth in the performance package. We have the Intel Core i7 – 8750H processor, 32 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD and a 1TB 5400 rpm HDD. What this means is that the performance is enough for you to simultaneously run 2 full HD movies, a bunch of chrome tabs and also a few games without having to break a single sweat.
Battery Life and Heat –
Gaming and high-performance laptops are not really the superstars when it comes to battery life, and in case of the Scar 2, the trend remains the same. On normal use, the Asus Scar 2 does manage around 4 hours of single charge use, but the moment you up the ante, the number falls drastically short, which should not really come across as a surprise.
When it comes to heat management, nothing quite beats the way the Scar 2 does it. After close to 15 minutes of hardcore gaming, the underside of the laptop hit 103 degree Fahrenheit , the center of the keyboard measured 83 degrees while the touchpad registered 76 degrees. No wonder the Asus Scar 2 is called the Wizard of heat management.