The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) is a hardcore gaming notebook. There’s no beating around the bush here. It packs a powerful GPU, a 300Hz display and more RGB than you need but who’s complaining? However, this comes at a cost. The notebook starts at $2,199 or R38,999. You can get models with smaller SSDs and less RAM. This model is the top-tier one that retails for $3,299 or R74,999. There’s a lot of ROG flair here which makes this quite a phenomenal device. Even if the device often feels impractical for most daily non-gaming activities.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) Gaming Notebook Tech Specs
- CPU: Intel Core i9-10980HK
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super (8GB GDDR6)
- RAM: 32GB DDR4 3200 MHz SO-DIMM
- Storage: 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080, 300 Hz
- Network: 802.11ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
- IO: 3x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Type C, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x RJ-45, 1x 3.5 mm Microphone/Headphone jack
- Battery: 66Wh
- Dimensions: 15.7 x 11.5 x 1 inches
- Weight: 2.8Kgs
As you can see from the specs, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) is a beast. There’s a lot here that could also have been taken down to save some money. Who needs a 2TB SSD right off the bat? Also, 32GB of RAM is a bit overkill. However, if you plan on investing in the device for long-term use then it is perfect. The most impressive part of the device is the 17-inch 300Hz display which unlike the Acer Predator Triton 300 which I reviewed a while back, is actually beneficial to the device thanks to the RTX 2080 Super GPU.
Regardless of what you want to do with the device, the power makes it possible. However, we also have the question whether or not investing in a notebook this powerful could be a waste with the 300 series GPUs on the horizon for notebooks. We also don’t know how much those will cost.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) Design
The ASUS Scar 17 is a gaming notebook. You see this from the moment you lay your eyes on it. Unlike other notebooks such as the Gigabyte Aero 15 XA which looks like a design laptop but has great gaming performance, this device is not hiding its true intent away. The top has a massive RGB ROG logo slapped on it. The lid, as most of the device, is metal.
One big standout feature is the RGB strip underneath the device. It runs right across the left, front and right of the shell and lights up the bottom. It gives the illusion that the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is floating in the air. It gets quite bright too and features Aura Sync so you can match the lighting to your ASUS mouse and the built-in keyboard. You can also turn the strip off to save battery life and avoid the attention when using the notebook in public.
On the left of the device, there are two USB Type-A ports, the headphone/microphone jack and an SD Card reader. ASUS used their brains unlike most notebook manufacturers and put ports on the back of the device. Here you can find another USB Type-A port, USB C, HDMI, Ethernet and power adaptor. Moving the ports to the back means the right-hand side of the device is completely empty for your gaming mouse. The only port there is the pretty-pointless-at-this-time ASUS KeyStone hole. This USB is used to copy your lighting, keyboard and other settings from one ASUS device to another. General users will find this hole useless unless you own another device with the port. However, I can see how it may come in handy during esports competitions where ASUS needs to copy a user’s data from one device to another.
When it comes to the keyboard and touchpad both are fine. The touchpad is fairly small and has a great click. There are also two physical click buttons underneath the device which helps more than you can imagine when moving around Windows and working on content. The keyboard is also okay. Key travel is decent and keys are clicky. The space bar has a larger end to it so you can press it easily too. It is also a full-sized keyboard.
Overall, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) design is pretty good. My only issue was the lack of a webcam. Given how Zoom and Skype meetings have taken over the world now, this is kind of a must on notebooks. Sure, you can purchase one but you are already spending a few thousand on the notebook.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) Performance
ASUS has put gaming first on the Scar 17. Its hardware is all about gaming and of course its key feature, the 300Hz display enables this. Before we get to the benchmarks you should know that hitting 300Hz on any modern triple-A game is impossible on the device. Yes, it does have an RTX 2080 SUPER in it but even that is not enough. If you are a multiplayer game fan then you are definitely going to get more bang or your buck here as competitive games can make use of the display. However, don’t expect to run Red Dead Redemption 2 at 300Hz.
I tested a couple of games on the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732). Almost everything surpassed my expectations. The RTX 2080 is one of the best, if not the best GPU in a notebook at the moment which means you are going to get the best possible notebook gaming performance out of the device. This means most of the latest games will run at around 120-150Hz depending on the game while some others like CS: GO max out the display. In addition, ASUS has some fantastic cooling at work here and the device runs cooler than most gaming notebooks without bottlenecking the CPU. It is also much quieter than most gaming notebooks too.
Here are some benchmarks.
|Rise of the Tomb Raider
|Far Cry 5
|1080p/Ultra + Raytracing
|Red Dead Redemption 2
|The Witcher 3
As I mentioned before, the cooling on the device is great. General use with YouTube and some web browsing registered 25 degrees celsius on the keyboard. Average gaming kept the device at under 60 degrees celsius when reading the physical heat temperature. This is most likely due to the liquid metal design inside the device which goes a long way to deliver better cooling across the board. Keep in mind that this also goes a long way to improve video rendering and other CPU-intense tasks. Just know that the device handles its heat pretty well which feeds into keeping gaming performance high after long periods of gaming too.
Battery, Sound and Display
The battery life on the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) is decent. You can get a good couple of hours of use with the display at half brightness while watching YouTube and surfing the web. I measured just under five hours one day while typing out articles, watching YouTube and researching content. This is impressive for a 17-inch laptop and it is nice to see ASUS include a great battery cell in it.
The speakers are okay. They get the job done. Sound is clear and punchy but without a subwoofer, you are missing those deep tones. Should you use a headset? Of course. However, the speakers provide ample quality and kick for watching content and listening to music.
Lastly, I want to touch on the display. The 17-inch IPS LCD is great. It can hit just over 300 nits of brightness and has some decent viewing angles. The max brightness is not very bright at all but the overall quality of the panel made me forget about it. There’s very little light leakage on the edges and the excellent contrast ratio and AdobeRGB coverage was a welcome feature on the panel. This means no matter what you do, the display will show off your content and gaming quite well.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (G732) is a superb gaming notebook. When the only problem I could find was the lack of a webcam, that means you are doing something right. ASUS clearly pumped the best hardware in this device for the best performance and every test I performed proved this. Yes, it is expensive but you’re getting a top-tier experience here with some pretty premium hardware.