ASUS’ ROG or Republic of Gamers as it stands for, has long been the weapon of choice for a majority of gamers. With a cool logo, ample RGB LEDs, good keyboard, brilliant display and loaded internals, the ROG series of gaming laptops checks all the right boxes. The Taiwanese brand has been launching quite a few laptops in the recent past and the latest to come from its stable is the loaded ASUS ROG Strix Scar III G531. I received the laptop and can vouch that it screams ‘gaming’ from miles away. Let’s find out why I say so.
Before you press the power on button on the Windows 10-powered Strix Scar III, I suggest putting on your shades. I might have exaggerated there but that’s because of the ample use of RGB LEDs by ASUS on this particular model. There is an RGB strip running along the whole edge on sides and the front. Add to it the RGB-lit NumPad-less keyboard and you have a complete aura of RGB lighting staring in your face. This is befitting since ASUS has used the AURA RGB in the laptop, which is customisable and can be tuned as per your taste.
The keyboard ships with an anti-ghosting technology, which allows it to accurately process simultaneous key presses that come naturally to many gamers. The keys have ample travel distance but feel soft, which might irk gamers who like good tactile feedback akin to mechanical keyboards. As for the number pad, while it’s missing on the keyboard it can be activated on the touchpad by pressing the numlink button for a second. This is a neat touch indeed (pun intended)! The touchpad itself is quite responsive and also has physical mouse buttons. There are dedicated buttons for volume, mic, fan and Keynote settings on the top.
Having talked about the input devices, lets come to the output unit. The ASUS ROG Strix Scar III comes with a 15.6-inch IPS-level display with full HD screen resolution. The screen flaunts an impressive 144Hz refresh rate, which would reflect while playing first-person shooting as there will hardly be any jitter and the gameplay will be extremely smooth. Moreover, with slim bezels on three sides and impressive screen-to-body ratio of 81.5 percent, the viewing experience is also immersive. On the topic of bezels, ASUS has excluded the webcam on the ROG Strix Scar III as the brand feels gamers don’t really need a camera. However, if you were planning to stream your gameplay using the webcam, you’re out of luck here and might need to invest in a third-party webcam.
Coming to the performance, the ROG Strix Scar III is loaded to gills with cutting-edge specifications. The review unit I have at my disposal comes packing the 9th-generation Intel Core i9-9880H chipset with up to 32GB RAM and 1TB of storage. In the graphics department, you get either NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2070 or GTX 1660Ti graphics with up to 8GB of video RAM, depending on the variant. The one I have has the GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB RAM. This should be enough for using resource-intensive productivity apps like Photoshop or heavy gaming titles. I will be putting the laptop through its paces and give you a detailed account of the performance in my complete review.
Build-wise, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar III is pretty compact for a gaming laptop as it weighs just 2.57 kgs and is 24.9mm thin. The light weight of the laptop can be credited to the all plastic construct, which stills feel sturdy. The laptop flaunts a dual tone brushed metal finish on the lid and intricate carbon pattern on the inside. ASUS has announced that the ROG Strix Scar III has been designed in collaboration with BMW Designworks Group, which shows in the 3D Flow Zone on the right. You will also notice a unique notch on the right edge, which houses what ASUS is calling Keystone. The Keystone activates a secure storage vault on the laptop, which lets gamers store gaming data securely and remove it from the laptop at will. While this is one functionality of the Keystone, ASUS claims that the possibilities are endless with the Keystone.
In terms of ports, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar III has three USB ports on the left edge along with a 3.5mm audio jack. The right edge is bare except for a singular venting outlet. The laptop marks a deviation in design for the brand as it comes with an HDMI port, RJ45 Ethernet link and USB Type-C port on the back along with a vent on either side. The bar housing the ports on the back sticks out from the display and is also home to two 4W speakers that are tuned with Smart AMP technology. The ASUS ROG Strix Scar III also flaunts multi-antenna RangeBoost Wi-Fi technology that increases the wireless range by up to 30 percent.
ASUS will launch the new lineup of gaming laptops in India on July 9th and thus we are yet not privy to the pricing of the ROG Strix Scar III. However, if the company price it right, It can easily bring home a chicken dinner for the brand.
Photos by Raj Rout