Asus ROG Strix Scar Review: A solid alternative to Alienware notebooks
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Asus has upgraded its line-up of gaming notebooks to take on the more popular New Alienware laptops by Dell. The new breed includes ROG (Republic of Gamers) Strix Scar GL503VM, which costs Rs1,54,990, while its superior variant, the GL503VS, which offers slightly better graphics, is priced at Rs1,84,990.
We reviewed the Strix Scar GL503VM and this is what we found.
■Gaming notebooks stand out due to their distinct looks, burly form factor and colourful backlit keys. The ROG Strix is no different. It looks a bit different from other ROG notebooks though. The lid is enforced with metal and the backlit ROG logo, which glows when the notebook is on, and is placed a little towards the left than in the middle.
■At 2.5kg, it is significantly lighter than the New Alienware notebooks with similar screen size, which makes carrying it as a backpack less stressful on the back. The New Alienware with 15.6-inch screen tips the scales at 3.49kg.
■ The stereo speakers are placed along the side panel while the heat vents, are lined up on the top side panel right between the two hinges. The sound quality is impressive and one can hear minor details clearly.
■The notebook offers a full-fledged keyboard with wide spaces for the palm rest. There is ample distance between the keys and they are slightly curved for a more comfortable typing experience. Though they do not look as distinct as the keys on Lenovo’s ThinkPad notebooks, but you can tell the difference while typing.
■The keys are backlit so one can play with ease even in the dark. The backlighting is available in RGB colour gamut, which means keys won’t just glow in red or white. This gives it a more jazzy look.
■There is no optical drive, but Asus hasn’t missed out on any of the connectivity options which matter such as Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0, USB Type-C, 3.5mm jack and has a SD card slot.
■The 15.6-inch IPS screen has a resolution of 1,920x1,080p. Colours look rich even from wide angles which makes gaming and watching movies an enjoyable experience. The no reflective coating is a bonus and ensures better visibility even under bright light.
The New Alienware with 15.6-inch screen offers similar resolution.
■The Strix Scar’s screen offers a refresh rate of 144Hz which makes it ideal for first-person shooter games where the slightest of delay can affect the gameplay considerably. The new Alienware has max refresh rate of 120Hz.
■ Though the 8th Gen Intel chipsets are available and they are reportedly 40% faster than predecessors, Asus hasn’t gone for them. The ROG Strix Scar runs on is Intel’s 7th Gen core i7 processor with 16GB RAM and has Nvidia’s GeForce 1060 (6GB) graphics for a smooth gaming experience. It doesn’t disappoint with graphic-intensive games. The recently released shooting game PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, also known as PUBG, ran without any stutter. The New Alienware runs on the same processor and Nvidia graphics but has 8GB RAM.
■Battery backup is a major letdown, but then gaming notebooks were never known for their battery backup. The Strix Scar offers just 3-4 hours of backup on regular use, while with non-stop gaming, it lasted just 45 minutes.
■ For a gaming notebook, it’s surprisingly cool. Asus has used 12V fans which spin faster than 5V fans. This is one of the reasons why the notebook makes a lot of noise during games.
■It runs Windows 10 and allows users to customise their gaming experience with the Asus Gaming centre. Here users can adjust the clock speed, change the colour of the keys, enhance visuals and free up memory.
■The Asus Strix Scar GL503VS is a less pricey alternative to the 15-inch New Alienware notebooks, which start at Rs1,65,990. The lighter form factor is another bonus that gives it an edge over the Dell notebook.