Asus ROG Strix Scar II review: A gaming laptop that fires like Scar-L

Asus ROG Strix Scar II
The PUBG mania seems to have swooped gamers the world over like a viral fever in no mood to recede. While the mobile version of PUBG (PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds) is already the talk of the town, the computer version works like a charm, bringing back the teenage memories of Counter Strike. Of the guns you can use in PUBG, the Scar-L is perhaps the most popular and easy to master, so much so that everyone wants to have it in their armoury while ravaging enemy squads in the terrains of Erangel or Miramar.

Talking of ease of use, the recently-launched Asus ROG Strix Scar II gaming laptop seems to have taken some cues from the Scar-L gun. A sleek machine with premium features going beyond typical usual gaming laptops, the ROG Strix Scar II has thin bezels, improved battery life and an impressive audio output. The 144Hz refresh rate of the 15.6-inch IPS display as seen in the predecessor Strix Scar, stays unchanged. But the Scar II’s thin bezels give it a refreshing look, and the impressive colour gamut make the characters of Battlefield V seem life-like.

Asus has paid extra attention to customising the laptop's experience for certain games and the colours look vibrant and punchy while playing games like Black Ops 4 or PUBG. For watching your regular TV shows, however, this laptop is quite average – if not bad.

The new 8th gen Intel Core i7 hexa-core processor, accompanied by the 6 GB DDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, will provide you adequate firepower to run your favourite games for at least a couple of years. The single channel 16 GB DDR4 RAM works pretty well as of now, but it is advised that you add another RAM in the second channel going forward, to continue getting the blazing fast performance. Toshiba's 256 GB SSD, a popular SSD in this range, is combined with the Seagate FireCuda 1 TB SSHD as part of the storage segment of the machine.

Coming to the keyboard, the RGB scheme continues to be an essential part in the Scar-II, while a faint camo finish on it is welcoming as well. The translucent WASD keys are visible to the gamers who love to play in pitch-dark rooms. The keyboard has a proper number pad and dedicated audio buttons, along with ROG Gaming Centre hotkey on top. Among the very few disappointments, though, is the front RGB strip, which is a bit distracting. While the device looks appealing with the strip's ambient lighting, life would have been better without it.

The sound of the cooling fan at maxed-out levels has been reduced significantly, but it is still short of perfection. The laptop heats up after a few hours of gaming and the vent on the right side blows hot air on to your hands if you are using a mouse. The entire gaming community uses a mouse while playing games, so this is one area Asus might like to work more on.

The I/O options are sorted with a SD card reader, one USB 3.0 port and Kensington lock slot on the right, while power, ethernet, HDMI, audio jack, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and one USB 3.0 Type-C port are on the left.

Priced at Rs 139,990, the Intel Core i7-8750H + 6GB GTX 1060 version of the Asus ROG Scar II seems to have been priced right between the MSI GL63-8RE and the Acer Helios 300. While everyone in the market is providing the exact same hardware in a similar price range, the Scar II adds a bit more value. Thin bezels, improved battery and better audio output make it an exciting package for your gaming on-the-go hardware. 

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