Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 Laptop Review – Loud and Proud

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Love or hate its design, it is impossible to deny that the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is an eye-catching device. Its bright strips of RGB LEDs light up any environment that the laptop is placed into with an unapologetic spectrum of colors. The semi-translucent plastic frame of the keyboard provides a glimpse into the machine’s internal components, until the matte black metallic lid of the device is closed over to display a glowing, color-cycling ROG logo.

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The combination of exceptional gaming performance, an impressively crisp display and solid audio capabilities makes the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 an almost brilliant machine that falls short in just a few aspects.

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Unfortunately, I am personally not a huge fan of the garish design aesthetic present in every aspect of this device. It is just hard to look at. It sort of resembles what a 1980’s designer would come up with if you asked them to create something with a futuristic design. There is nothing sleek or agile about the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16, to the extent that my fiancé took to calling it “Garish Gertrude,” every time that she saw me testing it.

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The significant weight and sheer chunkiness of the device is not the only thing that would lead one to describe it as unsubtle. The laptop also features a strip of RGB LEDs that run along the edges that just scream “I am gamer and I want everyone to know about it!” Even the keys on the keyboard have individual RGB backlighting, further enhancing the machine’s over-the-top nature.

Also read: Immortals of Aveum Review – A Magical Mixed Bag (PS5)

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The laptop is constructed mainly of plastic, which is something that may put some people off given the price point of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16. With that said though, it still manages to maintain a sturdy build quality. To the extent that if you were to drop the device on your foot, it would likely cause a fracture and would certainly do more damage to your foot than to the laptop itself. It is a large and bulky machine, weighing 2.5kg and measuring over 3cm at its thickest point when closed. Aside from some slight flimsiness in the lid and screen, the overall build quality feels robust and durable.

The 16-inch mini LED-backlight panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a QHD resolution of 2560×1600 pixels delivers an exceptional visual experience. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16’s display supports Nvidia G-Sync to eliminate screen tearing and offers a high 240Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth gameplay even in fast-paced action.

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The sound that the inbuilt speakers on the ROG Strix Scar 16 provides is seriously impressive.
The sound that the inbuilt speakers on the ROG Strix Scar 16 provides is seriously impressive.

The Pantone-validated, HDR-capable, Mini-LED display covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and boasts a brightness of up to 1100 nits, making colors vibrant and accurate. The anti-glare feature performs admirably even in sunlight, and the 3ms latency adds to the responsive feel of the display. Overall, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16’s screen is one of the finest available on a modern gaming laptop.

The quad-speaker Dolby Atmos system that the laptop comes packing delivers immersive audio with ample volume. The wide virtual surround soundstage enhances the listening experience, providing a rich audio environment. While competitive gamers may still prefer to use a dedicated headset, the laptop’s audio setup is more than capable for casual gaming and multimedia consumption.

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Also read: Razer Moray In-Ear Monitors Review – Not Quite My Tempo

Sadly, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16’s 720p webcam falls short in terms of quality. While the color reproduction is acceptable, it struggles with varying light levels, with footage captured in a low lighting environment often resulting in a pixelated image. It would have been nice for Asus to have included a higher-resolution webcam, especially considering the laptop’s premium price point.

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The full-size chiclet keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience, with a complete set of function keys and a row of media controls. Interestingly, instead of a number pad, the laptop features a touch-based grid of numbers integrated into the touchpad, which does take some time to get used to. The sizable trackpad lacks the precision and responsiveness that one may expect from a high-end laptop.

The ROG Strix Scar 16 thankfully comes packing plenty of ports.
The ROG Strix Scar 16 thankfully comes packing plenty of ports.

In terms of connectivity, the laptop offers ample ports, including one HDMI input slot, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, dual USB-C ports (one Thunderbolt 4 and the other USB 3.2 Gen 2), and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. The USB-C and HDMI ports, along with the powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, enable support for up to three external 4K monitors at 60Hz simultaneously. Wireless options include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, providing excellent connectivity options for networks and peripherals.

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The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 manages to deliver exceptional performance while gaming thanks to its powerful hardware. The 13th Gen Intel i9 processor paired with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU ensures smooth gameplay and allows the laptop to handle demanding games with ease. The inclusion of 32GB of RAM further enhances its capabilities, providing ample multitasking power.

Also read: ROG Phone 7 Ultimate Review – Overkillin’ It

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In benchmark tests, the laptop outperforms many of its competitors, achieving impressive scores in Geekbench multi-threaded and Cinebench R23 benchmarks. In real-world gaming scenarios, it achieves high frame rates, such as an average of 106fps in Borderlands 3 and 120fps in Horizon: Zero Dawn at the native screen resolution. The laptop’s performance is further enhanced by DLSS technology, enabling nearly 150fps in certain games.

While the laptop’s cooling system is efficient, it can get quite noisy when running in Turbo mode. The fans produce a significant amount of sound, which may be distracting during intense gaming sessions. However, the cooling system does effectively keep the keyboard and the front of the laptop cool to the touch, ensuring comfortable gameplay sessions.

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This numpad does take a while to get used to.
This numpad does take a while to get used to.

Considering its powerful hardware, the battery life of the ROG Strix Scar 16 is pretty decent for a gaming laptop. It lasts around tended to last between 5 and 6 hours on a single charge every time that I used it, which is quite impressive considering the laptop’s meaty specifications. With that said, it is recommended to game on the laptop while plugged in for the best performance.

In terms of storage, the laptop comes equipped with a pair of 1TB Samsung PM9A1 PCIe 4 x 4 drives in an Intel RAID 0 configuration. This configuration provides impressive sequential read and write speeds, ensuring quick load times and smooth operation.

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Also read: Asus ROG Ally VS Steam Deck: Comparing the Flagship Handhelds

Overall, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is a powerful gaming laptop that delivers top-tier gaming performance, a stunning display, and immersive audio. Although the device is made of plastic, the laptop still feels incredibly robust. There is nothing sleek or subtle about the design, though some gamers out there may be a fan of this over-the-top aesthetic. The sub-par webcam and noisy cooling fans are also drawbacks.

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Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 – 7/10

7 Out of 10

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 was provided to FandomWire for review by ASUS.

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Written by Daniel Boyd

Dan is one of FandomWire's Gaming Content Leads and Editors. Along with Luke Addison, he is one of the site's two Lead Video Game Critics and Content Co-ordinators. He is a 28-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as Game Rant, WhatCulture Gaming, KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.