The ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) has recently unveiled their maiden line of RTX-enabled gaming laptops. We managed to get our hands on one of the powerhouses. And here’s what we will be looking today – the ROG Strix SCAR II GL704.
Now, compared to the previous generation of the SCAR II GL704 (not even a year old yet), the chassis remains the same. It’s the inside that matters. Yes, I’m referring to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 GPU. What’s so special about the RTX? In case you don’t know, the GPU has a real-time ray tracing abilities, allowing for greater graphic fidelity.
The brushed aluminium lid makes it sleek and clean. The ultra-slim bezels on the SCAR II is really a marvel. Why? It’s slim enough to fit into a 15.6-inch laptop bag. Impressive indeed for a 17.3-inch display laptop. But alas, the slim bezels only apply to the top and sides. The bottom needs to house the logo and a webcam (nostril-pointing?).
Overall, the chassis is still made of plastic, but with added thickness. This ensures the overall chassis build to still feel solid. You’ll still get the same RGB-enabled ROG logo and light strip at the front of the laptop.
The keyboard has a tinge of camo accents. For the typing experience, I am not exactly impressed. It could use a bit more of travel. It could have come with a full-sized arrow key cluster instead of the current narrower ones, no thanks to a huge right control key? The transparent WASD keys while looks unique here are a rather odd sight for the laptop. For me, it cheapens the aesthetics by just a little.
RGB enthusiasts, the 4-zone backlit keyboard is still somewhat lacking especially when some competitors already offering individually backlit keyboards for laptops at this price range. Nevertheless, the ASUS ROG Aura here works like a charm. Toggle between a few modes to see the keyboard come to life with an array of colour displays. Display-wise, no change from its predecessor; 1080p Full HD resolution at 144 Hz refresh rate. The
3ms response time is impressive for fast-paced games like FPS. However, for a nearly RM10,000 gaming laptop, the lack of NVIDIA G-SYNC is rather disappointing. And, the display isn’t the brightest out there.
The trackpad utilises the Windows Precision driver and it works nicely. It is smooth and the tracking is accurate. Since this is a gaming laptop, the trackpad doesn’t exactly matter. You would be better off with a decent gaming mouse anyway.
A quad-antenna AC WiFi as well as Bluetooth 5.0 is present here. Plenty of ports on offer as well. It has: RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, 3x USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen 1), 3.5mm audio combo jack, SD card reader, USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen 2), USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen 2)
Now, for the gaming experience. That’s what the laptop is for right? I managed to put it through Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on a couple of missions on ultra-high settings. However, The SCAR II struggled, a bit. Framerates hovered at a low 40-45 per second level. It’s an almost three-year-old game, but it is still demanding graphically. Lowering some details and settings will lessen the struggle, increasing framerate. Meanwhile, this could be a result of driver issue and game’s compatibility with the new RTX cards. Here’s hoping the RTX 2070 can churn out higher frames for games after a driver or game update.
As for the temperature, the CPU has one heat sink while the GPU has two. And figures are not exactly rosy here. Temperature for the CPU hovers between 80-99 (yes, 99 degrees Celsius). That’s seriously hot. Well of course, the fans work overtime for this. You’ll get a fairly loud machine as you game, roaring as it goes.
The Strix SCAR II has the same 66 Wh, 4-cell battery as its predecessor. Not surprising, it needs to be recharged sooner. Under load with maxed out brightness, the laptop lasted about 58 minutes. Nevertheless, still decent. Gaming with Deus Ex Mankind Divided with Ultra High settings brought in about 45 minutes of usage while on battery. But, the battery recharges quickly. From 0 to 60%, it took us about 35 minutes. A full charge takes
about 100 minutes.
ASUS provides a sole DDR4-2666 16GB RAM with the laptop. This allows users to easily self-upgrade it. All you must do is add another 16GB and you’re good to go. For storage, if 512GB SSD is not enough, you can opt to install an additional 2.5″ SATA SSD or HDD on your own.
As for the price, the GL704 (RTX 2070) at RM 9,299 is almost RM 2,300 more expensive than the GL704 (RTX 2060). With that being said, we must point out the fact that ROG Strix uses a standard RTX 2070 card instead of the slower RTX 2070 Max Q. Besides, looking at the bright side, compared to their close competitors, ROG’s price is considerably cheaper, keeping the GL704 RX2070 under RM10,000.
Overall what we got here is the most up to date gaming laptop system available (for now). It’s sleek and modern. You’ll be able to enjoy most modern games with this laptop. A minor gripe though will be its less than stellar cooling system. It’s noisy alright.
Running on NVIDIA Driver version 417.71
OpenGL: 66.51 fps
CPU: 1080 cb
Geekbench 4: CPU Single-Core: 4660, CPU Multi-Core: 18302
Verdict: Sleek, modern, next-gen graphics, classy and noisy.
Total Score: 8.6