Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 review

Gaming laptops are getting better with each new generation. They not only pack enough punch to run demanding titles but also offer portability and versatility. Take the headlining Scar 15 itself. It comes with a 10th gen Intel Core i9 processor, Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Supergraphics, a 15-inch 300Hz display, WiFi 6, up to 32 gigs of RAM, and 2TB SSD storage. This means (spoiler alert) gaming is immensely fun on this machine.

But its heavy price ticket of Rs. 2.17 lakhs beg deeper scrutiny, which is what we did. We have spent a significant amount of time testing various aspects of it. This has revealed some awkward design choices and deliberate omissions, which you must know before placing the order. (Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)

This is the Smartprix review of Asus ROG Strix Scar 15. Read on to know whether it’s worth putting down your investment on this machine.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 Specs

Product  ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 G532LWS
Display  15.6” vIPS-level FHD 300Hz/3ms
Processor  Intel Core i9-10980HK
Graphics  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-P GDDR6 8GB
RAM 32GB DDR4
Dimensions and Weight 39.9(W) x 29.3(D) x 2.79 (H) cm; 2.99 Kgs
Storage 2 X 1TB PCIe SSD (Raid 0)
Keyboard Backlit chiclet keyboard, Aura Sync, Per key RGB
Audio  2x 3.5W with Smart AMP Technology
I/O port  3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x Audio combo jack: Mic-in and Headphone
1 X USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C (supports DisplayPort 1.4, no PD charging)
1x LAN RJ-45 jack1 x HDMI (HDMI 2.0b support 4K HDR), HDCP SPEC 2.2 
Operating system Windows 10 Home
Battery 66WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion, 15.4V; 280W adapter

That’s a smorgasbord of specs. Let’s see how all of these satiate a gamer’s appetite:

Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 Review: Design, Build, and I/O

The Scar 15 comes in matte black color, which’s the only sober thing about it. ‘Cause once you turn it on, it has got an ostentatious neon light affair going on. Not just the keyboard and the ROG logo on the deck, but the LED wraparound the laptop’s base also flares up, making it look either drop dead gorgeous or tripping. You can customize the RGB light show from within the built-in Aura Creator app (more on that later).

The laptop is made of plastic but doesn’t feel plasticky. Asus has taken care of the build quality. The corners are squared off smoothly. The hinge feels sturdy. The surface although gets smudgy and dusty over time, can easily be wiped clean. The laptop (2.39 kg) plus power adapter combo is hefty enough to strain your shoulders if you carry it around. But, is still carriable and that’s a major reason to buy a gaming laptop.

 

Lastly, the ports are plenty good, but the placement is bizarre. You see there are three USB A 3.2 ports and an audio jack on the left. And nothing on the right, except Keystone (more on it in the Performance section). So, right-handed mouse users have to pull the cable from the other side. Asus has accommodated the rest of the I/O sockets at the back. There is a LAN port, an HDMI port, USB-C port (3.1 Gen2) DisplayPort, and the power input port at the back. There is no thunderbolt 3 here, which is a weird omission on a machine of this price.

Let’s now lift the laptop lid (which, btw, you can do with a single hand) and see what we get inside.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 Review: Display, Audio, and Keyboard

Upfront, there’s the eponymous 15″ display. It is an LCD with FHD resolution, 81.5% screen to body ratio, delectable color contrast, and wide viewing angles. On top of that, there is the sick 300Hz refresh speed and 3ms response time (no G-sync though). So, the 15 has the screen traits for creative pursuits, fast-paced gaming, and casual media consumption.

The top bezel, as you see, is plain. In the post-Covid-19 work-from-home life, even those standard shabby webcam on laptops come in handy. As such, we miss the lack of one here. Asus’s own ROG Eye costs around ₹8,850 on Amazon. Even if you go with a 3rd party alt, that’s a cost whammied on top of the premium price. We hope the brand chases to demand in the next iteration.

 

Beneath the display, there is a Rainbow Glowing Board, or so I call it. It is ergonomically aligned in the middle. Neato! Keys have a soft surface and they offer firm feedback. Asus has baked in features like N-key rollover and anti-ghosting to make the typing accurate and comfortable. There are dedicated keys for controlling volume, mic output, performance modes, and Armoury crate (to be discussed soon). Even Function+ toggles are extremely helpful. Thanks, Asus!

ALSO READ: HP Pavilion Gaming 16 Review

The trackpad also syncs well with my fingertips. The embedded num-pad and the click buttons weren’t of much use to me. But, hey, you might like ’em.

The audio is amply loud from the side speakers. But, I felt it could benefit from a bit more bass.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 Review: Performance and Battery

A combination of Intel Core i9-10980HK, 8GB of GDDR6 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-P graphics, 32GB DDR4 RAM, and 2TB of PCIe SSD storage means this laptop can drive just about everything under the sun.

Benchmark Tests Scores
3DMark Firestrike Extreme 10043
3DMark Firestrike Ultra 5252
3DMark Time Spy 8119
Cinebench R15 OpenGL | CPU 144.38 fps | 1400 cb
Cinebench R20 3219
CrystalDiskMark Seq Read | Write Speed 3024.48 | 2797.93 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark Random Read | Write Speed 522.12 | 372.32 MB/s
Geekbench 5 Single-Core (CPU) 1350
Geekbench 5 Multi-Core (CPU) 7544
Geekbench 5 Compute OpenCL (GPU) 99452
PCMark 10 5474
PCMark 10 Full System Drive 1498
PCMark 10 Battery test (Gaming) 56 min
Unigine Superposition 5300
Unigine Superposition VR Optimum 10,000
Handbrake test (1GB WebM file to H.265 MKV 1080p30 conversion) 30 mins

You can run AAA titles to satiate your greed for graphics and zip through e-Sports matches, all while the display caps off at high frames.

 
  • Avengers: 84 fps
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator: 51 fps
  • Fortnite: 129 fps
  • GTA 5: 112 fps
  • PES 2021: 150 fps
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: 49 fps
  • Rocket League: 250 fps
  • Valorant: 152 fps
  • Witcher 3: 60 fps

For the best performance, you have to enable the Turbo profile from within the Armoury Crate app. This overclocks GPU, CPU, and raises the fan speed. While in this mode, or say intensive gaming sessions, you will hear the fan screaming. Even with all that cooling going on, there’ll be some amount of heat that makes it less lapable. Oh and in case that fan noise bothers you much, try Performance mode.

You get to save the game settings files, sound, and performance profiles within a shadow drive. It is called so because unless you enter the password or insert the Keystone, the files will be out of reach. It is a cool concept but I would have preferred a USB-A port instead.

As for the battery life, you can expect somewhere from

  • 1 hour 45 mins (during gaming and movies at full brightness; silent profile)
  • to 2 hours and 30 minutes of runtime out of this machine (gentle office usage including browsing dozens of Chrome tabs and Spotify in the background; silent profile).

Even the PCMark 10 battery (Gaming) test revealed a 2 and 1/2 hour mark. The battery life, I would say, is on par with what you’d get with most gaming laptops. And it is better to game on direct power for better performance.

ALSO READ: Asus ExpertBook P2451F Review

The bundled 280W adapter charges the laptop full in a quarter to two. But man o man that’s a bigass brick.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 Review Verdict: Should you buy?

Scar 15 is nigh-impressive. Yea, almost everything’s a cakewalk for it. But, that’s expected out of this upstate configuration. It has got a big, brisk, and beautiful display. A pleasant type and touch experience from the board beneath. A Rainbow Glowing Beauty, that most gamers would revel in. And those who prefer something understated can personalize every form of energy emitting out of it.

Now as this is a review, I have drawn your attention to its issues like loud fan noise, heft, missing things (webcam, Thunderbolt 3, G-Sync, biometric unlock), average battery life, and enormous adapter.

Rs. 2.17 lakhs is serious money and even a fortune for some. So, if somebody decides to splurge this much, they’re entitled to want it all. And if any of the above things are buzzkill, then that’s perfectly understandable. In the current climate, if you have trouble coughing up this much cash, you can go with the Zephyrus G14 (review) too. Again, a beast of a machine. You may also check out the Scar 17 review. That one’s darn near identical to this one, but the screen is a tad bigger.

Pros

  • Power-packed performance
  • Big, brisk, and beautiful display
  • Bewitching RGB light show
  • Comfortable typing experience
  • Decent port selection

Cons

  • Missing webcam, thunderbolt 3, G-sync, biometric unlocking
  • Average battery life

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