Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GW Review- Bang for your Buck

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When it comes to gaming laptops, there is no other brand that provides the best gaming experience at competitive prices than Asus ROG at least in the Indian market. Building upon it, Asus has been very this year updating their entire lineup right from the Strix to Zephyrus series. We got the chance to review the all-new Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GW which comes with the latest generation Intel i7 processor along with Nvidia’s new RTX 2070 GPU.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar III has been our daily driver for close to two weeks now, priced at INR 1,99,990 (for those who are wondering) this is one of the most compelling gaming laptops right now and here’s our review of it.

Specifications

Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GW-AZ014T

Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H
Graphics adapter: Nvidia RTX 2070 8GB
Memory:  16GB 1 of 2 slot occupied
Display: 15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, IPS LED, 240Hz glossy: No
Mainboard: Intel HM370
Storage: 1 TB NVMe SSD
Soundcard: Intel PCH – High Definition Audio
Connections: 3 USB 3.2, 1 USB Type C Gen 2, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Combo audio, 1 RJ45 Jack
Networking: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard Light: yes, RBG logo

Design

While brands are trying to slim down the laptops by using MaxQ versions of graphic cards, Asus went with a full-fledged card here along with a host of other additions. The laptops weights close to 2.8Kg and you won’t be carrying it around all day in a backpack. Like previous iterations of the Strix series, Asus went with an all-plastic build which seems sturdy enough with quality materials used all around. Since the build is all plastic, you get see patterns carved on all the panels.

The lid has a two-tone pattern with the ROG logo placed on one side. Since it’s gaming, how can we miss RGB lighting, and that starts right from the logo itself. All the ports are scattered on the back and the left side of the laptop while the right side is just reserved for the ‘Keystone’. Underneath, you also get to see an RGB strip, that runs all along the sides of the base to give it a spaceship-like feel.

All this extravagant design was made by the brand in partnership with the BMW Design works. Inside the laptop, you get the gorgeous Full HD display with minimal bezels on all sides, except for the bottom bezel. Asus went a step ahead and carved out almost 2/3 of the bottom bezel while placing the hinges on either side, which only adds a character to the laptop but allow the user to see the notification LED’s even if the lid is shut.

The sides of the keyboard have a nice, carbon-fiber-like design pattern which looks cool but reflects off all the smudges and sweat marks left behind. There’s a neatly laid of the keyboard along with a moderately sized touchpad with the left-right keys on the bottom.

Display

The Asus ROG Strix Scar III comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS panel with narrow borders. Many gaming laptops in the market come with a reflective display which can be annoying at times, but Asus went with a matte display which is a bonus. The panel has a 240 Hz refresh rate with 3ms response time which might not be of much use for the average user but will definitely be a delight for gamers. The high refer rate also elevates the overall user experience since the windows transitions look crisper and smoother.

The display not only is a delight for gamers but will appeal to content creators as well which is also a demographic that Asus is pitching this product to. You get a display that supports 100% sRGB color gamut, meaning you get very accurate colors. Our unit had the 240Hz panel, but the company gives you a choice between 144 Hz or a 240 Hz panel, and they are all 1080p panels.

The display on the laptop is great overall but the only gripe we have is with the brightness and we wish it could have been a little more.

ROG Armoury Crate and Keystone

Asus has worked on the ROG control software and added a few new features, one of those is the Keystone. Now this keystone is a drive that unlocks some of the security features present in Armoury Crate. As soon as you plug in the keystone, it automatically launches the Armory Crate application, where you can pair the Keystone to your PC.

The Keystone not only stores your user profile with corresponding RGB settings, but it also decrypts an existing Shadow Drive when it is plugged into your machine. This Shadow drive is an extra 800GB of storage built into your system that you can keep locked and hidden.

ROG Armoury Crate also has its own smartphone app, which lets you control your laptop’s CPU, GPU, and cooling settings via your phone. Now, these things might sound gimmicky but you will find them really useful.

Keyboard and touchpad

Let’s talk about the Keyboard now, Asus went with generous keys that provide a decent amount of travel while cutting on the number keys which have been moved to the trackpad. After using a wide range of Asus products, we feel like this one has the best keyboard out of them all. The keys have a soft-touch finish and noticeable pressure points which make them ideal for prolonged typing sessions.

 

Sticking to the whole RGB theme here, the keyboard is backlit and at the same time has individual RGB lights under each key which can be configured using the Aura Sync feature in the Armoury Crate software.

Coming to the trackpad, it’s not the biggest one we’ve seen in a gaming laptop but gets the job done. Going by the current theme in their laptop lineup, Asus went ahead and added the Numpad into the trackpad itself. Now, this can be activated by simply pressing the Num Key marked on the top right corner of the touchpad for a little over a second. While every bit of this laptop has configurable RGB lights, sadly the Numpad can only be lit in just one Red color.

Moving to the actual performance of the touchpad, its adequately sensitive with ridiculously soft left-right keys on the bottom. It’s a precision touchpad so you get access to gestures and better tracking, which is awesome.

I/O and Ports

Coming to the ports and I/O options you get with the laptop, there’s a decent amount here as well. You get three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB-C port, an RJ-45 Ethernet port, a headphone and mic combo jack, an HDMI port, and, of course, a charging port. Plus, there’s also the Keystone port.

There’s just one port that’s missing, the ‘SD card slot’ considering that Asus is pitching this laptop to content creators as well, this omission doesn’t make any sense here. Other than that you get all necessary ports to suffice your needs.

Performance and battery life

Now let’s focus on the main aspect of this laptop, its performance. The ROG Strix Scar III is being offered in a wide variety of processor and graphics options. As previously mentioned, our unit came with the Intel Core i7-9750H processor clocked at a base frequency of 2.6GHz, and a max frequency of 4.50GHz. There’s 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM on board, along with a 1TB NVMe SSD for fast storage, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

There’s enough power in this laptop to surpass anything thrown at in terms of both graphics and raw CPU performance. We aren’t much of benchmark freaks and would instead focus our performance review on the actual real-world usage. The laptop could easily handle 20+ chrome tabs and you guys might have come across all the Chrome-RAM meme, so you get the point. Our resident graphic designer/video editor took the laptop for a spin with the Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe Aftereffects all running in parallel and the laptop didn’t break a sweat.

When it came to gaming, we tried a couple of popular titles including Assassins Creed, Far Cry 5, Apex Legends and PUBG. While with Far Cry we got between 75-105 fps depending on the game settings, PUBG performed rather well with well over 120fps. The next on the list was Apex Legends which gave us about 90fps average on high settings. Asus has stuck enough cooling pipes into this product which pump out hot air with the help of two enormous fans, so there’s no need to worry about any sort of over-heating or throttling.

Moving on to the battery life, this is perhaps one of the areas where the Asus ROG Strix Scar III takes a hit. With the laptop kept on airplane mode, we managed to get about 5 hours of battery life while catching up on movies. Keeping the airplane mode off and brightness at about 30% we managed to get close to 3 hours with Photoshop, chrome running in the background.

Now, this is not an issue for gamers, in order to suck out those extreme FPS results out of this laptop, it would be great if just left it plugged in.

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Good design
  • Eye-catching RBG lighting
  • Shadow Drive and Keystone

Cons:

  • Battery life is average at best
  • No thunderbolt 3

Verdict – Should you go for it?

So now that you’ve read all about what the Asus ROG Strix Scar III can do, let’s answer the most important question – should you buy it. The answer to it is simple yes, go for it. The laptop offers a lot of amazing features for the price, like the spaceship-like design, RGB light, 240Hz Full HD display and most importantly the performance.

When looking for other options, we simply didn’t find any with this spec to price ratio. So for INR 1,99,990, the Asus ROG Strix Scar III gets a Big Yes from our side.

Buy the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GW from Amazon (INR 1,99,990)

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