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These days gaming laptops pack enough gaming power to compete with the best gaming desktops, but they still come in two broad cadres: Some come in all-grown designs, which you can gracefully pull out of your backpack into a boardroom for a CAD design presentation without attracting attention. And then there’s the all-familiar gaming laptop, full of flashing RGB lights and lots of styling on the case. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 sits boldly and steadily in the latter.
Like its ROG Zephyrus and Strix 17 siblings, the ROG Strix Scar 15 is state-of-the-art. It packs a 14-core Intel Core i9-12900H processor, a massively capable mobile CPU from Intel that has been succeeded by the Raptor Lake-H series Core i9-13900H in 2023, which offers the same number of cores and threads.
The model we’re reviewing is the Asus G533ZW-AS94Q, which boasts a top-notch spec sheet in addition to the high-end CPU including an RTX 3070 Ti GPU, a 1440p, 240Hz display, 1TB of PCIe 4 SSD, 16GB RAM, full-RGB per-key light show, replacement hinge caps, and Asus ROG’s fantastic Keystone magnetic key.
Our review model of the Scar 15 has booming speakers and the 240Hz screen makes for buttery gameplay. Simply said, it nails the fundamentals to a degree that its overly-done lights show and lack of a webcam fade into the background. It’s a decent choice among its competition provided you can look past a few eccentric design choices.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 Specs
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H (14-core)
- Graphics: Intel Iris Xe, Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti 8GB
- RAM: 16GB
- Screen: 15.6-inch, 2,560 x 1,440, 240Hz, IPS LCD
- Storage: 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
- Ports: 1x USB Type-C, 1 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt, 2x USB-A, HDMI 2.0, ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack, Keystone
- Size: 13.94 x 0.89 x 10.2 inches
- Weight: 5.07 pounds
Price and availability
If you’re shopping for a budget gaming laptop, you might have to look elsewhere. All Asus ROG Strix 15s are hardly cheap, but they’re worth every buck.
Our review unit, which boasts an Intel Core i9 12900H, Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti, and 16GB will set you back around two grand. For that, you’re getting lots of power under the hood, as well as 1TB SSD storage and an incredible 300Hz/3ms IPS panel. Those are premium specs, and they always come at a premium price.
A little more money will get you a Strix Scar 15 that boasts an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, 32GB RAM, and 2TB SSD along with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (8GB) graphics card. It packs the same 300Hz/3ms IPS screen.
The new Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 isn’t the most beautiful gaming laptop on the market. Measuring 13.94 x 10.2 x 1.07 inches and weighing 5.07 pounds, it’s chunky and bulky, so it’s more of a desktop replacement and less of a laptop you can sling into your rucksack and take along on a daily commute.
Its construction is largely plastic, as well, with only the lid clad in cool metallic. However, it looks much nicer, and to be fair, the silken satin finish on the lid extending to the keyboard deck looks great, with solid build quality all around.
As ever with ROG Strix gaming laptops, the keyboard, and chassis have all the RGB glory and whistles, with per-key customization and an LED RGB light bar stretching the entire length of the front edge of the laptop. There’s also a short RGB strip emblemed into the underside of the display, breathing down on the vents at the rear of the laptop.
The lights are simply the start, however. The keyboard uses Asus’ optical mechanical switches for that unique, precise feel and it’s great for both type and game, with the right amount of travel and satisfying feedback to each keystroke and useful layout.
Elsewhere, Asus didn’t utilize the 15.6in chassis to include a dedicated number pad, but you’ll appreciate the roomier feel that this omission confers. The touchpad, is spacious, too, and it feels smooth and responsive to touch.
Connectivity is decent, with a pair of USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports on the left edge, a single USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with Thunderbolt 2 at the rear, alongside another USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port. There’s also a Gigabit Ethernet port, one HDMI 2.1, and the laptop’s DC power input. Wireless comms come in the way of a 2×2 Intel AX201 card – which delivers Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
Asus skipped a fingerprint reader and a webcam from its ROG Strix laptops, which is pretty fine with me. Most built-in webcams are simply mediocre and you can always connect your phone camera to make video calls.
In November 2022, we reviewed the Strix Scar 15 with a 300Hz, FHD display, but in this model, Asus now uses a 240Hz QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution screen. At this resolution, refresh rate, and screen size you’re getting the best of all worlds: a high-res screen to use the laptop all day for work and everyday tasks; a high-enough screen refresh rate to run the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU; and superb color performance for creative professionals.
This screen has a peak brightness of 357cd/m2 and a 928:1 contrast ratio, but the display’s color reigns supreme here. The screen is tuned to the DCI-P3 color space, which reproduces an impressive 97.5% of that gamut. Additionally, it’s highly color-accurate within that color space, with a fantastic 0.54 average Delta E.
Should you need to work in a color space that isn’t specifically DCI-P3, then you might have to calibrate the display but, for gaming and watching movies, this one is a fine screen.
Featuring an Intel Alder Lake (12th Gen) CPU and the RTX 3070 Ti GPU, there’s no doubt this particular configuration of the Asus Strix Scar 15 is incredibly powerful. After all, you’re getting one of the fastest Intel CPUs available right now – the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H – backed up by 16GB of system RAM, the superb mobile GPU in the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB of dedicated video memory, plus a snappy 1TB PCIe SSD.
The RTX 3070 Ti is meant for 1440p gaming with ray tracing, and it’s working with 1440p resolution here. But, even its lowest configuration should efficiently run graphics-intensive games at high settings.
On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider on its highest settings at 1080p resolution, the new Strix Scar runs the game at 96 frames per second, up six frames from last year’s model with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. It also surpassed the Acer Predator Helios with an RTX 3060 (78 fps) and the Lenovo Legion 5 with an RTX 3050 Ti (61 fps).
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The new components also show off on Far Cry New Dawn (Ultra Settings, 1080p), hitting 83 frames per second, handily surpassing the rest of the competition. The closest is last year’s model, at 84 fps.
Intel’s Core i9-12900H, with six performance cores and eight efficiency cores, is among Intel’s first laptops to mix different cores – the earliest was in the Lakefield chips, while far more Alder Lake processors do so. With 16GB of RAM in the Strix Scar 15, I see professional creatives using the laptop for other tasks in between gaming sessions. It certainly has the CPU muscle for demanding tasks.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 15’s battery life is nothing to write home about. As typical with most gaming laptops, it doesn’t last beyond 2 hours and 45 minutes, meaning you’ll need to be near a power source. However, there are other gaming laptops with splendid battery life -the Asus TUF A15, for example, can deliver up to 12.5 hours.
The revised for 2022 Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 packs a serious punch thanks to its capable Intel 12th Gen CPU, powerful Nvidia graphics, and peppy PCIE 4.0 SSD. It’s about as good as it gets this side of pricing for pure gaming performance and pretty much any PC workload.
It’s also a stellar gaming platform thanks to its 240Hz refresh and 1440p resolution. The problem is, it skimps a webcam and that nippy 15.6-inch panel looks a little dull, significantly limiting the Scar’s appeal as an all-around device for both gaming and content creation. It’s a pity because such small mistakes compromise the appeal of a well-built machine that offers great battery life; the design might not be for everyone.
If it were my money being spent, I would ultimately consider the Asus ROG Strix G16 (2023), which is a refreshed upgrade of the Strix Scar 15 (2022); now packing even more powerful hardware – 13th Gene Intel Core i9-13980HX, Nvidia RTX 4070, 16GB DDR5 RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD, as well as a webcam.
However, if you need to save a few bucks without compromising gaming performance, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G533ZW-AS94Q is still great value. It’s fast, well made, a pleasure to use and to game on and it isn’t as expensive as you might be thinking, either.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G533ZW-AS94Q is a powerful gaming laptop thanks to Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs and Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics, has a solid build quality, and good battery life, but is a festival of RGB LEDs.
- Really strong performance
- Solid chassis build
- Good battery life
- Disappointing screen quality
- Not exactly featherweight
Last update on 2023-09-27 at 20:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 240Hz IPS QHD Display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, Intel Core i9 12900H, 16GB DDR5, 1TB SSD, Per-Key RGB Keyboard, Windows 11 Home, G533ZW-AS94Q
$1,680.92 in stock
13 used from $1,330.30