Skip to main content

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17: powerful, brash, derivative

Unique in ways both good and not-so-good

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
This laptop RGB flourishes are tough to ignore.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

Asus always finds a way to surprise me. It’s a company that can produce the elegant ROG Zephyrus G14 and G15 gaming laptops — up there with the best in the business in terms of design and thinness. It can also make the Flow Z13, a thin gaming tablet with powerful specs inside. Then, it can go completely in the opposite direction to make something like the Strix Scar 17, a powerful but far less refined laptop that starts at $1,999 and goes up from there. I would say that it’s a device made explicitly for gamers, but I know plenty of gamers who wouldn’t want to be seen using this thing.

Its thick chassis is partially translucent, with multi-colored LEDs shining through, and the enclosure for its display has an angular cut out  — just because! You can even swap between a few included “armor caps” to give your laptop a different look from the back.

The 2022 model of the Strix Scar 17 is merely a refresh, with very little of its exterior changed from its predecessors (it still doesn’t have a webcam, for example). Most of the focus was on making significant upgrades to its internals. It’s a speed machine, with 32GB of fast DDR5 RAM, a powerful Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, and Intel’s Core i9 12900H processor built-in. And to see all of that power on display (well, depending on the games you play), its 17.3-inch QHD panel has a fast 240Hz refresh rate. 

This is a laptop where you can easily see the perks of having the latest Intel and Nvidia hardware built in. The Strix Scar 17 can be relied upon to play any game at a respectable frame rate. While not necessarily unique to this model, this laptop was more than capable enough to run many of those games well on the Alienware QD-OLED gaming monitor, which has a higher 3440 x 1440 resolution than the Strix’s built-in laptop display. 

This laptop can’t go toe-to-toe with the new Razer Blade 17 or Alienware X17, at least in terms of looks. Both feature a thin, impressive design with high-end build materials. But if those qualities don’t matter to you, the Strix Scar 17 might be priced more to your liking. While getting either the Blade 17 or X17 with similar specs will cost you well over $3,000,  the model that I tested costs $2,499.99 at Micro Center. So long as you don’t mind some of Asus’ minor cost-cutting measures, like making its laptop clad in plastic instead of aluminum, and other annoyances like McAfee anti-virus pop-ups, you’re getting a lot of power for your money.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
This strip of LEDs comes alive — even while the laptop is sleeping.


  • 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H (2.5GHz–5GHz) 
  • 32GB DDR5, 2x DDR5 Slots (DDR5-4800, Max 64GB)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6 (Boost Clock 1410 MHz / Maximum Graphics Power 150W)
  • 1x Gen4 SSD 2TB SSD 
  • 17.3-inch QHD 2560 x 1440 IPS G-Sync panel, 240Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, 100% DCI-P3
  • 15.55 x 11.10 x 0.92 - 1.11 inches, 6.39 pounds
  • 90Wh battery, 100W USB-C recharging
  • 280W power brick
  • One Thunderbolt 4 port (supports DP and 100W PD), one USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-C (supports DP), one 3.5 mm audio combo, one DC-in, one 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, two USB-3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1 port
  • Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax, a/b/g/n/ac/ax compatible)
  • Bluetooth V5.2

The Strix Scar 17’s design is excessive, in a word. Like previous iterations of this laptop, it’s dressed to the nines with RGB LED flourishes. There’s a large strip of lights going around the front of the chassis and underneath the wrist rest. The bottom edge of the display features another light strip, diffusing light (somewhat tastefully, actually) on the raised venting component. The ROG logo on the back of the display is lit and so are each of the keys on Asus’ mechanical keyboard. Needless to say, you should probably avoid this laptop if you’re after something that doesn’t have a visible RGB LED at nearly every angle.

When viewed from the top-down, the chassis is bisected with a line that divides an all-black, soft-touch section with a smoky translucent section that lets you see a little into the machine, which looks cool.

Taking a tour around the laptop, the Strix Scar’s keyboard, once again, delivers a brilliant typing experience. The keys are nearly silent, yet they feel tactile and fulfilling to type on. It may take a few days to get accustomed to the keyboard layout, but I’m on board with everything that Asus is going for here. There are dedicated keys raised near the top of the keyboard for volume, and the power button is far enough away from the other keys to not be pressed on accident. There are even four programmable keys that you can customize within Asus’ Armoury Crate software that’s pre-installed.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
This keyboard has everything I want, exactly where I want it.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
This spacious trackpad can fail to click if you put too much weight on the chassis.

Asus takes full advantage of the chassis real estate by including a number pad, as well as a generously sized trackpad. The trackpad itself is great, though it doesn’t click in on its right side if you lean too much weight on the center of the laptop. This shouldn’t be an issue for most people, unless you’re someone who leans their weight on the wrist rest. The plastic all around this laptop flexes quite a bit — not to a worrying degree, but it’s enough to impact the functionality in this case. Also, the laptop’s mostly plastic design creaks sometimes when I pick it up. This isn’t something that you’ll experience with Razer or Alienware’s laptops, though whether that justifies their higher prices will depend on the person. It’s worth noting that the Strix Scar 17’s build materials don’t yield a laptop that’s lighter than the competition, but I wouldn’t call it heavy. It weighs 6.4 pounds, while Razer’s all-aluminum Blade 17 is 6.06 pounds. The X17 can go up to seven pounds.

As for port selection, there is a headphone jack alongside two USB-A ports around the left side (down from three in past iterations). On the backside, there’s a proprietary power connector, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet jack, an HDMI 2.1 port, and two Thunderbolt 4 USB 4 Type-C ports. 

Along the right side, there’s the Keystone II NFC physical key that can be used to securely log into the laptop, with all Asus account and device settings in tow. Additionally, it can activate a performance mode and a designated app when inserted. Conversely, you can program it to lock the computer or shut down applications when removed. It can also give access to a “shadow drive,” which can be encrypted if you have Windows 11 Pro. This is a feature that I’d expect to see on a business-class laptop, so it’s odd to see it included with a gaming laptop.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Here’s what the plastic Keystone II NFC key looks like when it’s magnetically attached to the laptop.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
The rear features most of the good stuff, including Ethernet, HDMI 2.1, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and a USB-C port.

Given how terrible most gaming laptop speakers are, I wasn’t expecting one of my favorite things about the Strix Scar 17 would be its speakers. On top of its full-sized keyboard that types like a dream, my music and games sound better played through this laptop’s speakers than almost any that I’ve tested before (on par or slightly below where Apple’s speakers are in the 16-inch MacBook Pro). Games have a lot more punch in their sound than what I’ve experienced with other gaming laptops.

The display on the Strix Scar 17 is great while the laptop is plugged in, but a little less so while running off of its battery. That’s because there’s a feature that gradually dims and brightens the panel depending on what is displayed. It’s on by default, but it can be turned off within the Intel Graphics Command Center. Another quirk that’s hard to ignore is this laptop’s lack of a webcam. Despite adding a webcam to this year’s ROG Zephyrus G14, G15, and others, Asus still has a handful of gaming laptops without one — the Strix Scar 17 included. The top bezel seems big enough to house a small lens, so Asus’ decision to omit a webcam just feels like a miss.

Otherwise, I have no complaints about the display. The configuration that I’m testing has a 17.3-inch QHD IPS panel with a 240Hz refresh rate. It supports 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and its 300 nits of peak brightness make it just bright enough to read when it’s basking in natural light from a window. Asus offers a 1080p display option for the Strix Scar 17, but QHD is the right resolution for a 17-inch gaming laptop. 4K is still too demanding on even the best mobile hardware. By comparison, QHD isn’t as much of a challenge, yet it still looks nearly as good as 4K (not to mention, it looks dramatically better than 1080p).

The Strix Scar 17 talks a big game about bringing what gamers want, and its specs mostly deliver on that promise. Cyberpunk 2077, currently one of the most system-intensive PC games, can run at almost 50 frames per second with QHD resolution, ultra graphics settings (DLSS on), and ray tracing settings switched on. That result is about 17fps shy of what the 2022 Razer Blade 17’s RTX 3080 Ti was capable of. This is in a laptop that costs $1,500 less.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
You can swap out the magnetic plate on the rear for a slightly different look.
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
The bottom of the display splashes some RGB lighting onto the hinge.

Asus’ laptop also put up a respectable performance in Red Dead Redemption 2. At ultra settings (no DLSS) in QHD resolution, it achieved a smooth 65fps, while turning DLSS on yielded a 7fps boost. With every game that I tried to run, the Strix Scar 17 didn’t face many obstacles running them at their best settings. Its specs can handle most games without needing to be amped up to the laptop’s “performance” or “turbo” modes (the keyboard has dedicated buttons to do this), which boost the clock speeds of the CPU and graphics card, and then amps up the fan speed accordingly. 

The laptop’s fans can get loud, but it’s no louder than most other high-end gaming laptops. And even at peak performance, the Strix Scar 17’s above-average speakers do an admirable job at hushing the sound of the fans (though, dialogue-heavy games won’t fare as well, so use some headphones if that applies to you). Also, on the topic of cooling, only the rear-most components of this laptop become toasty during gameplay, but not so hot that it can’t be comfortably used or handled.

The Strix Scar 17 delivers commendable performance outside of gaming, primarily in creative-focused applications like Adobe Premiere Pro. It ripped through our export test faster than most recent laptops that we’ve tested, completing its render of our 4-minute, 33-second 4K video file in just two minutes and nine seconds. It also fared very well in the PugetBench suite of benchmarking tools for Premiere Pro, scoring 1,001, which beats every laptop we’ve tested so far in 2022 aside from MSI’s pricier GE76 Raider.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
Let’s not forget the ever-practical USB-A ports and headphone jack on the left side.
Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17
This laptop’s design was clearly inspired by the Two Face character.

It’s practically a given that any powerful gaming laptop will have not-so-great battery life. And unfortunately, that’s the case here. Its 90Wh battery can last about three and a half hours under normal use, which I define as running a dozen or so browser tabs, music streaming, and a chat app like Slack. On the brighter side, you can recharge this year’s Strix Scar 17 via USB-C — up to 100W with a USB-C PD charger. Previous versions of this laptop all but required you to tote around its large and hefty 280W power brick. So long as you don’t plan on gaming on the go, USB-C recharging is a viable option.

Asus’s Strix Scar 17 proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get access to a fast Intel Alder Lake processor or Nvidia’s 3070 Ti mobile graphics card. And for this model’s $2,499 price, it delivers a lot of other great things, like its tactile keyboard, sharp QHD display, booming speakers, and above-average port selection. 

Though, you’ll find many of its best qualities in some of Asus’ other high-end gaming laptops that offer better designs. The new ROG Zephyrus G14 likely can’t stack up with its power. But its new ROG Zephyrus M16, for example, has similar specs to the Strix, packed into a sharper design that has a webcam. Additionally, it has a taller 16:10 aspect ratio, though slightly smaller screen. Crucially, the M16 is $300 less than the model that I reviewed, costing $2,149.99 — almost $300 less than the Strix. While its GPU’s total graphics power is likely less than the Strix Scar 17’s, the M16 may be a solid alternative if you know you want a powerful Asus laptop.

Agree to Continue: Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022)

Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.

As with other Windows computers, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 presents you with multiple things to agree to or decline upon setup.

The mandatory policies, for which an agreement is required, are:

  • A request for your region and keyboard layout
  • Microsoft Software License Terms and Asus Notice
  • Sign in to a Microsoft account
  • Create a PIN

In addition, there is a slew of optional things to agree to:

  • Connect to Wi-Fi network
  • Name your device
  • Set up Windows Hello (necessary to use fingerprint sensor)
  • Device privacy settings: Find My Device, Inking and Typing, Advertising ID, Location, Diagnostic data, Tailored experiences
  • Customize your device for personalized tips, ads, and recommendations (you can choose between entertainment, gaming, school, creativity, business, and family)
  • OneDrive backup
  • Microsoft 365 free trial
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate free trial
  • Provide your name, region, email address, and phone number to save to your device and autofill in the Asus member registration form in the MyAsus app

That’s six mandatory agreements and 14 optional ones.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed An hour ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

Emma RothAn hour ago
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.

External Link
Russell BrandomAn hour ago
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?

Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.

Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
External Link
Russell Brandom4:29 PM UTC
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.

External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.

External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.

James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.

Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.

External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.

The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.

The Verge
Richard Lawler1:00 PM UTC
Green light.

Good morning to everyone, except for the intern or whoever prevented us from seeing how Microsoft’s Surface held up to yet another violent NFL incident.

Today’s big event is the crash of a NASA spaceship this evening — on purpose. Mary Beth Griggs can explain.

David Pierce12:54 PM UTC
Thousands and thousands of reasons people love Android.

“Android fans, what are the primary reasons why you will never ever switch to an iPhone?” That question led to almost 30,000 comments so far, and was for a while the most popular thing on Reddit. It’s a totally fascinating peek into the platform wars, and I’ve spent way too much time reading through it. I also laughed hard at “I can turn my text bubbles to any color I like.”