Asus held a pop-up event in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall where it showed off its latest and greatest gaming laptops. First up was the Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18 – the latest iteration of its flagship model. The 17-inch variant currently sits at Number 1 on our Best Laptop List and the predecessor of that also hit number 1, so we were expecting great things.
The Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18 is naturally big in terms of width but it’s not particularly thick, the chassis feels very solid although the large screen can wobble a bit if knocked – but what can you expect from a portable powerhouse with a huge 18-inch screen.
It looks impressive with the matte black styling highlighted by RGB strips at the front and rear, The ROG logo on the lid is also lit and so is the keyboard.
The keyboard is comfortable, accurate and full-sized – as you’d hope – although the number pad is reduced in width. It’s still very usable but some MOBA-type players may feel limited. The large trackpad is very smooth and accurate.
Much is made of the new “Nebula” IPS screen which has a fast, 240Hz refresh rate, bright 500-nit, er, brightness and supports 100 per cent of the difficult DCI-P3 colour space (which will please designers and Creators). Nebula isn’t a new technology but is rather Asus’ new brand name for a collection of specs that instantly mean a screen is fast, bright, vibrant and has certified colour accuracy. Nebula HDR is the same but with added HDR.
The Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18’s IPS screen is impressively fast thanks to the speedy refresh rate and impressive pixel response time. Motion blur isn’t totally eliminated, but only hardcore FPS competitors would complain.
Our unit didn’t have HDR but, nonetheless, for multimedia, colours were vibrant and contrast, impressive. The screen isn’t glossy, but it’s a bit shinier than matte. Things have to get very dark before a black mirror effect manifests, though.
There is some very fine banding in colour gradients, but we’ve seen much worse on fast gaming screens. Things can get a bit blocky and messy in monochromatic transitions though.
A major (very major) boon is that there’s a now a (Full HD) webcam above the screen. That’s been a ridiculous omission in the past.
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We couldn’t run any performance tests but, let’s face it, it’s going to be very fast thanks to 13th-Gen Intel processors and top-tier 4090 Nvidia GPUs. This will likely be enhanced by a third fan added to the 2023 Strix cooling systems.
All, new Strix models will be 16 or 18-inches in size with 16:10 screen ratios.
Ultimately, it’s looking like a very solid and impressive beast. The pricing already looks competitive, just like its predecessors. We’ll bring you the full review asap.
Australian Pricing Asus ROG Strix SCAR 18
ROG Strix Scar 16 (G634) From $4,799
ROG Strix Scar 18 (G834) From $4,999
ROG Strix G 16 (G614) AUD From $2,499
Note: The ROG Strix G is the new, entry level Strix that is above the Asus TUF brand.