Asus offers a Special Edition version of the laptop, which promises peak performance as well as a unique aesthetic appeal to set the laptop apart from other models in the Strix series. Here’s my complete review of the device, as well as my thoughts on whether the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 Special Edition should be your next gaming laptop upgrade. Let’s start with the details.
17.3-inch QHD 240Hz display | Intel Core i9 12950HX processor | Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics card | 2TB SSD storage PCIe Gen 4 | 32GB LPDDR5 RAM | 90Wh battery | Windows 11
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17’s first change is its appearance. While the design is identical to the non-Special Edition variant, the aluminium lid has been repainted with invisible ink. Under UV light, this will glow in a corner to reveal a unique pattern. The mini UV flashlight included by Asus ROG does the job.
The RGB ROG logo remains on the right half of the lid, and yes, the black lid even now attracts a lot of finger smudges, making keeping the laptop clean a challenge. The replaceable ROG staples are located beneath the lid, and the brand includes two spares, one black and one grey, in the package so that you always have one to snap on. Other features include a metal body, ports on the back, and plenty of ventilation and RGB, including a strip running below the keyboard that gives the laptop a cool glow when placed on a desk.
Display and Performance
I had a great time gaming on the 17.3-inch QHD display. Playing PUBG at high frame rates on the laptop was enjoyable, and games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider as well as Spider-Man Remastered looked amazing thanks to the display panel as well as the 3080 Ti under the hood. While I don’t play many other FPS games, such as Valorant or CS: GO, I’m confident the laptop will not disappoint.
The Intel Core i9 12950HX-powered laptop performed admirably in almost every game I tried. With the capable GPU, this is a machine that eSports players and casual gamers alike can set up and enjoy anywhere on the go. I was able to get a solid average frame rate of about 80fps while running Spider-Man Remastered at 4K with the graphics and ray-tracing at their highest settings (90-100fps in the indoor missions). It’s worth noting that this was done with the laptop in Turbo mode (plugged in) and the MUX switch set to discrete GPU mode.
However, there isn’t much of a difference in day-to-day performance when comparing the Special Edition to the vanilla ROG Strix Scar 17 2022, and only under extreme conditions will you be able to notice the performance advantages of the 12950HX over the 12900H that powers the vanilla edition. The GPU variation, on the other hand, is noticeable, and the new 3080 Ti is simply a step up from the already capable 3070 Ti.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The Special Edition includes the same keyboard and trackpad as the Strix Scar 17 2022, which is a good thing because the Strix Scar 17 2022 had such an excellent keyboard. It has very responsive keys with a good amount of travel, so you can type on it somewhat comfortably. You can also customise the RGB lighting on each key to your liking.
The design includes a full-size keyboard, just like the vanilla Scar 17, as well as diagonal separation between both the opaque as well as transparent parts of the keyboard, which provides it a nice look and really sets the laptop apart from other gaming machines when opened on a desk. The trackpad is also the same large trackpad with seamless buttons, making it ideal for running mouse-intensive programmes, though most games will require a dedicated mouse.
The laptop retains the Armoury Crate software, which allows you to customise everything from performance modes to RGB preferences and more. Like the vanilla Strix Scar 17, you get ROG Keystone support, which allows you to transfer your settings to some other Keystone-compatible ROG laptop while also carrying a hidden drive for storage.
The laptop has the same i/o configuration as the vanilla model, with two USB 3.2 Type-C ports (one of which is Thunderbolt 4), an HDMI 2.1 port, an RJ45 ethernet port, and a power port. There are also two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, because the laptop shares its chassis with the standard Strix Scar 17, it lacks an inbuilt webcam, though ROG will include a USB camera in the package.
The laptop packaging also includes a few extras. These include the previously mentioned UV flashlight, two ROG replaceable hinge staples, a USB webcam, a ROG gaming headset, and a backpack.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 Special Edition has the same battery life as the standard Strix Scar 17. I got about 6 hours out of the laptop when doing light gaming or other tasks, however the machine was plugged in for the greater loads of gaming sessions, which I imagine most people will do.
The Strix Scar 17 Special Edition is the pinnacle of gaming hardware. It has the looks to draw attention and the performance to run most titles smoothly. However, at Rs 3,59,990 (our exact version costs Rs 3,99,990), the laptop is an expensive affair. This is for purists who want the best in terms of specifications as well as aesthetics. For those looking to purchase something more practical, the regular Strix Scar 17 is an option.