rog strix scar 17 cover review

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 was originally named after the limited-issue US Military Fabrique Nationale Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle, ergo the FN SCAR. Like its namesake, it comes in two versions with a 15-inch and 17-inch sized variant and is intended for discerning gamers looking for portability and maximum performance.

Like its forebears, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q comes in an absolutely massive box that’s the size of a minibar though it is fortunately less heavier that is chock full with a massive array of goodies. 

ROG Strix SCAR 17 angled review

What’s in the Box

The sheer mass and size of the box itself makes unboxing it a challenging affair indeed. Pop open the external packing crate and you get a backpack, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 nestled in its own separate box as well as an ROG Delta gaming headset which comes in its own chunky packaging.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 box contents

Crack open the package containing the ROG Strix SCAR 17 laptop and you get a separate 240W AC charging brick terminating in a DC-IN port, the laptop itself wrapped in a protective plastic sleeve, a pair of additional Armoury caps in Translucent Black and Spangle Silver to swap out for the pre-installed Rubbery Grey one, an ROG Chakram Core gaming mouse and a Keystone II token with attached carabiner for easy transport. Here’s a summary of what’s bundled in the massive box:

1 x ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q laptop
1 x 240W Charging Brick & cable
2 x Armoury Caps
1 x Chakram Core gaming mouse
1 x ROG Delta gaming headset
1 x Keystone II token with carabiner

The sheer amount of extras bundled with the ROG Strix SCAR 17 is impressive and the free Chakram Core gaming mouse, backpack and ROG Delta headset are generous bonuses indeed.

One thing to note is that the ROG Strix SCAR 17 also has support for Power Delivery charging via a USB-C port though no such charger is included with the box. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of third party options so it’s a minor quibble.

First Look – ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 which is also identified by its model number G733Q has a stylish looking chassis done up in a matte black finish with an aluminium top lid and a polycarbonate underside and keyboard tray. The laptop also has smoky opaque cutout sections around the keyboard that give you a faint glimpse of its internal components.

ROG Strix SCAR 17 front

It also has a few unique touches that set it apart from the competition, in particular a removable aesthetic cutout that ROG calls an ‘Armoury Cap’ that nestles on the left rearmost part of the laptop near the ports that you can swap out at will.

They’ve also bundled two additional Armour Caps that you can swap out from the default Rubber Gray one but these are purely for cosmetic purposes and do not alter the functionality of the laptop.

ROG Strix SCAR 17 Armoury Plate
The rest of the aesthetics are of a more functional nature with a very practical layout. Most of the ports are located on the rear to minimise clutter.

You get the obligatory DC-IN power jack though you can also power the laptop via Power Delivery using the provided USB-C port and an appropriate  third-party 100W PD charger. The rear USB-C port also has DisplayPort 1.4 support so you can port the feed out to another display.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q rear

Most of the ports are located on the rear for a cleaner, neater layout.

Rounding things off on the rear is a HDMI 2.0b port that allows you to hook it up to a 4K display,  a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A port and an Ethernet port.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q left sideOn the left of the laptop, you get two more USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A ports and a 3.5mm combo jack while the right side is taken up by a recessed bay where you can dock the Keystone II identification token.

The token allows you to unlock a hidden partition on the laptop so that you can keep extremely private files on top of looking suitably bling. 

ROG Strix SCAR 17 keystone token right

The front base of the laptop comes with an RGB light bar that wraps across the entire length and slightly around the sides. There is also a slight notch on the top lid that allows you to open it one-handed though this is more through the weight of the device as the hinges are a bit on the stiff side.

ROG Strix SCAR 17 motif

The top lid has an RGB lit Republic of Gamers logo along with a subtle laser etched dot motif with an ROG monogram repeated across it taking up a corner of the lid.

Flip the top lid open and you are greeted by a 17.3-inch IPS display with Full HD resolution and, for Malaysia, a 300Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB colour gamut . The side and top bezels are extremely thin, offering an 85% screen-to-body ratio though the tradeoff here is that the laptop lacks a webcam which will require you to fork out for a separate webcam like the Logitech C922.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 underglow
The opto-mechanical keyboard itself is a full sized affair with a slightly different layout from the norm. It has dedicated shortcut keys for controlling volume, the microphone, fan speed, the Armoury Crate app as well as a hexagonal power button and a full sized numeric keypad. 

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q keyboard

The large touchpad has a matte finish and is placed just slightly left of center. In keeping with most gaming keyboards, each key is individually backlit and customisable to whatever colour scheme you desire via ROG’s Armoury Crate app. You also get a pair of tweeters and a pair of 4W speakers to kick out an impressive wall of sound.

Overall build quality is top notch with no flex or play in the top lid while the hinges are built like a tank with no wobbling though they are also rather stiff. Seeing the size of the laptop, it’s an inevitability that you’ll need to open it two handed anyway and  in this case stability takes precedence over convenience.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q hinges

As far as gaming laptops go, the ROG Strix SCAR 17 is considered relatively thin at 27.5mm and for what it packs, 3kg is a relatively modest carry weight which is justified seeing as it packs a top of the line NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. The fact that it manages to do so while achieving a 5% smaller footprint than its predecessor is an engineering triumph.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q Specifications 

The new ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q comes with significant upgrades over its predecessor the G731. At a glance, the new G733Q one-ups its predecessor with the obligatory processor and GPU upgrades but also gets the edge with the addition of Power Delivery charging support so that you can juice it via the USB-C port with a smaller charger for less intensive workloads,  a larger battery and an upgraded 4-speaker Dolby Atmos setup.

In the case of the specifications of our review unit which are indicative of retail units for Malaysia, you’re getting a 17.3-inch Full HD display that has a 300Hz refresh rate and a fast 3ms grey-to-grey response time and Adaptive Sync support. Colour accuracy is excellent as well with 100% sRGB and close to 75.35% Adobe. 

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q night shot

One particular quirk to note is that while a 1080p 360Hz option is available for the Strix SCAR 17, the Malaysia version still sticks to a 300Hz display and based on input from ASUS, there likely won’t be a 360Hz version coming here anytime soon. 

The most unique upgrade for the ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q is the adoption of an AMD Cezanne-H Ryzen 9 5900HX processor with Thermal Grizzly liquid metal compound for better sustained performance paired with the latest generation NVIDIA GEForce RTX 3080 graphics card with 16GB GDDR6 VRAM and a 130W max GPU power with 115W TGP.

The laptop ships with 16GB 3,200Hz GDDR4 RAM with the option to upgrade it to a maximum of 64GB RAM. Storage needs are sorted out by a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD though you can further augment this with an additional spare SSD bay. The laptop also supports WiFi 6 802.11ax and has Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity to boot. 

Here’s the exact specifications for the ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q for your perusal.

Price RM13,499
Display 17.3-inch FHD IPS LCD (1,920 x 1080 pixels), 300Hz refresh rate, 3ms G2G, 72% NTSC, 100% SRGB, 75.35% Adobe, Adaptive Sync
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor 3.1GHz (16M cache, up to 4.5GHz)
OS WIndows 10 Home
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX3080 with 16GB GDDR6 VRAM , 115W TGP, 130W Max GPU power/ AMD Radeon graphics (integrated)
Memory 16GB DDR4, 3,200MHz RAM (up to 64GB) / 1TB M.2 NVME PCIe 3.0 SSD + 1 spare M.2 slot (SATA or NVMe)
Connectivity  Intel Wi-Fi 6(Gig+)(802.11ax)+Bluetooth 5.1 (Dual band) 2*2
I/O Ports  1x Type C USB 3.2 Gen 2 with Power Delivery, Display Port and G-Sync, 1x RJ45 LAN port, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A//1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Speakers 2 x 2W tweeter, 2 x 4W speaker with Smart Amp
Battery 90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
Size/Weight 39.5 x 28.2 x 2.34 ~ 2.75 cm/3kg
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q Specifications

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q Performance and Benchmarks

Turning on the Strix SCAR 17 is an experience in itself as the laptop plays an interesting sound that is a mix of a jet engine starting up and what is possibly the sound of an anvil flung down from the top of KLCC clanging onto a slab of solid steel down below.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q Armoury crate app

You can finetune and tweak many of the settings in the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q with the Armoury Crate app

It’s startling, distinctive and admittedly impressive the first few times but it gets tiresome fast. Fortunately, you can disable this sound in the Armoury Crate app.

On paper, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is built on a 7nm process, has 8 cores, 16 threads, a 4.6GHz clock speed and is rated for 45W TDP. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card is  built on Ampere, NVIDIA”s 2nd generation RTX architecture and is rated for 115W TGP.

When put to the test in synthetic benchmarks, it scored the following on a Performance profile in Armoury Crate and plugged in:

3DMark Fire Strike 24,658
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra 7,347
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme 13,492
3DMark Time Spy 10,845
3DMark Time Spy Extreme 5,370
3DMark Port Royal 6,741
PCMark 10 Extended 9054
Cinebench R20 4268
Geekbench 5.2 Single Core Score 1,408
Geekbench 5.2 Multi Core Score 8,280
Unigine Superposition 720p Low 25,345
Unigine Superposition 1080p Medium 19,496
Unigine Superposition 1080p High 15,398
Unigine Superposition 1080p Extreme 7,165
Unigine Superposition 4K Optimised 9,299
Unigine Superposition 8K Optimised 3,954
Far Cry 5 (Ultra setting) 112fps average
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (Ultra Setting) 49.9fps average
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q Benchmarks

We don’t have any precedent as yet for NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series graphics cards but on paper they are significantly more powerful than last generation’s 20 series cards. In actual field tests, the laptop was able to handily play Cyberpunk 2077 with everything dialled to Ultra settings along with Warzone and Far Cry too at similarly maxed out settings which makes it a real treat for gamers. 

Under heavy loads, the Strix SCAR 17 gets rather toasty under heavy loads with the rear and underside heat vents getting uncomfortably warm to the touch so it’s advisable to leave it on a table if you’re undertaking heavy gaming sessions though if you’re sticking to light paperwork, it’s still a viable prospect to plonk it on your lap.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q far cry 5 ultra

Far Cry 5 internal benchmark on ultra settings

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q mankind divided

Mankind Divided on Ultra settings internal benchmark

The provided opto mechanical keyboard is somewhat divisive here as it’s neither as quiet as a full membrane keyboard nor as clicky as a full mechanical one. Rather, it’s a blend of both with rather shallow actuation and a very squishy sensation with every key press. 

We didn’t find it that pleasant to type on but got used to it after a while, averaging a fair 95wpm. It’s best that you fiddle around with a showroom sample before you commit to buying one.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q keyboard

Another thing to note is that the plastic used around the keyboard is a fingerprint magnet and you’ll need to perform frequent wipedowns lest it become a smudged mess over time.

On the display front, the ROG Strix SCAR 17’s 17.3-inch 1080P 300Hz display is one of the best on test with exceptional colour rendition and, in particular, jaw-dropping smoothness in fast paced gaming in Warzone as well as Cyberpunk 2077 where even the most frenzied gunfights and packed cityscapes looked buttery smooth onscreen and animations.

Brightness is decent as well as gaming laptops go at 300-nits which means its more than sufficient for usage indoors and usage in indirect lighting scenarios though it still isn’t viable for use under direct sunlight. A WQHD 360Hz/3ms panel variant does exist but at the time of writing, it’s not slated for deployment in Malaysia anytime soon. 

The provided quad speaker array is excellent for gaming, offering plenty of bass and a good amount of sound staging. One quibble is that the laptop lacks any biometric security – no fingerprint reader, no facial recognition, nada so if that’s a major concern for you, this may be a bit of a deal breaker.

In terms of battery life, the laptop manages to eke out fairly decent endurance on its 90Wh battery. If your needs are fairly modest like light paperwork and watching a bit of Youtube video, you can eke out a good six or so hours but if you’re using it for gaming away from a plug point, you’re looking at an hour or so of juice tops.

Verdict – Is the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q worth buying?

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q is currently one of the most powerful gaming laptops in the Malaysia market with its potent combination of an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and an NVIDIA GeForce RXT 3080 graphics card crammed into a compact and stylish form factor, earning it a very well deserved Gold award. Unfortunately,  its daunting price tag will dissuade all but the most well heeled and ardent gamers. 

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 rear

Review unit courtesy of ASUS Malaysia. For more details,  swing by their official page at https://rog.asus.com/my/laptops/rog-strix/2021-rog-strix-scar-17-series/

Hitech Century Gold Award

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Design
  • Value

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733Q gaming laptop boasts of a rarefied combination of an AMD Ryzen 9 CPU and NVIDIA GEForce RTX3080 graphics in a slim chassis. The price tag for this magnificent gaming beast is intimidating but you can bask in the knowledge that you have the most powerful gaming laptop that money can currently buy

Pros

Excellent 300Hz display for gaming

Incredibly good performance

A ton of accessories bundled with the Strix SCAR 17

Good build quality

Cons

No webcam

No 360Hz panel option for Malaysia

Incredibly expensive

Squishy and clicky mechanical keyboard

No biometrics

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