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Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023: “Combines raw power with a unique design”

Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023: “Combines raw power with a unique design”. This year, the brand’s top-tier gaming laptop, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16, debuted alongside its larger 18-inch sibling, bringing new Intel 13th generation CPUs and Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-Series graphics. This puts it among the most potent gaming laptops available at the moment, and when you realize that, the $2,899.99 price tag for an RTX 4080 configuration doesn’t seem all that bad. Although this is an expensive item, it’s a strong candidate for the title of best gaming laptop if you’re searching for a top-tier setup that will last you for years.

Asus has completely redesigned the main chassis, and in 2023, two Strix Scars will be available for purchase. Naturally, that’s mostly to make room for the new parts that are shared by the Scar 16 and 18. We recently got our hands on the similarly chunky 2023 release, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, and were astounded by the power that the 4090 and Intel i9-13900H had to offer. With the powerful i9-13980HX at the helm and the Strix Scar’s increased thermals, there’s definitely a lot to live up to.


  • Lots of RGB contained in a clear design
  • Construction quality seems sturdy and long-lasting.
  • Back on the sides are ports

There is no denying the uniqueness of the new Asus ROG Strix Scar 16. Large grills at the back of a translucent chassis sit beneath a halo of RGB lights. The Strix Scar 16 runs the risk of appearing boxy when you combine that with its chunky natural footprint and 16:10 aspect ratio but is spared by its softer rounded corners and lighter grey outer material.

But first, let’s talk about that translucent design, which has the potential to make or break the Strix Scar 16 in terms of appearance. For my part, I’m not a fan. This plastic gathers far too many smudges and fingerprints (and holds onto them), and the addition of those oils to a transparent panel already gives the impression that the deck is far less expensive than it is. Yes, it’s interesting to see the rig’s internal workings on display, but I don’t want to constantly feel as if I’m using a high-end device as this one. In the end, this will come down to personal taste, but if you’re going for a minimalist look, I would advise against it.

The positioning of your ports is altered in that chassis design in a few more contentious ways. After enjoying power and HDMI connections tucked away neatly behind the main lid, we now have to make room for the enormous grills, which push these connections to the sides once more. Unfortunately, such a useful design feature has been removed in this most recent version, even though I can understand the rationale behind the decision. Rather, my laptop now resembles a rat-king spider rather than a stylish addition to my setup. Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023: “Combines raw power with a unique design”

Here, the construction quality is especially strong. The screen wobbles very slightly, the main deck does not flex, and everything from keycaps to hinges feels incredibly durable. Even though the previously mentioned fingerprint smudging might lead to problems with oily deposits in the future, I think this chassis will hold up.

Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023:


  • Incredible speed of the Intel i9 processor
  • The best gaming laptop display I’ve ever seen
  • Flimsy trackpad

The Intel i9-13980HX is one of the main differences between this year’s ROG Strix Scar 16 and the other RTX 40-Series laptop that we have tested thus far. This processor is a true beast as if it were designed for workflows so demanding they haven’t even been thought of yet. That implies that if you do decide to go all out, you’re getting a lot more power under the hood here, in addition to the 175W TGP of the RTX 4090 configuration.

Above the hood, though, there’s still plenty to celebrate. Typing on the keyboard located on top of the main deck is especially enjoyable. This chiclet deck has a nice clunk to every stroke and responsive feedback, sitting slightly higher than the average deck.

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Compared to full-size keyboards on 17- or 18-inch devices, this one has a more condensed layout. Instead of a Numpad and dedicated navigation keys, there is a small strip of media playback buttons along the right, and a set of volume, microphone, and Armory Crate options runs along the top left. I found that this configuration was ideal for work, and I especially liked the larger arrow keys that were included in the game. In contrast to earlier Asus gaming laptops, which crammed these into the corner, this one comes with a full-sized keyboard. Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023: “Combines raw power with a unique design”

Regretfully, I am unable to apply the same compliments on the trackpad. Although roomy, there are moments when tracking seems a little off, and the clicks feel especially spongy. Naturally, even for work, I prefer to use a different mouse entirely, but the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16’s clumsy feel became apparent when I was using it on the go.

You have one of the best gaming laptop screens I’ve ever used up top. We previously reviewed an iteration of Asus’s Nebula HDR display on the 2023 Zephyrus M16, and it’s back for the Strix series, and it shines just as bright, literally. This is a true visual feast, with HDR content rendered in stunning detail and colors that leap off the screen with remarkable vibrancy. The display itself has a refresh rate of 240 Hz, 1,100+ nits of peak brightness, and 1,024 dimming zones thanks to its Mini LED genetics.

This translates to incredibly clear, fluid images that never sacrifice accuracy. Though the contrast doesn’t show through as well, the matte finish also means that this screen can actually be seen in bright light or on a sunny day. Four Dolby Atmos speakers and a robust virtual surround sound system only serve to amplify that engrossing display.

Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023:


  • Benchmark figures that break records
  • Incredibly responsive and silky smooth
  • The unusual rattling sound is made by fans when the game loads

Saying that the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is powerful is a simple task. With the newest and best graphics cards from Nvidia, it’s powered by Intel’s fastest CPU to date. This is a remarkable amount of power in actual use. Things were looking good at the beginning of my testing, with Time Spy and Fire Strike scores blowing out all of our previous gaming laptop reviews and the CPU producing some stunning numbers across PC Mark 10 and Cinebench.

And those figures were honest. Not only were the landscapes in Division 2 incredibly detailed and vibrant, but even at Ultra settings, the game maintained three-figure framerates in the native 2560 x 1600 resolution of the screen. Even the Scar 16 was unfazed by trifles like a busy Cities Skylines save or a complete Planet Coaster map.

Is it wise to purchase the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16?

Although I have the Razer Blade 18 and MSI Raider GE78 waiting in the wings for their turn next, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 is the most powerful gaming laptop I’ve handled thus far. That said, it’s undoubtedly not the priciest rig available. It’s still very expensive, but you can spend a lot more and get a worse overall performance, so it’s also very good value for the money. This generation of Razer laptops in the RTX 40-Series and Alienware gaming laptops is definitely getting more expensive. Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023: “Combines raw power with a unique design”

Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023:

Naturally, the $3,000 or £3,000 won’t be worth it if you plan never to use that high-end gaming potential. In that case, it would be wiser to wait for more reasonably priced configurations to become available. The Scar 16 ought to be on your radar, though, if you want to get your hands on the newest generation of high-end graphics cards and processors as soon as possible.

How we tested the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16

Over two weeks, I used the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 for everything from daily work to extended gaming sessions. I used Sable, Planet Coaster, Cities: Skylines, Doom Eternal, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice for playtesting on a daily basis. I then stressed and tested various in-game benchmark systems, including Metro Exodus, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Three Kingdoms, and The Division 2.

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I also completed a range of industry benchmark tests, including PC Mark 10, 3D Mark’s Time Spy and Fire Strike, Maxon’s Cinebench, and Crystal Disk Mark. See the complete GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy for additional details on how we evaluate gaming laptops. Evaluation of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 2023: “Combines raw power with a unique design”

Along with the best gaming PCs and gaming desks to keep your setup fresh, we’ve rounded up the best laptop backpacks for people who need to carry their PC with them everywhere they go.


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