It’s not often a piece of hardware comes across my desk that absolutely floors me, but ASUS’ newest ROG Strix might just be the most impressive computer I’ve ever laid my hands on. Previously, Acer’s 21″ curved monitor monster the Predator X held the record, but the newest ROG Strix SCAR Edition is not only a joy to use, but it’s possibly the fastest computer I’ve ever seen.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR Edition – Model: G733CX-XS97
MSRP: $3499.99 USD (as configured)
Yeah, I know – I said the same thing when I saw the price tag. You can buy a small daily driver for the cost of this absolute beast of a machine, but a 1994 Chevy S10 isn’t nearly as cool as a futuristic super computer with some clever little gimmicks that’ll impress anyone you show it to.
I could bore you with a plethora of benchmarks to show you how much supremacy this beast of a machine holds – sporting an obscene 16 core Intel i9-12950HX processor and 32GB of DDR5 RAM – but there’s a bunch of reviews you could read that’ll let your eyes glaze over with bar charts and graphs.
I’m here to tell you that this thing is will absolutely maul anything you put in its path. Seriously, I can’t even stress it enough – this ASUS ROG Strix SCAR Edition laptop is absolutely ridiculous, but it also comes with an absolutely ridiculous price tag.
In fact, with it’s 240hz screen, Ghostrunner (fully maxed out of course) was actually giving me a bit of motion sickness because of how fast the game was moving. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077 never looked so glorious, and Destiny 2 made the Xbox Series X version look like trash which I previously thought impossible to do.
It didn’t matter what I decided to do on this machine, it continually ran flawlessly without a hitch of slowdown. Multitasking was a breeze thanks to the power of DDR5 RAM, and the included Nvidia 3080ti made both my ASUS Zephyrus GX701G laptop and my Ryzen 9 3900X desktop look like old Dell machines running Celeron processors, and both of these machines are still extremely powerful in their own rights.
This laptop might have the best touchpad I’ve come across so far. It’s smooth, incredibly responsive, and offers a nice amount of real estate without being absurdly oversized. While I found myself missing the rubbery surface and toggleable number keys from my Zephyrus, the Strix SCAR Edition is by far the first laptop in a very long time that I wasn’t immediately reaching for my bluetooth mouse with.
I’m not saying I’d play games with it, but for normal use, it’s a pleasure to use and feels terrific. If I had to nitpick one thing about the design of the laptop itself though, it’s how thick the body in comparison to my Zephyrus. I still prefer the thinner profile, even though the LED lights aren’t nearly as pronounced on my laptop as they are on this Strix, my laptop is also about half an inch thinner when closed.
One other thing noticeably absent from this laptop is an embedded camera. It’s not surprising to see a laptop from ASUS which doesn’t have an onboard camera, but for $3500, I can’t believe the Strix SCAR Edition doesn’t come with a USB camera like my Zephyrus did. I actually thought the camera was what was inside the small box that pops up when you open the laptop box, but unfortunately, scouring all through the box, there’s no camera included.
The ROG Strix SCAR Edition comes with a bit of a gimmick, as these machines were launched alongside the SCAR Runner game on Steam. People who bought these laptops have an unfair advantage.
The SCAR laptops have solutions for some of the puzzles printed on the machine which you’ll be able to uncover with the included UV light in the box. I’m glad I decided to research why the laptop came with a UV light, because I would have sworn it was to make sure you could keep the keys jizz free, but thankfully I was wrong.
Speaking of gimmicks, there’s a few more tricks in the bag for this laptop. There’s a hinge cover (dubbed Battle Armor) on the back side that can be swapped out with one of three included plates: flat black, silver, or translucent, but you can also 3D print your own with the plans straight from the ASUS website.
I’m not sure who that’s supposed to appeal to, but it’s a thing that exists in this laptop offering more customization options. The other gimmick is the noticeable notch that’s been cut out from the right edge of the palm rest.
This houses the ROG Keystone (which comes in a rubbery keychain that you can hook onto your keys or a bag or something) which allows you to save your Armory Crate settings so that they’ll be automatically applied if you put your keystone into another machine. Just like the hinge cover, I’m not entirely sure who this is for or why it exists, but hey – it makes the laptop memorable, but hopefully adding these gimmicks didn’t drive up the cost of the laptop.
If you’re in the market for the sickest laptop you can get your grubby little paws on, look no further than ASUS ROG Strix SCAR Edition, but be aware that you’re entering that Apple premium price range.
Despite the price, it doesn’t get you an aluminum body and all the other premium feel features that Apple likes to include – you simply get the most powerful bang for your buck available on the market today.