ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE review: The best gaming laptop to buy this year

Ultimate performance in a gorgeous form factor.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE
(Image: © Future)

Windows Central Verdict

One of the best gaming laptops released for 2022, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE (G733C) has everything you need to game on the go. It has the best Intel mobile processor matched with the incredibly versatile NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics for impressive performance.

Pros

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    + Intel Core i9 CPU

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    + NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU

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    + Gorgeous 17-inch display

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    + Great design and build quality

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    + Solid thermal performance

Cons

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    Bulky and somewhat heavy

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    Poor battery life (as expected)

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    No webcam

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    Expensive

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ASUS has produced capable desktop and laptop PCs for gamers for years and today we're looking at the latest gaming notebook from the company. The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE has a big battery, a big screen, and big performance. It's also incredibly expensive so we're going to take a look to see if this laptop is worth buying for a portable gaming station.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Price, availability, specs

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS supplied Windows Central with a review sample of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. This unit has the Intel Core i9-12950HX processor with eight performance and efficiency cores and a total of 16 threads. For notebooks, this is about as good as you can get without going too overboard. This is the flagship CPU for this laptop with the lesser capable Core i9-12900H also available.

For graphics, we're looking at either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3080, or RTX 3080 Ti. In our review sample, the laptop had the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. Finally, RAM comes in either 16GB or 32GB of DDR5. We had 32GB, allowing us to push the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE to its limit and see how powerful this laptop is.

This notebook is expensive, even if you configure it with the baseline specifications. Starting at $2,399, it's simply out of reach for many gamers. The model we tested is available for $3,599, but this laptop has considerably more performance than many gaming desktop PCs out there. 

Here's a look at the specs contained inside our review unit.

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SpecificationASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE (2022)
OSWindows 11 Pro
ProcessorIntel Core i9-12950HX
Row 2 - Cell 0 8 P-cores, 8 E-cores, 16 threads
RAM32GB DDR5-4800
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Storage2TB M.2 NVMe SSD
Display17-inches, IPS, 16:9
Row 7 - Cell 0 WQHD (2560 x 1440), 240Hz, 100% DCI-P3, 3ms,
PortsOne HDMI 2.1, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP, G-Sync), one RJ45 LAN, one Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
AudioQuad speaker array, Smart Amp Technology, Dolby Atmos
WirelessWi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Triple band) 2*2, Bluetooth 5.2
Camera-
Battery90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
Dimensions395 x 282 x 23.4 ~ 28.3 mm
Row 14 - Cell 0 (15.55 x 11.10 x 0.92 ~ 1.11 inches)
Weight3.00 Kg (6.61 lbs)
ColorBlack

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Design & features

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE

(Image credit: Future)

As soon as you've unboxed the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE, you can immediately tell you're in for quite the ride. This looks and feels like a powerful gaming laptop. I'm not the biggest fan of the usual ASUS design language for its laptops, but the Scar 17 SE is stunning. There are countless small details, such as the hidden graphics on the lid that are revealed with the included UV light.

The ROG logo on the same lid lights up, as expected. RGB lighting can be easily made obnoxious, but thankfully ASUS used it sparingly. The keyboard also has per-key lighting, and there's a small LED strip that wraps around the base of the notebook. When turned on, it looks the part when placed in a gamer setup. Interestingly, ASUS made part of the keyboard translucent, revealing some of the insides.

While the keyboard is a joy to type on, and there's a full Numpad layout for those who enjoy playing EVE Online, it's not using mechanical switches. The touchpad is massive and has more than enough real estate for general use. It's highly likely that a mouse will be connected to one of the available USB ports for serious gaming, anyway.

Moving up the laptop and we have the glorious 17-inch QHD display with a resolution of 2560x1440. Our unit has a refresh rate of 240Hz though a Full HD version of the panel is available with a 360Hz refresh rate if you prefer smoother gameplay over visuals. Either way, this is a winner. It's gorgeous.

What isn't going to bring home awards is the webcam ... or lack thereof. If you enjoy making calls with friends and family or fancy some streaming on the side, you're going to require an external webcam. It's just strange to see a laptop released in 2022 without a webcam.

Next up is the I/O and there's plenty to go around. We've got a single HDMI 2.1 port on the rear joined by the DC input, RJ45 LAN, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP, G-Sync), and one Thunderbolt 4. The left side has two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack. The right side has the ROG Keystone port for profiles and other security features.

Speakers are never going to be exceptional on a gaming laptop, but ASUS managed to pull off some great-sounding audio. It's not going to blow you away, especially with heavy bass tracks or explosions in-game, but it's decent enough if you don't own a pair of cans. The laptop itself is relatively thin but on the heavy side thanks to all the internal components.

It measures in at 3.00kg (6.61 lbs) and the dimensions are 395 x 282 x 23.4 ~ 28.3 mm. It's not huge but will require some desk space for the 17-inch panel (and this allows ASUS to pack some serious cooling for the CPU and GPU).

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE: Display

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 SE

(Image credit: Future)

The screen is incredibly important on gaming or creator laptops. Thankfully, the panel used by ASUS for the ROG Strix Scar 17 SE is a beauty. We tested the QHD 240Hz screen with a response time of just 3ms. It's not particularly great at color accuracy, scoring just shy of 80% for Adobe RGB, but you won't notice when playing your favorite titles.