Monday, 20 August 2018 02:04

LAUNCH VIDEO: New Asus ROG 2018 17.3" Strix SCAR II (GL704) arrives in 15.4-inch chassis


Asus has launched the "first 17.3-inch gaming laptop under 400mm wide with an ultrafast display and a bevy of powerful gaming features".

Republic of Gamers is the ASUS sub-brand "dedicated to creating the world’s best gaming hardware and software", with over a decade in operation and spanning gaming-class motherboards, graphics cards, laptops, desktops, monitors, audio equipment, routers and peripherals.

The company has launched its Strix SCAR II (GL704), model, which is the latest 17.3-inch addition to the ROG Strix gaming laptop line-up in two models, one more powerful than the other as you'll see in the specs below.

It also launched Zephyrus S (GX531) in a thinner, faster and bigger yet smaller chassis, with all the details and the same video as embedded below here

As you'll discover, Strix SCAR II "puts an industry-leading 17.3-inch display — with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and complete sRGB coverage — into a 15.7-inch chassis, delivering immersive visuals while allowing for greater mobility".

"Strix SCAR II GL704 is equipped with powerful components and innovative features including the latest 8th Generation Intel processors — up to Core i7-8750H — and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of video RAM.

"Strix SCAR II also includes ROG RangeBoost technology, which intelligently utilises additional antennas to extend Wi-Fi range.

In addition, the "HyperCool Pro cooling system incorporates three heatsinks and two fans, ensuring optimal system performance.

Meanwhile, the "durable camouflage and Kevlar textures adorning the chassis take their design inspiration from first person shooter (FPS) games."

Here's the full launch video with Q&A session of the new Asus ROG gaming series, with plenty more to see and read below:

Smaller bezel for more impressive visuals

At Computex 2018, Asus proudly boasts that "ROG set a new standard for gaming laptops by framing an ultrafast display panel with super-narrow bezels in the 15.6-inch versions of Strix SCAR II and Hero II (GL504)".

"Strix SCAR II (GL704) continues this trend, and is the first 17.3-inch laptop under 400 mm wide, a feat made possible by the super-narrow bezels surrounding the display on three sides. The 7.05mm borders are up to 50% narrower than those found on other 17-inch gaming laptops on the market.

"ROG worked closely with panel maker AUO to ensure that ROG gaming laptops consistently offer class-leading displays that balance blazing speed with beautiful picture quality.

Using AUO’s IPS-type AHVA technology, "the 15.6-inch GL504 was able to achieve 144Hz refresh rates and 3ms response time in a thin-bezel format – more than double the speed of conventional laptop displays".

"And with GL704, ASUS and AUO have achieved the same 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time on a 17.3-inch display, allowing for crisp visuals and more immersive gaming. Additionally, the full sRGB colour gamut ensures that the screen can show a full range of vivid colours", enabling Asus to state that this means "games look as good as the developers intended."

Designed for battle, and customisable with AURA Sync RGB lighting

"Externally, Strix SCAR II is designed with FPS gaming in mind, with contrasting Kevlar and camouflage textures created with an eight-stage IMR process. A hairline finish brushes across the Gun Metal lid, while the copper cooling fins provide flashes of colour through the vents.

"Through AURA Sync, RGB lighting can be customised across seven zones: four for the keyboard, two located within the light bar stretching across the front edge, and the last one within the ROG logo on the lid.

"The lights can then sync to Aura Sync-enabled peripherals such as the Strix Fusion 700 headset and the Gladius II Origin mouse.

"The keyboard on Strix SCAR II has a desktop-style layout, with a wider space bar and separated blocks of function keys to make shortcuts easier to execute.

"The keyboard’s switches are rated for 20 million key presses, and Overstroke technology allows them to fire halfway through the 1.8mm key travel for a faster response than traditional designs that actuate lower in the stroke. These features ensure that the Strix SCAR II keyboard retains a comfortable typing feel for years to come."

Stacked with features for gaming versatility

"In addition to up to six cores and 12 threads in the powerhouse Intel Core i7-8750H and the gaming prowess of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, Strix SCAR II comes loaded with features that provide a versatile and complete gaming experience.

"Intel’s latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi uses faster frequencies for link speeds up to 1.73Gbps with compatible routers, so now the wireless connection can download games and updates as quickly as a wired one.

"Strix SCAR II sports four USB Type-A ports, a reversible USB Type-C (USB-C) port, a Mini DisplayPort connection that supports G-SYNC gaming monitors, and an HDMI 2.0 port that can drive 4K UHD monitors and big-screen TVs at 60Hz.

"Internal storage is split between a speedy M.2 NVMe® SSD that loads games and applications in the blink of an eye, plus an optional secondary 1TB solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD) for that growing collection of games. The speakers are powered by smart amplifier technology that lets users turn up the volume without fear of blowing the voice coils.

"Laptops have limited space to dissipate heat, so ASUS devoted significant effort into cutting-edge cooling. The HyperCool Pro cooling system spreads across three heatsinks and two fans. One heatsink is linked exclusively to the GPU to handle the additional heat produced by typical gaming loads.

"The other two are shared to ensure optimal cooling performance with a wide range of scenarios, including situations where the CPU is doing most of the work. Each heatsink is lined with incredibly thin copper fins that enables more fins, giving increased surface area for heat dissipation while at the same time reducing resistance to airflow.

"Patented trapezoid cuts in the lid ensure that the flow of warm air out the exhaust vents at the back is not impeded."

Armoury Crate — the new unified control centre

"After years of separate utilities for ROG systems and components, ASUS is introducing a unified platform that puts the most important settings at gamers' fingertips.

"Armoury Crate currently covers system settings and Aura Sync lighting, and users can save changes to one of four profiles that automatically load their preferences for specific games and applications.

"The companion Mobile Dashboard extends the interface to Android™ and iOS devices, allowing remote monitoring and adjustment without alt-tabbing away from games.

"Armoury Crate has five different system profiles with different performance and acoustic targets. Turbo mode is best for serious gaming, Silent mode cuts noise output for watching movies or surfing the web, and Balanced mode occupies a middle ground between the two.

"There’s also a default Windows fan settings mode and a manual mode to allow users to make their own adjustments. Modes can also be toggled on-the-fly without ever leaving the game by hitting Fn + F5 to cycle through the options."

The ROG Strix SCAR II (GL704) will be available in Australia from late October. Pricing and configurations will be announced at launch, although details of the options Asus is planning are below, with the specifics of what will be sold in Australia to come. 



Operating System
Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro - ASUS recommends Windows 10 Pro

Intel Core i7-8750H or
Intel Core i5-8300H

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM

2666MHz SDRAM (Dual-channel)
Up to 32GB

M.2 NVMe PCIE 128GB/256GB/512GB SSD

2.5" 5400rpm 1 TB SSHD or
2.5" 5400rmp / 7200rpm 1TB HDD

17.3" anti-glare Full HD (1920x1080) IPS-level panel, 144Hz, 3ms, 72% NTSC or 
17.3" anti-glare Full HD (1920x1080) IPS-level panel, 60Hz, 72% NTSC

VR Ready

Windows Mixed Reality
Basic (min. require 8GB RAM)

Backlit chiclet keyboard
RGB 4 zones
Aura Sync
Marked WASD keys
Hot keys: Volume up/ Volume down / Microphone mute / ROG Gaming Center
Travel Distance 1.8mm
Keycap curve: 0.25mm

2x 3.5W speakers with smart amplifier technology
Array microphones

ROG Armoury Crate
GameFirst V
Game Visual
Sonic Studio & Sonic Radar III
Aura Core
XSplit Gamecaster (Free)
Android/iOS App

I/O Ports
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)
3 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 1 x USB3.1 Gen 2
1 x mDP 1.2
1 x HDMI 2.0
1 x RJ-45 Jack
1 x SD card reader
1 x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
1 x Kensington lock

180W Power Adaptor

Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
802.11ac 2x2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0

39.98 x 27.35 x 2.49~2.64cm


Recommended peripherals
Gladius II gaming mouse is designed for FPS gameplay

The writer attended the Asus ROG gaming launch in Taiwan as a guest of Asus. 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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