Gamers with a large budget looking for a high-performance gaming laptop have ample choice in today’s market. ASUS knows this and has tried taking a different approach, focusing specifically on FPS gamers, when delivering the ROG STRIX RTX SCAR II. That said, gamers with a specific requirement for a large laptop, such as the 17.3″ form factor of this GL704GW, do have slightly less choice making this ASUS option a strong contender.
There are some rivals in this segment including MSI’s GE75 Raider, available in an identical configuration to this for less money, as well as also numerous other options from Acer (Triton), Gigabyte (Aorus) and Razer in 15-inch form factors. However, where ASUS has the upper hand over a lot of its rivals is with the implementation of the mobile RTX 2070 in full, rather than as an “under-clocked” Max-Q version.
That fully-fledged mobile implementation comes with its own inevitable drawbacks such as higher operating temperatures for both the CPU and GPU, in the realm of 90-95 and 80-85 degrees Celsius, respectively, as they are on a shared cooling system. However, ASUS is not alone here and most laptops in this class have similar, if not higher, temperatures. ASUS does an admirable job of keeping temperatures under control, all things considered.
Noise is a fairly important consideration for some gamers and this laptop is not quiet, gaming laptops never are, though the fan noise at load is unlikely to be a bugbear and is easily tolerable with headphones or turning the speakers up when gaming.
We found that a scratchy fan/whine noise at idle or low-loads, when in Balanced or Turbo but not in silent, was grating along with the “whooshing” noise that is deliberately pumped out the speakers on power up or restart. Perhaps some gamers will find it cool, we found it unnecessary, but it can be turned off in the BIOS.
It is easy to forget about the drawbacks of this laptop once the gaming starts. While the IPS display may not be G-Sync capable, the 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, paired up with that mobile RTX 2070, make for a delightful gaming experience. The laptop has bags of performance potential and is very responsive thanks to the NVMe storage drive and Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of dual-channel system memory.
Furthermore, the build quality is excellent all around; there are no squeaks, rattles or creaking plastics. The display hinge is firm and progresses smoothly, the trackpad and keyboard are solid with only slight chassis flex around the keyboard area. The chassis itself is nicely designed with a high-end appearance and the outside is remarkably finger print resistant.
On the whole the ROG STRIX RTX SCAR II is a well-rounded and high-performance gaming laptop that will tick most boxes. ASUS still has some tweaks it could and should make to improve future versions, but most gamers will still be satisfied with what’s on offer, even if the price is somewhat steep.
The ASUS ROG Strix RTX SCAR II GL704GW laptop (RTX 2070, i7 8750H, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe, 1TB SSHD) has a retail price of £2599.99 in the UK at Overclockers UK and is usually sold with a 2 year warranty.
In the USA it can be had for $2198 at Amazon and usually has a 2 year warranty.
- Excellent performance from the processor and graphics
- Beautiful and responsive 144Hz 3ms IPS display
- Uses Seagate FireCuda SSHD rather than traditional HDD for secondary storage
- Fairly finger-print resistant design
- Ample I/O
- Easy-access internals (upgrade-guide provided on ASUS website)
- Includes ROG Gladius II mouse
- RGB lighting system
- Clean and easy to use UEFI
- No G-Sync for the display
- Irritating fan noise at idle or low loads
- Shipped with 1803, 1809 is required for Ray Tracing, but a free update to 1809 is available
- Shipped with McAfee and other unwanted apps
- M.2 SSD could be faster
- No mouse mat included with Gladius II
KitGuru says: The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX SCAR II is a solid gaming laptop with ample performance and a glorious display, just be ready to pay for the privilege.