While ASUS has a number of options for more office or work focused devices, the ROG range of gaming laptops is always a fun to check out.
Priced around $5,799, ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR 17 Special Edition (SE) (2022) G733 is at the top end of their range. That price tag includes an absolute ton of hardware including Intel Core i9 CPU with 32GB RAM and a 2TB SSD. It’s also a gaming laptop so it’s powered by an NVIDIA RTX 3080 laptop GPU and includes innovations like MUX switch for bypassing the integrated GPU and liquid metal on both the CPU and GPU.
I’ve been using the laptop for the past two weeks and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Design
The ROG Strix Scar 17 SE (2022) G733 is a big unit, it’s got the gamer aesthetic design that the ROG series is known for with an aluminium lid with the recognisable ROG logo emblazoned on it. There’s a slight overhang at the rear for the hinge mechanism which also allows greater airflow into the internal components, and their customisable Armour Caps on one end. There’s some spare Armour Caps in the box, but you can also choose to 3D Print your own in your choice of material or colour.
The lid also has some subtle engraving which is outlined in UV ink off to the lower left quarter – which can unlock a game: SCAR Runner available on STEAM. You can use the included UV torch in the box to light it up and check out the message written in a special UV ink developed by ASUS so it won’t wear off over time.
That diagonal cut is mirrored on the lower deck when you open the laptop with a slightly translucent section covering the right top corner of the keyboard. We need more of these translucent designs and I’m totally here for this design flair.
The size of the ROG STRIX SCAR 17 SE (2022) G733 is a discussion. It’s big. How big? Well, I’ve previously jammed 17” laptops into my backpack, the ROG STRIX SCAR 17? No chance. It’s great having a big display, but be aware that it is very large, so you’ll need a larger bag to put it in. Surprisingly, for a machine this size it feels fairly lightweight, weighing in at just 3.0kg.
Once you power up the laptop the gaming aesthetic is on display witg RGB lights everywhere. The ROG logo on the lid lights up – and projects downwards from the bottom of the display, the keyboard – which supports per-key RGB – and of course that magnificent lighting bar on the underneath.
The RGB Lighting is of course controllable through the Aura Sync software letting you configure the keyboard, lightbar and logo lighting scheme, with a number of pre-prepared options available or the option to set up your own.
The full-sized keyboard includes a numeric keypad as well as dedicated hotkeys at the top left which are configurable and of course a trackpad. The lower deck is covered with a soft-touch paint which has a matte feel and doesn’t show up fingerprints or smudges. The keyboard is comfortable to type on, with just enough travel in the keys to feel comfortable. I enjoy the nub on the W key which makes it easy to find the keys while gaming as well. There is a programmable per-key lighting scheme which lights up in low-light to make it easy to type.
The trackpad is large and very responsive for the most part, though tends to get a little laggy when playing games, so I found an external mouse was often more useful.
Underneath the laptop is rarely seen, but features large rubber grips which keep the laptop stable while you game, which also raises the laptop off the desk to allow for additional air intake underneath. You can also get better look at the RGB lighting bar from underneath.
There is a fair amount of air moving from the vents on the laptop. I use mostly optimised options, but with it sitting on a table my wife can feel the warm breeze flowing out as I game. The keyboard though never got warm, so it’s well insulated.
The lower deck is where you find your connectivity options, with a number of ports on the left and rear of the laptop. On the rear you’ll find dual USB-C ports, with one supporting PD Charging/ Display Port and G-SYNC, while the other is Display Port compatible only. There’s also a HDMI port, RJ45 Gigabit ethernet port and the charging port. On the side you get dual USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A ports and a 3.5mm combo audio jack.
While there’s no ports per se on the right, there is something there, the ASUS Keystone. I found this little dongle in a key-fob in the box and it slips into the port, enabling a sweep of lights across your keyboard and a sound effect. After digging through the Armoury Crate software I found the config for this dongle and can act as a sync with Armoury Crate across devices, enabling lighting effects, sound effects and activating Shadow Drive storage capacity.
There’s a Quad Speaker system with Dolby Atmos support consisting of two tweeters and two downward firing woofers included in the base. The setup allows for surround sound, though the bass could be a little stronger – but overall it sounds fantastic with great volume levels and excellent clarity when listening to music or watching TV shows – it works great with shows using Netflix spatial audio like Stranger Things.
There’s Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation built-in to the system, but no webcam is included – so if you’re wanting to do video conferencing or face-cam for a game stream, you’ll need to plug an external camera of your own choosing in. There’s also no fingerprint scanner for login, so if you’re after Windows Hello login there’s no built-in options unfortunately.
ASUS include a 17-inch FHD 360Hz, Dolby Vision HDR compatible IPS panel with 100% SRGB coverage and 300 Nits brightness. There’s an option for a QHD resolution panel at ‘only’ 240Hz if you’d like that.
The display is not touch sensitive, so factor that in, and has relatively thin bezels around the sides and top, though I’d certainly sacrifice a little top bezel for a built-in webcam. The bottom bezel is fairly chunky, though not distracting.
In terms of quality, there’s no complaints here. The display is excellent, with great colour representation and good blacks, though an OLED will get you those deeper blacks if that’s what you’re after.
At 300 nits, the display has good brightness unless you’re in the full brunt of a summer’s day or working with a window behind the display. It could be brighter, but it certainly looks great.
The ASUS Strix scar 17 SE (2022) G733 comes with a 90Whr 4-cell Li-Ion battery and a 330W charger included in the box.
In terms of battery life, the STRIX Scar 17 SE (2022) G733 offers up about 8-10 hours of average office work – fairly impressive from a device with a 17-inch display. As a gaming laptop though, you’ll find around an hour of battery life when playing a graphics intensive game.
The included 330W charger is massive but also fast, with the ability to get your battery charged back up to 50% in just 30 minutes. You can also charge the laptop using a 100W USB-C charger which is certainly a smaller/lighter option when travelling however only one of the two USB-C ports supports charging and of course the charge time won’t be as fast
With a 12th gen Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB DDR5 RAM, 2TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti graphics card inside, there’s no performance issues here. ASUS has engineered their ROG machines with a MUX or Multiplexer Switch letting you manually engage or disengage the integrated graphics and cutting out any lag for gaming – basically making their devices even better for gaming.
Multi-tasking and loading apps is delightfully smooth and loading into games is an absolute joy. There are limitations if you’re gaming on battery though, with the laptop lasting about an hour on battery power alone the last 10 minutes get a little sketchy with frame drops and lag.
Playing through some games, I tried out the new Sons of the Forest game and I was hitting 75-80 fps on FullHD resolution with all settings set to high. Likewise in Cyberpunk 2077 I was getting similar FPS results with settings set to high, or ultra if possible. Basically it’s a beast of a system for gaming, and you won’t have issues with most games released.
I have run the usual TimeSpy and CPU Spy benchmarks from 3DMark and here’s how it went.
Running Windows 11, the ROG STRIX SCAR 17 SE (2022) G733 includes Windows 11 Home, as well as some apps and utilities pre-installed.
As usual, there’s the usual complement of Microsoft applications, including an Office trial. You’ll also find all the usual ASUS applications including Armoury Crate and Aura Creator to setup your lighting and the performance of the machine. You can save your settings to the ASUS Keystone for transfer to your next laptop – if the laptop you’re using supports it.
I love Armoury Crate simply for the configurability options which include the Macro keys on the keyboard, as well configuring the performance of the laptop. Of course while you’re plugged in and ready to go you can go all out, but if you’re on the go and want to save some power you can let the laptop know to restrict some performance.
The usual smattering of system utilities includes the NVIDIA, Dolby and Realtek apps for configuring the included hardware in your machine. There is also the continued spectre of McAfee Antivirus which will certainly make its presence known, as well as letting you know sometimes obnoxiously when it’s expired and requires a new licence.
Should you buy this laptop?
Any gamer who has a view to going mobile at any stage should definitely be checking out the ROG STRIX SCAR 17 SE (2022) G733 – it’s absolutely one of the best mobile gaming rigs you can lay hands on right now.
The combination of high-end Intel Core processor, DDR5 RAM, PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti graphics card inside makes for a very powerful combination. There’s great quality sound and a full sized, responsive keyboard and trackpad – plus, if you love RGB, this is definitely the laptop for you.
There is of course some things that can be improved, including adding a webcam, some slightly better bass and a brighter display for use in outdoor environments – but overall, this is a heck of a laptop for a gamer and anyone getting their hands on one of these units will not be disappointed.