Asus Rog Strix GL503 Scar Edi­tion Lap­top

A gam­ing lap­top that stands out from the crowd

PCPOWERPLAY - - Tech // Reviews - PRICE $ 2999 www.asus.com.au

We’ve seen our fair share of gam­ing lap­tops over the years. Some are bet­ter than oth­ers, but with a few ex­cep­tions one of the tra­di­tional weak­nesses of gam­ing lap­tops are the screens. If you’re drop­ping a few grand on a lap­top, a generic 1080p screen just makes the whole ex­pe­ri­ence poorer. Asus knows this and has in­tro­duced some­thing ev­ery se­ri­ous lap­top gamer must have: a gen­uine IPS 1080p 120Hz screen with G-Sync, pow­ered by a GTX 1070. Hur­rah!

The Asus GL503 Scar is a se­ri­ous lap­top. Its de­sign is some­what un­der­stated in an era where RGB light­ing and brash styling is the norm. The lid is metal­lic, but the shell is plas­tic which lacks the premium feel of the likes of the MSI GS se­ries. It still feels solid enough though. The unit weighs in at 2.5Kg, which is not too bad given the spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

The key­board is okay, but noth­ing spe­cial. It has RGB func­tion­al­ity which can be con­trolled via the Asus Aura app. There’s a 256Gb NVMe SSD and a sec­ondary 2Tb 5400 RPM HDD to take care of the stor­age needs. There are plenty of ports. With five USB, Eth­er­net, HDMI and Mini-DP plus a card reader.

Get­ting back to the in­tro­duc­tion, as men­tioned, the real strength of the Asus GL503 Scar is the gor­geous screen. A vari­able re­fresh rate mon­i­tor is sim­ply a stan­dard re­quire­ment for any se­ri­ous gamer. It can­not re­place a ded­i­cated wide gamut screen for colour ac­cu­racy, but as a gam­ing screen, it’s as good as it gets for a lap­top. If you’re into games that scale well with mod­ern high end com­po­nents, then you’re in for a real treat.

Per­for­mance is very good as you’d ex­pect with a GTX 1070 and i7-7700HQ pow­er­ing the unit. Rise of the Tomb Raider re­turned a solid 109.68 fps while the de­mand­ing Ghost Re­con Wild­lands gave us 64.11 fps (and looked great). 3DMark is also strong with a score of 12685 in the Fire­strike test. Now imag­ine the kind of frames you’ll get with some­thing less de­mand­ing like Over­watch or CS: GO. 120Hz G-Sync good­ness!

Bat­tery life is a weak point of the GL503 Scar. The PCMark 8 bat­tery test is ad­mit­tedly a dif­fi­cult test, but a re­sult of 1hr and 17 min­utes is not great. This is a di­rect re­sult of the in­clu­sion of G-Sync which forces the GTX 1070 to han­dle all the dis­play work, as op­posed to most gam­ing lap­tops that make use of the Nvidia Op­ti­mus GPU switch­ing tech­nol­ogy. None of that mat­ters if you plug it into the wall though.

the real strength is the gor­geous screen... it’s as good as it gets for a lap­top

Pow­er­ful gam­ing lap­tops don’t come cheap, and the GL503 Scar is no ex­cep­tion. At $2999 you’re drop­ping some se­ri­ous cash. The GL503 isn’t per­fect. Ide­ally we’d like to see a bet­ter sec­ondary hard drive, an all metal de­sign and the bat­tery life isn’t stel­lar. Though these are mere nig­gles when weighed up against the gor­geous screen. If you’re into fast paced FPS games, then the GL503 Scar is as good as it gets. CHRIS SZEWCZYK

LAP­TOP

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