The newest addition to the Strix gaming laptop series from the Asus is this one, ASUS ROG Strix GL703VM-DB74 Scar Edition. While there is apparently not much difference between the standard version and the Scar edition, there are some visual cues like the touch of carbon fibre in the interior giving it a premium feel. So let’s check this laptop out then.
- CPU – Intel Core i7 Quad-Core (7th Gen), 2.8 GHz
- GPU – 6 GB DDR5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
- Memory – 16 GB DDR4
- Screen – 17.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
- Storage – 1 TB SATA HDD + 256 GB SSD
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – With a configuration of a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigs of superfast DDR4 RAM and a hybrid storage drive of 256 GB of fast SSD and 1 TB of a standard SSD, it’s no wonder that it can handle your everyday needs like web surfing or productivity tasks quite efficiently. With an average transfer speed of 450 MBps, the superfast solid state drive helps in making it even faster. While the hard disk drive is not as fast as that it surely isn’t a lacklustre with a transfer rate of 100 MBps.
- Display – A crisp display is one of the key needs of a good gaming rig. And Strix GL703VM-DB74 Scar Edition doesn’t disappoint us in that department. It comes with a 17.3 inch 120 Hz FHD display (whereas the standard version provides a 60 Hz display with a response time of 20ms). The first thing you’d notice is that it’s pretty bright with the average brightness lying around 380 nits. That and a matte finished display make it possible to work outdoors comfortably. The contrast ratio, lying around 1000:1 at max brightness, is pretty good as well, if not great. The colour accuracy, whereas, is somewhat poor with the calibrated dE (delta E) value lying around 1.
- GPU – There’s an old saying that goes something like this- a gaming laptop is as good as its GPU. So how good is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6 GB of VRAM? Well, it’s a pretty good starting gaming card. While it may not be as powerful as a GTX 1070 which is considered to be a great one, it IS able to get your job done. While the ultra settings might be a bit overkill for it, titles like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (~60 fps in high 720p, ~50 fps in High 1080p), Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands (>70 fps in high 720p, ~60 fps in High 1080p) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (>80 fps in high 720p, 70 fps in High 1080p) can be made to run in medium and high settings in the 1080p quality.
- Price – Well, for what it’s delivering, it certainly is overpriced if you ask me. Due to simply touting that ‘Scar edition’ tag it’s at least 300 to 500 bucks pricier than the competing models. If you take a look at Acer Predator Helios 300 you’d notice that other than possessing a slightly bigger screen (15.6 inches instead of 17.3 inches) there is apparently no difference. Yet this Scar edition would cost you $550 more than the previous model (even considering that bigger screen it still feels overpriced).
- Cooling – The cooling system is one of the most important aspects of a gaming laptop. On the positive side, it stays sufficiently cool under normal workload with the average temperature usually never exceeding the 30°C (86°F) threshold. But under heavy workload like playing some of the newer titles the highest temperature rose up to a scorching 65°C (149°F) just above the processor. So if you are, by any chance, planning to use it on your lap you better be careful about your family jewels…;)
- Noise – It surely isn’t one of the silent killers. Again, under normal workflow for everyday usage, the dual fan is barely audible with the sound level lurking around 30 dB. But the real issue starts to surface when it is put under load conditions as the noisy fans really start to roar and the fan noise level rises to the 45 dB corridor. The noise level crossed even the 50 dB mark, which is considered to be realllly noisy when it started to max out its limits in the load conditions.
It does have some pitfalls like the heating issue or the noisy fans. While it may be a good choice for the everyday gamer, it would hardly be the case for a professional due to the lack of colour accuracy (a display with a dE value under 0.5 is generally considered to be a fit for stuff like photo editing or 3d rendering).