Asus announces ‘new’ laptops every year. Some are actually new. Others are just slight revisions with the latest specs from Intel, AMD, or Nvidia. This year, the ROG Strix Scar 18 is both.
Strong arms and deep pockets
The ROG Strix Scar is Asus’ flagship gaming laptop range so they only feature the best-performing components. This year, that’s in the form of Intel’s 13th-gen Core i9-13980HX. That’s a 24-core processor (8 P-cores and 16 E-cores) and will probably be the fastest laptop CPU of this year.
That’s joined by Nvidia’s latest RTX 40-series laptop GPUs. You’ll have two options here, the RTX 4080 with 12GB of GDDR6 video memory or the RTX 4090 and its 16GB of memory. Both GPUs are given up to 175W of power to play with. Combined with the 65W max power draw of the CPU, the system can pull up to 240W. That’s a lot of power in a relatively small package.
Large amounts of power mean lots of performance, sure, but it also means large amounts of heat. Thankfully, Asus has made a few tweaks to the cooling system of the Strix Scar 18. It’s moved all the rear ports to the sides to make room for a larger heat sink. The company’s tri-fan cooler returns, introduced in the ROG Flow X16 last year, and so does Thermal Grizzly’s Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal on the CPU and GPU.
It’s free screen-estate
The design of the Strix Scar 18 mostly resembles the previous model with a few minor changes. It’s got a squarer look to it, for one, and in moving the rear ports Asus has found another spot to stick RGB lights.
Most notable, however, is the new display. The models coming to SA will come with an 18in (obviously) ROG Nebula display. This has been increased to a 16:10 display and features a QHD+ resolution of 2560 x 1600.
Unfortunately, this is only an IPS panel and not one of Asus’ gorgeous OLED panels. We reckon those would push the already astronomical price up even further. But it does support a 240Hz refresh rate and lays claim to numerous certifications, including Pantone validation, G-Sync, Dolby Vision HDR, and a claimed 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 wide colour gamut.
For memory and storage, you’re looking at 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM with support for up to 64GB and a 1TB NVMe SSD. The ROG Strix Scar 18 also packs WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless connectivity and even sports a webcam, something curiously absent in the previous model.
If you’re as keen as we are to get one, you’ll need to wait until 20 February when they become available. When that day arrives you can order yours from the usual places where laptops are sold. The model featuring the RTX 4090 will go for R88,000 with the RTX 4080 model only costing R80,000. That’s practically a steal.