Be it PC gaming or desktop gaming, each comes with their own set of advantages and compromises. While price, performance, and the need for portability are some main factors to take note of, there are others to consider as well, such as brand loyalty, aesthetics, and cooling fan capabilities.
The last one, in particular, is especially relevant to laptops, and ASUS has shown that they know their craft. Released under the team’s gaming arm, Republic of Gaming (ROG), the new Strix Hero II and Scar II editions come equipped with remarkable cooling technology, alongside a host of handy and improved features.
First unveiled during Computex 2018, the duo is a renewed line of its original iterations, with the Hero II specially designed for MOBA titles, and its Scar sibling for first-person shooters (FPS). It’s been about two months since then, and the laptop pair is finally heading to local shores, which means another alternative for enthusiasts of genre-specific communities.
At first glance, there seems to be little difference in design between the two. Both are decked out in the brand’s patented trapezoid-cut lid adorned with a two-toned gradient, accompanied by an Aura Sync-compatible front light bar. A closer glimpse, however, reveals a slick cyberpunk-themed finish for the Hero II, and a camo print one for the Scar II, although the easiest way to tell them apart is through the highlighted keycaps – the former with “QWER” and the latter “WASD”.
Where display is concerned, the Strix twins boast the same traits. In a first-ever for the laptop gaming community, their 144Hz display is being paired with a breakneck three-millisecond response time, ensuring smooth and clear visuals. As compared to their predecessors, the frame of the renewed laptops are 2.33cm narrower as well, giving rise to a super-narrow-bezel display for a more immersive and less distracting gameplay experience.
Reduced bezels is undoubtedly good news, but perhaps what makes the Hero II and Scar II even more noteworthy is the cooling technology they operate on. As part of the HyperCool Pro thermal system, the laptops are fitted with an extended cooling plate and two high-performance 12V fans housed in three separate outlets, which results in reduced throttling, heat temperature, and fan noise, in addition to a faster cooling speed.
The above setup is further supported by the ASUS-patented Anti-Dust Cooling (ADC) system that prevents the build-up of dirt and dust on heatsink fins, as well as the Overboost app for access to three different fan settings.
Beyond that, the laptop duo is more than sufficiently-equipped to deliver an enhanced gaming experience. Powered by a six-core 8th Generation Intel processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 graphics card, they come packed with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, with the latter offering a bandwidth of up to 32Gbps for speedier file access speeds.
With the Hero II and Scar II being gaming-centric models, other features have also been implemented to allow for an overall enhanced gaming experience. Keyboard-wise, there’s the combination of Hyperstrike Pro and the ROG-exclusive Overstroke features that grants users decisive command and control, alongside earlier key actuation, accurate keystrokes, and N-key rollover technology respectively. Customisation is available too, with four hotkeys and RGB lighting across four zones.
In another first for the laptop industry, the Strix siblings sport multi-antenna Wi-Fi that eliminates dead spots and enables 30 percent wider coverage, courtesy of the patented ROG RangeBoost technology. Operating on a combination of four antennas, a unique algorithm has been introduced to constantly scan and select the best pair for dead spot coverage, bringing to the table a stable internet connect, or so ASUS claims – a definitely plus for online gaming. For a more immersive experience, the models are armed with powerful side-firing speakers, too, which provides clearer and louder audio.
Retailing at S$2,898 for the ROG Strix Hero II (GL504GM) and S$3,498 for the Scar II (GL504GM / GL504GS), ASUS has certainly shown a clear effort in refreshing its existing Hero and Scar lineup, and seems set on upholding their promise to deliver the best gaming experience. Whether they are able to generate a response as positive as their predecessors remains to be seen, but if anything, the team’s first-ever ROG gaming night after the initial launch in Singapore have shown them staying true to the spirit of gaming – and hopefully, that shows in the new laptop builds.