ASUS have just launched the new 2024 range of Republic of Gamers machines that we’ll be taking a look at over the next few months. First up is one of the most powerful gaming laptops you’ll ever see, the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 18 G834J takes gaming laptops to unprecedented heights, offering a combination of power, efficiency, and stunning visuals that redefine the portable gaming experience. From its lightning-fast 18-inch 2.5K 240Hz Nebula HDR display to the beastly Intel® Core™ i9 processor 14900HX and the powerful NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4090 Laptop GPU, the SCAR 18 stands as a testament to ASUS’s commitment to delivering the ultimate gaming laptop albeit at a price that seems out of reach for the average gamer. But that’s the price you pay to truly unleash the beast.
The 18 inch Nebula HDR display is in my opinion the hero of the SCAR 18, boasting a 240Hz refresh rate, 100% DCI-P3 coverage, and an astounding 1100 nits brightness. Whether you’re deep into a gaming session or watching a movie, the 2.5K panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio delivers immersive visuals with deep blacks and vibrant colors. NVIDIA G-SYNC technology ensures a tear-free gaming experience, adding an extra layer of fluidity to your gameplay.
The NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4090 Laptop GPU is the beating heart of the SCAR 18, featuring DLSS 3, Ada Lovelace arch, and Max-Q Technologies. With a max TGP of 175W and Dynamic Boost, the GPU delivers unrivaled graphics performance in its class. This provides a visual feast for gamers and content creators alike. ASUS Say that the SCAR 18 doesn’t just “conquer the battlefield; it enables you to design the next one”. It’s built with both gamers and devs in mind and you can really see the difference in how the Intel® Core™ processor and NVIDIA® GeForce GPU make quick work of complex projects on popular development tools, as well as unbelievable rendering speeds and playback when editing video in both Adobe and Davinci Resolve. This is a gaming content creator’s dream, multitasking is next level.
What is Power without efficiency?:
Equipped with the Intel® Core™ i9 Processor 14900HX, the SCAR 18 give you the ultimate power while at the same time distributing it in the most efficient way. The hybrid architecture optimized for Windows 11, with up to 8 Performance-cores and 16 Efficient-cores, ensures flawless AAA gaming and effortless streaming. Intel’s latest Application Optimization technology pushes frame rates up to 40% in supported titles, making the SCAR 18 a true powerhouse.
The full sized professional esports-grade keyboard is rated to last over 20 million presses and features n-key rollover. This guarantees precision and durability. Customizable per-key RGB and full Aura Sync customization add a touch of personalization to your gaming setup. I left it all set up with Armory Crate as I think it’s an exceptional piece of software but you can reassign keys to whatever you want apparently.
I mostly work and game with headphones on but these Dolby Atmos-powered speakers have almost convinced me otherwise. The system includes two tweeters and two woofers, creating an authentic sound stage with more volume and more pounding bass.. Hi-Res audio and Two-Way AI Noise Cancellation technology ensure crystal-clear communication. I’ve been monitoring ASUS’s audio standards over the last few years and with each new system it’s improving significantly. This could be the best sound I’ve ever heard in a laptop and so hat’s off to the R&D team behind this.
Battery Life can be a bit of a “Who cares?” in a device like this one, I mean for the most part you are going to be using it plugged in to get the most of the performance you are paying for. It does have a nice 90Wh battery though so it will go the distance. Like most modern devices it also supports USB Type-C charging up to 100W, offering a bit more flexibility while traveling. You can charge from zero to around 50% in around 30 minutes with the supplied 330W power adapter.
Connectivity is key, and the SCAR 18 delivers with an HDMI 2.1 port for the latest TVs and monitors, supporting up to 4K 120Hz and 8K 60Hz content. Two USB Type-C ports, one with Thunderbolt 4 support. If you are like me and can’t stand gaming over wifi you’ll be happy to see the inclusion of a 2.5G LAN RJ-45 jack.
Yes it has one, no it’s not a great one. It’s a standard 720p HD Camera, which given the guts and glory of the rest of the machine seems like a bit underwhelming. But unlike some machines in recent years it actually has one and it does the job, it even looks ok for 720p. It would have made the “complete package” a bit more impressive to have a more impressive camera though.
In the Field:
It’s all well and good to see the specs on paper but to actually see the machine in practice is quite impressive. Load times including bootup are super fast. I had no issues playing any game and pushing the specs on games like Alan Wake 2 which can be a really hungry title. The Last of Us Part 2 performed brilliantly as did Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. It’s a great feeling knowing you are not going to have any skips and bumps along the way.
RGB Yeah You Know Me
Love me some RGB and the Strix Scar has it in spades. The excess of RGB across the front and back under bar, keys and logo panel are all over the top brilliant and programmable. My favourite mode is when you have the case closed and it sweeps across like 80s sci fi Cylons from Battlestar Galactica or KITT from Knight Rider.
It Comes at a Price:
You can’t say things like “14th Gen Intel® Core™ i9”, “NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4090” and 18 inch 240Hz Nebula Display without adding a few dollar signs to your bill and that’s the case with this ultra powerful and versatile laptop. In Australia it retails at a significant $7,699.00. I’m not in love with the price but I understand it considering the sheer scope of everything included in the specs. Would I buy one, no, but I have mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay so my budget might be a little different to yours.This is a sports car equivalent of a gaming laptop, it will turn heads and blow everything else around it away.
ROG Have an absolute Beast on their Hands:
What I like about the ASUS Republic of Gamers brand of devices is that they seem to really understand the wants vs needs conflict in every gamer. It’s why I’m so fond of the ALLY over other handhelds and the G14 over most laptops. It’s the sheer size and power of the G18 that has really blown me away though. They are providing us with a machine that is powerful in every way but at the same time successfully finding a way to still keep it functional for multiple use cases. So whether you’re a competitive gamer, content creator, or game developer, the SCAR 18’s unmatched performance and features make it the ultimate gaming companion, especially with that super Nebula Display that is second to none.