I considered using a laptop with an 18-inch display twice when Asus asked me to review the ROG Strix Scar 18. An 18-inch gaming laptop with an expansive display, Intel Core i9 processor, and Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU may not be for me, but some might love it. It’s a pro-grade gaming laptop with raw performance. My review.
ROG Strix Scar 18 is for aesthetics lovers. The display back has a glow-in-the-dark Republic of Gamers (ROG) logo. Under the wrist rest, the chassis has a large strip of lights around the front. A strip of multi-colored RGBs on the back gives the laptop a lively vibe. Transparent acrylic makes the laptop’s sides, including vents, seem beautiful.
Plastic replaces magnesium metal in the laptop. The Alienware 18 and Razer Blade 18 are better built. The gaming laptop weighs 3 kg, as expected. This laptop isn’t the thinnest, but it’s light considering its massive 18-inch display and specifications. My old Samsonite backpack barely fits the ROG Strix Scar 18. The power brick increases weight. I wish Asus had produced a lighter power brick, but this laptop’s power-hungry components require a big one.
The laptop has many ports on three sides. There are two USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 2 ports, a Thunderbolt 4 port, a Type-C port, an HDMI 2.1 port, a LAN port, and the DC input.
Smooth 18-inch, 240Hz display
Screens steal the show. 240 Hz refresh rate, 18-inch QHD+ IPS panel. It supports 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and has 400 nits of peak brightness, bright enough to read an e-paper or play games. Size gives the 18-inch display an advantage. I believed the larger screen enhanced Halo Infinite. For a large gaming laptop, the bezel is small and brilliant. The 18-inch display has good color performance, although laptops with OLED or mini-LED panels perform better.
Great keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard suits this laptop. Each key delivers the right amount of input and feels excellent to text on. Quiet, well-spaced keys. The pre-installed Asus Armoury Crate software lets you customize volume, mic mute, and programmable keys. The number pad is complete. After a few days of getting used to the layout, you’ll love the keyboard. Perfect trackpad. Large and responsive.
My review unit had the best components, but it was expensive. Core i9-13980HX powers the laptop. It has 16 GB DDR5 RAM, Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU, and 24-core CPU with eight performance and 16 efficient cores. It had two 1TB RAID0 boot drives. Powerful laptops deliver great gaming performance.
Speedy Scar 18. Halo Infinite and Dirt 5 ran smoothly at decent fps with upgraded graphics. Like Forza Horizon 5. The laptop ran 30 Chrome tabs without stuttering in my test. The laptop heats up. Playing games with high-quality graphics makes the laptop’s fans loud and the keyboard hard to operate.
Speakers, cameras, and battery average
A laptop with an 18-inch display, Intel Core i9 processor, and Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU will not last all day. This laptop lasted about four hours. Every gaming laptop’s story. Asus markets these laptops as desktop replacements, but you have to carry the power brick everywhere. That defeats the purpose of a powerful all-in-one system for mobile AAA gaming and intense tasks.
The Scar 18’s speakers and webcam were likewise disappointing. The speakers’ poor sound quality makes movies and games boring. They’re also too quiet and have weak bass. The webcam stinks too. The 720p webcam works well for basic video calls but struggles in dim light. This is unacceptable as Asus charges a premium for this laptop.
Buy Asus ROG Strix Scar 18?
ROG Strix Scar 18 seems promising. I was most impressed by the ROG Strix Scar 18’s ability to fit an 18-inch laptop into a small, lightweight design. This laptop cannot be compared to a MacBook Air. However, an 18-inch laptop has a market. The Scar 18 works well but has the same troubles I’ve encountered with gaming laptops.