Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) review: Scrapes success with a platinum knife

Great where it counts, but is it really worth it?

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) offers spectacular components and highlights some of the best parts of a gaming rig, but I questioned everything when I saw the price.


  • +

    Bright and colorful display (but you could do better)

  • +

    Bouncy keyboard

  • +

    Powerful performance and graphics

  • +

    Average battery life


  • -

    Stupid expensive

  • -

    Hollow audio

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I love a powerful gaming laptop with a gorgeous display. That’s what the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) offers, plain and simple. What I don’t like is the price.

For the gasping amount of $3,899, you get a big shiny gaming laptop with a 14th-gen Intel CPU as well as the strongest Nvidia GPU you’ll find. Top that off with a vibrant display and a bouncy keyboard. Those are all nice features, and you can argue that you get what you pay for, but that’s not the case here. The performance factors into the price, but I’ve seen better displays in cheaper laptops, and I’ve seen better battery life in similarly strong gaming rigs.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) is a marvelous gaming laptop with a price tag that isn’t doing it any favors. If you have the coin, it can rank among the best gaming laptops.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) price and configurations

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) specs

Price: $3,899
CPU: Intel Core i9-14900HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 16GB
Storage: 2TB SSD
Display: 18-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz
Battery: 4:23
Size: 15.7 x 11.6 x 0.9 inches
Weight: 6.8 pounds 

I want to gag just looking at this price tag. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 that I reviewed costs $3,899. That comes with an Intel Core i9-14900HX processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, and an 18-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display.

You can dial it back to $2,999, which drops you to an RTX 4080 GPU with a 1TB SSD. To get even remotely close to a lower price, you’d have to drop to a Strix G18 for $2,199. To be clear, that’s a different laptop, and that tanks you down to an RTX 4070 and 16GB of RAM.

If you are looking for something more affordable, check out the best cheap gaming laptops.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) design

Matte black metal chassis will continue to be the rage for gaming laptops until their dying breath, and I will complain about them until death earns me all the same. Apart from its black metal body, there’s an RGB-lit ROG-eye logo in the top right corner and “Republic of Gamers” spammed diagonally across the lid.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024

(Image credit: Future)

Did you love those transparent gaming controllers where you could see all the tech inside? Asus tries to pull that off here, and it kind of works. Wrapped around the laptop is a transparent gray plastic, but it’s not revealing much outside of the light bar, which also looks cheap. However, popping open the lid reveals some internal components at the top of the deck, which look sick as hell. The keyboard is flat against the deck and the touchpad takes up a large section under the spacebar. We’ve also got really thin bezels on the display, as well as a webcam large enough to create a lip for the lid.

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 comes in at 6.8 pounds and 15.7 x 11.6 x 0.9 inches, which is the exact same profile as its 2023 predecessor. The Scar is lighter than the MSI Titan GT77 HX (7.28 pounds, 15.6 x 13 x 0.9 inches), but heavier than the Razer Blade 16 (5.4 pounds, 14 x 9.6 x 0.9 inches).

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) ports

There are a decent number of ports installed in the Strix Scar 18.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024

(Image credit: Future)

On the left side, you’ll find the power jack, Ethernet port, HDMI port, two USB Type-C ports, and a headphone jack, while the right holds room for two USB Type-A ports.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024

(Image credit: Future)

Do you find yourself in need of more ports? Check out our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) display

I guess all it takes to have a bright and colorful display is to spend nearly $4K — but then again, somehow the Strix Scar 18 doesn’t quite live up to the price. Its 18-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display is gorgeous, but not $4K gorgeous.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024

(Image credit: Future)

I played “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” on the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 and the serene desert surrounding Baghdad was vivid against the crawling sunset. When I jumped into a dimly-lit tower, the Scar’s bright panel guided me through the space without issue. When turning down some graphical settings, the 240Hz did some work as I tore through enemies and frame rates with my sword — it all looked smooth.

In the trailer for “Spaceman,” Adam Sandler’s red sweater glowed on the Strix’s panel. The screen also captured the darkest parts of the purple clouds (I think it’s space?). To top it off, Sandler’s salt and pepper beard was crisp against his white suit.

According to our colorimeter, the Strix Scar 18 covered 84.3% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is an improvement compared to its predecessor (77.5%). However, it doesn’t quite beat the average premium gaming laptop (92.2%) or the MSI Titan (114.5%) and Razer Blade (93%).

At 427 nits of brightness, the Strix Scar 18 fell short of the average premium gaming laptop (438 nits). It managed to beat last year’s display (402 nits), but the Razer Blade (467 nits) and the MSI Titan (511 nits) put in the work to justify their exorbitant prices. If you are someone who uses HDR, you’ll be eager to know that the Strix can average 1,170 nits. However, HDR is super finicky on Windows, and that number may not reflect what you see while gaming as HDR brightness fluctuates based on what’s being displayed.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) keyboard and touchpad

Despite the Strix Scar 18 being a massive piece of metal, I felt like I was tap dancing across its bouncy keyboard. It’s a full-sized keyboard that’s decently spaced and features more than enough room on the deck for my palms.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024

(Image credit: Future)

I typed 81 words per minute on the typing test, which is above my usual 78-wpm average. The bounciness of the keys is what kept me going, although typing on this giant thing in your lap seems chaotic.

With per-key RGB lighting, you can customize your mood lightning with the Aura Sync tab housed within the Armoury Crate.

The 3.5 x 5.3-inch touchpad is pleasantly soft. I also love the clicker, which feels more like a gentle button press as opposed to a sharp click. Windows gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing worked well.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) audio

Asus tried with the display, and it mostly succeeded — apart from coming out lower than its competitors. However, it’s like the company didn’t even care when it came to the Strix’s pair of bottom-firing speakers.

In “Assassin’s Creed Mirage,” Basim and the NPCs were quiet, but worse, it sounded like they were mumbling. While training with Roshan, my sword swipes were faint, albeit sharp. Meanwhile, the percussion in the background that was meant to amplify the encounter went unheard until the fight actually finished.

I listened to “No One Left To Love” by ROOS + BERG, which I’ve been obsessed with since I played “Alan Wake 2,” but the Strix Scar quickly killed the vibe. The opening guitar and percussion were absent of life, almost like I was listening to it across a tunnel. When the chorus dropped, it was especially bad, with all the instruments muddled into a disaster of noise.

Asus ships the Scar 18 with Dolby Access, but all of its settings could not save the Strix from its poor set of speakers.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) gaming, graphics and VR

Packed with a monstrous Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 tore through the streets of Baghdad in “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” at 119 frames per second on Ultra, 1600p settings.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024

(Image credit: Future)

On the “Far Cry 6” benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the Strix Scar 18 nailed 116 fps, crushing the average premium gaming laptop (99 fps). Despite its competitors boasting the same GPU, the previous Strix Scar (107 fps), MSI Titan (102 fps), and Blade 16 (102 fps) all failed this new Scar’s challenge. At 1600p, it scored 106 fps.

The Strix Scar 18 blew past the “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), hitting 154 fps, matching last year’s showing and once again beating the average premium gaming laptop (132 fps). It also slid past the MSI Titan (124 fps) and Blade 16 (144 fps). At 1600p, it scored 119 fps.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Benchmarks (FPS)
Row 0 - Cell 0 Far Cry 6AC: ValhallaShadow of the Tomb RaiderBorderlands 3
Strix 2024116154167141
Strix 2023107154181165

On the “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” benchmark (Highest, 1080p), the Strix Scar 18 saw mixed results with 167 fps. It still beat the category average (151 fps) and Blade 16 (159 fps), but it didn’t quite cross its predecessor (181 fps) nor the MSI Titan (180 fps). At 1600p, it scored 118 fps.

The Strix Scar 18 had some more turbulence on the “Borderlands 3” benchmark (Badass, 1080p) managing 141 fps, which passes the category average (132 fps), but now falters to all three competitors. The 2023 Strix Scar (165 fps), MSI Titan (177 fps), and Blade 16 (142 fps) all put on a better show. At 1600p, it scored 114 fps.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) performance

Tucked away inside the Strix Scar 18’s massive chassis is the Intel Core i9-14900HX CPU with 32GB of RAM. It was more than enough to handle a couple dozen Google Chrome tabs and a handful of 1080p YouTube videos.

On the Geekbench 6.0 overall performance benchmark, the Strix Scar 18 came knocking with a score of 17,300, killing the average premium gaming laptop (11,129). With an Intel Core i9-13950HX processor, the Blade 16 scored only 13,769. The other laptops took an older Geekbench test, so the results won’t compare the same, but the 2023 Strix scored 19,233 (Core i9-13900HX) and the MSI Titan got 20,602 (Core i9-13950HX).

The Strix Scar 18 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in just 2 minutes and 48 seconds on our HandBrake benchmark, crushing the category average (3:45). It was one second faster than last year’s model, under a minute faster than the MSI Titan (3:24), and over a minute faster than the Blade 16 (4:08).

Asus’ 2TB SSD is killing it with a transfer rate of 2,259 megabytes per second, soaring over the category average (1,757 MBps). It improved over last year’s model (1,886 MBps) and killed the Blade 16 (972 MBps). However, the MSI Titan crawled on by with 2,299 MBps.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) battery life

A chunky monster like the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 was never destined for long battery life, but it could be worse. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, the Strix lasted 4 hours and 23 minutes, which is just 2 minutes behind the category average. I wish it was longer, but it’s not bad. It’s only 3 minutes behind its predecessor and it did beat out the MSI Titan (3:48). However, the Blade 16 showed off with a 5:29 runtime.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) webcam

Another laptop, another sloppy 720p webcam. Don’t get it twisted, Asus — it’s better than nothing (don’t you dare try to remove it).

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 2024

(Image credit: Future)

My skin looked like a blotchy mess, and it didn’t even give me credit for what beard I did have on my face. The contrast was overblown, taking out part of my head, the wall behind me, and eventually space itself. Despite that, the color of my blue shirt was represented decently. However, if you’re planning on using a webcam for any professional content, check out the best webcams.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) heat

I wouldn’t put this machine on your lap. After just 15 minutes of gaming, the underside reached 114 degrees Fahrenheit, which is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 93 and 76 degrees, respectively. However, the true offense is on the lower-left corner of the underside (right next to the gray riser), which climbed to 131 degrees.

The Strix is fine when it’s not gaming. After a 15-minute video, the hottest it reached was 99 degrees.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) software and warranty

Asus outfitted the Scar 18 with the typical gamer-focused software, which is found in the company’s Armoury Crate. With it, you can adjust the display, performance, and fan speed. There are also options to toggle the Win Key, touchpad, and boot-up sound on and off. You can create profiles that can be linked to specific games or apps. There’s also MyAsus where you can check the system diagnostics, battery health, and warranty. You can also contact tech support and prioritize internet bandwidth.

The ROG Strix Scar 18 comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how Asus performed on our Tech Support Showdown ranking.

Bottom line

I don’t think any gaming laptop is worth the exorbitant amount that Asus is pedaling for the ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024). While it does offer stellar performance, there are certain aspects that need to meet the standard of its asking price.

If you want longer battery life, a slightly more colorful display, and much better audio, try fishing for the Razer Blade 16.

But if you can get over the price differential of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 (2024) versus its competitor’s displays, then it’s a fine purchase.

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.