Aug 16, 2018 Written by: Geoff_Gasior

The ROG Strix SCAR II brings super-narrow bezels to 17” gaming laptops

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At Computex 2018, the Republic of Gamers set a new standard for gaming laptops by framing an ultra-fast panel with super-narrow bezels. The 15.6” ROG Strix SCAR II and Hero II introduced an unrivaled combination of fast pixels and thin borders that draw you deeper into games. Today, we extend that advantage by bringing the same speed and slimness to a larger 17” screen that intensifies the experience.

Like its smaller sibling, the ROG Strix SCAR II GL704 comes with powerful components and innovative features, including the latest 8th-gen Intel processors and 10-series GeForce graphics, along with self-cleaning cooling and antenna-hopping Wave 2 WiFi. But it makes a bigger splash that’s only available from ROG.

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These small display bezels are a pretty big deal

Shrinking the frame does more than just increase the impact of everything on the screen. It also lets us make the footprint more compact, which is especially important with larger screen sizes. The Strix SCAR II puts a 17” display into a 15.7” body that fits more easily into tight spaces and packed bags. This is the first 17” laptop under 400mm wide, which is only possible because of the super-narrow bezels surrounding the display on three sides.

The 7.05-mm borders are up to 50% narrower than on other 17” gaming laptops, putting the Strix SCAR II at the front of the pack. Our close collaboration with panel maker AUO enables ROG gaming laptops to consistently offer class-leading displays that balance blazing speed with beautiful picture quality. Together we pushed AUO’s IPS-type AHVA technology to 120Hz, doubling the speed of conventional laptop displays. Then we commissioned chemical giant Merck to create a custom liquid crystal structure and carrier liquid for a faster 144Hz panel with a quicker 7-ms response time. We raised the bar again by cutting the pixel transition time to just 3 ms for the most recent round of 8th-gen ROG gaming laptops, and now we’re combining the same silky gameplay and crisp visuals with super-narrow bezels that heighten immersion.

High-performance displays are essential for esports, where mere milliseconds can be the difference between victory and defeat. Their lower input lag and reduced blurring provides a competitive edge, while smoother movement keeps attention focused on the action. The SCAR II GL704 amplifies the effect with a bigger stage that’s more captivating on size alone. Everything is larger and easier to see, which can be especially helpful with distant enemies that are difficult to target.

Complete sRGB coverage ensures that the screen can show a full range of vivid colors, so games look as the developers intended. The rich palette stays true over wide viewing angles, too. You can gather around for split-screen play or group binge-watching, and the SCAR II will give everyone a good view.

Smarter cooling maximizes performance for the long haul

The display’s versatility is accentuated by a balanced core that can effortlessly transition between serious work and hardcore play. With an Intel 8th Generation processor up to the Core i7-8750H, the SCAR II boasts as many as six cores and 12 threads primed for demanding multithreaded workloads. The CPU is also a multitasking monster with headroom for live-streaming and recording while gaming. It’s joined by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GPU that pushes triple-digit frame rates in popular esports titles. Ready for VR and capable of accelerating professional pursuits like content creation, this discrete graphics chip is part of a powerful one-two punch that lets the SCAR II take on any task.

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Laptops have limited space to dissipate heat, so we devote significant effort to cutting-edge cooling. The HyperCool Pro system under the hood spreads across three heatsinks and two fans. One heatsink is linked exclusively to the GPU to handle the additional heat produced by typical gaming loads. The other two are shared to ensure optimal cooling performance with a wide range of scenarios, including situations where the CPU is doing most of the work. Each heatsink is lined with incredibly thin copper fins that let us add more fins to increase surface area for heat dissipation while at the same time reducing resistance to airflow. Patented trapezoid cuts in the lid ensure that it doesn’t impede the flow of warm air out the exhaust vents at the back.

Airflow is generated by separate CPU and GPU fans running on 12V power that enables higher RPMs than conventional 5V alternatives. The fans are self-cleaning, with special anti-dust tunnels that direct particles out of the system to prevent debris from accumulating on the heatsinks. Keeping the fins clear ensures consistent cooling performance over time and helps to improve long-term reliability and stability.

Built to light up the battlefield

The Strix SCAR II lives up to its FPS inspiration with contrasting camouflage and woven finishes created with an eight-stage IMR process. A hairline finish brushes across the Gun Metal lid, while the copper cooling fins provide flashes of color through the vents.

Extensive RGB lighting lets you customize the looks with a personalized glow across four zones in the keyboard, two zones for the light bar stretching across the front edge, and one zone for the ROG logo on the lid. With Aura Sync, matching colors and effects with compatible components takes only a few clicks, enabling perfectly synchronized setups that extend from the laptop to peripherals like the Strix Fusion 700 headset and Gladius II Origin mouse.

Rather than just adding more RGB LEDs, we took steps to improve the quality of the illumination. The translucent edges of the key caps extend deeper into the deck to diffuse the piercing glow often visible when backlit keyboards are viewed at an angle. This clever tweak actually increases the total light output, which allows us to use darker lettering on the key caps to improve visibility when you want to keep a stealthier profile with Aura turned off.

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The desktop-style keyboard layout puts everything in the right place, like a wider space bar that sits comfortably under your thumb, and separated blocks of function keys that make shortcuts easier to execute. Dedicated hotkeys for volume and microphone mute sit within reach, so you can make quick adjustments without disrupting the flow of the game. The underlying switches are rated for 20 million key presses, which is enough to survive multiple tours of duty. Overstroke technology fires halfway through the 1.8mm of travel, providing faster response than traditional switches that actuate lower in the stroke, plus more bottom-out travel that improves the overall typing feel.

Stacking the spec sheet improves versatility

The Strix SCAR II GL704 sports a well-rounded spec loaded with connectivity, including support for gigabit-class networking speeds for wired and wireless networks. Intel’s latest 802.11ac Wave 2 WiFi uses faster frequencies to reach higher speeds with compatible routers like the ROG Rapture GT-AC5300. We add intelligent RangeBoost technology that uses additional antennas to extend range. RangeBoost constantly monitors signal strength across multiple antennas and automatically shifts to the ones with the strongest connection.

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There are enough I/O ports for multiple displays, allowing you to easily power a full battlestation. The Mini DisplayPort output supports G-Sync gaming monitors, while the HDMI 2.0 out can drive 4K monitors and big-screen TVs at 60Hz. Four Type-A USB ports are ready for a range of peripherals and VR gear, and the reversible Type-C port has you covered for next-gen devices. The USB-C and one USB-A port also support faster USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds up to a theoretical peak of 10Gbps.

Internal storage is split between an M.2 NVMe SSD that loads games and applications at warp speed, plus a secondary 1TB drive with extra capacity for your growing collection. Options for the auxiliary drive include standard HDDs or an SSHD that caches frequently used data to improve load times for all your favorite titles. And you can add up to 32GB of DDR4-2666 memory, providing a flexible foundation for work and play.

Smart amplifier technology lets you crank up the volume without blowing the speakers. Serious gamers prefer headsets for greater immersion, and our Sonic Studio software puts you in the middle of the action by virtualizing surround sound for stereo devices plugged into the 3.5-mm audio jack. Thanks to a new APO injection feature, virtual surround sound and other effects are also compatible with USB headsets, external DACs, and virtual reality HMDs.

Armoury Crate unifies system settings and lighting

After years of separate utilities for ROG systems and components, we’re introducing a unified platform that puts the most important settings at your fingertips. Armoury Crate currently covers system settings and Aura Sync lighting, and you can save changes to one of four profiles that automatically load your preferences for specific games and applications. The companion Mobile Dashboard extends the interface to Android and iOS devices, allowing remote monitoring and adjustment without alt-tabbing away from your game.

Armoury Crate has multiple system profiles with different performance and acoustic targets. Turbo mode is best for serious gaming, Silent mode cuts noise output for watching movies or surfing the web, and Balanced mode occupies a middle ground between the two. The app isn’t necessary to switch modes, though. Hitting Fn + F5 cycles through the options if you want to make quick, on-the-fly adjustments.

  ROG Strix Scar II GL704
Processor 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H
8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H
Display 17.3" IPS-type FHD (1920 x 1080) with 100% sRGB
144Hz refresh rate with 3ms GtG response time
60Hz refresh rate (optional)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Memory Up to 32GB DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM
Storage M.2 NVMe PCIe 128GB / 256GB / 512GB SSD
2.5” 5400rpm 1TB SSHD
2.5” 5400rpm / 7200rpm 1TB HDD
Wireless 802.11ac 2x2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi Bluetooth® 5.0
Connectivity 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 1 x mini DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x RJ-45 jack, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x 3.5-mm audio combo
Audio 2 x speakers with smart-amplifier technology
Array microphone
OS Windows 10 Home / Pro
Size 39.98 x 27.35 x 2.49~2.64 cm
Weight 2.9kg

Choose the right size for the job

The 17” ROG Strix SCAR II GL704 augments our existing lineup of 15” SCAR II and Hero II variants based on the GL504. It’s very similar apart from the larger display, providing esports competitors and everyday gamers with another high-performance option tune for hardcore play. The ROG Strix Scar II GL704 is available in the US from the retailers listed below. Gamers outside of the US should check with local ROG representative about configuration and pricing details for their region.

  ROG Strix Scar II GL704GM-DH74
Specs Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB, 16GB 2666MHz, 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe + 1TB 5400rpm HDD
Price $1,699.99 USD
Availability (USA) Newegg, Amazon, Excaliber PC, HID Evolution, iBuyPower, Mobile Advance, B&H

 

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