The marketing team as Asus must have worked overtime to promote a couple of new notebook lines, the Strix Hero and Strix Scar, both of which are part of the company's Republic of Gamers (ROG) division. While you would be hard pressed to guess this by looking at the spec sheets, Asus says one is purpose built for MOBA gaming and other is tuned for FPS games.
That doesn't mean you should go kick rocks if your gaming preference lies elsewhere, such as with RTS or RPG games. These laptops pack some impressive hardware for the price and can be used for any gaming genre.
Starting with the single Strix Hero model (GL503VM-DB74), this is a 15.6-inch laptop with a 1920x1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. It uses an IPS panel to deliver 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space, with 178-degree viewing angles (vertical and horizontal).
"The ROG Strix Hero Edition’s display is what sets it apart. It treats players to upgraded senses, enabling them to see the game world via a 120Hz refresh rate that decimates lag and motion blur, so everything is clearer and smoother," Asus says.
That seems to be the crux of the company's pitch to MOBA gamers. Beyond the 120Hz refresh rate, the Strix Hero has a new keyboard layout with four hotkeys, four customizable RGB backlit zones, and ergonomic 0.255mm deep curved keycaps, with 1.8mm travel distance. The QWER keys are highlighted, in case you need to look down while gaming.
Powering this laptop is an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor paired with 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory and a GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB) GPU. It also has a 256GB NVMe SSD, 1TB FireCuda SSHD with 8GB of cache, 2-in-1 memory card reader, HD webcam, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1.
There are lots of connectivity options, including a GbE LAn port, four USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, mini DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, and a combo audio jack.
The MSRP is listed at $1,599.
Moving on, the Strix Scar is the line Asus is aiming at FPS gamers. That claim is based in part on its appearance.
"Taking both its name and design inspiration from the combat assault rifle packed by special forces and used in warfare, the ROG Strix Scar Edition is crafted in gunmetal gray and finished with the cold, dark feel of bullet-proof Kevlar—an outward projection of the inner calm, focus and precision possessed by the finest fighters," Asus says.
We'd say you can't make this stuff up, except someone at Asus apparently did.
Anyway, the Strix Scar is a larger laptop at 17.3 inches. There are two models, one with a 120Hz refresh rate and a GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB) GPU (GL703VM-DB74), and the other with a faster 144Hz refresh rate with G-Sync and a GeForce GTX 1070 GPU (GL503VS-DH74). Both have a 1920x1080 resolution.
The remaining hardware is the same as the Strix Hero, except the WASD keys are highlighted on the Strix Scar models instead of the QWER keys.
Several online vendors have the Strix Scar available for preorder, with the GTX 1060 model going for $1,599 and the GTX 1070 model selling for $1,899.