Asus' new ROG Strix laptops deliver a thinner bezel, 144Hz IPS screen and improved cooling

Asus brought a pair of new Strix laptops to Computex 2018, outfitted with some new Coffee Lake CPUs and swanky new screens. It wisely ditched last year's TN screen and fat plastic bezels for big improvements in both tech and aesthetics. The 2018 Strix fits a 15.6-inch screen into a body that's almost an inch narrower than last year's thanks to a much narrower bezel. And this time around it's a 144Hz refresh, 3 ms response time IPS display, much like our favorite gaming monitors.

There are two versions of the Strix to choose from: the Hero II and the Scar II, which Asus is targeting at MOBA players and FPS players, respectively. The core system is the same in each model, with a six-core Coffee Lake processor and some improved cooling. The fans are a bit more powerful this year, running on 12 volts, with a few more blades; the radiator fins are also thinner and more tightly packed, which Asus claims improved heat dissipation by up to 10 percent.

There are some minor aesthetic differences between the Hero II and Scar II. The Hero II has special QWER keycaps, while the Scar II highlights WASD. The palmrest surface and lids of the two models are also styled differently.

The important thing is what they're packing on the graphics front: the Hero II starts at $1699 and comes with a GTX 1060, while the Scar II has a GTX 1070 GPU and starts at $1999. You can see the full specs for both laptops at the Amazon links above. Both systems should be available starting today.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).