ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the ROG Strix (GL504) Hero II and SCAR II, all-new versions of the successful esports gaming laptops built exclusively for multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) or first-person shooter (FPS) titles. Both offer a narrow-bezel design that allows for a more immersive experience for gaming on the go. Their slim frame makes the display feel more expansive and keeps focus on the class-leading panel, whose 144Hz refresh rate and ultra-fast 3-ms response elicit unparalleled smoothness and exceptional clarity. In addition, both are equipped with Intel six-core Coffee Lake processors and NVIDIA 10-series GeForce GTX graphics capable of delivering triple-digit frame rates in popular esports titles. Carefully tuned cooling, via proprietary HyperCool Pro technology keeps crucial components running at top speed during intense gaming sessions, and other improvements included an enhanced HyperStrike Pro keyboard, upgraded the lighting, and a four-antenna WiFi system enhanced with ROG RangeBoost for faster, improved connectivity.
The ROG Strix Hero II is identifiable by the diagonal 3D texture on the lid and cyberpunk pattern on the palm rest. With GTX 1060 graphics, it’s ideal for serving up triple-digit framerates in battle arenas. The ROG Strix SCAR II is the weapon of choice for first-person shooters. It’s designed for battle with a camouflage-and-Kevlar finish, and is available with up to GTX 1070 graphics to handle the more demanding GPU requirements typical of FPS titles.
Superior, narrow-bezel gaming display with 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms GTG time
The ROG Strix laptops have a thinner bezel that allows for a bigger display inside a more compact chassis. Despite packing a similarly sized 15.6″ screen to its ROG Strix (GL503) predecessor, the ROG Strix are nearly an inch narrower, and the smaller footprint also takes up less lap and tabletop space. The thinner borders around the display create a more vivid image, and the thicker bezel and the bottom elevates the screen to a comfortable viewing height.
Because refresh rate and response time are top priorities for hardcore gaming and competitive esports, ASUS worked closely with panel maker AUO to develop a narrow-bezel display that meets the exacting specifications required. Only available on the ROG Strix laptops, this IPS-type panel pairs a blazing 144Hz refresh rate and quick 3-ms response time. The higher refresh rate enables a true 144-FPS experience with minimal input lag, while the faster response reduces ghosting and blurring to produce a clearer picture. These benefits are an advantage in any gaming situation, and they’re especially vital for esports, where professional players require virtually instantaneous translation between thought and action.
High Performance, Professional-Grade Components
The new ROG Strix gaming laptops are powered by up to the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor with up to 32GB of DDR4 2666MHz memory. Delivering high-refresh rate requires a high-powered GPU. The ROG Strix laptops use Pascal-based discrete graphics and are available with a GeForce GTX 1060 that can reach triple-digit frame rates in top esports titles or a GTX 1070 that provides additional power for AAA blockbusters and demanding games. Both GPUs are virtual reality (VR) Ready to allow for an even more immersive experience. For storage, it can be specified with up to a 512GB M.2 NVMe SDD and a 1TB Seagate FireCuda solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD).
The 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H six-core CPU is 23% more powerful than previous-generation processors. Intel Speed Shift and Turbo Boost technologies also push the processor to speeds of up to 4GHz (four-core) and 3.9GHz (six-core) respectively. Intel Hyper-Threading enables up to 12 threads to handle every task quickly and efficiently, including simultaneous gaming, recording, and live-streaming. In addition, the laptops have up to 32GB of DDR4 2666MHz dual-channel memory for faster processing speeds and lower power consumption.
The 512GB M.2 NVMe SDD offers a potential bandwidth of up to 32Gbps, compared to 6Gbps from SATA III, so the user experience is faster and smoother. When used as primary storage or as a secondary drive to support the SSD, the 5400rpm FireCuda SSHD loads games in less than half the time taken by the 1TB 7200rpm HDDs used in competing laptops – and it’s quieter. The SSHD takes note of the most frequently used files, and caches them onto its onboard flash memory for faster file access speeds.
Advanced Proprietary Cooling with HyperCool Pro, for Continuous Gaming
To avoid overheating, the ROG Strix’s HyperCool Pro System keeps key components at comfortable temperatures at all times, without reducing clock speeds and game performance. Heatpipes transfer thermal energy from the CPU and GPU to radiators on the perimeter of the chassis keeping chipset power components below 90°C. The metal heat spreaders normally reserved for these chips are also found on the graphics memory and VRMs, allowing the cooling system to dissipate thermals from additional components. The Strix SCAR II (GL504GS) version of the laptop with GTX 1070 graphics go even further by adding extra heatpipes for the GPU and VRMs to combat the additional heat produced by the powerful processors.
Dual blowers force air over the radiators and out of the chassis. The blowers run on 12V power to enable higher rotational speeds and pack more blades to increase the airflow generated by each revolution. The radiator fins are only 0.1 mm thick, allowing for a greater number of fins per stack to increase the surface area without impeding airflow. This increases the surface area for heat dissipation by up to 10%, and reduces air resistance by 7%. Since gaming causes the GPU to expel more heat than any other component, a second radiator and blower outlet were added. Dust tunnels on each blower direct particles and dirt away from the radiators, preventing buildup that can reduce the cooling system’s effectiveness over time. The patented trapezoid-cut lid on also improves thermal efficiency by up to 27% over traditional designs.
Users are able to manage cooling preferences through multiple profiles and modes. By default, an intelligent algorithm automatically adjusts fan speeds to balance thermals and acoustics. Users also have the option to activate “Overboost mode” to ramp up cooling performance or choose “Silent mode” for stealthier operation.
Gaming keyboard with HyperStrike Pro and Aura Sync technology
Despite its compact footprint, the Strix laptops are equipped with a full-size keyboard and an accompanying numpad with HyperStrike Pro technology for decisive command and control. The desktop-style layout features familiar spacing between the function for a more natural transition when switching from desktop to laptop. Four dedicated hotkeys sit just above the keyboard to provide quick access to mute and volume controls, as well as the ROG Gaming Center application which allows for easy access to adjust system settings and monitor performance.
The keyboard is designed to endure fierce gaming and grueling competition. With a lifespan of 20 million key presses, it’s durable enough to survive years of intense gaming marathons. 1.8 mm of key travel is enhanced by ASUS’ Overstroke technology, which moves the actuation point higher so inputs register sooner. Overstroke makes it easier to rapidly execute commands during intense bouts, while N-key rollover ensures every press registers, even if multiple keys are pressed simultaneously.
Improved keyboard lighting extends across four distinct keyboard zones. Individual key edges are translucent and extend deeper toward the deck, allowing for more even light diffusion to eliminate glare. It also increases the keyboard’s total light output allowing for darker white lettering on the caps to improve legibility when the backlighting is off. Four fully translucent caps make it easier to find the ‘home rows’ for different genres. The Strix Hero II highlights the QWER keys for MOBA-oriented gaming, while the FSP-oriented Strix SCAR II marks WASD instead.
Additional RGB illumination is produced through the light bar on the front edge and ROG logo on the lid. Support for Aura Sync allows coordination of colors and effects across the laptop and compatible peripherals, like the new Gladius II Wireless mouse and Delta Type-C headset, extending customized color schemes to all accessories for maximum visual impact.
ROG RangeBoost technology for zero dead spots
Since a strong and stable network connection is a must for online gaming, the ROG Strix’s integrated 802.11ac WiFi is based on Intel’s latest Wave 2 solution, which is capable of greater than Gigabit speeds when connected to compatible routers (like the ROG Rapture GT-AC5300). The ROG Strix laptops are the first to contain a wireless card hooked up to four antennas paired with ASUS’ RangeBoost technology. ASUS RangeBoost continually monitors the antennas to determine which have the best signal and automatically switch to ensure use of the best pair for connectivity resulting in 30%-wider coverage than dual-antenna configurations. As wireless networks are more prone to interference and lag than hardwired alternatives, the ROG Strix laptops have Gigabit Ethernet for serious multiplayer matches.
Connectivity and storage for any gaming scenario
While the ROG Strix laptops are optimized for gaming on the go, ample connectivity and storage allow for more permanent setups at home as well. Multiple display outputs are available, including HDMI 2.0 for 4K output at 60Hz, and Mini DisplayPort are included for connecting to larger external monitors, like the ROG Swift desktop monitor with G-Sync support. Plenty of USB ports are included for peripherals, including VR gear, and one is Type-C for next-gen devices. Onboard storage is split between an M.2 NVMe SDD that provides users with lightning-quick load times for their favorite games and applications, and a 2.5″ SATA drive provides ample storage to allow users to continue to build their game libraries. Configurations will also be available with SATA SSHDs that utilize flash-based cache memory to speed up load times for games that don’t fit on the SSD.
Clearer, louder audio
Both laptops deliver clearer, louder, and more accurate audio via powerful side-firing speakers that provide immersive sound. Smart-amplifier technology monitors audio output and makes real-time adjustments, with audio output up to 200% louder than before, with increased dynamic range and bass. Sonic Studio III provides high quality in-game audio, surround sound for headphones, as well as improved streaming and audio recording for perfect voice pickup and noise reduction.