Pro Tip: Check out our Best Gaming Laptops feature for a wide variety of gaming machines in several categories. The Asus Strix Scar 16 and Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen8) both won our Best Premium Gaming Laptop award, and for good reason…
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 represents a huge leap forward in the world of high-performance gaming laptops. This 2023 model, especially in the Core i9 and RTX 4080 variant, features a combination of impressive performance, a competitive price point, and an eye-catching mini LED display.
The 16-inch, 16:10 miniLED panel, which Asus likes to call the “ROG Nebula HDR” display, is a highlight. It offers a 240Hz refresh rate on a 2560 x 1600 display, fast response times, 100% sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, and 1,024 dimming zones. It can also reach over 1,100 nits of peak brightness, ensuring excellent HDR performance. Vivid colors and brightness make it ideal for both gaming and media consumption.
The Scar 16’s renewed semi-transparent design is as sturdy as ever, offering something that feels solid and well-built if a little heavier than previous models. The body features sharp edges and corners that are easy to use, and the hinges allow for easy adjustments to the screen. It is also covered in RGB lighting.
ROG Strix Scar comes in two versions with Nebula Display: one with RTX 4090 ($3600(And the other is an RTX 4080 screen)$2,899.99). Both have a 13th-gen Core i9-13980HX processor, and you can add up to 64GB of RAM as well; The performance on display here is brutal. A less expensive version without a miniLED display (FHD 165Hz) with the RTX 4070 is offered at a much lower price ($1699), while retaining the same Core i9 chip.
There are also plenty of connectivity options, including Thunderbolt 4 support, although the ports are only on the sides as the back is dedicated to cooling. Other reasons to buy include a quad-speaker Dolby Atmos system, a virtual numeric keypad on the trackpad, good battery life for a gaming laptop, and a built-in microphone.
Some of the less welcoming items include the Strix, which gets quite warm after prolonged use. It also lacks biometrics features like an infrared camera or fingerprint sensor, and the 4080/4090-only models are more expensive. However, that stunning display, great design, top-level performance, and solid build quality make the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 an excellent choice for those who want a true gaming laptop.
A worthy joint winner
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (8th generation)
If you want a 16-inch laptop that offers a similar configuration to the Strix with a less extravagant design and can do without the miniLED display, check out the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i (Gen 8). Like the Asus, the Legion can be equipped with up to an RTX 4090, while all models come with an Intel Core i9-13900HX processor.
Where the two devices differ most is the display. The Legion has the same 2560 x 1600 resolution (WQXGA, 16:10) with a 240Hz refresh rate, and it looks beautiful. But the 500 nits brightness and HDR 400 certification show how it doesn’t compare to the Strix’s stunning MiniLED display.
At the time of writing this article, the price of the RTX 4080 model has been reduced to $2,849 $2,249So it’s good value. It also has a larger design, even with enough RGB lighting to please fans.
Other features include Coldfront 5.0 thermal technology, Lenovo’s usual excellent keyboard, and the ability to squeeze so much performance out of the RTX 4080 (150W TGP) that it can match some RTX 4090-powered laptops when it comes to frame rates.
Battery life may be on the weaker side, but the Legion Pro 7i’s power and competitive price make it a worthy joint winner.
“Hipster-friendly explorer. Award-winning coffee fanatic. Analyst. Problem solver. Troublemaker.”