Audio, network and gaming features
Asus reports little about the audio features of the ROG Strix Hero II and Scar II, other than the speakers. Those are definitely up to scratch. They are placed on both sides and not only are they surprisingly loud, but they also know how to produce something that somewhat sound like decent bass. Asus has all kinds of interesting explanations for this, but in short, they do surprisingly good job for notebook speakers with a 3.5W amplifier. Other than that, the audio features are meagre: a single 3.5 mm plug for a headset, and no separate features such as a headphone amplifier, subwoofer or additional connections. Since about 100 percent of the target group is likely to be using a USB headset, we don't think this is a big issue.
In any case, not too much has been saved on network features. The wired connection is controlled by a somewhat meagre Realtek controller, but gigabit is gigabit in most cases. The wireless connection is a lot more interesting for a laptop and Asus fortunately assembles a real, full-fledged Intel 802.11ac 2x2 controller and also a very modern one, namely the Wireless-AC 9550. It also provides Bluetooth 5, by the way.
Looking at the test results, we see excellent scores, where we are also very pleased with the results at 2.4 GHz - after all, many of us still use them because of the extra range. At 5 GHz it is also a party. In short, nothing wrong with the network feature set.
- 2.4 GHz send
- 2.4 GHz receive
- 5 GHz send
- 5 GHz receive
We would have liked to have reported something from our tests here, because Asus is doing a lot of work on the software suite that the company supplies, as shown by its own website. Unfortunately, there was nothing installed on our laptops. Pleasant of course for those who are averse to any kind of bloatware, but Asus doesn't necessarily deliver it - and some of the utilities are just useful. The software can be accessed by pressing the ROG button above the function keys. In the ROG Center you can adjust the fan settings, use Aura Core to adjust the keypad lighting and Aura Sync to your own taste and adjust the screen display with GameVisual.
Furthermore, Asus GameFirst, a network driver annex utility that prioritizes game traffic over other traffic; Sonic Studio III to optimize audio settings, including noise and echo cancellation; Sonic Radar III to turn audio signals into visual cues where your opponents are located. Asus also offers a lifelong subscription to XSplit Gamecaster and an Android/iOS app to remotely adjust settings on your laptop.