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ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 Review

It didn’t seem like that long ago when I last reviewed an ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15. ASUS has an update to that, and I think the new G533 is truly quite phenomenal. It’s easily the kind of dream laptop a gamer will love to have.

The new G533 shares many similarities with the previous GL532. The changes, however, are very significant highlights. For those who are familiar with the GL352, let me just give it to you the TL;DR version. The G533 turns to team red, offering AMD’s top-end Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, and bumping RAM to 32 GB. The GPU is upgraded to the 16 GB NVIDIA RTX 3080. It’s an absolutely sweet portable gaming powerhouse.

We expect gaming rigs to be clunky. I recall the days when I was stunned by a ROG laptop that came with a suitcase for carrying it around. The G533 is nothing like an ultra-thin, but it has become remarkably compact. The dimensions standing at 354 x 259 x 22.6 mm, the G533 is not significantly larger than some regular non-gaming laptops. That, despite it containing an RTX 3080 within. At 2.3 kg, it’s hefty, but just remember about that RTX 3080 inside, and now it seems pretty alright. I mean, it’s even lighter than the GL532.

Allow me to just lay down the specs, comparing it with the GL532.

GL533 (new)GL532 (old)
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Processor 3.3 GHz, up to 4.6 GHz, 16M cacheIntel Core i7-10876H 2.3 GHz Processor, up to 5.1 GHz, 16 MB cache
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Super with 16 GB GDDR6 VRAMNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super with 8 GB GDDR6 VRAM
Memory32 GB DDR4 3200Mhz16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz
Storage1 TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe 3.01 TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0
Display15.6″ Full HD 1920×1080 resolution, 300 Hz refresh rate15.6-inch Full HD 1920×1080 resolution, 300 Hz refresh rate
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (Gig+), 2×2, with RangeBoostWi-Fi 6 (Gig+), 2×2, with RangeBoost
Ports1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 with DP and PD; 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A; 1x HDMI 2.0b; Gigabit Ethernet1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 with DP and G-Sync; 3x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1; HDMI 2.0b; Gigabit Ethernet
Dimensions354 x 259 x 22.6 mm360 x 275 x 24.9 mm
Weight2.3 kg2.57 kg

Then, the performance of the G533 is just absolutely impressive. Again, let me put it in a table to compare with the GL532.

G533 (new)GL532 (old)
PCMark 10 Extended (Overall)74366885
Geekbench 5 (single-core)14901349
Geekbench 5 (multi-core)83556991
Geekbench 5 (IGPU)176136088
Geekbench 5 (DGPU)14068791845
Cinebench R23124199895
3DMark Time Spy104857861
3DMark FireStrike2354517952
3DMark FireStrike Extreme105689424

The G533 absolutely destroyed the GL532 in every way.

Battery longevity is surprisingly good when you just to use the G533 for casual work. PCMark 10 battery test with the Modern Office profile ran for 5 hours 50 minutes. So when you’re not gaming, you could reasonably take the G533 out to a cafe to get some work done without needing to worry about needing a power supply.

Performance and specs aside, the G533 also sports a tweak in its appearance. See the translucent shell on a part of the keyboard deck? The see-through look makes the G533 look quite interesting, without resorting to overly flashy design. There’s still abundant RGB lights all around the base, so this is going to have the unmistakable laptop look when you turn the lights on.

If you feel the need to customise the look of the G533, there are these customizable “Armor Caps” in the top left corner of the laptop. ASUS provides two additional Armor Caps in the box. You could also 3D print your own, if you are really into it, using the template provided.

The optical-mechanical keyboard is absolutely a joy to type on. The tactile feedback is excellent, and there is abundant key travel. The keys are also RGB-backlit, as you’d probably expect from a gaming laptop. Do note that the five special keys at the top are normal, non-mechanical.

Below the keyboard deck, there’s a generously-sized trackpad. Like you see in recent ASUS laptops, the trackpad can also double up as a number pad, good for times when you need to do lots of numeric data entry.

The G533 has a generous selection of ports, which I listed with the specifications above. A handful of them are located on the back, so that there is more space for large ventilation holes on the side. There’s also ASUS’ proprietary Keystone 2 port for their proprietary storage used for easy transfer of system and game profiles between supported ROG devices.

Unlike the fancier thermal designs that ASUS has adopted in some of their laptops, the G533 just goes with simple vents on the chassis. The bottom, too, has plenty of ventilation holes.

The G533 has a nice, 15.6-inch, matt-finish, Full HD 1920×1080 display with a really fast 300 Hz refresh rate. It’s not particularly bright, maxing out at 268 nits in my tests. I know it’s still quite common for gaming laptops to just sport Full HD resolution, but with a 15.6-inch display, I thought it might be nice at some point for gaming laptops to start going for higher resolution.

Like the GL532, there is no built-in webcam, though an external one is bundled. The external webcam has pretty good quality, though I’d rather not deal with the hassle of needing to carry one around.

For connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6. You also get wired Gigabit Ethernet. There’s also Bluetooth 5.1.

In the box, the G533 comes with two power bricks (one of which is a USB PD charger), a really good headset, and a webcam.

The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 G533 as configured in this review retails at $4,798. It’s a little pricey, but that’s probably what it has to be for such an amazing portable gaming rig.

Summary

A little expensive, but the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 G533 is a gamer’s dream laptop.

Highlights:

  • Extreme performance
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Generous selection of ports
  • Looks great without being too flashy

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