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ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Review

There are some exciting things with this ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16. Webcams, missing in the past, have been added. There’s also the new 16:10 aspect ratio display, a new format that has gotten increasingly popular of late. We’ll see if this will make a good gamer’s laptop.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 sports a big 16-inch display, but that doesn’t make it larger than the previous ROG Zephyrus G15 or M15, both having slightly smaller 15.6-inch displays. It is, in fact both smaller and lighter. With dimensions coming in at 355 x 243 x 19.9 mm, and weighing 1.9 kg, the ROG Zephyrus M16 is perhaps just so slightly easier to carry around.

The 16-inch display is quite phenomenal. It uses an IPS panel with QHD 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, which gives it a 16:10 aspect ratio. It is matt finished, so you won’t have problems with reflections. With the display’s brightness topping out at 438 nits in my tests, you won’t have problems even working or playing outdoors. The small bezels around the display is also very nice, giving a very expansive experience with 94% screen-to-body ratio.

Quite spectacularly, this display boasts 165 Hz refresh and 3 ms response time. It is Pantone validated and supports Dolby Vision. The specs say 100% DCI-P3, though my own Spyder5PRO tests come in slightly lower — 100%, 83%, 86% and 94% for sRGB, NTSC, AdobeRGB and P3 coverage respectively, which is excellent. It is quite clear, looking at the screen, even without a colourimeter.

Very nice to see that there’s a webcam. It had been missing from the Zephyrus G15 and G14 previously. It’s properly positioned, centred at the top, despite the small bezels there. The 720p resolution, however, as well as the lack of IR, may disappoint some people. While Windows Hello facial recognition is not possible, there is a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button.

The chiclet keyboard is spacious and very comfortable to type on. The keys are slightly on the soft side, and they are quiet to type on. That there is 1.7 mm of key travel is quite amazing. All the keys are in their right place, and there’s an inverted-T arrow keys arrangement which I like very much. This is a perfectly good keyboard for typing.

With N-key rollover support, you can hit the keys in quick succession with the assurance that everyone of them will be reliably and accurately registered.

The keys are backlit in full RGB colours, but only in just a single zone. I’m not crazy with backlit colours, so this is good enough for me, but maybe there are others who long for more fanciful lighting options.

The expansive touchpad is awesome. It’s just over 6-inches across diagonally, giving you lots of room to slide your fingers around. It supports Windows Precision drivers.

Both sides of the ROG Zephyrus M16, as well as the back, have large vents to move as much air as possible in and out of the laptop chassis. ASUS uses 84-blade Arc Flow fans, 6 heatpipes, and Thermal Grizzly liquid metal thermal compound to maximise cooling performance.

Most ports are located on the left side. There is a DC port jack, one HDMI 2.0b port, one RJ45 Gigabe Ethernet LAN port, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, one Thunderbolt 4 port with DisplayPort and Power Delivery support, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port with DisplayPort and Power Delivery support, and one 3.5 mm combo audio jack.

On the right side, you’ll find one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, and a microSD card slot. It may be a bit troublesome initially to remember which is the Thunderbolt port, since there are two on the left with a Type-C connector, or which is the 10 Gbpe USB Type-A port, since the two Type-A connectors are not same.

You’ll notice ASUS’ ErgoLift feature in the photo above. This is a nice trick that opening up the screen lifts the back of the laptop chassis off the surface. This imrpoves airflow under the laptop and also positions the keyboard at a more ergonomic angle. In the ROG Zephyrus M16, the screen can open up a full 180°.

The sound from the ROG Zephyrus M16 is delivered from 6 speakers — 4x 2W woofer with smart app technology, and 2x 2W tweeters. The sound quality is quite impressive for a laptop, with good immersive stereo effect. Those four woofers, however, still doesn’t give the bass that can match a decent desktop speaker setup. Dolby Atmos is supported, and there is a built-in array microphone, with AI noise-cancelling technology.

Under the hood, the ROG Zephyrus M16 is powered by an Intel Core i7-11800H processor with 16 GB of DDR4 memory. It has 1 TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.

For wireless networking, this laptop has Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5. The built-in battery has a 90 WHr capacity. The included AC adapter is rated 240W.

The ROG Zephyrus M16’s performance is outstanding. In PCMark 10 Extended benchmark test, this laptop scored:

  • Overall: 8154
  • Essentials: 9631
  • Productivity: 8809
  • Digital Content Creation: 8876
  • Gaming: 15861

This is in every way superior to the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 UX582 I recently reviewed, despite the latter having the same GPU, but higher end Core i9 processor.

In the Geekbench 5 benchmark, the ROG Zephyrus M16 scores:

  • Single-core: 1499
  • Multi-core: 7230
  • Compute: 7716 (integrated) / 112289 (discrete)

In 3DMark benchmarks:

  • Time Spy: 7809 / 4245 (Extreme)
  • FireStrike: 17232 / 10600 (Extreme) / 5806 (Ultra)

Cinebench R23 benchmark gave the ROG Zephyrus M16 a score of 12241.

In the PCMark 10 Modern Office battery tests, this laptop ran for 5 hours and 1 minute. This is a little on the short side, though perhaps could still count as decent for a laptop of this class.

In the box, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 comes with the ROG Impact Gaming Mouse, and a ROG backpack.

Overall, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 seems like all around a good, performant, laptop that can take all your AAA games while still being not too clunky to carry around. The excellent screen, with its colour accuracy, makes this laptop also useful to content creators.

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