ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 review: GAMING according to ASUS!

As long as I can remember, Asus' ROG series (which stands for Republic of Gamers) has always been the benchmark for gaming in the notebook sector; indeed, the company's products represent the maximum you could wish for in terms of pure power, considering that they almost always arrive on the market with the latest innovations presented by hardware component manufacturers.

In the last few days I had the opportunity to try after a bit of courtship at the Asus press office, the new ROG Zephyrus M16, a laptop that manages to combine design, compactness and super performance: with this the review could be considered concluded, but there are a few more things you should know.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 review

Design and Materials

Zephyrus M16 is a notebook that certainly does not go unnoticed, as indeed is the tradition for all notebooks (including those of the past) produced by Asus in the Republic of Gamers series. The notebook in analysis today is made of plastic even if with different finishes from what we usually see: Asus here has used an almost rubberized and opaque coating which helps to make the device very robust and resistant on the one hand, but above all very fast to capture fingerprints and getting dirty, but poco it matters.

What worries me about this finish, which I personally love a lot, is the durability over time but above all the tendency to “detach” in the event of bumps or a bit more clumsy use; I know, nothing is eternal, of course, but on the other hand this Asus is forgiven for an exceptional assembly and for a set of ports that will not make you feel the lack of anything. On the other hand, its dimensions are not the smallest, 35.5 x 24.3 x 1.99cm and exactly 2kg.

The design, on the other hand, is accurate and this is not obvious on a gaming notebook, well known and almost necessarily tamarri. Zephyrus M16 has a “perforated” cover on the back that reflects the light and creates pretty nice plays of light. The Ergolift hinge with which it is equipped allows the PC to be opened up to 180 degrees, even if frankly I did not fully understand its usefulness; it is intelligent, however, to open poco higher than 90 degrees which allows you to raise the laptop by a couple of centimeters in order to allow for more effective dissipation.

Speaking of dissipation, the notebook has two rather large slits on both sides that occupy practically more than a third of the available space on the sides and two more in the center of the device that throw hot air near the screen, and this solution did not convince me. fully. If on the one hand Asus has done a great job of assembling and choosing the materials, on the other hand it has left out some small details like these that, frankly, are not expected from a company that is a point of reference in the sector.

The three status LEDs of the notebook have also been inserted in the same position: their position, alas, is not exceptional as the light tends to reflect practically always on the screen. They are trifles, I know, but they are details that cannot go unnoticed.

Furthermore, as regards the allocation of ports, we are faced with practically everything that is necessary: ​​on the left side there is the connector for the power supply, the HDMI 2.0b port, a LAN, a USB-A 3.1 port, a USB-C Thurbolt 4, a traditional USB C and the combined 3.5mm jack for audio output and input.

The right side is a little more minimal and has another USB-A 3.1 port, the MicroSD input and the Kensington Lock.

Display

If there is one thing that is extremely beautiful and striking at first glance about this Zephyrus M16, that is the display, without a shadow of a doubt. The notebook from Asus is equipped with a 16 "inch IPS panel with WQHD 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, 3% DCI-P100 color coverage and support for a high refresh rate up to 165Hz, an uncommon value on traditional notebooks but more common on those dedicated purely to gaming.

Asus openly certifies the characteristics of its display, a sign of the great interest in this sector: the company calls it ROG Nebula and certifies, in fact, the 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, the possibility of reaching 500 nits and times of response less than 3ms.

In practice, this panel is majestic: first of all it has a matte finish that clearly reduces reflections on the display and always guarantees an optimal view, and in addition it has a Pantone certified color calibration, which means colors faithfully reproduced to reality. Furthermore, on all four sides, the company has tried to maintain symmetries by reducing the thickness of the frames as much as possible, which are identical on all four sides.

Speakers and Audio Quality

Despite the fact that gamers know how to use headphones during gaming sessions, Asus did not want to save on the multimedia front and has included four quality speakers on board its Zephyrus M16.

In detail, these are 2 dual force woofers inserted in the lower part of the notebook and two tweeters inserted in the upper part. In practice, the audio coming from the notebook is of the highest quality, perhaps among the best ever heard on board a laptop, really congratulations to Asus, especially for being able to optimize the lower frequencies well.

Hardware and Performance

That this notebook was a beast, it was not even to be doubted, but on the other hand the presence of the ROG brand on the body automatically triggers the idea of ​​performance and power, lots of power. It is no coincidence that the unit I received for testing is probably the most powerful in circulation of this Zephyrus M16 (product code GU603HR) and, most likely, it is not destined for the market due to some small differences.

The notebook is equipped, in fact, with an 9th generation Intel Core i11900-32H processor, 4GB of DDR3200-2MHz RAM memory, 4.0TB of NvME PCIe 3070 SSD and a double GPU, the first Iris XE integrated into the CPU and the second dedicated Nvidia RTX 8 with XNUMXGB of vRAM.

Although the Gen. 2022 of these notebooks is already on the market, the hardware equipped on this Zephyrus M16 is one of the best still in circulation, especially the Core i9-11900H CPU clocked at up to 4,9GHz and TDP at 45W which ensures best-in-class performance.

The great work of Asus can be seen above all in the system apps that allow you to adjust the power of the notebook hardware according to the usage scenarios and the real needs: in essence, the modes present are four, silent, performance, turbo and manual and I can guarantee you that with each profile it will feel like you are using a different notebook.

  • The silent mode is the one that casts a lot on the notebook and I recommend it only in case of office use or if you are watching a movie or simply browsing online, where you do not need a lot of power and it is more important to extend the battery life.
  • The performance profile is the most balanced and available active by default when the computer is turned on, the CPU and GPU frequencies are stock and the fans work at 50%
  • The turbo profile, as the name implies, is what pushes the notebook to extreme levels: the CPU and GPU clocks are increased (about 100MHz more for each core and 120Mhz more on the memories) and the fans run at maximum power, this means yes high-level performance but also a high computer noise and with peaks up to about 65 dB.
  • The manual profile, on the other hand, allows you to create a personal preset where you can choose the various settings of each individual component. It is the profile that I prefer because you can dose the power manually and limit, above all, the noise of the notebook and the fans by adjusting the speed in a personalized way. However, I recommend that you carefully modify the values ​​in this section and act on the parameters in a rational way. This mode and the previous one are only available when the notebook is connected to power.

I do not want to dwell much on analyzing the results in the benchmarks and, indeed, I would like to spend a few more words in the behavior of the notebook in practice in gaming.

I took three titles into consideration for testing, the heavier Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty Warzone and a quieter FIFA 2021 (forgive me, but this year 2022 I refused to buy it). I start from the first, a title that has now reached its maturity after a lot of patches and the initial "disaster" at launch which is, among other things, optimized for Nvidia RTX video cards.

The performance with Cyberpunk with DirectX 12, ultra details and Automatic DLSS are good, as long as you use the Turbo mode and are connected to the mains: in detail I managed to get an average of 55 fps in FullHD + resolution, but significantly lower when I used the maximum resolution of the panel, about 40 fps.

The story is different with Call of Duty which is a bit lighter and, always with the turbo profile active, manages to have an average of 90 fps at maximum resolution and exceeds 120fps when we downscale the resolution to FullHD +.

FIFA2021, on the other hand, is a title whose graphics settings are more banal and poco dedicated to pro-user, so there is only the possibility to choose the graphic quality on five levels, the resolution and eventually limit the frames to 30 or 60; however, the performance here is good with any setting we use, also because it is a title more suitable even for lower-end PCs.

In all this, the CPU temperatures hover, on average, around 77 degrees although, at times, the maximum peaks reached are a bit worrying, around 97-98 degrees. Nvidia's GPU, on the other hand, always remains constant around 75 degrees during gaming sessions. What, however, slightly influences the gaming video experience is undoubtedly the noise of the fans which when you are in the game are perpetually at their maximum power.

Keyboard and Touchpad

When you are faced with finishes of this type, one can only confirm the fact that manufacturers like Asus belong to a higher category than many others on the market. I refer to the integrated keyboard on this Zephyrus M16 which has the same soft, matte and rubberized finishes already seen on practically the entire body of the notebook: this translates into maximum comfort during use and above all silence when typing the keys that, between the other things have a not excessively long stroke.

The layout is the classic Italian QWERTY, the numeric keypad is missing and in addition to the classic function keys Asus has integrated four extra keys that allow you to adjust the volume, disable the microphone, and open the Asus app in Windows.

The trackpad, on the other hand, is rather large and it too has the same matte finishes that allow the fingers to glide well during use; personally I am sorry to have this finish on the trackpad because it tends to capture many fingerprints during use and, over time, the matte finish will certainly go away and the glossy will appear (as well as on the keyboard, on the other hand). Feedback on pressure is quiet and precise.

Battery

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 is equipped with a 90Wh battery in line with its other competitors on the market; Unfortunately, battery life has never been a highlight for gaming notebooks like this, but being faced with Asus' well-balanced "usage profiles" allows us to get the most out of it, depending on the type of use we intend to make Of computer.

The autonomy of this notebook, in fact, varies from about 50/60 minutes of use in Turbo mode and gaming on the titles mentioned above, up to a maximum of about 6/7 hours of active display with Silent profile, active Wi-Fi and viewing content on Netflix, Youtube and the like.

The complete recharge of the device takes place in about two hours with the power supply included in the package, but if necessary you can also use a traditional USB-C power supply up to 100W in case you do not want to use the Asus "brick" included in the package.

2 Minute Review

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 is a notebook suitable for those looking for performance and portability: it has a design with attention to the smallest details and does not lose its essence of a gaming laptop.

The Asus notebook has an XNUMXth generation Intel hardware and an Nvidia RTX series video card, capable of ensuring top-level performance in gaming and beyond. It has no major flaws, if not too noisy fans and some creaking in the bodies.

Considerations and Price

The selling prices of the Zephyrus M16 are around € 3000 for the unit I tested, and therefore the most powerful of all: are these prices sensible? The meaning is: is there really a need to play with a laptop (and maybe connect it to an external monitor) if a power outlet is needed to obtain maximum performance?

LinkedIn

Personally with the same budget I would assemble a desktop computer and I am sure I will be able to obtain even higher performances, but here the meaning is different. This notebook from Asus represents a benchmark for gaming and portability because it packs exceptional performance in a body that goes almost unnoticed, unlike many other gaming notebooks. Promoted yes, but to think about before the purchase (and not for the amount).

Honor