ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review: Design, Build, Display, Keyboard, Trackpad, Performance And Battery life

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review: The ROG Zephyrus lineup by ASUS has garnered significant acclaim for its innovative approach to blending portability with high performance. Notably, the Zephyrus G14 underwent a redesign this year, enhancing its appeal and functionality. Additionally, ASUS introduced the larger G16 model, catering to users who prioritize a larger screen size without sacrificing the key features that define the Zephyrus series.

The emphasis on portability in the Zephyrus laptops is complemented by powerful hardware configurations, making them suitable for both gaming and professional tasks. The sleek design and premium build quality further contribute to the popularity of the Zephyrus lineup among tech enthusiasts and gamers alike. ASUS continues to push boundaries in creating cutting-edge technology that meets the evolving needs of consumers seeking top-tier performance in a compact form factor.

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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review 2024

The latest Zephyrus notebooks boast metal chassis, offering enhanced durability and a sleek design. These laptops feature cutting-edge hardware, with the G14 model equipped with the latest AMD Ryzen 8000 chips, while its larger counterpart comes with Intel’s new Core Ultra series mobile CPUs. Despite no new mobile GPUs from Nvidia, users can choose from existing graphics options like the RTX 4050 to the 4090.

The combination of premium build quality, powerful processors, and versatile graphics choices makes these Zephyrus notebooks a top choice for tech enthusiasts and gamers alike. The upcoming G14 is set to be released later this month, while the 16-inch version is currently on sale, and I had the opportunity to examine it. It’s not as affordable as one might assume, but I’ll delve into that aspect shortly. First, let’s discuss its visual appeal.

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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review Details

Article NameASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review
CategoryTech Reviews
Official WebsiteClick Here

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Design And Build

The new Zephyrus G16 showcases a blend of sophistication and superior craftsmanship in its design and construction. ASUS has embraced elegance with an aluminum unibody case, drawing inspiration from renowned models such as the Razer Blade and Apple MacBook Pro. Available in Eclipse Gray and Platinum White, the laptop presents a refined aesthetic appeal. The white variant stands out for being less susceptible to fingerprint marks, while the dark grey option exudes a more understated charm. Departing from its predecessors with dot-matrix lid displays, the G16 introduces Slash Lighting – a sleek diagonal white light strip comprising 28 mini LEDs distributed across 7 zones. This customizable lighting feature not only adds a touch of personalization but also serves practical functions like notifications.

I observed that the construction of the device is sturdy and steady. There are no sounds of cracking, the keyboard area feels very solid, and although the screen cover is somewhat flexible, it doesn’t appear to affect its durability. It’s worth mentioning that the lid doesn’t open fully as in the previous model, with a maximum opening angle of 135 degrees. Despite its high-quality design, the Zephyrus G16 remains small and light, with a thickness of just 16.4mm and a weight of 1.8kg. However, the premium models are slightly bulkier to accommodate the powerful components and internal cooling. The thickness increases to 17.4mm and the weight goes up to 1.95kg, specifically for the RTX 4080 and 4090 versions.

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The screen features minimal borders and the 1080p webcam has facial recognition for Windows Hello login. Ports are located on both sides of the laptop, providing USB Type-C, USB Type-A, HDMI output, and an SD card reader. The USB-C ports offer up to 100W Power Delivery, while the left port has Thunderbolt 4. ASUS uses a reversible squarish power connector similar to USB Type-C. Wireless capabilities include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

The bottom cover of the G16 can be easily removed for upgrades, but it’s important to note that the screws have different lengths. Besides the replaceable battery and Wi-Fi card, storage can be swapped or added. The G16 has two M.2 slots that support PCIe Gen 4 SSDs. The memory is soldered onto the mainboard and cannot be changed. Higher models feature a vapour chamber cooling system with two fans, while lower-tier ones utilize heat pipes and three fans.

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Display

ASUS has excelled in developing the 16-inch OLED display for the Zephyrus G16. The display is not only ideal for gaming but also highly suitable for professional tasks, particularly in the content creation field. It boasts a clear 2.5K resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, a 16:10 aspect ratio, a rapid 240Hz refresh rate, and an impressive 0.2ms response time. While OLED has faced challenges in supporting Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, ASUS successfully addressed this by partnering with Samsung and Nvidia.

For those who value visual excellence, the display is certified with VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500, supports Dolby Vision, undergoes Pantone color validation, and delivers outstanding color reproduction capabilities. These characteristics cater to activities like photo and video editing, creative design work, and more. ASUS also guarantees complete coverage of DCI-P3 and Delta E color accuracy of less than 1.

The display was impressive, with excellent contrast and color reproduction due to the OLED panel. Although OLED displays are typically glossy, an anti-reflective coating has been added by the company to reduce reflections and glare. In standard dynamic range (SDR), the brightness can reach up to 400 nits, which I found sufficient in most scenarios. It is particularly enjoyable for viewing content, especially HDR movies or videos, although I did notice that the brightness seemed a bit low with HDR enabled. Like many ASUS laptops, the display can be adjusted to different color profiles using Armoury Crate, which is beneficial for photo and video editing. Finally, I must highlight the incredibly smooth feel of the 240Hz refresh rate, particularly suited for individuals who appreciate high-speed action games. Alternatively, you can switch to 60Hz to save battery power.

Keyboard and trackpad

The Zephyrus G16’s keyboard provides a pleasant typing and gaming experience due to its thoughtfully crafted layout. Despite the absence of a number pad, the keyboard features a taller design, 1.7mm key travel, and a satisfying resistance level per key press. The keycaps, larger than those of its predecessor, are well-spaced, except for the arrow keys which are shorter stub keys. Users can customize the RGB lighting to suit their preferences, and there are four macro keys that can be set up for extra gaming control, thereby improving the overall gaming experience.

The Zephyrus G16’s trackpad has undergone notable enhancements, featuring a 37 percent larger size than the previous model. Although lacking haptic feedback, the touchpad delivers a top-notch experience with solid clicking, no rattling upon tapping, and generous room for gestures. While many gamers might prefer a gamepad or an external gaming mouse, the touchpad stands out as a premium choice for various tasks and casual usage. With its spacious design, it offers exceptional accuracy for productivity assignments, catering to individuals in search of a versatile device that enables seamless and accurate navigation.

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Performance

ASUS provided the highest configured G16 model with the Intel Core Ultra 9 185H and Nvidia’s RTX 4090 mobile. It also boasts a 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD and 32GB of LPDDR5X at 7467MT/s. This robust setup may be excessive for such a slim chassis, but it’s impressive what the company has accomplished. The Core Ultra 9 185H, based on Intel’s new Meteor Lake architecture, is equipped with six P-cores, eight E-cores, two LPE-cores, and 22 threads. The P-cores can reach up to 5.1GHz, while the E-cores can achieve 3.8GHz. With a base TDP of 45W and the potential to reach 115W, the chip offers power efficiency. A key feature of the Core Ultra series is the NPU, designed for energy-efficient handling of extended AI tasks.

ASUS states that the RTX 4090 mobile on the G16 can use up to 115W, but I was amazed to observe it exceeding this limit. By adjusting some settings, I managed to reach a peak power usage of 142W, which is rather remarkable. When stressing the CPU with Cinebench R23 and R24 benchmarks, it drew nearly 100W at maximum.

When it comes to hardware, the performance is impressive. The laptop handles tasks effortlessly and provides a seamless gaming experience at 1440p. While also delivering sufficient power for content creation. However, it’s important to note that the G16 aims to strike a balance between performance and portability. Distinguishing itself from dedicated gaming laptops. This distinction became apparent during the standard synthetic benchmark tests.

Here’s a look at the gaming benchmarks:

GAMES AT 1600PMEDIUMHIGHULTRA/VERY HIGH
Horizon Zero Dawn116fps105fps101fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider120fps121fps109fps
Far Cry 5124fps119fps110fps
Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition42fps34fps22fps

I also tested Cyberpunk 2077, and since it comes with a variety of performance presets. Here is an overview of what kind of results you can expect:

2,560 x 1,600 resolution
-41fps – No ray tracing no DLSS High texture
-42fps – No ray tracing no DLSS medium texture
-42fps – No ray tracing no DLSS low texture
-38fps – Ray Tracing Overdrive, DLSS Auto
-54fps – Ray Tracing Ultra, DLSS Auto
-58fps – Ray Tracing Medium, DLSS Auto
-69fps – Ultra preset, No ray tracing, AMD FSR Quality
-81fps – High preset, No ray tracing, AMD FSR Quality
-155fps – Medium preset, No ray tracing, AMD FSR Auto
-124fps – High prest, DLSS Balanced with frame generation, No ray tracing

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This leads me to the thermals, which is worrisome. The combination of Intel’s Core Ultra 9 with Nvidia’s RTX 4090 is not ideal for a thin and light device. During light usage, the CPU temperatures exceeded 60 degrees, with idle temperatures around the low 50s. Under heavy load, the CPU temperatures can reach up to 100 degrees, while the GPU peaked at 79 degrees. The upper part of the keyboard deck and the underside become uncomfortably hot to touch, which is alarming.

Following the redesign, the exhaust vents on the latest model are notably slimmer. Its predecessor and no longer feature the ergo-lift mechanism that previously allowed for better airflow. Despite the ASUS representative’s assurance of the vents’ optimization, I remained skeptical. Out of the box, the new G16 runs on Windows 11 Home and is equipped with Armoury Crate and MyASUS software. Armoury Crate, a common feature on ROG and TUF gaming laptops, facilitates the management of system performance, lighting, display settings, audio, and more. On the other hand, MyASUS primarily focuses on service, device health, warranty information, and similar functions.

The speakers on this laptop are arguably the top choice among Windows notebooks currently available. They provide clear sound with ample bass, coming very close to the quality of the MacBook Pro 16 speakers. Additionally, the 1080p webcam delivers excellent performance, ensuring crisp and well-exposed images in video calls.

Given the latest hardware featured in the laptop. It was unsatisfying to observe ASUS opting for cost reductions in the storage aspect. The M.2 SSD included in the new G16 model does not boast the fastest PCIe Gen 4 speeds. With average read and write speeds of 3,500 MB/s and 3,200 MB/s according to CrystalDiskMark. Although these speeds are not considered slow, I anticipate superior performance when investing over Rs 2,00,000.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review FAQ’S

Is the ROG Zephyrus G16 good for gaming?

Its gaming performance was also inconsistent.

Will there be a Zephyrus G16?

The ROG Zephyrus G16 really is a classy little laptop, and one that feels like a real breakthrough in a world of bulkier gaming devices.

Is the Zephyrus G16 a touchscreen?

The Flow series touchscreen displays have all been upgraded.

What is the lightest Zephyrus?

For those seeking something more lightweight, consider the ROG Zephyrus G14.

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