Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 Review: Should you spend up to Rs 3.5 lakh on this beast?

Gaming laptops are considered a niche product, despite their ability to handle day-to-day tasks with great ease and finesse. Gaming, as a segment, has grown rapidly over the years, and more and more people are adopting gaming, be it as a casual activity or professionally, gaming companies have taken note of it. And there are a lot of gaming products and accessories in the market at the moment.

One company that has met the demands of gamers really well is Taiwanese PC-manufacturer Asus, With its Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of gaming products and accessories, Asus has long delighted gamers with some of the best gaming PCs and laptops. The company refreshed the Asus ROG Zephyrus range of gaming laptops earlier this year and we got it Asus Rog Zephyrus M16 For review, and I have been using it as my gaming device for the past one month. In this article, I will tell you what I like about the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, what I don’t like about the smartphone, and finally, if you should spend at least Rs 1,79,990 on this gaming laptop . lets start.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 comes with the latest 12th generation Intel Core processor, paired with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30-series GPU.  (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 comes with the latest 12th generation Intel Core processor, paired with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30-series GPU. (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)

Design

In terms of design, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 retains a simple design. The laptop comes in black color with square edges. The back panel of the laptop is of hard plastic, with a dotted pattern that shows off these rainbow-colored accents that are only visible from certain angles. There is an Asus ROG badge on the corner of the back panel. Up front, the laptop has very few bezels around its beautiful display (more on this in a bit). There is an RGB backlit keyboard on the device, and this rubber-like finish is on the bottom panel where the keyboard is present. Now, that’s good for grip and usability, but it’s a stain magnet and you can’t avoid sweat and oil stains on this material.

The laptop has been launched in the same design as its predecessor with smaller size and less weight.  (Image credit: Darab Mansoor Ali)
The laptop has been launched in the same design as its predecessor with smaller size and less weight. (Image credit: Darab Mansoor Ali)

The Asus ROG Zephyrus has the same design as its predecessor, the 2021 Zephyrus M16. Asus has reduced the size and it weighs less than last year’s ROG Zephyrus M16. Now, it’s a safe and familiar design approach from Asus with reduced size and weight, and enough ports on the laptop that any laptop gamer will ever need (placed on the laptop’s right and left sides). Design is not the focus here as most hardcore gamers usually don’t care about what their device looks like. But, the rubber-like finish on the laptop is something that makes the Zephyrus M16 get old very quickly. While this is nice to have on your palms, it is very likely to hold sweat and oil stains, which are difficult to get rid of.

The rubberized finish on the lower panel around the keyboard is prone to sweat and oil stains.  (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)
The rubberized finish on the lower panel around the keyboard is prone to sweat and oil stains. (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)

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Coming to the display, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 sports a 16-inch “ROG Nebula” display with QHD+ resolution (2560 x 1600 pixels) and 165Hz refresh rate with 3ms latency. The display comes with AdaptiveSync for variable refresh rate, and also supports Dolby Vision HDR.

The display of this laptop is very good, the image quality is crisp and there is good detail with QHD + resolution. The display is super responsive too, but I couldn’t figure out how to keep it locked on the battery at a high refresh rate. Each time you turn the display off on battery, the refresh rate will dial up to 60Hz. On power, however, accountability is top-notch. I played games at the highest frame rate setting possible, and the ROG Zephyrus gave me around 100Hz frame rates throughout my session with games like Forza Horizon 5, which is great.

The ROG Zephyrus M16 display is one of the best ones on any gaming laptop.  (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)
The display of the ROG Zephyrus M16 is one of the best displays on any gaming laptop. (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)

In terms of brightness, the Asus ROG Zephyrus’ display is great, and you can use it in bright outdoor environments, but it’s not the brightest display we’ve seen on a gaming laptop.

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 Performance and Battery

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 comes with bleeding edge specifications. The laptop is powered by 12th generation Intel Core i9-12900H processor clocked at 2.5 GHz along with up to 32GB of RAM. The CPU is paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU with 16GB of VRAM. With these specifications and a great display, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 is a beast of a laptop when it comes to performance and gaming experience. However, there are some quirks here and there.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 sports a hard plastic back panel.  (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 sports a hard plastic back panel. (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)

In terms of core performance, the ability to run multiple things and be fast, is something that the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 aces. The laptop is quick to open apps, and can run multiple tasks (including games) with ease.

I used the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022) for work and gaming alike, and the laptop felt like a really good device for both things. While working, I was able to run multiple apps like a video or photo editor, along with a few Google Chrome windows with about 50-60 tabs in total, and it never gave a problem. At times, I even paused my games and minimized them to send an email or put together a story immediately, and the laptop never showed signs of slowing down during my use.

Asus' Armory Crate app makes it very easy for gamers to assign their GPU and CPU power to their liking.  (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)
Asus’ Armory Crate app makes it very easy for gamers to assign their GPU and CPU power to their liking. (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)

The gaming experience on the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 ruined my PlayStation for me. The high frame rate experience that this laptop provides at a QHD resolution with max out graphics is quite exceptional, and is fine with some of the best PC setups that run high frame rate games at 4K or QHD resolutions. The highest frame rate I could achieve on the laptop, however, was just above 140Hz, which results in a very immersive and smooth experience.

In terms of graphics, the QHD+ display on the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 does wonders. You can see a little detail on this display, and the response is top notch. I played games like Forza Horizon 5, Flight Simulator and Call of Duty: Warzone on the laptop, and all these games were able to run smoothly at maximum graphic settings.

However, high frame rate gaming is only possible when the laptop is connected to a charger. I tried boosting everything from the Armory Crate app on the ROG Zephyrus M16, but the laptop still wasn’t as responsive to a gaming experience as it did when charging. This is disappointing because there are many gaming laptops (like the Alienware X17 R1 that I was testing it with) that are capable of putting a higher frame rate on power.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 gets quite hot when the fans and GPU are running at their highest speed.  (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 does get quite hot during intense gaming sessions when the fan and GPU are running at their highest speeds. (Image credit: News18 / Darab Mansoor Ali)

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 also gets quite hot, and the fans are quite loud on manual and turbo modes. However, it’s not the worst in terms of heating and fan sound we’ve seen from gaming laptops in this range. The ROG Zephyrus M16 is, in fact, one of the better gaming laptops when it comes to heat dissipation. The rubberized material also helps keep your palm area cool while gaming, but don’t think you’ll be able to play with the laptop on your lap.

In terms of battery, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 again sees a welcome improvement with the 12th generation Intel Core CPU. The laptop easily lasted over five hours during my work session with the M16, and charging is super fast too with the 240W fast charger. This is again, a nice improvement from the previous generation of laptops which came with 11th generation Intel processors.

Decision

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 remains a beast of a machine from the PC-maker, and comes with some significant improvements over its predecessor. The laptop is smaller in size, lighter, and offers better battery with better new generation CPU. The design remains the same, and the rubberized material around the keyboard is very prone to catching oil and sweat stains. It gets quite hot and in Turbo or Manual mode, the fans are loud, and the laptop doesn’t provide a high frame rate gaming experience on battery. Although, it is still one of the most capable and powerful laptops out there, but priced at Rs 3,49,999, the top-spec variant will appeal to most professional gamers.

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