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Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023) Review: A powerful gaming laptop that can do it all!

May 09, 2023

Asus recently announced its final line of TUF and ROG gaming laptops in India. The line-up included a mix of the company's ROG Strix, Zephyrus, Flow, and TUF series. However, our focus today is on the Zephyrus G16 (2023). The Asus Zephyrus G16 (2023) is modeled on last year's G16 with the regular hardware updates.

Our version of the G16 arrived with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 laptop GPU as well as a price tag of Rs 1,79,990. The Zephyrus G16 aims to deliver powerful gaming hardware in a slim and light package, while toning down the gaming aesthetics. So stick around for our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023) review to see if it can be delivered on all fronts.

The new Asus Zephyrus G16 features the same design as its predecessor. The ROG Zephyrus G16 follows a more traditional formula, losing out on the edgy gaming aesthetics for a more subtle look. The laptop is also quite sleek and light, measuring 19.9mm and weighing 19.9mm, which makes it excellent for use on-to-go.

The ErgoLift hinge allows you to use the laptop at a 180-degree angle, which is good for collaborations, while allowing for better airflow by lifting the chassis slightly above the surface. Additionally, there's an ROG logo at the bottom of the lid and an asymmetrical dot matrix design that is achieved with a precision CNC milling process.

The new Zephyrus M16 follows the traditional M series design formula. The laptop features a sleek and stylish design with a matte-black finish. The laptop has a nice business aesthetic, measuring 19.9mm thick and weighing around 2 kg. The chassis is made of matte plastic and is smooth to the touch, while the metal lid is quite resistant to smudges.

Additionally, there's a ROG logo at the bottom of the lid and an asymmetrical dot matrix design that is achieved with a precision CNC milling process. A layer of prismatic film under the microdots give the lid a nice shine when hit with light. The ROG Zepyhrus G16 is offered in Eclipse Grey and Moonlight White colours options.

For I/O, the G16 features two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 and Power Delivery support, a combo audio jack, a full-size USB port, an HDMI port, and an RJ45 LAN port, all sit on the left of the laptop. On a the right, there's another USB 3.2 Gen 2 port and a microSD card slot. Wireless connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E.

The port selection on the Zephyrus G16 (2023) is pretty strong, making it quite versatile for connecting accessories. The notebook also has a 720p IR camera with Windows Hello, which is decent for video calls and works well for quick face unlocks, although a camera shutter would have been nice.

While Asus has opted for subtility throughout much of the G16's design, the keyboard stays true to the gamer roots. Our model of the Zephyrus G16 featured a chiclet style, single-zone RGB backlit keyboard without the Numpad or dedicated media buttons on the right.

I found the 1.7mm key travel and spacing between the keys rather comfortable for both gaming and typing. Additionally, the N-key rollover ensures keystrokes are properly registered. The glass trackpad has a large surface area.

It is equipped with Windows precision drivers and is easy to use for navigation in the absence of a mouse. Windows Gestures also worked like a charm on the G16's trackpad. While I frequently used the G16 with a mouse, the trackpad did an excellent job when I needed to use the laptop on the move.

For the panel, the ROG Zephyrus G16 uses Asus' new Nebula Display. The laptop sports a 16-inch Quad HD+ IPS anti-glare screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The panel boasts a 240Hz refresh rate and a 3ms responsive time, making it super responsive. Nvidia's G-Sync tech on the screen prevents tearing in games.

The screen has excellent viewing angles with a comfortable 16:10 aspect ratio. The display is factory calibrated by Pantone and features a wide 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut. Furthermore, the screen also supports Dolby Vision to further improve the viewing experience. With a peak brightness of 500 nits, I also had no problems using the G16 (2023) outdoors.

Asus's new Nebula Display standard is fast becoming the gold standard for screens on gaming laptops. The panel on the Zephyrus G16 (2023) is tailor-made for gaming, content creation, entertainment, and productivity, which is not something we're accustomed to on gaming laptops.

At the helm of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023) is a 14-core (6 Performance, 8 Efficiency) Intel Core i9-13900H CPU. The processor is paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM (expandable up to 48GB) and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD. Lastly, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) does most of the heavy lifting while gaming.

All the games we tested on the G16 (2023) ran on high graphics in Quad HD resolution with ray tracing turned off. We can see from the results that the laptop can easily handle 1440p gaming at 60fps. In fact, in most scenarios we saw over 100 frames per second, which was quite impressive considering the form factor.

#AsusROG Zephyrus G16 (2023): Battlefield 2042 on High Graphics (No RT). 13th Gen Intel Core i9, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 @IntelGaming @ASUS_ROG @ASUSIndia @NVIDIAGeForce

I also ran a few benchmarks on the Zephyrus G16 (2023). The Cinebench R23 test yielded 2,016 points in the single-core test and 19,031 points in the multi-core test. In Geekbench 5, the G16 managed a single core score of 2011 points and a multi-core score of 14,701 points. The RTX 4060 scored 6001 points in the 3DMark 13 - Port Royal (RTX) test.

For cooling, the G16 (2023) features two fans, four radiators, and an array of heat pipes. Additionally, liquid metal is applied on the CPU, while standard thermal paste is used on the CPU. Asus' Ergolift hinge also enables better airflow underneath the chassis. The cooling system is quite reliable keeping the heat away from the keyboard and palm rest area, although a lot of hot air is blown out onto the screen.

#CallofDuty Black Ops Cold War on the #AsusROG Zephyrus G16 (2023) 13th Gen Intel Core i9, @NVIDIAGeForce RTX 4060@ASUS_ROG @ASUSIndia @IntelGaming

While gaming in Turbo mode, the CPU didn't go past 95 degrees and the GPU stayed under 80 degrees for the most part. The fans do ramp up in Turbo mode and can get extremely loud, drowning out some of the in-game audio. I also found that despite a bit of throttling, the CPU managed to deliver solid clock speeds, going to almost 4.0GHz on average with a cooling pad attachment. Considering the form factor, I'd say performance on the G16 (2023) was excellent.

Powering the new G16 is a 90Whr 4-cell Li-ion battery that comes with a 240W AC adapter that fully powers the machine in around 2.5 hours, although USB-C power delivery is also supported up to 100W. Asus claims that the ROG Zephyrus G16 can deliver enough battery life to power you through nearly a full workday, which is impressive for a gaming laptop, but is it accurate?

In my experience, the Zephyrus G16 (2023) can deliver anywhere between six hours to nine hours of battery life on a single charge, depending on your task. I got eight hours of YouTube playback on a full charge in the laptop's Eco mode, keeping screen brightness down to 50 percent. While writing and editing in Google Drive and browsing pages in Chrome simultaneously, I got little over six hours of usage at 80% screen brightness.

However, I believe further tweaks can be made, including dropping brightness further down to 50 percent and reducing the resolution to 1080p to push the laptop for another hour. Three hours on Netflix at 70% screen brightness drained around 40 percent of the battery. Considering this is a slim and light gaming laptop with a QHD display and an H series Intel Core i9 CPU, the figures here are impressive.

The audio side on the new Zephyrus G16 is covered by a six-speaker sound system that supports Dolby Atmos. The speakers get plenty loud for a thin and light laptop with balanced acoustics with Hi-Res certification. There's a 3D mic array with Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation that works well in quiet rooms. The overall audio quality is well-above average here with good bass and little-to-no distortions. However, the noise from the fans will drown out the audio when gaming.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023) is not too dissimilar to last year's Zephyrus M16 in every aspect, including the design. The generational CPU and GPU upgrades certainly improve performance, but the overall feel of the laptop is nearly identical to last year's model. So should you buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023)?

The answer to that question would depend entirely on your use case. The Zephyrus G16 (2023) is by no means a powerhouse gaming machine like the ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023). However, this is to be expected when switching to a slim form factor. With the ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023), Asus aims to deliver more balance while still maintaining a top-tier gaming experience.

The G series has often benefited from the AMD platform in terms of power efficiency, but Asus has managed to bridge most of that gap with the new Intel chips. Moreover, the subtle design and vibrant display make it a viable choice for professional or creative use. And then there's the 10 to 20 percent gain in performance over the previous generation, which makes it highly reliable for enthusiast gamers.

If you are looking for a laptop that you can rely on throughout the entire workday and compete on in a gaming arena at night, then the Zephyrus G16 (2023) should be a 'no-brainer'. This is essentially a 'Pro' laptop that can effectively run games. However, this excellent balancing act Asus has done does come at a cost to your wallet and to performance.

If you are looking for the best price-to-performance, then you might as well look elsewhere. There's no doubt that the ROG Zephyrus G16 (2023) is an excellent overall gaming laptop, perhaps the best in the segment. But I don't think it is the best performer that this price.

Carlsen Martin More ASUS News