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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 Review – More than meets the eye

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 packs impressive power into a surprisingly tiny chassis.
asus rog zephyrus g16 review

Gaming laptops have been subject to maximalist trends for years, with manufacturers typically preferring gaudy flourishes to mark them out as unique: bulky chassis, bright colours, shiny shells, and external RGB lighting. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 is a welcome step away from the stereotype, with this laptop packing power and performance into a more subtle, portable, and classy body.

Despite its unassuming nature, it still manages to be an incredibly impressive gaming machine, with a compact computing array and a first class ROG Nebula Display allowing for smooth, high performance gameplay with zero fuss. In my time with the laptop, I played an array of games of all demands: blockbusters like Resident Evil 2 (Remake), Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Wrestle Quest, Far Cry 5, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Forza Motorsport, none of which presented much challenge with the laptop, as configured.


ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16: Specifications

Here’s a quick breakdown of the specifications for the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review unit provided to GamesHub:

  • CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 3.80 GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Display: 16” WQXGA GLARE CG, 500 nits, DCI-P3:100% (240Hz), IPS-NB (QP)
  • Size and weight: 1.49cm thin, 1.85kg
  • Battery: 240W / 200W, 50% in 30 mins
  • Battery life: Up to 15 hours (video playback)
  • Charging: 90Wh with fast charging support
  • Wi-Fi: 6E supported

It wasn’t only the performance, display, and design of the laptop that was immediately striking during the review process – the ROG Zephyrus G16 also delivered admirable results in its battery rundown tests, and in practical use. 

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16: Everyday Use

asus rog zephyrus g16 laptop preview
Image: GamesHub

In my time with the ROG Zephyrus G16, I used it in hybrid fashion: for daily writing tasks, and for blazing through games my current laptop can’t handle. In either mode, the Zephyrus G16 proved reliable and highly adaptable.

Average computing tasks barely woke the fans up, for one thing. They maintained a low, steady hum that was consistent enough to not serve as distraction as I worked through my daily schedule: writing articles, creating social copy, snipping together TikToks, and browsing the internet. Video editing, which is a notable slog on my existing hardware, was simple, easy, and lag-free – making a significant portion of my day far less painful.

Playing smaller, independent games, the ZOG Zephyrus G16 also worked a treat. While reviewing an upcoming rogue-like title – which you’ll see on GamesHub in future – not only were the fans low and humble, the laptop chassis remained cool to the touch. 

Battery

In terms of battery, the laptop also performed well during everyday, non-tethered use, typically lasting between three and five hours before needing a quick charge.

While gaming with more demanding titles, the laptop naturally shifted into an upper gear – but still, the fans remained steady and when used on battery, I got around two to two-and-a-half hours of gameplay. Given gaming laptops are not typically designed for high performance on battery alone, and that most last closer to the one to one-and-a-half hour mark, I was more than happy with the Zephyrus G16.

The only real caveat here was the laptop’s heat. In sessions of Resident Evil 2, the upper chassis became fairly hot, even on Turbo fan mode – far away from my fingers or any risk of discomfort, but enough that it would be difficult to use the laptop on your actual lap. Still, this was only a minor issue, and one that didn’t impact the overall experience of using the laptop.

Portability

asus rog zephyrus size
Image: GamesHub

Beyond its adaptable fans and reliable everyday performance, the G16’s portability was also a significant boon. As mentioned, the design of the laptop is surprisingly sleek for a gaming laptop, with plenty of power Tetris-d into its chassis. To look at it, you wouldn’t expect a GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU hiding inside – but there’s clearly been some wizardry in its technical build.

What that amounts to is a compact and portable device with a very thin chassis, measuring in at 1.49cm. While it is a bit weighty (1.85kg), it’s not too much heavier than a standard, lesser-powered laptop.

One of life’s great joys is playing games with friends, and I can see the ROG Zephyrus G16 being handy for those who enjoy in-person multiplayer gaming. It’s easy to chuck the laptop in a backpack and take it for a walk with minimal stress, fuss, or bulk on board. For a gaming laptop, that’s a rare and much appreciated feature.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16: Gaming Performance

When the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 gets wherever it’s going – a friend’s house, a couch, a desk – it certainly doesn’t disappoint in the performance department, either. For a “numbers” breakdown, I like to use the FPS tests of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5.

While these are circumstance-dependent – and rely on a combination of cooling, Windows settings, battery, and other factors – they provide a touchpoint that makes performance easier to understand. In tests, Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) on Highest settings achieved an average benchmark of 104 FPS. On High settings, it achieved 110 FPS. Far Cry 5 (2018) on Ultra settings achieved 96 FPS.

>asus rog zephyrus g16 2024
Image: GamesHub

What I can tell you in subjective terms may also be useful to know. Visually, there was little difference between Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Highest and High visual settings, with both sharing clean, smooth and crisp textures with snappy load-in, and quick scene transitions. Far Cry 5’s visual tests were similarly smooth, with the G16 managing sweeping sunset vistas and aerial combat with ease.

Forza Motorsport (2023) also looked frankly gorgeous in action, with metallic car bodies and heavily detailed environments looking lifelike and dynamic on those higher settings. Resident Evil 2 (2019) was also visually stunning, with the G16’s smooth performance aiding the game’s spooky vibes and ratcheting tension. It was particularly good at rendering Leon’s individual hair strands in the dry and wet, with the definition allowing a lovely crispness.

Playing Wrestle Quest (2023) was also a delight, thanks to a combination of the game’s bright and colourful pixel art, and its neat rendering on the ROG Zephyrus G16’s display.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16: Display

Having good gaming performance is nothing without a good display – and to that end, the G16 has much going for it. As detailed by ASUS, this is the first laptop to feature the new ROG Nebula Display panels, and they really are an impressive upgrade. (The RTX 4070 model also features an improved OLED version of the Nebula Display.)

The appeal was most obvious while playing Wrestle Quest, as it’s a game with a rainbow visual colour palette – crisp cel-shaded character models, bright and vivid colours (deep purples, vibrant greens, rich reds), and a toy box-like aesthetic. On the ROG Zephyrus G16, the colours were eye-popping. And with a 240Hz refresh rate, the display maintained crisp, smooth and beautiful gameplay throughout each wrestling match and adventure.

>asus rog zephyrus g15 wrestle quest gameplay
Image: GamesHub

Resident Evil 2 was another great showcase for the screen, with its menagerie of oozing, flesh-eating zombies. As much as I wanted to look away, the laptop’s display made every creature seem more disgusting, with the depth of colour allowing each pustule and flesh wound to seem more bloody and horrifying in action. It was horrible! And therefore, it was great.

Having a good display really is an essential part of gaming immersion – and the ROG Nebula Display panels aided my various journeys well.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16: Overall Verdict

As a complete package, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 is a blockbuster with multiple standouts. Its battery life is impressive for a gaming machine, its compactness is remarkable, and its Nebula Display is a wonderful inclusion. While there were minor caveats in its daily use, these weren’t enough to take away from the overall experience.

As configured, the laptop goes for AU $3,499 MSRP, and I would feel comfortable in saying it justifies this upper end investment with robust performance, and that gorgeous display. 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.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16
Release Year: 2024
Price: From AU $3,299 MSRP

See the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 on the ASUS e-Shop.

An ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 (2024) was loaned to GamesHub on a temporary basis for the purposes of this review. GamesHub has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content. GamesHub may earn a small percentage of commission for products purchased via affiliate links.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.