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ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023) Review: Performance, Design, & More

The 2023 Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 serves as another desktop replacement gaming laptop. It impressively excels in performance, featuring a delightful gimmick. Nonetheless, the CPU occasionally falters beneath the GPU’s load, resulting in intermittent slowdowns.

Pros:

  • Exceptional gaming performance.
  • Remarkably lightweight for a desktop replacement.
  • Superb display and sound system.
  • Engaging AniMe Matrix mode as a delightful extra.

Cons:

  • Occasional overheating concerns.
  • Mediocre battery life.
  • Notable stuttering when handling non-gaming tasks.

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023): Quick Overview

The 2023 Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 aims to be a gaming powerhouse without the usual bulk of desktop replacements. It’s only available in black, but its remarkably slim chassis, housing a GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, is noteworthy.

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023): Quick Overview

The laptop boasts a stunning 16-inch QHD+ mini-LED display with a 240Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, HDR, and G-Sync support. The audio, powered by Dolby Atmos, features two 2W tweeters and a 2W dual-force woofer for an immersive gaming experience.

The backlit keyboard, including the touchpad, adds a touch of RGB flair. The Chiclet keyboard is smooth and comfortable for typing or gaming.

Gaming performance shines with top-tier specs and ample memory and storage. From the RTX 4070 to the potent RTX 4090, the laptop handles gaming with ease.

The unique AniMe Matrix mode allows you to display animations and messages on the chassis, adding a fun touch.

However, some downsides exist, including CPU throttling and software intricacies.

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Price and Availability

Starting at $2,999.99 / £2,399.99, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023) is a premium gaming laptop. It’s available in the US and UK, with potential future availability in Australia. When compared to similar desktop replacements, the M16 offers a more affordable high-end option. Note that it might be challenging to obtain, as it’s currently sold out in the US.

Price score: 4 / 5

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023): Specifications

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023): Specifications

Here’s an overview of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023) specifications, highlighting key differences:

ComponentBase ModelReview UnitTop Configuration
Price$2,999.99 / £2,399.99 / AU$4,417$3,499.99 / £3,299.99 / AU$5,218$3,499.99 / £3,299.99 / AU$5,218
CPUIntel Core i9-13900HIntel Core i9-13900HIntel Core i9-13900H
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4070Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
RAM32GB DDR532GB DDR564GB DDR5
Storage2TB SSD2TB SSD2TB SSD
PortsVarious (see below)Various (see below)Various (see below)
Screen16-inch QHD+ Mini-LED (see details below)16-inch QHD+ Mini-LED (see details below)16-inch QHD+ Mini-LED (see details below)
WirelessWi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.2Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.2Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.2
Camera1080p FHD IR1080p FHD IR1080p FHD IR
Weight4.63 pounds (2.10kg)5.07 pounds (2.30kg)5.07 pounds (2.30kg)
Dimensions13.98 x 9.69 x 0.78 ~ 0.88 inches13.98 x 9.69 x 0.83 ~ 0.90 inches13.98 x 9.69 x 0.83 ~ 0.90 inches

While various models are available, customization is limited.

Specifications Score: 4 / 5

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023) Review: Design

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023) Review: Design

In terms of design, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023) sports a simple black color and a surprisingly sleek form, despite housing a hefty RTX 4090 GPU, which does add some weight compared to the RTX 4070 version.

The laptop maintains a well-balanced form factor, and despite the added heft, it remains comfortable to handle. While it’s not as rugged as bulkier laptops, it strikes a good balance.

Display and sound quality are top-notch. The 16-inch QHD+ mini-LED display offers a 240Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, HDR, and G-Sync support. Thin bezels grant a spacious screen-to-body ratio, enhancing your gaming experience.

The standout feature is the AniMe Matrix mode, allowing you to display custom animations or messages on the chassis. It’s entertaining, though not performance-affecting. Note that not all models include this feature.

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The laptop’s audio is exceptional, driven by Dolby Atmos and Smart Amp Tech, complemented by quality microphones. The Chiclet keyboard, while responsive, lacks a numlock pad due to speaker placement.

RGB lighting adds flair to the keyboard and touchpad, creating an aesthetically pleasing ambiance.

On the downside, despite robust ventilation features like liquid metal and heat sinks, the laptop can get noisy and warm, particularly when using the AniMe Matrix mode.

Port selection is solid but lacks an Ethernet connection, potentially impacting connection-dependent games.

Design Score: 4 / 5

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023) REVIEW: Performance

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023) REVIEW: Performance

Gaming performance excels; even the base model handles max settings and ray-tracing effortlessly. Comparing benchmarks with competitors like Lenovo’s Legion Pro 7i and MSI’s GT77 Titan (2023) reveals slight variations, with the ROG Zephyrus M16 dominating PCMark 10.

The laptop’s lightweight nature, overclocking capabilities, and broad gaming potential set it apart. Customized benchmarks, particularly in DLSS 3-enabled ray-tracing games, showcased impressive performance. However, a noticeable hiccup arises during CPU-based tasks, causing slight inconvenience when handling non-gaming activities.

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023): Benchmarks

Here are the benchmark results for the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16:

TestScore
3DMark: Night Raid64,312
3DMark: Fire Strike32,053
3DMark: Time Spy14,925
3DMark: Port Royal9,843
Cinebench R23 Multi-core19,761 points
GeekBench 5 (Single-core)1,999
GeekBench 5 (Multi-core)14,823
PCMark 10 (Home Test)8,148 points
25GB File Copy14.35
Handbrake 1.66:52
CrossMark (Overall)1997
CrossMark (Productivity)1937
CrossMark (Creativity)2072
CrossMark (Responsiveness)1956
Battery Life4 hours, 45 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra)104 fps
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Low)270 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra)71 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Low)72 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra)34 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Low)193 fps

Performance Score: 4.5 / 5

Battery

Battery

Battery performance is mediocre, lasting about four hours and 45 minutes in the movie test, which is standard for gaming laptops. It outperforms the Legion 7i Pro but falls slightly short of the GT77 Titan by 15 minutes. Given its desktop replacement role, you won’t unplug it for extended tasks.

Moreover, it charges quickly, requiring only 30 minutes for a half charge.

Battery Score: 3 / 5

Should You Buy It?

AttributesNotesRating
PricePremium-priced, offering value4 / 5
SpecsTop-notch in components and display4 / 5
DesignSleek with AniMe Matrix mode4 / 5
PerformanceExcellent gaming, sluggish CPU tasks4.5 / 5
BatteryAverage, best suited for plugged use3 / 5
Average TotalHigh-end gaming choice4 / 5

Buy It If:

  • You seek exceptional gaming performance with max settings and ray-tracing.
  • You want a portable desktop replacement with a sleek design.
  • Quality display and audio are essential.

Don’t Buy It If:

  • You’re on a budget; it comes at a steep price.
  • Battery life is a priority; it’s better suited for plugged use.
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023): Also Consider

ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS M16 (2023): Also Consider

LaptopPriceCPUGPURAMDisplayStoragePortsWirelessCameraWeightDimensions
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023)$3,499.99Intel Core i9-13900HNvidia GeForce RTX 409032GB DDR516-inch QHD+ Mini-LED2TB SSDVariousWi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.21080p FHD IR5.07 pounds13.98 x 9.69 x 0.83 ~ 0.90 inches
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i$4,499.99Intel Core i9-13900KFNvidia GeForce RTX 409032GB DDR516-inch WQXGA IPS1TB SSDVariousWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.11080p6.17 pounds14.3 x 10.32 x 0.86-1.01 inches
MSI GT77 Titan (2023)$4,699.99Intel Core i9-13980HXNvidia RTX 409064GB DDR517.3-inch 4K Mini LED2TB SSDVariousWi-Fi 6E720p IR webcam7.27 pounds15.6 x 12.9 x 0.9 inches

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