ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Review – There’s A Beast In There

ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 Review - There's A Beast In There

There once was a time when I would have never considered a laptop as my primary gaming rig. In my eyes, if you wanted power and performance you had to use a Desktop PC. Those days are long gone and while I still prefer my Desktop, there is just no denying the appeal of a fully kitted out, all-singing all-dancing gaming laptop. With the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 that is exactly what you are getting, top of the range specs that are likely to make most Desktop systems out there cry in jealousy. 

If you have read any of our hardware reviews before you will know we like to keep things at a general population level. Player 2 is not a tech site, so we try to avoid deep dives into numbers, stats and framerates and keep things at an average user level. But when talking about a laptop like this, there is no doubt some number examination is required. I guess when it comes to gaming, that means looking at FPS on popular games. The first title I took a look at was Forza Horizon 5. Not only is it a stunning title, but it moves at a blistering pace so it provides a good idea of what the Zyphyrus was capable of. For some reason, Forza wanted to default to low settings (which could be because it didn’t recognise the laptop GPU) but I quickly set it to the “extreme” setting and ran the benchmark. As you can see from the pictures below, the Zephyrus easily handled everything Horizon could throw at it, hitting 69FPS quite easily. 

This performance comes primarily from the Nvidia 4070 card that the test laptop was using. That is a beasty bit of gaming tech, especially as it doesn’t need to hit 4K resolutions. One of the big inclusions in the 4070 cards is the new DLSS tech and I had to test that out. Enter Cyberpunk. I have included two screenshots below. The first shows the framerate of Cyberpunk with ray tracing turned on to full without the DLSS Frame generation tech, and the second with the tech. As you can see there is a massive difference in frame rate performance. Honestly, watching the game, I couldn’t tell the difference. There was no perceivable loss of quality when this tech kicked in. I must have watched that benchmark video 10 times or more and couldn’t spot a drop in quality at all. This tech is super exciting, not so much for a high-end beast like this right now, but knowing this sort of assistance is available when your gear starts to get older is a godsend and gives confidence that you will get a good lifespan out of your latest video card. 

But enough about the impressive video card, what about the system itself? Well, the look of the Zephyrus is something I can get behind. It has a sleek, black professional look with a splash of LED on the back to give it a little personality. It isn’t garish, bright or obnoxious in any way meaning it would be just at home in an office or meeting room as it would be in a gamer den covered with bright purple LEDs. This trend towards subtle flashiness instead of garish is one I can get behind, though I know a few people who prefer things loud and proud so it will obviously be a matter of taste. The build quality is seriously impressive. It is a sturdy bit of gear, the type of laptop that you have no worries about throwing in a backpack and tripping around with. It is solid without being too heavy and feels like it could take a bit of punishment without blinking. Something I consider super important for a machine that costs upwards of $4k.

Perhaps one of the most impressive things I noticed in my time is the cooling. The box promises whisper quiet cooling and while that isn’t quite true, especially during intensive tasks like video processing and high-end gaming, it is generally silent for day-to-day activities. What is really impressive though is no matter how long I was gaming on it, the Zephyrus never once felt hot. That is not something I can say about any laptop I have ever used. I ran this thing for 6 hours straight, mixing up gaming, video editing, work duties and more gaming and never did the temp on the bottom feel more than slightly warm. There is clearly some impressive heat flow engineering going on inside the case. 

The display is also some seriously impressive technology. There is a fancy HDR feature called the Nebula HDR Engine and I tell you, it makes up for any HDR flakiness that seems to plague PC monitors. I always felt the brightness and contrast were in perfect balance, never feeling too dark or light all without me having to fiddle with settings. The crystal clear 2K display is a treat too. Some will argue that 4K is life, but honestly, in a screen this size 2K is more than enough for all but the craziest visual zealots. The Zephyrus also comes with ROG’s impressive suite of customisation software that allows for just about everything in the laptop to be tweaked, overclocked or tuned to player preference. So if you are the type that likes to tinker and squeeze every drop of performance out of a computer, ASUS makes it easy to do so. 

I have two issues with the laptop, however. The first is probably more a comment on Laptop design in general at the moment and that is a serious lack of USB ports. Two standard and one USB-C port is not enough in this day and age, especially when people quite often use their laptops and PCs as work hubs, music machines, charging stations and all-around entertainment devices. Sure you can plug in a USB hub, but that is just one more thing to stick in your laptop bag. A couple of extras would be nice. This leads to my second problem, the keyboard. It lacked the tactile experience that I am used to, even in a laptop keyboard. I am a touch typist so I can be excessively picky about my keyboards and this one just lacked the feel of a good keyboard. One of the main reasons I purchased an Alienware laptop for myself was the keyboard was so good and while it wasn’t mechanical, it gave a satisfying and tactile response. That isn’t the case here. I found myself wishing I had a USB keyboard handy to plug in, which isn’t ideal. 

Those issues are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things however and can be fixed easily with a couple of extras. The base machine is a beast of a gaming laptop that wouldn’t look out of place in a work environment. The gaming performance is impressive and the build quality is top-notch. ROG has really nailed this design in this release and if I was looking for a new gaming rig, this would be a serious contender. I feel confident in saying that you won’t be upset should you decide the ASUS ROG Zephyrus is for you and that’s about the best recommendation I can give.  

Review Specs:

Operating System

Windows 11 Pro



13th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-13900H Processor 2.6 GHz (24M Cache, up to 5.4 GHz, 14 cores: 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores)



NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4070 Laptop GPU

ROG Boost: 2030MHz* at 140W (1980MHz Boost Clock+50MHz OC, 115W+25W Dynamic Boost, 115W+25W in Manual Mode) 8GB GDDR6



ROG Nebula HDR Display


QHD+ 16:10 (2560 x 1600, WQXGA)

Mini LED

Anti-glare display


Refresh Rate:240Hz

Response Time:3ms


Pantone Validated

MUX Switch + NVIDIA® Advanced Optimus

Support Dolby Vision HDR :Yes



32GB DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM x 2

Max Capacity:64GB

Support dual channel memory



2TB PCIe® 4.0 NVMe™ M.2 SSD


I/O Ports

1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

1x HDMI 2.1 FRL

2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A

1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support DisplayPort™ / power delivery

1x Thunderbolt™ 4 support DisplayPort™ / power delivery


Keyboard and Touchpad

Backlit Chiclet Keyboard 1-Zone RGB




1080P FHD IR Camera for Windows Hello



Smart Amp Technology

Dolby Atmos

AI noise-canceling technology

Hi-Res certification

Built-in 3-microphone array

2x 2W Tweeter

2x 2W dual-force woofer with Smart Amp Technology


Network and Communication

Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Triple band) 2*2 + Bluetooth® 5.3 Wireless Card (*Bluetooth® version may change with OS version different.)



90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion


Power Supply

ø6.0, 280W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 14A, 280W, Input: 100~240C AC 50/60Hz universal

TYPE-C, 100W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 5A, 100W, Input: 100~240V AC 50/60Hz universal



2.30 Kg (5.07 lbs)


Dimensions (W x D x H)

35.5 x 24.6 x 2.11 ~ 2.29 cm (13.98″ x 9.69″ x 0.83″ ~ 0.90″)



BIOS Administrator Password and User Password Protection

Kensington Security Slot™

Trusted Platform Module (Firmware TPM)


Included in the Box

ROG backpack

ROG Fusion II 300

ROG Gladius III Mouse P514

TYPE-C, 100W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 5A, 100W, Input: 100~240V AC 50/60Hz universal

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