ROG Strix G16 - Review
It will be no surprise that the Republic of Gamers knows how to make good hardware for game nerds. So when I tell you that the ASUS ROG Strix G16 gaming laptop rocks, I’m sure this isn’t news. I spent the last two weeks with one of these bad boys and my overall experience was excellent; from gaming to browsing the web, this laptop was great to use.
I only built my desktop in 2021, and when I did I thought I’d never peek back into the world of gaming laptops. But machines like the Strix G16 remind me just how far laptops have come in terms of power, versatility and style. The days of gaming laptops being ugly black boxes that weighed a tonne are over, and the ASUS ROG’s new line of gaming laptops is here to remind us of that.
The ASUS ROG Strix laptop comes in two basic varieties; the G16 & the G18 (the numbers reflecting laptop size respectively). There’s customisation options available with both models, but the machine I used was specced as below:
- CPU: 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-13650HX Processor
- Memory: 16GB (8GBx2) DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM
- Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 4060
- Storage: 1TB SSD
- Display: 16-inch QHD+ 16:10 (2560 x 1600) 240Hz
- Webcam: 720p
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 / G-SYNC
1x RJ45 LAN port
1x Thunderbolt™ 4 support DisplayPort™
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
- Battery capacity: 90 Watt-hours (roughly 10 hours)
- Weight: 2.5kgs
From the unboxing I could tell that a lot of thought had gone into the design of this machine. The packaging alone is incredibly thought out, and very sturdy. The laptop sits in a hard cardboard recess which you lift up to see all the goodies underneath, but if you really wanted or needed to, you could also use the box as a laptop stand.
The laptop itself looks super sleek and snazzy. I loved the satin finish on the machine – anything that doesn’t show fingerprints is a huge plus in my book. An RGB strip lights up the edge of the laptop and the keyboard lighting is vibrant. WASD keys also feature a transparent design reminiscent of the 90’s (I’m pretty sure all of us had that one transparent PS1 controller that got hurled across the room at some point in our childhood). Despite its size and all the gutsy hardware the G16 packs, it’s also surprisingly light at only 2.5kgs.
Before I was able to find time for gaming, I first used the laptop to do some boring adult crap to test the not-so-fun parts of the machine out. I browsed the internet, made some zoom calls, did some online shopping (for groceries, nothing fun) and here’s what I found.
I didn’t love the keyboard for typing on, which made doing any sort of work or writing awkward. Despite there being ample room for a full size keyboard, the G16 opts to forgo the full numpad, which I really missed. I also found the keys quite awkwardly spaced, and the keycaps themselves didn’t feel as high quality as some other laptops in the same price bracket.
What I did love about the keyboard was the programmable hotkeys at the top. By default they control audio levels, mic, fans and quick access to the Armoury Crate (ASUS’ companion software) which I found myself using constantly.
When utilising the webcam and mic for zoom calls, my picture and audio quality were crisp and clear. The webcam is only 720p but unless you’re using it for streaming or content creation, this probably won’t worry you.
My last gripe was that most of the ports are clustered on the left hand side of the machine, including the one for power. I found the placement of this really bizarre, and would have much preferred it to be on the back.
Performance, Display and Audio:
The first thing I like to test is battery life; I am lazy and the more hours I can go without getting up to plug my laptop in, the better. To put the battery through its paces, I stuck on some YouTube videos and let them play with the intention of running the battery all the way down. Impressively, the laptop made it to around 8 hours before it started encouraging me to find a power source. However when I tested this by actively playing a game, it only reached about half of that – putting it in line with most other gaming laptops in the price range.
Battery life aside, when it comes to gaming, the G16 impressed me in all other areas. I tested a few games on this machine and the laptop met my expectations for all of them.
Cyberpunk 2077 is my go-to for stress testing machines these days, and the G16 rose to the occasion. Not only was my FPS baller (I didn’t see lower than 25 in the most graphics heavy scenes) but it looked fantastic and loaded quickly. My average FPS sat around the 100 mark, and only dropped to 85-90 when I put the machine in silent mode.
Unlike some laptops which sound like a small plane taking off when playing intense games like the above, the G16 fans were pleasantly quiet. The laptop also has a hotkey up the top to give you easy access to fan settings if you find them becoming too loud.
The way the laptop is designed means there’s enough space between the base and the surface you sit it on to provide ample airflow. Because of this, I found the fans never had to kick into overdrive to keep the machine cool.
The other game I used to put the G16 through the wringer is Overwatch 2. I love Overwatch 2 for testing because there’s always 50 million things happening on the screen, the colour palette is saturated to heck and there’s a range of audio to run through the speakers.
Overwatch 2 is much easier to run than Cyberpunk 2077 so it was no surprise that my frames skyrocketed throughout gameplay. There was no amount of explosions or particle effects that could cause my frames to drop or become unsteady: total win.
The colours of the world looked awesome on the screen, the brights were bright and the darks were dark. Explosions were vivid and the respawn screen (which I see often because I die a lot) was a vibrant and good looking reminder of my lack of skill. The sound of my character’s death rang out clear as day over the speakers, although I did notice that explosions and other similar bass-heavy sounds lacked the deep heavy rumble I usually enjoy. Dialogue sounded fantastic though; whether it was in game or watching stuff on YouTube, this is somewhere I noticed an immediate difference when I went back to my other machine.
The ASUS ROG Strix G16 is a powerful machine packed up into a stylish package. Though it wouldn’t be my first choice for work or long form typing, it plays games so well that work is the last thing on my mind when I sit down with it. ROG makes their products for gamers, and gaming is what this laptop does well. A fast processor, powerful graphics card and vibrant display brings all games to life on a crisp and clear 16” screen. The Strix G16 is another checkmark in a long list of awesome hardware that ROG has put out and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
The ROG Strix G16 is available for purchase from all leading PC retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Scorptec and ASUS directly. A unit was kindly provided by PR for the purposes of this review.