Let's spill tea on a universal truth: When investing in a laptop for gaming, you have to make sacrifices on some ends to find that pack of punch. One of the most significant sacrifices is the trade-off between power and portability, as while you may be successful in getting some high-end hardware into a slim frame, you'll inevitably have to suffer in gaming performance to some extent.  

 

Here comes a surprising twist: The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 set itself apart from other gaming laptops. On the surface, it's the thinner and lighter gaming laptop you'll ever see on the market. It is much more lightweight than a MacBook and is easy to lump into a backpack, even with Nvidia 4090 under the hood.  

 

Upon pulling it from the package, we looked it over with a pretty "wow" expression. The laptop is well-designed with an aluminium chassis that gives it minimal aesthetics. Surely, did it have something more exciting than a well-built RTX 4090 magic?  

 

Why not? Of course, there is much more to make you fall in love with Asus ROG Zephyrus Z16. The laptop ships with the first wave of laptops to feature Intel's new Meteor Lake processors, which promise to pack unmatched efficiency, power, and wrinkle of an AI-forward NPU. Throw in a sophisticated chassis, a reasonable price, a fantastic keyboard, an OLED screen, and a long-lasting battery life; you've got yourself the superstar of the best gaming laptops of the current era. 

 

Is there enough here to win over more than just hardcore gamers? Here's our full gaming laptop review! 

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Specifications 

"Republic of gamers" – this is what describes the gaming laptops of Asus. Regarding the newest gaming contender, Asus ROG Zephyrus G16, the brand has slightly altered its approach.  

 

The new Zephyrus showcase a blend of style and power, making it a compelling alternative for a more diverse range of users alongside gamers. Its sleek and elegant case design is attractive, but it also has limitations on the upgradability side. Despite this, the laptop manages to deliver high-end gaming and multimedia performance.  

 

For those who prefer a smaller form factor, Asus also offers the ROG Zephyrus G14, which uses the new Ryzen 8000 processors from AMD. This model is more compact but still cannot outperform ROG Zephyrus G16. Whether you're a gamer, content creator, or simply looking for a stylish and powerful laptop, the Zephyrus G16 should be your first consideration.  

 

Here is the specification list of Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 we're currently reviewing: 

 

  • Processor: Intel Core Ultra 9 185H (16 cores, 22 threads, up to 5.1GHz) 
  • Mainboard: Intel Meteor Lake-U/P/H PCH 
  • Graphics: Nvidia RTX 4090 
  • Dimensions: 13.94 x 9.69 x 0.64 inches 
  • Weight: 4.08 lb 
  • RAM: 32GB LPDDR5X-7467 (soldered) 
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD 
  • Display: 2.5K OLED, 240Hz 
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A , 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI 2.11x SD card reader, 1x 3.5mm headphone 
  • Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 
  • Webcam: 1080p  
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Pro 
  • Battery: 90 WHrs 
  • Price: Around £4,000 

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Design and Build  

 

The Asus ROG Zephyrus is one of the most stylish gaming laptops ever seen, particularly the Asus's new Platinum white finish. The new Zephyrus G16 is a complete contrast from the previous generation.  Its all-aluminium body, along with the MacBook-like thickness and weight.  

 

The black version of the Zephyrus G16 is a very dark grey, distinguishing it from previous Zephyrus models. The lid features a stamped ROG logo, Asus's new Slash Lighting, and a diagonal strip of LED blocks. While the Slash Lighting feels compelling, some users feel it's a step back from the unique AniMe matrix in the previous Zephyrus models. However, given the cost difference between milling holes in aluminium and plastic, the Slash Lighting makes the laptop an affordable contender.  

 

With a maximum thickness of 16:4 to 17.4mm and a 4.08 lb weight, the Zephyrus G16 is supremely portable. Opening the lid, you get a full-sized RGB keyboard between speakers in the CNC aluminium deck.  

 

The laptop's build and stability are up to the mark. There are no cracking noises while opening the lid. However, the new hinge design may restrict itself to 135 degrees. The Zephyrus G16's lid can be opened with one hand, which is convenient. However, we found the hinge a bit loose, causing the lid to wobble when adjusting the angle. If you adjust the hinge to be slightly tighter, it could improve the lid's overall stability. 

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Display  

 

The display is the biggest reason to buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16. The laptop ships with a 16-inch OLED display with a 240 Hz refresh rate. The colours are simply stunning on a 3K resolution panel. The display also has essentially infinite black levels, excellent gradation, and excellent HDR content despite Windows' imperfect HDR implementation. Games, films, and movies look delicate and visually appealing, even though the display cannot show UHD content at its native clarity. 

 

In addition to being OLED, the screen also features Nvidia's G-Sync adaptive refresh rate technology, virtually eliminating screen tearing. This technology ensures that your demanding games run smoothly even with the ray tracing capabilities enabled. If you are a dedicated gamer, you'll appreciate the 240Hz maximum refresh rate, which, when combined with OLED technology, results in near-instant response times.  

 

The ROG Zephyrus Z16 also comes with Dolby Vision pre-installed, allowing you to adjust the colour temperature. While the "Bright" preset is suitable for most users, adjust the temperature to the "Vivid" preset for more vibrant colours. 

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Performance  

 

Another interesting aspect of Asus ROG Zephyrus is its Core Ultra CPU. We've seen this CPU in other compact gaming laptops like HP Omen Transcend 14. The Core Ultra 9 185H chip is as robust as Meteor Lake silicon, with 16 cores, 22 threads, and a clock speed of 5.1 GHz. Core i9 processor paired with 32GB of RAM and 2TB of NVMe SSD storage are enough to demolish any gaming title you throw at it.  

 

Even with the thin form factor, the Zephyrus G16 should squeeze more power out of the CPU simply because it is a larger laptop. When you switch to Turbo mode, the Core Ultra 9 185H shows a slightly higher performance than the Core Ultra 7 155H. However, the difference is minimal.  

 

When it ships, the ROG Zephyrus G16 packs Nvidia's current 4000-series chips, starting with an RTX 4050 GPU and going up to RTX 4090 GPU. Our review model includes RTX 4090 graphics, which makes it worth the trade-off. The 4090 GPU features specialised AI Tensor Cores that deliver cutting-edge performance and revolutionary capabilities whether you are playing Street Fighter VI, Baldur's Gate 3, Cyberpunk 2077 or running cutting-edge software.  

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Ports  

 

Commonly, people do not expect much on the port side if the laptop profile is smaller and lighter. The good news is that ROG Zephyrus G16 offer a healthy number of ports, leaving many powerful contenders behind.  

 

On the right side, you'll see a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A and SD card reader. Meanwhile, a Thunderbolt 4 port, 1 USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, an HDMI 2.1 port and a headphone jack are on the left side.  

 

You have everything you need here, like connecting an external storage unit, connecting an additional monitor, and powering up the battery with a portable USB-C charger. You don't need an external USB hub to use your laptop effectively, which is a big plus.  

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Audio 

 

Asus has added a six-mounted speaker system that offers a loud, thicker, more bassy tone that you might expect from any other gaming laptop with this price tag. The bass was a bit overpowering in our audio benchmarks, especially when listening to acoustic tracks, as it didn't quite blend seamlessly with the rest of the audio. The good news is we didn't feel this while gaming; even without the usual gaming setup, Resident Evil 4 was incredibly immersive. 

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Keyboard and Trackpad  

 

Asus maintained a similar keyboard design across its Zephyrus series for several generations, continuing with the 2024 Zephyrus G16. The island-style keys feel pleasant to type on, as in previous models. Everything has dedicated volume keys and a button for the Asus Armoury Crate. Asus has relied on extra space at the top of the key deck to provide easier access to these controls. The scattering of multimedia keys above the function row is also helpful for many users. Additionally, if you're not satisfied with the default settings, you can customise the key functions via Armoury Crate. 

 

As for the trackpad, you should expect a significant change compared to previous Zephyrus models. The new design extends from the front lip of the laptop to the keyboard. This larger trackpad is incredibly comfortable, smooth enough for friction-free fingering and accurately detecting multi-touch navigations.  

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Software  

 

Asus hasn't gone overboard with bloatware on the Zephyrus G16. You get the MyAsus app as an essential software update and diagnostics system, but the obstructive notifications might be annoying sometimes. Also, Armoury Crate has covered you with functionalities like performance profiles, audio settings, and controls for animated Aura, making it one of the most influential and useful Apps for managing game settings. 

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Battery Life  

 

Battery is the area where we found Asus ROG Zephyrus a bit weak. In our battery benchmarks, the 90Wh battery lasted just around six hours. If you plan to buy ROG Zephyrus G16 for CPU and GPU-intensive applications, the battery won't last for a full working day without recharging. For instance, streaming Netflix at maximum brightness reduces the battery by 16% in an hour, so you cannot expect much for battery endurance.  

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Pricing  

 

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 gaming laptop has no price tag. This is because the laptop comes in various configurations, which affects the final cost. Prices start from around £1,449 for a 2023 base model with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card and goes up to hefty £4000 for a top-of-the-line 2024 model with an Intel Core Ultra 9 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, and an Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card. 

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: It's not all about gaming!  

 

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 might be called a gaming laptop at its core, but its magic extends far beyond just playtime. Sure, the laptop perfectly breezes through AAA titles, thanks to its powerful Core i9 processor and RTX 4090 graphics card, but the laptop's strengths are more than the gaming realm. The sleek and stylish form makes it a head-turner, while the 4K high-resolution, 240Hz display is perfect for creative applications like photo and video editing. With all the muscle under the hood, the laptop swiftly tackles 3D rendering, software development, and coding without sweat. 

 

Should I buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16?  

 

The ROG Zephyrus G16 should be your go-to consideration if you want maximum performance and a larger OLED screen in a slim and stylish laptop. This laptop is a beauty, packing all the bells and whistles like ergonomics, excellent screen and the performance to work as both a creative and gaming laptop.  

 

However, if you want a maximum band for your buck, the ROG Zephyrus G16 might not suit you. In this case, you are paying a bit more for the style and high-quality screen, so if you want the fastest gaming performance for extended hours, you better look for something elsewhere.  

 

Final Verdict  

 

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is stylish and powerful, bursting with a potential laptop for gamers and creators. The laptop promises a strong and elegant build, vibrant screen, good performance, and an excellent selection of ports. The keyboard and trackpad are very worth griping over. The slash LED on the lid is also especially easy on the eyes. As the Zephyrus models already battle-test Nvidia RTX 4000 series graphics, the G16 is a firecracker integrating Nvidia RTX 4090.   

 

While the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 offers an impressive combination of style, portability, ergonomics, and performance, it could be heavy on your wallet, especially for the Core Ultra 9/RTX 4090 model. At £4000, you also have other options for the best cheap laptops for gaming. However, if you're willing to splurge for a laptop that excels in multiple areas, the ROG Zephyrus G16 is a compelling choice.