The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 brings new 12th generation Intel chips into the mix with a few updates. The latest gaming laptop from Asus is clearly meant for grown-up gamers who don’t want to attract attention and at the same time never compromise on performance. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 has been a favorite, or at least second favorite, of many and it competes with ASUS’ own Zephyrus G15 and G14 that will be introduced alongside the Ryzen 9.
We got a chance to drive the Zephyrus M16 at its brisk pace for a few weeks. Our review unit comes with 12th Generation Intel Core i9-12900H with RTX 3070Ti 8GB GDDR6 Laptop GPU. This particular model has been launched at a price of Rs 2,41,990. The line-up starts at Rs 1,79,990 and goes up to Rs 3,31,990 for the highest specified variant. Here are our thoughts after the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 2022.
Let’s start with the exterior. As soon as you open the packaging, you are greeted by an elegantly placed and presented machine. This shows that the Zephyrus M16 isn’t all about being flashy and colorful. Instead, it’s a decently sized chunk of technology that can blend into an office environment as well. The laptop feels pretty sturdy with little or no flex on the screen. The outer shell is made of metal and has a matte finish with laser-cut micro holes to give it the Zephyrus design language. While there’s a reflective screen under the laser-cut hole, it’s only visible if you’re looking intently. The hinges feel quite sturdy and are well calibrated. You can open the laptop lid with one hand.
In short, if you’re looking for a no-compromise gaming laptop that you can even sneak into your office for work, this is probably the one. The M16 2022 is also light and compact with a massive 16-inch screen. All credit goes to the thin bezels all around the screen. So much so that the vents closer to the screen are actually facing the display. In my experience, airflow had no effect on the display, even with long gaming sessions.
One serious concern I had with the M16 was the composite material used around the trackpad, palmrest, and speakers. Initially, the touch and feel were rubbery which was not bad. After a few weeks of use, I was having a hard time keeping the machine clean around oily or dirty hands.
I played titles like Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon, Crysis 3 and A Plague Tale Innocence. The laptop had no problem handling these titles. There were no tears or stutters in Forza Horizon even with the fast-paced action, just some very rare frame drops. With Forza Horizon 5 on, on high settings, it easily managed to stay above the 100FPS mark. However, you may have to switch to a ‘very low’ graphic output to reach the true 165Hz potential of the display. Don’t expect more than 80FPS on the laptop as the game seems relatively more demanding when compared to other games with similar graphics levels.
keypad and trackpad
The keyboard is of a standard size. The sacrifice of good speakers and small form-factor left a number pad I honestly didn’t mind. The keyboard supports RGB lighting and under the Aura feature you have options ranging from static to pulsing, strobing and many more. Keyboard lighting can be managed through the armory crate.
The day to day tasks performed very well. We didn’t see any problem anywhere. It takes an odd few seconds to switch from battery to power output and vice versa. You can manage performance levels with the Armory Crate, which continues to get a dedicated button. In my experience, the temperature of the laptop reached 93 degrees. There was no significant drop in performance despite the increase in temperature. On the one hand, the cooling system does a good job of dissipating the heat, on the other hand, it gets a little hotter than the outside. It is still a moderate temperature in the palm rest and trackpad area.
You can switch between modes in the Armory Crate. Profiles do what they say. The silent mode is good enough for almost all the basic needs and it is the best in maintaining the battery as well as the temperature. The laptop automatically goes into display mode after you plug it in. Turbo Mode is the best preset for gaming performance. However, the fans are loud enough for a quiet environment. You can also tweak fan, CPU, GPU in manual mode.
The MUX switch has been added to this year’s M16 and gives players more control over their machines. The MUX switch allows users to disable the integrated graphics on the laptop to provide better gaming performance. This helps avoid the bottleneck of integrated graphics in demanding peak performance. On the other hand, the dGPU or dedicated graphics can be disabled for day-to-day use in order to maximize battery output.
The screen was one of its strengths and the new M16 continues to work in this aspect. The 16-inch 2K display is crisp. Black-levels are decent for the panel in gaming laptops and the 165hz display is an added advantage. The taller screen allows for more vertical space than the G15, making it work well for both gaming and professional work.
To buy or not to buy
The previous version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 was a popular choice for those looking for a powerful gaming machine in a slim form factor. I wouldn’t call the M16 (2022) a substantial upgrade compared to the older version but the M16 2022 does slightly improve in almost all aspects, making it an even more attractive proposition. Unless you own the previous version, it’s a sensible purchase. It is a good looking option in the otherwise attractive gaming laptop market.
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