Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 brings the new 12th Gen Intel chips into the mix along with some updates. The latest gaming laptop from Asus is clearly for the grown-up gamers who don’t want to grab attention and at the same time never compromise with performance. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 has been a favourite, or at least a second favourite for many and it competes with ASUS’ own Zephyrus G15 and G14 which will be introduced with Ryzen 9.
We got a chance to run the Zephyrus M16 through its paces for a few weeks. Our review unit came with the 12th Gen 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 all the way to Rs 3,31,990 for the highest specced variant. Here are our views after on 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 goes on to show that the Zephyrus M16 is not about being flashy and colourful. Instead, it’s a decently sized chunk of technology that can even blend in the office environment. The laptop seems sturdy enough with little to no flex on the screen. The outside shell is made of metal and has a matte finish with laser-cut micro holes to give it the Zephyrus design language. While there is a reflective screen under the laser-cut holes, it is only visible if you are looking keenly. The hinges seem strong enough and are well-calibrated. You can open the laptop lid with a single hand.
In short, if you are looking for a no-compromise gaming laptop that you can also sneak into your office for work, this is probably the one. The M16 2022 is light and compact even with the massive 16-inch screen. All credit goes to the slim bezels on all four sides of the screen. So much so that the vents close to the screen are actually facing the display. In my experience, the airflow had no impact on the display even with prolonged sessions of gaming.
One serious concern I had with the M16 was the overall material used around the trackpad, the palmrest and over the speakers. Initially, the touch and feel was rubbery which wasn’t bad. Just after a few weeks of usage, I was having a tough 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 issues handling these titles. Even with fast-paced action in the Forza Horizon there were no tears or stutters, just some very rare frame drops. With Forza Horizon 5, on high settings, it easily managed to stay above the 100FPS mark. However, to reach the true 165Hz potential of the display you might have to switch to ‘very low’ graphic output. Don’t expect over 80FPS on the laptop as the game seems to be relatively more demanding 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 led to the omission of a number pad, which I honestly don’t mind. The keyboard supports RGB lighting and you have a plethora of options from static to pulsing, strobing and many more under the Aura feature. The keyboard lighting can be managed via the Armoury Crate.
Day-to-day tasks performed pretty well. We didn’t see any hiccups whatsoever. The switch from battery to power output and vice-versa does take a few odd seconds. You can manage the performance levels with the Armoury Crate, which continues to get a dedicated button. In my experience, the laptop reached temperatures as high as 93 degrees. There was no noticeable drop in performance despite the temperature spike. On one hand, the cooling system does a good job dissipating heat, on the other hand, it gets a little too warm to outside. The palm rest and the trackpad area still maintains moderate temperatures.
You can switch between modes in the Armoury Crate. The profiles do what they say. The silent mode is good enough for almost all basic needs and it is the best in maintaining battery as well as temperatures. The laptop automatically switches to performance mode once you’re plugged in. The turbo mode is the best preset for gaming performance. However, the fans are pretty loud for a quiet environment. You can also tweak the fan, CPU, GPU in manual mode.
MUX Switch is added to this year’s M16 and it gives players more control over their machines. MUX Switch allows users to disable the integrated graphics on the laptop to provide better gaming performance. It helps avoid the integrated graphics’ bottleneck when in demand of peak performance. On the other hand, the dGPU or the dedicated graphics can also be disabled for day-to-day use to maximize battery output.
The screen was one of its strengths and the new M16 continues to deliver in this aspect. The 16-inch 2K display is crisp. The black-levels are decent for a panel in a gaming laptop and the 165hz display is an added advantage. The taller screen compared to the G15 allows more vertical space, this works well for both gaming and professional work.
To Buy or Not to Buy
The previous iteration of 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 M16 2022 improves a little in almost all aspects, making it an even more attractive proposition. Unless you own the previous version, this is a sensible buy. It is a good-looking option in an otherwise flashy gaming laptop market.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 2022 brings the new 12th Gen Intel chips into the mix along with some updates. The latest gaming laptop from Asus is a no-compromise machine for gamers who don’t want to grab attention and at the same time never compromise with performance. The