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Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 – An Unassuming Powerhouse

For the better part of a month, I have been using the Zephyrus M16 integrated into my workflow. This is something that had never happened before with any other laptop that I have come to review because of several reasons – all of which have been written off by the M16. Let’s see how that happened shall we.

First let me introduce you to the Zephyrus M16 2022; the GU603ZW-K8029WS variant retails for Php 169,995. This unit had under its hood an Intel i9-12900H, 1TB SSD, 32GB DDR5 (16+16), and is mated to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. It shows off all of its prowess on a 16″ QHD+ 16:10 Anti-Glare ROG Nebula Display with a refresh rate of 165Hz. The package comes with 2 power adapters and for the most part I used the bigger 240W one as I had kept the machine on Turbo setting constantly. This means that whenever the machine is plugged in, only the 3070 Ti is being utilized for everything.

This particular Zephyrus variant takes unassuming to the next level as apart from the RGB lights that adorn the keyboard, it really is very good at not showing off. You only know that this particular model is special when you catch a glimpse of the rainbow reflection that happens when light hits the lid a specific way – it’s not that easy to make it appear while stationary, either the light, the lid, or the viewer has to be in motion in order for it to appear. It also does not have any fancy AAS but you can be sure that cooling is being achieved properly because of what I can only describe as “aggressive” fan activity while in Turbo operation.

On the left of the device we have (L-R) the power barrel plug, a full sized HDMI, RJ45, USB-A, Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 4, Type-C with DisplayPort and PD 3.0, and an Audio Combo Jack.

On the right there’s another USB-A, a microSD reader, and a Kensington Lock.

The keyboard deck has a standard layout with four special M-Keys, a pretty large trackpad area, and at the center-rear of the deck we have the huge activity notification lights which are constantly visible whether or not the lid is open.

The surface of the keyboard deck has like a smooth velvety feel that, while easy enough to clean, picks up imperfections much too often for my taste.

That’s about it for introductions… here’s what went down during the time that the Zephyrus M16 was with me:

I’d like for you to know that I did not plan on including it in my workflow, it just happened that way because it’s a good fit. Within the first few days of the device being beside my workstation I had already been able to load up all of the important software I use on the daily. I think it is partly because this device is literally the first Intel i9 powered device that I got my hands on, but other than that, I found it “natural” to just swivel my chair to it and start to work on something on the M16 as well – likely another selling point was the screen size at 16″ and the real estate that the 16:10 aspect ratio was able to provide.

One of the first things that I do with any new unit is that I adjust the display scaling to 100%. On the M16 I only put it to 125% as the icons are getting harder to discern any farther than that.

Because I had conditioned my mind to recognize that the M16 is a very capable machine, whenever I had to do something that required intense computing power such as stitching together several images in full scan resolution, regenerating drawings that contained a lot of repetition over a layout spread, or going over large data sets and having to interpolate them to create a high enough resolution mesh – I chose the Zephyrus to do the task on first.

I had also been able to take it out with me to one of my job sites and during that time I bought the smaller power brick to get some load off. The battery held off as expected with a machine this big, but no matter, I had a small enough charger with me so that’s good. I did notice though that there is a different feeling on the keyboard deck when charging over the USB-C adapter. It’s as if heat was being generated where the power was flowing from and this does not happen with the barrel type one which provides that much more power.

I cannot stress how much time that this machine was able to save us – anywhere from decision making to generating outputs for an imminent meeting presentation… and this was just for a good part of a month. I can just imagine if it had stayed with us in perpetuity.

It had been so ingrained in fact that I completely forgot that I had to send it back on the day and was literally working on something on the Zephyrus M16 when it was called in. Oh and just in case you were wondering, I did play some games on it too – casual ones though so the only real benefit that I got from the super fast screen was for moving about the infinite model space of CAD programs. And it’s not that I don’t game, especially since the remastered Spider-Man had just been released on Steam and I thought, wow that would be a perfect way to test out the DLSS off of the 3070 Ti… well that thought was drowned out soon enough XD

Here are the VRay Benches as per custom for scaling:

The Zephyrus M16 is an amazing machine for all the proper reasons – while I wouldn’t say that it is the total embodiment of the Zephyrus lineup, both its weight, dimensions, and visual characteristics give out the vibe that fit the narrative. If you’re looking to supplant your current roster of machines with one that really doesn’t need to prove itself – this is fantastic value for money. The Zephyrus M16 gives you more time with zero fuss and more often than not, that is all that is necessary.

About the author

Mark O.

Mark is an architect and artist who endeavors to design most anything that requires a little bit of thought into it.

Although writing is not considered a primary focus, a little too much time can yield many thoughts that are just begging to be written down.

Armed with a trusty array of content creation devices and surrounded with a continuous flux of technology and life, herein lies those that are fortunate enough to have been given presence through a little bit of movement and a whole lot of iterations.

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