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The Powerful Asus ROG M16 Gaming Laptop Let Me Take My PC Gaming Away From The Office

Gaming in a whole new location

I’ve always been someone who prefers to do their gaming on a console, and that’s unlikely to ever truly change. Knocking off after a long day of work, slinking into the living room, plonking myself on the couch with a controller in hand and relaxing with a few rounds of whatever multiplayer game has my attention that week is just too hard to beat.

…but.

Over the last few years, as I’ve slowly pieced together a semi-respectable PC setup, I’ve come to realise that the grass on the other side of the fence is pretty damn green. I still can’t aim with a mouse and keyboard with any kind of skill, and I’m about as clueless with specs and hardware as they come, but I’ve grown fonder and fonder of gaming on my PC. While this revelation is lovely and all, breaking down tribalistic barriers and all that jazz, two things consistently stand in my way.

As I mentioned, I’m far from an expert when it comes to rigs, but it doesn’t take a technician to understand what the issue is when a modern title runs like a three-page flipbook. My hand-me-down tower is a faithful friend, but it’s far from being in its prime, leaving me somewhat in the cold on occasion.

SPOILERS: This gorgeous unit is my saviour

Less of a technical obstacle and more of a mental one, my other roadblock is where my PC calls home. While it makes complete sense to have all of my monitors, keyboards and whatnot in one place, I work from home on a full-time basis, so my home office can feel like a well-stocked prison by the end of the work week, a feeling that isn’t conducive to relaxing with some digital entertainment.

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So, to recap, I’m increasingly interested in PC gaming, but my hardware is limiting and my gaming environment is riddled with the stench of a corporate nine-to-five. I was relatively at peace with my current situation, but then ASUS came along and ruined everything by showing me what the alternative looks like.

I recently spent a few weeks with the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 gaming laptop, and to say that my preconceived ideas about what a gaming laptop was capable of were challenged would be a mighty understatement. A peak behind the curtain will tell you that our recent episode of Talkthrough, focused on Lords of the Fallen, wouldn’t have been possible without the Zephyrus, as my humble old rig quaked in the face of the game’s minimum requirements.

As priority number one, I downloaded and booted up the demanding Soulslike as soon as the laptop’s setup was complete, half expecting the performance to be rougher than sandpaper, because this was a laptop after all. So wasn’t I left surprised and impressed when I was able to die repeatedly on recommended settings with little more than my own skill to blame. Apparently, an NVIDIA RTX 4070 and a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 were more than enough to stand up to the thirsty gothic action title, who knew? I’m sure all of you reading knew, but I sure didn’t.

  • CPU –13th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-13900H Processor 2.6 GHz (24M  Cache, up to 5.4 GHz, 14 cores: 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores)
  • GPU –NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4070 Laptop GPU
  • Memory –32GB (16GBx2) DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM
  • Storage –1TB PCIe® 4.0 NVMe™ M.2 SSD
  • Network & Communication –Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Triple band) 2*2 + Bluetooth® 5.3 Wireless Card
  • Display –16-inch QHD+ 16:10 (2560 x 1600, WQXGA) ROG Nebula HDR Display
  • Battery –90WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
  • Power Supply –ø6.0, 280W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 14A, 280W, Input: 100~240C AC 50/60Hz universal
  • Camera –1080P FHD IR Camera
  • OS – Windows 11 Pro
  • Price – $4,299

What’s more, when push came to shove and it was time for me to play the game in mediocre fashion, record my voice, run a four-way Discord video chat and capture the gameplay, the M16 pulled a Captain America and hit me with a, “I could do this all day.”

Admittedly, that high-pressure situation didn’t leave me with any ability to truly admire the laptop’s capabilities, but it was the next morning with a cup of coffee in hand when I started to properly swoon. Downstairs, far away from the sound of Teams messages, I was able to boot up Apex Legends and take the M16 for a personal stress test. Not only was the performance rock solid, but it was while I was getting decimated by a third squad that I noticed just how sharp and clear the laptop’s display was.

I won’t say I went the Kieran Stockton tight-arse route with my monitors, but they’re certainly on the budget-friendly end of the spectrum. While I can always appreciate a visually striking game on my own PC, the colours don’t pop as they should and the image is nowhere near as vibrant as it could be. Whether it was trudging through the spectral world of Umbral in Lords of the Fallen, or sliding around the colourful, well-lit arena in Apex, the 16-inch QHD Nebula display on the Zephyrus made every environment feel alive.

I’m sure the whole ROG line-up is impressive, but it’s the M16 that has my attention

Compared to my personal monitors, the display built into this laptop is so bright and crisp that I could feel my retinas vibrating, and it hurt so good. The deep HDR allowed colours to shine brightly, while also keeping the darker moments in dungeons and ancient keeps in alluring shadow. In a competitive environment like Apex, the 240Hz refresh rate is deeply appreciated, keeping up with the intensely fast-paced gameplay without as much as a jitter.

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Weighing in at a reasonable two kilos, the Zephyrus travelled with me everywhere while it was on its Tasmanian vacation. Even though I could have (easily), I didn’t whip the bad boy out in cafes to sneak in rounds of The Finals, but a solid amount of WellPlayed work was completed. For as gaming-focused as the M16 is, it also ticks the boxes for general use. The keyboard is responsive and tactile, without falling into the gamer trap of sounding like a typewriter from the 1940s. On a single charge, I managed around seven hours of general use, which far surpasses my personal laptop which has been shunned since using the M16.

I’ve long been sceptical of gaming laptops, so my expectations were tempered when the Zephyrus arrived. Within an hour of booting up the beast, I had done a complete 180, to the point that my desktop PC feels like a dinosaur in comparison. All in all, I enjoyed the power and freedom afforded to me by the M16 so much that I feel like I owe gaming laptops an apology. So, from this semi-converted console player, I’m sorry for ever having doubted you.

If you’re looking to get your hands on the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, you can head right on over to the Republic of Gamers website.

As I mentioned, our most recent episode of Talkthrough featured Lords of the Fallen. While I struggle to stay alive, Zach, Nathan and I chat with Hexworks’ Executive Producer Saul Gascon about the game’s development, what’s next for the title and the benefits of working remotely. You can check out the full episode here.

Unit supplied by the manufacturer

Click here for more information on WellPlayed’s review policy and ethics

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Written By Adam Ryan

Adam's undying love for all things PlayStation can only be rivalled by his obsession with vacuuming. Whether it's a Dyson or a DualShock in hand you can guarantee he has a passion for it. PSN: TheVacuumVandal XBL: VacuumVandal Steam: TheVacuumVandal

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