Review Of The Asus ROG Flow X16 Gaming Laptop

Review Of The Asus ROG Flow X16 Gaming Laptop

Few technology companies are as risk-taking as Asus, and the ROG Flow X16 is another example of the company’s imaginative mindset. The display on this large-screen gaming laptop can spin 360 degrees. That kind of design choice could initially appear out of place, yet it is frequently found on ultraportables and notebooks for creatives.

It finally does make a surprising amount of sense when played on a gaming device. The Flow can be used as a typical laptop, sure, but it can also twist into the shape of a tent and work like a small TV, letting you play games with a control pad or watch movies. When set to tablet mode, it performs admirably for touchscreen gaming or creative projects. If you can manage its size, you might even be able to read it.

The internals of the design is strong. The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS together provide processing power and gaming skills. Due to Asus’s announcement of a 2023 update of this laptop model with a few changes and upgrades, we can also observe what’s nice about it now and think about what’s to come.

Aside from specific components, the display offers greater adaptability than the typical gaming laptop, but as a result, the Asus ROG Flow X16 is often more expensive than certain competitors. The device we’ve examined is the $2,499 ROG Flow X16 GV601RW-M5110X. That is more expensive than the MSI Raider GE77, which costs $2,199 with an RTX 3070 Ti, but $100 less expensive than a comparable Razer Blade 15.

Beyond those setups, there are several additional regular laptops with RTX 3070 Ti graphics cards that cost around $2,000 or less.

 Features and Design

The ROG Flow X16’s convertible design makes it more versatile than other gaming laptops, and the Asus is well-built for mobility; the hinges rotate easily and offer just enough resistance to keep the screen firmly in place once it is in place.

The entire notebook can be seen to have a high level of construction. The chassis is made of durable aluminum and magnesium alloy, and the display is scarcely flexible. It has a sleek appearance as well, thanks to a design that forgoes RGB LED illumination in favor of a more subdued, industrial vibe.

Even while the convertible design is impressive, it isn’t ideal. The Flow is 355mm broad and 19.4mm thick, making it difficult for many users to utilize the tablet mode for reading, surfing, or gaming. Additionally, it isn’t especially light, weighing in at 4.6 pounds on the scales; you could notice your arms tiring sooner rather than later. Add 1.2 pounds for the power brick as well.

The size of the Flow is certainly not a problem, and its hybrid hinge offers flexibility, but it isn’t the best. Because it is a convertible laptop, you shouldn’t automatically assume that it would be tiny and light.

There are two PCI-E 4.0 2280 M cards inside. Upgrades are feasible thanks to the two RAM slots and two SSD connections. The wifi card is accessible, and the battery is also simple to remove. However, getting inside is challenging since a total of thirteen Philips screws and plastic clips secure the base panel.

The Display

There is a lot riding on the screen quality in this situation as Asus claims that the Flow X16 performs well in a variety of situations. The specifications, thankfully, do not let you down: this 16″ panel offers a 2560 x 1600 resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio to provide clear pictures and additional vertical space. Because it is a Mini LED screen, it should perform better in terms of contrast than IPS technology.

The panel includes AMD FreeSync Premium Pro-rated at 165Hz, which will work well in single-player games and popular esports games. The 3ms reaction time is great for most gaming circumstances outside of the most demanding esports games.

In tests, the Flow did achieve the impressive 1100cd/m2 peak brightness that Asus claims its Mini LED display possesses. A great contrast ratio of 4,176:1 is achieved by combining the peak brightness of 543cd/m2 in SDR mode with the black point of 0.13cd/m2. Your games and movies have great punch, depth, and vibrancy thanks to it, which is far superior to any IPS display.

With a massive 512 dimming zones in the Mini LED hardware, HDR media may be controlled and nuanced to your heart’s content. This makes the X16 an alluring alternative for intense gameplay because it’s one of the few gaming laptops that will do HDR games and movies properly.

However, that number isn’t quite high enough for color-sensitive workloads, such as design and photo-editing jobs. The Delta E of 3.06 is adequate for gaming and you won’t notice any serious accuracy concerns.

It’s a pity because the screen handles color gamuts well and the Flow’s 6,422K color temperature is outstanding. The screen produced 99.7% of the DCI-P3 space at 117.4%, so every HDR shade will be reproduced accurately, and its sRGB coverage level of 100% at 165.7% volume provides a big punch in mainstream games.

The Asus produced 91.1% of the necessary colors at 114.2% in the Adobe RGB color space. Similar to the Delta E finding, that number is insufficient to manage to demand, and color-sensitive workloads. Thanks to Mini LED technology, this display may be excellent for gaming and video, but it falls short of creative tasks.

The quartet of speakers will produce excellent audio for both your games and movies. They have good bass that doesn’t overpower the intricate mid-range, and they are loud, strong, snappy, and bright. They are certainly enough for media viewing and gaming.

This screen performs better than any IPS panel and outperforms duller displays, but it’s important to keep in mind that the next Razer Blade 16 will also include Mini LED displays. Competitors are also offering OLED choices with greater refresh rates.

If you want a new screen for the Flow, it’s also worth waiting for the 2023 model. The newest machine has the 2560 x 1600 resolution and Mini LED design, but Asus claims that the panel can now go over 1200cd/m2 with 1,024 dimming zones, so anticipate more subtlety and punch. Additionally, an enhanced 240Hz refresh rate will be better for esports.

Input and Connectivity

We pointed out that the Flow’s outward design is a little erratic, and this is true throughout. Two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a microSD card slot, and the power button are all located on the right edge of the Flow. However, the power button is annoyingly shallow, and all of the ports are located toward the front of the device, which could interfere with your right-handed mouse if you’re right-handed.

There are two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports on the left edge that enable DisplayPort and power delivery, however, a lot of room is taken up by the connector for the XG Mobile dock, despite the fact that this device isn’t sold in many countries and none of the 2022 variants outperforms the RTX 3070 Ti. At least until the XG Mobile 2023 with its RTX 4090 is out, it is a waste of space.

Although the Asus ROG Flow X16 lacks a fingerprint reader, it does include a camera that supports Windows Hello. There is no wired internet, but it does include dual-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 on the inside. For 4K/120Hz and 8K/60Hz gaming, there is an HDMI 2.1 output, however, there is no Thunderbolt 4. A full-size SD slot would have been preferable if you wanted a laptop that could be used for both creative work and games.

Thankfully, some of the issues are addressed in the 2023 upgrade. With the switch to Intel hardware, there will be one Thunderbolt 4 connector and a 1080p webcam instead of 720p.

On the improved variant, there is still no fingerprint reader and no wired internet access. The bulky MSI Raider GE77 has an SD card slot, more USB ports, and 2.5Gbps Ethernet, while the Razer also has an additional full-size USB port and an SD card slot. However, some competitors will still be superior.

The keyboard may need some improvement. The Flow’s keys amaze with their quickness, consistency, and durability even while you’re hammering through gaming. The buttons have a substantial 1.7mm of travel.

The Flow’s single-zone RGB LED illumination and lack of a number pad are drawbacks, though. A USB mouse should be connected if you’re serious about gaming, even though the trackpad is acceptable for general use due to the buttons’ excessive downward pressure.


The ROG Flow X16 is the most formidable laptop in this price category, and it combines an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti with a 125W maximum peak power limit to fully use its 5,888 stream processors and 8GB of RAM. If you want to learn more about this GPU.

Similar in scope, AMD’s Ryzen 9 6900HS features eight multi-threaded cores with base and peak clock frequencies of 3.3 GHz and 4.9 GHz. There are no surprises elsewhere. The system has a Micron 3400 PCIe 4.0 SSD with respectable read and writes speeds of 6,549 MB/s and 4,479 MB/s, together with 32GB of dual-channel DDR5 memory clocked at 4800 MHz. The SSD’s size is the only thing we can fault it for.

Most single-player games run easily with the RTX 3070 Ti at native resolution and high-quality settings, including DLSS and ray tracing. The Flow averaged 59 frames per second in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 2560 x 1600 with with Ultra settings enabled, while it reached 64.9 frames per second in Borderlands 3. The Asus produced 69 frames per second in Horizon Zero Dawn on Ultimate settings and a maximum of 76 frames per second in Far Cry New Dawn.

With an average frame rate of 201 at 2560 x 1600 and Ultra settings, Rainbow Six Siege has enough speed for competitive games as well.

But the RTX 3070 Ti isn’t perfect. The Asus barely managed 49 frames per second on average in Red Dead Redemption 2 with all settings turned up to 2560 x 1600.

That shows that the RTX 3070 Ti runs out of headroom in games with high demands. While 49 frames per second are still workable, you’ll have to make concessions if you want to run the most demanding games at frame rates higher than 60.

That could include lowering the resolution (the Asus ran Red Dead’s 1080p Ultra test at 63 frames per second) or the graphical settings. But the RTX 3070 Ti can’t match the performance of GPUs like the RTX 3080 Ti, and it can’t handle every challenge without tiring.

The same applies if you wish to utilize this laptop in some situations that are external. Esports games will run well on 1080p/360Hz panels, while 480Hz displays may cause problems. If you don’t lower the quality settings, widescreens and 4K panels will suffer.

Switching from the basic Performance mode to the Turbo option is an efficient method to get a little bit more out of this portable. As usual, Asus provides more performance settings through its Armoury Crate app.

The X16’s Far Cry: New Dawn performance increased from 76 frames per second to 82 frames per second in Turbo mode, while its Assassin’s Creed Valhalla performance also increased by 6 frames. The rig’s Horizon score increased by an astounding 9 fps thanks to its Turbo setting.

That’s fantastic, but it’s also the sole explanation for why this GPU was occasionally able to equal the performance of the RTX 3070 Ti in our assessment, where it was paired with an Intel Core i7-12700H. In Red Dead 2, for example, the Asus performed a little better than our evaluation chip, but it was still a little slower in Horizon and Rainbow Six.

That comes as no surprise given the fact that Intel has historically been a superior gaming laptop choice to AMD, and it might help to explain why Asus chose Intel for the X16’s 2023 upgrade.

Impressive are other performance modes. The X16 still managed to provide 77 fps and 59 fps on average in Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed at 2560 x 1600 despite the Windows option reducing GPU performance and fan noise. The X16 continued to play those games in Silent mode at 59 and 54 frames per second.

Although the Ryzen 9 6900HS might have been used to its full extent with those performance settings, they had a significant influence on gaming.

The Cinebench R23 X16 produced values of 1,575 and 13,830 for single- and multi-threaded operations. Those are excellent numbers, but they also fall short of Intel’s Core i7-12700H and the scores we retrieved from the processor in our assessment.

The Matlab R2020 result of 1.506 for the X16 was around half a second slower than Intel’s component, and the X16’s PCMark 10 Applications score of 13,237 is still a touch behind those other processors. In comparison to what this CPU is capable of, the Asus laptop could only manage 7-Zip compression and decompression scores of 51.4MB/s and 666.97MB/s, respectively.

The Excel test was the lone shining star. Despite Intel’s silicon still being superior, the Ryzen 9 6900HS beat the standard CPU in this benchmark with a time of 8.5 seconds.

The Cinebench R23 multi-core score for the X16 increased to 14,257 while it was running in Turbo mode, but that’s still not a very fast pace; it simply takes the Asus up to par with the 6900HS’ performance from our review, and it can’t catch up to Intel. Although improved, its updated 7Zip ratings of 54.6MB/s and 730.5MB/s are still not particularly noteworthy.

The Windows and Silent settings, on the other hand, have no effect on CPU performance.

Although it may seem like a bad report card for the X16’s CPU, that isn’t quite the case. Even while the Ryzen 9 6900HS cannot compete with the Intel Core i7-12700H in this situation, it is still fast enough for everyday computing, Office applications, mainstream multimedia production, and streaming. Only if you desire a laptop for heavy applications like 4K video editing will you want more power. If you find yourself in that situation, it may be worthwhile to look around (the MSI Raider GE77, for example, uses a Core i9-12900HX) or to hold out until the X16’s 2023 upgrade.

The upgrading to Intel’s Core i9-13900H will result in a significant improvement in processing performance if you opt to wait for the updated model. The RTX 4070 will replace the RTX 3070 Ti in the upgraded GV601VI, but don’t anticipate a significant improvement in gaming performance there as the newer chip is built on the Ada Lovelace architecture and has fewer stream processors than the previous chip.

Thermals and Battery Life

The X16 is a respectable thermal performer in its standard Performance mode; while there is fan noise present, the Asus’s audible output never exceeded 47db, and you simply won’t hear the noise if you’re using a headphone or if the laptop’s speakers are turned up to a respectable volume.

The keyboard’s bottom and metal border warmed up during gaming testing in Performance mode, although they never became dangerously hot.

The X16 is still tolerable, which is more than can be said for many other gaming laptops. In Turbo mode, the noise levels rose to about 50 dB, and the metal did get warmer.

The X16 was incredibly quiet in Silent mode; it wasn’t exactly as quiet as the name indicates, but it was still quite quiet for low-key, casual gaming. Noise levels were also reasonable in Windows mode.

The X16 was usually silent while processing tasks, which is promising for this laptop’s ability to create content. However, in single-core tests, the CPU’s maximum speed was 4.7GHz rather than the theoretical 4.9GHz that the chip is capable of. It never exceeded 4.4GHz in multi-core testing. These numbers aren’t terrible, especially for a very small, quiet computer, but they do help to explain why the 6900HS benchmarks have been declining. The battery life of the X16 was somewhat improved. The Asus lasted for four hours in a benchmark test for general office use with the display at full brightness, and that time increased to five hours and thirty-five minutes with the display at 50% brightness.

More impressively, the Asus played media for more than eight hours with the display set at half brightness. If you’re cautious with how you utilize the parts, you can use this laptop through lunchtime.

That’s fantastic, but the gameplay test continues as normal. The 90Wh battery on the X16 only lasted an hour while gaming. That is typical for a gaming laptop, but if you want to get the most out of your setup, you should keep it plugged in.

Wrap Up

Asus took some chances with the ROG Flow X16, and they have paid off in a number of ways. The durable and stylish ROG Flow X16’s design works well as a laptop and a tented screen. When you transition to tablet mode, you may use it as a reading and web browsing device if you can handle its size.

The Mini LED display on the X16 gives exceptional SDR and HDR performance, bringing games and movies to life on the screen. The RTX 3070 Ti graphics engine on the X16 is a strong 2560 x 1600 performer.

The value of this Asus ROG laptop is somewhat compromised. Although its $2,499 pricing isn’t too bad, you can obtain the same speed for about $2,000 elsewhere if you’re willing to forgo the convertible form and Mini LED display. Even RTX 3080 Ti laptops for less than $2,750 are available. Although the Asus also has an RTX 3060, its pricing is still high given its internals.

The X16 is likewise undercut by the future. The Flow’s 2023 iteration will ship with RTX 4070 graphics cores and better Intel CPUs if you’re prepared to wait a few months. Additionally, new 15.6″ and 16″ laptops from Razer are being made available. All of those setups will likely cost more than the $2,500 ROG Flow X16, but you’ll get more equipment for your money.

The Asus ROG Flow X16 offers a beautiful screen, an attractive form factor, and solid gaming performance regardless of the model year you select. You simply need to decide whether you prefer it over the enhanced connection and even faster speeds offered by more conventional devices.

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