The ROG Strix G16 gaming laptop, a flagship product from ASUS's Republic of Gamers (ROG) line-up, is designed to cater to a wide array of consumers, from the most demanding gamers and power users to creatives wanting a machine to slay their day to day tasks with ease. I can attest to its undeniable prowess in the world of gaming and daily tasks, but it's not without its quirks. In this review, we will delve into the nuances of the ROG Strix G16, discussing the very initial impressions out of the box, its initial setup, gaming performance, display quality, everyday usability, and a few concerns regarding its benchmark scores.
When I first unboxed the ROG Strix G16, After viewing it at PAX this year I sort of knew what to expect in terms of design, but when the unboxing experience was as equally sleek and striking it immediately set my expectations high. The laptop exudes a premium aura with its brushed aluminium finish, illuminated ROG logo on the lid, and RGB-backlit keyboard. Down to something as simple as the sound the laptop makes on start-up is something reminiscent of the impressive Dolby Atmos sound you get at the cinema which really gives that premium first impression. Despite this excellent unboxing experience, the initial setup did leave me slightly frustrated.
Of course the first thing I wanted to test out was the G16’s gaming performance, and I've used laptops in the past that are set up out of the box for gaming. However, when I loaded this up and signed into a few apps and websites etc, I ran a benchmark and the results were very poor. A little bit of testing and tinkering and I quickly realised that the laptop's power profile was set to efficiency. This of course lowers all types of power consumption leading to greatly reduced performance. In addition to this, there were a few other settings I needed to change in the Nvidia control panel to further improve my performance. Settings like the default GPU. For some reason mine was set to the Motherboard's built in GPU as opposed to the much more powerful RTX4060 that this thing has under the hood. While this isn't a lot of trouble for someone relatively tech savvy like myself, I imagine there would be plenty of people out there unable to do this for themselves.
Once I got past this initial hurdle, though, the ROG Strix G16 truly shone. The standout feature of the ROG Strix G16 is undoubtedly its gaming performance. With the powerful RTX 4060 GPU, it handles almost every game with relative ease. Triple-A titles and demanding open-world adventures run smoothly at high settings, with frame rates consistently hitting the hundreds
The RTX 4060 adds ray tracing capability, enhancing the visual experience by providing realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections. This significantly improves the immersion in games that support ray tracing, making the ROG Strix G16 an excellent choice for gamers who value visual fidelity. In addition to the GPU, the laptop is equipped with a high-refresh-rate 240Hz QHD display. The result is stunning; games look smoother and more lifelike, with minimal motion blur and screen tearing. The combination of the RTX 4060 and the 240Hz display makes for an exceptional gaming experience that is hard to beat.
If you feel like playing your favourite game on a bigger display, the on board HDMI 2.1 port allows you to play games at up-to 4K 120hz or 8K 60hz. Honestly, the RTX 4060 isn't capable of maxing either of these out on a bigger screen, but can handle 4K at around 60FPS+ pretty comfortably, especially on the smaller screen.
The ROG Strix G16 isn't just limited to gaming prowess either; it's also a very capable daily driver. Its powerful processor, ample RAM, and fast storage ensure that it can handle a variety of tasks with comfort. Whether you're working on video editing, Graphic design, or multitasking between numerous applications, the laptop doesn't break a sweat.
I've used it for almost a month now to conduct all aspects of Gaming Australia. From video editing, graphic design tools, blog writing, website design and of course gaming on the side and have encountered zero issues outside of the initial setup. This truly is an all round powerhouse.
The RGB-backlit keyboard is comfortable for long typing sessions, with decent key travel and customizable lighting. The trackpad is precise, but most users (like me) will likely prefer an external gaming mouse for more precise control in gaming scenarios. The laptop's speakers produce clear sound, and quite a generous selection of I/O options make it easy to connect peripherals, external displays, and storage devices.
The laptop's portability is also commendable for a gaming machine of its calibre. While not as slim and lightweight as; let's say, an ultrabook. The ROG Strix G16 is reasonably portable, allowing for gaming on the go without too much hassle. There's a very fine balancing act between being lightweight for portability and having ample screen size for gaming and I think the Strix G16 manages to balance this perfectly.
One aspect that has raised some concerns is the laptop's benchmark scores. While the real-world gaming performance is superb, benchmarks can be quite varied from one run to the next. This inconsistency can be frustrating for those who rely on benchmark numbers to gauge a system's performance. I will caveat this by saying, I find userbenchmark to be quite an inconsistent benchmark test anyway, but I've never noticed the inconsistencies I have with this laptop. In practical terms, the benchmark scores don't do justice to the laptop's actual gaming capabilities. It's a case where the real-world experience outweighs the numbers on paper, but for users who rely heavily on benchmarks, this inconsistency may be a concern.
The ROG Strix G16 gaming laptop by ASUS is a true powerhouse, excelling in gaming performance, display quality, and overall usability. It's more than just a gaming machine; it's a versatile laptop capable of handling a wide range of daily tasks. While the initial setup process may be somewhat convoluted, the laptop's capabilities more than make up for it.
The RTX 4060 GPU, paired with the 240Hz QHD display, delivers a gaming experience that's second to none. Games look stunning, run smoothly, and the added benefit of ray tracing is a visual feast for the eyes. Beyond gaming, the laptop's hardware specifications ensure that it can tackle demanding professional tasks with ease.
The only minor drawback is the inconsistency in benchmark scores, which may not reflect the laptop's true capabilities accurately. However, in the grand scheme of things, this is a relatively minor issue when considering the exceptional real-world performance.
Overall, the ROG Strix G16 is an outstanding gaming laptop that offers superb gaming performance, a high-quality display, and versatile everyday usability. If you're in the market for a gaming laptop that can double as a workhorse for your daily tasks, the ROG Strix G16 is a compelling choice that won't disappoint.