Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (GU603HR) Evaluation: Have Slim and Gentle Gaming Laptops Lastly Arrived?

Gaming laptops have an enormous market in India, particularly now that retail high-end desktop PC elements are tougher to purchase than ever. Many individuals have chosen gaming laptops over desktops as a result of they like compact, versatile machines that may serve for work in addition to leisure, however there have typically been limits by way of {hardware} energy and immersion. Now, a brand new class of gaming laptops is rising, due to new {hardware} that enables for much-improved efficiency in slim, sensible laptops. We’re now seeing the emergence of a brand new class with 16-inch 1440p shows, due to the newest CPUs and GPUs having the ability to drive this decision with out sacrificing high quality.

For the brand new ROG Zephyrus M16, Asus has used Intel’s 11th Gen cell H-series CPUs and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30-series cell GPUs which have been each introduced. Costs start at Rs. 1,44,990 in India which positively makes this a premium gaming laptop computer. What’s most fascinating about this laptop computer is how slim and light-weight it’s regardless of its giant display screen and top-end specs. We’ll see whether or not its design compromises usability, or whether or not at this time’s {hardware} truly signifies that super-bulky gaming laptops are issues of the previous.

asus zephyrus m16 lid ndtv asus

The lid has a sample of over 8,000 tiny dots via which a prismatic movie refracts gentle

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (GU603HR) design

If the M16 designation sounds new, that is as a result of the corporate has launched this mannequin to exchange the outgoing Zephyrus M15 (GU502). Nevertheless, the Zephyrus M16 is definitely barely smaller than its predecessor, measuring just a few millimetres much less in width and depth. The thickness stays the identical at 19.9mm, and weight can also be unchanged at 1.9kg. By gaming laptop computer requirements, that is extraordinarily slick. You would not have an excessive amount of hassle commuting with this laptop computer in a backpack when you’re a scholar or skilled.

Impressed by the Zephyrus G-series, the brand new M16 has a sample of hundreds of tiny perforated holes throughout most of its matte black lid. The triangular patch cuts throughout the lid diagonally, and from a distance it simply appears like a distinct texture. Nevertheless, this is not a micro-LED dot array. As you strategy the laptop computer, you will see shimmering rainbow impact via the holes due to a “prismatic” layer beneath them. You will see this gentle impact at sure angles and it appears to maneuver as you tilt the lid or transfer your head round. It is a hanging look, however the draw back is that the holes can get dusty in a short time. Finger smudges are additionally fairly seen throughout the lid.

With the lid flipped up, you will see the brand new 16-inch display screen which isn’t solely larger however has a 16:10 facet ratio. Asus has almost eradicated the chin, however fortunately there’s room on the prime for a webcam in its best place. The facet borders are solely 4.6mm thick, and the general screen-to-body ratio is a outstanding 94 p.c.

The hinge permits the show to go way back to 180 levels. As with many Asus laptops, the decrease half of the laptop computer will get raised when the lid is raised, which helps with airflow in addition to typing consolation. On the draw back, the lid does bend and flex fairly a bit, and there is seen warping on display screen when slightly stress is utilized. Asus has carried out away with the large illuminated ROG brand that the earlier mannequin had, and as an alternative there’s a way more delicate patch in a single nook of the outer lid, and no branding in any respect on the within.

asus zephyrus m16 keyboard ndtv asus

The keyboard is snug to sort on, however the structure might have been higher

 

On the decrease half of the physique, you will see an island-style keyboard with RGB backlighting. speaker grilles and plenty of house on both facet. Asus has ditched the column of devoted paging keys to the appropriate which implies the keyboard and trackpad are actually centred with one another and the arrow keys have extra room to breathe. Surprisingly, there aren’t any Insert or PrintScrn keys. Taking screenshots is sort of inconvenient (you’ll be able to nonetheless name up the Home windows Snipping Software with Win+Shift+S or use the Fn+F6 combo on this keyboard to save lots of to the clipboard, or use the Xbox recreation bar to save lots of a file, nevertheless it turns into a multi-step course of).

The facility button has an built-in fingerprint sensor, which Asus oddly doesn’t level out wherever. You possibly can set it up via the Home windows Settings app however it could be simple to not even realise that this can be a function. There are additionally devoted quantity and mic mute buttons which do come in useful. The facility, charging and SSD exercise LEDs on the higher edge are positioned in order that they’re seen when the lid is closed. Sadly, they’re additionally very vibrant and mirror off the display screen. The exercise LED, which retains flashing, is very distracing.

The trackpad is very giant. It may be bodily clicked, and its texture feels nice. There’s nowhere to relaxation your wrists when utilizing it because it extends proper to the lip of the decrease deck. To the edges of the trackpad, the deck is roofed in a soft-touch end.

All of the ports are positioned in direction of the entrance of the laptop computer, to permit for big vents farther again on the edges. On the left, you may have the DC energy inlet, HDMI 2.0b output, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 10Gbps USB 3.2 (Gen 2) Kind-A and Kind-C ports, one other Kind-C Thunderbolt Four port, and a 3.5mm audio socket. On the appropriate, you will discover a 5Gbps USB 3.2 (Gen 1) Kind-A port, a microSD card slot, and a Kensington lock slot. You may get DisplayPort 1.Four video output and you may even cost this laptop computer at as much as 100W via each the Kind-C ports.

asus zephyrus m16 vents ndtv asus

Sizzling air is ejected out the again, and the LEDs positioned right here mirror off the display screen

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (GU603HR) specs

Intel’s 10nm ‘Tiger Lake‘ structure has graduated from ultra-slim laptops to gaming and enthusiast-class halo merchandise. For this phase, you get extra cores and better TDP rankings which interprets to greater clock speeds for longer underneath load. Apparently, the CPUs on this phase have a lot weaker built-in GPUs, however this is not an issue since there is a discrete GPU to do a lot of the heavy lifting anyway. One factor to notice concerning the greater 45W max TDP score is that precise efficiency is solely depending on every laptop computer OEM’s thermal design – this spec alone isn’t any assure of efficiency.

In India, The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (GU603HR) is accessible with both a Core i9-11900H or Core i7-11800H, each of which have eight cores and Hyper-Threading. Aside from greater clock speeds, the primary benefit of the Core i9 is Turbo Enhance Max 3.zero help, which you’ll learn all about in our desktop ‘Rocket Lake’ 11th Gen Core i9-11900Ok overview. This era introduces PCIe 4.zero for quicker connections to SSDs and the GPU.

On the graphics entrance, Asus affords the brand new Zephyrus M16 with both an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, RTX 3060, or RTX 3070 cell GPU. Cellular GPUs have delivered completely different ranges of efficiency in numerous laptops with the identical specs due to thermal constraints, and with this era Nvidia is requiring that laptop computer makers disclose extra granular info. You possibly can verify the precise clock speeds and energy consumption targets of every variant on Asus’ product itemizing web page.

The highest-end variant that I’ve for overview options the Core i9-11900H, which is clocked at 2.5GHz with a most increase velocity of 4.9GHz, and likewise the GeForce RTX 3070 with a 1390MHz increase velocity, 80-100W thermal envelope, and 8GB of devoted GDDR6 reminiscence. My unit additionally incorporates a 2TB Samsung NVMe SSD and 32GB of DDR4-RAM, of which 16GB is soldered and the remainder is a detachable module. This configuration is priced at Rs. 2,29,990 in India. You possibly can pry off the underside of this laptop computer to improve the one SO-DIMM module for as much as 48GB of RAM in complete, and there is additionally a second empty M.2 slot for an additional NVMe SSD.

asus zephyrus m16 left ndtv asus

A lot of the ports are on the left, in direction of the entrance of the Zephyrus M16

 

The 16-inch display screen has an uncommon 16:10 decision, which is definitely nice for productiveness and helps improve secreen measurement with out making the laptop computer’s physique wider. The 2560×1600 decision (WQXGA) “IPS-level” panel has a 165Hz refresh fee and 3ms response time. Asus claims 100 p.c DCI-P3 color gamut protection and Pantone validation, however there is not any indication of peak brightness. Fortunately, the panel has a matte texture and isn’t extremely reflective. Surprisingly, there is not any 4K possibility like earlier than.

Regardless of its slimness, this laptop computer has a 90WH battery. A relatively giant 240W charger comes within the field. You get a 720p webcam, microphone array, and speaker setup with two 2W tweeters and two 2W woofers. There’s additionally Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.2.

Apparently, Asus already says {that a} Home windows 11 replace rollout plan will start in late 2021. Asus’ Armoury Crate and MyAsus utilities come preinstalled and likewise must be up to date. The previous helps you to apply efficiency profiles, tweak the RGB keyboard lighting, regulate microphone properties, and display screen color temperature, whereas the latter helps you to obtain a person handbook and reveals some battery well being choices, and smartphone file switch and display screen sharing choices (when you additionally run the MyAsus cell app).

It appears a bit redundant to have two separate apps, particularly since each additionally present “offers” and promotions. I did additionally see a pop-up advert for an Asus prolonged guarantee. McAfee LiveSafe can also be preinstalled, and it sometimes reveals messages asking you to register and subscribe, or allow sure options.

asus zephyrus m16 webcam ndtv asus

The Zephyrus M16 has a webcam in its rightful place – the earlier mannequin did not have one in any respect

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (GU603HR) efficiency

One little impediment to utilization was the truth that this laptop computer ships with an influence twine that has a big 16A plug, and most of the people’s homes aren’t wired for 16A home equipment in handy spots. My unit got here working Home windows 10 (20H2), and after making use of all accessible updates and patches, it was prepared for testing. In on a regular basis use, and for productiveness, the Zephyrus M16 proved to be fairly versatile. The high-res 16:10 display screen is a pleasure to work on, making multitasking simple. You possibly can change the default 150 p.c Home windows scaling to 125 p.c if you would like much more usable actual property.

Asus has applied a single-touch function that caches your fingerprint while you press the facility button so that you needn’t attain over to it once more when Home windows 10 presents you with the login display screen. Sadly, the sensor did not work in addition to those on telephones that we’re all now used to, in my expertise. It typically required an extended or second contact.

The keyboard is agency and springy with out being noisy. It is fairly snug and key journey is superb. The dearth of a PrintScrn secret is massively irritating. Your entire keyboard is one single RGB backlight zone and there are just a few decisions of lighting patterns, colors, and depth, plus syncing with different appropriate {hardware}. Trackpad placement is nice and it is giant sufficient to make multi-finger gestures handy.

I discovered the display screen just a bit uninteresting, and you will have to push the brightness up when you’re working or gaming with plenty of daylight round. Colors do not pop like they might on some high-end shopper laptops, which might be a very good factor for colour-sensitive work. The video watching expertise continues to be nice, particularly with 4K content material. The audio system produce surprisingly crisp and open sound, although it is not particularly loud and the bass is relatively missing.

Beginning with general-purpose benchmarks, the dependable PCMark 10 confirmed scores of 6,950 and eight,792 in its commonplace and Prolonged runs. Cinebench R20 managed 606 and 5,407 factors in its single- and multi-core checks respectively. POVRay’s render take a look at accomplished in 1 minute, 1 second, and the newer V-Ray brenchmark confirmed CPU and GPU render scores of 15,592 and 429 respectively.

CrystalDiskMark reported very spectacular SSD speeds – 7100.1MBps and 5262.1MBPs sequential reads and writes, with 2365.8MBps and 2148.8MBps random reads and writes respectively. As for real-world situations, the Zephyrus M16 took 1 minute, 43 seconds to compress a 3.24GB folder of various information, and simply 35 seconds to transcode a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265.

3DMark’s Time Spy and Time Spy Excessive checks threw up scores of 9,096 and 4,527 respectively. The DX12 Port Royal take a look at rating was 5,509. As for function checks, DirectX Ray Tracing confirmed a rating of 23.74fps, whereas the DLSS take a look at scene ran at 25.12fps with DLSS off and 58.93fps with it on. Unigine’s standalone Superposition graphics benchmark managed 5,906 factors utilizing its 1080p Excessive preset.

asus zephyrus m16 right ndtv asus

A full-sized SD card slot would have been extra helpful than the microSD slot right here

 

Many video games run on the Zephyrus M16’s native 2560×1600 decision, so comparisons to laptops with extra commonplace 2560×1440 panels ought to take this slight added load into consideration. Shadow of the Tomb Raider helps RTX ray tracing and DLSS, so it is a good recreation to begin with. On the Highest high quality preset at 2560×1600 and with ray tracing disabled, its built-in benchmark gave us a mean of 71fps. Setting ray traced shadows to ‘Excessive’ high quality took that down considerably to 45fps. To compensate, I enabled DLSS, and that resulted in a mean rating of 54fps. You will must determine what high quality tradeoffs you are okay with.

Metro Exodus additionally has a repeatable and constant built-in benchmark with an RTX preset which makes use of the Extremely high quality preset, Excessive ray tracing results high quality, and DLSS. At 1920×1080, the typical body fee was 53.44 p.c. Utilizing the identical settings, however with ray tracing and DLSS disabled, the typical got here to 62.3fps which implies as soon as once more, the penalty for utilizing ray tracing is not too excessive, however some folks may discover it value disabling.

Subsequent up for in-game benchmarks, Murderer’s Creed: Odyssey delivered a mean of 52fps at 2560×1600 with Extremely Excessive graphics. Far Cry 5 averaged 96fps at 1920×1200 and 82fps at 2560×1600, utilizing the Extremely high quality preset at each resolutions. Center Earth: Shadow of Warfare additionally managed 97fps at 1920×1200 and 72fps at 2560×1600, each at Extremely high quality. These video games present that the Zephyrus M16 might be fairly good for barely older titles that do not have ray tracing results or want DLSS.

I additionally performed via just a few video games manually for some time. Management is a well-liked RTX-enabled title. Ray tracing results have been set to Excessive, as was the general high quality preset. DLSS by default renders at 1707×1067 to upscale to 2560×1600 which is roughly a 1.5X scale. At these settings, I used to be in a position to common between 45-55fps. Disabling ray tracing however leaving DLSS on instantly precipitated a leap to 70-80fps.

Doom Everlasting has simply been up to date to help ray tracing and DLSS. This recreation usually runs effectively even on lower-end {hardware}. At Extremely Nightmare high quality, utilizing the native 2560×1600 decision, efficiency ranged from 80-100fps with out ray tracing, relying on how frantic battles have been. That dropped significantly to 30-50fps with ray tracing enabled. Oddly, DLSS truly made efficiency dip effectively under 30fps inflicting drastic stutter – this may be an remoted expertise or a bug with the just-released RTX performance.

The Zephyrus M16 does run relatively sizzling when harassed, and even typically whereas idling, components of the physique get heat. The higher row, fingerprint sensor, middle-right of the keyboard, and wrist relaxation space do get pretty toasty. The highest fringe of the laptop computer’s decrease half, the place sizzling air is ejected via the hinge, can grow to be too sizzling to the touch for greater than a second. Asus says it has used a liquid steel thermal interface between the cooler and the CPU and GPU chips, and it has additionally redesigned the laptop computer’s followers to be extra environment friendly. The followers are nonetheless fairly loud – you will positively hear them when working any heavy workload. You will use an exterior mouse for many gaming conditions, however issues can nonetheless get uncomfortable. This overview was performed in a non-airconditioned room, so your expertise may range.

As for battery life, you would not count on all-day productiveness from a gaming laptop computer. The Zephyrus M16 managed to final solely about 5-6 hours on a full cost with unusual on a regular basis work, which included some video streaming and loads of heavy Internet pages open in a number of tabs. The heavy Battery Eater Professional take a look at ran for just one hour, 42 minutes, which is nearly okay.

asus zephyrus m16 hinge ndtv asus

The ‘Ergolift’ hinge raises the decrease half of the laptop computer to tilt it ahead when opened

 

Verdict

Asus has tried exhausting to ship high-end gaming efficiency in a really slim and light-weight package deal. The corporate has succeeded in some methods – just some years in the past, you’d have needed to lug round a literal suitcase when you needed this stage of efficiency. With the Zephyrus M16, that load comes all the way down to 2kg. You possibly can the truth is run at this time’s most demanding video games at very affordable settings, and that too at a decision better than 1080p on a big, immersive show.

The specs are spectacular, however the value is sort of excessive too. I like the variability and variety of bodily ports, plus the truth that the SSD and one RAM module are user-replaceable, that means potential for upgrades. 16:10 shows are a uncommon pleasure nowadays, and Asus has chosen a very good panel for this phase.

That stated, issues aren’t good. The most important draw back of the Zephyrus M16 is that it will get uncomfortably sizzling and distractingly loud. The necessity for a 16An influence outlet will trigger some hassle for folks, and there are just a few niggles just like the poorly positioned standing LEDs and popups from the preinstalled software program.

Utilizing an exterior keyboard and mouse would maintain the bodily discomfort (and lack of sure keys), and you continue to have a really transportable gaming or multi-purpose machine. For those who can stay with some compromises and like the concept of a slim and light-weight gaming laptop computer, this may be a sensible choice. I nonetheless hope to see Asus and different firms use these new CPUs and GPUs in laptops that are not as fashion-conscious, with beefier cooling techniques, for individuals who need efficiency and value with out worrying about appears.

Value as reviewed: Rs. 2,29,990

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