ASUS ROG Flow X16

I’ve reviewed my fair share of ASUS ROG laptops lately, and if one thing has remained consistent between each unit, it’s their high quality and ability to play video games incredibly well. That being the case, it’s no surprise to learn that the newest laptop in my portfolio, the ROG Flow X16, also hits the mark when it comes to being a really good gaming laptop, even on its own. It has unique features and design points. which makes it more than just a piece of hardware to play with.

But before we dive into the various features that the Flow X16 brings to the table, let’s talk about technology. This review unit is a bit of a beast as it comes with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor along with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card and 32GB of 4800MHz DDR5 RAM. All this makes for a computer that can run the most demanding games at the highest graphics settings while still delivering frame rates above 70. Forza Horizon 5, for example, recorded an average frame rate of 72 fps on extreme settings and even went up to 82 average fps , when the cooling solution was set to Turbo. Note that this is when plugged in as the frame rate is halved when running on battery power only.

All of this works well as the screen is a QHD panel, meaning you get 2K (1440p) graphics, which even supports HDR for more vibrant colors and color gamuts. But since the Flow X16 also has a screen that runs up to 165Hz, the ability to lower the graphics settings for better performance is there, and it also works like a dream for the system.

The truly unique part of this device and its display is that it is also a touchscreen which is attached via a full 360 degree hinge. This basically means that you can go from a regular laptop to a tablet just by sliding the screen all the way around. And the touchscreen nature of the screen is also incredibly well done, feeling responsive and fast, and even works with some games (you can play all of As Dusk Falls without ever touching the keyboard or plugging in a controller). It’s a bit of a stark contrast to the touchscreen that the ROG Zephyrus Duo offered, as that device’s touchscreen came across as a niche, gimmicky feature. The Flow X16, on the other hand, is more like a gamer’s version of a 2-in-1 laptop, and while it’s quite large and bulky compared to regular tablets, it performs quite well.

ASUS ROG Flow X16

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ASUS ROG Flow X16ASUS ROG Flow X16

As has also been the case in other ASUS ROG laptops, the Flow X16 has a rather impressive cooling solution. By having a triple fan module, the Pulsar heatsink, Frost Force technology and ambient cooling technology mean that the laptop stays cool enough even under stress. And because the largest exhaust vents are on the right side and back of the Flow X16’s body, heat dissipation never starts to feel uncomfortable when you rest the laptop on your lap. It’s not always the quietest unit when gaming, in fact when you switch the cooling to Turbo it’s actually quite loud, but it does the opposite when not stressed (ie when you’re using it for web browsing, video streaming or word processing) Flow X16 is almost inaudible, even more so when the cooling is set to Quiet.

When it comes to sound, the Flow X16 comes with a quad-speaker system and Dolby Atmos support, all of which combine for great sound clarity when playing without headphones connected. In fact, this system itself does a lot to counteract any noise the laptop produces, as the speaker system is loud enough to drown out the hum of the fans most of the time.

It’s also worth noting that the Flow X16 has a pretty wide range of connectivity options. You get an HDMI port along with two USB Type-A, USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack, SD card slot and ROG XG Mobile Interface port to give the PC some more breath if you’re interested and has the right backing material. And all that on a body that’s generally pretty thin and light enough by gaming laptop standards. There’s a noticeable lack when it comes to an Ethernet port, and similarly, all that technology puts a lot of strain on the 90Wh battery, meaning you won’t get much playtime if you plan to game without one power source connected, but this system is still no laughing matter if you’re looking for a device that has an excellent balance between productivity and playtime options.

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And that pretty much sums up my experience with the ROG Flow X16. While the majority of the ROG lineup I’ve tested have impressed me, this one does so in a way that the others haven’t, as it really feels like ASUS has nailed it when it comes to having a good balance between hardware and productive functions. From a purely technical point of view, this laptop is hard to beat and it’s also very easy on the eyes, with a large silver and black color scheme that gives it a premium look. Having said that (and it has been the case with many of the ASUS ROG series) this device is not cheap and will cost you an arm and a leg, but if you have the money and are looking for a truly premium and fairly future proof system, you can’t go wrong with the Flow X16.

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