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Asus ROG Flow X16 Review: Most Versatile 16-Inch Laptop To Buy In 2022
It is almost established by now that Windows laptops are meant for gaming, while MacBooks are for content creation. Currently, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is the gold standard when it comes to content creation and brands like Asus, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo offer several well-made gaming laptops.
- Excellent 2K display with touch support
- Gaming-laptop class GPU performance
- Supports external GPU
- 720p web camera
- average speakers
- No full-sized SD card slot
Is there any Windows laptop that is as good as the MacBook Pro 16-inch when it comes to content creation and can also game? The Asus ROG Flow X16 (price starts at Rs. 1,71,990) is one such laptop, and it seems like a great alternative to the 16-inch MacBook Pro. What about real-world usage? One may ask. Here's our full review of the Asus ROG Flow X16.
Asus ROG Flow X16: Designed To Be Trendy And Practical
The Asus ROG Flow X16 is easily the most versatile 16-inch laptop that one can buy in India. Unlike the MacBook Pro, the ROG Flow X16 is convertible and can be used as a notebook and a tablet. The hinge of the ROG Flow X16 offers the right amount of resistance, allowing users to set up the laptop in tablet or tent mode.
One of the primary reasons to buy the new MacBook Pro 16-inch is the improved I/O. The Asus ROG Flow X16's I/O includes HDMI 2.0b port, two USB 3.2 Gen2 USB-A ports, two USB Type-C ports (including ROG XG Mobile Interface), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Unlike the new MacBook Pro 16-inch, the ROG Flow X16 does not have an SD card slot, instead, it has a microSD card slot.
When compared to most windows laptops of this price range (most of them are gaming laptops), the ROG Flow X16 has a more stealth design, and it is definitely made that way to make it a more practical machine.
Asus ROG Flow X16 Display: As Good As It Gets
When I got to know that the ROG Flow X16 has an IPS display, I was disappointed at first. However, once I started using the ROG Flow X16, my opinion took an u-turn. The ROG Flow X16 has a 16-inch ROG Nebula HDR Display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, QHD+ resolution, and 165Hz refresh rate.
So, how does this translate to the real world? The ROG Flow X16 has one of the best displays on a laptop, and I am not exaggerating. Yes, the contrast ratio is not as good as a laptop with an OLED panel but with a maximum contrast ratio of 100,000:1, I don't have much to complain about.
This is one of the first Asus laptops to use mini LED technology, just like the MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch). With 512 micro dimming zones and a peak brightness of 1100nits, the display vibrant, bright, and is as good as the display on the MacBook Pro.
For gamers, the ROG Nebula HDR Display on the ROG Flow X16 offers a 120 refresh rate, and for content creators, it offers VESA DisplayHDR 1000 and Dolby Vision certifications along with Pantone validation for color accuracy with 100 percent DCI-P3 color space coverage. To sum it up, the display is as good or even better than the MacBook Pro's screen.
Asus ROG Flow X16 Comes With Gaming-Laptop Like Keyboard
It looks like Asus has borrowed the keyboard from a gaming laptop. The keyboard has RGB lighting (one zone) and the keys offer 1.7mm of travel with plenty of feedback. Similarly, the trackpad is also good, but it is definitely not as big or gesture-friendly as the trackpad on the Apple MacBook Pro.
If you are a gamer or content creator, the laptop has a good pair of keyboards and trackpad. I also liked the fact that it has a dedicated volume button. The most low-key yet useful feature of the ROG Flow X16 is the side-mounted power button, which gives this laptop a unique character.
ROG Flow X16 Has Average Camera And Speakers
If there is anything that ROG Flow X16 needs an improvement, it's the camera and the speakers. The 720p camera is average at best. However, it does have an IR sensor, which helps with Windows Hello face unlock, and it works like a charm. The same goes for the speakers, they are clear, but they lack bass and are definitely not as loud as the speakers on the MacBook Pro.
Can ROG Flow X16 Perform Like A MacBook Pro 16-Inch?
The MacBook Pro 16 with the Apple Silicon M1 Max, 32GB RAM, and 1TB of storage is the right competitor to the ROG Flow X16. The ROG Flow X16 is powered by the Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU with the RTX 3070 Ti laptop GPU, featuring 8GB GDDR6 video memory, 32GB DDR5 system memory, and 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD.
While the Ryzen 9 6900HS and the Apple Silicon M1 Max are built on a completely different platform, they are mainly focused on delivering best-in-class single-thread and multi-thread performance with better power efficiency.
Is Ryzen 9 5900HS Faster Than Apple Silicon M1 Max?
On Geekbench 5, the Ryzen 9 5900HS, powering the ROG Flow X16 posted 1583 points on the single-core CPU test and 9935 points on the multi-core CPU test. Similarly, the MacBook Pro 16 with the M1 Max posted 1623 points on single-core and 11211 points on multi-core CPU tests.
On Cinebench R23, the MacBook Pro with the M1 Max posted 1562 on the single-core CPU test and 12,430 points on the multi-core CPU rendering test. Similarly, the ROG Flow X16 posted 1543 points on Cinebench R23 on the single-core test and 13,423 points on the Cinebench R23 multi-core test.
As per these benchmarks, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch with the M1 Max is slightly faster than the Ryzen 9 5900HS. However, a well-optimized software should deliver similar CPU performance on the MacBook Pro with M1 Max and ROG Flow X16 with the Ryzen 9 5900HS.
Can You Game On ROG Flow X16?
Yes, you absolutely can. The ROG Flow X16 comes with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU with 8GB of video memory. On top of that, it also has a ROG XG Mobile Interface, which allows users to connect an external GPU (up to RTX 3080 laptop).
On the 3D Mark Time Spy benchmark, the ROG Flow X16 with the RTX 3070 Ti laptop GPU posted 10,0062 points. The benchmark also confirms that the ROG Flow X16 can easily offer over 95 fps on Battlefield V at QHD resolution. Although you can get more powerful gaming laptops for this price, the overall feature set makes the ROG Flow X16 a lot better than most gaming laptops.
Coming to the gaming performance, the ROG Flow posted 81fps on the Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1440p resolution (ultra-RTX) and 105fps at 1080p resolution with the same graphic design. On Far Cry 6, the ROG Flow X16 posted 75fps and 92fps at 1440p and 1080p resolution, respectively.
Verdict: Hits The Sweet Spot Between Features And Performance
For the asking price of Rs. 2,61,990, the ROG Flow X16 is a well-balanced 16-inch laptop. In fact, it is a lot cheaper (at least Rs. 1,00,000) than the MacBook Pro with M1 Max (32core) GPU. If you are looking for a laptop for content creation and gaming, then Asus ROG Flow X16 is an easy recommendation.
It is as fast or capable as the 16-inch MacBook Pro. It has a sharp, bright, and color-accurate touch screen display, it can play modern AAA games. The ROG Flow X16 can do all the things that a 16-inch MacBook Pro can. On top of that, it can also do a few more things that the MacBook Pro cannot. So, it is better than MacBook Pro if not, it's at least on par with Apple's best laptop.