Gone are the days of lugging around a behemoth to experience top-tier gaming. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 2024 shatters the stereotype, packing serious power into a surprisingly slim and sleek design.  This wasn’t what I expected.  Pulling it from the box, I did a double-take.  The milled aluminium chassis felt impossibly thin for the powerhouse specs I knew were inside.  Exquisite craftsmanship and tight tolerances screamed quality, with a professional aesthetic that made me question – could this truly be a gaming laptop? Let’s find out in our in-depth review of the new Asus ROG Zephyrus G16.

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This sleek, 16-inch QHD laptop boasts a thin-and-light design that wouldn’t look out of place in an executive boardroom – if not for the vibrant RGB lighting (a gamer’s calling card). But beneath its sophisticated exterior lies a beast.

Packing up to Core Ultra 9 CPUs and RTX 4090 GPUs, the G16 prioritizes raw gaming power without sacrificing portability. This revamped design seems to target a broader audience, seeking both luxury aesthetics and top-tier performance. However, this power comes at a price – expect a hefty price tag.

Design and Build

Our review unit is the 16-inch version clad in a sleek aluminium chassis. Tight tolerances and an understated, professional design create a sophisticated look.  This isn’t as flashy as some other Asus ROG offerings – the only real design flourish is a diagonally etched line with LEDs across the lid, accompanied by the Asus Republic of Gamers logo in the corner. However, a one-zone RGB keyboard adds a touch of customization through Asus’ Armoury Crate software.

While the footprint is substantial due to the large screen, Asus makes excellent use of the space. The keyboard, palm rests, and massive touchpad offer ample room for comfortable use.  The thickness (16.4 to 17.4mm) and weight (1.85 to 1.95kg) are surprisingly portable for such a powerful machine. In fact, with the RGB lighting off, it easily passes for a creator laptop, reflecting Asus’s broader marketing strategy for the Zephyrus G line.

But where’s the gamer fun without the lights? The customizable slash lighting strip on the lid offers various patterns and music/game sound effect synchronization. It might be distracting for others sharing your space, but it’s visually interesting when facing a wall. The keyboard boasts standard Windows Dynamic Lighting with a variety of effects.

While the slim design limits connectivity options compared to some large-screen laptops, Asus packs a punch.  The left side offers Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The right side features a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C/DisplayPort port, another USB 3.2 Type-A port, and an SD card slot. The lack of an Ethernet port might be a drawback for some, but Wi-Fi 6E helps mitigate that.

Surprisingly, the keyboard prioritizes comfort and productivity over hardcore gaming. The large, flat keys offer quiet operation with 1.7mm travel and excellent tactile feedback. However, the true star of the show is the massive touchpad – measuring over 15 x 10cm – providing exceptional control for creative applications like photo or video editing. Even those who usually prefer a mouse will find this touchpad surprisingly accurate and effective.

Display and Sound

The Zephyrus G16’s Nebula display lives up to expectations, even among high-end gaming laptops. The perfect marriage of a 16-inch size and 2560 x 1600 resolution delivers stunning clarity for all your needs. While brightness could be an issue for some (peaking at 436 nits), it provides ample illumination for vibrant videos and games, with the deep blacks characteristic of OLED technology.

Gamers will appreciate the buttery-smooth visuals thanks to the 240Hz refresh rate, perfect for fluid Windows navigation or high-frame-rate games. However, to consistently push beyond 120Hz in demanding titles, consider the RTX 4070, 4080, or 4090 configurations. Our review unit came with the RTX 4090 juggernaut, which helped in more demanding titles.

The Nebula display isn’t just for gamers; it excels in creative tasks as well.  HDR support with inky blacks and vivid highlights brings movies and compatible games to life. Colour coverage is phenomenal, boasting 100% of both sRGB and DCI-P3 gamuts. Add in superb colour accuracy, and you have a display that masters both entertainment and professional creative work, especially when brightness is cranked up.

The audio experience complements the visuals admirably. Two tweeters paired with chunky woofers produce surprisingly rich and full sound for such a slim machine.  While the bass can occasionally overpower other elements in certain genres like classic rock or acoustic music, its overall performance is impressive.


In-game benchmarks show that the G16 can still handle pretty much anything you throw at it at above 100fps in 1080p and can hold steady at 60fps+ in QHD+. I’m comparing in-game performance across a range of different Asus gaming laptops from the last year here, all of which were tested in Turbo settings.

In-game the G16 managed to stay on level with last year’s counterparts despite its smaller form factor – outperforming the thicker but smaller 2023 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and the M16 to boot. Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s numbers couldn’t quite keep up with the extra power afforded to the Lenovo Legion Pro or the Zephyrus Duo, but still were still consistently above 120fps in both 1080p and QHD.

Total War: Three Kingdoms presents a bit more of a challenge, especially in QHD+ resolutions. However, the G16 still managed to stay above water, only ever dipping below 100fps with everything pushed up to 11. The slimline chassis does make itself known here, though. The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i managed to beat the G16’s 1080p scores without even cranking up its power profile in previous tests, and kept pace in QHD+ as well.

Returnal and Cyberpunk are more demanding benchmarks with heavier lighting and texture sequences. We’re looking to the Legion and the G14 for comparative benchmarks here – and there aren’t too many surprises. Results are pretty even, with both older devices pulling ahead slightly. The reduced power of the G16’s components is clear, but the resulting framerates can’t be snubbed at over 100fps.

Software and Performance

Asus avoids excessive bloatware on the ROG Zephyrus G16. The pre-installed software is mostly useful, with the MyAsus app acting as your system hub for updates, diagnostics, and the occasional (slightly annoying) nudge to restart after minor updates.

For the core functionalities gamers crave, Asus offers the Armoury Crate app. Still one of the better options for managing gaming systems, Armoury Crate handles performance profiles, audio and display settings, and controls for the animated Aura wallpapers. While a few unnecessary extras might be creeping in (game deals, recommended apps), the overall experience remains user-friendly and effective.

Our review unit of the ROG Zephyrus G16 sported a Core i9 Ultra 185H processor, a generous 32GB of DDR5x memory, and a lightning-fast 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD.

In synthetic benchmarks, the CPU performance was solid. Geekbench 6.2 awarded the G16 a single-core score of 2,525 points and a multi-core score of 14,588 points. The single-core score fell in line with similar laptops, while the multi-core score showed a more significant advantage over the second-place Razer Blade 14.

Storage is another strong point. During our 25GB file transfer test, the G16’s SSD achieved a blazing-fast speed of nearly 2000 Mbps. It’s important to note that while the performance is impressive, there might be room for optimization depending on the specific configuration you choose.


The ROG Zephyrus G16’s Achilles’ heel might be its battery life. While boasting a sizable 90Wh capacity, it falls short of a full workday under demanding workloads. Our PC Mark 10 Modern Office benchmark yielded just under six hours, suggesting a mid-day recharge might be necessary for intensive tasks. We believe this is due to the small package it is housed in, with cooling and performance optimisation much more difficult to achieve.

Pushing the OLED display’s brightness to max and streaming Netflix resulted in around 15% battery drain per hour. This translates to roughly six to six and a half hours of video playback before needing to plug in.

It’s important to remember the trade-off here. The G16 prioritizes raw power and a slim design, which can come at the expense of battery life. For users prioritizing portability and unplugged productivity, this might be a concern.


The ROG Zephyrus G16 is a promising but imperfect contender in the thin-and-light gaming laptop arena. While boasting a top-tier Core i9 processor, ample memory, and a blazing-fast SSD, its overall performance presents a mixed picture. Productivity benchmarks fell short of expectations, and even the powerful RTX 4090 GPU exhibited inconsistency against competitors with less impressive specs. This can be attributed to the limited 115-watt power draw compared to bulkier machines, and software compatibility issues were encountered during testing.

However, the G16 shines in other aspects. Its thin and light design defies expectations for a powerhouse machine, and the stunning OLED display delivers exceptional visuals. The audio system deserves a standing ovation, and the port selection caters to diverse connectivity needs.

The hefty price tag sets a high bar.  We’re not completely sure what this specific model will cost when it arrives in bulk in South Africa, but our guess is around R65,000. At this price point, users expect a machine that crushes the competition with raw power and flawless game/software compatibility. Additionally, Wi-Fi 7 would be a more fitting inclusion than Wi-Fi 6E. Ultimately, the ROG Zephyrus G16 offers a compelling blend of portability, design, and powerful hardware. However, performance limitations and software hiccups hold it back from achieving true dominance in the thin-and-light gaming laptop space. Asus has the potential to refine the G16 into a champion, but some optimization and compatibility tweaks are necessary before it can truly claim the crown.