The Asus ROG Flow X16 (2022) is marketed as an innovative, high-end gaming laptop from Asus that delivers impressive performance and cutting-edge features in a sleek, portable package. It’s also described as being suitable for demanding gamers and power users who need the best hardware and performance, while also maintaining portability and style, so over the past few weeks I’ve been testing every square inch of this laptop to determine just how well it achieves everything it claims it can do.
I’ll preface with this – the innovative inclusion of a 360 degree swivel screen I initially scoffed at, as I thought it was very gimmicky and didn’t understand the need for the inclusion in such a high processing machine, but the second I synced up a Xbox Elite Controller and starter treating it like a portable console, it all made perfect sense. It’s not perfect, but it’s something I can easily see as a necessity in future models and competing laptops.
In terms of its design and built quality, the ROG Flow X16 has a premium design and build quality, featuring a magnesium-aluminum alloy body that feels durable but heavy in the hand. The laptop measures 15.7 x 10.8 x 0.9 inches and weighs 1.9 kg, making with an additional heavy power-brick, so get your arms ready. The laptop has a sleek black colour scheme with a subtle ROG logo on the lid, giving it a professional yet stylish look.
In terms of the screen, the laptop features a 16-inch IPS display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio, providing ample screen real estate for gaming and productivity tasks. The display has a 120Hz refresh rate, which ensures smooth and fluid gameplay, and it covers 100% of the sRGB colour gamut, making it suitable for colour-sensitive work such as photo and video editing.
The keyboard on the ROG Flow X16 (2022) is comfortable to type on, with a decent amount of key travel and tactile feedback. The keys are backlit and can be customized using the ROG Armoury Crate software, which allows you to set different colors and effects. The keys are also incredibly quiet to type on, which coming from someone who loves obnoxiously loud keyboards – was a welcomed experience.
The trackpad on the ROG Flow X16 is large and responsive, with Windows Precision drivers that provide accurate tracking and gesture support. The trackpad has a smooth and matte finish that feels good to the touch, and it also supports Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad gestures, which was my first chance to test in Windows 11 (and I still don’t know how I feel about windows 11 at all).
When it comes to the performance and hardware, the X16 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor, which is a top-of-the-line CPU for gaming and productivity tasks. The processor is paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU at 125W TGP with a MUX Switch, which provides excellent graphics performance for gaming and creative workloads. The laptop also has 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD, which provide plenty of storage and fast read/write speeds.
The main drawbacks of my overall experience related to the general usage of the Flow X16 would be in regards to the fan noise. Hot air is constantly shooting up from the hinges, which I suppose won’t be an issue if you’re using noise-cancelling headphones, but my AirPods couldn’t mask this. It’s only really noticeable when you’re looking to dabble into the higher-end, graphically demanding Triple-A titles, but it’s absolutely worth keeping in mind.
Noise complaints aside, it’s pretty hard to fault how well this laptop performed in my tests with it. Playing new-release games, like Sons of the Forest and A Plague Tale: Requiem at 1600p was a great experience, with frame rate performance averaging around 60 frames per second. I did dabble in a few more demanding open world games like Read Dead 2, which saw the FPS drop to the mid 40s when really putting the system to it’s maximum, which was still perfectly playable, but just not quite as refined as other titles.
In addition to this, the ROG Flow X16 has a good selection of ports, including two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a microSD slot, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C socket that support DisplayPort and power delivery, an HDMI 2.1 port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack. The laptop also has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, which provide fast and reliable wireless networking, which never dropped off throughout my use of the laptop.
In terms of the battery life on the X16, I was a little bit disappointed. The laptop comes with a 90Wh battery that is meant to provide up to 10 hours of runtime on a single charge, depending on usage. However, whenever I put it under heavy loads of high-demand gaming, the battery life didn’t come remotely close to this – I even had an instance of the entire P.C turning off despite the fact that it said I had 30 minutes of battery remaining.
All in all, the ROG Flow X16 (2022) was an absolute joy to use, but it’s worth noting that the 2023 model that has already come out improves upon the 2022 edition in almost every area, so it might be worth waiting for the prices to drop on the newer edition before jumping onto the 2022 edition, to future-proof your purchase.