2022 Asus ROG Flow X16 GV601RW review (3070Ti, miniLED)

2022 Asus ROG Flow X16 GV601RW review (3070Ti, miniLED)
By Derek Sullivan, last updated on January 25, 2023

The Asus ROG Flow X16 is probably the most anticipated laptop I’ve had to deal with in a long time, and it’s finally at my doorstep.  I’ll admit, the Zephyrus S17 last year was very intriguing as well.  But because Asus took so long to actually release it last year, I went with the Lenovo Legion 7 instead.  No regrets there.

But now that I saw what the Flow X16 had to offer, it was easy for me to decide that this is the laptop I want to use as my daily driver.  Not only does it have a powerful CPU and GPU in a thin chassis, but it also fixes some of the minor deal breakers that make buying a thin and light gaming option a little tougher pill to swallow – two SSD slots and two RAM slots.

And then there’s the matter with the screen, which is probably my main draw to it.  I’ve only heard it from some of the early reviews, but I would agree that it’s the best screen option available on a laptop over 15” to date.  On top of that, it flips 360 degrees and accepts touch and pen input.  Nice, right?

So myself being a tech junkie, of course I’m interested in a versatile machine such as this.  And it was one of those things that I was checking daily at Best Buy and Asus’ store to see if it was in stock (because they just had to post their listings two months early…).  But my wait is over –  I finally got the RTX 3070Ti version on hand, and boy am I happy with it.

Now Andrei already has reviewed the RTX 3060 version of this laptop, which can be read here.  I’m going to do a full review on my unit from my own perspective.  Besides the GPU, the only difference in our units would be the screen they put in it, which was unavailable when his unit was in.  Let’s dive in.

Specs sheet- Asus ROG Flow X16 GV601RW

2022 Asus ROG Flow x16 GV601RW
Screen 16 inch, 16:10 2560×1600, touch, glossy, mini LED, 100% DCI-P3 with HDR1000
Processor AMD Rembrandt, up to Ryzen 9 6900HS, 8C/16T, up to 90W TDP sustained
Video Radeon + Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB VRAM, MUX and Adaptive Sync, 125W TGP with Dynamic Boost
Memory 32 GB DDR5-4800 (2x 16GB DIMMS) – support up to 64GB
Storage 1x 1TB M.2 NVMe gen 4(Micron) + extra slot
Connectivity WiFi 6E Mediatek 7922 with Bluetooth 5.2
Ports 2x USB-A 3.2 gen1, 1x USB-C 3.2 (4.0 update later in the year) with data, video and charging, 1x ROG xGM port with USB-C, HDMI 2.0b, micro SD card reader, headphone/mic combo
Battery 90 Wh, 240 W charger, USB charging up to 100W
Size 355 mm or 13.98” (w) x 243 mm or 9.57 (d) x 19.4 mm or .76” (h)
Weight 2.08 kg (4.58 lbs)
Extras Single zone backlit keyboard(RGB), HD webcam with IR, quad speakers, microSD card reader, tri-fan cooling, 2-in-1 convertible

An updated generation of the 2023 Asus ROG Flow x16 series is available in the meantime, with updated specs and display options.

Design and construction

Asus didn’t slouch on the design of this laptop.  Clearly a lot of thought was put into making it as small as possible and yet still be sturdy and functional.  Upon grabbing it from the box, I immediately felt like it was a well built chassis.

The chassis is very balanced and is very easy to grip.  I prefer gripping from the vent side since the feet are there, but it’s still fine to grab from the other side.  The small ridges on both top and bottom provide just enough grip to make this stand out better than just flat aluminum.

The lid is basically just a piece of dark colored aluminum with those grooves cut out.  These grooves seem to cut down on the fingerprints somehow – probably just because it’s more distracting to look at.  There is a transition at the diagonal which makes the pattern stick out a little more.  In the lower corner is the ROG badge, which also looks pretty nice.  I’m so glad Asus stopped making their gaming laptop lids look ridiculous with gaudy logos and red lights.

Lifting the lid is a simple one finger operation.  The hinge is strong enough for the most part, but a little wobbly for a touchscreen.  It’s mainly because it’s heavy though, as it’s 16” and has a piece of glass.  Sure it could be stronger, but it’s fine as long as you don’t plan on carrying your laptop at angles where the weight of the lid causes it to move.

The main feature to this lid is that it rotates back 360 degrees.  It does so nicely and you technically could use this laptop as a large tablet since it has a touchscreen with a built in digitizer.  It’s a pretty thick and heavy “tablet” but hey, if you’re only doing this occasionally and don’t care about the keyboard feel on the backside, you could make it work.

I thought I’d use this mode more, but I just really haven’t gotten to it yet.  I think if I used this for serious work, I would mainly use that feature to mark up something I took on screenshots.  My pen came in handy for the one time I tried it for that.  It just stinks that there’s no pen holder, because you really need to carry it around all the time for it to be useful.

Back to the design:  under the lid are the keyboard and trackpad.  I’ll cover those more in detail in the next section, but note that there are some large speaker grills on both sides of the keyboard and the trackpad is pretty large on this model.  This area of the laptop is made of magnesium, so the keyboard deck has this matte coating which stays pretty clean.  The palm area has a texture that matches the trackpad and blends well with the lid.  Also good at preventing smudges.

The underside of the laptop is pretty much the same aluminum as the top.  There are some grooves here to, but there are also a lot of small feet and cutouts for the vents.  On this model, there are three intake vents and two speaker cutouts on the bottom cover.   The feet unfortunately are pretty small, which affects the airflow.  But this is excusable since the screen needs to fold all the way back when in tablet mode.

There’s a decent amount of IO on this model too.  On the left-hand side, there’s a power jack, thankfully towards the rear.  Next to it is an HDMI 2.0b jack and a USB-C port which supports USB 3,2 for now but will eventually support USB 4.0.  It also supports PD charging up to 100W.  Finally, there’s the xGM port which is used for an external GPU from Asus.  I don’t have this to test, but it’s there and available nonetheless.

Also on the left side is the headphone and microphone combo jack.  And right in front of that are some really small indicator lights for the power state and the disk activity.  This is perfect as they are out of sight while in normal use, unlike the Zephyrus laptops I’ve been seeing lately.

On the right-hand side, there’s a pair of USB-A ports that support 3.2 gen 1  There’s also a microSD card reader, which allows the cards to sit flush with the edge.  Finally, there’s a low-profile power button towards the front.  It works fine but it’s very difficult to press by feeling or sight, since it’s very low profile and sits flush with the edge.  It has an indicator light that is always on, but thankfully it’s on the side, so it doesn’t matter.

Overall, I really love this design.  At a glance, it’s a normal laptop that is well built with good materials.  But then there’s the added versatility of being convertible for those that need it.  And as much tech that’s in the chassis, they still managed to keep it at a reasonable thickness and weight.  Sure, there’s a few nits I could pick, but I think the reasons for those minor complaints are totally valid.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard on this unit is solid.  It was very easy for me to type on, as the keys are properly spaced out and have ample feedback and travel.  I’m probably also used to it since I’ve been using a Zephyrus G14 for the past several months, but I think I still like this keyboard a little better – probably because of the size of the palm rest.

I typed my entire review on this keyboard and had no troubles adapting to it.  Probably my only gripes are the lack of a print screen key and Fn-Lock, but I’ve become accustomed to this since this is the case with pretty much all Asus laptops.

Like most ROG keyboards, there are 4 customizable hotkey buttons up top.  You can set these to whatever you want in Armory crate or leave them as they are.  I personally change the mute mic button to something more useful and leave everything else alone.

The keyboard is backlit and offers single zone RGB lighting.  With darker keys, this is great because pretty much any color looks good.  Again, you can set these colors using the Aura tab in Armory Crate.  There are some effects too if you’re into that kind of stuff.

The trackpad is excellent on this laptop as well.  It’s very large, glass and smooth to the touch, despite the pattern on it that blends well with the palm rest.  Tracking and touch gestures worked flawlessly during my use and I had no trouble with palm rejection.  This is pretty much as good as trackpads get on Windows machines.  Not much else to say.

Screen

The mini LED screen on this laptop is arguably the nicest screen I have ever seen on a laptop.  Andrei actually already had this screen on his Zephyrus Duo, but this is the first time I got to see it.  All I can say is, wow!

The panel in this model is made by AU Optronics and is 16” with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2560×1600 px.  What makes is so special is that it is an mLED IPS panel, which means it has the ability to have multizone backlight control in order to increase the contrast. You can opt for either the multi-zone or the single-zone mode in the Armory Crate control app.

And the result is ridiculously good.  This is as close as it gets to having OLED level blacks without having the drawbacks of OLED burn-in and crushed blacks on low-light videos.  The contrast ratio is nearly 10x higher than your typical IPS panel.

I did get a chance to use my Xrite tool to measure the screen specifications.  Here’s what I got:

  • Panel HardwareID: AU Optronics AUO8E9D (B160QAN02.S)
  • Single zone backlight coverage: 162.2% sRGB, 114.9% DCI-P3, 111.7% AdobeRGB;
  • Single zone backlight coverage: 166.9% sRGB, 115% DCI-P3, 118.3% AdobeRGB;
  • Measured gamma: 2.2;
  • Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 602 cd/m2 on power with multizone and 483 cd/m2 on power with single zone backlighting;
  • Contrast at max brightness: 10000:1 on multi-zone and 1150:1 for single-zone
  • Native white point: around 6600 K;
  • Black on max brightness: 0.42 cd/m2 on single zone and .06 cd/m2 on multizone.

Here are the readings for multi-zone mode.

And for single-zone mode.

From the specs above, you can clearly see the advantage of the multizone backlighting.  But it does come at a slight cost.  Fact is, there is some blooming that you will notice while using it with solid-colored backgrounds.  Particularly the greys.

It’s hard to describe, but to me, it’s not that bad.  The annoyance factor definitely varies from person to person.  You might notice it most when the screen goes from a light color to a darker color and the cursor is visible.  You might also notice it with white lettering on a black background where it’ll look darker in some spots, depending where the text is located.

Where you’ll definitely notice it is with solid colored backgrounds with low brightness settings.  Take dark grey for example – you can actually see where the dimming zones are and there’s always a brighter spot around the mouse pointer.  But really though, if that is the case, I could always turn single zone back on and it’s fine again.

screen uniformity

Because of the unevenness in the backlighting, color accuracy takes a big hit while in multizone too.  This makes sense considering the backlight will change depending on where the whites are on the screen.  The delta E is still tolerable and within reason, provided you don’t need perfect color accuracy.

Realistically speaking, the multi-zone lighting is best for viewing movies or playing games.  Single zone is optimal for everything else, especially color-sensitive work in Photoshop or something like it.  For productivity work, you’ll likely be less annoyed in single zone, just from the lack of blooming.

To turn on multizone backlighting, you need to use Armory Crate.  It’s one of the system configuration options on the startup page, so it’s pretty easy to get to.  Note that if you turn HDR on in Windows, this activates automatically.

With HDR on, the backlighting is able to achieve whites as high as 1100 nits.  These zones are pretty small, but after seeing it in action while playing Horizon Zero Dawn, I can certainly say this screen is absolutely stunning driving HDR content, provided you calibrate the whites properly.

Regardless of the mode you use, the screen has excellent viewing angles.  It’s a glossy screen and is also touch enabled, so you’re going to be prone to glare.  But with the maximum screen brightness going up to near 400 nits on single zone (and much higher in multizone), the glare is hardly an issue, even next to sunny windows.

The touchscreen also has a digitizer, which is a pretty cool addition since the screen folds 360 degrees back.  This makes the device a humongous tablet.  I’ve only gotten to really try this in the past couple days.  As far as the pen goes, I’ve tested my Wacom pen that I already had and it works fine.  I tried taking notes and doing a writeup on a couple pictures.  The screen is oleophobic so the pen glides smoothly and writing looks good.

pen input

I also used the touchscreen to play one of my favorite phone games that was also ported to Steam.  Really neat being able to play this on such a big screen!  It was especially cool that you can make the “tablet” tilt a little, using the keyboard base as a stand.

tablet mode

To sum it up, the screen is great!  Considering the minor drawbacks to OLED, including burn in and crushed blacks, I think I would prefer having this for my laptop instead.  There’s very little I would change, so it’ll be interesting to see what I think of the screen on my next laptop purchase.  It’s gonna be a hard one to beat.

Hardware and performance

This laptop packs in a lot of good hardware.  All models come standard with a Ryzen 9 6900HS, which has 8 cores that boost up to 4.9Ghz.  My unit also has 32GB of DDR5 RAM which has two DIMMs and is upgradeable up to 64B.  This is quite a big deal too, since pretty much every thin ROG laptop over the past several years has either had soldered or partially soldered RAM.

The GPU on my unit is an RTX 3070 Ti with 8GB of VRAM.  You can also get a RTX 3060 with 6GB of VRAM if you wanted to save some money.  Andrei actually reviewed the 3060 model if you wanted to check into the comparison.  There’s potentially a 3050 Ti model out there too but I haven’t seen it available yet.  All these GPUs reportedly can reach a TGP of 125 watts.

The SSD is Micron based and has very good speeds, as seen in my Crystaldisk benchmarks.  It’s 1TB, which is plenty of space for most people.  But you can always upgrade if you needed more.

Speaking of upgrades, It’s a pretty easy endeavor on this model.  There’s 11 Phillips screws on the bottom cover and some clips that aid in fastening the cover.  A slight pry with a guitar pick or plastic opening tool and the cover comes right off.

Underneath, you get access to the SSD and RAM slots.  There’s a spare M.2 slot so you can keep the original SSD if desired.  There’s also the ability to change out the Wifi module too, which is located underneath the original SSD slot.

internals

This laptop uses Armory Crate to control many functions, including the power profiles.  On this model, there are three.

Silent Balanced Turbo Battery
TDP TGP TDP TGP TDP TGP TDP TGP
45W Varies – 60 fps cap 60W 115W 70W 125W 35W 50W

There is also a Manual section where you can tweak both the CPU and GPU limits as well as mess with the fan curves.  I haven’t played with this that much but it looks like a good way to set hard thermal limits on your hardware and will probably keep the noise low as a result.

Here’s what to expect in performance and internal temperatures with daily activities.

Let’s take a look at the performance benchmarks now.  My first round of testing was with the MUX set to the discrete GPU.  To do this, you have to click the “ultimate” icon in the GPU mode and reboot your PC.  I kept the power profile in Turbo and took the benchmarks.  Here are my results for my typical array of testing:

  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 25610 (Graphics – 28838, Physics – 27692);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 10841 (Graphics – 10808, CPU – 11035);
  • 3DMark 13 –CPU profile: max – 7545 16 – 7523, 8 – 5746, 4 – 3368, 2 – 1740, 1 -923;
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal (RTX) Graphics: 6542;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 6725;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 20387;
  • GeekBench 5: Single-Core: 1565, Multi-core: 10354;
  • CineBench R15: OpenGL 166.41 fps, CPU 2399 cb, CPU Single Core 240 cb;
  • CineBench R23: CPU 14664 pts, CPU Single Core 1509 pts;

Next, I switched back to Hybrid mode and kept the power profile on Turbo.  Here were my results:

  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 24470 (Graphics – 27388, Physics – 22850);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 10610 (Graphics – 10630, CPU – 10504);
  • 3DMark 13 –CPU profile: max – 7401 16 – 7452, 8 – 5842, 4 – 3477, 2 – 1772, 1 -945
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal (RTX) Graphics: 6497;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 6795;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 19274;
  • GeekBench 5: Single-Core: 1590, Multi-core: 10345;
  • CineBench R15: OpenGL 140.98 fps, CPU 2325 cb, CPU Single Core 247 cb;
  • CineBench R23: CPU 14776 pts, CPU Single Core 1524 pts;

Next, I set the mode to Performance. Here were my results:

  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 22149 (Graphics – 24156, Physics – 27522);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 9822 (Graphics – 9678, CPU – 10732);
  • 3DMark 13 –CPU profile: max – 7169 16 – 7167, 8 – 5870, 4 – 3419, 2 – 1776, 1 -935
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal (RTX) Graphics: 6022;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 6320;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 17135;
  • GeekBench 5: Single-Core: 1570, Multi-core: 9922;
  • CineBench R15: OpenGL 144.26 fps, CPU 2257 cb, CPU Single Core 240 cb;
  • CineBench R23: CPU 14060 pts, CPU Single Core 1549 pts;

Finally, here are my results after switching to Silent mode:

  • 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 13790 (Graphics – 18900, Physics – 10823);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 8586 (Graphics – 8586, CPU – 8591);
  • 3DMark 13 –CPU profile: max – 6958 16 – 6935, 8 – 5509, 4 – 3304, 2 – 1743, 1 -927
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal (RTX) Graphics: 5492;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 5738;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 8018;
  • GeekBench 5: Single-Core: 1507, Multi-core: 9780;
  • CineBench R15: OpenGL 61.32 fps, CPU 2223 cb, CPU Single Core 242 cb;
  • CineBench R23: CPU 13603 pts, CPU Single Core 1519 pts;

Not bad really!  You can certainly see just how powerful that CPU is.  What’s truly impressive is how well the laptop functions in silent mode.  Usually, this mode comes at great sacrifice to the CPU, but it appears to have quite a bunch of horsepower and still stay under 35dB fans.

For some extra CPU and crossload stress testing, check our Andrei’s review of the Flow X16 available here.

I also did some testing in some games.  I took these readings in different performance options in Synapse with the MUX set to Optimus.  Just to compare, I tried a few games with the MUX set to discrete as well:

QHD+ – Turbo on Hybrid QHD+ – Quiet QHD+ – Turbo on dGPU
Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF) 100 fps avg, 60 fps 1% low 60 fps avg, 58 fps 1% low 117 fps avg, 85fps 1% low
Battlefield V (DX 12, Ultra Preset, Ray-Tracing ON) 62 fps avg, 44 fps 1% low 48 fps avg, 30 fps 1% low 60 fps avg, 47fps 1% low
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On) 81 fps avg, 55 fps 1% low 47 fps avg, 40 fps 1% low 82 fps avg, 55fps 1% low
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks Off) 97 fps avg, 73 fps 1% low 60 fps avg, 60 fps 1% low 100 fps avg, 81fps 1% low
Horizon Zero Dawn(Ultra) 87 fps avg, 81 fps 1% low 60 fps avg, 54 fps 1% low 93 fps avg, 82fps 1% low
Cyberpunk (Ultra, Ray Tracing On) DLSS Off 24 fps avg, 20 fps 1% low 20 fps avg, 17 fps 1% low
Cyberpunk (Ultra, Ray Tracing On) DLSS Auto 50 fps avg, 44 fps 1% low 42 fps avg, 23 fps 1% low
Cyberpunk (Ultra, Ray Tracing Off) 54 fps avg, 47 fps 1% low 44 fps avg, 24 fps 1% low
Valheim (High preset) 74 fps avg, 50 fps 1% low 60 fps avg, 44 fps 1% low 83 fps avg, 51fps 1% low

Pretty good results here too.  With the settings set to Turbo, the 3070 Ti performs really well.  This is better than what I was expecting, and it’s nice to see that QHD+ gaming can be achieved in such a thin laptop design.

I also like how almost every game can achieve 40-60 fps while in Silent mode.  I think I might be using this mode the most, because the fan noise is very low and if you use the laptop speakers, you won’t even notice it at all.

If you want a little more bump to the framerates, you may also consider changing the MUX to discrete.  I was able to see an improvement in some games but not others, so your mileage may vary here.

Regardless of which mode I used, the gaming performance is great.  I’m really looking forward to gaming on this in the months to come.

Emissions (Noise, Heat), Connectivity, speakers, and others

Asus put quite the cooling system in this laptop.  There are a lot of heat pipes and two very large fans to utilize them.  On top of that, there’s a third smaller fan in the middle of the chassis that is designed to take air in from the bottom and blow it across the heat sinks.  Asus also utilizes liquid metal paste to further keep those temperatures down.

cooling

The end result works, provided you aren’t blocking any of the three intake vents on the bottom of the laptop.  And on a flat table, that still might be an issue because the feet are very small.

This is never an issue for me because I always use a lap desk when I play games.  In fact, all of my tests were done on a lap desk, so there’s probably room for some worse results depending on how you use this laptop.

I ran my usual test with Horizon Zero Dawn, where I ran the game for an extended period at each power profile.  The intent was to measure the differences in temperatures as well as ambient noise levels from the fans.  Check it out:

Mode Turbo Silent Manual (max fans with Turbo)
CPU temps 74C avg with 87C spike 75C avg with 90C spike 70C avg with 85C spike
GPU temps 73C avg 66C avg 68C avg
Avg fan noise after stabilized temps 45 dB 34dB 51dB
Game performance 87 fps avg, 73 fps 1% low 60 fps avg, 54 fps 1% low 87 fps avg, 72 fps 1% low

Not a whole lot of difference in performance between Turbo mode and when I turned the fans all the way up.  So it’s probably safe to assume that Asus optimized those fan profiles pretty well.

I do like just how low the fan noise got in Silent mode.  34dB is just awesome and those temps are good too.  You’re always going to see those big CPU spikes, but the average CPU temps in the 70s are ideal for this caliber of CPU.

I did run an extended test with Horizon Zero Dawn running to see how the system did at various positions.  First, I let temperatures stabilize while running the game on a flat table.  Then I relocated it to my lapdesk, which is basically just a piece of wood with a bunch of holes in it.  Finally, I put it on a laptop cooling tray with the fan off.  Pretty much the equivalent of propping it up on the rear.

As suspected, the laptop runs hotter when you perform demanding tasks on a flat surface.  Switching to my lapdesk dropped temps by 2C and switching to a fully ventilated laptop cooler dropped temps 2-3C cooler.  Even though temps run hotter on the table, I still don’t think it’s anything to be alarmed over.  The point being, if you can use a laptop tray or prop it up somehow, do so, otherwise, just note that those temps will be higher than they could be.

flat surface lapdesk vented surface comparison

External chassis temps were normal for casual use but did get kind of warm if you used it for gaming.  I did a couple of tests to demonstrate.  As you can see, the thermals rise pretty high for extended gaming sessions, so gaming on your lap is probably not going to be ideal.  You probably should avoid that anyways so you don’t block the vents.

But for typical use and multimedia consumption, this laptop is fine.  You can even turn the power mode down to Silent and the thermals stay tolerable.  For everything but gaming, I’ve been using this machine directly on my lap very frequently and I have no complaints.

temps flowx16 daily temps flowx16 gaming

For Wifi, this laptop uses a MediaTek 7922 module to deliver WiFi 6E.  I don’t have a 6E router yet, but I was able to achieve a 640Mbps speed test at over 20 feet away from my router.  I also didn’t have any problems with my connection over the past several weeks.

Bluetooth 5.2 is also included in the card, which works fine for me. I used it for both my headphones and my controller.

Let’s talk about those speakers now.  On this model there are four speakers, two facing up and two down.   The result is impressive.  I measured 78dB(A) at the ear level using my sound measurement app.  The sound was full with some good highs and mids.  The bass was also decent, audible at 60Hz and above.

It definitely helps to use the Dolby software to configure the EQ.  You also need to check the enhanced audio box in the speaker settings in Windows.  Considering how full the sound is, this is one of the few laptops where I rarely maxed out the volume – especially on a gaming laptop.

The webcam is probably the biggest weakness of the machine.  It’s only HD, and needs a lot of light to produce a decent image.  But even then, it’s not all that sharp.  At least Windows Hello is enabled.  If this is the only thing I can pick on, I think we’re in pretty good shape.

camera

Battery life

The Flow x16 has a 90Whr battery, which is nearly as big as it can get, especially in such a thin laptop.  Considering it’s paired with a Ryzen processor, I had high expectations on how long this would last on a charge.

Fortunately, it’s pretty good.  I took a bunch of battery measurements, with the screen set at 50% brightness, which is about 84 nits for this model.  I also manually set the screen to 60Hz.  Here’s what I got under various situations:

  • 11.1 W (~8 h 6 min of use)– idle, Quiet mode with battery saver on, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi ON, backlighting off;
  • 15.9 W (~5 h 40 min of use) – text editing in Word/Excel with light internet use, screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 14.4 W (~6 h 15 min of use)– 1440p 60hz Youtube fullscreen in Chrome, screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 13.9 W (~4 h 56 min of use)– 1080p Hulu fullscreen video in Chrome, screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 20.7 W (~4 h 21 min of use)– heavy browsing in Chrome,  screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 64.5 W (~1 h 24 min of use)– Gaming – Witcher 3 60fps, screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON.

For a gaming laptop, these are great results.  Even for a dedicated work machine though, 4-5 hours of heavy use isn’t too bad at all.  I’ve been using this laptop frequently on battery and never felt I urgently needed to plug in, other than at the end of the day.

charger 1

Price and availability

The model I have on hand *was* only available on Asus’ website directly.  I say was, because I can no longer find it for sale there, or anywhere else for that matter.  The purchase price was $2699 when I got it.  A little pricey, but the added cost over the M16 is acceptable considering the added features.

The model Andrei reviewed a few months ago is still available on Best buy though.  In fact, at the time of this review, it was on sale already $200 off for $1799.  That’s a real bargain if you ask me.  If you don’t need the laptop for heavier gaming, the 3060 should be just fine.

We’ll update once we know more, and in meantime, follow this link for updated configurations and prices in your region at the time you’re reading this article.

Final thoughts- 2022 ASUS ROG Flow X16 review

If you couldn’t tell from my tone at the beginning, I really like this laptop.  It’s thin, light, and packs a lot of power inside.  But the real value is the added versatility that your typical gaming laptop doesn’t have.  The touchscreen with pen input, for example, is something that just doesn’t exist on a laptop that can be part of the gaming genre.

On top of that, the screen is just gorgeous.  For years, I’ve been patiently waiting for OLED to come standard on gaming laptops.  But I think this screen has deep enough blacks to hold me over indefinitely, especially since I don’t have to worry about burn in.

To top everything off, the Flow x16 has an excellent keyboard and trackpad.  And even the speakers are above average.  This makes it an ideal machine to be used for work and media consumption, as well as gaming.

Usually the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” applies, but that’s not quite the case I see here with the Flow x16.  While it certainly is not a master of all categories, it’s pretty darned close and is much better than what I’ve seen offered recently, particularly with the Razer Blade, Legion 5 Pro and the Alienware x15.  The fact is, the competition is either the same price and offers less, or is drastically more expensive like the Razer Blade (which still offers less).

Of course, every laptop has flaws – the Flow x16 isn’t a unicorn.  The webcam is pretty lousy.  At least it includes biometrics, but that’s about all it’s good for in my opinion.  The cooling is also not optimal for long term use on surfaces that can provide extra ventilation, such as a lapdesk.

Additionally, even though this can be used as a tablet, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will replace yours.  13-14” convertible laptops are far lighter and easier to handle than this laptop is in tablet mode.  While I agree that I can make use of it for sure, it’s going to be clunky to use sometimes – especially since I won’t always have my pen on me.

Regardless of the flaws, the benefits far outweigh the risks.  This will definitely be my daily driver for the next year or more and I don’t see anything that makes me regret making that choice.  And keep in mind, I was coming from the Legion 7, which was already a great machine.

So that about covers my perspective on this Asus ROG Flow X16.  Hope it helps someone make an informed decision.  If there are any questions or additional testing anyone has, please let me know in the comments below.

asus rog flow x16 fin1

Disclaimer: Our content is reader-supported. If you buy through some of the links on our site, we may earn a commission. Terms.
Derek Sullivan, author at Ultrabookreview.com
Article by: Derek Sullivan
Derek Sullivan - Review Editor. In addition to being a tech enthusiast, I have a career as a Biomedical Engineer. I enjoy taking things apart, figuring out how they work, and finding ways to make them better. My other hobbies include spending time with my family, "Do it yourself" projects such as home automation, and running.

62 Comments

  1. Ron

    August 18, 2022 at 6:02 am

    Why do you review the same laptop twice?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 18, 2022 at 11:42 am

      Can't you read? This article is Derek's point of view of a different configuration than what I've reviewed in the past

      • Ron

        August 18, 2022 at 3:05 pm

        Would not it be a better use of your time to actually test a different laptop and not a slightly different variant of already tested laptop? It would have much more value to the readers.

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 18, 2022 at 5:41 pm

        I bought this for myself so I reviewed it. It's my time to waste and it's not like it's affecting my other reviews.

      • Nat

        August 19, 2022 at 1:41 am

        Thanks for reviewing another version–I enjoy getting another perspective and more info about the mini LED.I've been waiting for the new Vivobook 16X, but I might go for this one instead. The lighter weight and mini LED could… "outweigh" a full HD webcam and fingerprint scanner. And I'm just tired of waiting for the vivobook!

    • Josh

      August 19, 2022 at 3:57 pm

      The MiniLED screen and higher tiered GPU makes it perfect to have a separate review for, as this is one of only like two laptops on the market to have that display.

      • Chris

        November 28, 2022 at 11:46 pm

        Agreed, the relatively unique screen alone makes this a worthwhile review – even if every other single spec were the same and it were the same reviewer! The screen is 90% of the reason I am buying this specific machine!

  2. Brad

    August 18, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    I've been waiting patiently for this. But, neither Amazon nor Best buy even have a listing for it. If someone could please tell me who is going to carry this besides the Asus website itself? I want to get a extended warranty since everything about this laptop is new.:-)

  3. Abe

    August 18, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    I got the 3070ti model direct from Asus last week. It had a dead pixel. Took them almost a week to get back to me approving the return (they don't do replacements). By the time they finally approved it, they're sold out again. Aside from that, this is a great laptop.

  4. Akmal

    August 19, 2022 at 10:49 am

    Did you use the latest bios when testing the battery? Trying to decide whether to get the IPS or the mini-LED version.

  5. hexaae

    August 19, 2022 at 11:19 am

    THE BAD (for me):
    – no G-Sync
    – no 17" version
    – no numpad

    • AlexS

      August 20, 2022 at 2:53 am

      I agree about 17 and numpad. Also the CPU could be cheaper.

  6. AlexS

    August 20, 2022 at 2:53 am

    This CPU Ryzen 9 6900HS seems to be wasted in the system. The Cinebench R23 value is mediocre for what it should be.
    In short seems to be the usual trick to make a laptop more expensive than it should.

    That said many thanks for this review.

    • Josh

      August 24, 2022 at 7:15 am

      Not really. It runs at 95 watts sustained and can get over 15k in Cinebench. That’s excellent for a Ryzen laptop. The big upgrade for the 6900HS was for the RDNA2 integrated graphics and of course better efficiency. Efficiency and performance at low wattage is AMD’s speciality, not top-tier Cinebench scores.

  7. Klaus

    August 23, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you for this review Derek!

    As for battery life, did you put the system in quite/silent mode (I mean, putting settings as Andrei, in order to make some kind of comparison).

    Thank you

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 23, 2022 at 7:04 pm

      Sorry, I usually specify that in the description. Pretty much every test is in quiet mode except for the gaming and heavy internet use tests which I switched to optimized or turbo(both are basically the same on battery)

      • Klaus

        August 23, 2022 at 8:02 pm

        Ok thank you.

        I find idle results to be strange. You result (with no backligthing and 0% brightness) are similar to Andrei while watching Netflix 4k and 60% brightness that is 120 nits.
        In your case scenario I don't think that the display and the deactivated GPU would determine the non-difference.

        What are your thoughts?

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 23, 2022 at 8:19 pm

        Tough to say. We're in different parts of the world so our test methodology might differ slightly. But our units did have different screens so that alone might have accounted for the difference. I couldn't get anywhere near 11.5 w while streaming, so that might be the only factor.

      • Claudio

        August 23, 2022 at 8:49 pm

        Thank you very much Derek!

        What about the use of a script in order to standardize battery life tests?

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 24, 2022 at 6:13 am

        I don't see how that can be a viable option.

      • Klaus

        August 25, 2022 at 2:07 pm

        Another question: during battery life tests, how did you set the MUX? On Optimus or in integrated GPU? There may be some kind of BUG related to descrete GPU activation, a test disabling it on BIOS could be interesting.

        Thank you

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 25, 2022 at 3:21 pm

        Optimus. The dGPU wasn't activating if that's what you mean. I'd see the blips in GPU power on hwinfo.

  8. Luke Chen

    August 25, 2022 at 12:52 am

    I can't find any answer on this. What is the screen pressure sensitivity level? Is it 4096?

    If so, do I need both a screen that is rated 4096 pressure level and a compatible 4096 press level pen to make it work?

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 25, 2022 at 1:52 am

      I don't think the screen sensitivity matters. I use a 4096 pen(Bamboo Ink) from 2017 and it works just fine. I think any MPP pen should work. I tested the sensitivity on Microsoft Whiteboard and I can definitely see a difference if I press down harder.

      • Luke Chen

        August 26, 2022 at 4:39 am

        I used window surface pen 2, and I want to replace it with something cheaper if I can't get the full 4096 pressure sensitivity. Honestly, I have been pretty happy with the drawing experience so far with the pen and the screen. I just dislike Microsoft's business model. When I bought the pen for 130 dollars it didn't even come with a charger, I had to spend another 35 dollars to buy a charger to use the pen. I also found out you can't bind ctrl+z to the pen without downloading third party software.

  9. canadaboy

    August 25, 2022 at 11:15 am

    is it true this is a 16 inch screen but in the size of a 15” laptop?

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 25, 2022 at 1:10 pm

      Yes. This laptop is basically the same size as the G15.

  10. John

    August 25, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the review! This is the model I'm looking at, if I can ever find it in stock. Asus's site sort of has it every once in while, while their support folks claim it's not officially released yet.

    My one concern is the hinge strength. Did you notice any issues with the screen being stable say at 135 degrees?

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 25, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      I had similar concerns, especially after seeing a couple YouTube reviews. It's not unstable by any means but it's also not as strong as it could be. Realistically you want the device to open and fold back easily with low effort which it does so nicely. But because it's a 16" screen and there's a piece of glass on top of it, the lid is a little more top heavy than normal devices. So there is some inherant wobble but it's never been bad enough that the screen runs away on me.

      There is a limit though. If I pick up my laptop by the base and move it abruptly, the momentum will move the screen slightly. Same as if I pick it up by the palm rest and invert it vertically – gravity and movement may move the screen in those cases. But for typical lap and desk use, the hinge is fine.

  11. Matt

    August 25, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Derek,
    Thanks for a cracking review, I am currently pondering getting myself a new gaming capable laptop and I am torn between the x16 above and the m16: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/54258-asus-rog-zephyrus-m16-2022-review/
    I like the screen spec and cooling of the x16, but prefer the CPU oompf and additional speaker quality of the m16 – I wondered if you had any thoughts to help me break my dead lock?
    Currently I can get both models for £2299.99 in the uk – the x16 would require me to spend an additional £100 to get a second 1TB SSD m2 drive to properly match the m16 spec.
    Interested in yours/others thoughts.
    Many thanks, Matt

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 25, 2022 at 7:08 pm

      Prices being equal, I would definitely go with the x16. I had slight buyers remorse because the m16 went on sale in my area for over $600 cheaper after I bought my unit. It was slight though because I ultimately wanted a touchscreen and the mled panel is so much nicer imho.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 25, 2022 at 7:31 pm

      I'll jump in as well because I've used both for a while. The speakers are almost the same on the two, despite the M16 having the extra tweeters. As far as the CPU goes, it's up to you whether you would need it for any sort of demanding loads. Even for that, though, the difference between the i9 and the Ryzen 9 is around 10% , so not that much.

      You haven't mentioned whether the X16 is the miniLED screen version or IPS. If it's the miniled, then that alone would be enough of a reason to get the x16 over the m16. Then there's also the convertible format and the touch.

      • Matt

        August 26, 2022 at 1:56 pm

        Thanks for jumping in, the x16 I am looking at is: amazon.co.uk/dp/B09XMLNXHW?tag=bgfg-wepc-uk-21 I think it is the mini LED screen version – is the miniLED a noticeable upgrade over the m16's more basic one?
        Touch screen and convertible format are a much lower priority for me personally but if the screen quality upgrade makes games look better than the extra 10% cpu capacity I think I am leaning towards the x16 now.

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 26, 2022 at 2:09 pm

        The Mled panel is better in a few ways, particularly if you play games that offer HDR. The titles I've played look absolutely amazing in HDR on this panel. Other than that and the deeper blacks there's nothing wrong with the standard panel considering it's still 165hz and 100% dci-p3

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 26, 2022 at 2:10 pm

        It is. Not perfect and not ideal for everything, but for multimedia it definitely is. It also helps that you have the two lighting modes to switch between based on what you're after: uniformity and accuracy, or better blacks and contrast.

        Derek has explained everything very well in this article, and you'll also find some of my thoughts about the miniLED panel in here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/55954-asus-rog-zephyrus-duo-16-review/#a4

      • Matt

        September 1, 2022 at 3:18 pm

        Hi Both,
        Thanks very muchly for that and I have read the duo review as well so I am leaning in the X16 direction now I think. Sounds like the cpu difference is going to be relatively minimal in most every day circumstances and the upgrades in cooling and screen more than offset that as an issue.
        Thank you both very much for your time and responses it is apprecaited.

        Many thanks, matt

      • Matt

        September 1, 2022 at 4:55 pm

        P.S. I forgot to ask, do you guys have a go to laptop cooling pad you can recommend for the x16 and a bag as well that can carry the lot in it?

      • Derek Sullivan

        September 1, 2022 at 5:07 pm

        I just use a wooden lap desk such as the Bamboard or equivalent. Anything with vent holes in the bottom makes a difference.

        For bags, I use an ebags pro and it fits with a couple inches to spare. Really though any bag that supports 15" laptops will be fine. This is a 16" laptop in a 15" chassis.

  12. John

    August 25, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Any chance you'll be doing a MSI Raider GE67HX OLED review? Seems the X16 is going to have the top Mini-LED screen for 2022 and by all accounts the MSI Raider GE67HX or the Razer 15 OLED with Samsung's 240hz OLED panel is going to be the best laptop OLED of 2022. I'd be curious to see how they compare.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 25, 2022 at 7:32 pm

      I doubt it, we're having a harder time accessing the top MSI laptops lately. I'll ask, though.

  13. Serge

    August 27, 2022 at 7:50 am

    Strange to see AMD + 90Wh battery combo to deliver such a mediocre running time.. really expected to see some 7-8 hrs of browsing in a quiet mode and like 10-11 hrs of just idling. Maybe mini led screen is less power efficient ?

    • Klaus

      August 29, 2022 at 7:47 pm

      I have just got back to the Asus Vivbook Pro 16X with 4K OLED Display, RTX 3050 Ti and i7 11390H.
      The ROG consumes +50% in text editing and +100% in video watching via application or web.
      Since RTX is irrelevant in battery mode, it is impossible that very high power consumption is to be related to the i7 11390H (MiniLED is theoretically more power efficient with the same brightness, in addition Vivbook is OLED 2400p while the Flow 16X is 1600p only).
      I am still keen to low optimization.

  14. Xandrad

    August 28, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    Good day,is this color "eclipse grey" or "off black".

    • Derek Sullivan

      August 29, 2022 at 1:12 am

      My box says eclipse grey. I didn't know there was another option. off black sounds the same to me.

  15. Ricardo

    August 28, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Hello, the best review I found on the internet for this great laptop.
    I really liked when you indicate the parts with the pencil.
    I only have 2 doubts:
    – The 1 terabyte sdd1 can be upgraded to a 2 terabyte.
    – The SSD2 which is the largest capacity on the market.
    Thank you very much for your article.
    It was between the X16 and the Z13 but for hardware I choose the x16.
    Greetings Ricardo from Colombia

  16. Tim

    September 14, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you for this review! It was enough to put me over the threshold, and I bought one. This is the laptop I've been wanting for a while: good size and weight, fantastic screen, and enough zip to run everything from statistical analyses to games. I'm actually getting a better gaming experience than with my 2021 14" laptop running an RTX 3080 at up to 100W. Build quality on my unit is excellent.

  17. Pavle

    October 9, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    Does anyone know if this can (Wireless) SCREEN CAST to TV through Win11 ?
    Part of the multi-small hindrances of the Flow x13 which led me to return it was the fact that it did NOT support Native Screen Casting.
    Could someone please test this out?

    Any INTEL laptop/Tablet I've ever tested out worked fine… (With an insane MOUSE LAG though) but for a NO nonsense no cables Quick way to WATCH Videos/Movies on my Samsung UN60F8000, it's Great.
    Thanks

  18. Jsa

    October 22, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Hi! Thx for the review!

    I’ve found slight irritation for my eyes using the screen. Maybe it is the horizontal polarization of the lcd panel (typical with touchscreens) – or then the PWM value of 7000hz (though the thuv reinland certification of the screen defines flicker free after 3000hz)

    I ordered matte screen protector to see if the issue is there’s a difference.

    My question is, that did you find the screen in your use comfy ?

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 22, 2022 at 2:39 pm

      I haven't had any issues with it, although I'm not exclusively on it lately because of other reviews I've been doing. Try a blue light filtered lens yet? Could also be glare from the glossy screen.

      • jsa2

        October 23, 2022 at 7:58 am

        Hi! and thx for the response

        I changed to SRGB mode only, seems to help a bit

        Below is the video of the PWM (captured with Iphone 13 slo-mo)

        1drv.ms/v/s!Ah7vVp425Vlciv0Q_4S4f7ySVA1yaw?e=ieQgX0

        Here is the SRGB mode I opted for
        1drv.ms/u/s!Ah7vVp425Vlciv0RVimzDdTdXZq4-w?e=doKLIW

        If possible, and if you have Iphone or similar phone with slo-mo capture, could take a short clip to see if the same pwm flicker is shown (brightness setting does not matter)

      • Derek Sullivan

        October 23, 2022 at 4:32 pm

        I'll take a look. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be seeing in that video though. The window disappearing?

  19. jsa2

    October 23, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    The rolling bars are to my understanding the result of PWM. You can test this by having this screen side-by-side with another screen. Typical (non-PWM) screen would have no such rolling bars

  20. John

    October 25, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Hi and tnx for the review.
    Is it better to buy a flow x16 with 3050 ti and a Docking station with Radeon RX 6850M XT, or the 3070 ti version? Both have the same price this week.

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 25, 2022 at 9:30 pm

      it depends what you plan on doing more. If you need gaming performance on the laptop alone than it's a no brainer to go for the 3070ti. But if you're primary going to be docked and only use it in laptop mode on occasion, I can see the value in the combo with the 3050ti. No chance I would rely on 3050ti for gaming but that's just me.

      • John

        October 25, 2022 at 9:51 pm

        Thanks! Going to use it primarily for gaming and streaming and I don’t have room for a stationary rig. Having it docked while gaming isn’t a problem but if I get better performance I will go for the 3070 ti version.

      • John

        October 25, 2022 at 10:02 pm

        Thanks 🙏🏻 Going to use it for gaming and streaming at home and don’t have room for a stationary rig. Is the performance better with the 3070 ti than the docked RX 6850M XT?

      • Derek Sullivan

        October 25, 2022 at 10:20 pm

        Most likely it's faster, yes. On paper it's about 20% faster but it's tough to tell with egpus. I've never tested it so I can't say for sure.

  21. Chris

    November 28, 2022 at 11:43 pm

    "I also used the touchscreen to play one of my favorite phone games that was also ported to Steam. Really neat being able to play this on such a big screen! "

    You can't post a screenshot of a game and not tell us what it is! I want to try it ;)

    Thanks

    • Derek Sullivan

      November 29, 2022 at 1:24 am

      Lol it's called Hades Star. It's a space strategy game. Been playing casually for years now.

      • Chris

        November 29, 2022 at 11:43 am

        Brilliant, thanks!

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