ASUS continues to develop a new line of ROG Flow gaming devices under its world-renowned Republic of Gamers brand. At the beginning of the year, we already got acquainted with the unusual ROG Flow Z13 gaming tablet, and now it’s the turn of the 16-inch ROG Flow X16 convertible laptop, which can be connected to an external video card. As you can see, the new line was quite experimental at ASUS, so it was especially interesting to see how well the ROG Flow X16 copes with real tasks.
ASUS ROG Flow X16 specifications
|AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, 8 GB GDDR6TGP 125 W, with Dynamic Boost
|16″, 16:10, IPS, QHD (2560×1600), 165 Hz, 3 ms, 100% DCI-P3, 500 cd/m2, touch, Adaptive -Sync, Pantone Validated and Dolby Vision certification
|2 x SO-DIMMsUp to 64GB, DDR5 4800MHz
|SSD up to 2 TB, PCIe 4
|Island type keyboard with backlightIndependent click processing, 1.7 mm key travel
4 x speakers with intelligent amplifierDolby Atmos
Hi-Res Audio certification
Two-way intelligent noise reduction technology
Three-dimensional microphone array
|IR HD webcam, 3DNR, Windows Hello support
|Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
WI-FI 6E (802.11ax)
1 x XG Mobile interface (including 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 and USB Power Delivery)
1 x USB 3.2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery support
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 3.5mm audio combo jack
1 x microSD slot
|355 x 243 x 19.4mm
ROG XG Mobile specifications
|AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT, 12 GB GDDR6 video memory
|Combined port with ROG XG Mobile interface and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x SD memory card slot
1 x RJ-45
1 x DC-in
|Power supply unit
|Built-in 330W power adapter
|217 x 165 x 32.6mm
The approximate cost of ROG Flow X16 in a set with XG Mobile is UAH 159,999.
In addition to the laptop itself, the kit includes a cable and a 240 W power supply. In addition, the ASUS ROG Flow X16 is sold in Ukrainian stores so far only in the version with the ROG XG Mobile docking station, so it is also included in the set.
Design and materials
ASUS ROG Flow X16 received a design in the style of last year’s ROG Flow X13 laptop, which started this line. The novelty received the same minimalist design without special hints of gaming use, which will undoubtedly appeal to users who are tired of the abundance of multi-colored backlights.
The laptop body is made of magnesium alloy with a pleasant to the touch coating ASUS calls “gravity wave”. The pattern is repeated on the panel around the touchpad and on the bottom cover of the laptop. However, such minimal design touches do not make the appearance of the model boring, rather serious, which is a little dissonant with the gaming positioning, but on modern laptops it is almost never possible to only play.
The bezels around the ROG Flow X16 screen are thin, thanks to this the laptop body with dimensions of 355 x 243 x 19.4 mm is closer to 15-inch models. The hinge of the display unit allows you to open the touch screen 360 degrees, turning the laptop into a tablet. At the same time, there are several intermediate positions, for example, “tent”, in which the keyboard is behind the screen, and the display is closer to the user.
The weight of ROG Flow X16 is only 2.1 kg, the laptop is easy to take with you to the office or to work in a cafe. The “gravity wave” pattern also comes in handy here, because thanks to it, the case is comfortable to hold, and there is less chance that it will slip out of your hands.
All connectors in the laptop are located on the side faces. On the right there is a slot for microSD cards and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A.
And on the left – a connector for a charger, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Type-C with support for DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery, a 3.5 mm combo audio jack, as well as an XG Mobile port that includes another USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with support for DisplayPort 1.4 and USB Power Delivery.
In general, all the ports of the ROG Flow X16 are conveniently located and allow you to connect all the necessary peripherals. And if that’s not enough, the complete XG Mobile docking station includes 4 more USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4, a slot for SD memory cards and RJ-45.
The laptop received a 16-inch IPS screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10, a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, a refresh rate of 165 Hz and a response time of 3 ms. In the ASUS model line, high-end displays now receive the Nebula label, this also applies to the ROG Flow X16, which means that in addition to the technical characteristics listed above, the panel must also meet other criteria.
In particular, the laptop screen provides 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 digital space, 500 cd/m2 brightness, Adaptive-Sync support, Pantone Validated and Dolby Vision certification.
In general, the IPS matrix in the ROG Flow X16 is one of the best that can be obtained in laptops today.
Platform and speed
The laptop is built on a platform using a 6-nanometer processor AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS, which has an architecture with 8 cores, 16 threads and operates at a frequency of up to 4.9 GHz.
In the test configuration, 32 GB of DDR5 4800 MHz RAM was installed.
As well as an M.2 2280 Samsung SSD drive with a capacity of 1 TB, which showed high results both for data reading and writing.
In general, the ROG Flow X16 platform turned out to be a hybrid, because in addition to the AMD processor with built-in AMD Radeon Graphics, the laptop also has a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory with a TDP of 125 W.
Considering the processor and graphics card, even without connecting the XG Mobile docking station with the AMD Radeon RX 6850 XT mobile graphics card, the ROG Flow X16 demonstrates a high level of performance, both in everyday tasks and in games.
In the PCMark 10 test, the notebook scores 7248 points, which is a very good result for a relatively compact notebook.
The performance of discrete graphics is also at the level, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is capable of rendering more than 30 FPS in modern games with retracing in the “native” screen resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. I managed to test a laptop with the re-release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, in which the graphics were noticeably updated.
The game has really become more beautiful and demanding to the hardware and ROG Flow X16 generally copes with it.
At the maximum settings of RT Ultra, the laptop produces 30-35 FPS at the maximum resolution of its screen. If you reduce it to Full HD, the FPS increases to more comfortable values of over 50. In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and DOOM Eternal, you can count on 40-50 FPS even at 2560×1600 pixels.
Other capabilities of the ROG Flow X16 platform include wireless modules with the latest WI-FI 6E (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.2 standards.
ROG XG Mobile 2022
If the power of the built-in graphics card is not enough, or a long gaming session is planned, the ROG Flow X16 can be connected to the ROG XG Mobile docking station, which contains the top mobile graphics card AMD Radeon RX 6850 XT with 12 GB of memory and a TDP of up to 165 W .
The docking station connects to the laptop via a proprietary ASUS connector that uses a PCIe 3.0 x8 connection and provides 63 Gbps bandwidth for the GPU.
An additional USB 3.2 Gen 2 port adds 10 Gbps for the I/O hub and prevents graphics performance degradation. The connection process itself is quite simple, it is enough to connect the XG Mobile connector to the connector in the laptop, close the switch and select the dock icon in the Windows 11 tray so that the system switches to external graphics. The same steps should be followed in reverse to disable XG Mobile.
Thanks to its separate location and a more powerful graphics card with a higher TDP level, the docking station provides an increase in performance. It is not as impressive as, for example, for last year’s ROG Flow X13 model, which only had integrated graphics, but it adds points both in synthetic tests and FPS in games.
In the 3DMark Fire Strike and Time Spy tests, the laptop with XG Mobile scores 23,802 and 11,755 points, respectively, while with the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, these indicators are slightly lower – 22,258 and 9,141 points.
In the same games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and DOOM Eternal, the dock allows you to get more FPS at maximum graphics settings and a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels.
The XG Mobile itself has quite compact dimensions, but weighs 1.2 kg and is designed for stationary use on the user’s desk. The built-in cooling system of the docking station works louder than the fans in the laptop, but does not cause discomfort and allows you to keep the ROG Flow X16 case cooler.
In general, as a complete addition to the laptop, the docking station can be called useful, but the laptop would not lose much without it, except for the price. Therefore, I hope that ASUS will increase the number of available model configurations.
Heating and stability of operation
ROG Flow X16 uses the proprietary Intelligent Coo cooling system with Thermal Grizzly liquid metal coating on the processor for better heat dissipation. It then lands on the new, larger Pulsar Heatsink radiator, which covers the entire rear of the device – 110,902mm² of total surface area thanks to 330 individual 0.1mm fins.
A single 84-blade Arc Flow fan with a tip thickness of just 0.2mm directs air through cutouts in the case, directing airflow to internal components to keep them cool. At the same time, another fan removes heat from the radiator.
Taking into account daily use and synthetic tests, it can be noted that the cooling system in the ROG Flow X16 works very efficiently. In the AIDA64 system stability test, no throttling was detected, from the beginning of the load on the processor, the laptop’s cooling system quickly picks up speed and effectively controls the temperature.
This is also confirmed by the data of AIDA64 statistics, which shows that the average temperature of the CPU is kept at the level of 90.9 degrees Celsius, while the average frequency exceeds 4.2 GHz, which is very good. At the same time, the frequency of the processor does not drop below 3.2 GHz. That is, the high performance of the system is maintained even during long-term load.
I will also note that the ROG Flow X16 case heats up above the keyboard the most, but not so much as to cause any discomfort. The area on both sides of the touchpad, where the palms fall during keyboard operation, generally remains barely warm. In addition, during high load, the cooling system makes less noise than you would expect from such a compact model. It reaches 54-55 dB.
Security and unlocking
For more secure unlocking of Windows 11, the laptop, in addition to entering a password, can offer a facial recognition system with an infrared camera. It works with the standard Windows Hello function and allows you to log in quickly.
Keyboard and touchpad
The laptop received an island-type keyboard with a key travel of 1.7 mm and a white backlight, which can be synchronized with other ASUS gaming devices via Aura Sync.
Typing on the ROG Flow X16 keyboard is a pleasure, the tactile, but soft movement of the keys with a quiet mechanism is almost not tiring when typing large volumes of text.
The laptop’s glass touchpad tracks finger positions well and has a pleasant-to-the-touch surface. It also supports all standard Windows 11 gestures.
Despite the gradual transition of manufacturers to webcams with Full HD resolution, the ROG Flow X16 uses a simpler version of 720p. This is not a big drawback for a gaming model, but considering the price, I would like to have a webcam with a higher resolution.
But everything is fine with the sound in ROG Flow X16, the model uses four speakers, two of which are located on both sides of the keyboard, and two more on the bottom of the case, and there is also support for Dolby Atmos.
The device sounds really loud and voluminous, if you add even more pronounced bass, it would be almost perfect.
The laptop has a built-in 90 Wh battery that provides a good level of autonomy. In the PCMark 10 Modern Office test with a screen brightness of 200 cd/m², the battery lasted almost 10 hours.
The ROG Flow X16 is charged from the included 230W power supply, in addition, it is possible to use recharging via the USB Type-C port up to 100W.