Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU604 2023 full review

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It is an exciting opportunity for us to review the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023, which comes with the new Nvidia RTX 4090 and 4080 Ada Lovelace graphics card. If its performance in games was impressive on the 2022 Zephyrus M16, wait to see what this unit can do with an Intel Core i9-13900H.

Asus has made some changes in design, but has lost the 2.5G LAN network connectivity and one USB port. However, the webcam and display have been improved with an impressive 240 Hz ROG Nebula WQXGA 1000 nit panel and AniMe Matrix technology in the chassis. We are excited to see its performance!

Exterior design

The 2023 generation of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 has not undergone major changes in its exterior appearance, which is common in brands that maintain the same design every two or three generations. However, there have been small modifications, such as an increase in weight of 300 grams (from 2 to 2.3 kg) and a minimum increase in depth of 2 mm.

It is exciting to be able to test the AniMe Matrix lighting system on the screen lid, which was not present on the unit from last year. This system uses a matrix of thousands of LEDs to create custom animations, effects, and messages on the screen. The lighting will always be white, as RGB is not yet available.

The device is built entirely of aluminum, except for the bottom cover which is plastic for easier access to the hardware. The design is minimalist, with flat edges and rounded corners, and the surfaces have been polished to give a smooth and smooth finish. The hinge system remains the same, with an anchor on the bottom of the device to allow the screen to open and rest on the floor, improving cooling.

The back of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023 is well done, not only by the hinges but also by the diagonal grilles that allow the hot air to be expelled. In addition, this model features a translucent bar under the lid that houses the LED indicators, making it even more special.

The side edges of the team have been redesigned and are now thinner than the previous generation. Connectivity has not been affected, and the lower area houses three fans that improve cooling compared to the previous generation. This laptop is noisy.

Upon opening, a well-utilized screen area can be appreciated with 4mm thick side frames, an 8mm top frame even with the integrated webcam, and a bottom frame that is practically hidden when the screen is opened with the hinges. This allows for an all-screen feeling, offering 92% usable surface.

The keyboard features a TKL format distribution and wide free sides, in addition to an improved design for the top speaker grilles. The row of special keys at the top allows you to control sound and access Armory Crate. However, the small direction keypad may be a problem for racing games if a controller is not used. On the other hand, the touchpad is huge and is wonderful for general use of the equipment.

Ports and connectivity

Regarding connectivity, on this Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023, the ports are divided on both sides.

On the right side we find:

  • MicroSD UHS-II reader
  • 1 USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C port with DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery 3.0
  • 1 USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A port
  • Kensington lock slot

On the left side we find:

  • 3.5mm combo jack for audio and microphone
  • 1 USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A port
  • HDMI 2.1
  • 1 Thunderbolt 4 port
  • DC-In power input jack

Unfortunately, we lost the 2.5 Gbps LAN interface, which we consider important in a gaming machine like this. The HDMI 2.1 allows for 8K resolutions, in addition to two DisplayPort ports available from Thunderbolt and USB-C.

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU604 2023 ports

Regarding the USB ports, the number remains at 4 from the previous year, one of which is Thunderbolt 4 and allows for a 1 Gbps LAN connection with an adapter. However, we consider this to be a small number of ports for such power, and an additional USB port would have been welcome for peripherals. The Power Delivery 3.0 version should provide up to 100W of charge for the devices connected to the laptop.

In terms of wireless connectivity, it features the Intel AX211 Wi-Fi 6E card, which offers the same features as the AX210, including support for Triple Band 2×2 on the 6 and 5 GHz frequencies at 2.4 Gbps and 2.4 GHz at 574 Mbps. Additionally, it is compatible with MU-MIMO, OFDMA and Intel vPro, and operates through a CNVi interface.

High-quality display and surround sound

To meet the expectations of the Nvidia RTX 4090, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023 features the best display in its arsenal. It is the ROG Nebula HDR panel with Mini LED technology and 1024 dimming zones and a maximum brightness of 1100 nits. In fact, it is certified with DisplayHDR 1000 to guarantee this peak value. When running games and multimedia applications, the HDR mode will automatically activate to add additional brightness to the display.

The native resolution is WQXGA, or 2560 x 1600p in a 16:10 format on a 16 inch diagonal. In addition to the impressive image quality, it features a refresh rate of 240 Hz and a response time of 3 ms to shine any game. It also features Nvidia G-Sync compatible variable refresh technology, Dolby Vision, and Pantone validation with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.

The display panel is impressive, available in three versions, two of which are equipped with RTX 4090 and one with RTX 4080. It offers an excellent experience to enjoy high-quality multimedia content with wide viewing angles both vertically and horizontally and natural color representation. The brand behind this NE160QDM-NM4 panel model is BOE.

The audio system features 4 physical speakers, including two 2W Dual-force woofers that provide sound on both sides, giving the feeling of having 4 units. Additionally, it features 2 other 2W tweeters located on the bottom corners to create an enveloping sound compatible with Dolby Atmos.

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU604 2023

The Smart Amp technology contributes to offering great output power, clear and detailed audio, and a balanced sound profile with good bass. It is one of the best systems on the laptop market, and Asus continues to lead in this important aspect where many expensive units fail.

The keyboard, touchpad, and webcam of the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023 include the Stealth Type keyboard, which offers silent keystrokes thanks to a membrane with better padding. It features an N-Key Rollover function that maps each key individually and Overstroke to reduce the activation point, offering a total travel of 1.7 mm and a lifespan of 20 million keystrokes, almost at the level of mechanical switches.

The configuration is TKL ANSI type Spanish layout, with slightly concave 15 x 15 mm key surfaces. You can customize the RGB AURA Sync feedback system with the Armory Crate software in general or the AURA Creator for each key. The row of special keys is on top and the power button with fingerprint reader is included, but we miss a full-size direction pad.

The laptop’s touchpad is large, measuring 130 mm wide and 85 mm deep, being one of the widest on the gaming equipment market. The glass surface provides a smooth feeling and fluid movement, with integrated buttons on the bottom for short activation and easy clicking. Additionally, it does not present any type of looseness, ensuring a perfect fit.

The webcam has been improved with a 1920x1080p FHD sensor at 30 FPS, offering acceptable image quality for applications like Discord. Additionally, it features an IR sensor that is compatible with facial recognition for Windows Hello, and an improved microphone system for content creation, which includes two bidirectional noise-cancelling AI microphones. It also has three capture patterns: cardioid for podcasts, omnidirectional for groups and meetings, and stereo for two speakers.

As for control software, Asus has developed Armory Crate software, which allows for control of all aspects of the equipment, both technical and peripheral and lighting. The only new feature compared to the previous year’s Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 is the AniMe Matrix add-on. The software can be a bit tedious in terms of updates, but it works quite well overall.

For gamers, the most important aspect is performance, which includes four pre-defined profiles and a manual one, where several important aspects can be modified. In the CPU, the PL1 and PL2 consumption levels and ventilation profile can be modified. In the GPU, VRAM boost (100 MHz), GPU (50 MHz), and TGP (25 W) can be modified, as well as the fan. In addition, a section for the third fan is included, as well as the MUX Switch + Nvidia Advanced Optimus function for managing between dGPU and iGPU in battery mode with four distinct modes.

In the general settings section, we find several energy saving options, custom special keys, audio recording profile for the three microphones, and Game Visual. We continue with the AURA Wallpaper section and reach AniMe Matrix. Here, we can add different Matrix effects to a timeline, which we can expand by downloading them from the library or creating them ourselves in Asus’ online pixel editor. We really liked the text option on a bar, as we can change its size and font.

Hardware and internal features

We arrive at the section where the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023 showcases the latest innovations in the hardware market, that is, it features the best of Intel and Nvidia, making it the best hardware combination for gaming laptops currently.

We start with the CPU and find the Intel Core i9-13900H, the natural successor to the 12900H with the Raptor Lake architecture. This CPU has 6 P cores at 5.4 GHz and 8 E cores at 4.1 GHz, maintaining the same number of cores and threads as in the previous generation.

The 24 MB L3 cache and power configuration from 45W PL1 to 115W in PL2 are also maintained. It incorporates Intel Iris Xe graphics at 1.5 GHz and 96 execution units, which is enough for 3D tasks in battery mode. It will be important to see how the 5.4 GHz performs and how much heat it generates, as desktop CPUs are demanding in terms of performance.

The second big novelty is the return of the Nvidia RTX 4090, Nvidia’s high-end model, to the laptop graphics series. This GPU features the most powerful AD103 chip for laptops and is based on the 4 nm TSMC Ada Lovelace architecture. It has a chipset composed of 76 SM (the RTX 3080 Ti had 58 units), 9728 CUDA Cores, 304 4th generation Tensor Core, and 76 3rd generation RT Core, which means 304 TMUs and 112 ROPs, which is impressive.

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU604 2023

This model specifies a Pixel Rate of 189.8 GPixel/s (121 on the 3080 Ti), 32.98 TFLOPS FP16/32 (18.71 on the 3080 Ti) and 515.3 GFLOPS FP64 (292.3 on the 3080 Ti). The increase in performance is impressive in theory, and it combines with a TGP of 145W for the Asus laptop. However, in the installed driver, a consumption of 150W is indicated. Regarding the graphics memory, the 16 GB of GDDR6 at a frequency of 2250 MHz (18 Gbps) on a 256-bit bus remains, generating a bandwidth of 576 GB/s.

The RAM memory is kept at 32 GB of DDR5 in 2 modules of 16 GB each, operating at 4800 MHz in Dual Channel. With SODIMM slots, up to 64 GB can be added. The storage configuration remains unchanged, with a 2 TB Samsung PM6A1 PCIe 4.0 SSD and a second Gen4x4 expansion slot.

The heatsink has been upgraded from 2 to 3 Arc Flow Fans, now called Tri-Fans, by adding an additional fan to the system. In total, there are 7 copper heatpipes that end in several copper blocks with 319 fins in total, with a thickness of 0.1 mm. As for the cold plates, a vapor chamber is not used, but high-efficiency liquid metal thermal paste, Thermal Grizzly, is applied.

Battery life

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023 has the same battery as the previous year’s model, a 4-cell lithium polymer block with a total capacity of 5845 mAh and 90 Wh power.

The theoretical consumption appears to be slightly higher compared to the previous model, as the graphics card TGP goes from 120W on the RTX 3080 Ti to 150W on the RTX 4090. However, in normal use, the differences are minimal. According to the BatteryMon testing software results, in the best case, 6.7 hours are obtained with the saving mode enabled, brightness at 20% and performing basic tasks with Wi-Fi enabled, which is virtually the same as the results obtained with the previous year’s version, which reached up to 7 hours in the same tests.

Conclusion about the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 2023 is one of the first laptops with the newly released Nvidia RTX 4000, which offer an impressive performance improvement compared to the previous generation. The incorporation of the RTX 4000 into this device means a leap in terms of performance, maintaining virtually the same consumption as the 3080 Ti and surpassing it in some cases by more than 50%. Additionally, the combination with the new 13900H CPU offers even higher raw performance in all areas. The cooling system is effective, although it produces a bit of noise due to its three fans.

In terms of design, the laptop remains virtually unchanged, with a high-quality sound system, keyboard, and touchpad. The webcam has improved to 1080p, which is a positive improvement, and the battery still has a similar consumption, although its capacity has not increased. In terms of connectivity, we have noted that the LAN interface has been lost and only Wi-Fi 6E is offered, which may be a problem for gamers seeking the lowest latency.

Another aspect that has significantly improved is the screen, with MiniLED technology, a 240 Hz frequency, and QHD+ resolution. This screen is perfect for gaming and design. The optimization of the equipment and its integration with the hardware and drivers is more than satisfactory, although we still find the annoying McAfee and experienced a brief lock-up when switching from normal mode to HDR, which is not serious but is something to keep in mind.

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