ASUS ROG Flow X16 Review: Power Redefined

Explore the ASUS ROG Flow X16: a powerful, versatile gaming laptop with top-tier features.

ASUS ROG Flow X16 Review: An All-Powerful Gaming Laptop

The ROG Flow X13 was one of the standout laptops released last year by ASUS, showcasing the company’s innovation and design prowess. For 2022, ASUS has introduced a larger model named the Flow X16. As the name implies, this is a 16-inch laptop that packs powerful internals, a stunning screen, and supports the XG Mobile interface. Has ASUS made the right choices in this larger form factor? Let’s delve into the review to find out.

Design and Build

The design of the Flow X16 is an evolution of the ROG Flow X13. It retains a low-profile aesthetic but in a larger 16-inch chassis. The lid features a gravity design that looks sleek, complemented by a sand-blasted finish that adds both a premium look and improved grip. Subtle design elements like the ROG logo on the right palm rest and the ROG plaque on the bottom corner of the lid add to its appeal.

The Flow X16 feels incredibly dense, likely due to its extensive cooling technology. Weighing in at 2.1Kg, it’s reasonably lightweight for a 16-inch laptop considering its high level of performance. The premium materials ensure the chassis feels rigid with minimal flex in the keyboard deck and lid.

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As a convertible, the Flow X16 features a 360° hinge that allows the lid to fold back completely, enabling use as a tablet or in tent mode. The hinge’s tension is smooth and precise, allowing the lid to stay at nearly any angle. The display does wobble a bit when using the touch screen, but this is an acceptable trade-off for the flexibility of a convertible design.

The bezels on either side of the display are thin, with the top bezel housing a webcam and a Windows Hello IR camera, along with two microphones for ASUS’s AI Microphone feature. The bottom bezel, which matches the size of the top, features “ROG FLOW” branding. Overall, the ROG Flow X16 is visually appealing and well-built for its price.

Display and Audio

The display is one of the standout features of the Flow X16. Dubbed the ‘Nebula HDR Display’ by ASUS, it is a 16-inch 16:10 WQXGA MiniLED panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 3ms response time. The MiniLED technology, with 512 local dimming zones, enables a peak brightness of 1100 nits. The panel is VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certified and offers a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut.

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This translates to a fantastic display experience with vibrant colors and impressive contrast levels. The IPS panel ensures great viewing angles, and local dimming makes content look amazing. Gaming is buttery smooth thanks to the 165Hz refresh rate, and Adaptive Sync support eliminates screen tearing. The display supports Dolby Vision, enhancing content on streaming platforms like Netflix. It’s also Pantone-validated, making it ideal for content creators and artists.

The Flow X16 features a quad-speaker setup that delivers decent audio quality. While it’s not as loud or clear as the MacBook Pro’s speakers, it is adequate for most uses. The laptop also supports Dolby Atmos for an enhanced audio experience.

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Performance and Thermals

The Flow X16 delivers premium performance. Our model is powered by the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU, paired with 32GB of 4800MHz DDR5 memory and a 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD. The Ryzen 9 6900HS, with its 8 cores and 16 threads, boasts a base frequency of 3.30GHz and a maximum boost frequency of 4.9GHz.

The laptop performs exceptionally well in both gaming and productivity applications. The RTX 3070Ti, with 125W of power and 8GB of GDDR6 memory, handles gaming at 2560×1600 resolution effortlessly. However, if you’re seeking pure GPU performance, other laptops with higher wattage GPUs might be more suitable.

The Flow X16 includes a MUX switch, allowing the discrete GPU to connect directly to the display for optimal performance. This feature is available on all models and is a welcome addition.

ASUS has upgraded the thermal solution for the Flow X16, introducing the ‘Frost Force cooling system’ with a triple fan setup. Two main fans cool the 5 heat pipes, while a third fan provides additional cooling to the GPU. The air intakes are filtered, and ASUS uses Thermal Grizzly liquid metal thermal compound for better heat transfer.

The Flow X16 also supports the XG Mobile interface, allowing connection to an external XG Mobile with up to an AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT GPU. This is particularly useful for models with lower-end GPUs like the 3060 and 3050Ti.

The keyboard on the Flow X16 is excellent, with 1.7mm of travel, well-sized keycaps, and adequate spacing. The keys are neither too clicky nor mushy, providing a comfortable typing experience. The keyboard also includes 4 customizable keys above it for volume control, microphone muting, and launching Armoury Crate.

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The trackpad is large, glass-topped, and offers accurate tracking and a good click mechanism.

Ports and Connectivity

The Flow X16 offers a good selection of ports. On the right side, you’ll find a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port with DisplayPort and power delivery support, an HDMI 2.1 port, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, the charging port, and the ROG XG Mobile interface hidden behind a removable flap. The left side houses two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a microSD card reader, and the power button.

While the port selection is good, the absence of an Ethernet port is noticeable. Thankfully, the laptop supports Wi-Fi 6E for fast downloads. A full-size SD card slot would have been more useful than a microSD slot.


The Flow X16 is equipped with a 90WHr 4-cell Li-ion battery. Unfortunately, battery life is one of its few drawbacks. Despite the powerful internals and high refresh rate display, battery life is underwhelming, lasting just over 2 hours with light use. The PCMark 10 Battery benchmark gave a score of only 1 hour and 7 minutes, which is quite poor.

There may be ways to extend battery life through power-saving modes, but the default Auto setting did not help. Charging the laptop with the 240W adapter takes about 1.5 hours, and the laptop can also be charged via the USB-C port, supporting USB PD charging.

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The ROG Flow X16 is designed for users seeking a laptop that excels in both gaming and content creation. It offers powerful performance, a stunning display, and a well-engineered design. The primary drawback is the battery life, which may be a significant consideration for some users. However, if battery life is not a major concern and you’re looking for one of the best displays in a Windows gaming laptop, the Flow X16 comes highly recommended.

Expanded Analysis and Use Cases

Versatility in Usage

One of the Flow X16’s strengths is its versatility. The 360° hinge allows users to transition seamlessly between different modes—laptop, tablet, and tent mode. This flexibility is particularly useful for different scenarios. In laptop mode, it’s perfect for gaming and productivity tasks. In tablet mode, it’s great for drawing, taking notes, or watching movies. Tent mode is ideal for presentations or video calls.

This versatility makes the Flow X16 not just a gaming powerhouse but also a suitable device for students, professionals, and creatives who need a laptop that can adapt to various tasks and environments.

Gaming Performance

The Flow X16 shines in gaming performance. The combination of the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti ensures that it can handle the latest AAA titles at high settings. Games like Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Call of Duty: Warzone run smoothly, providing an immersive experience with high frame rates and stunning visuals.

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The high refresh rate display further enhances gaming, making fast-paced games like first-person shooters and racing games feel more responsive and fluid. The adaptive sync technology eliminates screen tearing, ensuring a seamless gaming experience.

Productivity and Creative Work

For professionals and creatives, the Flow X16 offers a lot of value. The powerful internals handle demanding applications like Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and Blender with ease. The Pantone-validated display ensures color accuracy, making it ideal for photo and video editing, graphic design, and digital art.

The high resolution and large screen real estate allow for a more productive workflow. Multiple windows can be opened side by side, and detailed work can be done without constantly zooming in and out. The touchscreen capability also adds a layer of interactivity, especially for tasks like drawing and annotating documents.

Connectivity and Expansion

The Flow X16’s connectivity options are robust, catering to a wide range of peripherals and accessories. The inclusion of multiple USB ports, an HDMI port, and the XG Mobile interface provides ample opportunities for expansion. The XG Mobile interface, in particular, allows for the addition of an external GPU, boosting the laptop’s graphical performance further.

For professionals who need to connect to external displays, the HDMI 2.1 port is a significant advantage, supporting high-resolution monitors and even 4K TVs. The USB-C port’s power delivery feature is also useful for charging the laptop and connecting to other USB-C devices.

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Thermal Management and Noise

Effective thermal management is crucial for maintaining performance and longevity in powerful laptops. The Flow X16’s

Frost Force cooling system with a triple fan setup and liquid metal thermal compound on the CPU ensures that the laptop remains cool even under heavy loads. This cooling system allows the laptop to sustain high performance during extended gaming sessions or intensive work tasks.

The fans, while efficient, can get quite loud under heavy loads. This is a common trade-off in high-performance laptops, but ASUS has managed to strike a balance, ensuring that the noise levels are not overly distracting.

Software and User Experience

ASUS includes its Armoury Crate software, which provides a unified interface for managing system settings, performance profiles, and RGB lighting. The software is intuitive and offers a lot of customization options, allowing users to tweak the laptop’s performance to their liking.

The inclusion of Windows Hello adds a layer of security and convenience, allowing users to log in quickly with facial recognition. The AI Microphone feature is also useful for video calls, reducing background noise and enhancing voice clarity.

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Portability and Daily Use

Despite its powerful internals and large display, the Flow X16 is relatively portable. At 2.1Kg, it is not the lightest laptop on the market, but it is manageable for daily commuting or travel. The build quality ensures that it can withstand the rigors of everyday use, and the design is sleek and professional, suitable for both gaming and professional environments.

Potential Drawbacks

While the Flow X16 has a lot to offer, it is not without its drawbacks. The most significant is the battery life. For a laptop with such high performance and a high refresh rate display, battery life is a critical factor. The Flow X16’s battery life is underwhelming, making it less suitable for users who need a laptop for extended periods away from a power source.

Another consideration is the absence of an Ethernet port. While Wi-Fi 6E offers fast wireless connectivity, some users might prefer a wired connection for more stable and faster internet speeds, especially in competitive gaming scenarios.


The ASUS ROG Flow X16 is a versatile, high-performance laptop that excels in both gaming and productivity. Its powerful internals, stunning display, and flexible design make it suitable for a wide range of users, from gamers to professionals and creatives. While its battery life and lack of an Ethernet port might be drawbacks for some, the overall package is compelling.

The Flow X16’s ability to transition between different modes and its support for the XG Mobile interface add to its versatility, making it a worthy investment for those seeking a powerful and flexible laptop.


1. What is the weight of the ASUS ROG Flow X16?

  • The ASUS ROG Flow X16 weighs 2.1Kg.

2. Does the Flow X16 support touch input?

  • Yes, the Flow X16 features a touch screen.

3. Can the Flow X16 be used in different modes?

  • Yes, the Flow X16 can be used as a tablet, in tent mode, or as a regular laptop thanks to its 360° hinge.

4. What type of display does the Flow X16 have?

  • The Flow X16 features a 16-inch 16:10 WQXGA MiniLED panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 3ms response time.

5. What processor and GPU does the Flow X16 use?

  • The Flow X16 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU.

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6. What is the battery life of the Flow X16?

  • The battery life of the Flow X16 is relatively short, lasting just over 2 hours with light use.

7. Does the Flow X16 support external GPUs?

  • Yes, the Flow X16 supports the XG Mobile interface for connecting external GPUs.

8. How many ports does the Flow X16 have?

  • The Flow X16 has a variety of ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, HDMI 2.1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, and a microSD card reader.

9. Is the Flow X16 suitable for content creators?

  • Yes, the Flow X16 is suitable for content creators, featuring a Pantone-validated display and powerful internals.

10. What cooling system does the Flow X16 use?

  • The Flow X16 uses ASUS’s ‘Frost Force cooling system’ with a triple fan setup and Thermal Grizzly liquid metal thermal compound.

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