The Zephyrus lineup from ASUS ROG brings the most innovative devices on the market. It started with the G14 and G15, which find the balance between performance and portability, while their more extravagant devices such as the S17 and the Duo, take a new approach to cooling and laptop design as a whole.
The device that we have today is more akin to the G14 and G15, lacking a secondary display or an elevated keyboard. Instead, what it does is to offer the newest tech in the market from Intel and NVIDIA, in this case, the Tiger Lake-H CPUs and RTX Ampere GPUs.
Today we present you with LaptopMedia’s top 5 picks about the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603.
4 reasons to BUY the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603
1. Design and build quality
The laptop looks stunning with its minimal design. The all-black aesthetic paired with the colored matrix on the lid makes the device a good choice for minimalists who appreciate a more toned-down exterior. There is a small ASUS ROG logo on the back, which is placed very tastefully. Despite packing a 16-inch display, the laptop’s weight doesn’t go over 1.90 kg, while also sporting a profile of 19.9 mm. The lid opens easily with one hand and the ErgoLift hinge gives the fans an even larger supply of fresh air.
As is with most gaming notebooks, this one also comes with upgradeable memory. However, it is not as great as we would have hoped. There is 16GB of soldered DDR4 memory, with an additional SODIMM RAM slot, which can pack up to 32GB, making for a total of 48GB of RAM, which is plenty and should last for at least a few years. The storage situation is much better, with there being two M.2 drive slots, one of which supports both PCIe and SATA drives, while the other one is outfitted with PCIe Gen 4 support.
Here is our detailed teardown video which shows how to access both the single RAM slot and the two SSD slots.
3. Display quality
The Zephyrus M16 is offered with two display options, each sporting a 16-inch diagonal and a 16:10 aspect ratio. One panel has an FHD+ resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate, while the second panel increases that to QHD+ and 165Hz, respectively. Our laptop came with the latter option and we were very satisfied with its results. The viewing angles are excellent, the max brightness of 510 nits is plenty and the luminance uniformity is adequate. Furthermore, the constant ratio is decently high – 1200:1 and the panel covers 100% of the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts.
In terms of color coverage, the panel was off the line with its stock settings, but even after we applied our Design and Gaming profile, the dE value went down slightly, but still good enough for the panel to be used for professional work. Here are the results from our color accuracy test with (right) and without (left) our Design and Gaming laptop applied.
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Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603 configurations with 16″ WQXGA IPS AUO B160QAN02.Q (AUOC199).
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Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
4. Battery life
With a battery pack of 90Wh, we expected the laptop to perform well, and it did. The device endured through 13 hours and 3 minutes of Web browsing, and 8 hours of video playback. Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with.
1 reason NOT to buy the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603
We would like to say that we do like the keyboard here, it’s that when compared to the rest of the device, it could have been better. The keycaps aren’t big enough, especially the arrow keys, while the key travel is long and the feedback is clicky. For a 16-inch laptop that doesn’t have a NumPad, ASUS could have selected a much better unit with adequately-sized keycaps.