The ROG Flow X16 convertible form factor is a significant selling point, but a 16-inch tablet isn’t always practical. Instead, what distinguishes this series from my favorite only those ultraportable of this generation is the blend of uncompromised features, good performance, reasonable temperatures for this class, and modest fan noise levels available in Balanced mode, which no other ultraportable I’ve tested can equal. These aren’t cheap, so expect to pay more for the X16s than for the normal clamshell Zephyrus ultraportables.
The Asus ROG Flow X16 (GV601RW) laptop runs Windows 11 and has a 16.00-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. It is equipped with a Ryzen 9 processor and 32GB of RAM. The Asus ROG Flow X16 (GV601RW) has a 1TB SSD storage capacity. The graphics are handled by the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth, and 4 USB ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type C), HDMI Port, Headphone, and Mic Combo Jack connections are among the connectivity options.
- well-made, attractive, and ergonomically built
- Convertible design with touchscreen and pen support.
- alternatives for high-quality IPS or mingled displays
- excellent ports and inputs
- strong specifications and upgradeable RAM, SSD, and Wi-Fi
- balancing capabilities, temperature settings, and noise levels, both in Turbo and especially in Balanced mode
- The battery capacity of 90Wh.
- audio punch
- All-black design, which is smudgy.
- With the laptop on the desk, the narrow rubber feet suffocate the cooling module.
- With the laptop on the desk, the GPU temps are really high.
- pricier than standard Zephyrus models
As of mid-2023, there is no other gadget on the market that can combine a pretty portable 16-inch format with modern and strong components, an efficient thermal module, and a large battery under the same hood. With a gorgeous small LED touch display option, strong IO and connections, and some powerful speakers, the Flow X16 is going to be a popular alternative to the clamshell performance ultraportables on the market right now, such as the ROG Zephyrus M16, Razer Blade 15, and Lenovo Legion Slim 7.
In terms of hardware, the Flow X16 series is powered by an AMD processor and Nvidia graphics. The mid-tier choice with the Ryzen 9 6900HS processor, 32 GB of DDR5 memory, and an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, but we’ll look into the 3070Ti variant later. Furthermore, as a member of the ROG Flow series, this is compatible with the XG Mobile external case for even better gaming/graphics performance.
Design & Building
The ROG Flow X16 is essentially a grown-up version of the Flow X13, with Asus opting for the same design lines, materials, and fine elements on both for consistency within the Flow series. The external chassis is black aluminum with a grooved texture that gives a good grip, while the core chassis and interior are magnesium alloy with a smooth finish all around the keyboard and a textured surface on the palm rest. All of these materials are black and will show scratches and fingerprints as a result, but they are quite easy to clean, and the different textures assist to mask the smudges to some extent. For what it’s worth, the laptop looked like this after a couple of days of use, which was really a pleasant surprise from an all-black design.
This Flow X16 is also quite nicely built, with almost no flex in either the lid or the keyboard deck, and no squeaky strange noises when you grip and use it. Except for a minor niggle with the left hinge, which we’ll get to later. While being a full-size 16-inch laptop, it’s also quite compact and lightweight for what it is, weighing just 2.1 pounds and measuring less than 20 mm thick. The clamshell ROG laptops of this generation are marginally lighter, but keep in mind that they include a touchscreen, which contributes to the overall weight.
Furthermore, as compared to the Flow X13, the X16 16-inch format allows for a larger armrest, a larger click pad, and a centralized keyboard accompanied by speakers. Again, the inside architecture is remarkably identical to that of Asus’ successful Zephyrus G15 and Zephyrus M16 clamshell versions.
The flexible form factor is one of Flow X16’s main selling factors. The screen on the rear rotates 360 degrees, allowing you to utilize this device as a laptop, tablet, or anything else in between. I’m sure this format will be attractive to some potential customers, especially since the display enables pen input, even though I doubt I’d ever use it in tablet mode. If I needed a tablet, I’d grab my iPad; this is simply too huge and lucky for pleasant tablet use.