Hands on: Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (GA605): a solid but mostly standard refresh

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is equipped with an AMD AI processor

What is a hands on review?
black gaming laptop
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The latest version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is the AMD NPU refresh, added to give gamers more options. Otherwise, it's mostly standard and doesn't introduce much else. However, if you're interested in how well an AI processor will run and you want a more portable gaming laptop, then this might be a good investment.


  • +

    Thin and lightweight

  • +

    Excellent specs

  • +

    Fun visual gimmick on top case

  • +

    Great display

  • +

    Keyboard and touchpad are solid


  • -

    Very expensive

  • -

    Not very interesting

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16, part of Asus's lineup of the best gaming laptops, is mostly another refresh of the Zephyrus G16 but with the added AMD NPU. The other models featuring the Intel Core Ultra 9 have already launched earlier this year, with this new one made to give buyers more options.

Like with most other NPU-equipped laptops and PCs, the biggest question is whether they'll hold up as the next evolution of processors. Plenty of manufacturers seem to believe so and have been investing accordingly. As they slowly trickle out, we'll see how well founded these investments are.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: price and availability

The AMD NPU version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 has been revealed in time for Computex 2024, though we don't have an official release date or pricing yet.

Currently, the Intel versions are available for purchase through the Asus online shop and most major retailers, starting at $2,899.99 (around £799 / AU$1,599). As you can see, the pricing of this gaming laptop is quite premium, as you're paying both for its thin and light frame and that it houses the AI processor.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: specs

Here are the specs for the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 at a glance. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 specs
Display16-inch OLED 2.5K (2560 x 1600), 240Hz, 0.2ms, HDR 500
GraphicsUp to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Storage1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Port selection2x USB Type-C ports, 2x USB Type-A ports, 1x combo jack, 1x SD card reader slot, 1x HDMI port
Dimensions13.94 x 9.69 x 0.59 inches / 35.4 x 24.6 x 1.74cm (WxDxH)

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: design

For a gaming laptop, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is quite lightweight and could easily be one of the best thin and light gaming laptops on the market. Though the available color is uninspired, it sports a unique design feature like much of the line's previous iterations. 

In this case, it's an LED light that runs diagonally across the top case, adding some much-needed flair to an otherwise bland-looking laptop. I can't imagine how badly this aesthetic gimmick bleeds through battery power, so hopefully, there's a simple way to turn it off when one needs to conserve energy.

It features a solid port selection that includes two USB Type-C ports, two USB Type-A ports, one combo jack, one SD card reader slot, and one HDMI port. Unfortunately, it's missing an ethernet port, which is odd considering that playing PC games online requires a stable connection that can't be replicated using Wi-Fi.

The display is a 2.5K OLED and sports HDR True Black 500, meaning you'll get a gorgeously clear and sharp picture quality every time. The keyboard features nice-sized keys that are well-suited for a wide range of hand types, and the touchpad is large, so you'll have plenty of space to maneuver.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: performance

On paper, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 refresh has some impressive specs, like an Nvidia RTX 4000-series GPU, next-gen AMD NPU, and a display with a 240Hz refresh rate and 0.2ms response time. With these components, it should be one of the fastest laptops out there, able to handle the massive AI workload that it's sure to be put through.

Of course, I wasn't able to benchmark the ROG Zephyrus G16 myself, so I can't say for sure exactly how it compares to current laptops on the market. It uses an AMD NPU instead of a Qualcomm SnapDragon chip, meaning that the battery life will most likely run as well as the average gaming laptop – Which is to say, not very long.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: early verdict

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)

The AMD refresh version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is a solid gaming laptop with a thin and light chassis and a fun visual gimmick. Though it's clearly well-balanced and would serve most gamers well, there's nothing particularly impressive about it either. It's a mostly standard refresh except for the NPU addition. 

Those needing an update should consider investing in this one, but if you have a laptop, then there's nothing you're missing out on in particular. I am curious to see how well the NPU coupled with the RTX 4000-series GPUs will perform - whether the difference between an AI processor and a normal one is that great.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.