- In Jeremy Clarkson's words, "What a machine." of a gaming Laptop
- MiniLED is Magical and stunning
- Ryzen 6000 blows the water away with its performance
- RTX pairing makes gaming a lot more delightful
- A very Niche gaming laptop catered to specific audience
- The MediaTek WiFi Card is a stressful thing to deal with
- One Heavy Laptop
In the sea of laptops, dual display laptops are like unicorns – either you have managed to own one or you would never see them. But lucky for us, reviewing ASUS laptops sure does has its perks as we have tried their Zenbook Duos but never their ROG counterpart’s Zephyrus Duo which we have finally had the chance to do it. Here’s our ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 GX650R Review. What a monster.
Looks and Feel
As a previous ROG user, their design as always been true and unique to every series we have seen so far. Just like how the Scar has some signature design to it, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 GX650R has some impressive design cues that makes the laptop stand out. On the lid, we do not see a single bit of RGB on the ROG logo, but it has a chromatic chamfered finish which looks beautiful under any kind of light. It does fit their own take on Vaporwave design concept.
Once you do open the laptop, it gets more exciting as the second display hinge lifts up, moves towards the primary display, and reveals an area of the PCB where it has the RGB element incorporated into it with a beautiful see-through glass.
There are some subtle printings below the keyboard too that has the tagline.
Otherwise, the Zephyrus Duo is a well-built laptop and it’s all-metal, which means, this is one heavy AF laptop that is going to be an absolute pain to carry around due to its size, weight and what it packs. The one thing I am never a fan of with the Zephyrus Duo, which is the same reason I have for the Zenbook Duo, it’s the fact that the keyboard and the trackpad are in an awkward position. Which makes these laptops a true desktop laptop if you get what we mean. Since the ergonomic of this keyboard is quite not suitable for on the go gaming or work, you’d be a bummed by it.
Display(s): ROG Nebula Primary Display
This is an absolute first for ROG to incorporate MiniLED display onto their laptop, which ROG calls it the Nebula Display. Very catchy. What we have here is a close-to-bezelless-display at 16” and in a 16:10 aspect ratio which is a first for the Zephyrus Duo. On top of that the display is a QHD resolution with 165Hz refresh rate with 3ms response time. To be frank, this laptop display is the cherry on top element. The color depth is something we have not seen before, especially coming from OLED and Quantum Dot Displays from our day-to-day devices.
The blacks and the peak nit brightness in this display is an actual stunner. It gets more exciting when you watch content or even just enjoy game graphics. I like the fact that, it has a thin bezel that helps it to not break the illusion while you’re in game. If you were wondering how different the MiniLED display is from a normal IPS, the second display is good enough to show that obvious difference from the primary and secondary display. So, expect to enjoy a lot of things with this laptop – from content consumption to content making even.
The Second Display on a Zephyrus is a Nice to Have
Now as much as the Zephyrus Duo’s key feature is the second display, from my use case, it’s safe to say that, unlike the Zenbook Pro Duo, the dual display is a nice to have here but not a necessary need to have. The second display unlocks the ability to use it as a Streaming Deck, for developing and all that stuff. But if you don’t plan to use it as a Stream Deck or for developing or as simple as content creation, then this laptop isn’t for you because it then becomes a wasted resource.
Most people that resorted to this wanted the balance between creation and gaming, which makes sense. But for the majority of the consumers, this particular second display becomes a want over a need. So, see if it checks off your boxes enough that you’d need the second display.
Peak Monstrous Performance
Under the hood, we have the best specification we could ask for on an ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 GX650R because this blows everything else from the water. You get:
- AMD Ryzen 6900HX Processor
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD 4.0
- 32GB (2X16GB) 4800MHz DDR5 RAM
As per tradition, we benchmarked the laptop with a slew of app that we use on a day-to-day basis to see where a device stand. This time we used the following: PCMARK, 3DMARK, Cinebench, Blender and a new one to the equation, Blender Benchmark. If you look at the Cinebench R23 scores, the AMD Ryzen 6900HZ is blazing fast with its multi core performance through and through, rating at 14322 points and 1508 points in single core respectively. These are some solid numbers out of this majestic processor.
That performance is consistent in 3DMARK CPU Profile test where it does a per thread all the way up to maximum thread scores which shows the consistency and the stability of the processor’s MHz. So far, the numbers and based on the monitoring chart, it looks great. Followed by that, you can see how well it scores in other elements of the 3DMARK with Fire Strike Extreme, Wild Life Extreme, Time Spy Extreme and Port Royal too.
Finally, you can check out the Blender scores for this laptop as to how well it finishes the BMW Blender Render in just about less than 3 minutes. You can check out the PCMARK Score below too. To be frank, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 performance is as how it should be, powerful and definitely checks the box for many for years to come. Throw any kind of AAA title at it, it can handle with a breeze – I truly enjoyed playing Doom: Eternal at Ultra Nightmare.
There is a bit of a disappointment, there are certain components one would upgrade if they needed more, like the RAM for instance. Unfortunately, the Zephyrus Duo RAMs are soldered. But at least it’s 32GB. So, is the Wi-Fi card which is my biggest gripe with the laptop.
This laptop has the capability to handle Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) but during our time using it, we had some serious drops in the connection. Upon more tinkering, we found out that this is an issue that people might face, and it can’t be fixed as it’s the Wi-Fi card that’s the problem. Instead of a reliable Intel Wi-Fi card, we see a MediaTek card which has been notorious for its connection drop as we download bigger files like games and sorts. It took us close to a day to just download Doom Eternal, which takes barely more than 2 hours on our Intel Wi-Fi card running devices.
So, if you do face issues like this later down the line, I’d suggest getting a Wi-Fi adapter, an external one for better stability.
For what it’s worth, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 GX650R is a monster of a laptop. But think of it as an ultimate laptop that is also a tool for many users who wants extra screen for work and play. Otherwise, if you don’t need a second display, you could just get the ROG Strix Scar which is a great laptop. But the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 GX650R is without a doubt a stunning showpiece that will turn heads, at the cost of RM 15,999 or RM 22,999 depending on what you want.