Sixteen-inch gaming laptops are top of mind in 2023, and two models stand out from the pack: Asus’s ROG Zephryus M16 and Razer’s updated Blade 16. Both come with great screens, next-gen hardware and stellar build quality, but which one comes out on top?
We’re still waiting for further testing and hands-on time with both laptops, but you can already glean a lot from the spec sheets. Here’s how the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 stacks up to the new Razer Blade 16.
|razor blade 16||ROG Zephyrus M16 2023|
|DIMENSIONS||13.98 x 9.61 x 0.87 Inch||13.98 x 9.70 x 0.88 Inch|
|weight||4.4 pounds||4.6 pounds|
|processor||Intel Core i9-13950HX||Intel Core i9-13900H|
|GRAPHICS||Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
|to hit||16GB or 32GB; DDR5-5600||up to 64GB DDR5-4800|
|Show||16-inch IPS LED, 2560 X 1600, 240Hz
16-inch Mini-LED, dual-mode display with options for 3840 x 2400 120Hz or 1920 x 1200 240Hz
|16-inch IPS, 2560 X 1600, 240Hz
16-inch Mini-LED, QHD+ (3200 x 1800), 240Hz
|storage||up to 4TB||up to 2TB
additional ssd slot
|ports||1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack
1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1x HDMI 2.1
1x microSD card slot
|1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack
1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x microSD card slot
|wireless||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3|
|webcam||1080p with IR camera for Windows 11 Hello||1080p with IR camera for Windows 11 Hello|
|Operating System||windows 11||windows 11|
|Battery||95.2 Watt-Hour||90 watt-hour|
|worth||$2,700 and up||tbd|
Both the Razer Blade 16 and the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 see a few new design changes compared to their previous iterations. We’re getting some display upgrades for both, but more on that later.
For the ROG Zephyrus M16, the design upgrade isn’t huge. It gets a slightly updated chassis compared to the older model, with the aluminum lid switching to a magnesium alloy model. You can even get it with Asus’s Anime Matrix Backlit Lid, which lets you customize your laptop in a fun way. We’ve seen this technology in laptops before, including the ROG Zephyrus G14, as well as in peripherals. It’s a fun addition that doesn’t change anything in the way of performance, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Now, for Razer, the changes are big. For starters, it’s the first Blade to come in a 16-inch version, alongside another new model, the Razer Blade 18.
Razer finally switched to the increasingly popular 16:10 aspect ratio with these models, which means the bottom bezel is very thin. Unfortunately, the cooling system remains the same as it was on the smaller Razer Blade 15. This shouldn’t indicate massive thermal issues, but with the number of high-end components packed inside the laptop, we can see it get a bit warm during the process. Intense gaming session.
Both laptops share nearly identical measurements and weight, with the Asus model being about 0.33 pounds lighter than the Razr. Connectivity is nearly identical in each, and both have 1080p webcams. The Razer’s battery life is slightly longer, but these gaming laptops are usually plugged in anyway.
The two laptops are still coming to market and not yet widely available, so there aren’t many benchmarks to browse through. However, this should change in the next few weeks.
With that said, there are a few things to be said about each. They are pretty close in terms of specifications. Both sport an Intel Core i9 processor from the latest Raptor Lake lineup, but the Razer Blade has a better model: the Core i9-13950HX has 24 cores and 32 threads, while the Core i9-13900H maxes out at 14 cores and 20 threads. Clock speeds are also slightly higher (5.5GHz versus 5.4GHz) for the Core i9-13950HX.
The Razer Blade 16 offers a strong selection of Nvidia’s RTX 40-series mobile graphics cards, but the Asus model isn’t far behind in this regard. In the most expensive configuration, you get access to Nvidia’s best GPU by a mile, the RTX 4090. However, we’re also seeing a slight disadvantage to the ROG Zephyrus M16 here, as the GPU maxes out at 145 watts with Dynamic Boosting on. Meanwhile, the RTX 4090 in the Razer Blade 16 goes up to 175W, which could give it a little extra room to hit higher frames per second (fps).
Early information on the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 suggests that the laptop handles itself well in gaming scenarios. However, the power limit may push the Razer Blade 16 forward. This is especially visible because the default performance mode on the laptop only allows the GPU to consume 85W, which cuts performance drastically. Running the laptop in Turbo mode should unlock the RTX 4090’s true potential, and that includes running AAA titles at Ultra settings and still reaching high FPS. The same can be said about the Razer Blade 16, although it could be slightly better.
Ultimately, almost every review about these two laptops sounds like a love letter to the mobile version of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090. The GPU is monstrous even in its cut-down laptop version (read our MSI GT77 Titan review for reference), and it enables high-end gaming with ray tracing enabled.
Bleeding-edge hardware aside, it’s the display that sets both these laptops apart from the crowd. A few years ago, gaming laptops were more about performance, but these days, high-end notebooks sport screens that can rival some of the best gaming monitors.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 has been changed in a big way by upgrading to Asus’ Nebula HDR display. It’s a mini-LED screen with 1,024 local dimming zones, which means it gets extremely bright. It can reach peak brightness of 1,100 nits in HDR. Luckily, Asus doesn’t have to make any sacrifices when it comes to refresh rate — we’re getting a comfortable 240Hz that will fly through eSports games.
The Razer Blade 16 also offers a mini-LED screen with an interesting caveat – it could also come with a dual screen mode display. Depending on what you’re currently doing, you can swap between 4K resolution with 120Hz refresh rate and 1200p with 240Hz. The former will be very fast, and the latter will be perfect for gaming. Unfortunately, you’ll need to reboot the laptop to switch display modes. The Mini-LED panel maxes out at 1,000 nits of HDR brightness, which isn’t far behind the Asus model; It still offers some stunning views.
two great laptops
Without thoroughly testing the Razer Blade 16 and Asus ROG Zephyrus M16, we don’t have the exact figures needed to judge their performance. However, it’s safe to assume that the Razr model may go ahead – but not by a huge margin.
Each laptop can be configured to suit your needs. Razer offers access to the RTX 4060 and Asus starts with the RTX 4070, but eventually, each can go up to the RTX 4090. Admittedly, these models will make your eyes water – but that’s the cost of a high-end gaming laptop these days. The Blade 16 with RTX 4090 and 32GB of RAM costs $4,300; We can expect the Asus model to be priced similarly, though it could be slightly cheaper.
As far as performance goes, the Razer Blade 16 might be the better choice, and the dual-mode display is a fun addition that makes it easier to switch between work and gaming time.
The best advice right now would be to wait for more benchmarks to emerge, but if you’re looking to buy and pre-order one of these laptops, choose between raw performance and visuals. For pure performance, choose the Razer, but for pure visuals, you might enjoy the stable-but-gorgeously bright ROG Zephyrus M16.