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Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W review: An improved portable gaming monitor for iPad Air


The Asus ROG Strix XG16 mobile gaming monitor – now available in India, a year after its international launch – is built for a very specific purpose. To be fair, its name says a lot. Not just once, but in fact twice. ROG, or Republic of Gamers, is the moniker Asus uses – as you might have guessed – for devices first and foremost that cater to the gaming audience. Add to that another important keyword, “mobile”. Essentially, the Strix XG16 is a primary or secondary monitor for on-the-go gaming. Asus hopes that you can pair it with an ROG laptop and keep it in the family. Of course, you’re free to use it with the Steam Deck (basically PC) or the Nintendo Switch (which I mostly did).

But whichever route you take, its ergonomics will get in your way. There are two ways to Asus ROG Strix XG16″ for standing – can stand on its own using the built-in kickstand or with the help of an included fancy, adjustable tripod. Friend maybe Use any camera tripod thanks to the standard mount on the back, though there’s little to no point as you already have a dedicated tripod in the box. This is a bigger decision outside of India, where Asus sells two variants: one with a tripod and one without a stand (technical names XG16AHP-E and XG16AHP-W respectively). In India, Asus only sells the second version. That means you’re forced to pay for a tripod even if you don’t care about it.

Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W review: design and specs

Whether you use a stand or a tripod, Asus The footprint of mobile screens is huge. With its slim stand – tilted from five to 27.5 degrees – the ROG Strix XG16 never really feels stable. I tried to use it on the back seat of a car, but it wobbled no matter where I put it. And even if it doesn’t wobble, it’s nearly impossible to get it in an ideal viewing position. (Because XG16 has a IPS and not OLED, viewing angles aren’t great either.) The top half of the screen feels too far away from the bottom half, as you increase the tilt angle. But at lower tilt angles, the 15.6-inch screen feels small, as you need to push it away from you to reduce viewing angles.

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Asus ROG Strix XG16 Tripod Asus ROG Strix XG16

Asus ROG Strix XG16 looks funny on ROG tripod
Image source: Akhil Arora / Gadgets 360

Specifications of Asus ROG Strix XG16

  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 28.6 cm x 21 cm x 1.2 cm
  • Dimensions (with stand unfolded): 28.6 cm x 21 cm x 22.5 cm
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • HDR: No
  • Local dimming: No
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • VRR: Yes
  • Nvidia G-Sync: Yes
  • Speaker: Yes
  • Battery: 7,800 mAh
  • Ports: Micro-HDMI, USB Type-C x2, 3.5 mm . audio output

The tripod has its own problems. For one, it’s pretty heavy. Second, it needs as much space as stands for much larger screens. On my everyday desk, the ROG Strix XG16 tripod takes up as much room as my built-in 24-inch stand Dell screen. This is crazy. Thanks to that, the 15.6-inch screen also looks funny on a tripod, more so if you use it on the highest settings. And while most monitors have buttons on the front, the XG16 has them at the top of the screen. It’s really awkward to use them, especially since I have it on a tripod. In the end, there’s no easy way to take it with you. While you can tuck the monitor into a neat Asus-provided sleeve, there’s no carrying case for the tripod.

Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W review: performance

When it comes to the gaming monitor aspect, I have no complaints. ROG Strix XG16 boasts a 144Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync support right out of the box. I don’t have any source that can output that, but I tested 120Hz with PlayStation 5. As with all things 120 fps, you can’t feel the jump from 60 fps. You definitely feel it going from 30fps to 60fps, but it doesn’t feel the same when you double it again. Colors are great – in fact, Asus is so sure about the XG16’s color accuracy that it includes a very confusing calibration report in the box. I like it. ROG Strix XG16 is superbly fine-tuned right out of the box, though with a little tweaking you can make it look better.

And while Asus’ portable display is certainly bright enough for indoor use – I’ve never increased the brightness to more than 50% – it’s nowhere near bright enough to illuminate the Indian sun. To be fair, most monitors don’t.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the built-in speakers. They simply aren’t loud enough, even if the background sound is just the sound of rain falling across an open window. You’re better off connecting with a pair of headphones. The ROG Strix XG16 surprisingly has a 3.5mm audio jack, in case you still have a pair of old-school headphones. Either way, I would have liked the volume buttons on the Asus display itself. It’s hard to flip through the menus and make adjustments each time, more so due to the confusingly placed buttons, as I said before.

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Asus ROG Strix XG16 Stand Asus ROG Strix XG16

With the kickstand unfolded, the Asus ROG Strix XG16 takes up a lot of space
Image source: Akhil Arora / Gadgets 360

Because it’s built for on-the-go use, the ROG Strix XG16 packs a 7,800 mAh battery, which Asus claims is up to three hours of battery life. However, I didn’t put it through a stress test – 144Hz output at full brightness – as that has very little real-world relevance. What’s more important is how it performs in everyday tasks. While watching a full-screen live video at 50% brightness, the ROG Strix XG16 lost about a fifth of its battery in a 45-minute period. Deployed as a secondary display at 30 percent brightness and simply opening a Slack window, the Asus monitor’s battery went from full to zero in four hours.

Speaking of using it as a secondary monitor, I find the ROG Strix XG16 more used in that department, rather than a gaming monitor. During work hours, I can move TweetDeck tab to it and keep up with incoming news, while I write a document or watch a TV show I want to watch again on my main Dell monitor. At other times I blink Wimbledon or Commonwealth Games streaming on the ROG Strix XG16 while I can browse the Internet on another monitor. And even though I don’t edit videos much these days, managing Adobe Premiere Pro the timeline is definitely easier as you can transfer the preview and a bunch of controls to the second monitor.

But even if the ROG Strix XG16 is used in this way, it still doesn’t lend itself to the most elegant of settings. Due to the built-in kickstand on the back and the fact that the monitor can stand on its own, the ports have been pushed to the left. That means the wire – you always need one for input and a second for when the battery needs charging – protrudes to the left. I’m not too picky about cables on my desk, but it still doesn’t look good. I tried to hide the cables by placing the ROG Strix XG16 side by side with another monitor, but the placement of the ports meant that the wires would clash with the other monitor. There is no way around it.

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Asus ROG Strix XG16 mario kart Asus ROG Strix XG16

See how the cable gets tangled up when the Asus ROG Strix XG16 is placed next to another monitor
Image source: Akhil Arora / Gadgets 360

Identify

More importantly, though, as a secondary home monitor, Asus’ 15.6-inch full-HD display is unnecessarily expensive. ROG Strix XG16 launched with an MRP of Rs. 60,999, but Asus told me the price would eventually drop to Rs. 48,999 and it’s on sale now for less than. That’s crazy money anyway – it’s iPad Air money. If you’re looking for a secondary display, you can buy a 24-inch full-HD monitor for a third of the price. If you want a gaming monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, you can get 27-inch full-HD options for less than half the price. Admittedly none of these will help you on the go, as they need to be plugged in at all times.

But that’s where Asus is. ROG Strix XG16 is designed for a very narrow use case. Asus clearly made it for gamers on the go, which explains the prominent ROG branding. (There’s a glowing ROG logo on the back of the screen.) Even for those who find it useful, how often will that happen? Ask yourself, how many times have you wanted a Nintendo Switch show while you are traveling? How many times have you wanted an extra monitor for your laptop on the go? And before you answer those questions in your head, think about the cumbersome and unwieldy setup involved in this.

I don’t believe there are 48,999 reasons.

Advantages:

  • Excellent color accuracy
  • Support 144Hz
  • Support VRR, Nvidia G-Sync
  • Good battery life
  • 3.5 mm . audio output

Defect:

  • It doesn’t have to be expensive
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Good viewing angle
  • No HDMI port, only Micro-HDMI
  • The placement of buttons and ports is not ideal
  • Not for sale without tripod
  • The included sleeve does not accommodate the tripod
  • Speaker is not loud enough
  • No volume buttons

The Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W was launched in India at the end of June and went on sale for the first time in early August. It is currently available through Flipkart.


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