One year after its international debut, the portable gaming monitor from Asus ROG Strix XG16 is finally available in India. It was designed with a particular specific use in mind. Of course, that’s what its name implies.
In actuality, more than once—twice. As you might have guessed, Asus refers to its products as ROG, or Republic of Gamers, when they are designed with gamers in mind.
Moreover, “portable” is another crucial term. A primary or secondary monitor for mobile gaming is what the Strix XG16 essentially is. To keep it within the family, Asus would like you to connect it with a ROG laptop.
Naturally, you are free to use it with a Steam Deck (essentially a PC) or a Nintendo Switch (which I mostly did).
Nevertheless, its ergonomics are inconvenient no matter which option you choose. The Asus ROG Strix XG16 can be set up to stand in one of two ways: independently with the built-in kickstand or with the aid of a stylish, adjustable tripod that comes included.
The standardized mount on the rear of the camera allows for the use of any tripod, but since a specialized one is included in the box, doing so serves little purpose.
The choice is more important outside of India, where Asus sells two models: one with the tripod and one without (the technical names are XG16AHP-E and XG16AHP-W, respectively). Only the later version is available from Asus in India. That does imply that, regardless of your feelings, you must pay for the tripod.
The design and specifications of the Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W are reviewed.
The Asus portable monitor’s footprint is substantial whether you use the kickstand or the tripod. The ROG Strix XG16 never really seems sturdy because of the incredibly tiny kickstand, which tilts from five to 27.5 degrees.
It wobbled no matter how I positioned it when I tried to use it in the backseat of a car. It’s also very difficult to position it for optimal viewing, even when it’s not swaying.
(The viewing angles aren’t excellent on the XG16 either because it has an IPS panel rather than an OLED panel.) As the tilt angle is increased, either the bottom half of the display feels too far away from the top.
The 15.6-inch display, however, appears small at lower tilt angles since you have to move it farther away from you to see it at narrower angles.
Its own set of issues plagues the tripod. It is quite heavy, for starters. Furthermore, it takes up the same amount of area as supports for considerably larger monitors. The built-in stand for my 24-inch Dell monitor took up the same amount of space on my everyday work desk as the ROG Strix XG16 tripod.
It’s absurd. As a result, the 15.6-inch display on the tripod also appears absurd, especially when set at the highest level. Furthermore, the XG16’s buttons are located on top of the display, as opposed to conventional monitors’ fronts.
Especially when I put it on the tripod, using them was uncomfortable. Last but not least, it’s difficult to transport. There isn’t a carrying cover for the tripod, but you can tuck the display into a convenient sleeve that is provided by Asus.
Review: performance of the Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W
I’m not unhappy with anything about the gaming monitor characteristics. Nvidia G-Sync is pre-installed on the ROG Strix XG16, which features a 144Hz refresh rate. Although I lacked sources that could output that, I did try 120Hz on my PlayStation 5 instead.
The difference between 60 and 120 frames per second is not immediately apparent. Going from 30 frames per second to 60 frames per second is obviously noticeable, but doubling it again has a different effect.
The colors are amazing, and Asus is so confident in the XG16’s color accuracy that it includes an extremely geeky calibration report sheet in the box. Love it. However, with a little calibration, you can make the ROG Strix XG16 seem even better. It is already perfectly tuned out of the box.
The Asus portable monitor is not even close to being bright enough to outshine the sun in India, while it is undoubtedly bright enough for indoor use (I never pushed it over 50% brightness). Although most displays aren’t, to be honest.
Built-in speakers, however, I am unable to vouch for in the same way. Even when there was only the roar of rain across an open window as background noise, they are simply too quiet.
A pair of headphones is what you should use instead of the connection. Surprisingly, the ROG Strix XG16 has a 3.5mm audio connector in case you still have a spare set of in-ear headphones.
In either case, volume controls on the Asus monitor itself would have been nice. The fact that the controls are awkwardly positioned, as I already mentioned, makes it even more difficult to navigate the menus and make the adjustments each time.
The ROG Strix XG16 has a 7,800 mAh battery because it was designed to be used on the move. Asus estimates that it has three-hour battery life. I refrained from running it through a stress test, which would have involved a 144Hz output at maximum brightness because it is not a realistic scenario.
The effectiveness of practical work is very important. The ROG Strix XG16’s battery life was reduced by around a fifth over the course of 45 minutes while viewing a full-screen live video at 50% brightness.
The Asus monitor’s battery discharged from full to nothing in four hours when used as a secondary monitor at 30% brightness and with only a Slack window open.
I preferred using the ROG Strix XG16 as a secondary monitor to using it as a gaming display, so to speak.
During working hours, I could reposition my TweetDeck tab on it and keep an eye on incoming news while I typed in a paper or viewed a TV program I needed to examine on my primary Dell monitor.
Other times, while using another display to explore the Internet, I flipped the Wimbledon or Commonwealth Games broadcasts onto the ROG Strix XG16.
It’s also a lot simpler to manage an Adobe Premiere Pro timeline when the preview and a number of settings are moved to a second screen, even though I don’t edit videos very often these days.
But even in this configuration, the ROG Strix XG16 doesn’t make for the most aesthetically pleasing setup. The ports have been moved to the left side because the monitor can stand on its own and has an integrated kickstand on the back.
The wires, which always need to protrude to the left and consist of two cables—one for input and another for when the battery has to be charged—are a result. Seeing cords on my desk bothers me even though I’m not particularly sensitive about appearances.
The ROG Strix XG16’s ports were positioned in such a way that they would interfere with the other monitor when I tried to conceal the cords by mounting the two monitors side by side. It cannot be avoided.
The 15.6-inch full-HD option from Asus is just too pricey to be used as a secondary monitor at home, which is more crucial. The ROG Strix XG16 was initially priced at Rs. 60,999, but Asus assured me that it will soon drop to Rs. 48,999, and it is currently being sold for less than that.
Regardless, the price of the iPad Air is still absurdly high. 24-inch full-HD monitors are available for a third of the cost if you’re looking for a secondary display.
For less than half the cost, 27-inch full-HD choices are available if you want a gaming monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. As they require constant recharging, none of these will, admittedly, assist you while you’re on the go.
Asus, though, has placed itself in that kind of a situation. The use case for the ROG Strix XG16 is extremely specific. The obvious ROG branding indicates that Asus designed it specifically for mobile gaming. On the monitor’s rear, there is also a glowing ROG logo.
What percentage of people will find it useful, even if they do? How often have you wished for a Nintendo Switch display while traveling, you could ask?
When using your laptop on the road, how often have you wished for a second display? Consider the complicated and uncomfortable setup that this requires before you mentally respond to those inquiries.