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

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

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

But no matter which route you take, its ergonomics get in the way. There are two ways to stand the Asus ROG Strix XG16 upright – on its own, using the built-in stand, or with the help of the fancy, adjustable tripod that comes with it. You he can use any camera tripod thanks to the standard mount on the back, although there’s little point as you have a specialized one in the box. This is a bigger decision outside India, where Asus sells two variants: one with the tripod and one without (the technical names are XG16AHP-E and XG16AHP-W respectively). In India, Asus is only selling the latest version. That means you’re forced to pay for the tripod even if you don’t care for it.

Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W review: Design and specs

Whether you use the stand or the tripod, the size of Asus’ portable monitor is huge. With the thin stand – it tilts from five to 27.5 degrees – the ROG Strix XG16 never really feels stable. I tried using it in the backseat of a car, but it wobbled in whatever position I put it. And even when it’s not rocking, it’s nearly impossible to get it into an ideal viewing position. (Since the XG16 has an IPS panel and not an OLED one, the viewing angles aren’t great either.) The top half of the screen looks 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 have to move it further away to narrow the viewing angles.

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Asus ROG Strix XG16 tripod Asus ROG Strix XG16

Asus ROG Strix XG16 looks comical on ROG tripod
Photo credit: Akhil Arora/Gadgets 360

Asus ROG Strix XG16 specs

  • 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: 1920×1080
  • HDR: No
  • Local dimming: No
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • VRR: Yes
  • Nvidia G-Sync: Yes
  • Speakers: Yes
  • Battery: 7,800 mAh
  • Ports: Micro-HDMI, USB Type-C x2, 3.5mm audio out

The tripod has its own problems. For one thing, it’s quite heavy. Two, it needs just as much space as much larger monitors. On my everyday work desk, the ROG Strix XG16 tripod took up as much space as the built-in stand for my 24-inch Dell monitor. This is crazy. Because of this, the 15.6-inch screen also looks comical on a tripod, even more so if you use it on the highest setting. And while most monitors have buttons on the front, the XG16 has them at the top of the screen. It was awkward to use them, especially when I had them on the tripod. Finally, there is no easy way to take it with you. While you can tuck the screen into a neat cover, provided by Asus, there’s no carrying case for the tripod.

Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W Review: Performance

When it comes to the gaming monitor aspects, I have no complaints. ROG Strix XG16 has a 144Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync support out of the box. I didn’t have any sources that could generate this, but I tested 120 Hz with my PlayStation 5. As with everything at 120 fps, you can’t feel the jump from 60 fps. You definitely feel like you go from 30fps to 60fps, but it’s just not the same when you double it back up. Colors are fantastic – in fact, Asus is so sure about the XG16’s color accuracy that it includes a very geeky calibration report sheet in the box. I love that. ROG Strix XG16 is fantastically tuned right out of the box, although with a little calibration you can make it look even better.

And while Asus’ portable monitor is definitely bright enough for indoor use – I’ve never pushed it past 50 percent brightness – it’s nowhere near bright enough to outshine the sun in India. To be fair, most monitors aren’t.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the built-in speakers. They’re just not loud enough, even when the background sound is just the sound of rain on an open window. It’s best to connect to 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 lying around. Anyway, I would like volume buttons on the Asus monitor itself. It’s a pain to delve into the menus and tweak each time, even more so because the buttons are clunky, as I said before.

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Support Asus ROG Strix XG16 Asus ROG Strix XG16

With the stand unfolded, the Asus ROG Strix XG16 takes up a lot of space
Photo credit: Akhil Arora/Gadgets 360

Since it’s built to be used on the go, the ROG Strix XG16 packs a 7,800mAh battery, with Asus claiming a battery life of up to three hours. I didn’t do a stress test – 144Hz output at maximum brightness – as that has little real-world relevance. What matters most is how he performs in day-to-day tasks. When watching live video in full screen at 50% brightness, the ROG Strix XG16 lost about a fifth of its battery over a 45-minute period. Deployed as a secondary monitor at 30% brightness and with just one Slack window open, the Asus monitor’s battery went from full to zero in four hours.

Speaking of using it as a secondary screen, I’ve found more use for the ROG Strix XG16 in that department rather than a gaming screen. During work hours, I could move my TweetDeck tab to it and keep an eye on incoming news while writing in a document or watching a TV show I needed to review on my main Dell monitor. At other times, I streamed Wimbledon or Commonwealth Games to the ROG Strix XG16, while browsing the Internet on another monitor. And while I don’t edit video much these days, managing an Adobe Premiere Pro timeline is definitely easier when you can switch the view and various controls to a second screen.

But even when the ROG Strix XG16 is used this way, it’s not the most elegant setup. Due to the built-in stand on the back and the fact that the monitor can stand on its own, the ports have been pushed to the left side. This means that the wires – you always need one cable for input and a second when the battery needs charging – stick out to the left. I’m not too fussy about seeing cables on my desk, but it’s still not a good look. 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 the wires would clash with the other monitor. There is no way around this.

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Asus ROG Strix XG16 mario kart Asus ROG Strix XG16

See how the cable gets in the way when the Asus ROG Strix XG16 is placed next to another monitor
Photo credit: Akhil Arora/Gadgets 360


More importantly, though, as a secondary display in the home, Asus’ 15.6-inch full-HD offering is unnecessarily expensive. The 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 is now selling for less than that. Either way, it’s still crazy money – it’s iPad Air money. If you’re looking for a secondary monitor on the market, you can get 24-inch full-HD monitors 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 them will help you on the go as they need to be always connected.

But that’s the kind of position Asus has put itself in. 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 also a glowing ROG logo on the back of the monitor.) Even for those who find it useful, how often will that happen? Ask yourself, how many times have you wanted a Nintendo Switch screen while traveling? How many times have you wanted a secondary monitor for your laptop on the go? And before you answer those questions in your head, think about the complicated and less-than-ergonomic setup that involves.

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

The Asus ROG Strix XG16AHP-W was launched in India in late June and first went on sale in early August. It is currently available via Flipkart.

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