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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: Gaming Laptops Redefined
Asus is known for offering laptops, smartphones, and routers. The company has been in this business for a long time and has produced various products that are economical and also offers good value-for-money.
- Power Efficient Gaming Processor
- High-Resolution Color Accurate Display
- Premium Build Quality
- No Web Camera
- Soldered RAM
One of the sub laptop series from the company is the Zephyrus lineup, known for offering high-performance computers with cutting edge technology. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the latest offering from the company which is now available in India.
The ROG Zephyrus G14 mainly comes in two variants. The high-end model comes with AniMe Matrix with a starting price of Rs. 98,990 and the entry-level model without the AniMe Matrix cost Rs. 80,990. I have been testing the fully-loaded version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 with AniMe Matrix which costs Rs. 161,990 in India and here my detailed review.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Specifications
Model Name: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS Octa-Core
GPU: 6GB Nvidia RTX 2060 (Max-Q)
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Display: 14-inch IPS (2560 x 1440p)
Power Adapter: 180W
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Design: Elevated Design With Simplistic Approach
Most of the gaming laptops in this class come with a flashy design with RGB lighting all over the body, whereas the ROG Zephyrus G14 takes a different approach. Right off the bat, this computer might not look like a gaming laptop and might give a premium notebook like feel, with minimal branding and a simplistic ROG branding at the bottom right corner.
Even if you are into customization, the ROG Zephyrus G14 does not disappoint, especially the AniMe Matrix variant. With a programmable LED matrix on the top panel, there are "n" number of ways one can customize this laptop. Similarly, if you want to save some battery, the entire thing can also be disabled with a single click.
The laptop offers a premium metal unibody design, and when the screen is opened, the chassis gets elevated a bit that helps improves the thermal profiling that helps in sustaining the peak performance during extended e-sports sessions.
Even in terms of I/O, the ROG Zephyrus G14 has everything one might expect from a gaming laptop, including a full-sized HDMI port, multiple USB-A ports, USB Type-C port with support for USB-PD charging (one has to buy a USB-PD charger separately) and a headphone jack. However, the computer does not have an SD card slot, which could be a deal-breaker for some users.
The overall fit and finish of the ROG Zephyrus G14 is above average and it looks very premium. The laptop weighs 1.7KG, making it one of the lightest computers in the market with a dedicated Nvidia RTX GPU. Besides, the retail package also includes a laptop sleeve with ROG branding as complimentary merchandise.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Display: High Resolution But Lower Refresh Rate
As one could guess, the ROG Zephyrus G14 comes with a 14-inch display. The laptop comes with various configurations. The model that I have been testing has a WQHD panel with a native resolution of 2560 x 1440p with support for AMD FreeSync with a 60Hz refresh rate. This is a Pentone certified panel with 100 percent sRGB color coverage.
The panel offers great color reproduction and the FreeSync technology eliminates the screen-tearing and frame drop issue while gaming. Similarly, this laptop can also be used for video and photo editing. The display also makes the ROG Zephyrus G14 an excellent choice for watching web series on movies on platforms like Netflix.
Due to the higher refresh rate and 2K resolution, the laptop offers more pixels-per-inch when compared to most of the 14-inch gaming laptops in the market. Not just that, the device also comes with a thin bezel design, offering a higher screen to body ratio.
Be it gaming or watching movies, the ROG Zephyrus G14 offers excellent experience and the GPU is capable of playing modern AAA titles like GTA: V at 1440p resolution with around 60fps, resulting in a smooth gaming experience.
If you are looking for a compact laptop with a high-resolution display which is also color accurate, then the ROG Zephyrus G14 will fit the bill. Also, note that the laptop is also available with a 1080p panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and this specific model will be suitable for FPS gaming enthusiasts.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: No Web Camera
No laptop is perfect and the ROG Zephyrus 14 is no different. One of the key drawbacks of this machine is that it does not have a web camera. The company claims that it couldn't include a web camera due to the thin-bezel design. Due to the ongoing pandemic, most of the students and working officials are now dependent on laptops to attend classes and meetings.
If you are considering the ROG Zephyrus 14, this could be a deal-breaker, as you might have to invest in a web camera, and carrying yet another electronic device amidst all the products that we carry is definitely not something that one prefers.
The company claims that the brand could not include a web camera due to the thin-bezel design. However, Asus does offer a web camera on some of its notebooks that have thinner bezels than the ROG Zephyrus 14. And we couldn't think of any other reason why Asus went with this choice.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Keyboard And Mouse
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has a full-sized keyboard with a glass trackpad. Even with a smaller footprint, the keyboard borrows the ROG Overstroke technology from the flagship ROG gaming laptop to offer quicker keystroke and more responsive input.
The keyboard also supports N-key rollover to register every keypress, I didn't notice any key ghosting either, which is again a good thing while playing games that might require a fast key input like PUBG or Fortnite.
Another feature that I really liked about the ROG Zephyrus G14 is the power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor. Once the fingerprint is registered, just press the power button using the same finger to turn on the computer and it will automatically authenticate and gives access to the computer. This feature will save a couple of seconds each time you might turn on the laptop.
The large trackpad on the device also works as expected and it supports all Windows 10 gestures without any issue. For gaming, it is best to get an external mouse, probably the one made for gaming with higher DPI.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Speaker: Loud And Clear
Don't let the compact form factor of the ROG Zephyrus G14 to fool you, as this device has one of the best sounding speakers that I have ever experienced. This is one of the few laptops that offer Dolby Atmos support for the built-in speakers and it sounds a lot better when even compared to a gaming laptop that costs twice as much as the ROG Zephyrus G14.
The laptop has a four-speaker system with two downward-facing woofers and two upward-facing tweeters. I could clearly listen to the channel separation, especially while streaming movies and playing games. This is also a great device to stream your music from platforms like Prime Music or Spotify.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: CPU Performance
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is powered by the 7nm 4th Gen AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS and this is a tailormade gaming chipset from AMD and this is the first laptop launching in the country with this processor. The regular Ryzen 9 4900H comes with 45W TDP, whereas the Ryzen 9 4900HS is rated at 35W. For this reason, the Ryzen 9 4900HS has slightly lower clock speed when compared to the Ryzen 9 4900H.
Due to this treatment, the ROG Zephyrus G14 consumes less power which in return generates less heat. Due to the newer architecture and 7nm processing, the performance per watt conversion is on the higher side.
The Ryzen 9 4900HS is an octa-core CPU with a base clock speed of 3.0GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.3GHz. It is using PCIe 3.0 technology and can support DDR4 RAM with up to 3200MHz and the laptop fully utilize this standard and includes 16GB of SDRAM with 3200MHz frequency.
Coming to the actual performance, the ROG Zephyrus G14 scores 1179 points on single-core and 7332 points on multi-core CPU performance on Geekbench 5. When compared to the Intel Core i9-10980HK, the Ryzen 9 4900HS' single-core performance is almost similar, whereas the Core i9 does take a lead when it comes to multi-core performance.
On Cinebench R20, which checks the capability of the multi-thread performance of the CPU, the ROG Zephyrus G14 scores 3832 and it can be said that it is around 20 percent lower than the most powerful mobile CPU and the laptop with the most powerful mobile GPU is going to cost a lot more than the Zephyrus 14.
These benchmark numbers indicate that the Ryzen 9 4900HS is one of the most powerful mobile processor, which will result in good gaming and multi-tasking experience. Not just that, the laptop can also perform tasks like video rendering with ease, even it is a 4K resolution footage.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: GPU Performance
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 comes with the Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q ray-tracing enabled graphics card with 6GB video memory. This is a high-performance graphics card, capable of handling most of the modern AAA titles at 1080p and 1440p.
I played GTA: V on this laptop at 1440p and 1080p resolution. At 2K resolution, the laptop offered an average FPS of 59.78 and it increases to 102.51fps, offering a smooth gaming experience. On Super Position GPU benchmark tool (based on DirectX 12) the laptop scored 7594 points with an average FPS of 56.80 with the highest graphics settings.
This benchmarking re-affirms that the laptop is capable of handling any modern game with the highest graphics settings without any issue, ensuring that the Zephyrus 14 is capable of handling even the upcoming titles that might require higher computational resources.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: 3D Mark And PCMark10
3D Mark is one of the widely used software to test the graphics capability of a laptop. On this tool, the laptop scores 5561 points with an average FPS of 34.54 on the TimeSpy module based on DirectX 12.
Similarly, PCMark10 is used to evaluate the performance of the entire system, and this laptop scores 4727 points with an average CPU clock speed of 4.3GHz with an average CPU temperature of 93 degrees centigrade. Considering the T-junction of this processor (105°C), the laptop runs fairly cool even when it continuously taxed.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Battery Life: Satisfactory
We usually don't discuss battery life when it comes to a gaming laptop, as it is always advised to play games by connecting the laptop to the power adapter to get the best possible gaming experience.
If you are not playing games, then the ROG Zephyrus 4 can last for four to four and a half-hour on a single charge. The product comes with a 76Whr battery with a 180W power adapter, capable of fully charging the laptop quickly. Similarly, the laptop can also be charged using the USB Type-C port using a 60W USB-PD charger but the charging will be slower.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: Multi-Purpose Gaming Laptop
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the few gaming laptops that don't look like one. It has a simplistic design that does aid to improve the overall performance of the computer by offering better thermals.
The laptop offers great performance and even those who are considering getting a laptop for video editing, photo editing, and 3D rendering works can also get this machine without a doubt. Do note that, if you are short on money, you can get the base variant of the ROG Zephyrus G14 which costs almost half as much as a model that we reviewed but still offers great performance along with the similar build quality.
Overall, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a good laptop that looks unique and offers a compact design, making it easy for students and office goers. For the asking price, this machine offers a great value-for-money, especially the base variant with no AniMe Matrix support.