The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the latest example of gaming machines that speak to an adult, style-conscious audience. An audience that wants to bring the extreme forces of gaming machines to work. And who are not afraid to pay what it costs.
If you know the Zephyrus series from before, you know that it consists of slim and light gaming laptops in a sharp design. We have tested several of them. But this one wins the award. A 14-inch laptop in a magnesium cabinet weighing only 1.6 kg. Although not as razor-sharp and wedge-shaped as real ultrabooks, on the surface it does not resemble anything that holds gaming power.
No Tivoli flashing RGB lights can be found, which tend to be characteristic of gaming machines. But that does not mean that the Zephyrus G14 blends in with the surroundings. Its very special cafe tricks are “AniMe Matrix” – an LED display that is built into the lid (on some of the models). A total of 1215 white LED lights arranged in a grid that covers half of the lid, can display graphics and animations. It’s one hundred percent free of practicality – but it looks cool!
If I have to criticize something – and that’s my job – then the narrow frame around the screen is not as inflexible as one might wish on a machine that will live most of its life in the bag. The cabinet itself is completely rigid, but the screen bends happily.
Most machines we test, regardless of size and price, have a processor from Intel under the hood. But not here. The Asus Zephyrus G14 is built on an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. This makes the price lower, but not necessarily the performance worse.
With an AMD processor, it would be obvious to choose a graphics card from AMD-owned Radeon, but even though Radeon makes excellent graphics processors, the choice has fallen on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060.
There is 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of SSD storage in the version we have tested. This is what one can expect from a machine that should be fast without costing the shirt.
The screen is Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. It is by no means a record (it currently has the 300 Hz screen on the MSi GS66 Stealth). But 120 Hz is still so fast that only connoisseurs with a sponsorship contract can afford to complain about the difference. The screen is Pantone-validated, which means that graphic designers can also use it at work.
If you are not interested in the fast refresh rate, there is also a 60 Hz version with higher resolution (2560 x 1440).
A large soul in a small body
As a reviewer of gaming machines, among other things, I get the chance to get my hands on the most attractive hardware that can be recovered. It can not be avoided to be a little blasé by, and in recent months I have had several slot machines in my custody that were faster and more luxurious. But they also cost twice as much. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is so reasonably priced and still exclusive that one can not help but think about whether it is really necessary with that holiday trip…
Zephyrus G14 feels a bit like a chubby ultrabook in your hands, but that’s just until you start a game. Then it shows that it is not fat, but muscle. The 14 “screen is just under long-term gaming, with the more popular 15.6” laptop screens as well. And it can be solved with an extra screen for the game den at home.
The processor in the Zephyrus G14 GA401 is, as mentioned, an AMD Ryzen 7. At one time, AMD’s and Intel’s processors were almost as widespread, but today Intel is in the majority of the market. It has helped push the price of AMD, and you can get a complete Ryzen 7-PC for what you have to give for a 10th generation Intel Core i9 processor.
The 2.9 GHz AMD 7 4800 HS processor housed in the Zephyrus G14 has 8 cores and 16 wires. In other words, the same number as the Intel Core i9 that sat in the twice as expensive MSi GS66 Stealth – without mentioning the other differences. And we have to admit that the cheaper AMD is by no means lagging behind.
The Geekbench 5 processor test ends with a single-score result of 1117 and 7890 in dual-core. It is so close to the i9’s result that it needs a target photo. The PC Mark 10 office software test ends at 5808. It is not quite at the same level, but it is still close.
AniMe Matrix is one hundred percent free of practicality – but it looks cool!
The 3DMark TimeSpy graphics test ends with a score of 5783. It is slightly lower than on supercomputers. But we are also “only” dealing with a GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. The Fire Strike test ends at 13,778. That’s very good for an RTX 2060 machine!
In this space, we tend to find that powerful gaming machines are not suitable for battery operation. But Zephyrus G14 is the exception to the rule. The PCMark battery test ground for four hours before the battery was discharged. Few gaming laptops last half that long!
We have recently seen a stream of “civilian” gaming PCs that appeal as much to digital creatives as graphic designers and animators, as to gamers. A target group that Apple has perceived as its private territory, but which almost all PC manufacturers are now looking for.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is another participant in that competition, and it will compete against, for example, the MSi Prestige 14 and Alienware M15. But none of them have such a perfect combination of size, performance and price.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401 is the most portable gaming PC we have tested on Lbtechreviews.com so far. Although not as large, it can easily compete in performance with larger and twice as heavy machines. It is an achievement in itself, but extra impressive is that it has managed to keep the price down to a level where you do not have to be a professional player to justify the acquisition. In fact, we assume that the nice little power guy will find his way into the bag of many who do not buy it at all for the sake of gaming.