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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Who doesn’t love a hero story? Asus’s ROG Zephyrus G14 is the protagonist of AMD’s latest resurgence. When the unique mannequin arrived a couple of years in the past, it proved Ryzen processors may outmuscle Intel chips whereas delivering class-leading runtimes. For Asus, its symbiotic relationship with Intel’s rival gained it a standout moveable gaming system that struck an ideal stability between dimension, efficiency, and effectivity. The ROG Zephyrus G14 was met with crucial acclaim and have become so standard commercially that it will promote out for months at a time.

This 12 months’s mannequin doesn’t change the successful recipe, however moderately refines every of the elements. Asus listened to suggestions and aggressively tackled previous shortcomings by enhancing present options just like the touchpad and cooling whereas additionally debuting new ones, together with an RGB-backlit keyboard, a 16:10 show, and an IR webcam.

However for all of the modifications made to the design, the spotlight stays the G14’s twin-turbo engine consisting of an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU and a Radeon RX 6800S GPU. Sure, this 12 months, the G14 wears crimson from head to toe. For those who have been apprehensive Asus was taking a danger by leaving out Nvidia, don’t be: The Zephyrus G14, although not excellent, is best than ever.

Magnificence Can Be Enjoyable

The Zephyrus G14 appears virtually an identical to the earlier model, which implies it’s simply as eye-catching, particularly the Moonlight White mannequin Asus despatched me. (Eclipse Gray is the opposite possibility.) I’m impressed by the stability Asus struck: The Zephyrus G14 can unfold its feathers for avid gamers who need one thing flashy then dial issues again when a subdued look is extra applicable, like in a classroom or workplace.

This transformation depends upon the options you select when configuring your system. Some are much less delicate than others, just like the bonkers dot-matrix overlaying many of the lid. Now filled with extra LEDs (1,449 to be actual), the AniMe Matrix consists of a grid of white lights that may show customized animations. When disabled, it offers the lid a pretty stippled sample; flip the LEDs on and the individuals round you’re handled to an enchanting mild present. There’s a refreshing lightheartedness that abides by Asus’s “for the hell of it” design method. And surprisingly, it really works.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Although gimmicks like this aren’t often my cup of tea, I had enjoyable taking part in with the glowy dots. The minute or so it took to vary the animation from a meteor bathe to an exploding coronary heart on Valentine’s Day was price my spouse’s supportive half-smile once I boldly lifted the lid subsequent to her. I’m a dork, I do know, however hey, no less than I gained her over. If that wasn’t quirky sufficient, now you can place Asus’s Omni digital pet on the lid and problem it to mini-games.

Additionally on the snow white lid is a reflective pink “Republic of Players” emblem simply above a chrome strip. Open the laptop computer underneath the precise lighting and also you’ll discover that the keys and deck have a pearlescent sheen that sparkles turquoise blue and pink. Whereas simply ignored, these components add a sure passive magnificence to the chassis. It’s a must to flip the laptop computer round and the wrong way up to identify its gaming origins. There, you’ll discover aggressive contours and slanty angles—the type of Cyberpunk model synonymous with Zephyrus laptops.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

There are some good quality-of-life components right here that I didn’t discover earlier than getting my palms on the Zephyrus G14. The entrance lip is angled downward, which makes it simpler so that you can carry the display with one hand. And when the lid is totally opened, the laptop computer rests on an “ErgoLift” hinge that folds underneath the bottom. This places the deck at a extra comfy typing angle and improves airflow. Additionally, the hinge now rotates 180 levels so the display goes flat—laptop computer makers name this a collaboration function however I personally just like the reassurance of realizing the lid gained’t snap off once I push it again too far.

My favourite design updates will be discovered across the show. This 12 months’s Zephyrus G14 retains the slim bezels of its predecessor however finds area for a front-facing digicam above the display. Oh, and that display is now in a 16:10 side ratio, which supplies you extra vertical viewing area and makes this already moveable system really feel much more compact. Certainly, the Zephyrus G14 is slim and light-weight at 12.Three x 8.9 x 0.73 inches and three.Eight kilos; I barely observed the machine in my backpack once I introduced it to a restaurant.

Bigger Touchpad, RBG Keys

Asus listened to complaints concerning the dimension of the touchpad and took them significantly. On this mannequin, the floor is each taller and wider, leading to a 50% general dimension improve. The glass rectangle, which has a barely rubbery really feel, is among the finest I’ve used on a gaming laptop computer and responded shortly to my swipes and gestures.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

The keyboard was additionally tweaked, although the general typing expertise hasn’t modified a lot. Gone is the sci-fi aesthetic and instead is one thing extra conventional. These aren’t the clickiest keys however the beneficiant 1.7mm journey and goldilocks dimension and spacing made me really feel proper at dwelling from the second I began typing. For quantitative proof, I typed at a well-above-average 119 phrases per minute with a 97% accuracy on a standardized typing take a look at. I additionally like how Asus offset the arrow keys into an inverted T and put aside a row of communication keys (quantity, mute) on the high of the deck for simpler entry.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Players will respect the addition of an RGB keyboard possibility. Sadly, my evaluation unit has white keys (we’ll chat later, Asus) so I can’t present you what I’m positive will probably be a wonderful mild present in opposition to this white backdrop. I’ll recover from the omission. What I’m extra offended by is the uneven backlighting, one of many few gripes I’ve with {hardware} that in any other case nails the main points. For those who go for the RGB model, these hues will be personalized in Asus’s Armory Crate software program. And only a fast phrase on apps: Asus’s pre-installed software program is a few of my favourite. The corporate does job of mixing helpful options into one or two apps and presenting them with fashionable, colourful interfaces.

I’ve solely scratched the floor of what the Zephyrus G14 has getting in its favor. The quad audio system—consisting of two upward and two downward-firing drivers—get loud and sound crisp whereas delivering a shocking thump within the decrease frequencies. The 720p webcam doesn’t take one of the best photographs or movies however it’ll do in a pinch, and the IR sensor that allows facial recognition makes logging into the Zephyrus G14 near-instant.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Then there’s the beneficiant array of ports for a laptop computer of this dimension. You’ve obtained two USB 3.2 Kind-A inputs for plugging in peripherals, a pair of USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C ports break up amongst all sides, an HDMI 2.0b enter on the left, a microSD card slot on the alternative facet, and a headphone/mic jack. I can’t in good religion request an Ethernet port in such a compact machine however I want Asus had no less than included a dongle. Price noting right here is that the USB-C on the left facet, which helps 100W energy supply and DisplayPort, is USB4 succesful however gained’t get full performance till a software program replace arrives later this 12 months, Asus guarantees.

A Higher Show in Each Manner

The 14-inch show on the earlier mannequin was good—now it’s nice. We are able to say an unceremonious farewell to the 16:9 side ratio and a wholehearted hi there to a 16:10 panel. I desire the taller, narrower form as a result of it feels extra spacious when viewing a number of home windows side-by-side and when scrolling down net pages. This 2560 × 1600 (WQXGA) IPS panel can be brighter than earlier than and drops the response time from 25 milliseconds to only 3ms.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

The panel checks the entire packing containers. It’s brilliant, colourful, has a 120Hz refresh charge, helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient, is Pantone validated to have correct colours, and is licensed for low blue mild emission to scale back eye pressure. What you actually need to know is: sure, it’s that good in follow. In reality, it holds its personal when put next side-by-side with an OLED-equipped laptop computer I’m at the moment reviewing. Clearly, the matte panel isn’t as colourful however there’s loads of pop and I measured a max brightness of 530 nits, which is considerably brighter than the 300-nit panel on the earlier mannequin.

AMD in Concord

Now, for the principle occasion: Not solely is the Zephyrus the primary laptop computer geared up with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, however it’s now a part of a uncommon breed of gaming laptops that opts for AMD GPUs moderately than Nvidia chips. The place the earlier mannequin maxed out at a GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, this 2022 model goes as much as a Radeon RX 6800S—a high-end discrete GPU AMD revealed at CES final month.

Our evaluation unit was configured with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU (Eight core/16 thread) with 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe 4.Zero SSD. No barrage of Chrome tabs, Twitch streaming, or picture enhancing may gradual the G14, which did an equally wonderful job on our artificial benchmark assessments. The outcomes are fairly staggering.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

On the Geekbench 5 general efficiency take a look at, the Zephyrus G14 scored 1,552 and 10,002 for single and multi-core, respectively. These outcomes handily defeat final 12 months’s Razer Blade 14 (7,403) and Alienware 15x (9,339) however fall in need of the mighty MacBook Professional 14 (12,663). The earlier G15 with a Ryzen 9 5900 CPU scored within the low-8,000 vary. The one laptop computer I had available with Intel 12th Gen chips, an Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 (evaluation coming quickly) with a Core i9-12900H CPU, scored a scrumptious 12,903.

It took the Zephyrus G14 Three minutes and 15 seconds to transform a 4K video to 1080p decision, a end result that outpaces almost each laptop computer we’ve examined in need of the Alienware 15x, which accomplished the duty two seconds quicker. The Razer Blade 14 (3:48) and MacBook Professional 14 (3:21) have been shut behind the Asus and Alienware.

Shifting to graphics efficiency: The Zephyrus G14 held its personal in opposition to methods geared up with Nvidia RTX 3070 chips. In complete, the G14 drives 105W of graphical energy because of the AMD-exclusive SmartShift and SmartAccess Reminiscence options, which allocate energy to the place it’s most wanted. It additionally has a MUX swap, a microchip that permits the devoted GPU to bypass the CPU on its solution to the show. This manner, it may well push frames on to the display, leading to decreasing latency and boosting framerates by as much as 9%, in line with Asus.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

In Far Cry 5 on Extremely setting at 1920 x 1200 decision, the Zephyrus G14 averaged 94 frames per second, falling just under the Alienware x15 (106 fps) with an RTX 3070 operating the sport at 1080p. The Razer Blade 14 with an RTX 3070 hit 100 fps.

On the Whole Battle: Warhammer II benchmark, the Zephyrus G14 maintained 68 fps, edging out the Predator Triton 300 SE (66 fps) with an RTX 3060 GPU however solely notched a body above its predecessor.

And in Metro Exodus on Extremely, the AMD GPU averaged 68 fps, a couple of frames above the earlier mannequin (66 fps) and Razer Blade 14 (65 fps) however in need of the Alienware x15 (75 fps). The Alienware m15 R5 with a Ryzen 7 CPU and RTX 3060 GPU stopped effectively in need of its opponents, averaging solely 50 fps.

Nonetheless Runs Heat

Asus gave me a—depend ‘em—77-page reviewer information, a lot of which talked concerning the new cooling system. It felt like I used to be studying an engineer’s technical whitepaper. I’ll spare you the gory particulars and provide the TL;DR model: extra fan blades (84 up from 71) with a singular tapered design, 4 warmth pipes, a vapor chamber; and liquid steel, a compound from Thermal Grizzly for higher conductivity than customary thermal paste. It is usually the primary ROG laptop computer with mud filters to stop grime from clogging issues up. Asus’s personal testing confirmed the filter stored CPU and GPU temps at about 4 levels under the identical unit with out the filter whereas permitting these elements to attract extra energy.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

For all the trouble Asus put in, the Zephyrus G14 nonetheless prefers heat climates. The laptop computer was perpetually lukewarm all through my on a regular basis workflow and fairly toasty throughout gameplay. That mentioned, the temps by no means reached worrying ranges, although I wouldn’t preserve the G14 on my lap when taking part in Crysis.

One profit of those new thermals is one thing Asus calls 0db mode, which turns off the followers when the laptop computer is underneath a traditional load, making it pin-drop silent. That a lot, I really like. At the least, till the keyboard obtained scorching whereas the followers remained dormant. I measured a lukewarm 104 levels on the keys when just one window was open. The followers finally kicked on after I pulled up one other few dozen tabs—which the Zephyrus loaded in a flash, by the way in which—however even then, the keyboard had risen a couple of levels.

Battery Life in a League of Its Personal

The Zephyrus G14 has earned many honors because of its efficiency and dimension, however what has really set it aside from the pack is its implausibly lengthy battery life. It was the primary moveable gaming machine to hover across the 10-hour battery life mark throughout precise use. This 12 months’s mannequin continues the pattern, lasting 9 hours and 21 minutes on our video playback take a look at with the display set to 200 nits.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

Throughout a traditional workday, the G14 lasted for about eight hours earlier than battery saver mode kicked on. Remember the fact that this was with the display brightness set to 75% (about 200 nits)—cranking that as much as the max 500 nits will lead to a major drop. Both approach, the Zephyrus G14 stays one the longest-lasting gaming laptops in the marketplace, and in consequence, can double as a piece or journey laptop computer.

Worth Stays a Query Mark

Asus and AMD are being frustratingly coy about pricing. Here’s what I do know: The Zephyrus G14 will begin at $1,599 and go as much as $2,499. The system I examined, which has a Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a Radeon 6800S GPU, prices $2,499 (I’m confirming this worth as there appears to be some confusion). That pricing is consistent with its most important rivals: the Alienware x14 and Razer Blade 14.

Asus despatched me some configs that must be showing on Finest Purchase quickly. A $1,699 mannequin comes with a 14-inch QHD show, a Ryzen 9 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and da Radeon RX 6700 GPU. Spending one other $300 upgrades you to an RX 6800S GPU.

Is the Asus Zephyrus G14 Price Shopping for?

Sure, and I would simply beat you to it. I usually desire non-gaming laptops with discrete GPUs, just like the Dell XPS 15 or HP Spectre, as a result of they have a tendency to ship the efficiency I want with out sacrificing dimension or endurance. For that motive, gaming rigs haven’t been on my radar. The Zephyrus G14 modifications that by delivering one of the best of each worlds: elite efficiency and all-day battery life in compact (albeit, barely thick) chassis.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Photograph: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo

The Zephyrus G14 is maybe one of the best all-purpose laptop computer for individuals who want a laptop computer able to taking part in the most recent video games at excessive frames per second. This newest mannequin is especially compelling in that it fixes many of the issues plaguing the earlier variations. It provides a webcam, shifts to a 16:10 show, and sports activities a a lot bigger touchpad. What would possibly flip you off are the thermals, which stay an issue regardless of all the flamboyant new engineering. And whereas the Zephyrus G14 begins at $1,599, the top-end config goes for a not-so-budget-friendly $2,499.

You could possibly anticipate different choices to enter the market, just like the up to date Razer Blade 14, however I gained’t blame you for assuming the Zephyrus G14 would be the finest gaming laptop computer of the 12 months—it positive feels prefer it to me.

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