Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review

That concludes another gaming laptop that will enable me to do a trifecta of testing. The new Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 features two brand-new AMD components and is a more mature-looking replacement for the previous model from 2021. The Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU and Radeon RX 6800S graphics processor are included. Similar to the rest of the laptop, these components, as well as the rest of the MSI Raider GE76’s internals, will be put through their paces for the first time.

The model with which I’ve been playing is the top-of-the-line version, which retails for £2000. The system is ready to go for £1700, which includes the purchase of brand new AMD components such as the Ryzen 7 6800HS CPU and Radeon RX 6700S GPU. Even in beefed-up form, the Raider GE76 has no resemblance to the Raider GE76; it is smaller, more portable, and more concerned with those characteristics than with establishing new speed records. As demonstrated by the Radeon RX 6800M’s selection of an S-series GPU — which is optimised for small and light laptops — M-series GPUs such as the Radeon RX 6800M can satisfy performance purists but S-series GPUs such as the Radeon RX 6800M cannot.

When it comes to gaming bling, the ROG Zephyrus G14 makes no apologies for flaunting its components. Nobody will miss the lid’s polka-dot AniMe Matrix display, which has 1,449 microscopic LEDs glowing through 14,969 tiny drilled holes to display customised graphics, text, and animations generated using the pre-installed ROG Armoury software. Asus increased the quality of these graphics significantly over the previous year’s model, which featured only 6,536 perforations on its own AniMe display.

Now, I am not a die-hard LED purist who believes that the only display choice for PCs should be featureless black rectangles. To be absolutely candid, I believe these flashing animations on this gadget are a touch overdone. While the pulsing RGB illumination is undoubtedly more attractive than the standard gaming laptop illumination, garnering bemused stares is not the same as generating adoring ones. Shutting the lid without properly powering off leaves the matrix display going, which was far too distracting for me to put anyplace visible.

One further change, the cooling mechanism for the vapour chamber brainpop jr, is only marginally successful. While it does a good job of minimising fan noise under light loads, it is fairly loud (I measured continuous fan noise at 45db, which is louder than the huge Raider GE76) and incredibly hot when playing video games. While the CPU and GPU continue to operate at acceptable operating temperatures, certain regions of the keyboard may become slightly warm. I observed that certain keys, notably those at the very top and right-hand side of the main letter keys, reached temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius when I used a laser thermometer.

True, keeping a full-fledged gaming laptop cool is far more difficult when it’s thin and small, but it’s still a problem. The ROG Zephyrus G14, to its credit, is capable of both. Because it is just slightly bigger and somewhat heavier than a typical ultrabook, it is only little more cumbersome to transport. When closed, it measures 312mm broad and little under 20mm deep, and weighs 1.72kg, making it somewhat lighter than the Razer Blade 14. The Asus ROG Strix GL552 is one of the few gaming laptops that can compete with it in terms of mobility.

As soon as you open it (and remove the AniMe display), you’ll realise that the design is more refined and practical than the one from 2021. The space bar’s distinctive heptagonal design has been deleted, and the speaker grilles have been reduced in size, making them less intrusive. Despite the confined proportions, the trackpad has grown significantly in size, and it is now an astonishingly smooth glass-topped gadget that feels as comfortable and responsive as any other touchpad I’ve ever used. Similarly, while the Keays aren’t the fastest mechanical keyboards on the market, they do have the sharpness and responsiveness that mechanical keyboards are known for. Everything is fully customizable and illuminated.

There are a respectable number of connectors for a tiny gaming laptop, with the option of an HDMI or DisplayPort-equipped USB-C port for visual output. The primary disadvantage is that both full-size USB 3.2 ports are on the right, which means that if you use a right-handed wired mouse, the connector will intrude on the mouse’s own area, which might be inconvenient. Although I didn’t find this to be a huge issue, it’s worth noting if you’re working with a restricted amount of desk space.

The 14-inch, 120Hz IPS panel supports two resolutions: 1920×1200 or 2560×1600 in this example. The display can refresh at a maximum rate of 120Hz. Although the 16:10 aspect ratio (which, strangely, is similar to that of the Steam Deck) is odd for a gaming laptop, it works well, and games frequently support 1600p quality. When seen on a smaller panel, such as a 14-inch monitor, it seems to be almost as crisp as the top 4K gaming displays now available. Kinda.

Additionally, the panel has a strong track record of success. It covered 99.8% of the sRGB colour space and had a maximum brightness of 358cd/m2, which was rather bright for a panel of its size. Despite the decreased black level (0.34cd/m2), the 1051:1 contrast ratio helps eliminate grey regions in dark surroundings. As a final touch, a light matte coating is applied to help in the reduction of glare and reflections.

Naturally, the force behind that screen is generated from the newly exposed internals. The Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, which features eight cores and sixteen threads, is ranked first. Even if there are a few stronger CPUs in the Ryzen 6000 mobile hierarchy, it is still a powerful processor with a single-core score of 611 and a multicore score of 5004 in Cinebench R20. By contrast, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G533Q with a Ryzen 5900HX CPU earned 570 and 4935 points. Not bad for a low-wattage CPU like the Radeon RX 6800S, which was intended to operate within the power constraints of ultralight laptops like the MacBook Air.

 

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