Asus’ entry-level ROG Zephyrus G14 is the one to buy
It’s light on weight and light on price
By Monica Chin / @mcsquared96
Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales
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The Zephyrus G14 is just as good without the expensive lights.
The Zephyrus G14 is just as good without the expensive lights.
Devoted Verge readers will remember that I was not the biggest fan of the most recent ROG Zephyrus G14. The model we received had a lot of great things about it — Asus had improved the aspect ratio, added a webcam, enlarged the touchpad, and fixed basically every other complaint I’d had about G14s of the past.
But the unit I had for review was the top SKU, and it was just too expensive.
Specifically, the Radeon RX 6800S / Ryzen 9 6900HS model I received was priced at $2,499.99. That put it in the same price category as some of the market’s most premium 15-inch gaming rigs, including Razer’s Blade 15 Advanced — and way above the price of the larger and better-performing G15. It was not a good deal. But I did note in the review that Asus intended to sell cheaper models of the G14 and that those models, if they produced similar frame rates, could be phenomenal buys.
Well, I’ve finally gotten my hands on one of those cheaper models. I’m typing this right now on a $1,649.99 model of the Zephyrus G14 that has the same Ryzen 9 6900HS processor but swaps that 6800S GPU out for a slightly less powerful 6700S. I’ve strongly suspected for months that this configuration would offer very similar performance to its $2,499.99 counterpart.
And folks, that suspicion has proven correct. The difference in frame rates, while extant, is nothing worth paying for. The 6700S model’s battery life is better. It’s thinner and lighter. The one thing it lacks, which the 6800S has, is a fancy animated light display on the lid. The light display is very cool, and you can go ahead and pay $850 extra for it if you want, but I will say that most people should get the $1,6499.99 model instead. It is hands-down a better deal.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)
- Bright, QHD, 16:10 screen
- Good performance for its price
- All-day battery life
- Surprisingly good webcam
- Unfortunately, there are no pretty lights
- Just a 120Hz screen
- Chunky as 14-inchers go
$1649.99 at Best Buy
How we rate and review products
This is still one of my favorite keyboards on the market.
For everything related to the G14’s chassis, please see the review of the 6800S G14 that I published in February. There, I detailed the keyboard, touchpad, webcam, screen, and other design and hardware aspects. Those are all the same on the 6700S model, so I’ll just be discussing the performance differences here.
You can lay it out flat, if there’s some reason you would want to do that.
The cheaper G14 averaged 189fps on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at maximum settings and native (2560 x 1600) resolution. The previous model averaged 202fps. This difference will not be noticeable to anyone using these machines since the highest refresh rate the G14’s 120Hz screen can display is 120fps.
You may see an impact on other titles — but not one that is worth $850. The 6700S had some trouble with ray tracing, which almost cut frame rates in half — but that’s exactly what we saw from the 6800S as well. The cheaper model averaged 63fps with ray tracing off and 32fps with ray tracing maxed, where the older model averaged 70fps and 37fps, respectively. Like I said, small potatoes.
And, on Red Dead Redemption 2 with all sliders manually maxed, the cheaper model averaged 45fps where the more expensive SKU averaged 49fps. I promise four frames will not impact your life in any capacity.
Four frames will not impact your life
Fan noise and heat were similar to what I observed from the 6800S model, which is to say that they were fine. Noise wasn’t particularly annoying during gameplay and didn’t obstruct game audio; when I put the device on the Silent profile for general work, it did indeed become silent. Even during a decent workload that included an external display, there was never more than a bit of warmth on the keyboard. Palm rests were hot during gameplay but not quite uncomfortably so.
No funky lights here but still a neat lid design.
The vents do their job.
Where I did see something of a difference was battery life. The 6700S model averaged eight hours and 55 minutes of general use at medium brightness, a solid hour over the 6800S. This metric puts the G14 back on the map as one of the longest-lasting gaming laptops of recent years. Gaming battery didn’t show quite the same improvement. I got 46 minutes of Red Dead Redemption 2 play with about 39 minutes of playable time, while I eked 54 and 46 minutes out of the more expensive unit, but gaming battery life is hard to draw conclusions from. Charging time was exactly the same: 60 percent in 41 minutes.
Where I did see something of a difference was battery life
The one other difference between this model and the 6800S is the size. It’s slightly lighter (3.64 pounds to the 6800S’s 3.79 pounds) and thinner (0.73 inches to 0.77 inches). This is obviously not the biggest difference in the world, and it’s quite a light gaming laptop either way. But it is yet another slight advantage the cheaper model has. It’s that much lighter than the Razer Blade 14 and that much more compact than larger machines that can deliver these frame rates. I brought this device on an international trip and loved how light of a load it was in an otherwise packed backpack.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 specs (as reviewed)
- WQXGA (2560 x 1600) 120Hz, non-touch
- AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
- 16GB DDR5
- 1TB SSD storage
- 720p camera
- Wi-Fi 6E 802. 11ax 2×2
- 75Whr battery
- 240W adapter
So, the Zephyrus G14 is, once again, one of the better gaming laptops you can buy. You can just go ahead and buy this 6700S model unless you’re really into pretty animated lights. This model is price-competitive with the premium sphere in a way the animated light model isn’t: the closest Razer Blade 14 would be $2,599.99 ($950 more, though with a higher refresh rate screen) and a comparable Alienware X14 (with a lower-resolution screen) would be $1,949. And, it’s very much undercutting larger competitors: the Blade 15 Advanced with an RTX 3070 Ti is currently listed for $2,999.99 ($950 more) as is the RTX 3070 Ti Blade 15 Base (with a lower resolution).
And that’s not even taking into account the other advantages the G14 has over much of the competition, including its lightweight chassis, category-topping keyboard, and (especially) 16:10 screen. The $1,649.99 price point makes it much easier (and more justifiable) to appreciate the real innovations that Asus has made, and continues to make, in this space.
Agree to Continue: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)
Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.
As with other Windows computers, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) presents you with multiple things to agree to or decline upon setup.
The mandatory policies, for which an agreement is required, are:
- A request for your region and keyboard layout
- Microsoft Software License Terms and Asus Notice
- Sign in to a Microsoft account
- Create a PIN
In addition, there are a slew of optional things to agree to:
- Connect to Wi-Fi network
- Name your device
- Set up Windows Hello
- Device privacy settings: Find My Device, Inking and Typing, Advertising ID, Location, Diagnostic data, Tailored experiences
- Customize your device for personalized tips, ads, and recommendations (you can choose between entertainment, gaming, school, creativity, business, and family)
- OneDrive backup
- Microsoft 365 free trial
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate free trial
- Provide your name, region, email address, and phone number to save to your device and autofill in the Asus member registration form in the MyAsus app
That’s six mandatory agreements and 14 optional ones.
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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: A portable powerhouse
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This 14-inch gaming laptop delivers a strong combination of performance, endurance and sheer eye candy
(Image: © Future)
Tom’s Guide Verdict
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is a great gaming laptop, delivering a potent blend of performance, portability and power efficiency. While it can’t match the outlandish battery life of its predecessors, the brighter screen is worth it.
Bright, vibrant 120Hz display
Compact, elegant chassis
Good battery life
Why you can trust Tom’s Guide
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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) specs
Price: $1,649 to start, $2,499 as reviewed
Display: 14-inch (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) 120Hz
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700S — 6800S
Storage: 1TB SSD
Battery: 10:14 (Tested)
Size: 12. 28 x 8.94 x 0.77 inches
Weight: 3.79 pounds
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) ($1,649 to start) is the latest iteration of one of the highest-rated gaming laptops we’ve ever reviewed, and after spending a few weeks with it I can tell you it’s still one of the best gaming laptops you can buy.
The 2022 Zephyrus G14 we reviewed has a better, brighter screen than its predecessor, with good speakers and an AMD CPU/GPU combo that delivers solid gaming performance. It also sports a built-in webcam, something earlier models lacked.
But despite these upgrades, the new Zephyrus G14 is in some ways weaker than its predecessor. It can’t last quite as long on a single charge, the gaming performance is good but not always better than what you’d get from similarly-priced competitors, and the webcam is bad.
Still, those are minor flaws in what I think is a great gaming laptop for under $2,000. Read on to find out why.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Price and release date
- $1,649 to start
- Expect to pay up to $2,499 for one with a mini-LED display on rear
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) we reviewed is available for purchase right now at a starting price of $1,649 at select third-party retailers like Best Buy . At the time of publication there are multiple models on sale, all with pure AMD hardware.
See those pinpricks of light? That’s the AniMe Matrix on our review unit, a $600 cosmetic upgrade. (Image credit: Future)
The entry-level $1,649 model ships with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, an AMD Radeon RX 6700S GPU, 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage. If you want a bit more graphics power, there’s also an $1,899 model with the same stats except for an upgraded AMD Radeon RX 6800S graphics card.
There’s also a deluxe model you can get that has Asus’ AniMe Matrix mini-LED display on the back of the lid. It’s a purely cosmetic feature that you’ll probably want to disable when trying to conserve power, but it does give the laptop a cool, unique look. That’s really all that sets it apart from the upgraded $1,899 model, as it otherwise has the same specs (AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, AMD Radeon RX 6800S GPU, 16GB DDR5 RAM, 1TB SSD). This is the model of Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 we received for review, and you can buy one yourself (when they’re in stock) for a cool $2,499.
- Compact, attractive chassis
- Comfy keyboard feels good to type on
- Plenty of ports
Our Zephyrus G14 (2022) review unit measures 12.28 x 8.94 x 0.77 inches, weighs 3.79 pounds and is decked out in Asus’ bright Moonlight White color scheme. It’s especially eye-catching if you enable the optional AniMe Matrix mini-LED display on the back of the lid (not included on all models, more on that later). But even if you don’t, the Zephyrus G14 looks slick, with rounded corners and tapered edges balancing out the sharp diagonal vents scattered across the chassis.
(Image credit: Future)
Open it up and you’ll find a well-sized keyboard and touchpad laid out beneath a bright 14-inch display, which has nice thin bezels on either side that thicken along the top and bottom. Personally I like how the laptop’s hinge juts out a bit on the screen side, which causes it to lever the laptop up off the table a bit when you open it up. That seems to increase airflow underneath the laptop (critical for cooling) and pushes the keyboard slightly up at the top, which feels more comfortable under my hands.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Ports
(Image credit: Future)
Around the edges of the laptop you’ll find a nice selection of ports that give the Zephyrus G14 (2022) a lot of versatility. On the right side you get two USB-A ports, one USB-C port and a UHS-II microSD card reader.
(Image credit: Future)
On the left side is another USB-C port that can also deliver power, an HDMI 2.0b port, a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones/headsets and a port for plugging in the power cable. Oddly, the power port is in the center of the lefthand side, rather than being located back near the screen like it is on most laptops.
All the USB ports are USB 3.2 Gen 2, and both the USB-C ports also have DisplayPort support. The only big complaint I have about the port selection is that all the USB-A ports are on one side, so if you’re plugging in an older mouse and keyboard you’ll have to do some frustrating cable routing.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Display and audio
- Bright, vibrant screen
- Speakers get surprisingly loud
The 14-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) display on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) looks good in person, and the 16:10 aspect ratio feels roomy when you’re juggling a lot of open windows on the desktop. With a 120Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time and support for Dolby Vision HDR, the display is well-suited to making games and movies look their best.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
|Row 0 — Cell 0||Alienware x14||Asus Zephyrus G14 (2022)||Razer Blade 14||Razer Blade 17|
|Average brightness (nits)||377||473||332||349|
|DCI-P3 color gamut (%)||77||74||78. 8||80|
|sRGB color gamut (%)||109.7||104.5||111||112.9|
|Delta-E||0.22||0.23||0.24||Row 4 — Cell 4|
When we performed our lab tests, we found the screen on the 2022 Zephyrus achieves an average brightness of 473 nits, peaking at 515 nits in the upper right portion. That’s quite bright for a gaming laptop, easily outshining competition like the Alienware x14 and Razer Blade 14. It’s also quite a bit brighter than the 1080p display on its predecessor the ROG Zephyrus G14 (2020), which we measured as achieving an average brightness of 323 nits.
Color accuracy on the new display is also pretty good, as the 2022 Zephyrus delivered 104.5% of the sRGB color gamut (100% is most accurate) with a Delta-E score of 0. 23 (0 is most accurate). These are good scores if you care about color accuracy, and they’re competitive with some of the best gaming laptops on the market.
(Image credit: Future)
The quad-speaker system built into the Zephyrus G14 can get good and loud, kicking out music, speech and effects that sound full-bodied (that is, not tinny or distorted) even at high volume. This may have something to do with what Asus calls its Smart Amplifier Technology, which the company claims can make the speakers sound really loud without sacrificing sound quality. The Zephyrus G14’s speakers also support Dolby Atmos, and they’re paired with a triple-mic array that’s more than good enough for in-game voice chat and video calls.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: General performance
- More than powerful enough for PowerPoint
- Speedy (for a laptop) file transfer and video compression speeds
Though it’s designed for gaming, the Zephyrus G14 can double as a decent work laptop thanks to its comfy keyboard and better-than-average (for a gaming laptop) battery life. Heck, if you disable the RGB lighting and the (optional) AniMe Matrix, the G14 can blend in among the ultraportables you usually see at a coffee shop or coworking space thanks to its compact chassis and understated design. It’s also a pretty respectable machine for getting work done, in my experience, and in our suite of general productivity tests it performed quite well.
(Image credit: Future)
Our Zephyrus G14 (2022) review unit earned a score of 10,004 in the Geekbench 5.4 multi-core CPU benchmark, which is a great score. It’s not good enough to match the Alienware x14 (Core i7-12900HK, GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB RAM) but it does outpace the Razer Blade 14 (Ryzen 9 5900HX, GeForce RTX 3070, 16GB RAM) we tested last year.
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|Row 0 — Cell 0||Alienware x14||Asus Zephyrus G14 (2022)||Razer Blade 14||Zephyrus G14 (2020)|
|Geekbench 5. 4||13,353||10,004||7,471||7,509|
|Copying 25 GB from flash drive (MBps)||1,156 MBps||1,260.45 MBps||908.65 MBps||881 MBps|
|Handbrake video encoding (minutes:seconds)||5:04||5:58||7:20||7:10|
If moving files around quickly is important to you, you’ll be pleased to know the Zephyrus G14’s SSD achieved an impressive speed of 1,260.45 MBps when tasked with copying 25GB of multimedia files. That’s faster than most gaming laptops we’ve tested, including the Alienware x14 and the Razer Blade 14.
The 2022 Zephyrus G14 is pretty speedy with video encoding work too, taking just under 6 minutes (5:58) to transcode a 4K video down to 1080p using Handbrake. That’s a pretty good time that outpaces a lot of gaming laptops (including the Razer Blade 14) but it’s not quite as quick as a laptop like Alienware x14, which completed the same task nearly a minute faster.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Gaming performance
- Good performer when plugged in with all settings cranked up
- Mid-tier gaming laptop performance drops quickly when unplugged
Gaming performance is what matters most in a laptop like this, and the 2022 Zephyrus G14 delivers — if you configure it right. Plugged in, with all extraneous apps closed and all power and fan management settings cranked to max, this laptop managed to hit 30-40 frames per second (fps) in Cyberpunk 2077 on max settings. However, that was with AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaler running; without it, the game is really only playable at low settings.
(Image credit: Future)
Performance in demanding games like this dips even further when the laptop is unplugged, or has its various power management settings tweaked to favor power efficiency. This is the trade-off you make with the G14: It’s small and well-designed, as gaming laptops go, and it can be a great performer or a power-sipping productivity tool — but not both.
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|Row 0 — Cell 0||Alienware x14||Asus Zephyrus G14 (2022)||Razer Blade 14|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (1080p)||57||73||62|
|Red Dead Redemption 2 (1080p)||48||48||60|
|Grand Theft Auto V (1080p)||70||70||93|
|Far Cry New Dawn (1080p)||94||86||85|
When we subjected this new Zephyrus G14 to our suite of gaming laptop tests, it put some pretty good numbers on the board. It managed to achieve a very playable 48 fps in Red Dead Redemption 2, 73 fps in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and 86 fps in Far Cry New Dawn.
Those scores put it on par with the likes of the Alienware x14 and the Razer Blade 14, and in fact the 2022 Zephyrus G14 outperformed both in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. However, it fell behind the competition when running other games, as you can see from our results chart above. The Razer Blade 14 ran Rockstar games like RDR2 and Grand Theft Auto V at higher framerates than the Zephyrus G14, while Far Cry New Dawn ran better on the Alienware x14.
Note that these tests were run at 1080p, so you may see noticeably lower framerates when playing these games at the laptop’s native resolution (2,560 x 1,600 pixels).
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Keyboard and touchpad
- Keyboard feels comfortable, even during extended typing
- Touchpad just works
I really like the keyboard on the 2022 Zephyrus G14. While it doesn’t quite span the width of the laptop, I never felt cramped while typing on it, and each chiclet-style key has a satisfying amount of travel. There’s RGB backlighting underneath that you can customize via Asus’ pre-installed Armoury Crate app to do things like strobe or cycle through different colors, though since it’s backlit rather than per-key the light looks like it’s coming from beneath the keys, rather than from them. It’s a neat effect, albeit one I almost never noticed unless I looked down at the keyboard.
(Image credit: Future)
The touchpad beneath the keyboard feels accurate and responsive to the touch, and while I wouldn’t recommend you use it for serious gaming it shouldn’t cause you any issues when tapping and swiping through your day-to-day tasks. Navigating Windows 11 via gesture commands is also a cinch, and in my time with the laptop I noticed no lag or misread inputs.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Camera
- 720p webcam captures blurry, grainy images and video
- IR camera supports biometric authentication via Windows Hello
Older models of Zephyrus G14 didn’t come with a webcam built in, but Asus finally added one into the 2022 model. Unfortunately, the 720p webcam embedded in the center of the display’s top bezel captures grainy, washed-out images and video. It’s good enough for Zoom calls, but don’t expect to look your best. If that’s important to you, consider investing in one of the best webcams for your laptop.
This camera is fine for videoconferencing, but as you can see from the blurry details and blown-out lighting, it won’t make you look your best. (Image credit: Future)
There’s also an IR camera that supports facial logins via Windows Hello, which is nice if you go in for that sort of thing.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Software
- Little bloatware, which is good
- Asus’ Armoury Crate is the MVP here
The ROG Zephyrus G14 ships with a reasonable selection of pre-installed software from the likes of AMD, Asus and Dolby. The standout is Armoury Crate, Asus’ all-in-one application for managing system performance, configuring macros, customizing the AniMe Matrix (if you have one) and more. That makes Armoury Crate the most useful pre-installed app on the Zephyrus, albeit one that feels slow to respond and sometimes crashes for no reason.
(Image credit: Future)
There’s also the Aura Creator, Asus’ software for choosing and customizing the RGB lighting profile for the Zephyrus and any compatible connected devices.
Finally there’s the OMNI Virtual Pet, an app that causes an animated robot to appear on your desktop. The little robot can appear on the AniMe Matrix, display system stats or play mini-games with you. I didn’t find it to be of much use, but it is a fun throwback to play with for a few minutes.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: AniMe Matrix
- Mini-LED display on lid does nothing but looks cool and drains battery
- I want one on everything I own
Select models of Zephyrus G14 can be ordered with an AniMe Matrix, Asus’ name for its monochromatic mini-LED display built into the back of the lid. It’s made up of thousands of programmable mini-LEDs, and in person it looks pretty cool.
This is real silly and I love it. (Image credit: Future)
You can design your own animation patterns in the Armoury Crate, which has a decent selection of tools and downloadable animations for you to work with. You can also configure the AniMe Matrix to display details like time/date, remaining battery power and unread message count via its System Mode, or set it up as a visualizer in Audio Mode which responds to whatever music you’re playing out of the G14’s speakers.
I love it, even though it’s a completely extraneous, cosmetic feature that you’ll probably want to switch off whenever you’re unplugged to conserve power. If you don’t want one I don’t blame you, but if you do, keep in mind that it’ll cost you an extra $600.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Battery life and heat
- Battery lasted 10 hours 14 minutes in our test
- That’s worse than earlier models, but still better than most gaming laptops
We were astounded by the longevity of the previous Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which lasted over 11 hours (11:32, to be exact) in our battery test. Since our battery testing involves tasking the laptop with endlessly browsing the web via Wi-Fi (with screen brightness set to 150 nits) until the battery croaks, it doesn’t really measure how long the laptop can last while gaming, but it’s still a useful benchmark.
Sadly, our Zephyrus G14 (2022) couldn’t quite match the battery efficiency of its predecessor, as our review unit lasted roughly 10 hours and 14 minutes in the same test. That’s over an hour less than its predecessor, which is disappointing. Obviously, it lasts far less time when gaming without the power cord plugged in. When we ran the PCMark 10 battery test on it, which is a decent approximation of running a graphically demanding modern game, the 2022 Zephyrus G14 barely lasted an hour before powering off. This is definitely not a great laptop for gaming unplugged.
This is definitely not a great laptop for gaming unplugged.»
These numbers are decent but disappointing, and they line up with my personal experiences using the laptop. I like to keep my display set a bit brighter than our 150-nit standard, so it’s not too surprising that I was rarely able to get more than 5-8 hours of (non-gaming) use out of the laptop before having to plug in the charger.
10+ hours of battery life is still pretty good for a gaming laptop, don’t get me wrong. Just know that the new Zephyrus may not be quite as long-lived as its predecessor, so it’s a good idea to keep a charging cable handy whenever you’re not plugged in. Luckily it charges pretty quickly, as in a 45-minute charging session I saw the battery indicator climb over 60%.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review: Verdict
The 2022 ROG Zephyrus G14 is a great gaming laptop, delivering a potent blend of performance, portability and power efficiency. The bright 16:10 120Hz display makes games and movies look great, while the speakers sound good enough that you won’t feel compelled to use headphones.
But this new model can’t match the incredible battery efficiency of the old Zephyrus G14, perhaps because of its revamped design, upgraded internals or brighter display. Whatever the reason, the 2022 ROG Zephyrus G14 no longer offers the positively outlandish battery life of its predecessor, though its still far longer-lived than most gaming laptops. And while it’s now got a webcam, the quality of images it captures is so low that you won’t enjoy using it.
Still, this remains a small, slick gaming machine that delivers performance competitive with the best 14-inch gaming laptops on the market. If you don’t like the cut of the Zephyrus G14’s jib you could get similar performance out of the Alienware x14 or Razer Blade 14 for a similar price, but neither’s screen gets nearly as bright. And only the Zephyrus G14 can be had with an AniMe Matrix, a flashy $600 frivolity that I can’t help but love.
Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401Q laptop review — i2HARD
June 2, 2021
Performance and mobile gaming station in 14″ form factor from the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 line: Ryzen 9 5900HS + RTX 3060 Laptop
We already remember the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 series of gaming laptops for their excellent performance and interesting design with an AniMe Matrix LED display on the lid. Now ASUS has introduced an updated model G14 GA401Q — the appearance remains the same, but now the system is based on new 8-core mobile chips from AMD — Ryzen 95900HS/5800HS. In addition, the novelty has two display options: FullHD or WQHD with an increased screen refresh rate of 120 Hz.
We got a model with an older processor and a mobile GeForce RTX 3060 on board for testing — a combination that is promising for both gaming and work tasks. From experience with earlier ROG Zephyrus G14 models, we can say that powerful and hot components coexisted perfectly in a compact 14” case — let’s see if ASUS managed to maintain the same balance.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS 3.1GHz (16MB Cache, up to 4.6GHz)
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop 6GB GDDR6 (60W with ROG Boost, 80W with Dynamic Boost)
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4-3200 SO-DIMM
- Drive: SK Hynix HFM001TD3JX013N 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe 3.0
- Display: 14″, 2560 × 1440, IPS, 60/120 Hz
- Interfaces: 2×USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, 2×USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C, 1×3.5mm mini-jack, 1×HDMI 2.0b
- Network: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax, 2 bands), Bluetooth 5.1
- Battery: 76 Wh, 4S1P, 4 cells, Li-Ion
- Power supply: 100 W, 20 V, 5 A, TYPE-C connector; 180 W ø 6.0 mm, 20 V, 9 A
- Dimensions and weight: 324 × 220 × 20 mm; 1.7 kg
The bundle of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401Q is quite rich, as it should be for top models. In addition to a beautifully designed case with a handle, in some options you can find a carrying bag, a webcam or a branded mouse.
We were a little less lucky and got a more standard package: a set of manuals, booklets with a comic book and two chargers at once (a compact 100 W for easy portability and a more powerful 180 W — two network cables are included with the adapters). At the same time, the compact adapter has a Type-C interface, while the large one has the usual DC 6 mm.
Appearance and features
Externally, the Zephyrus G14 GA401Q is an absolute twin of the previous models in the line: a stylish graphite metal case, slightly angular shapes and a recognizable lid with an additional AniMe Matrix LED display. The surface is matte and fingerprints are hardly noticeable.
The display on the lid serves as the «calling card» of the line, although not all models have it. Even when turned off, fine perforation looks great in the overall design of the laptop.
AniMe Matrix is controlled using the standard ASUS Armory Crate utility. You can set your own drawing, or choose from a library of static or animated images. There are also additional options and the ability to run a ticker across the display from manually entered text.
The weight and dimensions of the Zephyrus G14 GA401Q are minimal — up to 1.7 kg and 14 «, which is quite a bit for a gaming laptop. We managed to achieve this in part due to the use of a magnesium alloy for the body — it turned out to be a really very portable and practical gaming «station».
From below, the model has fairly massive rubber legs and gratings for air to enter the cooling system — two turbines are visible on the sides behind the gratings. There are woofers in the corners (there are 2 pairs in total, 2 more tweeters are located under the topcase plate and directed upwards).
After removing the cover, you can see the CO. There are 4 long heat pipes and two small turbines installed here. Hot air is expelled through radiator grilles on the sides and rear. Only one already occupied M.2 SSD slot is visible. A single slot is also available for RAM — in our configuration, there is a 16 GB module here, the second 16 GB are soldered on the board.
On the left side, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C connectors (with support for DisplayPort 1.4 mode and Power Delivery standard), as well as 3.5 mm combo audio and a 6 mm DC charging port are available.
On the right are 2 USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C ports and a Kensington slot.
At the rear end, the grills for removing hot air are directed upwards, the Zephyrus logo is added in the center.
The hinges at the lid are completely metal and quite solid, it opens tightly and fixes the display well. With one hand, the laptop also opens without problems — at the beginning of the movement, much effort is not required. An opening angle of about 140 degrees is quite a sufficient slope.
The topcase is also metal, the keyboard is slightly recessed. On the sides are grilles above the tweeter cones. In the center are battery, HDD and system status indicators.
The layout of the keyboard is comfortable, which is important for a gaming laptop. Long SHIFT and ENTER, a wide space, even the classic problem with small arrows is partially solved — the keycaps turned out to be almost standard size. The keyboard occupies more space on the topcase than usual, the keys are separated from each other. Separately, the sound control and the call to the Armory Crate utility are moved up.
The touchpad is very high quality and responsive, located in the center and large enough for a 14” form factor – 62×105 mm.
The backlighting of the keys is adjustable, at the maximum level it is quite bright even during the day.
Zephyrus G14 GA401Q received a display with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels increased to QWHD, which creates a high pixel density (210 ppi). An additional plus is the refresh rate of 120 Hz. The matrix here is IPS with a matte finish, so the display will not glare in bright light.
The frames on the sides of the screen are about 8 mm, there is no built-in camera (in some trim levels there is a separate ROG webcam).
The brightness of the display is quite good — the maximum values are about 350 cd/m2. Readability problems should not arise if you do not work in the open sun.
Contrast is at a good level — 1099:1 ANSI.
Viewing angles are good, there is no color distortion; only the brightness decreases as the angle of view increases.
There are no complaints about the uniformity of the backlight either visually or according to DisplayCal tests — the deviations are minimal even for the “strict” ISO 4861:2015 standard.
The color gamut test showed 98.4% sRGB, which can be considered an excellent level and evidence of good matrix quality. Working with color with such coverage is theoretically quite possible.
The extended hue display test has already revealed some missteps in blacks and deep darks, and there are almost no deviations at other points.
The brightness curve of the display matches the reference, the gamma is too low — the average value is slightly less than 2.
The default RGB balance is shifted towards blue, which gives a more contrasty image. The average color temperature is also slightly colder than the standard — about 7200 K.
The Zephyrus G14 GA401Q system was built based on the flagship 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HS, which can handle 16 threads. Chip frequencies — from base 3.3 GHz to 4.6 GHz in boost. 7nm process technology and new Zen 3 architecture delivers significantly faster performance than previous Ryzen 94900H, as well as less heat dissipation — up to 35 watts. Thus, the processor is ideally suited for the role of a productive chip for mobile solutions in the form of gaming laptops, especially compact ones.
The Ryzen 9 5900HS integrates the Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics accelerator with 8 compute units and a frequency of up to 2100 MHz with a dual-channel RAM controller (clocks up to LPDDR4 4266 are supported).
The maximum supported RAM is 32 GB. In our case, this is a 16 GB bar in the only available slot and another 16 GB soldered on the board. The memory operates in 2-channel mode at a frequency of 3200 MHz with timings of 22-22-22-52 CR1. The AIDA64 test shows an average throughput, but small delays and a good exchange rate with the L1 cache.
In addition to the integrated graphics of the RX Vega 8 processor, the laptop has a discrete GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop. A version with a TDP reduced to 60W in standard mode (up to 80W in boost mode) is installed. However, the card is currently one of the fastest on the market, so it should show good FPS in heavy games even at QWHD resolution.
The M.2 2280 drive is represented by the 1TB SK Hynix HFM001TD3JX013N. It supports the NVMe interface and has been used by ASUS in other models of gaming laptops, showing good performance.
According to the CrystalDiskMark and ATTO tests, the speed of the drive shows really good — up to 3600 MB / s for read operations and not less than 2600 MB / s for writing. At the same time, there is a tendency to a slight decrease in the write speed with large volumes of test files.
Like all ASUS gaming laptops, the Zephyrus G14 GA401Q profiles are configured with the Armory Crate utility. There are 4 modes: economical, quiet, efficient and turbo, in which the CPU and GPU frequencies are slightly overclocked. Turbo mode is, of course, the noisiest mode due to the increased heat dissipation of the chips, but we will conduct performance tests in it in order to assess the full potential of the device.
Let’s start by evaluating graphics performance. The 3DMark benchmark test suite will help us with this.
The scores obtained are slightly lower than the RTX 3060 Laptop versions with a TDP close to the maximum 115W, but they differ quite a bit — by a maximum of 5-10%. So in boost mode we get almost full performance, it is not cut down much. Support for DLSS technology can also increase FPS.
In tests, VRMark also shows a good level of performance, only in BLUE ROOM the average frame rate was not too high — about 43 FPS.
In PCMark 10, we get a high score — the merit of a fast disk system and an 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HS processor.
In CINEBENCH R23, the processor shows almost the same performance as the Intel Core i7-1165G7 when loaded on a single core, but outperforms it by more than 2 times in the multi-core test mode.
The result of the standard WinRAR benchmark allows you to feel the benefits of 16 threads — the speed is very impressive. The Corona 1.3 rendering test also worked very quickly, in 1:42 — at the level of the desktop system.
To evaluate performance in games, let’s check two display resolutions — native QWHD 2560×1440 and FullHD 1920×1080.
As we expected, the RTX 3060 Laptop, even with a “shrunk” TDP of up to 60 W, easily copes with QWHD resolution and even more so with FullHD. The minimum FPS from the tested games was shown by Metro Exodus at high settings — 42 FPS, which, in principle, also fits into a relatively comfortable level. In less «heavy» projects at QWHD resolution, 50-100 FPS are freely achieved, which will definitely not create any difficulties when playing. So we can conclude that in the case of the Zephyrus G14 GA401Q, the increased resolution is not redundant, but quite useful in practice, improving the picture quality (and this does not happen so often). Of course, this will only be true for the configuration we tested with the RTX 3060 Laptop.
When switching operating modes in Armory Crate, the FPS drops, but significantly only in quiet mode — by about 40%.
Temperatures and noise levels
The metal case and productive iron in it make the Zephyrus G14 GA401Q quite hot and outwardly — we recorded a maximum of 59 ° C on the surface of the topcase. At the same time, the area around the touchpad does not warm up so much, mainly the far part of the topcase heats up.
The processor, with a TDP of 35 W, warms up under stress to 87 ° C, maximum peak values \u200b\u200bof 93 ° C. In games, the temperature stays within 75-85 ° C on average, which is expected — the Ryzen 9 5900HS is still hot enough for narrow hulls. However, no throttling was observed.
The graphics card chip does not heat up above 82° C, while in games the temperature is also quite high — 75-78° C. For a productive RTX 3060 Laptop, even with a limited TDP, such values \u200b\u200bare normal.
The drive warms up above normal only during long recording — a maximum of 70 ° C, but basically it does not heat up above 50 ° C, so there is no reason to worry.
Productive components suggest high heat dissipation and a powerful cooling system, which in theory will be noisier. Zephyrus G14 GA401Q managed to minimize noise. In turbo mode, this is about 49 dB — a lot, but expected for a 14″ gaming laptop. At the same time, in the standard mode (“effective”), the noise is an order of magnitude less — 46 dB, and in a quiet level it is quite comfortable — no more than 38 dB. These figures were obtained only under load; at idle, the cooling system runs almost inaudibly.
Zephyrus G14 GA401Q comes with two adapters at once — 100W and 180W. The compact adapter provides current up to 5A at 20V, the large one — 9A at 20V. Fast charging is supported — up to 50% in about 30 minutes.
The laptop’s internal battery is lithium-ion, with a capacity of 76 Wh for 4 cells. This reserve is enough for a laptop for 1.5 hours of work in game mode or 10 hours of web surfing, or about 9hours of watching FullHD video is a pretty good result, although not outstanding.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401Q turned out to be even more productive than previous models: such a level for a 14 ”compact and relatively light (1.7 kg) laptop is almost the ceiling of possibilities. The new Ryzen 9 5900HS processor makes the model very fast: 16 threads provide tremendous performance at work, and a high boost frequency of up to 4.6 GHz allows you to realize excellent performance in games. Having also a discrete graphics card RTX 3060 Laptop, we get enough power for games at a resolution of QWHD 2560×1440. Here it is not only for show, but is quite applicable in practice, and quite comfortable FPS show even AAA projects that are demanding on hardware. So in terms of performance, even taking into account the reduced TDP of the video chip, competitors in the 14” form factor for the Zephyrus G14 GA401Q will have to be looked for. If you need a gaming laptop and at the same time compact, then this model will be an excellent choice.
You just need to pay attention that the Zephyrus G14 GA401Q can hardly be called quiet, especially in turbo mode. It is also not very upgrade-oriented — there is only one slot for an M.2 drive and a DDR4 module. The laptop does not have a built-in webcam. On the other hand, there are many additional advantages: metal rugged case typical for the entire Zephyrus line, discreet and stylish design, 4 loud speakers (2 LF + 2 HF) with Dolby Atmos surround sound effect. There is also support for the new Wi-Fi 6 standard (802.11ax). The icing on the cake is a bright display with almost 100% coverage of the sRGB range and a frequency of 120 Hz, as well as the proprietary AniMe Matrix display on the lid, which can display any image with additional effects.
- Well crafted stylish design
- Compact dimensions and low weight of 1.7 kg
- Very high performance for a 14″ laptop
- New Ryzen 9 5900HS
- Discrete graphics card RTX 3060 Laptop
- High-quality IPS matrix with coverage of 98. 4% sRGB
- Display QWHD 2560×1440 120 Hz
- 4 loud speakers with Dolby Atmos 9 technology0016
- Good set of interfaces, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
- Two charging adapters included
- AniMe Matrix LED display on lid
magnesium alloy metal case
- Relatively noisy and hot in turbo mode
- Limited to 80W TDP graphics card
Review Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop with AniMe Matrix display — Reviews and specifications TehnObzor
Author Vasily Hi-tech Reading 13 min Published
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 features a second AniMe Matrix screen on the outside of the laptop. Represents a perforated surface of thousands of holes illuminated by white LEDs. You can display not only text, but graphics and even animation on the panel.
In the latest version, ASUS has fixed the main drawback of the ROG Zephyrus G14: finally adding a webcam. Together with the latest AMD Ryzen 6000 chips and 2022 Radeon G14 GPUs, it looks like a dream gaming machine on paper. But due to significantly higher prices, it is no longer a mass-market device.
Left: DC-in, HDMI 2.0b, 1×USB-C gen2 with data transfer, DP and charging, 3.5mm audio jack
Right: 2×USB-A 3.2, 1×USB-C gen2 data transfer and DP, UHS-II micro SD card reader
76 Wh, 240 W power adapter, USB-C charging up to 100 W
White backlit keyboard, HD 720p webcam with IR, four speakers, optional Anime Matrix display, upgraded vapor chamber cooling module with liquid metal compound.
Design and appearance
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 features a durable magnesium alloy chassis and weighs 1.7kg with the AniMe Matrix display and 100g less without it.
Unlike other ultrabooks, Zephyrus G14 is equipped with all the necessary ports. There are two USB 3.2 Type-C, two USB 3. 2 Type-A, a full-size HDMI 2.0, a combo audio jack and a microSD card reader.
Lid splits diagonally. The lower left half is all white, with the Republic Gamers logo, tinted purple or blue, depending on the angle you’re looking at. The upper right part is a matrix with 14,969 holes (I didn’t count, I believe Asus on the floor).
When the laptop is turned on, they emit light from 1449 mini LEDs, creating what Asus calls an AniMe Matrix display. You can customize the backlight in the included Armory Crate software, including the ability to set a virtual character.
Lifting the lid reveals some of the major changes made to the new G14. We now have a 16:10 aspect ratio display, and while the bezels are thicker than previous versions, Asus has finally added the webcam that the first version lacked.
The screen of the tested Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 received an IPS-matrix with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels.
You can choose between 14-inch 1080p at 144Hz and 1440p at 120Hz, which provide 400 and 500 nits of brightness respectively. In addition to a higher refresh rate and support for Dolby Vision, the aspect ratio is now 16:10, which gives a little more vertical space.
Going from 16:9 to 16:10 may seem like a small change, but once you get used to the latter, there’s no going back. Of course, widescreen movies will have large frames, but in everyday work, page scrolling will be less and games will look more attractive.
It’s a pity Asus doesn’t offer touch screen options, especially since the ErgoLift hinge has been improved and the display folds out to full 180°.
Compared to last year’s model, the Asus Zephyrus G14 has added a 720p webcam.
Alas, the picture quality is not good enough. But there is support for Windows Hello, which recognizes your face to log in using IR illumination.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is small but quite comfortable.
The key travel is satisfactory at 1.2 mm, which helps both in games and in normal typing. The deck is empty, the white magnesium alloy goes well with the white backlighting of the keys. I’m sure some people would like to see RGB here, but I guess white on white looks just as stylish.
There is also a large touch pad that I appreciated. The trackpad is 50% larger than last year’s model, making it much more comfortable to use.
Performance and Cooling
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS octa-core processor with Radeon RX 6700S or 6800S graphics.
With FreeSync Premium support, you won’t experience any tearing or freezing. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the frame rate reached 62 fps at 1440p with maximum graphics settings.
Games like Grand Theft Auto V or Borderlands 3 easily go over 70 fps at 1440p. In terms of ray tracing performance, the G14 is slightly behind the Alienware x14 with the RTX 3060, although it outperforms the competitor in the Handbrake Video test.
Thanks to the improved cooling system, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is much quieter than the 2020 model. The CPU temperature under maximum load does not exceed 85 degrees, and the GPU temperature during testing remained at 75 degrees.
The Silent fan mode lives up to its name and will be very useful if you take your gaming laptop to a quiet coffee shop or conference room.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop comes with pre-release software.
The main software is represented by Armory Crate, a main application with component statistics, fan speed, various performance profiles and the ability to change Anime Matrix display settings.
The parameters control the animation modes, including the ability to upload your own GIFs. You can display notifications, system or mail, display battery level, date and time, audio mode of a music or video player. It is also possible to show a virtual pet.
Available on ROG Zephyrus G14 and MyAsus, a program that allows you to register your laptop for warranty support and doubles some Windows and Armory Crate features. There is also an advertisement for some Asus partners, such as McAfee antivirus.
Speakers and sound
The Asus Zephyrus G14’s four speakers support Dolby Atmos and sound pretty good for a small gaming laptop.
The speakers are very loud, filling my room quickly with sound when I play or listen to music. Guardians of the Galaxy also sounded great, with crisp dialogue and loud soundtracks.
The only audio software on the ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop is the RealTek Audio Console, which doesn’t have a lot of features.
There are 11 Phillips screws on the bottom of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (I used a PH0 bit in the screwdriver).
Three of them are closed with white rubber caps, which I dug out with tweezers. If they are damaged, the workshop will be able to know that you opened the cover when repairs were suddenly needed.
Not all screws are the same length, those on the bottom are longer than the front ones. The bottom right screw is captive, so don’t try to remove it. After unwinding, a slight gap is created into which you can insert a special tool or a guitar pick to detach the base.
The SSD slot is fairly easy to get to; as well as to RAM. But only one connector is available for replacement, the rest is soldered to the board, probably in an attempt to make the laptop so thin. The battery is also fairly easily accessible.
Battery life Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
During my battery test consisting of HD video cycling, the ROG Zephyrus G14 lasted 9 hours and 46 minutes.
This is almost two hours longer than the main competitor — Alienware x14. The bundled 240W power supply also offers faster charging. In a pinch, the laptop can also be charged via the USB-C port on the left.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is still one of the best looking gaming laptops on the market.
The fact that Asus added a much-needed webcam was another big plus. The display here is nice and bright, even better than the Alienware x14. Performance is strong, and AMD SmartShift and SmartAccess technologies further speed up the system.
Of course, this is also due to the fact that the Ryzen 6900HS has lower power consumption. Whether you’re looking for a compact laptop with long battery life for gaming and serious tasks, or a device that can get the job done, the Zephyrus G14 is a great choice.
The new Asus Zephyrus G14 is an incredibly attractive 14-inch laptop. It’s powerful, thin, and has a webcam. This is progress, although Asus has started a new trend, the company continues to learn from its competitors.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop review — video
Vasily is the author of the TehnObzor website, who likes to know something new and about everything. He will unusually write his review and take a picture. A romantic at heart and a technician in life, he has extensive experience and his own, slightly philosophical view.
Design and ergonomics
Display and multimedia
Keyboard and input devices
connectors and ports
Communication and connection
Autonomy of work
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The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a stylish, portable gaming laptop with long battery life and a much-needed webcam.