The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14. This is a highly-anticipated laptop and rightfully so – because it’s using the latest AMD Ryzen mobile CPU. But that’s not the only key highlight feature of the Zephyrus G14.
I’m talking about a brand new design, the AniMe Matrix, and many little quality of life things that ASUS got it right with this laptop.
So let’s start off with the performance of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14. The one that we have here is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600HS coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, and also 8GB of RAM alongside 512GB of M.2 SSD.
I would say that the performance is as expected. I mean, within expectations – the configuration of the ROG Zephyrus G14 that we have here is still going to be a fairly powerful gaming laptop if you turn down the graphical settings a little to get a smooth 60fps. To achieve that 120Hz though, probably need to lower the graphical settings even more.
But that’s okay since this laptop’s display supports adaptive sync to prevent screen tearing.
As for the temperatures, the CPU might be a little toasty as it can reach 90°C in certain games, but don’t worry – it’s fine. The GPU is kept nice and cool at about 77°C most of the time.
Opening up the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is pretty simple. Here, we can see that ASUS made good use of the available space and a big portion of it.
Looking at the motherboard itself, the only thing that we can do here is to swap out the existing M.2 SSD upgrade and add another RAM. While I obviously prefer double RAM slots to be user-serviceable, I think this is an acceptable compromise.
The WiFi card can be swapped, but it already came with an Intel WiFi 6 AX200 network card anyway.
Okay – we’ll start with the new design. The new Zephyrus G14 has a sleek design which I absolutely like. It has this boxy design with rounded corners which somehow looks… exceptionally sleek.
The one we have here is in white color and of course, we have to address the elephant in the room – those holes on the lid. The ROG Zephyrus G14 comes with the AniMe Matrix. They’re an array of white-colored LEDs which you can customize with your own text or animation.
If you’re on Facebook or YouTube, then you’ve probably seen a video of me explaining how to use the AniMe Matrix.
The customizability of the AniMe Matrix is surprisingly vast, and it truly depends on how far your creativity will bring you. For us, well – we’ll put memes on it because that’s how we roll.
Because of the AniMe Matrix, the laptop lid itself is thicker than most laptops – but this lid is made out of magnesium alloy with 6,536 holes milled with precision by a CNC machine. This lid is rigid and has little to no flex.
Actually, the entire laptop is also very sturdy. The deck is silver-colored and is made out of magnesium-aluminum alloy and then finished with a fingerprint-resistant coating. But because the chassis is mostly built with magnesium alloy, this laptop we have weighs in at only 1,719 grams. That’s impressive.
This laptop – surprisingly – also has the ErgoLift hinge. When the lid is opened, the laptop is raised up and propped up at an angle. What I don’t like here is how easy it is for those two rubber strips to become dirty. And since this laptop is white in color, the dirty rubber strips become very apparent.
Being a ROG laptop, it needs to have that “gaming” DNA in it. The exact configuration that we have here is a 14-inch 1080p panel with 120Hz refresh rate. It also supports adaptive sync, has 100% sRGB, and Pantone validated.
Okay, so I’m going to be real here. This display looks fantastic. I love the colors that come out of it but I’m not sure if it’s an issue with Windows or just the graphics driver in general – it seems there’s a dynamic contrast thing going on here, which is especially obvious since there’s a slow transition while viewing pages in dark mode and jump to light mode suddenly.
Either way, the bezels on the sides are relatively thin – except for the bottom. At least that ErgoLift hinge hides some of the massive chin. Also, there’s no webcam on the ROG Zephyrus G14. If you want to use a webcam you’ll have to get an external webcam instead.
Small, yet great trackpad
ASUS somehow manages to show us that there is nothing wrong with a smaller-sized trackpad if it is done well. This trackpad uses Windows Precision Touchpad drivers and it tracks very well. I love how this trackpad feels, by the way.
Instead of describing how great the trackpad feels, let me share with you my experience. I did this entire AniMe Matrix video using only the trackpad and I have no complaints about it.
One positive side effect here is that the smaller trackpad means no palm rejection issue – which I was taking for granted until just now.
When it comes to the keyboard, it’s using a tenkeyless keyboard – which means no number pad – and the typing feel on this keyboard is amazing. I love this keyboard a lot because they manage to balance out the stiffness and bounciness of the keys, making it responsive and just great to type on.
The keyboard layout that the ROG Zephyrus G14 is pretty standard for a 14-inch laptop and my only complaint is the arrow key arrow. It’s a half-sized arrow key cluster and it’s just something that we have to get used to.
And since we’re already talking about complaints, the location of the I/O ports is an issue for me.
On the left side, we have:
- Barrel jack for power
- Full-sized HDMI port
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) Type-C port
- DisplayPort Alt Mode
- USB-PD support
- Combo audio jack
While on the right, we have:
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) Type-C port
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) Type-A ports
Essentially, I can’t plug an external mouse without the USB connector getting in the way. My complaint here can be solved by just moving one of the Type-A ports are on the right side. Having one on the left side would solve the issue.
Before we forget – the Zephyrus G14 also comes with 4 speakers in total. Two big ones are bottom-firing, and two smaller ones are top-firing. They sound surprisingly good and loud at the same time – so yes, you can use this laptop on your lap and still enjoy music with the loudspeakers.
Speaking of battery life, this laptop comes with a 76Wh battery. From our test, we got about 6 hours of battery life with our usual workload with AniMe Matrix showing Electroboom’s eyebrows.
I’d say it’s quite good in terms of battery life and ASUS also included two different power bricks with the ROG Zephyrus G14. There’s the standard 180W charger with a barrel jack, and also a smaller 65W charger with a USB Type-C port. Both of these use different plugs, by the way.
The latter is because the ROG Zephyrus G14 supports USB-PD charging. Of course, the smaller charger is not meant to be used while gaming – but it does still give life to the laptop.
We also did a test to compare and see how long it takes to charge from 15% to 100% while idle. It doesn’t make much of a difference while charging in an idle state, and I also have no idea why there’s a dip while charging using the 180W charger.
Either way, I truly appreciate this feature since I can charge this laptop using an 18W smartphone charger. It’s slow, yes – but I’m going to sleep anyway. So I just leave it to charge overnight.
Should you buy the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14?
Okay – so the price of this exact configuration of the Zephyrus G14 is at RM5,299. Looking purely at the specs itself, it might seem expensive. But the true value of this laptop is in its build quality, the materials used to build this laptop, the keyboard, the trackpad, and obviously – the AniMe Matrix.
I mean, this laptop is an attention-grabber. Whenever I take out this laptop, the first question I get is – what are those holes? When I boot it up, everyone goes wow. Then it just snowballs from there. The AniMe Matrix is a unique feature that I truly like – especially since it can show time and date. But it’s showing to the other person, not to the user of this laptop.
That aside, this is a very well-built laptop. While ASUS is positioning this as a gaming laptop, I see it as a great laptop for almost all types of workloads – including creative work like photo and video since it does have a Pantone validated screen.