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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: Admirable Performance Meets High-Key Aesthetics

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

When the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 was unveiled, we thought it was just another gaming laptop. But then, the launch showed another side of the laptop – the AniMe Matrix LED panel. Sure, it’s just aesthetics but the inner geek inside of me just had to give it a try. We managed to get one unit of the G14 in white for review, so let’s get right into the specs.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 – Specifications

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Do take note that the unit we have on hand is indeed one of the many variants of the Asus Zephyrus G14 that will launch in Malaysia on the 29th of June 2020.

SeriesROG Zephyrus G14
Model NameGA401I-VHA232T
DesignMoonlight White with AniMe Matrix
ProcessorAMD Ryzen™ 9 4900HS Processor 3.0 GHz (8M Cache, up to 4.4 GHz)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Graphic CardNVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2060 Max-Q GDDR6 6GB
Display14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz, 100% sRGB, Pantone® Validated, adaptive sync
RAM/
Slots
DDR4 3200 8G*1 + 8G (on-board)
1x RAM Slot (used)
StoragePCIE NVME 1TB M.2 SSD
Wi-Fi / BluetoothIntel Wi-Fi 6(Gig+)(802.11ax) 2*2
Bluetooth 5.0
I/O ports1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with DisplayPort™ 1.4 and Power Delivery
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
1 x Kensington lock
Power180W power adaptor
Support Type-C PD 3.0 up to 65W
Battery76Wh lithium-polymer battery
Keyboard typeWhite backlit chiclet keyboard, N-Key rollover, Power key with Fingerprint, 1.7mm travel distance
Dimension (WxHxD)32.4cm x 22.2cm x 2cm
Weight1.70 kg
Included in the BoxROG Sleeve + ROG Impact Mouse + 65W PD Adapter
Warranty2 Years Global Warranty
(1st year with Perfect Warranty)
PriceRM7,699
Availability DateBy July 2020

Design

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The ROG Zephyrus G14 pushed the boundaries of how a laptop should look like. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off your laptop a little, since you’ve spent countless hours working to save up for it.

Building on a conventional clamshell design, Asus infused the AniMe Matrix LED panel to make the G14 stand out from the rest. It is essentially an LED panel that sits on the top half of the laptop lid, and would showcase whatever images or animation you throw at it. It’s pretty cool, to be honest, because it’s fully customisable. Since it isn’t a full fledged display, it wouldn’t take up as much battery life. It’s a subtle, low-key flexing that would definitely catch the attention of others.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Everything from the material choice down to the build quality gives the laptop that much more substance, so there’s really not much to complain about the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14’s looks.

The laptop does have a bit of heft to it, and you’ll be surprised it weighs only slightly above 1.5KG. But, it’s the good kind of weight that I’m willing to bear because it gives me the reassurance that I’m carrying an aesthetic machine that doesn’t compromise on performance or build quality.

Connectivity wise, you’ll find the USB Type-C 3.2 port, and two USB Type-A 3.2 on the left. On the opposite side, there’s the power port, a full-sized HDMI port, another USB Type-C 3.2 port (bonus!), and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. The ventilation holes on the sides are placed on the back half of the laptop, and that caused the power port and USB Type-C port for charging to move forward.

For a laptop that looks so sleek, I wish Asus would’ve placed the charging ports on the back so there won’t be cables jutting out from the middle of the laptop. The USB-A ports are also placed on the right side, adding more mess to the area where your hands/gaming mouse needs to be.

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That said, if you look at the laptop, there really isn’t any other spots for Asus to move the port to. The laptop is filled with ventilation holes, and in this case, function needs to be over form.

Display

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Why did the Malaysian variant of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 come with a 2K display with 60Hz refresh rate? If the laptop was made for multimedia consumption or photo/video editing, then by all means, go ahead. But the G14 is a multi-lifestyle laptop that is geared towards gaming, and that means refresh rate > display resolution. I would’ve forego the 2K 60Hz display and opted for a Full HD 120Hz because that would make more sense when it comes to gaming.

With that out of the way, don’t get me wrong. The ROG Zephyrus G14’s 14-inch display is still fantastic to look at. It covers 100% of the sRGB colour gamut, and it’s Pantone validated. Details are really sharp, and its brightness levels work great even under direct sunlight. The display could’ve been perfect, it’s just a shame that it’s bottlenecked by the 60Hz refreh rate.

User Experience

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The ROG Zephyrus G14’s keyboard might be one of the best laptop keyboards i’ve ever used. Everything is done right from the keystroke travel distance and the key size, to the layout and positioning. Typing and gaming with the G14’s keyboard is an absolute pleasure, no matter if you’re at home or out and about. Asus made more space for the arrow cluster to not be squished, and for the extra function keys to be moved upwards. I’d appreciate having the keys spread out on the laptop than have everything compacted into a perfectly rectangular layout.

But, when it comes to keyboard backlighting, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t come with RGB. It only has a standard white backlit keyboard, which I feel isn’t bright enough.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The trackpad on the G14 is wider, but it is also shorter. It is positioned more towards the right so my palm would sometimes get in the way. But, palm rejection works great and the trackpad itself is truly smooth to navigate on. Also, the laptop does come with an ROG Strix Impact gaming mouse that’s compatible with Asus’ Aura Sync. If you wish, you can ditch the trackpad and use the mouse full-time, complete with Aura Sync goodness.

Asus almost made the best choice when it comes to the connectivity ports. It has multiple USB Type-A and Type-C ports to connect all your devices. One of the USB Type-C even supports power delivery and DisplayPort, so you can pair that up with the HDMI port to connect two external display simultaneously. Why I mentioned “almost” is because of the lack of an SD/microSD card reader. Since the G14 is a laptop that is made for “multi-lifestyle”, content creators would also be eyeing on this laptop. Sure, they could just use a dongle or external card reader for this, but it would’ve been swell if Asus just included one on the laptop itself.

Performance

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is packed with AMD’s Ryzen 9 4900HS processor paired with Nvidia GeForce RTX2060 Max-Q Design that has 6GB of GDDR6 RAM. I have absolutely no complaints when it comes to the performance of this beast, because it just works as expected. Daily use, apps and software launch almost instantaneously and there hasn’t been any hiccups at all. Games run smooth, and the usual Dota 2 and CS:GO work flawlessly, with the laptop handling AAA titles on “High” like butter.

That being said, all the bells and whistles are all great, but if you’re gaming with your hands on the laptop itself, the laptop can get uncomfortably hot. It heats up as fast as it cools down on the Magnesium alloy chassis. So, if you’re gaming at home, you’re better off using a keyboard and mouse.

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I’ve updated the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 to the latest version of Windows (Build 2004) and GeForce Game Ready driver (451.48 with DirectX12 Ultimate).

Here are some of the games and benchmarking tests we put the laptop through:

PCMark 10 – Extended

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: Admirable Performance Meets High-Key Aesthetics 19

3DMark

FFXIV: Shadowbringers

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: Admirable Performance Meets High-Key Aesthetics 26

Cinebench R20

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Metro Exodus

Audio

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14’s speakers has great mids and highs, but lacks the bass. Good thing is, there’s no distortion whatsoever even at 100% volume. When it comes to gaming, vocals are clear and you can hear every little game detail with a surround sound effect. When it comes to music listening or movies, vocals have great clarity as if the actor/actress or artist is right in front of you. Synths sound amazing on EDM tunes, but when it’s time for that sweet bass drop, it’s a little subdued and lacks depth, making it “feel” like the woofer has been placed quite far back.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Battery

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has a TDP of 35W working with the laptop’s large 76Whr battery. On daily use, I was able to get about 8 hours and 30 minutes of use. This includes Spotify playing music in the background, watching YouTube videos, article reading and writing, social media surfing, as well as some light photo editing on Photoshop. On our video playback loop test, we looped a 1080p video until the battery dies, and the G14 lasted 9 hours and 57 minutes.

In the box, you’ll even get two chargers. One is the standard charging brick, and the other a USB Type-C 65W fast charger. So, you could leave the charging brick at home and just bring the slightly smaller USB-C charger with you. Even if you forget it, as long as you have the right charger with the right wattage, you can charge it too.

Conclusion

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 breaks the barrier between form and function. Not only does it look good, it performs remarkably as well with a great overall user experience.

Priced at RM7,699, the G14 packs not just a punch, but an uppercut to the competition. Being this multi-lifestyle laptop, it caters to a wide range of audiences. From content creators to gamers, and even those in the corporate world if they want to show a little personality. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 suits almost everyone, promising reliable performance under its mad aesthetics.

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Written By

Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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