The ROG Zephyrus G14 takes a bold new turn for every content creator looking to personalize their machine while keeping a strict performance-first policy.
With every new iteration of gaming laptops that wish to woo creators and designers, the ‘gamer’ design mostly fails to seduce architectural nerds and Photoshop wizards. This time, however, the G14 steps in to fix that problem because it put the creators first. We had a long chat with Asus and they were pretty vocal about positioning the G14 for creators first, and gamers second.
So, can the ROG Zephyrus G14 deliver on its promise for snappy performance crammed in a stellar design? Very much.
G for good lookin’
The choice of colour for the G14 is not a common one. Instead of sticking to safer dark shade, this Zephyrus stands out among its contemporaries. The Moonlight White finish isn’t the only thing you’re going to love about the G14. Its AniMe Matrix LED lid is going to body shame other laptops. Almost half of the lid is covered in LEDs that can be customised to your liking. We plastered our Stuff logo first thing and quickly took pictures for it to show other people. Safe to say that even in a pandemic, technology continues to wow people, no matter how gimmicky it may be.
You can add gifs, scrolling texts and basically anything that is possible of an LED. Once you’re over its LED antics, which is not short lived, the Zephyrus doesn’t leave its maturity behind. The Magnesium-alloy chassis and functional design gets more things done.
There are plenty of ports and enough bezel-bashing to keep you satisfied and without a connection adapter. Previous generations of Zephyrus would have an underbelly panel that would rise up and make way for the air to pour in but the G14 doesn’t do that. Instead it borrows the less complicated ErgoLift hinge design from its non-gamer brethrens (ZenBooks). It allows the top of the laptop to rise up slightly when you lift the lid open. Useful and easy.
Our G14 unit is specced out at max. It's the best offering from Asus for their Zephyrus G14 line up and it also means this is the best G14 money can buy and in return you get the best of the best innards crammed into a thin and light shell.
Remember we said how Asus is wooing creators? Well, AMD’s Ryzen 9 4900HS along with 6GB of VRAM on the RTX 2060 Max-Q design is plenty enough for all your creative juices. The laptop absolutely smashes through most softwares we tested without any issue. Creators and designers will be happy with the Pantone calibrated 2K display. It’s capped at 60Hz but we’re not complaining.
It does heat up quite a bit. Cramming all that tech and AMD’s multithreading performance into a 14in footprint is going to sting a bit. It’s not throttling as bad as the i9 MacBooks but it does heat up quite a bit. Make sure you’re hugging the air con while working this baby.
It’s also a master at managing battery life when not dealing with performance hungry tasks. Office work and Photoshop don’t dent its battery life as much. We pulled a good 6hours or so without visiting a plug point. In case you want to drop the power brick to charge this thing, it also supports 65W charging through USB Type-C. A handy feature for traveling light and kicking the weight out.
Screen and Keyboard
The 2K display with Pantone validated screen is an absolute stunner. The colours ain’t as crisp as on the MacBooks but it's thoughtfully calibrated. The 60Hz is going to leave some gamers a bit disappointed but trust us, this is the perfect combination. Anything higher and it might lose its colour fidelity and on 2K resolution, you’re better off playing single player stunners like Doom Eternal and Red Dead Redemption 2. CS:GO and Valorant players should probably look at the lower models with lower resolution but higher refresh rate.
Asus haven’t skimped on the keyboard. The Magnesium Alloy around the keyboard area feels nice on the skin and the key travel is plenty for maximum typing joy. There’s also a fingerprint scanner hiding under the power button but in our use it wasn’t as seamless as we’d like.
The touchpad was another area where the laptop could potentially use more real estate but since everyone assumes creators and gaming folks to use a mouse it won’t be a big deal. You can get around and use this laptop without a mouse. The quality and materials used is top-notch, something you’d expect from a laptop that demands a lakh and a half.
For the money you put down, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the most exciting and powerful laptops available in 2020. Even the audio is not half as bad as it was last time. The speakers are plenty loud and won’t make you want to put a pair of headphones after a listen.
Asus’ G14 is offering gimmicks and performance on equal footing. Which for many is a complete experience. We’d like to talk more about how beautiful this laptop looks and feels but then that’d be underselling its fantastic performance value.