Asus Zephyrus G14 Review: Compact and Powerful Gaming Laptop

The Asus Zephyrus G14 redefines gaming on the go plus ensuring you get to do other things too.

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Asus Zephyrus G14 display 1
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The Asus Zephyrus G14 has a lot of great things going for it.  Before we begin, the Asus Zephyrus G14 fills in or rather creates its own class – between compact ultrabooks and 15″ performance ultrabooks – and in this new segment, it rules undisputed.

In this small form factor, the laptop managed to tick all the right boxes – from excellent performance, design and build quality, punchy display, strong speakers and no compromises on ergonomics.

It’s a great time to start considering getting an Asus laptop for not only gaming but also doing productive work and the Asus Zephyrus G14 marries both plus more in the compact package that the laptop comes in.


It’s imperative to get a powerful and capable laptop now that most of us are working from home.

Displays14-inch, 2560 x 1440 px IPS 60 Hz, 16:9, non-touch, matte, ActiveSync,
ProcessorOctacore AMD RYZEN 9 4900HS
dGPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q
RAM16GB LPDDR4
StorageIntel NVMeSSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8, 1024 GB
Battery 4-cell 76Wh 4800mAh, 180W adapter
Additional featuresSpeakers: 2x 2.5 W stereo + 2x 0.7 W tweeters, Keyboard: Chiclet, backlit Keyboard, Armoury Crate
Camera-
ConnectivityWi-fi 6 with upto 2.4Gbps, Bleutooth 5.0
PortsRight side: USB Type-C Gen. 2 3.2, 2x USB 3.2 Gen. 1 Type-A, Kensington Lock
Left side: AC adapter, HDMI 2.0b, USB Type-C Gen. 2 3.2 w/ DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery, 3.5 mm combo audio
AudioDolby Atmos
ColourMoonlight White, Eclipse Grey
Weight1.6kgs

The Asus Zephyrus G14 not only features the latest and top of the line components including AMD RYZEN 9 4900HS processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU and a premium design making it ideal for your next laptop purchase.Asus Zephyrus G14 keyboard outside 2

Design, Display, Inputs and Keyboard

The Asus Zephyrus G14 rocks a pretty solid design. The look is minimal and if you aren’t familiar with the Zephrus line, wouldn’t think its a gaming laptop except for the tweaks on the metal build to aid with cooling.

Our unit came in Moonlight White’ but you can get in one in Eclipse Gray too.

Overall, the laptop is very light at close to 1.6kgs thanks to the magnesium-aluminium alloy gracing its deck, chassis, and lid making it portable for both work or play.

It’s worth noting the laptop being compact doesn’t hinder its full-fledged gaming capabilities.

The small chassis has a lot of horsepowers underneath. The lid has a diagonal-split design with one side with perforations which are a pattern of dots.Asus Zephyrus G14 back

Sadly our unit didn’t come with AniMe Matrix display that allows each dot to have microLED lights for that RGB sweetness.

The lid is easily opened just by using the tip of your finger to raise it when the laptop is closed. The base is rigid too for added strength.Asus Zephyrus G14 vents outside

The display features very small bezels apart from the relatively huge chin at the bottom. The laptop sadly doesn’t come with a webcam so you’ll need to buy one separately. However, you get a pair of microphones at the top of the screen.Asus Zephyrus G14 webcam

There are a couple of ventilation grilles on the outside edge to help with cooling.Asus Zephyrus G14 right side ports

Asus nailed the build quality as usual.

The ErgoLift hinge at the back raises the laptop a little bit for cooling too.

This lifting not only puts the keyboard at an angle for easier typing but also gives the display a better viewing angle.Asus Zephyrus G14 ErgoLift hinges

Hot air coming out is split and sent partly to the sides, downwards and upwards. The small fins at the vent further send it to the sides and not to the screen.

The relatively huge chin raises the display even higher to avoid the exhaust so it remains cool.

The power button has an interesting shape and also function as a smart fingerprint sensor. Once powered up, you can use it to log in to your Windows account.Asus Zephyrus G14 power button

On the right side is a USB Type-C Gen. 2 3.2 port, two USB 3.2 Gen. 1 Type-A port and a Kensington Lock.Asus Zephyrus G14 ports outside 2

On the left side is the AC charging port, HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm combo audio and a  USB Type-C Gen. 2 3.2 with DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery.Asus Zephyrus G14 ports 2

The USB-C ports can be used to charge the laptop but only if you have a third-party 65W charging brick.

The USB-C port on the right only supports data transfers

You get Wi-Fi 6(Gig+) for wireless connectivity.

Ports aside, the screen is the jewel of the laptop among other key features. You get a 14” 60Hz QHD display(2560 x 1440 resolution).

With the different Asus Zephyrus G14 models, you either pick higher refresh rate or higher resolution. The 120Hz models come with FHD(1920 x 1080 px)

However, you get higher contrast, increased sharpness and deeper blacks offered by the QHD panel.

The screen offers decent brightness and colour that is welcome now that we’re stuck at home binge-watching tv shows and movies we never got time to finish before the pandemic struck.Asus Zephyrus G14 display 5

Gamers will love Active Sync that eliminates screen tearing. It is rather slow, so expect ghosting especially if you’re playing competitive titles.

It’s 270 nits in brightness will sufficiently hold its own even outdoors in your balcony gaming or lazily finishing watching Friends.

It won’t suffice under direct sunlight or in brighter environments.

When it comes to audio, this bad boy is loud but in a good way. The Asus Zephyrus G14 rocks a pair of 0.7-watt tweeters and another pair of 2.5-watt speakers that offer great volume, robust sound, and decent bass.

Individual vocals and instruments can be heard playing when listening to music.Asus Zephyrus G14 speaker 1 upward

Dolby Atmos comes through with audio processing to offer immersive sound for movies, music, and games. The speakers add enough depth.

The dedicated Dolby app allows you to select from a couple of preset audio modes that have been optimized for movies, gaming, and voice-centric media. The presets include Voice, Music, Game, Movie, and Dynamic.

You can also tweak the settings with custom presets offered by the graphical EQ options.

The Keyboard is well designed with the individual keys well spaced out with a decent typing feel that’s crisp, fairly quiet and responsive.

They’re backlit too but not with the RGB lighting its other gaming laptops have.Asus G14 keyboard backlit

Also, there is poor contrast in regards to the backlit keyboard.

If you get the white version, expect to have this issue. The keys have silver caps with grey text and the LEDs only light up the clear text on the keyboard making the backlit shine inconsistently across the keyboard.

The touchpad is relatively huge and features a glassy smooth surface. Both left and right clicks are distinct too. You can also use multitouch gestures including double finger swiping for both working and playing. The glide is also smooth.

And since its a gaming laptop, Asus included dedicated gaming buttons at the top. you get keys for the Armoury Crate, (Republic of Gamers control panel), volume controls and mute the mic.

Performance

The Asus is beauty with brains. It comes with AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS processor and 16GB of memory that ensures you have seamless productivity.

Browsing the web on multiple Chrome tabs, editing video and photos, checking up email and replying, opening several Office programs, streaming music or YouTube was a breeze.

The 1TB SSD is pretty speedy especially if you’re copying stuff.Asus G14 read write speeds

All this heavy lifting without triggering the fans. No slowdown with this beast.

Under the chassis, the Asus Zephyrus G14 rocks Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM to handle all your gaming needs.

Work hard. Play even harder.

The dedicated GPU is based on the latest NVIDIA Turing architecture, which melds dedicated cores for real-time ray tracing.

This combination enables improved lighting, shadows, reflections and other in-game effects, and it also offers a diverse array of computing resources for accelerating demanding workloads like content creation, 3D modelling, and deep learning.

Light games like Asphalt or Modern Combat fared really even on demanding settings.

Relatively more graphic intense games could kickstart the fan noise but it was quieter than regular gaming laptops.

The included 6GB OF VRAM and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU handle whatever games you throw at them. While gaming, the Asus Zephyrus G14 delivered solid frame rates at 1080p resolution.

If you are a huge gamer who keeps playing different games including Hitman, Far Cry 5, Call oF Duty, Doom Eternal, Tomb Raider, GTA, then you’ll love the Asus Zephyrus G14.

The Asus Zephyrus G14 also has support for playing VR games.

If you have an external monitor, expect solid gaming performance especially with the lid closed when you connect as you now get full power GPU and limited CPU power allocation.

If you can, get a vertical stand to deal with the heat issues when the lid is closed. If you can’t, just play with the lid open.

There are some apps that come with the laptop.

The Armoury Crate which we’ve seen on other Asus gaming laptops allows user stop manage the GPU, CPU, fan performance among other settings you can play around with including customizing the key lighting, creating profiles for performance and lighting based on what you’re playing and aggregate game from other launchers.Asus Zephyrus G14 gaming

Armoury Crate has four modes:

  • Silent (under 35db) which reduces CPU/GPU speeds and power to prioritizes lower fan noise ideal for video and light use, not great for multitasking.
  • Performance mode (under 41dB) is a balanced profile with stock CPU/GPU settings and is suitable for daily multitasking
  • Turbo(45dB) is a high-performance mode that features increased CPU power allocation and overclocked GPU
  • Manual is similar to Turbo only that you can manually create fan curves for the CPU and GPU based on temperature thresholds. Dedicated gamers will love this mode.

It’s with noting that the bottom two modes only work when the laptop is plugged in.

GameVisual app comes in handy to adjust the colour of your display. GameFistV app will monitor and limit you network bandwidth for certain apps.

The MyAsus app will run diagnostics and hardware checks on the laptop.

The laptop didn’t have any heat issues thanks to all the complex thermal module, the two large and self-cleaning fans under the chassis and the vents. The palm rest and touchpad remained cool even in heavy gaming.

Battery Life

The icing on the metaphorical cake that is the Asus Zephyrus G14 is the amazing battery life. You’d think its small size would compromise on its battery life but no. The Asus comes with a 76Wh battery which on heavy usage in between gaming and demanding work, the Asus pushed to 11 hours. I’m pretty sure it can do more for casual work or light gaming.

With this powerful endurance, your worries of not getting work done once power goes off vanish.

I was waking up in the morning and heading to the balcony to do some work, binge watch Netflix and game a little bit without having to drag the charger with me.

Verdict

Don’t underestimate the Asus Zephyrus G14. When the old said that good things come in small packages, they had the Asus Zephyrus G14 in mind. Only that the Asus is great in this analogy. It’s small making it portable and that great battery life makes it even extra portable, that display is solid, audio is rich, performance both for work and gaming is top-notch thanks to its top of the line hardware and processors.

AMD is giving Intel a run for its money as they(Intel) dominated the space for small gaming laptops but the Ryzen 4000 series is slowly filling that space as seen by the Asus Zephyrus G14.

The two downsides I had is that it lacked a webcam which to me isn’t a deal-breaker as you can get a detachable one for your video conferencing needs. I could live with the weak backlight issue or better get the Grey version.

The Asus Zephyrus G14 has become one of my favourite compact laptops as its both a well capable work and gaming machine. And I’m not expecting any laptop with the power, premium build and portability like the Asus Zephyrus G14 anytime soon.

Pricing and Availability


At the time of publishing, Asus hadn’t confirmed the pricing and availability of the laptop.

We’ll update this section with more information.

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