ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – a 14-inch Gaming Laptop that Promises no Return

ASUS Zephyrus G14

$1,698.99
9.6

Built Quality

9.0/10

Design

10.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Customization

10.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Portability

10.0/10

Value

10.0/10

Advantages

  • 14-inch form factor
  • Excellent chassis built
  • Powerful processor
  • Expandable memory storage
  • AniMe Matrix customization
  • Centralized management for Aura-Sync
  • Excellent speaker quality
  • Decent cooling technology
  • Wi-Fi 6-enabled client
  • No webcam

Disadvantages

  • Single-zone keyboard backlight
  • Expensive
Figure 1: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Introduction
Figure 1: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Introduction

The Zephyrus G14 powered by the latest Ryzen 4000 Series Mobile processors, Ryzen 9 4900HS with 8-core and 16-threads clocking at 3.0GHz. The graphics card responsible to provide visual through the Pantone Validated display is NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2060. The Zephyrus G14 utilizes Adaptive-Sync technology.

Figure 2: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Standard Accessories
Figure 2: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Standard Accessories

Out of the box, you will be getting a unit of Zephyrus G14, along with a power adapter, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C charging adapter, two power cables, a user manual, a warranty card and a Strix Impact gaming mouse as a compliment.

Figure 3: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Zephyrus G14 powered by Ryzen 9 4900HS and RTX 2060.
Figure 3: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Zephyrus G14 powered by Ryzen 9 4900HS and RTX 2060.

Recently, ASUS launched the most anticipated gaming laptop of the year 2020, the Zephyrus G14. Briefing further, the Zephyrus G14 designed to provide raw power within the ultra-slim chassis in the form of 14-inch form factor. Unlike the TUF Gaming A15, the Zephyrus G14 has its own customized cooling technology with Zen 2 core architecture. Featuring non-glare display with 120Hz refresh rate, the Zephyrus G14 strives to provide an excellent gaming experience within 14-inch form factor thanks to its 100% sRGB color space. One thing I personally liked about the Zephyrus G14, it doesn’t have a webcam. This means you don’t really have to use a tape to cover your laptop’s lid that further adds discomfort to the eyes of OCD-users. I don’t normally prefer for a laptop to have a webcam since for privacy driven people, we don’t really use webcam unless it is required.

  • Figure 3A: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Right-Side View
  • Figure 5: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Left-Side View

The Zephyrus G14 comes small in size with 32.4cm x 22.2cm x 1.99cm, weighting approximately 1.7kg. The standard I/O panels that featured through the chassis are, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, a HDMI 2.0b, a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack and a Kensington lock. I personally liked the design of Zephyrus G14 to be honest.

Specifications

The specification of ASUS Zephyrus G14 is as follows:

ModelROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
ProcessorAMD Ryzen™ 9 4900HS
GraphicsNVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060
6GB GDDR6 VRAM (Boost Clock: 1285, 65W)
MemoryDDR4 3200MHz SDRAM (up to 32GB)
SSDM.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 1TB
Display14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz, 100% sRGB, Pantone® Validated, adaptive sync
KeyboardBacklit chicklet keyboard
Hot keys: Volume up / Volume down / Microphone mute / ROG Armoury Crate
N key rollover
Audio2 x 2.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology
2 x 0.7W tweeter, Array Microphones
With Dolby Atmos technology
SoftwareArmoury Crate
GameFirst VI
GameVisual
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
Wi-Fi / BluetoothIntel® Wi-Fi 6 with Gig+ performance (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.0
DimensionWidth: 32.4cm
Depth: 22.2cm
Height: 1.79cm (Regular); 1.99cm (AniMe Matrix™)
WeightRegular: 1.6kg
AniMe Matrix™: 1.7kg
Table 1: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Specifications

User Experience

Before I proceed to share my experience using the Zephyrus G14 for about a week, I’ve updated the driver and system to their latest builds. This is to ensure, I able to get the thoroughgoing result to be shared in the tables below. The driver used to benchmark process also from the latest build. For each test, I’ve set a five-minute interval for best result.

Armoury Crate

Zephyrus G14 has a few standard ASUS software bundled together operating system. These includes ASUS’s Armoury Crate and Game Visual.

  • Figure 6: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Armoury Crate Dashboard
  • Figure 7: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - System Monitor
  • Figure 8: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Aura Sync

Armoury Crate software provides centralized management for Zephyrus G14. The software allows you to control all your ASUS’s peripherals. Three standard profile given, Silent, Performance and Turbo. For users who like to customize the laptop’s performance further, you can opt to use the Manual profile that based on your tweaking. Another interesting feature is Aura Sync. If you use ROG-peripherals, say ROG Theta, TUF H7, Strix Go 2.4, Strix Impact II, Strix Evolve. ROG Pugio or Strix Carry, you can utilize the aura effects.

  • Figure 9: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - AniMe Matrix (Content Library)
  • Figure 10: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - AniMe Matrix (Animation Setting)
  • Figure 11: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Figure 10: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - AniMe Matrix (Text Effects)

Do you really like your laptop’s lid to display animated logo’s or your customized text, like how we can customized Windows 7‘s screen saver before? Well, now you can. I mean, you can customize the Zephyrus G14’s lid with your own animation effect. Republic of Gamers released a tutorial video on how to customize the AniMe Matrix and the video can be viewed here. Such features really helps you to boost your creativity, in fact, you can propose your own crush via your own creativity. Interesting right?

  • Figure 12: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Dolby Atmos Dashboard
  • Figure 13: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Equalizer Customization

Another interesting software that bundled together with Zephyrus G14 is the Dolby Atmos software. It allows you to customize the audio quality. This will further help you to have a wonderful music session via your speaker or headset.

Figure 14: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Speaker Overview
Figure 14: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Speaker Overview

The built-in speaker of Zephyrus G14 probably the best, I’ve heard so far. Thanks to tweak-able equalizer settings in the Dolby Atmos, it further enhances the audio output through the speaker with excellent quality.

Figure 15: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Keyboard Overview
Figure 15: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Keyboard Overview

When I am buying a laptop, the first thing I will always have a look on is the keyboard layout and the palm rest’s surface area. Surprisingly, the Zephyrus G14 has the best keyboard layout out there with solid feel when pressed on it. If you happen to a keying in details in rush, the keyboard able to capture your input with ease. Now, this is what I personally call, cope up with my speed.

Processor Performance

I’ve put the Ryzen 9 4900HS into a series of CPU test. The first software used is the GeekBench 5 to measure the reading of each profile.

ProfileSingle CoreMulti Core
Silent11436194
Performance12137771
Turbo12147773
Table 2: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – GeekBench 5 Scoreboard

Based on the Table 2 above, the processor performance varies for the each profile type. Switching to Turbo mode gives the best result out there.

ProfileSingle CoreMulti Core
Silent4653573
Performance4854174
Turbo4884187
Table 3: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Cinebench R20 Scoreboard

The next test was conducted using Cinebench R20 software. Based on the Table 3 on above, the processor performs stands top in the benchmark list, marking the Ryzen 9 4900HS, a powerful processor.

  • Figure 16: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Ryzen 9 4900HS vs i9-9900K
  • Figure 17: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review - Ryzen 9 4900HS vs i9-9900KF

Using a standard CPU-Z tool, I’ve run a simple CPU benchmark. Using Intel’s desktop processor, i9-9900K (@ 3.60GHz – 8C/16T) and i9-9900KF (@ 3.60GHz – 8C/16T) as reference, I able to record both single thread and multi thread performance. Based on the outcome, the Ryzen 9 4900HS performs better than i9-9900KF in terms of multi-core while loosing in terms of single core performance.

Game Rendering Performance

When it comes to game rendering benchmark, I used Heaven UNIGINE software. The API mode used is DirectX 11 and the profile was set to high. I’ve recorded each profile-type result in the table below.

ProfileSilentPerformanceTurbo
FPS8285.991.7
Score216321942309
Min FPS8.935.438.5
Max FPS148.1149.7156.9
Table 4: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Cinebench R20 Scoreboard

Based on the data above, Turbo mode, once again proved to be the most useful mode. I able to get the highest FPS reading with max FPS of 156.9. For gamers, this is a good news. The result obtained is certainly better than the TUF Gaming A15, I’ve reviewed previously.

Storage Performance

The storage drive capacity of Zephyrus G14 that given to me is the 1TB version. The benchmark tool used for this test is the CrystalDiskMark Standard Edition. The test case used to perform this test were left in its default state.

Test Count:5Test Size:1 GiBTest Drive:C:/Test Units:MB/s
Table 5: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G41 Review – CrystalDiskmark Test Condition and Scoreboard
Profile Type Read [MB/s] Write [MB/s]
Silent SEQ1M Q8T1 1654.7 1742.3
SEQ1M Q1T1 623.2 878.0
RND4K Q32T16 512.1 431.4
RND4K Q1T1 49.96 109.1
Performance SEQ1M Q8T1 1697.3 1792.7
SEQ1M Q1T1 624.0 883.9
RND4K Q32T16 519.7 440.6
RND4K Q1T1 51.92 113.7
Turbo SEQ1M Q8T1 1708.1 1771.0
SEQ1M Q1T1 628.6 898.6
RND4K Q32T16 521.9 451.8
RND4K Q1T1 52.11 115.5

Based on the storage performance test, I able to get maximum read and write output on turbo mode. This is useful if you are a content-creator or gamer that rely on Zephyrus G14 to do a quick video encoding using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects or OBS to record your gameplay. Turbo mode proves to be useful for content creators and gamers.

Wireless Performance

The Zephyrus G14 features the latest wireless card from Intel, Intel Wi-Fi AX200. If you’re using a Wi-Fi 6 router like HUAWEI AX3, TUF AX3000 or ROG GT-AX11000, you get a better wireless throughput in real-life compared to the previous generation wireless card.

Connection TypePing (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Wired4832.11208.93
Wireless5786.38205.44
Table 6: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Wireless Throughput Test

Based on the wireless throughput test conducted, I able to get over 750Mbps with 160MHz channel enabled on the TUF Gaming AX3000. What does this means? Unlike the traditional gaming laptop, the Zephyrus G14 can provide a better bandwidth throughput required for gaming and file-transfer.

Battery Life

The Zephyrus G14 powered by a 76Wh battery with different charging methods, one via 180W barrel jack charger and 65W USB Type-C charger. Based on my personal test, I am able to get 8 hours measured via battery eater. The 8-hour is possible only via a basic operation such as surfing the website under the Silent profile. Turbo mode uses more power that results in 4.5-hours of battery life. Charging from 1% to 100% takes approximately 2 hours only under certain usage, which is not bad at all for a powerful laptop like this.

Conclusion

Figure 18: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Review – Conclusion

The Zephyrus G14 probably the best gaming laptop with a small form factor of 14-inch. The 8-core processor from AMD indeed gives a new raw power for the laptop to fully utilize its RTX 2060 that required for extensive gaming and multi-tasking. The Zephyrus G14 is the current hot item in the laptop segment. Unlike the TUF Gaming A15, I’ve reviewed previously, the Zephyrus G14 is more powerful and more fun to use. Overall, the Zephyrus G14 certainly, the best 14-inch gaming laptop in the market currently. Perhaps, my next laptop upgrade would be Zephyrus G14 over my ageing ROG G752VT.



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