Gadgets

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review (2022): Powerful, Portable, Pricey

On the laptop scene, Apple’s M1 devices have scooped up much of the praise reserved for innovative and exciting hardware over the past couple of years. But for Windows, some hype should be reserved for the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.

The G14 entered the market in 2020 as an affordable, portable wonder. Unfortunately, as it has become more established, its price has risen significantly. The value offering may not be what it was, but it remains a great device, especially with this year’s new aspect ratio, the addition of a webcam, and an all-AMD combination. The laptop is close to being the perfect all-rounder, except for its subpar battery life.

A Complete Package

Photograph: Asus

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a remarkable laptop, specifically for creators. But for gamers, it just isn’t suitable. So if a portable powerhouse like the new MacBook Pro catches your eye but you’re a keen PC gamer, what do you go for? The ROG Zephyrus G14 is the obvious answer. This laptop offers a remarkable level of portability for a device that can game with the best of them—and creative chops, too.

The appealing portability comes in the form of a compact and astoundingly lightweight chassis—with a particularly standout look in its white variant. It doesn’t feel as high-quality as offerings from Apple or Razer, but it is eye-catching without being garish—thanks in part to its unique perforated lid design.

Looks aside, the G14 is a joy to interact with. The keyboard is the best I’ve tested on any 14-inch laptop, while the glass trackpad has increased in size this year and remains suitably responsive. Other upgrades include a webcam (finally!) and a squarer 16:10 aspect ratio. The new display and keyboard combination makes this a productivity device that’s easy to feel at home with.

Gaming Glory

Photograph: Asus

For gaming, we tested the $2,500 model, which sports an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and AMD Radeon RX 6800S graphics card. This will get you performance that sits neatly between what you’d expect from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and an RTX 3080 graphics card. That’s a big step up from previous G14 iterations, which were capped at an RTX 3060 GPU. The result is frame rates of around 60 fps and above at Ultra settings on this 1440p 120-Hz display. For FPS titles like Apex Legends, you’ll have to opt for low/medium settings to get all 120 fps out of this laptop.

All those frames and pristine graphics are presented immaculately on the 16:10 QHD display. Realistic and stylized images look equally great, with accurate colors and vivid contrast. It isn’t perfect though, as this display lacks a bit of brightness. In many environments, you will barely notice, but away from gaming, this slightly hurts the laptop’s portability.


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