Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 overview: AMD has rewritten the foundations

Asus and AMD comprise set up Intel on notion

In their early years, gaming laptops had been meant to be desktop replacements. The first Razer Blade, launched in 2011, used to be almost seven pounds; the 2012 Blade used to be 6.6. Battery life used to be a laughing topic. (The 2017 Zephyrus had appropriate over two hours.) Gaming laptops had been pudgy and garish. They had been designed for gaming on a budget, now now not for gaming on the skedaddle.

But the age of the ultraportable is right here. There’s now a 2.01-pound laptop with six cores, there’s a 3.3-pound laptop with a discrete GPU, and a 5-pound laptop is judicious to be on the heavy aspect. Every yr, we’re expecting lighter notebooks that can per chance per chance elevate out more — and as productivity laptops pass in that direction, so are the gaming machines.

That’s the attach the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS is accessible in. For the previous decade, the predominant argument for a Ryzen chip over an Intel chip centered on be conscious somewhat than efficiency. But AMD has launched a CPU that can per chance per chance also, for the first time in contemporary reminiscence, compete with Intel’s high-of-the-line mannequin. The 35W 4900HS, with Eight cores, sixteen threads, and three.Zero GHz clock speeds that can per chance per chance flee to four.four GHz, goes face to face with Intel’s Core i9-9880H; it’s meant to power desktop-class gaming and productivity in moveable laptops.

We’re getting our first peek on the 4900HS in its quintessential employ case: the $1,449 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. A technique or the other, Asus crammed a 4900HS and an Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q valid into a 14-roam notebook that weighs appropriate over 3.5 pounds. It also has 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 120Hz demonstrate. It’s ordinary to peek such vital hardware within the kind of runt chassis: the G14 is the smallest Zephyrus gaming laptop Asus has ever made, and it’s also one in every of the few 14-roam laptops to pair an H-sequence processor with a discrete GPU.

(You will also fetch the equal mannequin with a Ryzen 7 4800HS, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, and the much less-vital GTX 1660 TI Max-Q for $1,299, or skedaddle down to 8GB of RAM, a GTX 1650, and a 60Hz camouflage for $1,049.)

I’m chuffed to shriek that the G14 delivers. The laptop is unprecedented for productivity, and it’s heaps of fun to make employ of. The 4900HS and 2060 Max-Q duo can address stressful video games devour Red Ineffective Redemption II and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. As with every gaming rig, you’ll invent some replace-offs for that efficiency. But within the mammoth draw of issues, the sacrifices that the G14 asks are runt.

I’ll originate by talking about the gaming abilities since that’s doubtlessly what you care most about will comprise to you clicked on this overview. Effort now now not: it’s appropriate. It’s as appropriate as you’d search files from from an H-Series processor, a 2060 Max-Q, and a 120Hz camouflage.

CS:GO averaged 216fps on most settings, with a low of 49. Motion used to be gentle, and I’m able to also locate particular person grime particles and sparks flying from a form of issues I shot. The more graphically intensive Shadow of the Tomb Raider used to be also playable on the very very finest settings (with ray tracing off), averaging round 74fps with a minimal of fifty eight. The play used to be also pretty gentle and surroundings, from shining towns to sad jungles, seemed gigantic.

On the most effective take a look at, Red Ineffective Redemption II cranked as much as Extremely (with speedy and multisample anti-aliasing off), the G14 delivered more of a console-devour abilities, reaching an sensible of 31fps and a low of 14. Rows of stores and bushes had been pretty blurry as I galloped previous them on horseback, and there used to be some stuttering in flurries of grime and snow. But the sport used to be functional. Most of us will comprise a greater time on Excessive settings, on the other hand, the attach the G14 hovered round 50fps.

I believe cooling is holding the G14 lend a hand critically. The 4900HS got beautiful hot under stressful titles; it hit Ninety eight degrees Celsius at some level of my Eighty-minute session of Red Ineffective, and ninety seven at some level of my hour-long session of Tomb Raider. That’s now now not unexpected from a 14-roam laptop running AAA titles, nevertheless a laptop with the equal hardware nevertheless higher cooling would doubtlessly locate higher outcomes.

Now, for the whole other stuff.

Asus has nicely refined its retro gorgeous. If there comprise been laptops in Battlestar Galactica, they would peek devour the G14. A dot matrix covers 1/2 of the lid — these can characteristic as an LED demonstrate that can per chance per chance demonstrate GIFS, the time, and other trim outcomes, nevertheless that mannequin won’t be accessible for about a more weeks. On the non-LED mannequin, they’re unruffled a groovy fetch.

Fancy many thinner laptops, the G14’s camouflage folds under the deck will comprise to you birth it, lifting the keyboard pretty above the bottom. This, in principle, helps with cooling by allowing air to higher movement, and it also hides a piece of the camouflage’s broad backside bezel. Some of us fetch all these hinge heart-broken of their laps, nevertheless I had no enviornment with this one, which is blunt and rounded.

The port resolution is serviceable: two USB-C, two USB-A, an HDMI, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The G14 can payment thru USB-C, nevertheless there’s also a jack for Asus’ 180W adaptor will comprise to you don’t are seeking to soak up a port. There’s no Thunderbolt 3, unsurprisingly, since that’s Intel’s proprietary traditional. Here’s an heart-broken downside of utilizing an AMD machine for the time being, even supposing the G14’s HDMI and DisplayPort capabilities come up with other alternate options for connecting to peripherals.

This doubtlessly won’t shock you would possibly per chance per chance per chance comprise to you’ve owned a smaller gaming laptop before, nevertheless will comprise to you belief to make employ of the G14 for having a peek and productivity, a really vital replace-off you’re making is camouflage advantageous. The notebook has a 1920 x 1080 camouflage with a sixteen:9 component ratio, which is par for the direction with smaller gaming machines. You’re now now not going to peek many 14-roam 120Hz panels at any greater resolution, and a 4K panel will likely be a gigantic search files from of the 2060 Max-Q.

Meaning the G14’s camouflage is terribly generous for gaming, and it’s now now not defective for video-staring at either. It’s matte and kicks lend a hand almost no glare. Darkish scenes from Altered Carbon seemed gigantic, even in shining rooms. Some lighter tones (corresponding to a wedding ceremony costume and Joel Kinnaman’s pores and skin) had a greenish tint to them, on the other hand it’s now now not noticeable will comprise to you’re now now not attempting to search out it. (The camouflage covers a hundred% of the SRGB spectrum and seventy five.35 percent of Adobe RGB.) I noticed far more glare outdoors, on the other hand it’s usable there in a pinch.

The downside is that can comprise to you belief on doing heaps of having a peek or productivity work, you’ll be more puny than you would possibly per chance per chance per chance on a 3:2 demonstrate corresponding to that of Huawei’s MateBook Thirteen. I needed to zoom out to 70 to Eighty percent to very easily work two windows aspect by aspect.

The 2d downside is the fans. The G14 does a ambitious job holding itself cold, given the flexibility of the hardware it’s packing valid into a 3.5-pound chassis. Within the event you’re utilizing this machine on its default fan settings for multitasking, you’re at risk of listen to a fixed grunt. It’s loud sufficient that your place of job neighbors will hear it. I got archaic to this pretty speedy, on the other hand it’s a truth price noting will comprise to you’re choosy about fan noise.

You will also switch to Asus’ “Mute” profile, which makes the fans inaudible. I was stricken that muffling the fans would trigger the 4900HS to fry itself, nevertheless having a peek on this profile used to be unruffled very doable. You won’t are seeking to make employ of this mode for intensive gaming, for sure, nevertheless even while running several Chrome tabs and a resolution of other programs, along with Slack, Spotify, and about a benchmarks, the G14 used to be downright cool in my lap, and the CPU didn’t cross 35 degrees Celsius.

Speaking of the touchpad and keyboard, they are both gigantic. The House windows Precision Trackpad is a appropriate dimension and of direction easy to press. The keys are clicky with respectable trot, without being loud sufficient to annoy officemates. The deck is sturdy, with very little flex. The labels elevate out retain Asus’ sci-fi font that looks devour it belongs in a Johnny Rockets restaurant; you would possibly per chance per chance per chance presumably also take your comprise see on that fetch resolution. I also devour that the G14 has a separate panel containing the volume controls and a key that mutes or unmutes the microphone, as effectively as a somewhat much less invaluable button that opens Asus’ alter panel.

I under no cases thought I’d be announcing this a pair of gaming laptop, nevertheless the battery life is also very appropriate. Throughout my traditional workday of swapping between a dozen Chrome tabs, running Slack, and each so often streaming Netflix or Spotify at 50 percent brightness and a balanced battery profile, I got round Eight hours and 50 minutes of juice. Meaning the G14 can invent it thru a workday on battery and can address a long bus or plane high-tail as effectively. The scheme took forty one minutes to payment as much as 60 percent on Asus’ crawl and fifty three minutes to retain out the equal thru USB-C.

After all, don’t search files from to be doing great gaming on battery. Red Ineffective on excessive settings ran round 18 to 20fps when the G14 wasn’t plugged in, losing down to the low kids at round Forty percent, and the low single digits at 10 percent. I got an hour and 38 minutes of gaming on a payment.

At the discontinuance of the day, the Zephyrus G14 can address the multitasking you’d like it to. The keyboard, touchpad, and battery life are very generous. Within the event you don’t mind a low-resolution camouflage and fans that you just would possibly per chance per chance per chance presumably also hear, you’ll be chuffed with the G14 as your major scheme. (If those are deal-breakers for you, even supposing, you’ll want one thing else for having a peek and work.)

But essentially, Asus and AMD comprise successfully set up Intel on notion. Last yr’s Core i7-powered Blade Stealth Thirteen used to be the first Thirteen-roam machine that came with a GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. The most stressful sport it will also address used to be what Engadget known as “a stuttery Destiny 2 abilities.” Accumulated, many gamers hailed it as a triumph for being a 3.24-pound laptop that can per chance per chance also coast that title the least bit.

The Ryzen-powered G14 weighs appropriate pretty more than the Stealth GTX and it video games higher. I locate no reason to pick the Stealth GTX or any pricier gaming ultraportable when this laptop exists. AMD has rewritten the foundations of what a gaming laptop would possibly per chance per chance simply even be.

Correction: An earlier model of this account talked about the G14 used to be the smallest laptop AMD has ever made. The laptop is made by Asus. We remorse the error.

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