The new compact laptop Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 belongs to the family of ROG (Republic of Gamers) – a separate line of company products designed for gamers and enthusiasts. Today, it is not easy to figure out the incredible number of models produced by Asus (although the division into the TUF, Strix and Zephyrus lines helps a bit), and to stand out with something special is even more difficult. Nevertheless, the ROG Zephyrus G14 seems to have managed to do this, thanks to the spectacular and original solution in the form of a customizable AniMe Matrix matrix display on the cover
However, this feature, although interesting, is far from the main one for the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which we will tell you about in detail in today’s article.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is sealed in a small cardboard box with a plastic carrying handle. The box is stylized as a matrix display of the laptop and contains only the model name with the ROG logo.
Together with the laptop in the box, there was only a power adapter and a separate cable with a North American plug.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is available in China and comes with a two year warranty. The cost of a laptop in different configurations is from 85 to 145 thousand rubles. What is included in the version of ROG Zephyrus G14 provided to us for testing – GA401IV – we will now demonstrate.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
|Display||14-inch, 2560 x 1440 px IPS 60 Hz, 16:9, non-touch, matte, ActiveSync, AU Optronics B140QAN02.3 panel|
14-inch, 1920 x 1080 px IPS 120 Hz, 16:9, non-touch, matte, ActiveSync, CEC LM140LF-1F01 panel
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS or Ryzen 9 4900HS, 8C/16T|
|Video||AMD Radeon Vega 7/8 + Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q 65W 6 GB GDDR6 (with Nvidia 442.74)|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz (8 GB soldered, 1x 8 GB DIMM), up to 40GB with 32GB SDIMM|
|Storage||1x M.2 PCI x4 slots (1 TB Intel 660p SSDPEKNW010T8)|
|Connectivity||Wireless 6 (Intel AX200) 2×2, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3.2, 1x USB-C gen 2 with DP1.4 and charging (left), 1x USB-C gen 2 data-only (right), HDMI 2.0b, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock|
|Battery||76 Wh, 180 W power adapter, USB-C charging up to 65W|
|Size||324 mm or 12.75” (w) x 222 mm or 8.74” (d) x 19.9 mm or .78” (h)|
|Weight||1.7 kg (3.75 lbs), .59 kg (1.3 lbs) power brick and cables, EU version|
|Extras||white backlit keyboard, no webcam, quad speakers, finger-sensor, optional Anime Matrix Display|
We add that other Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 variants have a Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels and a frequency of 60 or 120 Hz, an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS or Ryzen 5 4600HS processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6 GB) or GeForce GTX graphics card 1650 Ti (4 GB), as well as various options for the amount of RAM and storage.
Appearance and ergonomics of the case
In terms of design, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 can be called a calm and seasoned laptop. Our version is made in metallic gray, there is still a version in pearl-white design, which visually looks more attractive and easy.
The width and depth of the laptop are very small – only 324 and 222 mm, respectively. But the thickness (20 mm) is too big by modern standards, it is increased due to the LED backlight built into the display cover. ROG Zephyrus G14 weighs 1.7 kg in our configuration. The ROG Zephyrus G14 version without the LED cover is 2 mm thinner and 0.1 kg lighter.
The top panel of the laptop, like the entire case, is made of an alloy of magnesium with aluminum and is diagonally divided into two almost equal halves. The slightly larger of them is dotted with 6536 holes, under which there are 1215 mini-LEDs of white color, creating any image at the request of the user.
Logos, equalizer, current date, percentage of battery charge, etc. can be displayed here.
It is difficult to say whether such a panel will be useful from a practical point of view for the owner of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, but it works flawlessly to attract the attention of others.
The bottom panel of the laptop is equipped with four rubber feet, eliminating the sliding of the device on surfaces, and also has a sufficient number of ventilation grilles.
The front end is completely deaf, has no connectors or grilles. There is also no recess for more convenient opening of the lid, which is definitely not enough.
At the back of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 you can see a massive ventilation grill.
All interface ports of the laptop are displayed on its sides. On the right are one USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports and a Kensington lock hole.
On the left is the power connector, HDMI video output, USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port with support for DisplayPort 1.4 and the Power Delivery standard, as well as a combined headphone and microphone jack.
Note that on the sides of the laptop there are additional ventilation grilles.
Conveniently, the power, battery and drive activity indicators are displayed above the keyboard and are always in front of your eyes.
The lid of the laptop opens 135 degrees. The opening mechanism is implemented on the ErgoLift branded hinges, which raise the back of the laptop above the work surface, improving ventilation of the insides.
At the end of the external inspection of the ROG Zephyrus G14, we note the traditionally high build quality of the case for Asus and the exact adjustment of all parts to each other. In addition, the case is not easily soiled, because it does not have glossy surfaces, which means that during active use it will retain its pleasant appearance longer.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has a compact membrane-type keyboard without a numeric keypad. The dimensions of most keys are 15 × 15 mm. Both Shift and Enter are enlarged.
The keystrokes are very soft and tactilely pleasant, but there is practically no feedback when printing, as almost always happens with laptop keyboards.
In addition to the dual-function F1-F12 function keys, small keys for adjusting the volume, turning the microphone on or off, and the ROG key designed to launch the Asus Armory Crate utility are displayed above the keyboard.
The keyboard also has a backlight, it is three-level and disabled, but even the brightest level in daylight is not enough. Everything is in order at night.
The side segments of the display frame are 7 mm wide and the top is 8 mm wide.
The Asus GA401IV uses a 14.0-inch IPS matrix with a resolution of 2560 × 1440.
The outer surface of the matrix is black hard and semi-gloss (specularity is well defined). There are no special anti-reflective coatings or filter, and there is no air gap. When powered by mains or battery and with manual brightness control (there is no automatic adjustment by the light sensor), its maximum value was 273 cd / m² (in the center of the screen on a white background). Note that by default there is an automatic adjustment of the brightness of the backlight depending on the brightness of the image (the brightness decreases for dark scenes), but this function can be turned off in the settings of the graphic core. Maximum brightness is not very high. However, if you avoid direct sunlight, even this value allows you to somehow use the laptop on the street, even on a summer sunny day.
Note that there may be some improvement in readability if the matrix has some transreflective properties (part of the light is reflected from the substrate, and the picture is visible even with the backlight off). Also, glossy matrices, even in direct sunlight, can sometimes be rotated so that something fairly dark and uniform is reflected in them (on a clear day, for example, the sky), which will improve readability, while matte matrices need to be fenced off to improve readability Sveta. In rooms with bright artificial light (about 500 lux), you can work more or less comfortably even with a maximum screen brightness of 50 cd / m² and lower, that is, under these conditions, the maximum brightness is not an important quantity.
Let’s go back to the screen of the tested laptop. If the brightness setting is 0%, then the brightness decreases to 12 cd / m². Thus, in complete darkness, the brightness of the screen will turn down to a comfortable level.
At any brightness level, there is no significant modulation of the backlight, so there is no flickering of the screen. As proof, we present graphs of the dependence of brightness (vertical axis) on time (horizontal axis) for various brightness settings:
This laptop uses an IPS type matrix. Microphotographs show a typical IPS subpixel structure (black dots are dust on the camera’s matrix):
Focusing on the screen surface revealed randomly located surface microdefects, which are responsible for the matte properties:
The grain of these defects is several times smaller than the size of the subpixels (the scale of these two photographs is approximately the same), therefore focusing on microdefects and “jumping” the focus on the subpixels are weakly expressed when the angle of view is changed, because of this there is no “crystalline” effect.
We took brightness measurements at 25 points on the screen, located in increments of 1/6 of the width and height of the screen (screen borders are not included).
If you deviate from the edges, the uniformity of the white field is very good, and the black field and, as a consequence, the contrast is a little worse. Contrast by modern standards for this type of matrix is quite high. The photo below gives an idea of the distribution of the brightness of the black field over the screen area:
It can be seen that in some places the black field (mainly closer to the edge) is still slightly highlighted. However, the uneven illumination of black is visible only in very dark scenes and in almost complete darkness, it should not be considered a significant drawback. Note that the stiffness of the lid, although it is made of aluminum, is small, the lid is slightly deformed at the slightest effort, and the nature of the black field illumination changes greatly from deformation.
The screen has good viewing angles without significant color shift even with large deviations of the gaze from the perpendicular to the screen and without inverting colors. However, the black field when diagonally deviated is strongly highlighted and acquires a reddish hue.
The response time for the black-white-black transition is 28 ms (15 ms on + 13 ms off), the transition between gray tones in total (from hue to hue and vice versa) takes 46 ms on average. The matrix is slow, which is strange for a gaming laptop. There is no explicit acceleration – there are no brightness bursts at the transition fronts.
It can be seen that at 60 Hz the maximum brightness of the white frame is close to 90% of the white level, and the minimum brightness of the black frame is much lower than 10% of the white level. The total amplitude swing is above 80% of the white brightness. That is, the matrix speed is enough for full-fledged image output with a frame frequency of 60 Hz.
We determined the total delay in the output from switching the pages of the video buffer until the image is displayed on the screen (recall that it depends on the features of the Windows OS and video card, and not just on the display). At 60 Hz refresh rate (FreeSync enabled), the delay is 10 ms. This is a very small delay, it is absolutely not felt when working for a PC, and in very dynamic games it will not lead to a decrease in performance.
This laptop supports AMD FreeSync technology. The range of supported frequencies, which is indicated on the settings panel of AMD video cards, is 40-60 Hz.
Shadow distinguishability can be improved by selecting the appropriate profile in the ROG GameVisual utility.
Our Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 version comes with a 180W maximum power adapter.
The total length of the power adapter cables is 2.6 meters.
The laptop has a lithium-polymer battery with a capacity of 76 Wh (4800 mAh). Its charge time from 4% to 99% is 1 hour and 59 minutes (the average result of three full charges).
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is positioned by the manufacturer as a stylish and compact gaming model, and this positioning fully confirms our review. The laptop has an original AniMe Matrix panel on the lid, which makes it attractive for young people and people who want to stand out from the crowd. In terms of size, you can only make claims to the thickness, which in our modification of the laptop is just a consequence of the matrix display. In two other dimensions, as well as in weight, the Zephyrus G14 corresponds to the class of compact laptops.
The hardware configuration of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 in the GA401IV modification also does not cause problems. The powerful eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS processor is ideally suited to the modern Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics card. 16 GB of RAM is enough for any modern games, and for their installation, a fast 1 TB SSD is provided (it is a pity that there is no one more M.2 slot for the future). Separately, it is worth highlighting atypically high-quality sound with the presence of low frequencies and a huge reserve of volume, a Wi-Fi 6 wireless network adapter and high-speed USB ports.
However, if in the first two paragraphs of the conclusion you had the impression of the ideality of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, then it is still erroneous. The combination of compact size and productive hardware made this model noisy and hot in game and other demanding modes. The SSD also decently warms up, for the longevity of which we would be worried in the first place. The laptop, unfortunately, does not have such an accessory important for mobility as a webcam, and the card reader would not be in the way. You can add that the keyboard is inconvenient for regular work with texts, but this problem is common to all compact laptop models.
Nevertheless, the overall impression of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is positively positive, since the laptop has more pluses and they are noticeably more significant than the indicated minuses. In addition, let’s not forget about the excellent autonomy of this model when watching a video or in everyday work. Very few compact laptops can boast of ten hours of battery life, and of those that can comfortably play Metro Exodus if necessary, there are only a few