Asus is usually relatively quiet during CES 2020, but that’s not the case at all this year. Among the slew of new products unveiled at the trade show is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, a 14-inch gaming laptop running on AMD’s latest Ryzen 4000 processor and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. Without a doubt this is a powerful gaming laptop in a compact form factor.
What makes the ROG Zephyrus G14 particularly interesting is the fact that this is, again, a compact 14-inch gaming laptop. Measuring only 17.9mm thin with a 1.6kg chassis, this is a lightweight, slim machine as well. Really, the compact form factor and portable nature of this gaming laptop is one of its best selling points.
In a market where such a powerful notebook practically doesn’t exist in this size anymore, the G14 is a very unique product; there’s no other gaming laptop quite like it.
Oh, there’s also the LED dot-matrix display on the lid of the Zephyrus G14 dubbed “AniMe Matrix,” giving it a one of a kind aesthetic. You can display GIFs, build custom animations, or even type text messages on the display. It’s a nice personalisation tool, though some may think it’s a gimmick. If you think so, don’t worry: the AniMe Matrix a completely optional feature.
Of course, this being a 14-inch laptop means you’ll be missing out on a larger display, though we imagine there will be folks who are completely fine with the Zephyrus G14’s 14-inch screen. Three panel options are available for the laptop: a standard 1080p display, a faster 120Hz screen of the same resolution, or a sharper 1440p panel with a standard 60Hz refresh rate.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of which display you’re getting with the Zephyrus G14, they are all Pantone Validated. Thanks to this certification, you should get good colour accuracy, and the screens will be able to cover 100% of the sRGB colour space. Interestingly, all three display options support Adaptive Sync too, though this is only available with the Ryzen 4000 processor’s integrated Radeon graphics.
Speaking of which, the Zephyrus G14 can be configured with the recently announced Ryzen 7 4800HS chip. Based on early benchmarks of the CPU from AMD, the 4800HS is noticeably more powerful than the comparable Intel Core i7-9750H chipset. On top of that, the Ryzen 7 4800HS is also a 7nm chip, which is more power-efficient than the 12nm i7-9750H.
Gaming laptops don’t usually have great battery life, but Asus is promising up to 10 hours of usage on a single charge with the Zephyrus G14. Again, this can be attributed to the power efficiency of the 7nm processor powering this laptop, not to mention its relatively generous 76WHr battery.
While Asus did not reveal GPU options available for the Zephyrus G14, the company did mention the most powerful GPU the laptop can be configured with is an RTX 2060 graphics card. It may “only” be the most affordable GPU with ray tracing, but it will have no issue running most – if not all – modern games with high frame rate.
While the Zephyrus G14 looks to be a very promising, compact gaming laptop, it does have its fair share of shortcomings. For one, it doesn’t come with a webcam, despite the fact that there’s more than enough space at the top bezel to squeeze one in. On top of that, it would’ve been great if the bottom bezel was more minimal.
Nonetheless, other specifications of the Zephyrus G14 are befitting of a premium gaming laptop. It comes with up to 32GB of DDR4 3200MHz RAM, up to 1TB of fast M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD, and a fingerprint sensor underneath the power button; this is said to be the first ROG laptop with such a feature.
Connectivity options of this gaming laptop is decent too. It has two full-size USB-A ports, two USB-C connections, an HDMI 2.0b output, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Interestingly, you can charge up the Zephyrus G14 with the laptop’s USB-C port, but you’ll still need to plug in the normal 180W barrel connector to get maximum performance.
Unfortunately, Asus has yet to reveal exactly how much the ROG Zephyrus G14 would cost, though it did say the laptop will be offered at a price “that brings gaming to an even wider audience.” Hopefully, it wouldn’t cost too much, even if slim, lightweight (and portable) gaming laptops usually don’t come cheap.
As for availability, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 will hit the market sometime in March 2020, while the AniMe Matrix model will follow suit in the month that follows. You can get the G14 in two colour options: Moonlight White and Eclipse Grey.