The new Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is stunning – a new screen, webcam, and improved chassis all see this model a step up on the already stunning G14 before it. The addition of AMD’s latest Ryzen 6000 processor and Radeon RX 6800S GPU only improves the deal for this shiny and beloved gaming laptop. While it’s not a complete machine without bugs, the battery life and price tag are a bit of a bug.
I expect the benchmark to be high for the G14. I’ve taken a good look at all of the Zephyrus G14 models in the past few years and have been very impressed on every occasion. It’s the laptop I’d recommend when a friend orders a mid-to-high-end gaming machine: something they can play on, work on, while looking great, and come at a cheaper price than the Razer Blade. In all but one of these aspects, the new 2022 model is still one of the best all-in-one packages money can buy.
However, I wasn’t able to recommend the exact model I received for review, as it’s not much cheaper than the new Razer Blade 14. But some snooping specifies that you’re looking around the $2,500 mark for this laptop with all the bells and whistles it can offer.
And don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of silicone under the hood of the Zephyrus G14 to justify its price, at least to some extent.
Specifications for Zephyrus G14 (GA402RK)
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800S (8 GB), Radeon Graphics RX 680M
memory: 32 GB DDR5 (16 GB soldered, 16 GB SO-DIMM removable)
storage: 1 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Screen Size: 14 inches
Balanced dimensions: 16:10
refresh rate: 120 Hz
Features: Webcam, AniMe Matrix lighting, backlit keyboard
Delivery: 3.5 mm, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C x2, microSD card reader, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A x2, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
battery: 76 hours
price: ~ 2500 dollars
There is an AMD Ryzen 6900HS at its heart. This is one of the best chipsets from AMD’s Ryzen 6000-series, but not the best and brightest – although you’re really fighting for clocks boost and not so much when it comes to the top of the line red team’s mobile processors anyway. It offers eight cores and 16 threads of Zen 3+ architecture, capable of boosting to 4.9GHz (which it actually does sometimes), so that’s more than acceptable by me.
It also comes with integrated Radeon graphics, the new Radeon 680M. It’s equipped with 12 RDNA 2 GPU cores, which all things considered is actually quite a huge number given that Valve’s Steam Deck Aerith APU comes with only eight which is a hand dab at 800p for gaming.
More importantly though, the Zephyrus is powered by a Radeon RX 6800S discrete GPU, which inevitably gets its integrated GPU sibling out of the water.
The Radeon silicon has one main task to do: hit the G14’s 120Hz refresh rate as much as possible while gaming. Fortunately, AMD’s RX 6800S is more than able to ask for that in a lot of games and certainly pushes well over the usual 60fps in much more.
Although her work has been discontinued. The Zephyrus G14 comes with a 2560 x 1600 display – yes, 16:10 – which means you actually have screen space to work with while browsing the web or editing photos. But it also means that your GPU needs to work extra hard to keep the frame rate high.
The RX 6800S did a quick job of our benchmark set, and I have to say I was a huge fan of the G14’s gaming performance in general. That’s even without resorting to the more powerful Turbo preset — I tested everything using the standard performance mode. It’s able to pretty much outpace the frame rate of the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 mobile chipset across the board, and while it slips below the RTX 3080 Ti in the Razer Blade 17, this is a much larger laptop at a much greater price.
When running smoothly, the G14’s high-resolution panel and updates also look great. Being a bright and colorful IPS screen on this model, you can really enjoy every detail.
Although one bug that surprised me was the battery life of the G14. It’s one of the lowest lifespans of any gaming laptop we’ve tested recently, at just 53 minutes. That’s just two minutes more than the Razer Blade 17, which stuffs an RTX 3080 Ti and Intel Core i7 12800H inside its chassis — parts not known for being particularly power-savvy.
The G14 loses this quality for being surprisingly cheap for what you get too, even if you get excellent performance out of it.
Perhaps one reason for this is the inclusion of 32GB of DDR5 RAM – 16GB of that is soldered to the board, and the other 16GB connected via a removable SO-DIMM from the laptop’s underside. This is not a cheap memory. DDR5 prices have barely settled since the memory standard was introduced last year, and 32GB is a bonus for high-performance memory compared to most gaming PCs today.
While I’m happy to see DDR5 make its way into the mobile gaming market, I suppose that comes with a price premium early in the new technology cycle. It’s not like DDR5 is really doing big for our gaming performance at the moment either, but we just have to put up with it for now, until prices (hopefully) come down.
The G14’s throughput and CPU performance demand some praise here, and that will be in part because of that fast memory, too. It does a lot to help unleash the full potential of the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS chip – Cinebench’s single-thread scores are impressive; Multi-core degrees get there; And while you probably won’t practically notice a difference in the best laptops during a video call, the G14’s PCMark 10 score was pretty high too.
There are also some improvements to the 2022 G14 that I like besides the faster and better silicon.
One of my favorite things about the G14 is the name – it’s a 14-inch laptop. The combination of screen real estate and compact size is a nice mix between the larger 15- and 17-inch designs, and it’s not quite as hacky as the 13-inch model.
But the big thing about the 2022 G14 is that the 14-inch size fits in with a larger aspect ratio of 16:10 compared to the 16:9 panels of previous models.
The new G14 is more compact in the entire frame area available to it, and offers nearly complete coverage from the top to the bottom of the laptop chassis. And before you think you won’t get much of that extra space in games: it’s found relatively often in the game’s options menu nowadays. Until the Steam Deck swung at 16:10, it’s clear that the cool kids at Valve are all for it.
You’ll find that most games are happy to run at the less popular 2560×1600 resolution without black bars or anything like that. Although it’s not the end of the world if you Owns To play in the regular ol’ 1440p with them there.
Another major improvement with this model compared to the previous ones is the inclusion of a webcam in the top bezel. This is a 720p webcam and the color is decent and well calibrated out of the box. This means that you will not feel confused in the meeting or in disagreement. I will say the contrast isn’t great, but you lose some detail in the low light settings. But that’s not all that surprising of a compact laptop camera.
With that in mind, the chassis is well made and remarkably elegant, although it hasn’t changed much with the new 2022 model. It’s not the thinnest laptop, although it’s hardly the largest at 312 x 227 x 19.5 mm and 1.72 kg. I also have the model with getting the AniMe Matrix LED on the back. This is definitely a noteworthy feature for those who are watching it for the first time, although it can be said that it contrasts a bit with the overall design of this stylish laptop. I think this laptop is more suitable for working and playing without it, and it’s also a pain to be disabled at night unless you unplug the laptop completely.
I hope this is a software issue, as I wasn’t able to access any backlight mods settings at all in Asus’ Armory Crate app, where those settings are supposed to live.
Overall, though, the G14 is an easy and straightforward experience. I haven’t had any major issues with it over the past couple of weeks, and for the few negatives I have with the design, Asus has made up for it with heaps of positives. It’s a shame that its biggest downside is its price. At least, there’s some hope for the cheaper Zephyrus G14 model to make a bigger impact — a scalable GPU, perhaps without a high-end CPU to match, and just 16GB of RAM could be a more convenient device for the stingiest among we.
Personally, I would look for a model under $2000 with a little more love than I would for this pricey option. This particular model highlights aspects of performance, and looks as well, but it doesn’t quite reflect what made the G14 so desirable and easy to recommend. At least, not as much as I’ve used it for the past few years.