Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review (2023)

Previous iterations of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 have been among our favourite laptops, ever. They’re genuine, ultraportable gaming laptops that have the most head-turning looks on the market. However, they’ve also previously come with foibles like volcanic heat that toasts your unmentionables and noisy fans that forlornly try to cool everything down. In 2023, when thermal issues are becoming less of a problem, will our Zephyrus G14 review show that it’s become one of the most desirable laptops on the market?

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Specs

Screen14-inch, matte, 165Hz, 2,560 x 1,600, IPS display
Processor4-5.2GHz AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU
Memory16GB DDR5-4800 RAM
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 4060 with 8GB GDDR6 RAM
Hard drive512GB
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
HDMI 2.1
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
3.5mm audio jack
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-C 4
MicroSD card
SpeakersQuad
Extra SecurityWebcam with Windows Hello
WebcamFull HD
Battery76Wh
Dimensions312 x 227 x 20mm
Weight1.7KG
SKUGA402
Full specs here.

Features, Ergonomics and Design

Our review model of Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 was a rather ordinary grey colour but the design was rescued somewhat by a glossy Zephyrus plaque on the lid and a [checks notes] dot matrix LED display on the lid which turned heads from across the room by showing custom logos, text and animations unlike anything else on the market(!) Part of us misses its white-and-purple predecessor but even we conceded that was a bit garish for many occasions.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review lid
It might be grey and there might not be any RGB, but the configurable ‘Anime Matrix’ lid stops people in their tracks from across the room.

Opening it up reveals a white-back-lit (to three levels of brightness) black, Scrabble-tile keyboard which is very well weighted and perfect for typing and gaming for extended periods. There’s not enough space for a number pad but there are plenty of shortcut keys and even the squished Arrow keys are isolated and not impacted in regard to their intuitive usage. The trackpad is smooth and accurate while the buttons are very well-weighted and give a high-quality, quiet thud-sound when used.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review keyboard
It’s weird for us to remark on a trackpad’s buttons, but the Zephyrus G14’s sound and feel the best.

The Zephyrus G14’s quad speakers are very good indeed. There’s impressive fidelity from top to bottom and some decent bass, to boot. The Full HD webcam (which is Windows Hello, facial-recognition log-in compatible) makes a decent fist of banishing grain in low light and the microphone array captures audio very clearly.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review front
There are many things you can configure via the Armory Crate and MyASUS apps, but they’re unintuitive to use and it’s difficult to locate many settings.

The matte, 2,560 x 1,600 IPS ‘Nebula’ display gets impressively bright and displays vibrant colours and a crisp-and-clear Windows Desktop. When it comes to multimedia, performance is very impressive. The screen is very bright and colours are vibrant – not as much as OLED screens, but not bad by any means. Colour gradients are generally very good although there can be light banding in some scenes. Monochromatic transitions are very impressive compared to most laptops – they’re smooth with almost no blockiness.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review flat
The Zephyrus G14 has a solid hinge that can even lie-down flat. Opening it up also tilts the keyboard forwards for comfier typing and improved airflow.

Contrast is very impressive indeed. Details remain present in both highlights and shadows to a greater degree than we’ve seen on the market for a long time. The matte screen ensures that (unlike OLEDs) it doesn’t turn into a black mirror in dark scenes. It can’t match OLED’s true-black though.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review backlight bleed
Asus’ Nebula displays have many in-house certifications for performance and speed. Avoiding significant backlight bleed isn’t one of them. It doesn’t bother us, but others can’t countenance it.

The Zephyrus G14’s screen also has a 165Hz refresh rate which, when matched with the fast pixel response time, keeps fast-moving objects looking smear-free and smooth. On top of all that, it’s Pantone Validated and supports 100 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour space which Creators will like. It’s very impressive.

All in all the Zephyrus G14 is fantastic to interact with.

Performance

Inside the Zephyrus G14 is a 4-5.2GHz AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor with eight cores and 16 threads. It’s backed up by 16GB of fast, DDR5-4800 RAM and a (rather stingy, but fast ) 512GB, PCIe 4.0 NVMe hard drive.

These combined to score a very impressive 7,927 in the PCMark 10 general-computing test which is well above average for any laptop. In the Cinebench CPU-rendering tests, it scored an impressive 2,777 in the ‘drag-race’ R15 test and 15,761 in the longer, R23 test. Both scores are, again, above average in the whole world of laptop scores but particularly impressive for a 14-inch ultraportable.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review logo
The grey G14 lid’s dark plaque can occasionally, colourfully catch the light, but we do miss the purple version on its white predecessor.

In the 3DMark gaming tests that focus on complex ray-tracing, the Zephyrus G14’s discreet, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU scored 5,856 in Port Royal and 2,587 in Speed Way… those represent framerates of 27.1fps and 25.9fps respectively. As such, the Zephyrus G14 can play he latest-and-greatest games, but you’ll likely need to drop the resolution and settings to keep things super smooth.

In 3DMark’s AAA-gaming-title tests, the Asus Zephyrus G14 scored 10,764 (average 65,3fps) in Time Spy and 11,882 (average 55.1fps) in Fire Strike Extreme, illustrating that the Asus Zephyrus G14 is a bona fide, current-gen-gaming laptop.

In the 3DMark Night Raid test, which mimics casual and competitive games, it scored 63,823 (average 587fps) illustrating that there are no issues here. Meanwhile, in the difficult CS:GO benchmark, the G14 averaged 284fps throughout the benchmark, but this only dropped to 52fps when things got hectic – it’s common to see this ‘1% Low score’ plummet to an unplayable slideshow on many machines, but not here. All in all, the Zephyrus G14 is a great gaming laptop, despite the diminutive dimensions.

As for cooling, its predecessor got horrendously hot and noisy, but this latest model managed much better. The 2023 Zephyrus G14 can certainly get very warm when under heavy load, but it’s no worse than other, top-tier gaming laptops and it’s not very loud either. It’s very impressive and stays relatively cool and quiet most of the time.

Connectivity

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review left
On the left of the Zephyrus G14 is an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review right
On the right is a microSD card slot, a USB 4.0 port and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports.

Inside, there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 – that’s a very impressive, current-gen complement of connectivity.

Portability

The 14-inch ROG Zephyrus G14 weighs 1.7KG which keeps it in our ultraportable territory. Just note that, as with other diminutive gaming laptops, the power supply ain’t small at 755g. It’s still much smaller than PSUs on many other gaming laptops, though.

We did struggle getting the best out of the battery life. While you can force the active GPU to switch between the power-hungry, discreet, Nvidia graphics processor to the CPU-integrated, AMD Radeon 780m graphics processor, it didn’t do so to the point we were convinced it was working properly – it kept switching back on no matter what power mode we used. As such, we think it can potentially do better than the 6 hours and 37 minutes it managed in the PCMark 10 Modern Office test and we’ll keep running tests to see for sure.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review underside
Even small gaming laptops like the Zephyrus G14 need large power supplies to power them.

In terms of build quality, the chassis makes it feel like a very solid gaming laptop and the screen flexes little when a twisting force is applied. The hinge is also impressive and lies down fully flat. It should easily survive life on the road and also being lugged from LAN to LAN.

Price, Availability and Alternatives

Our SKU of Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 costs $3,199. That’s very impressive for the technology on offer, but you can still spend more and save more by choosing other SKUs. (Note: as we went to press, the higher SKUs’ availability dropped somewhat).

As alternatives go, the primary rival is the Razer Blade 14 which has almost identical specs. The good news for Asus buyers is that the G14 costs a staggering $1,900 less than the Blade – a gap which will likely increase when the G14 hits the sales – something Razers rarely do.

Another alternative is its sibling, the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16. It’s two-inches wider and swaps out the AMD processor for an Intel one. However, the availability of its SKUs are a bit haphazard and they’re all a bit more expensive.

Conclusion: Should You Buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14?

It’s hard to find fault with this miniature marvel. It might not have the aluminium finish of the attractive Razer Blade 14, but it’s cool as heck and dramatically cheaper. The ergonomics are excellent and the build quality is too. We’re also happy it’s no longer such a noisy room-heater. We’re going to keep testing the battery life and see if this will bump-up both its Portability and Overall scores but, even if not, the 2023 version of Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 is once again one of our favourite laptops and it’s a worthy winner of our awards.

Awards

Great Value Gaming Laptop [New Award logo forthcoming!]

Great Value Gaming Laptop Award - High Performance Laptops
The 2023 ROG Zephyrus G14 has won our Great Value Gaming Laptop Award.
High Performance Laptops Highly Recommended Award
The Zephyrus G14 has also won High Performance Laptops’ Highly Recommended Award.

Pros

Small and light
Good gaming performance
Stunning looks

Cons

Mediocre battery life
Grey chassis
Messy Asus app layout

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