A compact gaming laptop that doesn’t skip a beat. Okay, that’s an oxymoron but somehow it holds true for Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022). It hits the sweet spot in every possible way for gamers as well as for content creators, be it form factor, battery life and special features. In last year’s model we missed the webcam and the performance was just about okay but Asus has fixed every quibble that was pointed out.
Massive bump in performance
The design is roughly the same as that of last year but there are some upgrades while the laptop still offers the same promise of an excellent gaming experience.
This time around they made something really special, so this is running AMD’s new CPUs and GPUs, and the hardware has been tweaked and updated to take advantage of the new components. Basically, we have a laptop that is much better than the previous gen.
This is a 14-inch device, which means it’s compact and lightweight. The screen has a massive update in the form of 16-by-10 aspect ratio, meaning you can see more stuff on the display while the bezels have been narrowed, especially the chin. It’s a QHD+ display which is bright, has a fast refresh rate of 120Hz and a fast response time (3ms panel). There’s no ghosting and the colours are accurate. Plus, there’s a webcam.
The famous AniMe Matrix LED makes a return; it is now several times brighter with more LEDs at work. You can have a personalised message on the lid and for youngsters it makes a difference in terms of customisation.
AniMe Matrix lets you put customised images and text on the lid
If you boot up the Asus Armory Crate, there are a lot of features to work around with, allowing you to push the processor. The new G14 supports MUX Switch, which is either in the default hybrid or the dedicated GPU mode. Hybrid let’s you switch to the less power hungry integrated graphics on the processor when you’re doing less demanding stuff, saving on battery life.
That is not reason enough to upgrade? The big news is what’s going on the inside. We had the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS with Radeon RX 6800S graphics version. This is all new hardware for 2022 and it’s also paired with up to 32 gigs of DDR5 RAM.
It pumps out better performance. The secret to AMD chip’s success lies is energy consumption. For Intel to get such fantastic numbers it needs to pump a lot of power into its chip and with great power comes a lot of heat. The AMD chip helps keep heat under check and on a device this compact, it can be the deciding factor. We get an energy efficient CPU and the GPU also steps up the experience. Depending on the app, you will see a bump in performance.
Also worth remembering, to pull higher wattage in the same chassis size as before, a better thermal system was needed. So Asus has tweaked the fan blades; it draws a little bit more air, the vapour chamber is a little bit bigger, covers more area.
There is Dolby Vision HDR and 100 per cent DCI-P3 coverage; it’s also Pantone certified. In other words, it’s a lovely screen and not just for gaming. You can use the power of the screen for productivity apps. I would definitely consider using this for video editing as well.
The keyboard is one of the finest you will find on a gaming laptop
Key and sound magic
The keyboard has also been tweaked this year. The lettering on the keys is better visible than last year and there is excellent RGB lighting. I really like the layout of the keyboard. The trackpad too is really good; I think this is one of the best trackpad surfaces in the market with a great texture to the glass while the click sounds have the perfect ring to it. But there is no dedicated print screen button, which I like over Window-Shift-S.
The audio on the laptop is stunning. The speakers are quite a bit louder than the previous gen. The mid and lower frequencies are quite good and for a gaming laptop, you get excellent output.
Should you buy it?
The selection ports is practical. There is one HDMI 2.0 port, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (supports power delivery as well) and a headphone port on the left while on the right, you get two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports along with one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (DisplayPort) and a microSD card slot.
In the battery department, I am getting a slightly longer run time this year. The chip is more energy efficient and now the charger is a little bit bigger — it’s 240W instead of the older 180W.
There are few compact gaming laptops in the market that are also extremely powerful. This is one of them. If you are planning to buy your first gaming laptop, this is it. Upgrading your machine? This is a good choice. Asus continues to push gaming and it clearly shows on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022). No wonder, a lot of laptops try to emulate Zephyrus G14’s winning points — performance, portability and excellent battery life.
The ErgoLift mechanism helps when you push the lid back
At a glance
Device: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)
Price: Rs 191,990 (review unit)
- Compact yet powerful
- Display is great for gaming and video content creation
- Excellent battery life
- 720p webcam