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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Hands-on, Quick Review: The Smallest Zephyrus Ever

This is a gaming machine you can bring with you

As sleek and as portable as gaming notebooks are currently, they’re not portable enough. A gaming notebook that has enough oomph to play AAA games on high resolution are usually large, unwieldy pieces of tech decked out with too much RGB.

Not The Zephyrus G14 though. Dubbed by ASUS as the “smallest Zephyrus gaming laptop to date”, this 14-inch gaming notebook weighs in at a kilo and a half, has killer hardware under the hood and is oozing with style.

Dot Display > RGB

Gaming notebooks by their very nature, are large, visually loud pieces of tech. They’re fine when you’re at home playing, but you wouldn’t bring one along in a corporate setting. The G14 is different though. Its externals aren’t garish and loud, and its overall design is more serious and professional.

There are no visible RGB lights on the lid, and even the traditional ROG eye is nowhere to be found. Instead, ASUS installed a bunch of tiny LED lights (around 1,215 in fact) with 256 levels of brightness on one half of the lid. Dubbed the AniMe Matrix LED, the new lid gimmick allows users to customize the lights to their heart’s content. You can display simple logos, images, and even animated GIFs on those lights as you please. You can also turn it off depending on your mood or who you’re meeting with.

A gaming notebook you can take with you

The Zephyrus G14 is pretty light for a notebook – at just 1.5 kilos and 17mm thick, it’s one of the smallest gaming notebooks we’ve seen so far. While the display is 14-inches big, sporting a 120Hz full HD panel (or 144Hz, 1440p panel if you have more cash) it feels quite smaller, due to the small bezels on the top and the side.

Like the other Zephyrus models of ASUS, the G14 uses a raised lift design that lifts the body of the notebook off of whatever surface it’s on for better cooling and acoustics.

AMD powah

The Zephyrus G14 isn’t all just about looks – under the hood runs AMD’s newest Ryzen 4000 H-series processor (up to a Ryzen 4800HS), a first for ASUS and AMD. For people keeping track, it’s the first time in recent history that ASUS launched a gaming notebook with an AMD processor, further proof that the red team is killing it relative to their main rival.

If that wasn’t enough, the G14 comes armed with an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. That’s beastly specs for a desktop machine, and even more so for a gaming notebook.

The G14 is small enough that it can be charged via a USB Type C 3.2 port (which also doubles as DisplayPort 1.4). Additional ports and plugs include another USB Type-C port, 2 USB-A ports, HDMI and a 3.5mm combo jack for audio. The notebook has Bluetooth 5 and WiFi 6 capabilities too.

ASUS’ ROG G14 looks to be a solid, lightweight notebook for gamers, though we don’t know how much this will cost as of yet. It’s slated to launch in the first half of 2020.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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