Asus’ entry-level ROG Zephyrus G14 is the one to purchase

Asus’ entry-level ROG Zephyrus G14 is the one to buy

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Devoted Verge readers will keep in mind that I used to be not the most important fan of the latest ROG Zephyrus G14. The mannequin we obtained had quite a lot of nice issues about it — Asus had improved the side ratio, added a webcam, enlarged the touchpad, and glued mainly each different grievance I’d had about G14s of the previous.

However the unit I had for overview was the highest SKU, and it was simply too costly.

Particularly, the Radeon RX 6800S / Ryzen 9 6900HS mannequin I obtained was priced at $2,499.99. That put it in the identical value class as a few of the market’s most premium 15-inch gaming rigs, together with Razer’s Blade 15 Superior — and means above the worth of the bigger and better-performing G15. It was not a superb deal. However I did notice within the overview that Asus supposed to promote cheaper fashions of the G14 and that these fashions, in the event that they produced comparable body charges, could possibly be phenomenal buys.

Properly, I’ve lastly gotten my palms on a kind of cheaper fashions. I’m typing this proper now on a $1,649.99 mannequin of the Zephyrus G14 that has the identical Ryzen 9 6900HS processor however swaps that 6800S GPU out for a barely much less highly effective 6700S. I’ve strongly suspected for months that this configuration would supply very comparable efficiency to its $2,499.99 counterpart.

And folk, that suspicion has confirmed right. The distinction in body charges, whereas extant, is nothing price paying for. The 6700S mannequin’s battery life is best. It’s thinner and lighter. The one factor it lacks, which the 6800S has, is a elaborate animated gentle show on the lid. The sunshine show could be very cool, and you’ll go forward and pay $850 additional for it in order for you, however I’ll say that most individuals ought to get the $1,6499.99 mannequin as an alternative. It’s hands-down a greater deal.

The keyboard of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 seen from above on a blue tabletop

That is nonetheless one in all my favourite keyboards available on the market.

For every thing associated to the G14’s chassis, please see the overview of the 6800S G14 that I revealed in February. There, I detailed the keyboard, touchpad, webcam, display screen, and different design and {hardware} features. These are all the identical on the 6700S mannequin, so I’ll simply be discussing the efficiency variations right here.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laid out flat on a blue tabletop.

You possibly can lay it out flat, if there’s some purpose you’ll need to try this.

The cheaper G14 averaged 189fps on Counter-Strike: International Offensive at most settings and native (2560 x 1600) decision. The earlier mannequin averaged 202fps. This distinction is not going to be noticeable to anybody utilizing these machines because the highest refresh price the G14’s 120Hz display screen can show is 120fps.

You might even see an affect on different titles — however not one that’s price $850. The 6700S had some bother with ray tracing, which nearly reduce body charges in half — however that’s precisely what we noticed from the 6800S as nicely. The cheaper mannequin averaged 63fps with ray tracing off and 32fps with ray tracing maxed, the place the older mannequin averaged 70fps and 37fps, respectively. Like I stated, small potatoes.

And, on Pink Useless Redemption 2 with all sliders manually maxed, the cheaper mannequin averaged 45fps the place the dearer SKU averaged 49fps. I promise 4 frames is not going to affect your life in any capability.

Fan noise and warmth had been just like what I noticed from the 6800S mannequin, which is to say that they had been tremendous. Noise wasn’t significantly annoying throughout gameplay and didn’t hinder sport audio; once I put the gadget on the Silent profile for normal work, it did certainly change into silent. Even throughout a good workload that included an exterior show, there was by no means greater than a bit of heat on the keyboard. Palm rests had been scorching throughout gameplay however not fairly uncomfortably so.

The lid of a closed Asus ROG Zephryus G14 seen from above on a blue tabletop.

No funky lights right here however nonetheless a neat lid design.

The bottom of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 seen from above on a blue tabletop.

The vents do their job.

The place I did see one thing of a distinction was battery life. The 6700S mannequin averaged eight hours and 55 minutes of normal use at medium brightness, a stable hour over the 6800S. This metric places the G14 again on the map as one of many longest-lasting gaming laptops of current years. Gaming battery didn’t present fairly the identical enchancment. I bought 46 minutes of Pink Useless Redemption 2 play with about 39 minutes of playable time, whereas I eked 54 and 46 minutes out of the dearer unit, however gaming battery life is tough to attract conclusions from. Charging time was precisely the identical: 60 p.c in 41 minutes.

The one different distinction between this mannequin and the 6800S is the scale. It’s barely lighter (3.64 kilos to the 6800S’s 3.79 kilos) and thinner (0.73 inches to 0.77 inches). That is clearly not the most important distinction on the earth, and it’s fairly a lightweight gaming laptop computer both means. However it’s one more slight benefit the cheaper mannequin has. It’s that a lot lighter than the Razer Blade 14 and that rather more compact than bigger machines that may ship these body charges. I introduced this gadget on a global journey and cherished how gentle of a load it was in an in any other case packed backpack.

So, the Zephyrus G14 is, as soon as once more, one of many higher gaming laptops you should buy. You possibly can simply go forward and purchase this 6700S mannequin until you’re actually into fairly animated lights. This mannequin is price-competitive with the premium sphere in a means the animated gentle mannequin isn’t: the closest Razer Blade 14 could be $2,599.99 ($950 extra, although with the next refresh price display screen) and a comparable Alienware X14 (with a lower-resolution display screen) could be $1,949. And, it’s very a lot undercutting bigger rivals: the Blade 15 Superior with an RTX 3070 Ti is at present listed for $2,999.99 ($950 extra) as is the RTX 3070 Ti Blade 15 Base (with a decrease decision).

And that’s not even making an allowance for the opposite benefits the G14 has over a lot of the competitors, together with its light-weight chassis, category-topping keyboard, and (particularly) 16:10 display screen. The $1,649.99 value level makes it a lot simpler (and extra justifiable) to understand the true improvements that Asus has made, and continues to make, on this area.

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