It is a powerful gaming laptop with a high performance APU and external GPU in a compact 14 ” display.
Compact size, pleasant for gamers
Let’s take a look at the design first. The ROG ZEPHYRUS G14 features a 14-inch display, which is not enough for a gaming laptop. The main body of the regular model measures about 324 (width) x 222 (depth) x 17.9 (height) mm and weighs 1.65 kg. The case size of the model equipped with the “AniMe Matrix”, which will be described later, is 19.9 mm thick and 3.64 pounds (1.7 kg) in weight, which is a bit thick and heavy. This time I am reviewing the AniMe Matrix model, and although thick, it is definitely compact and lightweight like a gaming laptop.
There are two colors: Eclipse Gray and Moonlight White. It is said to be based on Distopia and Utopia, which are often used in the gaming world.
The pattern on the top plate is shining! It works! Can be customized!
The aforementioned AniMe Matrix is a gaming feature in which an LED built into the top plate glows and moves. The top plate has 6,536 holes, into which 1,215 mini-LEDs are embedded.
You can move logos and labels in animation mode, move them according to the sound when music is playing, and display incoming mail and time.
You can select the template you want to display in animation mode, and you can also set the blinking speed and movement. How to use it depends on the user.
There are many gaming laptop models that shine in different places, but AniMe Matrix animations are rare and an interesting feature that can show their personality.
It’s a shame the color is only white, but to heighten the user’s senses, if you can afford it, why not choose the AniMe Matrix model?
What is the power of the Ryzen 9 4900 HS APU?
The best feature of this model is performance. The APU will be powered by the Ryzen Mobile 4000 series. It is a hot APU using the same “Zen2” architecture as the Ryzen 3rd Gen desktop processor, which is a very popular home PC processor. The chipset manufacturing rules have been changed to 7nm, which provides not only high performance but also high energy savings.
The model I tried this time is powered by the “Ryzen 9 4900 HS”, a high-end processor from the Ryzen Mobile 4000 series. The processor is a dedicated APU that this model was allowed to install 6 months earlier than other companies.
The CPU has 8 cores and 16 threads, the operating frequency is 3 GHz, and the maximum is 4.3 GHz. Needless to say, this is a high-end laptop processor. However, the TDP (Thermal Design Power) is 35W, which is lower than the 45W H processor for competing Intel laptops.
In addition to the Ryzen 9 4900HS internal GPU, the GPU is equipped with a “GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q Design (6GB)” as an external GPU, and this is a mechanism that switches automatically. The user can also select it manually. The memory is 16GB DDR4-3200 and the storage is 1TB SSD (PCI Express NVMe).
Then I tested its capabilities using standard benchmarking software. For comparison, we used the data of the previously reviewed gaming notebooks “ROG ZEPHYRUS S GX531GWR” and “ROG ZEPHYRUS S GX701GXR”. The main technical characteristics of the two models are as follows.
ROG ZEPHYRUS S GX531GWR
・ Processor: Core i7-9750H (6 cores / 12 threads, 2.6 GHz, 4.5 GHz maximum)
・ GPU: GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design
・ Memory: 24 GB
・ Memory: 1TB SSD (PCI Express 3.0 x2))
・ Display: 15.6-inch LCD (1920 x 1080)
ROG ZEPHYRUS S GX701GXR
・ Processor: Core i7-9750H (6 cores / 12 threads, 2.6 GHz, 4.5 GHz maximum)
・ GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design
・ Memory: 32GB
・ Memory: 1TB SSD (PCI Express 3.0 x4))
・ Display: 17.3-inch LCD (1920 x 1080)
The first result is MAXTHON CINEBENCH R20, which measures CPU performance. When it comes to multi-core results, the Ryzen 9 4900 HS with 8 cores / 16 threads almost doubled the score. Even with a single core, it beats the Core i7-9750H.
Now let’s look at the results from “PC Mark 10”, which measures the overall performance of a personal computer. The total score was 5457, which is lower than the results of the two tests. The memory capacity in the two tests is 24/32 GB, which is more than the 16 GB ROG ZEPHYRUS G14, and the GPU also has a higher level, so it seems that the result is not strange. Separately, the performance was 7412, which is higher than the other two.
I actually played this game. I tried the popular first person shooter “THE DIVISION 2”, which is considered heavy. Choose the best image quality “Ultra”. Operating mode – “Turbo” (* Turbo can be used only when the power is connected). The frame rate is maintained at 50 frames per second, which is the level at which the author of the player can play without problems. The fans are really loud, but it’s not that you can’t play without headphones.
Fully equipped for everyday use as well as for games
Finally, let’s look at the usability aspect. The palm rest is processed to prevent fingerprints, so it can be used beautifully for a long time. At first I wrote that the main body is thick, but it is this part of the palmrest that is thick. The interior has a honeycomb structure and is thickened to not bend, even if you play hard.
The keyboard has a 19.05 mm key pitch and 1.7 mm key travel. Moderate click feeling and you can type comfortably. Of course, this is a gaming laptop keyboard with durability capable of withstanding over 20 million keystrokes for gaming, simultaneous N-key presses, hotkeys that can quickly switch between four functions, and a space bar that can be easily pressed with your left thumb.
Display WQHD (2560 x 140) 60 Hz refresh rate. It is said to be the world’s first 14-inch laptop equipped with a WQHD / 60Hz monitor. Since it is an IPS panel, the 178 ° wide viewing angle is also a point. This is an exquisite display that is calibrated before leaving the factory.
Other models are available in Full HD (1920 x 1080) / 60Hz and Full HD / 120Hz. If smoothness is important to you, you should choose the Full HD / 120Hz model.
Battery life is approximately 9.4 hours according to catalog specifications. Sure, you can’t play the game for 9.4 hours, but it seems like you can use it for a long time for day to day work like browsing the web and checking emails.
External Interface – Power port on left side, HDMI 2.0b with 4K output, USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen2, DisplayPort1.4, Power Delivery), 3.5mm audio out, USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen2) on right side , USB 3.0 Type-A x 2, equipped with security slot. The power port is on the left side, so you can easily operate the mouse with your right hand.
The wireless LAN supports the latest Wi-Fi 6, so even if you don’t have a wired LAN port, you can enjoy the game comfortably if you have a compatible router.
The ROG ZEPHYRUS G14 is a gaming laptop with many features. First of all, even though the case of a laptop equipped with GeForce RTX can be made thinner thanks to Max-Q Design, the weight is in the 1.9 kg range, so this model weighs about 1.65 kg is quite light. It is the first gaming laptop to be certified by Microsoft as a “modern PC” (a generic term for PCs with the latest features in a thin and light design).
The Ryzen 9 4900 HS also performed better than expected. With such high performance, it can be used not only for gaming, but also for creative purposes such as editing photos and videos. You can connect it to an external display to play games on the big screen or do heavy creative work. There will likely be a demand for compact high-performance laptops for non-gaming applications. I would like people looking for a compact gaming laptop as well as gamers to rate it.