Gaming notebooks with smaller screens are hard to come by. Dell tried its hands on it with the launch of Alienware 14 a few years ago. Now, Asus has come up with a 14-inch screen gaming notebook the Zephyrus G14, but unlike the Alienware 14, it is a lot more compact and easy to lug around. When opened, the lower edge of the lid lifts the base of the laptop by 15 mm, allowing more breathing room for heat vents and it also improves the typing angle marginally. The laptop doesn’t have in-built webcam, which means users will have to get a snap on camera for video calls.
Gaming notebooks have always had a lot to offer to creator community, but the bulky form factor is often the deal breaker for many. That is what makes Zephyrus G14 a good fit for creators. At 1.6 kg, it is one of the lightest gaming notebooks around.
The thin bezel design around the screen looks trendy, but what really lifts its appearance is the AniMe Matrix display with 1,215 mini LEDs on back of the lid. User can choose a custom text, pattern or image in the Armoury Crate software and the mini LEDs will light up to produce the desired effect. The fact that it doesn’t cause any heating up also works in its favour.
The keyboard looks spacious and has got hotkeys keys lined up on top for quick access to volume, microphone and Armoury Krate software. Leaving the numpad out has allowed Asus to accommodate big keys with ample space between them for fast and relaxed typing experience. The touchpad is adequately wide and responsive to taps and gestures.
For gaming, the 14-inch display does feel a tad small but the colour reproduction and brightness levels are on par with high-end gaming notebooks. The 14-inch screen offers 120Hz refresh rate in variants with Full HD (1,920×1,080p) resolution, while those with WQHD (1,560×1,440p) resolution offer a lower refresh rate of 60Hz. For gaming, the screen with higher refresh rate is a better bet.
In terms of performance, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is right up there with rivals. While the top models run on AMD’s powerful 7nm based R9-4900HS processor with Nvidia RTX 2060, 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM, the base variant runs on AMD R5-4600HS with Nvidia GTX 1650. The top variant, we reviewed, handled most of the graphic intensive games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Just Cause 4 with ease. The low priced variant won’t deliver the same level of gaming performance, but they are still adequately powerful and with the GTX1650 GPU can handle many of the creator level tasks with ease.
Overall, the Asus Zephyrus G14 impresses with its compact design and powerful innards. For users looking for powerful small screen notebooks, it is one of the top choices out there. The variant without the AniMe Matrix starts at ₹80,990, while the one with it starts at ₹98,990.
For users who prefer a bigger screen, among 15-inch screen compact laptops, MSI Creator 15M notebook comes closest. It weighs 1.86 kg but it looks a bit bland. It runs on Intel Core i7 10th gen processor with Nvidia’s RTX 2060 and costs ₹1,19,513. The Zephyrus G14 variant we reviewed costs ₹1,61,990.