I can’t stop touching the new ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

Call it love at first sight. Every year, I come across a handful of products that elicit instant joy, a sense of elation that’s so strong I forget about the many ways the tech industry is actively making our world worse. As we wrap up CES 2024 in Las Vegas, I can’t stop thinking about the new ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14, the latest edition of one of our favorite gaming laptops. 

As we covered in our initial hands-on, the Zephyrus G14 features the spec bumps you’d expect: new Ryzen 8000 CPUs and the return of NVIDIA’s RTX 4070. But really, it’s the all aluminum case and minimalist aesthetic that I’ve fallen for. When I touched it for the first time, it felt like I was holding a piece of high-grade scientific equipment. The case feels almost too good for a gaming laptop.

Couple that with the cleanest layout ever on an ASUS machine, and you have an evolutionary design leap for the company. (It’s particularly shocking seeing it next to the new ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED, which looks practically ancient in comparison.) We’ve called Razer’s Blade laptops the gaming equivalent of Apple’s MacBook Pro for years — but now the torch may have been passed to ASUS. The Zephyrus G14 more closely resembles the boxier refreshed aesthetic from Apple’s Pro machines. (If you’re looking for an even bigger screen, there’s also a new G16 with the same design and it can hold more powerful hardware, like NVIDIA’s RTX 4090.)

The G14 is more than just a design showpiece, it’s also a far better gaming laptop than before. Its new keyboard, which sports 12 percent larger key caps, makes hours-long Halo Infinite matches feel far more comfortable since there’s more room for my fingers to spread out. Just about everything shines on its new 3K 120Hz OLED screen, which makes colors pop perfectly. And I was even able to hear a decent amount of positional audio from its revamped speakers (20 percent larger than before) when I was too lazy to grab a pair of headphones.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

While I can’t divulge any benchmarks from our RTX 4070-equipped preview unit, I can say that Halo Infinite, Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring and the new uber-stylish Metroidvania Cookie Cutter all played like a dream at the G14’s native resolution with maxed out graphics quality. Cookie Cutter, with its fluid and expressive art style, was practically made to be shown off on OLED screens. And in Cyberpunk, the G14’s HDR capability made the neon lights in Night City almost searingly bright.

The Zephyrus G14 also excelled at game streaming, something I like to test to stress a laptop’s networking capabilities. I was able to hop into Forza Horizon 5 in around 30 seconds while I was sitting 20 feet and a floor away from my router. And once I hit the road, I was able to zoom through a few races without any noticeable video artifacts, tearing or slowdown. Anyone walking by might think I was playing the game locally.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Beyond gaming, the G14 just kept surprising and delighting me. Its larger keyboard feels great for typing, with more depth and responsiveness than before. Its touchpad is one of the smoothest I’ve used on a Windows laptop. And I can’t help but love that it has all the ports I want: HDMI, mini-SD and both USB-C and Type A on both sides of the case. I was less enamored with ASUS’ new power connector — it’s a bit stiff, and a slight tug could easily send the G14 flying. It would have been nice to see a pure USB-C charging solution, but the company told our senior reporter Sam Rutherford that the cost and efficiency of using that port for high-powered charging still isn’t good enough for wide deployment.

I’m looking forward to spending more time with the ROG Zephyrus G14 during our review. But until then, we’ll always have CES 2024.

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/asus-rog-zephyrus-g14-preview-180025962.html?src=rss 

Leave a Comment

Generated by Feedzy