All those pristine frames and graphics are perfectly presented on the 16:10 QHD display. Realistic and stylized images look equally great, with accurate colors and bright contrast. It’s not perfect, as this display lacks some brightness. In many environments, you’ll barely notice, but away from gaming, this slightly affects the laptop’s portability.
The specs make it very capable as an editing machine, for those who want creative freedom alongside gaming power. For this type of creator, this laptop has some high-end 2021 devices, as well as not too far from the bigger powerhouse beats from this year.
In short, all but the most power-hungry professionals should do well with this machine, although its read and write speeds don’t match those of larger rivals. It’s not slow at all, but it lags a bit so someone who frequently transfers files should take note.
What really ruins this laptop’s prospects as a high-end, versatile computing companion is battery life. Make no mistake, for a gaming laptop—especially one with this power level—the battery life you get out of it for normal non-gaming tasks remains good. But in the world of the Apple M1, the five to seven hours you’ll get from this device seems like a pittance.
When not charging, I often found myself a bit worried about how long the G14 would last, and the battery seemed to drain quickly even under fairly moderate productivity loads. Gaming when not charging is a no go, averaging about an hour for many titles. Thankfully, 100-W USB-C charging is available to quickly top you up when needed, and at around six hours on average, it keeps this laptop a capable machine for a day at work or a trip to the coffee shop.
The ROG Zephyrus G14 fell flat when it was first revealed two years ago as a mid-range gaming machine at a very low price. Over the past few years, the drive to add more power has led to higher prices. The resulting value is less impressive across the board, with Asus’ own Strix range, Lenovo Legion laptops, MSI machines and more taking the G14 to task.
The G14 earns its higher price tag in part by delivering power in an innovative small package. However, it’s priced closer to its main 14-inch rival, the Razer Blade 14, which offers a sleeker, higher-quality design alongside a more powerful CPU and the option to cram in an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080.
The G14 remains the king of 14-inch gaming powerhouses, for now… but the wall is getting closer.