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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) review : This is the 14-inch gaming laptop to beat

It's got pretty much everything you want including solid performance, a slick design and a gorgeous OLED display.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus G14 has been one of our favorite gaming laptops for damn near half a decade. But the 2024 model is on another level. That’s because even without a fresh generation of GPUs from NVIDIA, ASUS went and redesigned the entire thing anyway. And the result is a notebook with a gorgeous aluminum unibody chassis with a more mature design that doesn’t need to throw RGB lighting in your face to get some attention. This edition is also sleeker and lighter while still providing powerful performance. Though ASUS made a few trade-offs when compared to its predecessor, with a starting price of $1,600, the new ROG Zephyrus G14 is not only a better value than almost all of its 14-inch rivals, it’s also simply one of the best pound-for-pound gaming laptops around.

For anyone who wants strong performance in a portable design, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is both pound for pound and dollar for dollar the best choice around.

  • Beautiful understated design
  • Gorgeous OLED screen
  • Strong performance
  • Good port selection
  • Punchy speakers
  • Bottom vents can get a bit toasty
  • Keyboard only has single-zone lighting
  • Armoury Crate app is kind of messy
  • RAM is soldered in
$2,000 at Best Buy

Compared to previous models that were awash in RGB or had dot-matrix displays built into their lids, this year’s G14 is an exercise in restraint. It’s almost like the line has grown out of its awkward teenage phase and become a stylish but still fun-loving adult. The lid is accented by a simple diagonal slash with white (not RGB) LEDs embedded down the middle. Meanwhile, on the inside, there’s a sturdy deck with a large touchpad and surprisingly powerful speakers.

The one thing I miss is per-key RGB lighting instead of ASUS’ single-zone approach. After all, this is a gaming laptop and if you’re going to offer multiple colors, it’d be nice to have full customizability.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 features a gorgeous unibody aluminum design. We just wish its keyboard supported per-key RGB lighting instead of ASUS' single-zone setup.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

That said, the G14’s redesign isn’t just about style, it’s functional too. The switch to a unibody aluminum frame has strengthened the whole machine. There’s barely a hint of flex even on typically weaker parts like the lattice between keys. But more importantly, ASUS also reduced the laptop's weight to just 3.3 pounds, which is noticeably lighter than rival notebooks with similar metal builds like the Razer Blade 14 (3.95 pounds). Plus, even with the smaller size, the G14 features a healthy selection of ports including a full-size HDMI 2.1 jack, two USB-C (one of which supports Thunderbolt 4), two USB-A and a microSD card reader.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 features a gorgeous 14-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and vibrant colors.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Another glowing component of the G14 is its OLED screen. In addition to producing vibrant colors, it has a sharp 2,880 x 1,800 resolution along with a 120Hz refresh rate and a color gamut that covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 spectrum. Recently, I’ve been watching Three Body Problem and I’ve been absolutely loving the OLED panel’s excellent contrast and deep blacks. Furthermore, because ASUS includes a handful of color-calibrated settings for sRGB, D65 P3, DCI-P3 (but not Adobe RGB), the G14 is a very capable photo- and video-editing machine.

The one small issue is that because 2,880 x 1,800 is a somewhat uncommon resolution, you may not be able to play all of your games at their native resolution, which is an issue I encountered when playing Returnal.

A big change for the 2024 ROG G14 is that GPU options now top out with an NVIDIA RTX 4070 instead of a 4080 like on the previous model. That may be a bummer for some, but as I prefer laptops that are easier to carry around, I’m OK with trading out a little top-end oomph for enhanced portability. And with all models featuring an AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS chip along with at least 16GB of RAM (or 32GB like on my review unit) and 1TB of storage, you won’t be lacking in speed.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 even includes a microSD card reader to make transferring media to the computer from a camera a bit easier.
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

On Geekbench 6, the G14 matched the performance we saw from a larger XPS 16 with an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H chip. In games, it hit 90 fps in Cyberpunk 2077 on ultra settings, which is just shy of a much more expensive Razer Blade 14 (101 fps). That said, there are some important details you should know. Unlike previous models, the latest G14’s memory is soldered to the motherboard, so there’s no way to add extra RAM later. Additionally, while both ASUS and Razer’s 14-inch systems appear to have the same RTX 4070 GPU, the G14’s is capped at 90 watts versus 140 watts for the Blade, which explains the small gap in gaming performance.

It’s also worth noting that heat can be an issue in certain situations. In normal use, it’s not a big deal as the fans rarely need to spin up when browsing the web or watching movies. But under load, because the G14’s vents are on the bottom of the notebook, your lap can get toasty fast. Thankfully, this won’t be a major problem if you’re gaming, since you’ll probably want to be at a desk or table to put an external mouse on anyway.

The ROG Zephyrus G14 has a wealth of ports including ASUS' new Slim Power Jack ( far left).
Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

While the G14 doesn’t last quite as long as a traditional ultrabook, it still carries enough juice to last nearly an entire workday. On PCMark 10’s Modern Office rundown test, it lasted 7 hours and 29 minutes which is slightly better than the Razer Blade 14’s time of 6:46. And, new for 2024, ASUS has added its proprietary Slim Power Jack, which sort of looks like a USB-C port if you squint (but it isn’t). However, if you want to really travel light, the G14 supports charging via USB-C so you can leave the adapter at home. The one caveat is that USB-PD on this maxes out at 100 watts (versus 180 watts when using the included brick), so the battery may still discharge while gaming or performing other intensive tasks.

Even though we already loved its predecessors, the 2024 ROG Zephyrus G14 has managed to take another big leap. It’s got an exquisitely crafted chassis along with a vibrant new display and boomier speakers – all while shedding nearly half a pound in weight. On the inside, you still get up to an RTX 4070 GPU. Sure, it’s a touch slower than a similarly equipped Blade 14, but considering our review unit costs $2,000 compared to $2,700 for the closest equivalently specced Razer, I’m happy to trade a tiny bit of performance to get a much more affordable machine. And that’s before you factor in a starting price of just $1,450 for one with an RTX 4060. My biggest gripe is that ASUS’ Amoury Crate app still feels clunky, thanks to settings that are hard to find or toggles that don’t work like you’d expect. But make no mistake, the G14 is a great laptop – for both gamers and content creators – who want good performance in a portable package. So while I appreciate what the Blade 14 and other high-end notebooks can do, ASUS’ latest creation is the one I’d buy.