The ASUS Zephyrus G14 is a brand new breed of {powerful}, transportable laptop computer made doable by the most recent AMD Ryzen CPUs.

All product pictures by DL Cade.

On the subject of light-weight laptops for creatives, Apple just about cornered the market with the discharge of the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Professional. The value-to-performance of those laptops is best than something we have seen from Cupertino in a very long time, and the Apple Silicon M1 punches properly above its weight given its ‘entry-level’ designation.

However what in the event you’re not a Mac fan? What if 16GB of unified reminiscence is not sufficient? And what if you would like extra graphics energy than the maxed out 8-core GPU variant of the Apple Silicon M1 can ship? Is there a PC on the market that provides all of these items with out sacrificing the portability and effectivity of laptops just like the MacBook Air and MacBook Professional?

There may be, and that PC is the ASUS Zephyrus G14: a small, light-weight ‘gaming laptop computer’ that includes a powerful-but-efficient AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, 32GB of RAM, a WQHD/2K show with 100% DCI-P3 protection and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM. All of it packed inside a 14-inch laptop computer chassis that is solely a tiny bit thicker, and no bigger, than your typical 13-inch MacBook Professional.



Key specs:

The 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14 that we’re testing is the costlier of the 2 essential variants out there within the US. Each choices include the identical AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor and NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU (60W, 80W enhance), however our mannequin is supplied with 32GB of RAM and a WQHD show that claims 100% protection of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, whereas the extra reasonably priced mannequin comes with solely 16GB of RAM and a Full HD show that may solely handle 100% of sRGB.

Zephyrus G14 – FHD Zephyrus G14 – QHD
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

RAM 16GB DDR4-3200MHz 32GB DDR4-3200MHz
Storage

1TB NVMe M.2 SSD

PCIe 3.0

1TB NVMe M.2 SSD

PCIe 3.0

Show

14-inch 144Hz FHD

100% sRGB

14-inch 120Hz WQHD

100% DCI-P3

Value $1,450 $2,000

Be aware that the RAM within the Full HD model is user-upgradable, however for creatives, we’d nonetheless advocate the costlier choice merely due to the color-accurate show. The additional pixels aren’t completely obligatory at this display screen dimension, however we have discovered that many high-refresh-rate shows utilized in gaming laptops barely under-perform their spec sheet relating to gamut protection, so it is at all times good to have some cushion above and past 100% sRGB.

If you are going to be doing inventive work, the additional $550 for the top-tier mannequin is definitely worth the further RAM, decision and colour accuracy.


Design, construct and usefulness

For picture and video editors, the ASUS Zephyrus G14’s WQHD show delivers as much as 100% protection of the DCI-P3 colour gamut.

The Zephyrus G14’s design is gamer-y, however not excessive. There isn’t any ostentatious RGB accents or glowing logos, and whereas the general form of the laptop computer options just a few sharp angles, there is not even an RGB backlight on the keyboard – simply a regular white gentle. The chassis is out there in a ‘Moonlight White’ or ‘Eclipse Grey’ and, when closed, the one trace that that is an ASUS pc comes from the Republic of Avid gamers (ROG) emblem stamped on a pearlescent steel plate that is embedded within the lid.

Talking of the lid, probably the most ostentatious and distinctive design component of the ASUS G14 is the so-called ‘AniMe Matrix’ lighting impact that covers slightly greater than half of the laptop computer’s lid on a diagonal.

The Zephyrus G14’s design is gamer-y, however not excessive.

Made up of mini-LEDs hidden behind a matrix of little dots, the matrix might be custom-made in ASUS’ Armoury Crate software program to point out any variety of preset animations, show a static picture, or loop by way of a customized set of pictures or GIFs that you simply add your self. For this evaluate, I clearly could not resist popping the DPR emblem onto the again.

The so-called ‘AniMe Matrix’ on the G14’s lid might be custom-made to show a custom-made picture or animation.

Sadly, that little little bit of displaying off is about all it is good for. After taking the image above, I turned it off and saved it off to keep away from any further battery drain, and the one goal the little dots served from that time onward was the gathering of mud and different particles which might be virtually unimaginable to take away as soon as they’ve grow to be embedded.

It’s, in my view, the one factor on this laptop computer that’s 100% gimmick and 0% perform, and I sort of want ASUS had left it off. Even the cheaper mannequin, which will not let you customise the AniMe Matrix, nonetheless comes with these little holes, they’re simply set to show a static ‘holographic’ impact.

Shifting again to the entrance of the pc, each the keyboard and trackpad qualify as good-but-not-great in my e book. The keyboard options slightly bit extra journey and ‘mush’ than I am used to from most low-profile laptop computer keyboards as of late, however your preferences could range, whereas the trackpad is sufficiently easy and responsive, however slightly bit undersized.

The Zephyrus G14’s trackpad is easy and responsive, however smaller than most rivals.

Evaluate this to the large glass-topped trackpads favored by Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Razer, and you will see what I imply. By pushing the keyboard all the way down to make room for the audio controls, ROG button and energy button/fingerprint reader, the trackpad has been squeezed to simply 2.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches broad.

It is exact, with a pleasant springboard click on that is usable from about midway down the trackpad, however I want it have been slightly bit taller.

When it comes to ports, the Zephyrus G14 comes outfitted with an HDMI, two USB Kind-C ports, two USB Kind-A ports, a headphone jack and customary barrel connector for energy. A kind of USB Kind-C ports also can carry a DisplayPort 1.Four sign and cost your system in the event you depart the included 180W energy brick at dwelling, and each can switch knowledge at USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds (10Gbps), however neither helps Thunderbolt’s sooner 40Gbps switch price due to the AMD processor.

The trackpad is exact, with a pleasant springboard click on that is usable from about midway down the trackpad, however I want it have been slightly bit taller.

When it comes to ports, the Zephyrus G14 comes outfitted with an HDMI, two USB Kind-C ports, two USB Kind-A ports, a headphone jack and customary barrel connector for energy.

Thunderbolt is an Intel creation, and till it absolutely merges with the CPU-agnostic USB 4.Zero customary and AMD releases Ryzen 6000 someday in 2022, you will not discover any AMD Ryzen laptops that additionally function Thunderbolt assist.

Every part up to now makes this a very good gaming PC however not notably particular for picture and video work. That is the place the show is available in.

Following a development we have seen from different gaming laptops, ASUS gives the Zephyrus G14 (and the larger G15) with a few completely different show choices. There’s an ultra-fast 144Hz Full HD show that may solely hit 100% sRGB or a barely slower 120Hz WQHD choice that’s ‘Pantone validated’ and claims 100% protection of DCI-P3.

In my testing, it did not fairly stay as much as that declare, managing solely 95.3% protection of DCI-P3 and 80.0% of AdobeRGB, however it did so at a decent Delta E 2000 of lower than 2. Different reviewers have profiled this show at as much as 98% DCI-P3, however to my data, no one has seen it hit the marketed 100%.

In different phrases: the show is correct sufficient for correct picture and video modifying on the go, however I’d not depend on it as my solely display screen. When it is time for severe colour grading, use the USB-C/DisplayPort to attach a bigger, color-accurate 4K monitor, particularly in the event you’re planning to print your work.

Lastly, there are two extra issues left to say – one constructive and one adverse.

The constructive is battery life, which is great. AMD’s Zen Three processors are already very energy environment friendly, and ASUS is taking full benefit of that reality by placing a big 76Wh battery inside the G14. For regular writing, analysis, and video consumption in ‘Silent’ mode, I might simply get 8+ hours of use out of this laptop computer. In ‘Efficiency’ mode whereas doing severe picture or video modifying on battery, that drops to about 2 hours, however that is to be anticipated given the NVIDIA 3060 GPU is pulling 60W all by itself.

The Zephyrus G14’s QHD show is color-accurate sufficient for correct picture and video modifying on the go, however I’d not depend on it as my solely display screen.

The adverse is the full lack of webcam on this pc. Whereas the Zephyrus G14 does have a built-in microphone array embedded within the prime bezel, it does not have a webcam. None in any respect. Not even the crappy 720p choice that is included in most laptops as we speak.

With so many picture and video professionals speaking with their shoppers over Zoom as a lot (if no more) than in-person, it is a large miss. I suppose the concept is that players who stream will use a nicer digital camera anyway, and people who do not will not care a few webcam, however it’s a obtrusive omission that has the potential to actually annoy you day-in and day-out.

Tehre isn’t any webcam on the ASUS Zephyrus G14 – a irritating omission given the elevated reputation of video conferencing.

Total, I fairly just like the design and construct high quality of the Zephyrus G14. Positive, I are inclined to favor the inflexible CNC-milled aluminum unibody designs favored by firms like Razer and Apple, however I by no means felt like I used to be coping with a flimsy laptop computer and the design aesthetic is clear sufficient to make use of for each enterprise and enjoyable… assuming you flip off the AniMe Matrix.

For inventive professionals, you may go in realizing that the I/O is stable, the trackpad is sweet (if slightly bit small), and the display screen is sufficiently colour correct with the intention to get your work carried out on the go. Should you can stay with out Thunderbolt and a webcam, the G14 checks nearly each different ‘ultra-portable’ field, with out sacrificing efficiency.

Talking of which…

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Efficiency benchmarks

Regardless of its small dimension, the Zephyrus G14 is without doubt one of the quickest picture and video modifying laptops in the marketplace.

What actually makes the ASUS Zephyrus G14 particular is simply how {powerful} it’s given its dimension and weight. That is all the way down to the magic of the AMD Ryzen processor inside, which is constructed on AMD’s Zen Three structure and virtually sips wattage in comparison with most of Intel’s chips.

For this reason ASUS selected AMD for this 14-inch laptop computer, why Razer selected AMD for their 14-inch Blade, and why we anticipate to see Ryzen PCs and M1 Macs virtually take over the ‘powerful-but-portable’ class for no less than the subsequent yr or two. Intel’s newest 11th-geneneration H-series laptop computer CPUs are extra environment friendly than 10th-gen, however they nonetheless absorb much more wattage to generate these outcomes.

For this spherical of efficiency benchmarks, we examined the M1 Mac mini, an Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Professional, the AMD Ryzen-based Razer Blade 14 and the ASUS Zephyrus G14. Full specs beneath:

Zephyrus G14 13-inch MBP M1 Mac mini Blade 14
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS Intel Core i7-1068NG7 Apple Silicon M1 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

Intel Iris Plus Graphics

Apple Silicon M1 8-core

NVIDIA RTX 3070

8GB VRAM

RAM

32GB DDR4

3200MHz

32GB LPDDR4X

3733MHz

16GB Unified Reminiscence

16GB DDR4

3200MHz

Storage 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe 3.Zero SSD 4TB NVMe SSD 2TB NVMe SSD 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe 3.Zero SSD
Show

14-inch 120Hz WQHD IPS LCD

100% DCI-P3

13-inch Retina Show

100% Show P3

N/A

14-inch 165Hz QHD IPS LCD

100% DCI-P3

Value

$2,000 $3,600 $1,700 $2,200
Value w/ 1TB of Storage $2,000 $2,600 $1,300 $2,200

Sadly we didn’t have an M1 MacBook Professional readily available to do a side-by-side comparability, however the internals of the M1 Mac mini and the internals of the M1 MacBook Professional are an identical, so the outcomes must be interchangeable. As ordinary, we examined Adobe Lightroom Basic, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Professional, and Seize One 21 utilizing the suite of checks described right here.

All checks have been run a minimal of 3 times in a row, with the laptops plugged in, absolutely charged, and set to their most Turbo/Efficiency settings.

Lightroom Basic

Import and preview technology in Lightroom Basic relies completely on CPU efficiency, RAM quantity and RAM velocity. Every of those machines has a distinct mixture of those components, and the ASUS Zephyrus G14 and M1 Mac mini find yourself buying and selling blows on the prime of the import desk due to the stellar efficiency of their respective CPUs and the Mac’s quick unified reminiscence structure.

Regardless of having an ever-so-slightly extra {powerful} CPU than the ASUS, the Razer Blade 14 falls to final place due to its 16GB RAM limitation, whereas the Intel-based MacBook Professional sits someplace in the course of the pack.

Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fuji GFX 100 Import
ASUS G14 1:38 2:59 3:30 7:35
Blade 14 2:07 4:16 4:58 12:30
M1 Mac mini 1:44 2:54 3:03 8:51
MacBook Professional 2:22 3:42 4:02 10:12

It is a comparable story after we strive exporting closely edited 100% JPEGs, however now that there are extra pixels to maneuver round, the ASUS G14 wins each single class.

As decision will increase and file sizes get bigger, the Blade 14 and M1 Mac mini fall approach behind the remainder of the pack, held again by the utmost 16GB of RAM out there to them. By the point we get to the 100MP Fuji GFX 100 recordsdata, the ASUS G14 is greater than 15 minutes sooner than each the M1 Mac mini and the Blade 14, however solely about Three minutes sooner than the two-year-old MacBook Professional.

These outcomes present you simply how RAM dependent Lightroom Basic exporting actually is. The extra RAM, and the sooner your RAM, the higher your efficiency… even in the event you’re working an older processor and no discrete GPU:

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fuji GFX 100 Export
ASUS G14 3:58 8:55 11:41 23:40
Blade 14 5:30 14:40 20:46 40:02
M1 Mac mini 4:06 9:21 15:04 38:44
MacBook Professional 5:55 12:01 15:35 26:46

Seize One 21

Seize One 21 is an entire completely different animal. As we confirmed in our latest head-to-head comparability between Seize One and Lightroom Basic, C1 is much less depending on RAM velocity and higher optimized to reap the benefits of {powerful} GPUs by way of {hardware} acceleration.

At import, CPU efficiency remains to be a very powerful issue, and the ASUS G14, Blade 14, and M1 Mac mini are inside spitting distance of one another, whereas the MacBook Professional and its weaker 10th-gen Intel processor falls additional and additional behind as file sizes improve.

Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fuji GFX 100 Import
ASUS G14 00:40 00:59 1:12 1:50
Blade 14 00:40 00:59 1:14 1:50
M1 Mac mini 00:45 00:53 1:00 1:22
MacBook Professional 00:47 1:42 2:12 3:12

At export, the Zephyrus G14 makes use of its mixture of a quick CPU, quick GPU, and 32GB of RAM to (as soon as once more) sweep each single class. Not one of the different computer systems might sustain.

The Razer Blade 14 solely fell slightly bit behind the ASUS, however by the point we get to the biggest recordsdata the M1 Mac mini is greater than 10 minutes slower than the Zephyrus G14, and the Intel-based MacBook Professional was one other 10 minutes slower than that – a full 20 minutes and 45 seconds slower than the ASUS G14.

Should you personal an Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Professional (as I do) this isn’t a reasonably graph.

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fuji GFX 100 Export
ASUS G14 1:35 3:12 3:50 6:53
Blade 14 1:48 3:47 4:47 7:46
M1 Mac mini 2:53 7:02 8:49 17:20
MacBook Professional 4:57 12:50 16:18 27:38

Photoshop

Once we ran the Pugetbench benchmark for Photoshop, the ASUS G14 got here extremely near beating the spectacular general rating put up by the M1 Mac mini, and did handle to beat the Mac in each the GPU and Filter classes.

Nevertheless, this outcome requires a little bit of context.

Presumably because of their ultra-fast unified reminiscence, M1 Macs are capable of merge panoramas a lot sooner than any PC we have examined (no less than in Photoshop), however the excessive general rating is disproportionately affected by that one issue. It is like an Olympian profitable the decathlon by coming in the course of the pack in 9 occasions, after which pole vaulting twice as excessive as anyone else.

In a lot of the particular person duties that the benchmark performs, the ASUS G14 is as quick or sooner than the Mac, which is mirrored within the excessive Normal, GPU, and Filter rating. I solely actually loses the ‘general’ battle due to its decrease PhotoMerge rating.

Total Normal GPU Filter PhotoMerge
ASUS G14 973.6 99.0 97.3 86.9 115.0
Blade 14 835.6 85.6 88.8 67.3 111.9
M1 Mac mini 1017.8 99.4 81.2 82.9 144.2
MacBook Professional 597.7 65.4 32.6 52.8 62.6

Premiere Professional

Our closing checks contain Adobe Premiere Professional. In contrast to most different Adobe CC apps, Premiere is properly optimized to reap the benefits of the NVIDIA GPUs in each the Razer Blade 14 and the ASUS Zephyrus G14 by way of ‘CUDA’ {hardware} acceleration. It is also capable of reap the benefits of ‘Steel’ {hardware} acceleration on the M1 Mac mini.

This reality alone places these three computer systems in a league of their very own, and leaves my poor little Intel-based MacBook Professional trailing approach behind the remainder of the pack in each video encoding job we tried.

The Zephyrus G14 steals the present right here, placing up the quickest occasions in all however one class regardless of stiff competitors from each the Razer Blade 14 and M1 Mac mini. Utilizing our Sony a1 take a look at video, the G14 rendered and exported the complete Premier Professional challenge 1 to 2 minutes sooner than both the Blade or the Mac mini, and a whopping 18 to 20 minutes sooner than the MacBook Professional.

This outcome, greater than any others, reveals the potential of GPU {hardware} acceleration. Correctly applied, it may well produce huge efficiency positive aspects.

Render All Export Grasp File Export H.264 Export H.265/HEVC Warp Stabilize
ASUS G14 6:40 00:15 6:06 5:59 2:33
Blade 14 8:50 00:41 8:12 8:06 3:13
M1 Mac mini 7:32 00:18 7:30 7:19 2:13
MacBook Professional 25:53 00:37 26:12 25:09 2:36

Again to prime


Takeaways

Usually, that is the a part of the evaluate the place I’d listing just a few fascinating takeaways primarily based on the strengths and weaknesses that I seen whereas working our benchmarks. However the ASUS does so properly throughout the board that I do not actually have a lot to say aside from: wow.

The ASUS Zephyrus G14 is a particularly succesful picture and video modifying machine – way more succesful than you’ll guess given its small dimension. Thanks largely to the power-efficient AMD CPU, ASUS has created slightly monster that packs extra punch than some other ‘ultra-portable’ PC laptop computer in the marketplace, together with the equally specced Razer Blade 14 and, presumably, the M1 MacBook Professional (primarily based on our M1 Mac mini outcomes).

ASUS has created slightly monster that packs extra punch than some other ‘ultra-portable’ PC laptop computer in the marketplace.

From a efficiency standpoint, ASUS mainly did not have to chop any corners; consequently, we get a $2,000 14-inch laptop computer that simply outperforms $3,000+ Intel-based PCs from lower than a yr in the past and offers the Apple Silicon M1 some trustworthy to goodness competitors on this dimension and worth bracket.

Again to prime


Conclusion

What We Like What We Do not Like
  • Distinctive efficiency
  • Shade-accurate WQHD show
  • Small and transportable
  • Good number of ports
  • Nice battery life
  • Inexpensive
  • No Thunderbolt Help
  • No SD card slot
  • No webcam
  • Small trackpad
  • The AniMe Matrix is a neat-but-useless gimmick

It is onerous to search out fault with the 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14. It already gives most of what ‘creators’ are hoping to see from the rumored 14-inch MacBook Professional: it is a small, transportable, environment friendly laptop computer that delivers professional-grade efficiency in inventive purposes, together with GPU accelerated duties.

All of this for a particularly affordable worth and with out a few of the Apple-specific downsides that we have gotten used to: the shortage of user-upgradable storage, the shortage of ports, and occasional compatibility points (particularly with ARM-based M1 Macs).

The 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14 a small, transportable, environment friendly laptop computer that delivers professional-grade efficiency in inventive purposes.

The one actual draw back for creatives is the shortage of Thunderbolt assist – a should for some specialised gear – and the pc’s deal with sure gaming-specific specs and design components. Personally, I would reasonably have a extra power-efficient WQHD show that is restricted to 60Hz or a extra reasonably priced Full HD choice that covers 100% DCI-P3, and the ‘AniMe Matrix’ function is nothing greater than a celebration trick that sucks up battery in the event you neglect to show it off.

Positive, this little gaming laptop computer cannot match the top-shelf construct high quality and clear design of manufacturers like Apple, Razer, Microsoft, and even Dell – which is mainly the one motive I am unable to give the pc a full 5 stars – however in the event you’re searching for the final word ultra-portable PC laptop computer with the fewest trade-offs and the most effective efficiency, the ASUS Zephyrus G14 is the best way to go.

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