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Asus Zephyrus G14 Review

Over a month ago I bought the new Asus Zephyrus G14 with the new AMD Ryzen 9 4900H CPU.
After a month of use, I can truly say I more than happy with this buy.
I originally bought it to do some light photo and video editing, along with some light gaming.
But the more I used this machine the more I realized I wasn't using it to it's potential.
So I decided to install Sony Vegas Pro on it and test editing a few short videos. And this tiny thing, out performed my desktop.
My desktop is no pushover, with an i7-9700k, GTX 1080, and 32 GBs of RAM I can comfortably say I have a strong desktop.
But the G14 with it's 8 cores and 16 threads rendered the same file as my desktop 17 seconds faster.
As for gaming, I have played PUBG and Killing Floor 2 on it. With both games set to high I have not had a single dropped frame in either game.

The Good

The speakers are fantastic and do an amazing job at allowing you to know where the enemies are. You can definitely hear when someone is to your left or right.
It does a good job at letting you know when your enemies are above or below but you have to really pay attention or know the difference in sounds to tell.
The laptop audio is handled by Dolby Atmos technology, and it comes with a pre-installed Dolby Atmos app that lets you choose between presets or customize your audio to your liking.
The screen is fantastic. I have the 1080p 120 hz version. The colors are pre-calibrated and from what I can see, they are extremely accurate.
I've played some very dark games and I was extremely pleased to see that neon lights in the game were vibrant and not washed out.
The darks are extremely good. As mentioned before I have not had any issues with framerates. I believe this is because the screen is a freesync screen, and the RTX 2060 can take advantage of that.
I have not experienced any screen tearing either.
The keyboard is solid, and the palm rests are sturdy. I can lady the full weight of my palms on the palm rests and not worry about causing any issues. Even though the keyboard is pretty small the spacing of the
keys is done well enough where the spacing does not bother me.
Battery life. Battery life is phenomenal. I am working from home due to Covid, and this machine will go my entire work day on a single battery charge. While my Dell Latitude will barely last 2 hours
while performing the exact same workload.

The Bad

As much as I love the design and performance of this laptop. It is not without issues.
The keyboard is great, and has built in backlighting, but I have not used the backlights since the day I got the laptop.
The reason being is that the lighting for the keyboard is uneven and some keys are better lit than others.
But the bigger issue is that the light leaks from under the keys causing the lights underneath to overpower the keys faces.
Another big issue is that the drivers that come with the laptop cause the laptop to sometimes struggle between using the integrated 4900H graphics or using the dedicated 2060 GPU.
This causes the laptop to get stuck between the two and the screen going completely black. While this is a big issue a redditor has found that updating the chipset drivers to the latest version
corrects this issue. And I can confirm since updating the drivers I have not had this issue return in 2 weeks.
Another thing I noticed, is that there is some coil whine with the fans. It is mostly noticeable when the laptop is on battery power. And I have seen that the noise some times completely disappears
when plugged into the AC adapter. But when the fans are not revving up to be loud enough to drown out the whine, it is extremely annoying. I considered sending my laptop in as an RMA but I have
seen that many others on reddit have experiences the same thing.

Overall, even with it's issues. This tiny 14 inch laptop is a monster of a machine. And I can happily and begrudgingly say that this laptop can rival and in some cases outperform my desktop.
If you are on the fence on buying this laptop, I say take the plunge and go for it. This machine went from being my back up and travel editing machine to my main editing machine, and my travel gaming machine.
Even after a month of owning it and using it daily I am still extremely happy with it's performance. If you are going to be using it for graphic design, I do recommend you wait until the 1440 p version is out.
Although you will be sacrificing higher refresh rates for a higher quality image.
 

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