Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: A Lot to Love for Creators and Gamers (2024)

Pros

  • Excellent, color accurate OLED display
  • Very well designed

Cons

  • Bottom gets hot when plugged in
  • No Adobe RGB profiling

Asus brings OLED displays to its ROG Zephyrus line in 2024 and does a fab job for a first timer. The new flashy slash programmable-LED on the cover of the well-designed laptop, plus solid performance for its 14-inch size, makes the G14 an excellent choice for a small model that's adept for both gaming and creating.

Despite being a member of Asus' gaming-focused ROG family of laptops, the G14 has a more creative bent; it's technically considered an Nvidia Studio model and ships with Nvidia's Studio driver rather than the more common Game Ready version. (You can switch to the latter if you want the more frequent and game-optimized updates.) It comes in two models: the $2,000 version I tested, equipped with a AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS, GeForce RTX 4070, 32GB RAM and 1TB storage; and a $1,600 version with 16GB RAM and an RTX 4060.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA403UI (2024)

Price as reviewed $2,000
Display 14-inch, 2,880x1,800 120Hz OLED (DisplayHDR 500 True Black)
CPU 4.0GHz AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS
Memory 32GB LPDDR5-6400 (soldered)
Graphics 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 mobile; AMD Radeon 780M (integrated)
Storage 1TB SSD, micro-SD slot
Ports 2 x USB-A, 2 x USB-C (1 x 4.0 w/ 100w PD, DP mode), 1 x HDMI 2.1, combo audio
Networking MediaTek Wi-Fi 6E MT7922, Bluetooth 5.3
Operating system Windows 11 Home (22H2)
Weight 3.3 lbs./1.5kg

The cheaper model can probably suit most people's needs. If you play games at 1080p or lightweight ones at 1440p, the 4060 should be OK; if you're not a big multitasker or don't work with a lot of large photo or video files the 16GB of RAM shouldn't be much of a limitation. But if you're going to push to, say, 1800p (the screen's maximum resolution) for gaming or editing complex video projects, you'll need at least the 32GB and RTX 4070. Both models come equipped with the 14-inch, 2,880x1,800-pixel resolution OLED screen.

New and novel, a diagonal set of white LEDs on the top flashes in patterns, for example, to sync with audio or for notifications. It can be useful, but some applications don't work very well. Sonic Match, for instance, needs some way to fine-tune it beyond "sensitivity." It just ends up just being solidly lit when there's no real silence (it can't seem to pick up the beat effectively), which means it's not great for music; it's most effective for spoken word. You can turn it off and adjust the brightness. When it's off, it just looks reflective. I don't know how durable it is against scratches, though.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: A Lot to Love for Creators and Gamers (2)

In general, the laptop's very well designed. The membrane-switch keyboard feels great for typing -- it feels like there's more travel than there is, with a nice bounce, a pleasant soft-touch surface and big, hard-to-miss keycaps. (For gaming you might want to attach an external keyboard, though.) The secondary functions aren't brightly backlit -- you can tell the LED is in the center beneath the key -- but they are lit well enough to make them out, which is important if you work in the dark. They also stay cool when the laptop heats up.

And there are subtle touches which can make a big difference. Because it's an AMD-based laptop, there's no Thunderbolt (it's a licensing thing). Instead, there's one USB4 USB-C port in addition to a USB 3.2 and they're labeled 40Gbps and 10Gbps, respectively, which differentiates them in a meaningful way: That's really helpful and too uncommon. The laptop has a surprisingly full set of ports for its size, with sufficient space between them that you shouldn't have any issues with larger-than-normal connectors.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: A Lot to Love for Creators and Gamers (3)

It's not an especially thin design, and some people might consider the top and bottom display bezels a little thick, but in those ways it's reminiscent of the MacBook Pro 14 and very similar to the Razer Blade 14. Overall, if you take away the slash on the cover it gives off a more serious vibe than you get from a gaming laptop. That includes the decent business-quality 1080p webcam.

There are a few things I wish it did have -- RGB backlighting on the slash and a full-size SD card slot rather than micro SD, for example, and the ability to open to a wider angle -- but none of them are critical. It even supports Nvidia's Advanced Optimus, which means you can force it to exclusively use the discrete GPU without rebooting via the Nvidia driver. It gets confusing, though, because Asus' software also lets you force discrete-GPU-only, but that uses the traditional must-reboot MUX switch.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: A Lot to Love for Creators and Gamers (4)

And, in fact, my biggest issue with the laptop is the Armoury Crate software, Asus' traditional control-panel dashboard for gamers. It's not tailored enough to the specific model, instead geared to cover a host of different models with different features. That makes it confusing, offering options that you can change, but have no effect or override an effect. The laptop supports Windows' new Dynamic Lighting control for backlighting as well as Asus' own, which can complicate things as well. While there's RGB lighting, it's full keyboard rather than zone or per-key.

It also means the color profiles important to creators, which the laptop is primarily aimed at, are in an easily overlooked dropdown that seems grafted on, while GameVisual, the noncalibrated presets for casual and gaming use, predominate. A few fiddle with the gamma in order to open up detail in the darkest areas; that's really important with OLED screens, which produce true blacks (compared to IPS), but they tend to clip dark shadows to black as well.

The dual-tweeter/dual-subwoofer stereo speaker system is pretty good for a laptop, but you're still far better off with headphones for watching movies and playing music -- the sound is still thin, even tweaked by Dolby Atmos (which is included, as is Dolby Vision). HDR is good -- it can't match the brightness of a 1,000-nit mini-LED backlit IPS screen, but for the most part the high contrast of OLED blacks make up for it.

Performance

There generally isn't a huge difference between Studio-designated models from similarly equipped gaming-focused versions, but in this case Asus includes factory-calibration profiles for sRGB, D65 P3 and DCI-P3. Asus includes the calibration result sheets as well, something I see a lot with desktop monitors but rarely with laptops. And I rarely see consumer models that differentiate between DCI and D65 P3: the standards use the same color space but have different white points and gamma curves.

Armoury Crate includes color profiling software that works with X-Rite consumer calibrators and what looks like a custom subset of the X-Rite software; it runs quickly through a medium-size set of color patches and generates a result sheet and a profile. You can only profile while running on the integrated GPU, though, a typical but bothersome limitation. And because it's based on the built-in profiles, you can't use the software to calibrate for Adobe RGB.

Despite all its goodness, the one thing that keeps me from being able to recommend the laptop as a budget model for professional color-critical work is that it doesn't have hardware-based profiles. That means it can't constrain brightness to a particular level, either for the specifications that require it, for personal consistency or for consistency across different screens. (A couple of the gaming presets limit peak brightness, but that's via the gamma settings, which doesn't work for profiles with standard gamma curves.) It doesn't mean you can't use it for pro work, just that it's a limitation you might need to consider.

Color measurements

PresetGamut (% coverage)White pointGammaPeak brightness (full screen, nits)Accuracy (DE2K average/max)
Native (default) 100 (P3)65002.24142.97/5.32 (P3)
sRGB 10465002.24151.06/4.05
D65 P3 10065002.24161.52/4.81
DCI P3 10063002.64161.93/4.21
HDR 1006200n/a652n/a
Cinema n/avaries (modal 7000-8000)1.9399n/a
FPS n/avaries (modal 7000-8000)1.9419n/a
Racing n/a65001.6419n/a
RTS/RPG n/avaries (modal 7700-8300)2.2399n/a
Scenery n/a65001.3419n/a
Vivid n/a65001.8419n/a

But overall it's still one of the better prosumer implementations I've seen, including nailing the three standard color spaces. That includes limiting the gamut primaries to the relevant space. (Many profiles, for example, will extend the maximum-saturation red, green and blue points to those of the largest space, typically P3. That can become a problem in sRGB, a small subset of P3 which can't hit those saturation levels.)

As for typical performance measures, the G14's Ryzen 9 8945HS tends to underperform occasionally, which tends to happen when manufacturers' use conservative power usage and profiles (such as biasing towards quiet, which means little to no fan noise, translating to less cooling power). You can get better GPU performance plugged in and running on Turbo, but the CPU only showed insignificant upticks in limited testing. It did seem to perform relatively well on Procyon's AI inferencing tests (Windows ML), but I haven't built up enough results for comparable systems and have only just started testing the Intel Core Ultra processors.

On the flip side, it seems like the performance takes a big hit on battery, where the G14 switches to its Silent power profile -- it roughly halved on Geekbench 6 multicore. (At review time, a bug in the Nvidia driver prevented getting accurate battery testing results according to Asus, but it still managed about 9 hours on our low-impact streaming video playback test.)

The GPU, on the other hand, which shows middling results for an RTX 4070, got a significant performance lift in Turbo, but not enough to pull it up to full power. In part, that's because "full power" is lower than before. The 4070 in the 2024 G14 is limited to 90w; in comparison, last year's model maxed out at 125w.

That's not to say it performs badly, it just doesn't stand out from the crowd for gaming or heavy-duty 3D graphics manipulation. Overall, though, thanks to smart design and tradeoffs, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is a content creation crowd pleaser that has plenty left over for good gaming.

Geekbench 6 (multicore)

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 11,365Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 12,459Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) 13,038Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 (2023) 13,723Acer Predator Triton 14 (PT14-51) 13,904

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gaming test (1080p)

Dell XPS 15 9530 107Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) 128Lenovo Legion Slim 5 (2023) 143Acer Predator Triton 14 (PT14-51) 155

3DMark Time Spy

Dell XPS 15 9530 8,248Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) 10,416Acer Predator Triton 14 (PT14-51) 11,054Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) Turbo Mode 11,240HP Omen 16 (2023) 11,485Lenovo Legion Pro 5 (2023) 12,029

Guardians of the Galaxy (High @1920 x 1080)

HP Omen 16 (2023) 121Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) 122Dell XPS 15 9530 136Acer Predator Triton 14 (PT14-51) 151

SpecViewPerf 2020 SolidWorks (1080p)

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 14 152.27Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 180.65Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 14 (GPU overclocked) 191.45Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 (GPU overclocked) 192.16Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) 245.94Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024, Turbo mode) 279.41

Test configurations

Acer Predator Triton 14 (PT14-51) Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2; 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-13700H; 16GB DDR5 5,600MHz RAM; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU; 1TB SSD
Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) Microsoft Windows 11 Home; 3.8GHz Intel Core Ultra 155H; 16GB DDR5 RAM; 128MB Intel Arc Graphics; 1TB SSD
Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023) Apple MacOS Sonoma 14.1; Apple M3 (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU); 16GB unified memory; 1TB SSD
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2; 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 9845HS; 32GB LPDDR5-6400 RAM; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics; 1TB SSD
Dell XPS 15 9530 Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2; 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-13700H; 32GB DDR5 4,800MHz RAM; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU; 512GB SSD
HP Omen 16 (2023) Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2; 2.6GHz Intel Core i9-13905H; 32GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics; 1TB SSD
Lenovo Legion Pro 5 (2023) Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2; 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX; 16GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics; 1TB SSD
Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 Microsoft Windows 11 Home 23H2; 3.8GHz AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS; 16GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics; 1TB SSD
Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 14 Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2; 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-13705H; 32GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics; 1TB SSD
Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 Microsoft Windows 11 Home 22H2; 2.6GHz Intel Core i9-13905H; 32GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics; 1TB SSD
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 Microsoft Windows 11 Pro; AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 7840U; 32GB DDR5 RAM; AMD Radeon 780M graphics; 1TB SSD
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Review: A Lot to Love for Creators and Gamers (2024)
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