ROG Zephyrus G14 2021 Review – a 14" laptop shouldn't have this much power!
We’Re gon na be looking at the rog zephyrus g14 14 inch gaming laptop now. The reason we wanted to get this one in for review is we’ve had so many 15 inch and 7 inch laptops that wanted to have something a little bit different. So, firstly, this is our first ryzen based laptop of the 5000 series, so we’re looking forward to looking at that it’s also our first 14 inch gaming laptop that we’ve done on the channel, and when i open the box, it is a lovely compact little unit. You can see just easily pick it up with one hand: it’s got a nice solid hep to it, it’s a really nice solid little unit. This is the 5800 hs 8 core cpu with a rtx 3060 graphics card, so this isn’t the highest end. This is more like a mid spec unit, but what did surprise me? We’Ve got the grey and it’s actually come with the anime matrix led display. So we will have a look at that further on in the review as well. But firstly, let’s have a quick look around the laptop look at the ports and then we’ll open it up. So, on the left hand, side of the laptop we’ve got the speaker. Grille power supply the hdmi 2 port. We have the usb c port that can output display and also is capable of power, delivery for up to 100 watts, and we have a headset jack and, on the right hand, side of the machine.
We have got two usb 3 ports and another usbc, and at the very rear of the laptop we’ve, got a kensington lock slot. So we’ve talked about the location of the ports, but one thing i did want to mention is that i’m, not overly keen on with this design. I don’t like the fact that you have both the usb ports on the right side. I much prefer if they’d split them and put usb on the left and a usb on the right and the reason that is, whenever i’m sort of playing a game on a laptop. If i’ve got a like wide mouse, i’ll always plug it in, on the left, hand, side and sort of put the cable around the back. You’Ve got a wired mouse i’m just going to demonstrate and you’re plugging it in on this side of the laptop. You can see, you’ve obviously got the cable and the sort of the port sticking out and i’d much prefer to have that over here and, like you know my other sort of razors or alienware laptops, i will always either have it plugged in over here now. If you’ve got a wireless mouse with a wireless dongle, that’s not going to bother you, but if you’ve also got a usb hard drive, that’s also going to be sticking out of this side as well, where you’re going to be sort of you know using your mouse. I just think you know it’s just so much nicer with plenty of space to put them on both sides also i’m guessing.
This is because it’s got the vents at the side as well. It is only a 14 inch. The ports do seem quite close to the front for my liking, so you’ve got all these cables sticking out the sort of the front of the machine, but i guess you know being a 40 inch laptop. I can’t really complain too much i’m used to using sort of hefty large 17 inch gaming laptops the front of the laptop. There is nothing and at the rear of the laptop all we’ve got, are the vents and a zephyrus logo and with regards to the actual branding, it’s it’s, really quite minimalistic, it’s, quite nice. You could take this into the office. If you turn off the anime matrix display, but we’ve got a little rogue logo and republic of gamers doesn’t light up it’s. Quite nice it’s, not in your face, like other razor blades and other gaming laptops now on the bottom of the laptop we’ve, got two downward firing speakers, but we do also have two upward firing as well. So the speakers do sound pretty good and we’ve got some vents for the fans. They’Ve not gone, overly aggressive with the venting um, but the heat so far has been quite restrained. So i don’t think that’s a problem, but you know if you’re used to using alienwares or other gaming laptops the actual vent holes are not that big on this machine, all right, so let’s open it up i’m going to open it up from the side.
First, i did this in our unboxing but i’m going to do it again for anyone that didn’t watch that video it’s one hand opening, but it there’s no notch for you to get your finger in, which is a bit of a shame. So, but once you do locate it and lift it up, you can easily lift it up with one finger, which is quite nice and as you do, you can see it elevates the rear of the laptop, giving some nice airflow for the laptop itself. Now for years. I’Ve always raised the back end of my laptops with a few coasters. So now, with this sort of laptop, you don’t even need to do that because it does it for you, with the actual display hinge, bring it around. You can take a look at it. So we’ve got a nice solid construction on this laptop feels. Very nice. You’Ve got two upward firing. Speakers here and a glass track pads the track pad, although not the largest being a 14 inch laptop, it’s, very responsive, you glide nicely on it and the gestures work. Well now, i’ve been using this laptop heavily for the last couple of days. I’Ve been really impressed with the keyboard. It’S got a white backlight with three stages and it’s been really useful with the grey keyboard. If you buy the silver or the white, g15 or g14 you’re going to find there’s a bit of a problem where you’ve got obviously silver or white keys with a white back light, makes it very difficult to actually read them.
So i’ve definitely chosen gray, because i want the contrast of the gray or black keys with the white backlight and this lights up the keyboard very nicely. With the keyboard, backlight you’ve obviously got hot keys to adjust. It it’s quite nicely lit up all those sort of the secondary symbols are lit and you’ve also got an aura button here. So you can press function, hit aura and you can actually change the effects on the keyboard on the fly, which is quite nice. The keyboard layout is very good. You’Ve got smaller cursor keys, which some people may not be so keen on, but at least they are away from the actual main bulk of the keyboard, which makes them easy to find. So i quite like that, and obviously the function keys at the top are not quite as tall as the rest of the keys, but for the amount that i use function keys. This didn’t bother me at all in my use, but the actual keyboard itself has a good layout and is very tactile to use i’ve been enjoying typing here. Also at the very top of the keyboard. We’Ve got some special keys for volume and mute, and, lastly, the armory crate button, which takes you into their system software to adjust the actual profiles and then to the right. We’Ve just got a couple of leds, so you can see that we’ve got the power led we’ve got the charging led and we’ve got the hard disk access led, it’s, quite old school, but i do still like having these.
I don’t know why most manufacturers have taken away and on the far right, we’ve got the power button. Now, with this design, it does vent the heat up onto the actual screen, so very much like a macbook, but the actual hinge lifts the screen away from this. Quite a way, so it’s got quite a gap and i haven’t noticed any problems, doing that and you do have this quite a large chin and some reasonable size bezels around the screen for a 14 inch laptop, but when you’re using it. It does still feel very compact being a 14 inch laptop now. The bezels are quite large there’s, certainly no infinity bezels that you’ve got on the xps range it’s. Still a nice compact four inch, even with these bezels. The screen itself is a 1080p 144hz panel. Now it’s, quite a nice crisp display quite enjoyed using it, but i have noticed a little bit of ghosting on my testing so far, it’s, not the worst panel i’ve ever used, but having used some 300 hertz or 240 hertz panels in some of the recent alienwares And razer blades, you can definitely see where they’ve obviously saved a little bit of money on this screen. Also could be the fact that i don’t suppose there’s that many 14 inch high refresh panels to choose from either, but the panel is made by sharp and other than the fact there’s a little bit of ghosting. It is a nice panel still and then just.
Lastly, whilst we’re rounding out the package you’ll notice at the top there’s no webcam, this could be a killer for some people. It doesn’t bother me because if i’ve got a gaming laptop i’m, not usually that bothered, i so rarely use a webcam these days and if i do i’d, probably put a decent external webcam on. But it is a shame. This isn’t a small bezel it’s, not like an infinity screen for the few pounds. It would have caused asis to actually put a webcam in here. I don’t understand why they haven’t done that. But that said this doesn’t bother me and you can easily just get a clip on webcam on the top. If you do want one now, i mentioned when we’re looking around the laptop we’ve got speakers underneath and we’ve got the two speakers up top so we’re going to just do a quick, sound test so i’m going to move the microphone towards the laptop and stop talking Music, so they’re, not the loudest set of speakers that i’ve used on a laptop, especially after some of the the anywhere m17 m15 speakers, but the quality is very good. It’S nice and clear there’s a little base um. So you know you i quite enjoy using these speakers, but you will just be whacking the volume up further than you would on other laptops. So we’ve looked around the laptop we’re gon na. Have a quick look at performance now now i’m, not gon na go too heavily on the performance in this uh review, because we will be doing a separate video where we’re going to do a deep dive on performance and we’re.
Also going to do a gameplay video in the next couple of days as well, so we’re just going to do some basic benchmarks to see what it is capable of this little 14 inch machine. So first things first let’s have a quick look in the armory crate and show you the different options: you’ve got available when you’re, actually using the laptop. So the basic profiles we’ve got is the silent mode which will really limit the actual performance of the machine. Now the cpu performance still does really well, which we’ll see in a second, but the gpu is like capped about 40 watts, so the g performance is really quite poor on the silent mode. Next, we have the performance mode. Now this is your default mode. That will come in out of the box, gives you a good mix of cpu and gpu performance with acceptable fan. Noise next we’ve got turbo mode which maxes out your cpu and your gpu, but it does get quite a lot louder and, lastly, we have the manual mode where you can change the wattage on the cpu, the the actual gpu and also your fan speeds. So the first of the tests we completed with this new ryzen, 5 800 hs processor, was cinebench because it puts a really good load on all eight cores of the cpu and maxes it out now in silent mode with just the cpu, we got a score of ’28 now this is an absolutely amazing score, and this is on the silent profile now in the performance mode, where it lets the cpu sort of run free.
We get 4759 now to put this into perspective. My area 51m, with a desktop 10700 cpu in it, which is eight cores and 16 threads scores the same as this tiny little 14 inch laptop with a 5800 hs. So it shows you how much uh performance these seven nanometer, ryzen chips have got and, lastly, i’m going to look at the turbo mode where it maxes out the cpu. It makes it a little bit louder and that gives you a score of 4816. So these are some brilliant scores and that is actually faster than my area 51m. So a package, the size of this 14 inch laptop, is actually more powerful than a desktop 10700. That really is quite incredible. I want to just quickly show you geekbench on the cpu scores. This is such a short test. It doesn’t really matter which profile i put it in. So the single core score is 1 373 and the multi core score is 7247., so these again are really impressive scores and are again on on par with the 10 700 desktop cpu that’s i’ve got my area 51 mr2 really impressive in this form factor so completed. The opencl on the vega graphics card that comes with on board with the 5800 and we get a score of 16 660, which for an integrated gpu, is really quite impressive, and the 3060 on performance mode scores. 79, 467 in opencl a little bit underwhelmed by this. This is very similar to what a 2016 would be scoring and the biggest problem you’ve got is on this 14 inch.
The tgp is 60 plus boost on the sort of the maximum mode, so the scores aren’t as good as something like an alienware, where they’re going to give you 115 watts. We have a quick look at some 3d benchmarks in the performance mode, which is the default mode that comes in out of the box, just purely because we are going to look in more depth in the next video. So the time spy score is 6869 with a graphic score of 6624. Now again, these aren’t amazing scores. If you put it into the turbo mode, it will be louder and you will score higher we’re going to look at that in the next video. But this is quite underwhelming on the gpu side of it is very similar to a a low tgp, 2060 and then fire strike. We got a graphic score of 15718, which again for a 3000 series card. I did kind of expect better. I have to sort of put my performance expectations in check, because this is a tiny 14 inch laptop i’d be interested to test a 3060 with a much higher tgp, because you can go from a 60 watt in something like this right up to 115 watt and A large sort of chassis or a laptop with better cooling, so this is the absolute lowest end of the 3060, so these are good scores for the size of the machine. This is in and, lastly, for the benchmark.
We completed shadow of the tomb raider in the highest settings and we got average frames per second of 79, so that’s not a bad score. Considering this is the highest settings on tomb raider at 1080p and again this is in performance mode, so you will get more performance if you whack it up into that turbo boost, and that is something that we will be looking into. Okay, so we’re playing call of duty war zone. Now this is in the performance profile, which is pretty much the default, so your gpu is capped at about 60 watts and the finalize isn’t too bad at all. We’Re gon na just literally go through a game and i’m gon na see how hot it gets. How loud the fan is and how hot the keyboard is. Okay, so i’ve been playing warzone for a little. While now you can see the gpu, temperatures has uh increased about 83 centigrade, so it is quite hot for a gaming laptop, but this is only a tiny 14 inch, but i think the most of the reason is it is actually running quite quietly so i’m going To use my desktop meter and we can see what it’s running at so that’s 48 to 49 decibels on this mode, so it is quite pleasant. It’S not bothersome at all. Now, if we put it into turbo mode, it’ll give us a higher gpu wattage, but it will also pump the actual fan noise up as well.
So we will be doing a gameplay and a performance deep dive, video coming shortly and we’re going to look at that. In those videos, but on this default performance mode, this is uh comfortable playing without headphones on and the portables are still pretty good. Really. This is high settings in warzone and we’re, looking at between 1780 frames per second most of the time. Also, the keyboard over the wasd keys it’s only warm it is hot over the right hand, side of the keyboard – i guess that’s, obviously where the uh gpu is, that is actually hot to the touch, but the wasd keys are fine. So you know if you are playing with this for a while, i don’t think you have any problems now i’m used to using seven inch gaming laptops, because i like the biggest screen possible when i’m gaming on a laptop. Obviously this is the first time i’ve really gained property on a 14 inch laptop and to be fair if you’re sort of leaning into the screen it’s not too bad at all. I still would personally prefer a 17 inch for myself, but if you’re looking for portability and to still be to play games, this seems like an absolutely great option. So now let’s talk about the actual battery life, so streaming youtube music over wireless on fifty percent brightness and fifty percent uh speaker volume we’ve got over ten and a half hours of battery life, so it’s pretty incredible.
Uh, definitely up there with the best ultrabook laptops. Let alone so like gaming laptops, so this is really good. You could work away from mains for quite a while. Also you get a 180 watt power. Adapter that’s quite compact looks very much like a razor brick, but a bit smaller with just a barrel, plug nice and easy to throw in your bag to actually do. Perhaps you do need it for more than just uh battery life, and also you can use usb c power delivery up to 100 watts as well to keep this laptop going. Now we will be testing the battery in more depth in the coming days. We will do some more videos on this laptop, but just for initial use, that’s, really quite impressive, okay. So the conclusion of this laptop now, whenever you buy a laptop there’s, always going to be compromises to be made there’s, no one laptop that’s going to suit everybody out there. So if you’re, looking for a portable gaming laptop at 14, inches there’s really not much choice. So there are some negatives with this laptop there’s, no webcam i’m, not 100, keen on the port layout. The fact that it’s shifted to the front and the fact there’s, no usb, on the left hand, side they’re all on the right again. This could just be me, but this is one of the little annoyances i have when i’m using it on a day to day basis and the screen isn’t the best it’s a 144 hertz panel.
But there is a little bit of ghosting. I guess it’s, probably because there’s not a lot of choice in this 14 inch market space, but if you can overcome those small annoyances, what you’re getting is an incredibly powerful 14 inch laptop that blows anything else in this sort of size range out of the water. The 5800h amd ryzen cpu in here is as powerful as a desktop 10700 that’s. In my area, 51mr2 laptop that’s no mean feat. My area 51mr2 is a huge hulking 17 inch laptop that’s about 2 inches thick it’s massive. So to do that in a thin and light tiny 40 inch laptop is really impressive. Now the 3060 is a little bit underwhelming it’s, only 60 watts plus boost, if you put it in turbo mode, so 60 watts on performance 60 plus boost in turbo mode, but in all honesty, at the 1080p resolution on this screen, you’re still going to be driving High frames per second in most aaa titles still so it’s, a good combination of with a powerful cpu and this gpu in this 40 inch laptop. I don’t think these laptops for everybody. I think you’ve got to want the portability for to buy this laptop. If you’re not bothered about portability, i would definitely recommend getting a more powerful, 15 inch or seven inch laptop, but for a compact laptop in the 13 or 14 inch space. This is by far and away the best option now.
Gaming aside, this is also a very solid package. It’S got a great keyboard, that’s, really nice to type on the touchpad, although not the biggest is responsive and the gestures work. Well, the speakers are good and it’s. A really solid compact, great chassis, also you’ve got one ram: stick you can upgrade and you can change the ssd if you need to in the future, but with one terabyte on board and 16 gigabytes of ram. I don’t think many people are going to need to do that, so all in all, at 1600 pounds in the uk it is quite expensive but it’s more of a niche product. It is the most powerful 4 inch laptop i’ve ever used and i’ve absolutely enjoyed my time with it. Now we will be doing more videos on this over the next few days, so please like and subscribe, and hit the notification bells.