It’s a shame, you know. By all means, I should be absolutely delighted with the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2021. I was in awe of the 2020 version, which was the best laptop of that year. But this one… has its issues.
It was compact, stylish, with an amazing AnimeMatrix, and the first on the then newest AMD Ryzen 9 4000 series that humiliated Intel Core so much that it wasn’t even funny anymore. And the RTX 2060! And this year’s G14 should have been just as awesome! After all, nothing has changed, in fact, it just got… better.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2021 video review
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I will not list the price here, because due to the crisis and all that stuff it is too unstable, and the laptop is not officially on sale yet. But for the peak configuration, expect a cost in the region of $2000+. About as much as the 2020 G14.
Better or the same?
The new model and the old model have a lot in common. The same chassis, the same AnimeMatrix, but slightly upgraded.
The processor has the same eight cores, but it uses the 5000 series, which means it is more powerful, without increased heating.
The video card got better, RTX 3060 instead of RTX 2060, 32 GB RAM instead of 24 maximum. The same liquid metal for improved cooling.
The set of ports is the same, HDMI, 4.5 mm power supply, two USB Type-A, two Type-C, one of which supports charging and signal output via DP Alt Mod.
There’s the same fingerprint scanner in the power button. And the mini-jack, by the way, did not disappear.
And the touchpad is good, and the keyboard is pretty much flawless. It’s great for typing, and the extra buttons are very useful.
The cooling became a little better, there is no throttling even in games, the blades of the turntables have been upgraded as well. And the SSD is still replaceable!
And the screen got better! My cries that 4K on a 14-inch monitor is an insult to all that is holy in the world apparently reached someone’s ears. Everyone was talking about it! And the most I’m testing today has got a 14-inch 2K 120 Hz panel! With excellent color reproduction (sRGB 100%) and 350 nits brightness!
The battery life is also at its best, and at 120 hertz in power saving mode the laptop withstood 10 hours in the PCMark Office Battery Test. 120 hertz!
Forgive me, but the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 on Intel shows the same result! Yes, it is energy saving, low power, but hey, this is a mode for working with documents, typing and videos.
And the laptop, even in this mode, is quite powerful. The processor is quite capable even at 2 GHz.
So what’s wrong? Why I am not wowed? Why does this model not excite me as much?
In the beginning I said that nothing has changed here, but only got better. I was a little dishonest. After all, the world around has changed.
I noticed that modern laptop manufacturers are flexing with something. MSI flexes with beautiful designs, Acer flexes with its prices, Lenovo flexes with lightness of models and usefulness in business and work tasks.
ASUS flexes with performance of its concept models. Smaller body, more powerful hardware. The G14 was the highest performing 14-inch laptop and remains so today, because the 2020 version just passed the crown on to the latest version. But now the G14 is not a trend setter, not a flex. G14 is now the standard. This is the base for powerful 14” laptops.
Flex from ASUS is the ROG Flow X13. This is a laptop at the cutting edge of technology, a hot new topic, a cool new concept. The most powerful 13-inch laptop, astronomically ahead of the competition!
And it is the Flow X13 that is now ASUS’ racehorse to drive the market forward. The G14 is the fruit of development. This is proof that the company does not spit on the foundation and builds beautiful and useful things on it.
What else is wrong?
Now – for the most obvious issues. They won’t affect my final recommendation, but they shouldn’t be here in the first place. First. Plastic ledges. They remain from the old G14. And it still hurts your legs if you hold the laptop on your knees in bed.
Also, my device had severe glitches with a connected USB drive. If the system rebooted while it was connected, the laptop showed me the BSOD and did not allow to enter the system.
If you have the same problem, go to Safe Mode and uninstall NVIDIA drivers. If you manually disabled the discrete option in the ROG Armory options, then it will not appear even after installing the drivers. In this case, only a complete system reset will help. I wrote to ASUS about this.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2021 verdict
The laptop has gotten better in everything but its purpose. It has lost the position of a flagship and got on the same level as everyone else. Let the youngsters play and move the industry forward. And the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2021 will keep going. I can recommend it without a second thought.
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