In my review of the original ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 that launched back in 2020, I sang all its songs and praises, describing it as a laptop that caught me off-guard. It was nothing short of an engineering marvel, as well as a masterclass in on how a laptop manufacturer should take then top-notch hardware, and cram it into a 14-inch chassis.
Fast forward to today, and we have the Zephyrus G14 2022, ASUS’ 3rd generation of the 14-inch laptop, and with it, a few changes, additions and tweaks to the overall system. Some of which, by the way, are noticeable. How does it perform, though? Keep reading to find out.
Some of the keen eyed amongst you may have noticed a few things. Firstly, and for the first time since its inception, this year’s G14 2022 is the first of its kind to receive the AMD Advantage treatment. That’s right, the third iteration of ASUS’ 14-inch powerhouse has cast aside NVIDIA’s GPU prowess, in favour of keeping the laptop running with all-AMD components, including the onboard Radeon GPU.
The upside, of course, is that the G14 2022’s Ryzen 6000 series mobile CPU and chipset also brings some of the more up-to-date features to the laptop. That includes PCIe Gen4 and DDR5 RAM. 32GB of it, to be precise.
Speaking of the CPU, there is one thing that should be pointed about the SKU being used in the G14 2022. At launch, ASUS said that the laptop would roll out with a Ryzen 9 6900HS. Unfortunately, due to the global chip shortage, the brand was forced to downgrade it to Ryzen 7 6800HS. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, which I’ll show later in the review.
If I am to be frank, very little has changed in terms of the design for the G14 2022, since the launch of the first laptop. It still flaunts the same compact, 14-inch chassis, made out of ASUS’ special alloy and precision milled via a CNC machine, all so that each and every component in it fits perfectly and snugly. Even the anti-fingerprint coating is still in play, although just how much it helps to keep my dirty prints from appearing is subjective.
The Moonlight White version of the laptop is a real looker.
Going off-tangent for a bit and for the first time since its inception, the G14 2022 actually comes with a pure, Moonlight White motif, and if I am quite honest, it makes the laptop look like an absolute stunner. Compared to the Eclipse Grey and the original Gunmetal Grey theme, it really begets the question why ASUS didn’t release the colour scheme with the first generation from the start.
Getting back to the G14 2022’s aesthetics and design; even the Ergolift hinge that…well, lifts the display into an angle remains unchanged. On a related note, the rubber feet at the base are also less squidgy and slightly more hard, so there’s little chance of the darn things ever peeling off due to wear and tear.
That isn’t to say that the aesthetics of the G14 2022 hasn’t been given an improvement. Comparing the gaming laptop with its forefather, ASUS has finally managed to squeeze in a webcam right at the top of the screen, and therefore making it a virtual conference-capable machine.
Finally, a 120Hz display at a resolution greater than Full HD.
Another improvement to the G14 2022 is the 14-inch display’s new 16:10 aspect ratio. That’s right, rather than just stick to the same 16:9 display, the panel on this machine basically envelops the entire area, giving you more display per square inch than the older models. Adding on to that, the display itself uses ASUS’ Nebula Mini-LED display, and with a peak brightness of 500 nits, believe it when I say that it is bright.
For another matter, the maximum resolution of the G14 2022’s display is QHD+ (2560 x 1600) but more importantly, it also has a higher refresh rate of 120Hz. For context, the original G14 had a 1440p panel option, but its refresh rate was limited to just 60Hz. If you really wanted the higher refresh rate, the only option at the time was with a Full HD panel.
Of course, the G14 2022 wouldn’t be what it is without its AniMe Matrix LED display at the back of the laptop and to that end, ASUS has enlarged it a little more than usual. Beyond the increase in its size, its function remains the same and you can customise what you want the panel to display via the ROG Armoury Crate app that comes pre-installed.
No changes on the number of I/O ports.
As for the I/O ports, the G14 2022 retains the same allocation as before, but with the addition of a microSD card reader now installed on its right side. On top of that, both the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antenna is also up-to-date and support version 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 speeds, respectively.
Another feature that the G14 2022 has that its predecessors lacked is an RGB backlit keyboard. That being said, it certainly isn’t the brightest LEDs I’ve seen, and placed side by side with Razer’s own Blade 14 Ryzen 2022, it certainly doesn’t exude as much excitement as its rival.
Underneath the hood of the G14 2022, you can see where ASUS actually tidied up on its compartmentalisation skills. Both the AMD Ryzen CPU and Radeon GPU sit right in the upper middle section, their location marked by the Taiwanese brand’s own Vapour Chamber cooling technology sitting on top of them. For those wondering why I didn’t disassemble the heatsink, it’s because the components in question are coated with Thermal Grizzly’s liquid metal compound, and I didn’t have said material on-site at the time.
Beyond that, there’s not a whole lot of space to make an expansion, be it in the storage or memory department. For that matter, if you intend to increase the storage capacity, cloning software is certainly going to be involved, especially if you want the continued assurance of the laptop running at optimal efficiency.
Then, as it was with the first model, my experience with the G14 2022 is a really all-encompassing one. While it is, in essence, a gaming laptop, ASUS has also gone through another set of hurdles into making a powerhouse workhorse that isn’t going to pull any punches when work, and not gaming, needs to be done.
Display tends to bug out when switching between battery and being plugged in.
And while the idea of the new G14 2022 being an AMD Advantage Edition laptop did interest me, I have to say that it hasn’t always been a smooth and steady ride with the laptop. In fact, one of the issues I have – and still face, for that matter – is how the display panel is unable to switch out its presets automatically and properly, for different power states.
For example, most displays on laptop go blank when you disconnect said machine from the adapter, and then blink back into existence, allowing users to pick up immediately from what they were doing. This energy cycle is brief, usually occurring no more than a second or two. For the G14 2022, the display blips and blacks out indefinitely when disconnected from the power source, and only comes back to life after conducting a ritual of closing it for a few seconds; opening it back up; followed by the pressing of the power button.
Of course, it wasn’t until later that I discovered that the whole issue surrounding this bizarre process was likely due to the whole nature of the G14 2022 being an all-AMD laptop and that, in fact, it can be alleviated to some measurable degree by simply disabling the refresh rate switching via the Armoury Crate app.
Keyboard experience is comfortable, be it for gaming or typing out reports.
Moving along, the keyboard and typing experience of the G14 2022 is, like virtually every ROG Zephyrus gaming laptop, a combination between a linear and tactile feeling. Key travel is moderately deep and, just like it predecessors, the middle of the keycaps are actually a little deeper to accommodate for a more comfortable typing experience over long hours at a time. That comfort also extends into gaming, especially if you’re playing a very shooter intensive title, such as DOOM Eternal or Control.
On the subject of gaming, I’m not going to lie: I actually had doubts about the G14 2022’s Radeon RX 6800S’s ability to at least deliver a decent gaming experience across the board. In my defense, I haven’t actually tested a lot of laptops powered by a Red Team’s GPU, and one from the more premium end of the spectrum.
To my pleasant surprise, though, that 6800S inside the G14 2022 is actually more than capable of holding its own, and then some. Across the board, the frames range anywhere between 20 and 75 fps. For some titles that support ray-tracing such as Cyberpunk 2077, the GPU manages to hover between 25 and 34 fps. However, it should be noted that this was also achieved with FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 1.0 turned on.
For titles without the AMD-based upscaling feature such as Control, it is evident that capable as the 6800S is at running the game with ray-tracing on, I can actually see it struggle to reach 30 fps.
Laptop still gets very toasty after prolonged periods of gaming.
Like all gaming laptops of such calibre, any form of gaming on the G14 2022, be it casual or intensive, would generate an intense amount of heat. At its peak, the onboard Ryzen 7 6800HS was touching temperatures of 105°C, a number that physically manifested itself at the upper half of the laptop’s base. To my surprise, the 6800S is actually more civil with its own peak temperature and peaking at 85°C. Even more impressive is the fact that, despite hitting those sorts of temperatures, there isn’t any performance throttling in-game.
Then there’s the battery life of the G14 2022. Once again, to draw a comparison from the original model, the legs on the battery for this laptop is long, but not quite nearly as long as before.
Whereas the first G14 was able to last for almost 10 hours, the 76WHr battery on the G14 2022 actually begins tapping out, approximately at the 8.5-hour mark. This rate of battery consumption, by the way, was consistent whenever I am on the go and using it as my daily driver.
When it comes to gaming laptops in the 14-inch category, it clearly is a very niche market and even you try and count them, there is currently only one contender to the G14 2022, and it’s one that we actually reviewed not that long ago.
While the new Razer Blade 14 Ryzen isn’t an AMD Advantage Edition laptop, it is currently the only 14-inch gaming laptop that can give the G14 2022 a run for its money. Specs-wise, the model we reviewed had the top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, and all the trimmings of DDR5 memory and PCIe 4.0 speeds. On top of that, it also has a QHD (2560 x 1440) display with a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz.
For heaven’s sake, it even weighs the same as its rival, which is 1.72kg. And even if it does have a smaller 61.6WHr battery, the way Razer’s battery care app actually prolongs it is breathtakingly amazing.
The only drawback? Its price: brand new, the Blade 14 Ryzen 2022 will set you back RM12599.
They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice. With the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2022, though, I would be willing to say that the adage would suit it, were it not for the odd protrusions that are preventing it from fitting into the mould.
Firstly, I like the fact that, despite transitioning it to an AMD Advantage Edition machine, the battery life of the G14 2022 is nearly identical to what its predecessor was capable of. I say nearly, but honestly, that is just me nitpicking at the little imperfections. Second, the performance of the Radeon RX 6800S is, once again, very impressive and not what I had initially expected.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 2022 is impressive as always, even more so because of its AMD Advantage Edition status.
The only issue I have with the G14 2022, then, is the weird blanking out of the display that I mentioned earlier that would greet first-time users of the laptop. Again, it’s not an unfixable issue, but it is nevertheless still an annoying one.
In any case, at RM9999, the G14 2022 is also one of the more “affordable” 14-inch gaming laptops on the market, which is truly a rarity in this day and age. For that matter, I hardly think you could go wrong with an all-AMD gaming laptop from ASUS, especially given its track record over the past several years.
Photography by John Law.