Gaming laptops are antithetical to how I play video games, and regardless of my greatest efforts, I’ve by no means had nice luck with them. That’s why I offered my 2019 Razer Blade 15 to purchase a Steam Deck early within the 12 months.
However after a couple of months with no devoted machine for touring and dealing on-the-go, I took the plunge once more with the 2022 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, and it utterly modified my relationship with gaming laptops. Regardless of the curler coaster of issues, and even biking by a couple of totally different items, I nonetheless use the G14 on daily basis.
For the primary few weeks, the G14 was the proper laptop computer — highly effective, snug, and above all else, transportable. The Zephyrus G14 systematically dismantled my issues with gaming laptops throughout the first few weeks of proudly owning it. Of all locations, it began with disk house. I’ve grown accustomed to carrying a 2TB Samsung T7 round with me always, primarily as a result of I’d reasonably save the cash on a laptop computer and go together with much less disk house within the machine. Plus an SSD swap is a straightforward improve.
However 1TB is commonplace on the 2022 G14, even on the most affordable mannequin, so I used to be the proverbial child in a a sweet retailer as I began loading up the machine with my Steam library. The free month of Xbox Recreation Move actually helped — I’ve been a subscriber for the reason that program launched, however the inclusion made the G14 a straightforward suggest for folk simply dipping their toe into PC gaming.
I’ve by no means fearful an excessive amount of about gaming laptop computer efficiency, assuming I can at the very least run video games at medium settings above 60 frames per second (fps). The G14 hits that with room to spare. My preliminary impressions have been swayed extra by warmth and fan noise. I’d grown accustomed to laptops just like the Razer Blade 15 and Lenovo Legion 5 Professional that ramp up the followers the second they should render any geometry and spit out warmth till the floor is sizzling to the contact. The G14 will get loud and sizzling, however the intelligent hinge design that kicks the laptop computer up at an angle helps it exhaust warmth quieter and faster than a machine its measurement ought to.
The hybrid graphics setup labored completely, too. Poor battery life led me to maintain each gaming laptop computer I’ve owned chained to the charger always, however robotically switching to the built-in graphics inspired me to the take the G14 into my kitchen to search for recipes whereas I used to be cooking, carry it round the home to shortly bounce on the web, and convey it out for the day to get some work achieved.
For many gaming laptops, the important failure level is the keyboard, however I’ve typed scripts, articles, messages, and every little thing in-between on the G14. I nonetheless love the texture of the keyboard, and that’s coming from a man who builds his personal mechanical keyboards as a passion.
These first few weeks with the Zephyrus G14 turned me from a gaming laptop computer skeptic into an evangelist. I used to be enthralled. However then the issues began to set in.
Eight days. I used to be eight days exterior of Finest Purchase’s return window when my Zephyrus G14 refused in addition one morning. I left it dormant over a busy weekend, and though I’d anticipated the battery dying out and the lengthy boot time the machine usually had, I couldn’t get it to work. I used to be a two weeks away from leaving on a piece journey — the explanation I spent $1,700 on the Zephyrus G14 within the first place — and out of choices. I didn’t have time for an RMA, and I felt like I used to be offered a lemon.
I referred to as Finest Purchase, possibly they might would generously change the laptop computer. They pointed me to Asus. I referred to as Asus. They pointed me again to Finest Purchase as a result of I had registered the laptop computer per week late, so I used to be underneath Finest Purchase’s change window within the eyes of Asus. In-store Finest Purchase go to? No cube, they advised me to name Asus. Finally, a really useful Asus rep created a return merchandise authorization (RMA) earlier than I used to be formally underneath help, however per week had already passed by; I wanted the machine fastened in a matter of days.
I had owned the machine for lower than a month, and I deal with my tech like royalty. This was a top quality management subject.
I made a decision to have a look myself, and after a couple of hours of troubleshooting, I acquired the machine in addition. I vigorously researched and got here throughout the cursed Zephyrus G14 313 BIOS replace. I needed to search boards and Reddit, as Asus pulled the BIOS model shortly after it launched and I couldn’t discover any help documentation on it. The G14 compelled a BIOS replace on me shortly earlier than the machine refused in addition, so I assumed that was my drawback.
That replace seemingly fastened different points — points with crashing when switching graphics modes, poor energy administration, and so forth. — however that wasn’t why mine wouldn’t boot. After making use of the replace, I used to be solely in a position to get the machine to activate by taking the underside off, disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, and utilizing the charging cable to pressure a boot. Defeated, I despatched it in for a restore. The issue? A grimy connector on the facility change. Thoughts you, I had owned the machine for lower than a month and I deal with my tech like royalty. This was a top quality management subject.
I’ve my laptop computer again now, and it really works, nevertheless it nonetheless has points. Just some days earlier than writing this text, it was caught in a loop of frequently urgent the 1 key, even after I cleaned the important thing. I needed to reboot 3 times for the issue to go away. My brother, who I enthusiastically beneficial the laptop computer to shortly after shopping for it, has run into a number of points as effectively. The graphics drivers obtainable by the MyAsus app did not replace, sending him right into a cycle of uninstalling and reinstalling the driving force over the course of per week to get the machine right into a usable state.
I’ve encountered quite a few different bugs as effectively. Typically it’ll randomly grasp on the Home windows login display utterly frozen till I do a tough reboot. When chilly booting, it’ll sometimes take the G14 upwards of three minutes earlier than I see a splash display, sending a chill down my backbone as a result of worry that it’ll cease working prefer it did earlier than.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be, however I’m nonetheless utilizing the Zephyrus G14. There’s been an inflow of 14-inch gaming laptops over the previous 12 months, and I used to be tempted to dump my G14 and go together with a Razer Blade 14 or Alienware x14 as a substitute. However I’m hanging on to the G14 for now.
Regardless of my a number of of points, the entire positives I picked up on after shopping for the laptop computer stay — the keyboard is nice, it’s tremendous transportable, and I’ve loads of disk house. Above all else, although, the G14 was low cost. Positive, $1,700 is so much to spend on a laptop computer, nevertheless it seems like a downright deal stacked up in opposition to the Razer Blade 14 at $2,600 and the Alienware x14 with a lesser configuration at $1,900. That’s much more true now, when you’ll find the 2022 Zephyrus G14 under $1,200 on a sale, whereas Razer’s and Alienware’s machine promote for north of $1,500 with a beneficiant low cost.
The Zephyrus G14 is my favourite piece of tech I purchased in 2022. I had some large issues with it, however Asus was fast to reply to help (simply as a buyer, not as a author), and I had my machine again inside 10 days of sending it out for restore. And though I’ve encountered bugs since, I’ve been in a position to clear up them with a couple of reboots.
It’s onerous beneficial the Zephyrus G14 to everybody. You might need to take care of some inexplicable bugs or high quality management points — I’ve needed to, at the very least on the three items I’ve used at this level. Nonetheless, it looks like the whole bundle. Moveable, highly effective, snug, and at a worth under $2,000? Nobody else is touching the Zephyrus G14 proper now.