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ASUS Zephyrus G14 (2021) Overview: The M1 MacBook Professional killer: Digital Pictures Overview


The ASUS Zephyrus G14 is a brand new breed of {powerful}, transportable laptop computer made attainable by the newest AMD Ryzen CPUs.

All product pictures by DL Cade.

In the case of light-weight laptops for creatives, Apple just about cornered the market with the discharge of the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Professional. The value-to-performance of those laptops is best than something we have seen from Cupertino in a very long time, and the Apple Silicon M1 punches properly above its weight given its ‘entry-level’ designation.

However what when you’re not a Mac fan? What if 16GB of unified reminiscence is not sufficient? And what if you’d like extra graphics energy than the maxed out 8-core GPU variant of the Apple Silicon M1 can ship? Is there a PC on the market that gives all of this stuff with out sacrificing the portability and effectivity of laptops just like the MacBook Air and MacBook Professional?

There’s, and that PC is the ASUS Zephyrus G14: a small, light-weight ‘gaming laptop computer’ that includes a powerful-but-efficient AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, 32GB of RAM, a WQHD/2K show with 100% DCI-P3 protection and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM. All of it packed inside a 14-inch laptop computer chassis that is solely a tiny bit thicker, and no bigger, than your typical 13-inch MacBook Professional.



Key specs:

The 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14 that we’re testing is the dearer of the 2 predominant variants out there within the US. Each choices include the identical AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor and NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU (60W, 80W increase), however our mannequin is supplied with 32GB of RAM and a WQHD show that claims 100% protection of the DCI-P3 coloration gamut, whereas the extra inexpensive mannequin comes with solely 16GB of RAM and a Full HD show that may solely handle 100% of sRGB.

Zephyrus G14 – FHD Zephyrus G14 – QHD
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

RAM 16GB DDR4-3200MHz 32GB DDR4-3200MHz
Storage

1TB NVMe M.2 SSD

PCIe 3.0

1TB NVMe M.2 SSD

PCIe 3.0

Show

14-inch 144Hz FHD

100% sRGB

14-inch 120Hz WQHD

100% DCI-P3

Worth $1,450 $2,000

Observe that the RAM within the Full HD model is user-upgradable, however for creatives, we might nonetheless suggest the dearer possibility merely due to the color-accurate show. The additional pixels aren’t completely obligatory at this display screen dimension, however we have discovered that many high-refresh-rate shows utilized in gaming laptops barely under-perform their spec sheet in the case of gamut protection, so it is all the time good to have some cushion above and past 100% sRGB.

If you are going to be doing inventive work, the additional $550 for the top-tier mannequin is well worth the extra RAM, decision and coloration accuracy.


Design, construct and value

For photograph and video editors, the ASUS Zephyrus G14’s WQHD show delivers as much as 100% protection of the DCI-P3 coloration gamut.

The Zephyrus G14’s design is gamer-y, however not excessive. There is not any ostentatious RGB accents or glowing logos, and whereas the general form of the laptop computer options a couple of sharp angles, there is not even an RGB backlight on the keyboard – simply a regular white gentle. The chassis is on the market in a ‘Moonlight White’ or ‘Eclipse Grey’ and, when closed, the one trace that that is an ASUS pc comes from the Republic of Players (ROG) brand stamped on a pearlescent metallic plate that is embedded within the lid.

Talking of the lid, probably the most ostentatious and distinctive design factor of the ASUS G14 is the so-called ‘AniMe Matrix’ lighting impact that covers slightly greater than half of the laptop computer’s lid on a diagonal.

The Zephyrus G14’s design is gamer-y, however not excessive.

Made up of mini-LEDs hidden behind a matrix of little dots, the matrix might be personalized in ASUS’ Armoury Crate software program to indicate any variety of preset animations, show a static picture, or loop by means of a customized set of pictures or GIFs that you simply add your self. For this assessment, I clearly could not resist popping the DPR brand onto the again.

The so-called ‘AniMe Matrix’ on the G14’s lid might be personalized to show a personalized picture or animation.

Sadly, that little little bit of exhibiting off is about all it is good for. After taking the image above, I turned it off and saved it off to keep away from any extra battery drain, and the one objective the little dots served from that time onward was the gathering of mud and different particles which can be virtually inconceivable to take away as soon as they’ve turn out to be embedded.

It’s, in my view, the one factor on this laptop computer that’s 100% gimmick and 0% perform, and I sort of want ASUS had left it off. Even the cheaper mannequin, which will not will let you customise the AniMe Matrix, nonetheless comes with these little holes, they’re simply set to show a static ‘holographic’ impact.

Transferring again to the entrance of the pc, each the keyboard and trackpad qualify as good-but-not-great in my e-book. The keyboard options slightly bit extra journey and ‘mush’ than I am used to from most low-profile laptop computer keyboards lately, however your preferences might range, whereas the trackpad is sufficiently easy and responsive, however slightly bit undersized.

The Zephyrus G14’s trackpad is easy and responsive, however smaller than most opponents.

Examine this to the large glass-topped trackpads favored by Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Razer, and you will see what I imply. By pushing the keyboard right down to make room for the audio controls, ROG button and energy button/fingerprint reader, the trackpad has been squeezed to only 2.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches huge.

It is exact, with a pleasant springboard click on that is usable from about midway down the trackpad, however I want it had been slightly bit taller.

By way of ports, the Zephyrus G14 comes outfitted with an HDMI, two USB Sort-C ports, two USB Sort-A ports, a headphone jack and customary barrel connector for energy. A type of USB Sort-C ports may carry a DisplayPort 1.4 sign and cost your system when you go away the included 180W energy brick at dwelling, and each can switch information at USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds (10Gbps), however neither helps Thunderbolt’s sooner 40Gbps switch price due to the AMD processor.

The trackpad is exact, with a pleasant springboard click on that is usable from about midway down the trackpad, however I want it had been slightly bit taller.

By way of ports, the Zephyrus G14 comes outfitted with an HDMI, two USB Sort-C ports, two USB Sort-A ports, a headphone jack and customary barrel connector for energy.

Thunderbolt is an Intel creation, and till it absolutely merges with the CPU-agnostic USB 4.0 customary and AMD releases Ryzen 6000 someday in 2022, you will not discover any AMD Ryzen laptops that additionally characteristic Thunderbolt help.

Every part to date makes this an excellent gaming PC however not notably particular for photograph and video work. That is the place the show is available in.

Following a development we have seen from different gaming laptops, ASUS affords the Zephyrus G14 (and the larger G15) with a few completely different show choices. There’s an ultra-fast 144Hz Full HD show that may solely hit 100% sRGB or a barely slower 120Hz WQHD possibility that’s ‘Pantone validated’ and claims 100% protection of DCI-P3.

In my testing, it did not fairly dwell as much as that declare, managing solely 95.3% protection of DCI-P3 and 80.0% of AdobeRGB, but it surely did so at a good Delta E 2000 of lower than 2. Different reviewers have profiled this show at as much as 98% DCI-P3, however to my data, no one has seen it hit the marketed 100%.

In different phrases: the show is correct sufficient for correct photograph and video enhancing on the go, however I might not depend on it as my solely display screen. When it is time for severe coloration grading, use the USB-C/DisplayPort to attach a bigger, color-accurate 4K monitor, particularly when you’re planning to print your work.

Lastly, there are two extra issues left to say – one constructive and one unfavorable.

The constructive is battery life, which is great. AMD’s Zen 3 processors are already very energy environment friendly, and ASUS is taking full benefit of that reality by placing a big 76Wh battery inside the G14. For regular writing, analysis, and video consumption in ‘Silent’ mode, I may simply get 8+ hours of use out of this laptop computer. In ‘Efficiency’ mode whereas doing severe photograph or video enhancing on battery, that drops to about 2 hours, however that is to be anticipated given the NVIDIA 3060 GPU is pulling 60W all by itself.

The Zephyrus G14’s QHD show is color-accurate sufficient for correct photograph and video enhancing on the go, however I might not depend on it as my solely display screen.

The unfavorable is the full lack of webcam on this pc. Whereas the Zephyrus G14 does have a built-in microphone array embedded within the prime bezel, it does not have a webcam. None in any respect. Not even the crappy 720p possibility that is included in most laptops right this moment.

With so many photograph and video professionals speaking with their purchasers over Zoom as a lot (if no more) than in-person, it is a large miss. I suppose the thought is that avid gamers who stream will use a nicer digicam anyway, and those that do not will not care a few webcam, but it surely’s a evident omission that has the potential to actually annoy you day-in and day-out.

Tehre is not any webcam on the ASUS Zephyrus G14 – a irritating omission given the elevated recognition of video conferencing.

General, I fairly just like the design and construct high quality of the Zephyrus G14. Certain, I are inclined to desire the inflexible CNC-milled aluminum unibody designs favored by firms like Razer and Apple, however I by no means felt like I used to be coping with a flimsy laptop computer and the design aesthetic is clear sufficient to make use of for each enterprise and enjoyable… assuming you flip off the AniMe Matrix.

For inventive professionals, you possibly can go in understanding that the I/O is strong, the trackpad is nice (if slightly bit small), and the display screen is sufficiently coloration correct to be able to get your work performed on the go. For those who can dwell with out Thunderbolt and a webcam, the G14 checks nearly each different ‘ultra-portable’ field, with out sacrificing efficiency.

Talking of which…

Again to prime


Efficiency benchmarks

Regardless of its small dimension, the Zephyrus G14 is without doubt one of the quickest photograph and video enhancing laptops in the marketplace.

What actually makes the ASUS Zephyrus G14 particular is simply how {powerful} it’s given its dimension and weight. That is right down to the magic of the AMD Ryzen processor inside, which is constructed on AMD’s Zen 3 structure and virtually sips wattage in comparison with most of Intel’s chips.

That is why ASUS selected AMD for this 14-inch laptop computer, why Razer selected AMD for their 14-inch Blade, and why we anticipate to see Ryzen PCs and M1 Macs virtually take over the ‘powerful-but-portable’ class for at the least the subsequent 12 months or two. Intel’s newest Eleventh-geneneration H-series laptop computer CPUs are extra environment friendly than Tenth-gen, however they nonetheless take in much more wattage to generate these outcomes.

For this spherical of efficiency benchmarks, we examined the M1 Mac mini, an Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Professional, the AMD Ryzen-based Razer Blade 14 and the ASUS Zephyrus G14. Full specs beneath:

Zephyrus G14 13-inch MBP M1 Mac mini Blade 14
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS Intel Core i7-1068NG7 Apple Silicon M1 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

Intel Iris Plus Graphics

Apple Silicon M1 8-core

NVIDIA RTX 3070

8GB VRAM

RAM

32GB DDR4

3200MHz

32GB LPDDR4X

3733MHz

16GB Unified Reminiscence

16GB DDR4

3200MHz

Storage 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD 4TB NVMe SSD 2TB NVMe SSD 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD
Show

14-inch 120Hz WQHD IPS LCD

100% DCI-P3

13-inch Retina Show

100% Show P3

N/A

14-inch 165Hz QHD IPS LCD

100% DCI-P3

Worth

$2,000 $3,600 $1,700 $2,200
Worth w/ 1TB of Storage $2,000 $2,600 $1,300 $2,200

Sadly we didn’t have an M1 MacBook Professional readily available to do a side-by-side comparability, however the internals of the M1 Mac mini and the internals of the M1 MacBook Professional are similar, so the outcomes must be interchangeable. As normal, we examined Adobe Lightroom Traditional, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Professional, and Seize One 21 utilizing the suite of assessments described right here.

All assessments had been run a minimal of thrice in a row, with the laptops plugged in, absolutely charged, and set to their most Turbo/Efficiency settings.

Lightroom Traditional

Import and preview era in Lightroom Traditional relies completely on CPU efficiency, RAM quantity and RAM pace. Every of those machines has a unique mixture of those elements, and the ASUS Zephyrus G14 and M1 Mac mini find yourself buying and selling blows on the prime of the import desk due to the stellar efficiency of their respective CPUs and the Mac’s quick unified reminiscence structure.

Regardless of having an ever-so-slightly extra {powerful} CPU than the ASUS, the Razer Blade 14 falls to final place due to its 16GB RAM limitation, whereas the Intel-based MacBook Professional sits someplace in the midst of the pack.

Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fuji GFX 100 Import
ASUS G14 1:38 2:59 3:30 7:35
Blade 14 2:07 4:16 4:58 12:30
M1 Mac mini 1:44 2:54 3:03 8:51
MacBook Professional 2:22 3:42 4:02 10:12

It is a related story after we attempt exporting closely edited 100% JPEGs, however now that there are extra pixels to maneuver round, the ASUS G14 wins each single class.

As decision will increase and file sizes get bigger, the Blade 14 and M1 Mac mini fall method behind the remainder of the pack, held again by the utmost 16GB of RAM out there to them. By the point we get to the 100MP Fuji GFX 100 recordsdata, the ASUS G14 is greater than quarter-hour sooner than each the M1 Mac mini and the Blade 14, however solely about 3 minutes sooner than the two-year-old MacBook Professional.

These outcomes present you simply how RAM dependent Lightroom Traditional exporting actually is. The extra RAM, and the sooner your RAM, the higher your efficiency… even when you’re operating an older processor and no discrete GPU:

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fuji GFX 100 Export
ASUS G14 3:58 8:55 11:41 23:40
Blade 14 5:30 14:40 20:46 40:02
M1 Mac mini 4:06 9:21 15:04 38:44
MacBook Professional 5:55 12:01 15:35 26:46

Seize One 21

Seize One 21 is a complete completely different animal. As we confirmed in our latest head-to-head comparability between Seize One and Lightroom Traditional, C1 is much less depending on RAM pace and higher optimized to reap the benefits of {powerful} GPUs by means of {hardware} acceleration.

At import, CPU efficiency remains to be crucial issue, and the ASUS G14, Blade 14, and M1 Mac mini are inside spitting distance of one another, whereas the MacBook Professional and its weaker Tenth-gen Intel processor falls additional and additional behind as file sizes improve.

Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fuji GFX 100 Import
ASUS G14 00:40 00:59 1:12 1:50
Blade 14 00:40 00:59 1:14 1:50
M1 Mac mini 00:45 00:53 1:00 1:22
MacBook Professional 00:47 1:42 2:12 3:12

At export, the Zephyrus G14 makes use of its mixture of a quick CPU, quick GPU, and 32GB of RAM to (as soon as once more) sweep each single class. Not one of the different computer systems may sustain.

The Razer Blade 14 solely fell slightly bit behind the ASUS, however by the point we get to the most important recordsdata the M1 Mac mini is greater than 10 minutes slower than the Zephyrus G14, and the Intel-based MacBook Professional was one other 10 minutes slower than that – a full 20 minutes and 45 seconds slower than the ASUS G14.

For those who personal an Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Professional (as I do) this isn’t a reasonably graph.

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fuji GFX 100 Export
ASUS G14 1:35 3:12 3:50 6:53
Blade 14 1:48 3:47 4:47 7:46
M1 Mac mini 2:53 7:02 8:49 17:20
MacBook Professional 4:57 12:50 16:18 27:38

Photoshop

Once we ran the Pugetbench benchmark for Photoshop, the ASUS G14 got here extremely near beating the spectacular general rating put up by the M1 Mac mini, and did handle to beat the Mac in each the GPU and Filter classes.

Nonetheless, this end result requires a little bit of context.

Presumably because of their ultra-fast unified reminiscence, M1 Macs are capable of merge panoramas a lot sooner than any PC we have examined (at the least in Photoshop), however the excessive general rating is disproportionately affected by that one issue. It is like an Olympian profitable the decathlon by coming in the midst of the pack in 9 occasions, after which pole vaulting twice as excessive as anyone else.

In many of the particular person duties that the benchmark performs, the ASUS G14 is as quick or sooner than the Mac, which is mirrored within the excessive Normal, GPU, and Filter rating. I solely actually loses the ‘general’ battle due to its decrease PhotoMerge rating.

General Normal GPU Filter PhotoMerge
ASUS G14 973.6 99.0 97.3 86.9 115.0
Blade 14 835.6 85.6 88.8 67.3 111.9
M1 Mac mini 1017.8 99.4 81.2 82.9 144.2
MacBook Professional 597.7 65.4 32.6 52.8 62.6

Premiere Professional

Our closing assessments contain Adobe Premiere Professional. Not like most different Adobe CC apps, Premiere is properly optimized to reap the benefits of the NVIDIA GPUs in each the Razer Blade 14 and the ASUS Zephyrus G14 by means of ‘CUDA’ {hardware} acceleration. It is also capable of reap the benefits of ‘Metallic’ {hardware} acceleration on the M1 Mac mini.

This reality alone places these three computer systems in a league of their very own, and leaves my poor little Intel-based MacBook Professional trailing method behind the remainder of the pack in each video encoding job we tried.

The Zephyrus G14 steals the present right here, placing up the quickest occasions in all however one class regardless of stiff competitors from each the Razer Blade 14 and M1 Mac mini. Utilizing our Sony a1 take a look at video, the G14 rendered and exported the total Premier Professional venture 1 to 2 minutes sooner than both the Blade or the Mac mini, and a whopping 18 to twenty minutes sooner than the MacBook Professional.

This end result, greater than any others, exhibits the potential of GPU {hardware} acceleration. Correctly carried out, it might probably produce huge efficiency positive aspects.

Render All Export Grasp File Export H.264 Export H.265/HEVC Warp Stabilize
ASUS G14 6:40 00:15 6:06 5:59 2:33
Blade 14 8:50 00:41 8:12 8:06 3:13
M1 Mac mini 7:32 00:18 7:30 7:19 2:13
MacBook Professional 25:53 00:37 26:12 25:09 2:36

Again to prime


Takeaways

Usually, that is the a part of the assessment the place I might checklist a couple of fascinating takeaways based mostly on the strengths and weaknesses that I observed whereas operating our benchmarks. However the ASUS does so properly throughout the board that I do not actually have a lot to say apart from: wow.

The ASUS Zephyrus G14 is a particularly succesful photograph and video enhancing machine – way more succesful than you’ll guess given its small dimension. Thanks largely to the power-efficient AMD CPU, ASUS has created slightly monster that packs extra punch than some other ‘ultra-portable’ PC laptop computer in the marketplace, together with the equally specced Razer Blade 14 and, presumably, the M1 MacBook Professional (based mostly on our M1 Mac mini outcomes).

ASUS has created slightly monster that packs extra punch than some other ‘ultra-portable’ PC laptop computer in the marketplace.

From a efficiency standpoint, ASUS mainly did not have to chop any corners; consequently, we get a $2,000 14-inch laptop computer that simply outperforms $3,000+ Intel-based PCs from lower than a 12 months in the past and provides the Apple Silicon M1 some sincere to goodness competitors on this dimension and value bracket.

Again to prime


Conclusion

What We Like What We Do not Like
  • Distinctive efficiency
  • Shade-accurate WQHD show
  • Small and transportable
  • Good number of ports
  • Nice battery life
  • Reasonably priced
  • No Thunderbolt Help
  • No SD card slot
  • No webcam
  • Small trackpad
  • The AniMe Matrix is a neat-but-useless gimmick

It is arduous to search out fault with the 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14. It already affords most of what ‘creators’ are hoping to see from the rumored 14-inch MacBook Professional: it is a small, transportable, environment friendly laptop computer that delivers professional-grade efficiency in inventive purposes, together with GPU accelerated duties.

All of this for a particularly cheap value and with out a number of the Apple-specific downsides that we have gotten used to: the shortage of user-upgradable storage, the shortage of ports, and occasional compatibility points (particularly with ARM-based M1 Macs).

The 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14 a small, transportable, environment friendly laptop computer that delivers professional-grade efficiency in inventive purposes.

The one actual draw back for creatives is the shortage of Thunderbolt help – a should for some specialised tools – and the pc’s give attention to sure gaming-specific specs and design components. Personally, I might quite have a extra power-efficient WQHD show that is restricted to 60Hz or a extra inexpensive Full HD possibility that covers 100% DCI-P3, and the ‘AniMe Matrix’ characteristic is nothing greater than a celebration trick that sucks up battery when you neglect to show it off.

Certain, this little gaming laptop computer cannot match the top-shelf construct high quality and clear design of manufacturers like Apple, Razer, Microsoft, and even Dell – which is mainly the one motive I can not give the pc a full 5 stars – however when you’re searching for the last word ultra-portable PC laptop computer with the fewest trade-offs and the perfect efficiency, the ASUS Zephyrus G14 is the best way to go.

Again to prime

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