In brief: Laptop makers are always looking for creative ways to push the limits with their latest products. They accomplish this through ever-shrinking form factors, desktop-like gaming performance, or, in the case of Asus' latest gaming notebook, both. The device, dubbed the Zephyrus G14, comes in at a mere 14 inches, with a weight of 3.5lb and a width of around 17.9mm.
With those figures, the G14 is far from the smallest or thinnest laptop out there. Still, compared to other gaming laptops with similar hardware (or even other lightweight notebooks in general), it still manages to impress in this area.
However, you shouldn't let the G14's small form factor fool you. With its built-in RTX 2060 Max Q, the laptop should still be capable of delivering an excellent PC gaming experience.
Of course, it won't perform nearly as well as a higher-end laptop or desktop, but if you want decent gaming performance and access to basic ray tracing features in a small package, the Zephyrus G14 seems like a safe bet (we'd have to test it ourselves to say for sure, though).
In any case, Asus is offering up a selection of Ryzen 7 CPUs ("up to" a 4800HS) to Zephyrus G14 customers, as well as two distinct, FreeSync-enabled display options. You can opt for a 1440p panel with a standard 60Hz refresh rate or a lower-res 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate. While both choices are solid, the latter might be the slightly better deal. At 14 inches, 1080p will still look great, and you unlock the ability to push your framerates past 60 wherever possible.
In terms of its design, the G14 keeps things relatively simple upon first glance. It doesn't have any particularly fancy edges, aggressive angles, or outlandish color schemes. It has a simple, aluminum chassis and a standard chiclet-style keyboard.
However, when you dig a bit deeper, some interesting features present themselves -- the G14's unique "AniMe Matrix display," for example.
This display comes in the form of 1,215 mini LEDs installed across the lid of the G14. These LEDs collectively have 256 levels of brightness (user-controlled, of course), and the picture or animation they display is entirely up to you.
You can import animated GIFs into the lid, build "custom animations frame by frame," implement audio visualizations for music, games, or other forms of content, add basic images, and much more.
It's a neat feature, and one we don't see that often in modern laptops (if at all). However, it's only available on "select models," so not every G14 will ship with the AniMe Matrix display built-in.
The second feature of note here is the G14's custom "ErgoLift" hinge. As the name implies, the hinge lifts the back of the keyboard up above the bottom of the display lid, allowing for improved airflow and a more comfortable typing experience. You can see a side view of the hinge in the image above.
In terms of other miscellaneous specifications, the Zephyrus G14 has ports for both USB-C and standard DC charging, WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 support, two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C ports (one for power delivery), two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, and a single combined 3.5mm headphone/mic jack.
We don't know how much the G14 will cost or when it will launch, but we'll keep you updated as more details come to light.