Asus Zephyrus G14 Ryzen 9 GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q Laptop Review: Kicking Core i9 to the Curb

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All those AMD slides and benchmark leaks comparing the Ryzen 9 to the Core i9 have turned out to be true; the 7 nm Ryzen 9 4900HS will outperform the 14 nm Core i9-9880H in multi-threaded workloads by relatively wide margins while being on par with the best that the Core i9-9980HK has to offer. When considering that the fastest mobile AMD CPU just this last year was the Ryzen 7 3750H, the new Ryzen 9 4900HS represents a significant leap in both performance and performance-per-Watt. Intel will have a lot of catching up to do when they launch their competing 10th gen Comet Lake-H series in the coming months.

Other than the new AMD processor, we’re astounded by the fact that Asus was able to fit so much computing power in a narrow-bezel 14-inch chassis without resorting to heavy throttling. We’re talking faster-than-Core i9 performance in what is essentially a subnotebook. The easy serviceability, upgradeable RAM and SSD, 120 Hz FreeSync display, unique Micro-LED outer lid lighting and USB Type-C charging are all icing on the cake to make the Zephyrus G14 even more unique than it already is.

There are a small number of important drawbacks. The first is battery life which is just average at best for its category. Secondly, fan noise is loud and it pulses more than we would like which will be distracting if gaming without a pair of headphones. Thirdly, the lid could be stiffer as it flexes more even when compared to Asus’ own ZenBook laptops. And lastly, the slow 20 ms black-white display response time is slower than on most 15.6-inch gaming laptops where 3 ms and 5 ms panels have become commonplace. It feels amazing to be able to play games on such a small and powerful system, but the moderate ghosting and noticeable fan noise will quickly remind you of the current limitations.

If you travel a lot and can exploit the ludicrous speed within, then the performance of the Zephyrus G14 won’t disappoint. The next closest alternatives would be the 13.3-inch Razer Blade Stealth or 14-inch MSI Prestige 14, but these systems come “only” with slower Core U CPUs and the GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU.

The Zephyrus G14 packs an incredible amount of power never before seen in this form factor. You’ll slowly notice the drawbacks over time, but you might be willing to look past them when considering how much performance you’re getting.

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