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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401 review (GA401IV – Ryzen 7 or 9, RTX 2060, QHD/FHD 120 Hz screen)

73 Comments

  1. James

    March 30, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Sounds like a pretty dang good system overall, but maybe not so amazing as to make me regret picking up a GX502GV last month.

    Are you sure all the configurations are going to ship with 8GB soldered RAM? That's my biggest hangup, I think. If I'm still using a system I bought in 2020 in 2024-25, it will probably seem pretty silly not to upgrade to 32GB, and that won't be an option with this one.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 30, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      I have to double-check with Asus. I was also under the impression 32 GB is possible with this laptop, but right now looks like 24 is max, with 8 + 16 DIMM.

    • David

      April 8, 2020 at 1:23 am

      Well there are 32 gb sticks nowadays, so you can have 40 gb maximum. I think this laptop is a very jewel of tech

      • Andrei Girbea

        April 8, 2020 at 10:48 am

        Right, and they've been reported to work with this

    • anaconda

      April 30, 2020 at 6:39 pm

      You can't say:
      "solid performance across the board for this form factor,"

      If it is the fastest laptop evet in 14" gorm factor. Also, show me a faster than 60hz QHD 14" panel, just show me.

      • Andrei Girbea

        April 30, 2020 at 7:53 pm

        Calm down. The "for the form factor" part is justified, as larger laptops are available with more capable graphics, thus offer improved performance in certain tasks.

  2. Lynton Bell

    March 31, 2020 at 12:39 am

    thanks for the review Andrei. From other reviews the 120hz/1080p display comes out ~330nits so is brighter although a ~20ms response time which isn't terrible but not great either. Only an issue for very fast esports games. It is flicker free (notebookcheck). I think it's a winner in its form factor. the single & multicore scores vs 9750h are staggering, more like a desktop cpu here

  3. Steve

    March 31, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Thank you for your detailed review. I hope Asus will sort out that issue with the 2060 not being disabled. That issue is likely to blame for some reviewers reporting great battery life while others report only 5 hours with light loads. With a TDP limited CPU, disabled GPU and a 76 Wh battery the G14 should easily match the longevity of an ultrabook with a 50 Wh battery (for light web and video tasks).

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 31, 2020 at 10:00 am

      We'll see. I don't know about light use, but 7-9 hours of video is doable. I also have some 4800H laptops on the side, and they do about 9W per hour with video. This HS should be a little better, but then there's also the QHD screen to consider with this configuration.

  4. David Z Wang

    April 1, 2020 at 4:25 am

    Hi, I would like to ask a few questions. Would appreciate a lot if you could take time and help me answer these
    1. Is r5 3600hs not launching in the us so the 4800hs+1650 will be the cheapest option?
    2. Do you think these will be in time to be on sale in the back to school sale season?
    3. For Q2, you mean that these will be releasing between April, May June?

    Thanks a lot if you can help, theres currently little info out there for consumers

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 1, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      1. Based on what we know right now, yes. That IH version might come with 4600HS though
      2. We'll see, too early to tell.
      3. Yes

  5. Ben

    April 1, 2020 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for the review. You mention in the video review that they got rid of the pageup/pagedown/home/end keys. It looks like they don't even exist in combination with the function key? Can you confirm? That's probably a dealbreaker for me.

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 1, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      Yes, they don't as far as I can tell. Great observation, I didn't notice that, could be an issue for professionals. I will add a note to the article.

      • James

        April 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm

        This was also mentioned in Jarrod's review. It's baffling to me. I wonder if they can at least add it in a future BIOS update?

        I'm writing this from a Surface Book 2, which has dedicated keys for all those buttons, but also lets you use FN plus arrow keys for the same functions. It looks like FN + up/down already changes the keyboard backlight, though, so even that wouldn't be an option. What a crazy oversight!

        • Andrei Girbea

          April 1, 2020 at 1:03 pm

          I'll pass this onto Asus. They could at least do something about the Left/Right arrows, perhaps put Home/End there like they do on Zenbooks. I was hoping at least those would be implemented, but they're not.

      • Henrique

        July 13, 2020 at 2:19 am

        Hi, Andrei, I love most of your reviews, as they give me a lot of in-depth information and a few opinions that only very experienced people could reach. I really appreciate that.

        As for professionals, I believe, maybe not most, but at least half of us will be using this notebook for work a lot of the time with an external monitor+mouse+keyboard combo (dock station in my case) and won't mind this (very well pointed out) shortcoming.

        Also, there's always a few "virtual keyboard" options (on-screen keyboard, touch keyboard, etc) in windows to reach some keys and\or key combinations that you possibly don't have on the physical one. International Layout Keyboard users will probably know well what I'm talking about… ;-)

        Still, you are right: it is a shortcoming (not a big one, though).

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 13, 2020 at 10:29 am

          Hi, thanks for the feedback. I know there are ways past that, but I still think Asus should have thought about it and included those shortcuts by default, as they do on some of their other laptops

  6. Craig Wayman

    April 3, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    250 nits of brightness on the QHD panel is abysmal. I am not even thrilled about the 350 on the 1080p panel. I don't care about the resolution as much as I care about the brightness and colors of the panel. 1080p panels can look just as good if not better than QHD/UHD if properly lit and colors are good. This is a near perfect laptop but that's a no go for me on brightness. I think I am just going to shuck out the money and get a 2020 Razer OLED that is coming out. They now green lit the 2070 model to have that option.

    • Watertaps

      June 9, 2020 at 10:49 am

      but like, I found this laptop for ~1k… you're gonna pay like double the price on same parts just for a display and a logo. sounds like apple a llt.

  7. Wayne

    April 10, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Great review!

    Just out of curiosity is the bottom cover made of aluminum as well?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 10, 2020 at 11:50 am

      As far as I can tell, that's metallic as well. Unless it's some really really good plastic that feels just like metal.

      • Wayne

        April 10, 2020 at 12:49 pm

        Thank you for the response. I'm dead-set on getting the G14, so knowing that its metal as well solidifies my choice. I've had nice gaming laptops in the past with plastic bottom covers, only to break and get taped up for the life of it.

        • Andrei Girbea

          April 10, 2020 at 1:11 pm

          The D side sure is very sturdy with this one, less flex than the interior or the lid.

  8. sean becker

    April 11, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Hi, do you happen to know if they are going to put the anime matrix display on a variant that has the 120hz display? Also is there going to be a 120hz 2060 version in grey, I only see white as an option currently.

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 11, 2020 at 6:23 pm

      I'd reckon both should be available at some point, but configurations and options will most likely carry between countries, so there's no way to tell for sure.

  9. Singh

    April 14, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    What would you take between this and x1 extreme g2 for daily driver? I don't need more than 4 hrs battery and am a very casual gamer.

    I'm a long time mac/thinkpad user but I have fomo about the new ryzen 🙈

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 14, 2020 at 9:26 pm

      Tough call. The G14 is the smaller and more powerful option (both CPU and GPU), while the X1E gets nicer screen options, better thermals and most likely better support/warranty, as a ThinkPad. There's also the slightly better IO on the ThinkPad (no TB3 on the G14), and what might be a nicer keyboard for most (not for me, I'm not a fan).

      Are they evenly priced though? I'd reckon a properly specced X1E would be a fair bit more expensive.

      • Singh

        April 14, 2020 at 10:49 pm

        It would be more expensive. My main concerns are screen quality and build quality with the g14.

        I wanted an oled screen, I believe you've had one and would be keen to hear your thoughts, and I do keep my windows laptops for a while so build quality needs to be good. With a mac I'd just sell it whenever something new came along and upgrade for a small hit but no pc holds its value.

        • Andrei Girbea

          April 15, 2020 at 11:35 am

          Idk about long term OLED reliability in a laptop, due to all the static content. I've put some of my thoughts on OLED panels in this article: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/33774-asus-zenbook-pro-duo-review/#a4

          I'm a big fan of OLED on TVs and phones, but right now I just wouldn't put my money on OLED on a laptop.

          Build quality should be fine on the G14, I'd be more concerned about quality control, this seems to be more and more of a problem with most brands these days. That's why I mentioned it as a pro for the Thinkpad, normally you can get better warranty and support with them

        • James B

          April 15, 2020 at 11:47 am

          Andrei's comments notwithstanding, if you want OLED why not buy OLED? There aren't that many options but a few do exist and especially if you're not looking at heavy gaming, some of them are pretty good. I know the Gigabyte Aero OLED got great press for the screen quality — I almost bought one, but the thermals weren't fantastic. That's not as big of a deal if you're not maxing out on performance, though.

          (If you're not gaming much on it, I'd agree about going with the Thinkpad just because you can get business-class support.)

  10. Rishang Prashnani

    April 24, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    I am planning to buy a laptop which has-

    1. Decent GPU and CPU

    2. Good thermals, atleast playing PUBG on decent graphics for 2 hours straight should not create problems

    3. Atleast 6 hours of battery life for normal usage (video, web surfing, coding etc.)

    I just want a good performance laptop for both gaming and work. thickness and weight doesn't matter much.

    Is this the current best choice I have. (budget- under 2000$)

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 24, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      Does it have to be sub-15 inch? If not, I'd say you've got many other options

      • Rishang Prashnani

        April 24, 2020 at 7:33 pm

        15 inch is fine!

        All the laptops till now I have found, have either good thermals or good battry life! I have dell xps 15 9560 i5 which has very bad thermals

        • Andrei Girbea

          April 24, 2020 at 7:41 pm

          yeah, well, you need a big battery to get 5-6 hours of daily use on Core H, and most of those with big batteries are thin-and-light performance laptops.

          If this G14 is not what you want, then I'd look into the new MSI GS66 (RTX 2060 model) with that big 99 Wh battery, or the Eluktronics Mag 15 if available in your region. MSI GS65/Acer Predator Triton 500 with Rtx 2060 should also be worth a look, but might not get 6 h with those.

        • Rishang Prashnani

          April 24, 2020 at 7:46 pm

          G14 / G15 seems great to me!

          Battery life is decent,
          How are the thermals for this laptop? Can it handle my gaming requirement mentioned above!

          Thanks :)

        • Andrei Girbea

          April 24, 2020 at 9:02 pm

          Come on, read the reviews!

        • Singh

          April 24, 2020 at 7:49 pm

          Aero 15 too.

        • Andrei Girbea

          April 24, 2020 at 9:02 pm

          Yep, that too

        • Rishang Prashnani

          April 25, 2020 at 2:44 pm

          How is Asus TUF A17 in terms of thermals and battery life compared to G14 / G15??

        • Andrei Girbea

          April 25, 2020 at 3:04 pm

          There's a separate review for the A17.

  11. Lynton Bell

    April 26, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Hi @andrei Girbea,
    I said I'd post some review comments. I received the white unit GA401IU 4800hs/1660ti maxq last week.

    Pros: Build qual/aesthetic – very solid feeling despite the incredibly light weight and would be easily acceptable looking at work, has a pro clean/stealth look to it
    Keyboard – best typing experience I've had, worst to best on recent laptops I've had: razer blade 15 2019, aw13r3, aw15r2(2019), lenovo y740 and then this. It's got really solid but fluid feedback without actually being mechanical, very satisfying. (note no page up/down which bothers some people but perhaps you could map to keys somehow, future armoury crate feature perhaps?). Dedicated media control keys are nice.

    CPU: incredible as per pro reviews, pretty much stays around ~4300mhz at full load which in this small chassis is mind blowing given it beats the best from Intel (which also run much hotter and need all sorts of undervolting techniques and special thermal chassis to reduce)

    GPU: drives very high frames in games, is a nice update from the 1060mobile I came from in my aw13r3. Runs acceptably hot up to 1800mhz roughly I've seen and is a good thermal match to this chassis. Definitely helps get into the 120hz range available from the screen

    Screen: fantastic to see a decent screen finally at this size and with an AMD chipset. feels much more fluid than my old aw13r3 60hz panel, you can feel the difference. I haven't noticed the ghosting pro reviewers talk about so acceptable for my use cases business/gaming on the go. Bright enough at 100%, just got there and just enough colour too. If possible in this size, future updates could include higher brightness (400-500range), slightly higher 10bit colour gamut and faster gtg response. 120hz fine though for some time.

    CONS: took me some time to work out how to stop severe throttling when gaming unplugged; I've a thread in the owners thread on reddit about this. Interaction between armoury crate, windows power profiles, nvidia control panel and amd radeon lite settings is not entirely clear and makes it very hard to work out what is going right/wrong.

    Biggest issue right now as widely reported on reddit: fan profiles need an update via bios hopefully. Right now most people are seeing excessive spin on both fans on the 'silent' profile despite idle & low temps. gpu won't shut down/off into power saving. I find thermals/noise just scrape into acceptable range when gaming on performance; it doesn't fall into hair dryer territory I've had with some other Intel based units (distracting to others in the room)

    OVERALL: very happy now and will hope and look out for improvements released via the website or the update service. Out of everything I've seen out there and tried out, this is going to dominate for some time at its size. Surface, ideapad etc won't come close; the 2020 RB stealth is only 1650ti and ice lake cpu can't beat ryzen 4000.

  12. Sieg

    April 28, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Question regarding the soldered RAM stick: What's its speed? Cause if it's 2666 then it kinda defeats the whole thing of AMD CPUs supporting higher speeds, since whatever other stick you install on there, it'll run on the lowest speed of the two.

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      I haven't exactly checked, but the memory is reported 3200 Mhz in Hwinfi and CPUz, so the soldered part should be 3200 MHz as well

      • Sieg

        April 28, 2020 at 3:18 pm

        Phew, nice one, thanks!

  13. Min

    May 1, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for good review. I bought Ryzen9 version Zephyrus g14 and used for 2weeks with intensive gaming. CPU got around 90degree it made the laptop very hot especially under side of screen and keyboard, after 2weeks I saw a blue screen and after that during the game I got more lag, I think Ryzen9 is hard to handle the temperature in 14inch Zephyrus g14.. I returned the laptop and wann to buy Ryzen7 version.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 1, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      Let us know how that works. I don't think it's going to make much of a difference, Ryzen 9 and 7 are very similar in most ways. Unfortunately, the hardware runs hot in this form factor, no way around it.

      • Min

        May 1, 2020 at 2:25 pm

        :( oh ok it is a sad news. I liked that laptop so much, compact and good sound card. It might be not a laptop for heavy gammer. Is it not possible to undervolt Ryzen CPU?

        • Andrei Girbea

          May 1, 2020 at 2:38 pm

          No, there's no such option now and probably won't be for a while

        • Min

          May 1, 2020 at 2:42 pm

          Ok thanks for your reply :)

  14. Phiilppe

    May 2, 2020 at 12:22 am

    Hi I live in Canada and it seems I can’t get the Zephyrus from anywhere. Maybe they’ll release more in June or something? I know other models are coming in June! I sure hope for the white one because right now they are all space grey. Does space grey attracts a lot of ingéreront though? Thanks in advance if you have any news regarding release dates or if there is an American website I can order from to ship to Canada!

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 2, 2020 at 9:10 am

      I don't know about availability over here, you should contact the local Asus on social media and ask about this. The gray version shows some smudges, but it's not that bad. Just keep in mind that the White version comes with a silver keyboard with white lighting, and that is the main reason I'd steer towards the Gray model instead.

      • Philippe

        May 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm

        Yes it’s a debate between maybe smudges or a useless backlight! Both looks good to be honest. But yeah the 2500$ CAD price tag on bestbuy is way too high (unless it’s the animetrix but it doesn’t say on the page) but I kinda want the 2060 with 1TB SSD so I’ll probably wait a bit to see if other models show up on other websites. I’ll contact Asus on their Facebook page thank you!

  15. Andrei Girbea

    May 6, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    For everyone still following, I've posted an updated article on the G14 with my experience using it for the last months. It goes over:
    1. the performance of the 4900HS configuration and how it compares to the 4800HS
    2. gaming on the 4900HS/RTX 2060 model and on an external monitor (this makes a big difference)
    3. update paths
    4. some suggestions that might help with the high temperatures in games

    It's available here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/37852-asus-zephryus-g14-ryzen-9-4900hs/

  16. BTLoong

    May 12, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for the great review, is this laptop can run Davinci Resolve 16 smoothly? (less than 10min 1080 or 4K footage)

  17. Zbigniew Zając

    May 29, 2020 at 12:39 am

    Are you sure it can handle 40GB? 8+32? Everywhere there is 32GB MAX also on AMD site for all ryzens 4000

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 29, 2020 at 11:08 am

      Yes. Anandtech even tested it in their review. 32 GB MAX makes no sense, it would be 8 + 24 GB and there's no 24 GB stick.

  18. Steven Wintringham

    July 2, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Hi Andre! I am looking at laptops for college and this one was recommended to me (specifically the 4900/2060). I'm not a gamer but I would like something with good performance for video editing (I currently use Premiere but if I get a decent system I will probably switch to Resolve). Other than that it will mostly be used for taking notes and working with databases. I am looking for something around this price range and I would be okay with either a 14" or 15" model. Do you think this is the best option for me or is there something else I should consider?

    Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 2, 2020 at 10:27 am

      This should be a solid option for your needs. It gets the performance and also runs efficiently with daily use, when unplugged.

      Just ask yourself if a 14-inch screen isn't too small for you for video editing. Both Premiere and Resolve's interfaces get quite cluttered, I for one am used to editing on a larger monitor and always struggle when going with something smaller.

      BTW, no need to go with the 4900H and 2060 model for your needs. A 4800H with 1660Ti will do just fine and could be a fair bit cheaper.

      • Steven Wintringham

        July 2, 2020 at 10:29 am

        I appreciate it! I am a bit concerned about the screen size so what 15 inch models would you recommend?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 2, 2020 at 10:35 am

          There are a few, but I'd make sure to get something with a decent screen. The Zephyrus G15 with AMD 4800HS and 240 Hz (not the 144 Hz !!) screen would be a good value option. You'll find the review here on the site.

  19. Steven Wintringham

    July 2, 2020 at 10:38 am

    I will look into that! I haven't read your review but I look to the comparison between this, the g15, and the a15. I would also be interested to hear your thoughts comparing both to the XPS 15

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 2, 2020 at 10:43 am

      I haven't reviewed the new XPS 15 yet, but that's a different class of computer. Nicer made, slammer, more portable, higher quality screen, etc. However, performance-wise these AMD options trump it by a fair margin, though.

      • Steven Wintringham

        July 2, 2020 at 10:48 am

        Ok, thank you! The g15 with the 240hz screen is around $350 more than the the g14, making it a bit out of my price range. Do you have any other 15" recommendations? I've also heard that these processors will not be Asus exclusive much longer so would I be better off waiting for other options?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 2, 2020 at 10:52 am

          Interesting, The G15 is more affordable than the G14 in most markets. Definitely not worth it at +350, but perhaps you could have it on your shortlist and look for discounts. Might be worth waiting for others, but I'd reckon we'll not see those new products sooner than Fall or Q4, plus I'd reckon they won't be cheap either.

  20. Steven Wintringham

    July 2, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Best buy only has the 4900/2060 for the g14 and the 144hz g15. The g15 is $1449 and the g15 is $1299 but I only found the 240 hz g15 on Amazon and it was $1699

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 2, 2020 at 11:15 am

      I remember it available for $1399 at best-buy at some point.

      • Steven Wintringham

        July 2, 2020 at 11:17 am

        As far as I can tell Best Buy doesn't stock the 240 hz in the US. How much of an upgrade is the 240 hz?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 2, 2020 at 12:19 pm

          it's 100% sRGB vs 60ish % sRGB. Huge upgrade in terms of colors

  21. Steven Wintringham

    July 2, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    How does that g14 120hz compare? I really appreciate your time

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      that's in this article, just scroll to the screen section…

      • Steven Wintringham

        July 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm

        Since they are similar I will probably look into the 144hz g15. Thanks again!

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