The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 demonstrates that gaming laptops don’t have to be bulky, overdesigned monsters. This sleek 14-inch system faced stiff competition from Razer, Dell and MSI, but the Zephyrus G14 won out among our best gaming laptops in the end thanks to its flexible design, its strong battery life and its willingness to try something new in the gaming laptop space.
For those who haven’t encountered the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 before, it’s a powerful gaming laptop that looks more like a traditional productivity peripheral. With a 14-inch screen, it’s already smaller than most gaming laptops. It’s also lighter and thinner, at 3.5 pounds and 0.7 inches, respectively. Rather than an aggressive red-and-black color pattern, the ROG Zephyrus G14 goes for a muted silver or black. If you wanted to use this computer all day in an office, then take it home to plow through foes in Apex Legends, it wouldn’t look out of place for either task.
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The system also packs pretty powerful hardware, including an AMD Ryzen 9-4900HS CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU, 16 GB memory and a 1 TB SSD. It won’t exactly run every brand-new game at maximum capacity, but it’s a far sight more powerful than any gaming console currently on the market. It also features a 1080p, 120 Hz screen, meaning it can (and usually will) run games well in excess of 60 frames per second. You can also ramp up the screen to a 1440p display, if you crave something even sharper.
Making the ROG Zephyrus G14 your primary system at home is also easy, thanks to an HDMI port, a USB-C port and multiple USB-A ports on the side. Simply hook it up to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse, and the Zephyrus G14 can easily perform just as well as most 1080p-focused gaming desktops on the market.
In terms of benchmarks, the ROG Zephyrus G14 can run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 49 fps, Hitman at 87 fps and Grand Theft Auto V at 115 fps, which is comparable to, or better than, competing systems from Dell and Razer. With its 120 Hz screen, you can also get incredibly fast frame rates without having to worry about external monitors.
The competition was pretty stiff for the ROG Zephyrus G14. The Razer Blade 15 is an absolutely gorgeous system, packing a lot of power in a very thin frame. The Alienware M15 and Dell G7 15 both had bigger screens, and the MSI GS66 Stealth is more powerful. But the ROG Zephyrus G14 is forward-looking in a way that no other gaming laptop is right now.
Asus envisioned a machine that can split its time equally and elegantly between gaming and productivity, which feels more realistic than “all gaming, all the time.” That idea, coupled with its excellent performance, propelled it to the top of the Tom’s Guide Awards this year.
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Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.