ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 (GA402XY-NC018W) review – a compact gaming laptop for fun and work
ASUS continues to update one of its most successful gaming models, the ROG Zephyrus G14, which has won the favor of users due to its relatively compact size, high-quality screen, fast platform, and good battery life. It would seem that there is not much room for improvement compared to last year’s design update, but ASUS engineers managed to add important innovations, so we decided to test the ROG Zephyrus G14 in detail once again, now in the 2023 version. I will immediately note that there are many configurations of the model, they are all built on a platform with an AMD processor and discrete NVIDIA graphics, and I received almost the maximum configuration of a laptop with a Mini LED screen, a Ryzen 9 7940HS processor and a GeForce RTX 4090 video card.
ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 (GA402XY-NC018W) specifications
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA402XY-NC018W)
|Mini LED, 14”, resolution 2560х1600, aspect ratio 16:10, frequency 165 Hz
|AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS Mobile Processor
|32 GB DDR5-4800
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 16 GB
|HDMI 2.1, 2xUSB 3.2 Gen 2, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort support, USB 4.0 with DisplayPort and Power Delivery support, microSD card reader, 3.5 mm combo jack
|Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax) (Triple band) 2*2 + Bluetooth 5.2
|HD camera, infrared sensor with Windows Hello support
|Acoustic system with 4 speakers and a microphone
|Island-type keys with RGB illumination
|Battery and charging
|76 Wh, main power supply unit 240 W (20 V, 12 A), additional – 100 W (20 V, 5 A)
In the box
Considering the fairly significant cost of the model, ASUS did everything to ensure that new owners received positive impressions right from the moment of unpacking.
Therefore, the equipment of the updated Zephyrus G14 is solid: in the box with the laptop, there are two power supplies – 240 and 100 W, a wired gaming mouse, and a branded case.
Design and materials
The appearance of the model has essentially not changed, users can also choose from versions in two colors – Moonlight White and dark gray Eclipse Gray. In addition, ASUS engineers created a little confusion in the configuration, now the ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 can come with or without the AniMe Matrix LED matrix on the display unit cover, as well as with a Mini LED screen.
I had just the latest version on test, which does not include the presence of AniMe Matrix, probably because the Mini LED panel itself takes up more space, and is also covered by a rather thick aluminum cover with a perforated pattern.
Traditionally for the latest design code of the ROG Zephyrus line, minimalism also prevails here, which results in the absence of bright elements on the case. The Republic of Gamers logo is also placed on a small metal panel.
The base of the ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 case is made of magnesium alloy, all structural elements are fitted quite tightly, and there are no creaks or bending, even in the area of the keyboard.
The case itself opens 180 degrees, which not only allows you to choose a comfortable angle for viewing the screen, but also creates an ergonomic tilt when typing on the keyboard, and also improves air access to the cooling system when the laptop is on the table.
Among gaming laptops, ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 can truly be called compact, its case size reaches 312×227 mm, with a thickness of 19.5-20.5 mm and a weight of 1.72 kg.
Of course, this is not an ultrabook, but carrying the model with you in a backpack along with a complete compact charger for 100 W will not be a big problem.
All connectors in the updated ROG Zephyrus G14 are spaced on the side faces. On the left, you can find a 3.5 mm combo audio jack, one USB 4.0 (40Gbps) with support for Display Port 1.4 and PD charging up to 100 W, HDMI 2.1, as well as ASUS’ proprietary port for connecting the main 240 W charger.
On the right is a slot for microSD memory cards (UHS-II), two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, and one USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C with Display Port 1.4 and G-Sync support.
In general, there are enough ports for comfortably connecting the necessary peripherals to the laptop.
ROG Zephyrus G14 2023equipped with a 14-inch Nebula HDR screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10, a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, and a refresh rate of 165 Hz. The test version of the laptop used a Mini LED matrix with a peak brightness of 600 nits and a refresh rate of 3 ms.
This is a very high-quality panel with a matte finish, excellent viewing angles, and color reproduction. The Mini LED technology itself makes it possible to create screens with deep black color and a high level of contrast. This is achieved by the fact that mini-LEDs are much smaller than conventional ones, with diodes as small as 0.2 mm. Therefore, engineers can place them much more densely than in conventional displays, which allows for the creation of separate areas of mini-LEDs that can be turned off individually.
In addition, the Zephyrus G14 2023 screen is VESA DisplayHDR 600 certified, which requires 10-bit image processing and a peak brightness of up to 600 cd/m2, and is Pantone certified, indicating more accurate color reproduction.
Platform and performance
Zephyrus G14 2023 is equipped with new AMD Ryzen 7000 Phoenix Point series processors, which are built on the new AMD ZEN 4 architecture using TSMC’s 4nm process. The test version of the laptop was equipped with a Ryzen 9 7940HS chip with 8 cores, 16 threads, a base frequency of 4 GHz, and a standard TDP value of up to 45 W. Compared to the previous generation, the processor in the Zephyrus G14 2023 offers a higher frequency, its maximum reaches 5.2 GHz, an increased L2 cache and greater energy saving.
The amount of RAM in the test model was 32 GB of dual-channel DDR5 4800 MHz, and a 1 TB Samsung SSD M.2 drive was used as data storage. The latter can be replaced, it is not soldered on the board, so if necessary, the user can later upgrade to a more capacious drive.
The Zephyrus G14 2023 also featured an NVIDIA RTX 4090 mobile graphics card with 16GB of GDDR6 video memory. Like last year’s model, the laptop is equipped with a MUX Switch that allows you to manually disable the discrete graphics and switch to the built-in AMD Radeon 780M accelerator. However, the new version of the laptop also supports NVIDIA Advanced Optimus technology, which allows the system to automatically switch between integrated and discrete graphics depending on the need.
As you can expect from a gaming laptop, the performance of the Zephyrus G14 2023 is at a high level, which is confirmed by both real-world use and synthetic tests. In PCMark 10, the laptop scores 8051 points from a 240 W power supply. For comparison last year’s version with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor scored 7398 points under the same conditions.
When working from the battery in the same PCMark 10, the number of scored points decreases to 5269, however, the user will have to find a balance between the performance and battery life because in Turbo mode the laptop will not work for very long.
The built-in 1TB SSD provides a read speed of 6715 MB/s and a write speed of 4938 MB/s, which is a very good result.
Given the powerful discrete graphics of the NVIDIA RTX 4090, the user can count on a good level of FPS in modern game projects, which is confirmed by synthetic tests. In 3DMark TimeSpy, the laptop scores 14,635points, against 8572 points in last year’s model with a Radeon RX 6800S video card.
The Cinebench R23 test during rendering also shows acceleration in both single-threaded and multi-threaded tasks, but the difference here is not so great. The Zephyrus G14 2023 scores 1,678 and 14,576, while the 2022 version scores 1,505 and 12,004, respectively.
With NVIDIA RTX 4090, in games of the level of No Man’s Sky, Halo Infinite, and Forza Horizon 5 at maximum graphics settings and with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, you can count on more than 100 FPS, if a game has ray tracing, for example, the updated The Witcher 3: Wild Gin, then 70-80 FPS. In general, the test configuration of the laptop, although it has a rather high cost, is the ultimate compact gaming system.
To connect to the wireless Internet, the Zephyrus G14 2023 uses a MediaTek Wi-Fi 6E chip, which stably maintains a connection with the router, but sometimes starts quite slowly. So after turning on the system, you can wait more than a minute before the adapter finds the desired network and connects to it. There are no similar nuances with another Bluetooth 5.2 wireless module, it picks up wireless headphones and a mouse without problems.
Heating and stability of operation
When testing the Zephyrus G14 2023, I was unable to run the standard system stability test in AIDA64, because for some unknown reason it simply did not work. However, using the laptop, including during intensive gaming sessions, showed that the cooling system generally copes well with powerful components.
ASUS has traditionally used liquid metal for the model for more efficient heat transfer from the processor to the cooling system. In the G14 2023, engineers managed to fit the evaporation chamber over 48.2% of the motherboard surface, and it is complemented by two Arc Flow fans with 84 fins with a thickness of 0.1 mm at the end, and 4 heatsinks with copper fins also with a thickness of 0.1 mm.
Depending on the profile selected in the Armoury Crate utility, the degree of heating and operation of the cooling system differs. If you choose Windows or Quiet, the system resets frequencies and, in the absence of graphics-demanding programs, switches to built-in graphics. At the same time, the fans are not activated, and the temperature of the processor does not exceed 50-60 degrees Celsius, so the case also remains barely warm.
If you activate the Performance or Turbo profile, the laptop will try to keep the frequency of the processor and video card at a higher level, providing a higher level of performance. After more than an hour of playing No Man’s Sky with maximum graphics settings and a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, the temperature of the processor reached 88 degrees Celsius, while the video card “warmed up” to more than 70 degrees Celsius, and the hottest place on the case was traditionally found in the upper part above the keyboard, it heated up to 45 degrees Celsius.
During long gaming sessions, the laptop case does become noticeably warm, however, the cooling system effectively removes heat from those parts of it that are touched by the user’s hands. So the comfort during the game is not affected by the heating of the Zephyrus G14 2023 components, the cooling system in general effectively copes with its task and does it relatively quietly. In the Turbo mode, the noise level reaches 48 dB, for comparison, the average noise level in an open office is 60 dB.
Keyboard and touchpad
The Zephyrus G14 2023 is equipped with an island-type keyboard with RGB lighting and 1.7 mm key travel. It is great for both gaming and typing with a soft but clear keystroke.
Above the keyboard are four programmable buttons, which by default are responsible for adjusting the volume, muting the microphone, and launching the Armory Crate utility. Just in the last key, you can program it to perform other actions by configuring the necessary macros.
Thanks to the large touchpad (128×76 mm) with a glass coating, the laptop can be used without an additional mouse when working. The touchpad perfectly determines the position of the fingers and supports standard Windows 11 gestures.
Webcam and facial recognition
The laptop received a Full HD webcam, it cannot boast of high quality, especially in low light, but it is quite enough for video calls.
Next to the camera is an infrared sensor, which is required for the facial recognition system to work, allowing you to sign in to your Windows 11 account without a password through the Windows Hello feature.
It works very quickly and allows you to enter the system immediately after opening the lid of the laptop.
For sound reproduction, four external speakers are installed in the laptop: two high-frequency and two low-frequency. They sound quite loud and spacious, so in general you can watch videos and even play games on the Zephyrus G14 2023 without headphones. Support for Dolby Atmos technology also adds spatial audio in games that support it and, for example, in some content from Netflix.
The laptop still has a 3.5mm jack for connecting wired headphones, but you can also use Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connectivity.
Zephyrus G14 2023 battery life
The capacity of the battery built into the laptop has not changed compared to the previous version and even to the first generation G14 and is 76 Wh. ASUS claims autonomy of 8 hours when watching videos with minimal performance settings and a brightness of no higher than 150 nits. And such an indicator can be achieved. However, during office work in Windows mode, you should count on approximately 6 hours of battery life, which is confirmed by the PCMark 10 Modern Office synthetic test, in which the laptop lasted 6 hours and 29 minutes.
This is generally a good indicator for a gaming model, which is higher than the battery life of last year’s version, but less than the almost 10 hours in the same mode that the first generation G14 offered. Therefore, this is not a negative, but a statement of the fact that despite a certain promising breakthrough in the battery life of compact gaming laptops a few years ago, manufacturers still cannot overcome physics and fit both powerful components and a large battery in a relatively compact case. Zephyrus G14 2023 provides a really good balance in this regard, but you should not count on the performance of ultrabooks.
You can charge the laptop in two ways at once: through the ASUS own connector from the 240 W power supply and through the universal USB Type-C, for which a separate 100 W charger is also included in the kit, which is very convenient because it is much more compact and lighter.