Due to the lack of new GPUs from NVIDIA at CES 2024, ASUS could have refreshed the processors in its flagship gaming laptop line and simply called it a day. But much to my delight, ASUS still went and completely redesigned the ROG Zephyrus G14 and G16 and it feels like the company may have struck the perfect balance between performance and a more sophisticated take on the gamer aesthetic.
The biggest change is the new CNC-machined aluminum chassis with a somewhat boxy frame and clean minimalist lines. Not only is this construction stiffer and more durable than before, both new models are smaller (up to 4mm thinner) and lighter (by up to 0.3 pounds) than the previous generation. Keycaps are also 12 percent larger and on the inside, there’s enough room for 20 percent larger speakers. Meanwhile on the outside, instead of a bunch of RGB lighting, there’s a single white LED strip arranged in a slash across the lid. It looks bold without being too in your face, and you can choose from two colors: Eclipse Gray or a stunning Platinum White. It feels like ASUS has made a stylish machine that adult gamers don’t need to be embarrassed about whipping out in public.
Another big change comes with its display, as the new Zephyrus G14/G16 will be the first ROG laptops to feature OLED panels: a 3K 120Hz screen on the smaller model or a 2.5K 240Hz option on the larger system. Supplied by Samsung and branded as ROG Nebula Display OLEDs, both screens also feature 16:10 aspect ratios, VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 certification, NVIDIA G-Sync support and blazing 0.2ms gray-to-gray response times. In short, they look great.
ASUS opted for slightly different hardware depending on which size you choose. The smaller G14 uses AMD Ryzen 8000 series processors with up to NVIDIA RTX 4070 graphics while the larger G16 features an Intel Core Ultra 9 chip with up to an RTX 4090 GPU. Both versions top out with 32GB of DDR5X RAM. Other small differences include a microSD card reader on the G14 versus a full-size option on the G16 along with a larger 90Whr battery (versus 73Whr). The only thing ASUS seems to have missed is support for Wi-Fi 7, but given how early we are into that rollout, it shouldn’t be a big deal as Wi-Fi 6e is still plenty fast.
One other important addition is the introduction of the ASUS Slim Power jack, which will be the company’s default charging port for high-power systems across its mainstream and ROG lines. It looks similar to USB-C, in that it’s also reversible, but with a slightly boxier connector. I kind of wish ASUS opted for USB-C power delivery, at least on the smaller G14. But I’ve been told that the cost and relatively low efficiency of high-power USB-C charging (especially above 140 watts, as the G14 uses a 180-watt brick) still isn’t good enough for widespread use.
Regardless, previous versions of the ROG G14 and G16 have been some of our favorite gaming machines over the past few years and with a full redesign that brings a gorgeous new aluminum chassis, top-notch specs, OLED displays and more. And if this early look at the next-generation is anything to go by, it seems ASUS is hoping to carry that momentum into the rest of 2024.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any word on expected pricing for the ROG G14 and G16 just yet, but check back soon because ASUS says it will provide updates closer to when its new laptops officially go on sale sometime in February.
We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.
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