Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition Review:
Asus and Alan Walker have collaborated on this unusual portable that combines the power of the existing ROG Zephyrus G14 with some unusual music DJ features
A new Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition is here to take its place. It is an updated model of the second iteration of a fantastic laptop. When the first Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 debuted last year, it was a bit of a genre-buster thanks to its 14-inch size, fantastic AMD CPU, and outstanding gaming capabilities.
That fundamental idea is maintained in this new second generation Special Edition model, but an interesting touch is added thanks to a partnership with the self-titled DJ and musician Alan Walker. Walker presently has almost 10 billion channel views in addition to having the 19th most watched video on YouTube as we type these words, with no less than 3.2 billion views. Really good.
However, Walker and Asus worked together to create a new G14 model that combines music and gaming. The basic design of the G14 is carried over, along with the unique Anime Matrix customizable LED feature on the rear of the display. Yet other adjustments, such as the switch to metallic grey, fabric inserts, and new colors for the keyboard, result in a distinctly fresh appearance.
It may be argued that the extras in the box, rather than the laptop itself, are what really distinguish this edition of the G14 from its brothers. or perhaps the actual box. Absolutely, I do. Actually, the box serves as a kind of synthesizer or mixing pad. It utilizes a USB-C connection to the laptop and collaborates with a special program there to enable the creation of musical content. Controls for track speed, sample loading, and sound effects are located on touch sensitive pads on the box. These controls work in conjunction with optional visual effects that can be displayed on the laptop’s screen or output to an external display.
It’s debatable whether it works well from the perspective of producing musical content. It’s a nice touch that enhances the impression that this laptop is unique and exceptional rather than being a spec-driven, boxing-ticking affair. Which is perhaps for the best, given the specification is, at least in one respect, a little underwhelming. Features include the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS Processor, which is highly powerful. Although it could be a little brighter, the 14-inch 2,560 by 1,440 pixel IPS panel is still a 120Hz beauty and a wonderful compromise between quality and performance.
Having said that, if it were combined with a more potent GPU, it would at least achieve that balance nicely. Asus chose an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti for this limited-edition G14 even though other models’ chassis could support up to the RTX 3060. It’s unfortunate because, even with the panel’s 120Hz refresh, the 3050 Ti isn’t really capable of driving the display at native resolution at playable frame rates. Interpolated video games still look good at 1080p. Yet an RTX 3060 would round the bundle off much more effectively.
Despite all, this is still a stunning little laptop with excellent build quality, a terrific design, and a battery life of over eight hours in PCMark 10. This is especially impressive given the powerful CPU it offers. Oh, and the built-in speakers provide excellent sound quality. It rivals Apple’s MacBook’s for dynamic range and quality, there’s actually some real bass on offer, if not so much for outright volume. It would be nice if there was a little more punch.
Price and availability
You could purchase a G14 with 32GB of RAM and an RTX 3060 GPU for the same price. But then you wouldn’t have the distinctive appearance, the mixing box, and all the wonderful things. So, by normal standards, this isn’t a compelling value offer. It’s still a pretty powerful and stylish laptop, though.
Everything that makes the normal G14 such a fantastic small portable is there in the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition. Given the performance it offers, it is little. It is quite well constructed. It has a lovely design. It’s put together simply perfectly.
Well, it doesn’t quite check all all the boxes. Just as a for instance, it lacks any kind of webcam, which is a fairly glaring omission in this increasingly work-from-home age. Nonetheless, the slim-bezel design controls the size and ensures good mobility, especially given the range of portability available.
The keyboard is especially notable, not only for its quirky color scheme but also for the strength of its base and the responsiveness of its keys. The most remarkable part of the exhibit, though, is the back.
The Anime Matrix feature, which has 1,215 customizable mini-LEDs, is the first. The ability to design your own animated shows on the back of the display is ultimately completely useless. But it’s also incredibly stylish and entertaining.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition’s performance is uneven. There is just no disputing the eight-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU’s power. In fact, the 1TB Samsung M.2 NVMe drive’s storage performance is excellent, with read rates of about 3GB/s.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU is the part of the argument that is least persuasive. It’s a respectable graphics chip. The superior RTX 3060, a GPU that would work better with the 14-inch 120HZ QHD monitor, is however available with this chassis, and it is difficult to ignore this fact.
The 3050 Ti performs reasonably well when playing 1080p games today. Yet, honestly, 1080p interpolated on the 14-inch QHD display doesn’t seem half awful. The 3050 Ti, however, may struggle in some games with even 1080p at high resolution settings.
Speaking of the display, it’s a class act overall. Even the most ardent gamers won’t need more than 120Hz or a native resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 in QHD. The IPS panel’s colors, contrast, and response are all respectable. But a little more brightness would be nice. It struggles to compete with average inside workplace ambient illumination, let alone anything outdoor. Even so, it’s a fantastic display with lots of detail and excellent font rendering; in a gaming environment, it just needs a more potent GPU.
The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU’s ability to pack so much raw computing power while also providing long battery life is a testament to its strength and efficiency. On PCMark 10, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition lasts for more than eight hours. With the performance on offer, that’s excellent.
It’s presumably helped by the screen’s backlight, which isn’t very strong. This laptop will be sufficient for at least three full-length movies on the proverbial long-haul flight, even with today’s insanely long three-hour feature films. In conclusion, expecting an all-day battery life while using a device to browse the web and consume information is reasonable. Of course, if you use the eight-core CPU to its full potential or play any games, your battery life will be reduced by half or more.
You want a stylish, unique laptop that stands out from the crowd, is portable, powerful, and stylish.
From a purely computational standpoint, some of the features of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition are useless, but they are a lot of fun.
You desire a laptop with powerful performance, excellent portability, and a long battery life.
A reasonable expectation for battery life is between eight and ten hours. That plus the potent eight-core AMD CPU makes for a seriously potent combo.
You’re a massive Alan Walker fan with a fetish for throwing together a few tracks. You may fulfill your DJ desires with the bizarre mixing pad that serves as a box for the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition.