'It could take on Apple’s MacBook Pro': Asus's spectacular AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS laptop goes on preorder — but I'm not sure it is worth the premium on the previous gen

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
(Image credit: Asus)

Unveiled at CES 2024, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (and its larger sibling, the G16) gaming laptop is finally available to preorder, and while it is obviously aimed at Windows gamers and creatives, it also serves as a very respectable alternative to Apple’s MacBook Pro according to our peers over at Tomsguide.

Jason England wrote that "The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is more about making nice refinements to the formula that makes our #1 best gaming laptop even better. So good, in fact, that it could take on Apple’s MacBook Pro as a solid all-rounder. Time will tell on this, though…"

Completely redesigned inside and out for 2024, Asus' new laptop features a CNC-machined aluminum chassis, customizable Slash Lighting array, AI-accelerated silicon from Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA, and a color-accurate OLED ROG Nebula Display.

The Zephyrus G14 is powered by an 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor, supporting AMD Ryzen AI and Windows Studio effects. This powerhouse is coupled with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. The 16-inch model sports an RTX 4090, but it’s not an option for the smaller version, sadly.

Impressive visuals

The Zephyrus G14 comes with up to 32 GB LPDDR5X onboard memory and up to 1TB of M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. It also features a 1-Zone RGB keyboard, stereo speakers with smart amplifier, Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio, and Two-Way AI Noise Cancellation. 

For connectivity, the laptop offers Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) and Bluetooth v5.3. For ports, there's the standard selection - 1x Type C USB 4 port, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, and 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, plus an HDMI 2.1 port, a microSD card reader (not a full size SD card slot, disappointingly), and an audio jack. The device is powered by a 73 Wh battery and weighs in at a lightweight 1.5 kg. 

While the Zephyrus G14 certainly packs a punch with its impressive specs, it remains to be seen whether it can truly rival the MacBook Pro. The latter is certainly not cheap and its unified memory paradigm (which combines system memory and video memory) is divisive. But Apple is uniquely positioned because it owns both the hardware and the software stack and can therefore finetune them to deliver optimal performance. That can't happen yet with x86 (or arm) and Windows, so it remains a case of apple-vs-orange.

There's also the fact that the laptop will sell at a premium compared to the last generation. That's fine but the only big difference will be the CPU - remember, the GPU doesn't change - and early benchmarks show that the 8945HS and the 7945HS do not have a big difference in performance. Ouch!

Should you be interested in buying it, it’s available to preorder from Overclockers UK for £2399.99. It’s not up for preorder on the Asus Store just yet, but when it is, it will be priced at $2199.99.

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.