It’s easy to imagine this laptop in a Star Wars movie set. Especially the edgy Moonlight White colour variant. And then there’s the kickass AnimeMatrix display – one of your favourite features, that adds to the cool quotient of this gaming-ready laptop. ASUS knows a thing or two about gaming devices, the brand’s ROG (Republic of Gamers) vertical has built a cult following with smartphones and laptops packed with heavy duty specs and futuristic design. ASUS has just unleashed its Zephyrus G14 laptop with a sub Rs 1 lakh price tag. Should you be excited?

It may be a while before you walk into a crowded café or a boardroom full of people but when you do, you can be sure of undivided attention. This laptop is a head turner. It’s surprisingly slim – 17.9 mm, and light (just 1.6 kg) for a fully loaded gaming laptop. This should slip into your favourite slim backpack or messenger bag. You’ll notice the attention to detail in the magnesium-aluminium alloy deck that’s forged and machined for a perfect fit. It resists fingerprints. You’ll need your fingerprint for the fingerprint reader though. It’s cleverly integrated into the power button and is ultra-responsive and seamless. It takes the lock screen out of the equation.

It’s not just the design that will make heads turn but the standout Anime Matrix feature (that’s

available in select variants and the high-end variant that we checked out). It’s a clever personalisation element that combines 1,215 mini LEDs across the lid. You can customise the animation adding GIFs or text that adds to the laptop’s futuristic design language. There’s no shortage of ports, we dig the flexible charging option that allows you to charge your device with a 65W Type-C charger. I tried it out with a MacBook Type-C charger and it worked as a slow charger. But you’ll need the clunky charger bundled in the box for optimal charging and powering the G14 in quick time. Battery life is surprisingly good for a gaming laptop with a light form factor but it really boils down to usage patterns and custom settings like the Anime Matrix display.

Microsoft announced in May that over a trillion minutes are being spent on Windows 10 a month, a 75% increase year on year. A clear sign that COVID 19 has made the PC and conventional laptop cool again. Gaming laptops need to score on the productivity front too as changing age profiles and WFH lifestyles are changing the way we use our laptops. The Zephyrus G14 uses ASUS’ ErgoLift hinge that we’ve experienced in the brand’s ZenBook series. This improves the ergonomics – it lifts the keyboard to a comfortable typing angle, and functionality. Typing on the chiclet keyboard was a breeze too. ASUS claims 1.7mm of key travel and it is fun to type on.

Ultimately this device is about its firepower and gaming prowess. It’s also a great advert for the AMD Ryzen processor. The Zephyrus is powered by the future proof AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS processor with up to 8 cores and 16 threads offering power packed performance. It comes with customized intelligent cooling system, up to an RTX 2060 MaxQ GPU from NVIDIA and up to an UHD resolution. Graphics get a leg up via the latest GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q augmented by ROG’s boost up to 1298 MHz at 65W. We enjoyed gaming on this device. All ROG gaming notebooks offer multiple Operation modes to fit different scenarios and user requirements. The stellar gaming performance validated some of the high benchmarks shared by ASUS on games like Grand Theft Auto V. The custom audio options on the Dolby Atmos App add to the immersive appeal while gaming and binge watching sessions on Netflix where the full HD display comes into play. The 14-inch display (1920 x 1080 pixels) manages a screen: body ratio of over 85% and comes offers a 120Hz refresh rate. While most serious gamers prefer using high-res external cameras, ASUS’ decision to omit a built-in webcam comes as a surprise especially at a time when we’re in and out of Zoom meetings.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the best gaming laptops out there. Its power packed and comes with a host of storage options (up to 32GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage). ASUS scores with the edgy design and manages to keep the price under 1 lakh.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 range starts at Rs 80,990 (without Anime Matrix) and Rs 98,990 (with AnimeMatrix)