Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 AW SE Review Summary:

Expert Rating: 4.75/5

Design

Audiovisual

Keyboard

Performance

Ports & Power

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pros

  • Fairly portable
  • Dashing design
  • AMD Ryzen 9 and abundant RAM
  • Beautiful and snappy 2K display
  • Good speakers
  • Tactile keyboard and touchpad
  • Decent battery life
  • 100W USB-C Power Delivery

Cons

  • No webcam and so no Windows Face Hello
  • 4GB of VRAM with RTX 3050Ti
  • No memory card slot
  • Not the latest HDMI, storage and wireless interfaces

Special edition products tend to be desirable as they evoke a sense of uniqueness and often are a display of self-expression. Even in laptops, companies occasionally release custom variants of their popular products. One such brand is Asus which released the Alan Walker edition of its ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop a few months back. For the unversed, Mr. Walker is a renowned Norwegian DJ and record producer, and you must have heard his track “Faded”, at least in passing. He rose to fame with this single that was also certified platinum in 14 countries. Besides being a musician, he is known to share an interest in computers, programming, graphic design, and gaming from a young age. And so Asus pitches this special edition for “those who aspire to follow in his footsteps”.

Still, why a laptop designated in his name, you might wonder? And more bluntly, why should you care? To find answers to those questions, follow my words in this Smartprix review of Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition.

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Unboxing | Specs and Price | Design | Audiovisual | Keyboard | Performance | Ports and Power | Verdict | FAQ


Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 AW Unboxing

AW comes in a big black package with ROG and Alan Walker logos on the front side. Open it up and there are three compartments. The central box includes the laptop, charger, and read manuals. The one flanking it consists of a carry bag and the cuboid one bears a cap and a pair of socks. Both of them are branded with ROG and Alan Walker emblems. So a pretty stuffed package. But the excitement ensues. Read about it in the following segment.

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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 AW (GA401QE) Specs and Price in India

Dimensions and Weight: 32.4(W) x 22.2() x 1.99(H) cm; 1.7Kg
Display: 14-inch WQHD (2560×1440) IPS 120Hz, DCI-P3 100%, 300 nits brightness, Pantone validated, Adaptive sync, 8-bit, Gamma Level: 2.2, 1000:1 contrast ratio, Matte
Processor: 7nm AMD R9 5900HS 3.1GHz, up to 4.5GHz, 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 16MB L3 Cache, 45W TDP
Graphics: iGPU: 512MB Radeon Vega; dGPU: 4GB GDDR6 Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti; with ROG Boost up to 1585MHz at 60W + 15W with Dynamic Boost
RAM: 16GB dual-channel (8GB onboard + 8GB SO-DIMM expandable) DDR4 at 3200MHz, support up to 24GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe x3 M.2 NVMe SSD
Keyboard and Touchpad: TenKeyLess, 4 hotkeys, Chiclet, 1.7mm travel distance, N-key, White Backlit, Single Zone, Power key with a fingerprint sensor; Glass Touchpad
Webcam: No
Audio: 2x 2.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology, 2x 0.7W tweeter, Array Microphone, AI Mic Noise Cancelation
Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x 3.5mm combo jack, 1x Kensington Lock
Wireless connectivity: Dual-band WiFi 6 802.11AX + Bluetooth 5.1
Operating system: Windows 10 Home, Upgradable to Windows 11
Battery: 4-cell 76WHr lithium-ion polymer; 180W AC Adapter, 100W USB-C charging
Security: TPM 2.0
Zephyrus G14 AW Price in India: ₹149,990


Let’s kick the tires —

G14 Alan Walker Edition Design

Rating: 4 out of 5.

AW comes in a big black package with ROG and Alan Walker logos on the front side. Open it up and there are three compartments. The central box includes the laptop, while the one flanking it consists of a carry bag and the cuboid one bears a cap and a pair of socks. Both of them are branded with ROG and Alan Walker emblems. So a pretty stuffed package. But the excitement ensues. Read about it in the following segment.

The flashy aspect of this laptop is its plastic box itself. It isn’t just a box but its translucent bonnet has capacitive buttons for a DJ Mixer sorts setup. It consists of buttons for controlling playback, volume, speed, samplers, etc. To make it work, you just have to tether it to the laptop using a bundled 2-side Type-C cable. Once plugged in, the box will light up in Alan Walker’s favorite Blue color. Now, you just have to tap and it would be either noice or noise.

There are 6,536 perforations on the lid with a programmable AniMe Matrix mini-LED display

Anyways, let’s move to the main machine now. It is the good old G14 with its compact and very handy form factor, but with some stitchings and signings all over it. There are a few cloth bands and a metal badge with ROG and Alan Walker branding fitted on the lid. All of these look so sick to me!

The lid can be raised single-handedly although with an itsy bitsy effort. Inside you have a 14-inch screen with no camera up top. The absence of a webcam in 2021 feels like a shortcoming. The display’s conspicuous bezels, especially the one at the bottom might also appear so yesterday. However, it is so to shield the panel from hot air expelled from the fan right beneath it. Also, it is where another subtle insignia of the ROG Zephyrus brand is present.

There is more such branding across the keyboard and by the base. I don’t mind these but I understand why somebody else might find it otherwise.

Rest, it is the familiar and reliable ROG design language here. This includes the stylish cutouts for vents and speakers, ErgoLift elevation of the hinge offering room for cooling and a comfortable angle for typing, and the arrangement of keys on the lower deck.

Next up we will move to those keys only, but before that a few words of praise for the build quality. It is sturdy but not too heavy to carry around. The overall matte finish helps keep it mostly tidy. And I also like how there are no sharp corners for the sake of style.

Now some of that style has been suffused to the keyboard below.

G14 Alan Walker Edition Keyboard

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love the blue and gray color combination of the keyboard. The A and W buttons have the Alan Walker logo on them.

Up top there are four hotkeys for volume up, volume down, mic off, and the Asus armory crate. These keys feel flimsy to touch. Anyhoo, they are flanked by LED indicators for battery state and other stuff. And to the rightmost corner, there is a power key cum fingerprint reader. It works fast but is not adept at scanning sweaty fingers. Even if not moist, it fails to recognize my finger at times, forcing me to enter the PIN. Not cool!

Moving below, there is a chiclet keyboard with 1.7mm key travel and it is very functional to use. So is the glass touchpad. It isn’t too big but allows precise input. No issues here.

On either side of the trackpad lies two tweeters and the accompanying sub-woofers (also two of them) are present beneath the board. Let’s know how they sound now.

G14 Alan Walker Edition Audiovisual

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Zephyrus G series of laptops have been one of the best-sounding in my experience. And that stands true here too. It comes with a Dolby Access equalizer option that is nice to have.

Audio is well complemented by the visuals from its 14inch fascia. It is of 2K resolution and boasts 100% of the sRGB color gamut. So things appear detailed and rich on it. I watched a bunch of content like Arcane (Netflix), Hellbound (Netflix), and Inside Edge S03 (Prime Video), and the experience was quite good.

No Webcam on the G14 AW SE

Even when it comes to gaming and activities reflecting speed, the 144Hz refresh rate panel with Adaptive Sync was quite up to the task.

We will read more about gaming and general performance in the next section.

G14 Alan Walker Edition Performance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

G14 AW SE is powered by a 7nm octa-core AMD R9 5900HS CPU that’s clocked at between 3.1GHz and 4.5GHz. The multi-core processor can work in 16 threads, with help from 16MB L3 Cache. The thermal envelope is 45W TDP. Now, this is backed by 16GB dual-channel DDDR4 RAM (3200MHz) of which 8GB is soldered onboard while another 8GB SO-DIMM can be expanded further to 16GB totaling the possible RAM to 24 gigs. The storage meanwhile is a 1TB PCIe x3 M.2 NVMe SSD, which isn’t increasable.

This setup shows its teeth where it’s meant to. Even benchmarks reflect that:

Asus Zephyrus G14 AW Benchmark (Plugged-in, Turbo Mode)Scores
3DMark Time Spy | Fire Strike6147 | 13269
Cinebench R23 Single-core | Multi-core | MP Ratio1489 | 13116 | 8.81x
CrystalDiskMark Seq Read | Write Speed3151.01 | 1698.18 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark Random Read | Write Speed1390.72 | 502.44 MB/s
Geekbench 5 Single-Core | Multi-core (CPU)1472 | 7589
PCMark 10 (Modern Office)6368
Handbrake test (1GB WebM file to H.265 MKV 1080p30 conversion)21 min 23 seconds
Unigine Superposition (1080P Medium)10616
Blender bmw27 | classroom3m14s | 8m25s

I did test a bunch of games too and it does a reasonable job. The RTX 3050Ti GPU inside, for your reference, is specced in between the 3060 and the 3050 models. It is based on GA107 die and has got only 4GB of 128-bit GDDR6 VRAM at 128-bit bus with 12Gbps speeds. The TGP can, however, go up to 85W with a dynamic boost that puts it in closer range of RTX 2060 of the previous generation. Making things juicy is the support for Ray Tracing and DLSS here.

As for the gaming benchmarks, here are the FPS scores of popular titles on G14 AW SE:

  • Forza Horizon 5 High: 111.983 FPS
  • Control DX12 High | DX12 Medium RTX Medium DLSS On: 37.183 FPS | 29.383 FPS
  • Metro 2033 Redux High: 159.007 FPS
  • GTA V: 128.325 FPS
  • Watch Dogs 2 Ultra: 59.067 FPS
  • Valorant High: 144.197 FPS
  • Rocket League High: 249.150 FPS

Within the Armoury Crate, there is an iGPU mode that can switch down to the integrated Radeon Vega GPU to save some battery life. But there are no Advanced Optimus and MUX switch for a seamless transition between GPUs. Of course, you get the standard PCIe Resizable BAR technology on the RTX 30-series which prioritizes the amount of power and memory allotted to GPU as well as Optimus for switching between iGPU and dGPU.

The Armoury Crate also offers profiles like Silent (low fan noise), Performance, and Turbo modes, which perform as the name suggests. Unless you are pushing it with demanding games or rendering processes, the thing stays quiet and cool. There are two fans, several heat pipes, multiple vents, and Thermal Grizzly liquid metal paste for keeping the thermals in check.

Can Alan Walker Edition run Windows 11? Yes.

As for the software, Zephyrus G14 AW SE ships with Windows 10 Home Edition but can be upgraded to Windows 11. There isn’t much bloat, to begin with save for the usual stuff like McAfee. Uninstall them if you want, or rather don’t want. The boot times, app loading times, etc are fine. I am impressed by how smooth WordPress Gutenberg runs on this machine.

As discussed hitherto, bundled apps like ROG Remix, Armoury Crate, and MyAsus have cool features up their sleeves. For instance, I like the option to limit the charging to 80% for lasting battery life. That brings us to —

G14 Alan Walker Edition Ports and power

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

G14 AW SE ran for 8 hours 7 mins in PCMark 10 battery test (Modern Office, Silent mode in Armoury Crate) or 7 hours 13 mins (in Modern Office, Performance mode in Armoury Crate), both of which are good mileage out of its 76WHr cell. In my actual usage during a weekend primarily involving bingeing some show, the battery life ran out in 3 hours 40 minutes.

The supplied charger fills the battery full in 1 hour 30 minutes. There is also Type-C charging (up to 100W) for times when you don’t have the adapter within hand’s reach.

The charging DCIN port is present on the left side. It is accompanied by an HDMI 2.0b port, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 and 100W Power Delivery, and a 3.5mm combo jack.

As for the right side, there is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A, and a Kensington Lock. No SD-card slot on either side.

Wirelessly, there is dual-band WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. These aren’t the latest specs but workable.

But, the more pertinent question is whether the Zephyrus G14 AW SE is worth it?

Review Verdict: Should You Buy Asus Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Edition?

Editor’s rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition looks striking to me. Although I don’t know much about music producing, sampling or DJing, I find the ROG Remix box and its other goodies to be unique and get why some would fancy it. Therefore, this novelty in terms of its design and packaging can appear as noice or noise depending on where you fall in the spectrum.

Anyways, keeping those embellishments aside, core stuff like display, audio setup, keyboard, battery life, and CPU performance is up to snuff. But, a mere 4GB of video memory on the GPU front, a missing webcam, and its halfway biometrics, as well as connectivity solutions, are some shortcomings you should be aware of.

Also when you desire a product for its uniqueness, and how it represents your individuality, its valuation is bound to be more. Here too, the G14 AW SE is exceptional in those respects but comes at an expensive tag of ₹1,49,990. So, whether you should take the plunge or not depends on how much you value what’s on offer here.

Reasons to buy

  • Fairly portable
  • Dashing design
  • AMD Ryzen 9 and abundant RAM
  • Beautiful and snappy 2K display
  • Good speakers
  • Tactile keyboard and touchpad
  • Decent battery life
  • 100W USB-C Power Delivery

Reasons to not buy

  • No webcam and so no Windows Face Hello
  • 4GB of VRAM with RTX 3050Ti
  • No memory card slot
  • Not the latest HDMI, storage and wireless interfaces

G14 Alan Walker Special Edition FAQ

Q. Does G14 Alan Walker Edition support G-Sync?

A. Yes, the G14 Alan Walker Edition screen does support Nvidia G-Sync or Adaptive Sync.

Q. Does G14 Alan Walker Edition support Nvidia Optimus?

A. Yes, G14 Alan Walker Edition does feature Nvidia Optimus, but not Advanced Optimus. The Auto iGPU mode within Armoury crate switches dynamically between Radeon Vega and RTX 3050 Ti depending on demand. iGPU will kick in when an external display output or power source is not connected.

Q. Does G14 Alan Walker Edition support Thunderbolt?

A. No, G14 Alan Walker Edition does not come with a Thunderbolt port. However, you do get DisplayPort and Power Delivery.

Q. Can you charge the G14 Alan Walker Edition using a USB-C cable?

A. Yes, the G14 Alan Walker Edition does support USB-C charging up to 100W thanks to Power Delivery.

Q. Does G14 Alan Walker Edition feature a Webcam?

A. No, there is no built-in webcam on the G14 Alan Walker Edition. So no Windows Hello Face support either.

Q. Does G14 Alan Walker Edition feature a fingerprint sensor or Windows Hello?

A. You get Windows Hello Fingerprint recognition on the G14 Alan Walker Edition with an auto Windows login facility. However, this latter feature didn’t always work in my experience.

Q. Is G14 Alan Walker Edition upgradeable?

A. The laptop supports a max of 24GB DDR4-3200MHz Dual-channel RAM but there are no additional slots for SSD storage. So, you could say it is partially future-proof.

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