Gaming

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 review: A content-creating machine

A gaming laptop that will do more & more things for you

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I’m a believer in using a gaming laptop for something other than just getting dubs and raging at the L’s. It’s a huge investment that you’re just going to use strictly for one thing, when there are so many things you can do with it. Plus, it is a laptop, after all so it’s a device you can bring anywhere and show off to anyone.

But the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 looks to offer not just that, but so much more. It wants to offer you the all-around package everybody deserves to experience. It wants to give you a product you will gladly bring around, do anything with, and play to your heart’s content.

Well, here’s what you’re getting with it:

It has a 14-inch FHD IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rate

It comes with an NVIDIA RTX 2060 Max-Q inside

It comes in Midnight White, with the AniMe Matrix

It even comes with the ASUS ROG GC21 Webcam inside

Gaming performance is already a given

Just to get the formalities out of the way: the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is one game-ready device. Majority of the games I threw at it returned decent to excellent frame rates, even for competitive gamers. I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to summarize just how powerful the machine is, given the hardware inside it.

My unit came with an NVIDIA RTX 2060 Max-Q inside, prioritizing a more balanced performance setup. Most competitive shooter games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and even GTA V produced high frame rates at their best possible settings. Even while on battery & turning off NVIDIA’s Game Ready optimization, these games still performed really well.

Game/Title

Frame Rate (on Best Settings)

Fortnite: Battle Royale

110 FPS

Apex Legends

98 FPS

Grand Theft Auto V

63 FPS

Call of Duty: Warzone

32 FPS

Valorant

126 FPS

Battery management is also superb when gaming full-time because of the Max-Q design. When gaming full-time, I managed to sneak in six and a half hours before reaching for the charger. To me, that’s honestly good enough since most gaming laptops don’t last particularly long.

Your ideal workhorse machine

Unlike what was unveiled back in CES 2020, my unit came with the new AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS processor inside. Performance-wise, it ideally matches (or to some degree trumps) most high-end Intel chips while consuming less power. This, along with 16GB of RAM makes this a powerful laptop for work situations.

When you’re not gaming full time, this laptop is great for almost anything you throw at it. Normal tasks like browsing the web or having a Netflix party is made absolutely easy with the ROG Zephyrus G14. Even powerful and heavy data analytics works really well with this machine.

Hitting the nail for content creators

But where I feel this device truly shines is how it caters to its other popular use: content creation. Photo and video editing on this device was a blast thanks to its display and hardware inside. The 14-inch IPS, Pantone Validated display produced vibrant and accurate colors, which is great for achieving the best details as possible.

Video editing and rendering times were pretty solid for the device. I know that most people appreciate the 120Hz refresh rate for gaming purposes, but I’m sure video editors will give this a lot of love, too. The high refresh rate allows you to edit more accurately, leaving no detail behind. Rendering and exporting 1080p clips at 60 FPS, using Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve , was a breeze. On average, I got about 10-12 minutes rendering a 15-minute compilation of gameplay with a ton of animations, sound bites, and facecam on.

As for streaming content, it’s not just the laptop that makes it ideal; it’s the entire package. My unit also came with the ROG GC21 Webcam, which honestly has great image quality as long as you’re in a well-lit room. Streaming gameplay at 720p, 60 FPS turned out pretty great and the device didn’t lag even for a second.

Interestingly strong battery life for a gaming laptop

I touched on this earlier but overall, the device’s battery life is pretty solid. On regular use, I got about 10 hours worth of juice out of this thing. Most gaming laptops, when used normally, don’t reach that far without going for the charger. I guess that AMD chip and Max-Q GPU proved to be the best of both worlds.

The thing is: the battery doesn’t discharge as fast as I’ve experienced with other gaming laptops. While it’s thermal setup leaves much to be desired with cooling the machine, I noticed that I was still at 50% after an hour of intense gameplay. I even checked NVIDIA’s Game Ready if I turned it to optimize performance while on battery, and I still had enough juice.

Charging the laptop didn’t take too long either, as I achieved a full charge in under two and a half hours. It even went from 0% to 60% in about 40 minutes, so that can already get you going, if you like. The device also comes with support for USB-C Power Delivery, which charges it a little longer.

My take on the inclusion of the AniMe Matrix

One of ASUS ROG’s most talked about additions to the Zephyrus G14 is the AniMe Matrix on the lid — and, rightfully so. The 1,215 mini-LED lights on the lid allow for more creativity on your end since you can display your own logo on it. And, in the dark, it’s actually pretty dope.

It’s even easy to set up since you can do it on ASUS’ Armoury Crate software. You can choose whether you want an image or scrolling text. Also, you can reposition it however you want for extra visibility. Although, you might want to use logos without a transparent background if you’re going for that.

My only real criticism for it is what potential reason people will consistently use it. I say that because ASUS’ Armoury Crate was pretty explicit about how it significantly drains your battery. It’s good that you get to show off your fancy gaming machine, but think about your battery situation first.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Starting at PhP 74,995, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is, simply put, the content-creating machine it was meant to be. ASUS was not afraid to go beyond the confines of a gaming laptop, and turned this into something more. It’s an excellent gaming laptop, and an even greater machine for everything else.

The unit I received costs PhP 109,995, and honestly it’s an investment worth having. The entire package itself was well thought of, all the way to the peripherals. Although, you only get all of them when you purchase this unit or the PhP 99,995 one that has an NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti inside.

Nonetheless, this is a machine that just gave me more & more reasons to believe that you can do anything with a gaming laptop. If you have more & more money to spend while still in quarantine, I highly recommend getting this as your go-to machine.

Gaming

Genshin Impact developer talks about PS5 updates

What to expect for PS5 players

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Genshin Impact PS5

The biggest update yet to Genshin Impact is coming on April 28. One of the major developments include a version for the PlayStation 5 (PS5) that takes full advantage of the console’s SSD and DualSense controllers.

Naturally, there will also be some visual updates with the game running in native 4K. This effectively makes the world of Teyvat feel even more alive and immersive.

Watch the video.

Other updates

Included in the upcoming update are two new playable characters Eula and Yanfei. There will also be new enemies that will sure to keep you hooked, as well as a new customizable space in Serenitea Pot to be your home away from home. You can read more of the updates in detail here.

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world action RPG that’s set in the world of Teyvat. You play as a traveler setting out looking for your lost sibling. Along the way, you uncover secrets, fight monsters, and encounter friends.

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Gaming

Black Shark 4: Price and availability in the Philippines

For mobile gamers

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Black Shark 4

The gaming-focused smartphone Black Shark 4 has found its way to the Philippines.

The Black Shark 4 has a 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, 720Hz multi-finger touch sampling rate, and SGS eye protection-certified pressure-sensitive screen. Black Shark has boasted of 111 percent DCI-P3 color gamut and a peak brightness of 1300 nits.

It’s powered by a Snapdragon 870 processor with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with 120W fast charging. It’s got dual stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a liquid cooling system, as well as two USB-C ports.

As for cameras, it has a 48MP main shooter, 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, 5MP macro lens, and a 20MP selfie shooter. The phone ships with JOYUI 12.5 based on Android 11 with plenty of gaming-centric features.

Price and availability

The Black Shark 4 will come in two colors: Mirror Black and Pale Grey. It will be available in these configurations: 8GB+128GB, 12GB+128GB, and 12GB+256GB.

The gaming smartphone will officially launch on April 28. You can watch here. Exact pricing will be released during launch day. Interested buyers can pre-order starting April 28 at Black Shark Philippines’ Shopee store. 

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Gaming

Tales of ARISE releases on Sept 9

Collector Edition also announced

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Tales of ARISE

The long-running Tales series (25 years now!) has a new title coming! Tales of ARISE will be released in Southeast Asia on September 9, 2021.

Here’s the release date trailer to get you hyped.

What is Tales of ARISE?

The game will follow the story of Rena — the star that has been ruling the Dahna planet with an iron fist for the past 300 years. Renans have been depleting Dahna of its natural resources, enslaving most of the planet’s population in order to do so.

This tale follows the fight to free Dahnans of their fate and will be experienced through the eyes of Alphen, an iron-masked Dahnan fighting to free his people, and Shionne, a girl from Rena, who’s on the run from her countrymen. They will be joined through their journey by characters like Rinwell and Law that will help them in their fight for freedom.

Southeast Asia Game Editions

Tales of ARISE

All pre-orders and Day-1 retail package version will receive a new costume for Alphen and Shionne, as well as outfits accessories and new cooking recipes and ingredients.

  • Tales of Arise retail package version is only available for the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 in Southeast Asia.
  • The package version includes pre-order digital bonus only for the first production. The number of initial production is limited and will end as soon as it runs out.

Digital Platforms

On Digital platforms, a Deluxe and an Ultimate edition will be available. The Deluxe edition will have the following items:

  • Premium Item Pack, containing gold, cooking items and Boosts
  • Premium Costume Pack, including 8 full costumes and 6 accessories
  • Premium Travel Pack, allowing for better cooking and crafting abilities as well as discounts in shops

The Ultimate Edition will have all the content from the Deluxe Edition as well as new costumes for the characters including special costumes in collaboration with other BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment games.

Tales of ARISE

A physical Collector Edition will be available and include the same content as the Ultimate Edition, along with an exclusive figurine, a Steelbook, an Artbook and the game’s Soundtrack. This edition can be purchased at participating retailers in Southeast Asia.

A special Hootle Edition will be available exclusively and in limited quantities on the BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Asia store at a later date. This edition will include, in addition to the base game, a metal case, an Artbook, the Soundtrack, a 15 cm Hootle plush along with 4 accessories, Hootle DLC for the game as well as stickers and 3 art prints.

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