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

Horizon Forbidden West reportedly delayed to 2022

Another delay this year

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Horizon Forbidden West

When the console was announced last year, the PlayStation 5 revealed an impressive lineup of games coming for the next generation. The list included highly anticipated sequels to popular PlayStation 4 titles likes Spider-Man: Miles Morales, God of War Ragnarok, and Horizon Forbidden West. However, because of some reason or another, the titles were delayed beyond the near future. Unfortunately, one of the titles, Horizon Forbidden West, is reportedly delayed once again.

According to Bloomberg, the title is now set for a release sometime in 2022, rather than its formerly projected timeframe for this year’s holiday season. The report does not reveal what the reason is for such a delay. If anything, it’s not the first delay for the gaming industry this year. The games’ respective developers have also reportedly delayed God of War Ragnarok and Gran Turismo 7.

Of note, however, the supposed delay hasn’t been officially announced yet. There’s still a chance that the game is coming this year.

Even if the game is truly delayed to next year, 2022 is looking like a great year for PlayStation gamers. Besides the aforementioned games, another title announced during the console’s launch event, Stray, is also coming next year. The delays, at least, compensate for the still-ongoing chip and console shortages plaguing the industry today.

SEE ALSO: Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy is coming to Genshin Impact

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Gaming

Bring out immersive FHD gaming with the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

A graphics card fit for the modern gamer

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AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

For most competitive gamers, high frame rates matter in the grand scheme of things. Apart from seeing just the right amount of detail, it’s almost imperative to have more than enough frames to react to. Whether you’re playing on a 4K TV or a 1080p gaming monitor, a high frame rate keeps you locked in — something AMD is offering with its latest graphics card: the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT.

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT comes with 8GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM, which is capable of playing most modern games at high frame rates. Built on the RDNA 2 architecture, this new GPU promises to also bring a high-fidelity and responsive gaming experience.

To achieve this, the graphics card comes with full support of AMD’s FidelityFX and Smart Access Memory technologies. Although, AMD designed it for the FHD space, meaning those with 1080p monitors will heavily benefit from this GPU.

Beginning August 11, 2021, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT will be available starting at US$ 379. It will be available across most global retailers and etailers.

 

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Features

How to git gud at Mobile Legends from Blacklist International

Bring out your notepads…

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School is in session. If you’re into Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, you know Blacklist International. The recent MPL PH Season 7 champion team has a decent rep in the mobile gaming world. So, if you want to get good, you’ll definitely get good-good. And, who better to give us the best tips than the QueenVee, Ohmy.v33nus, himself?

TIP #1 – Start small

When asked how to hit it right with the basics, Ohmy.v33nus answered with pretty solid advice saying: “When it comes to improving your gameplay, do it one step at a time. Players can try mastering one hero or one role at a time first. From there, you can best strategize how you plan to win your game better.”

TIP #2 – Know you to do you

Beginners are faced with almost as many daunting questions as ordering sugar and ice levels for boba when it comes to who to play. From characters’ skills, roles, and abilities in the grander scheme of the team game, it can get overwhelming.

So the best way to get better is to know who you want to play and what role suits your preferences. And like Ohmy.v33nus said, “Knowing the role that suits you is important, some players love playing heroes in melee combat, some in long-range or using magical powers.

TIP #3 – If you want to go pro, you’ve got to play harder

We asked what advice the team had for people who are starting out and want to maybe go pro in the future. He answered by saying, “what separates casual players from those wanting to take it seriously is ranking, so if players want to be noticed they can try to achieve a top global ranking.” And, while that’s a technical target goal you can work towards, Blacklist gave sage advice on how to get there.

TIP #4 – The grind

Ranking up to where you’ve proven you take the game seriously to be pro comes with time and effort. So, it’s no surprise when Ohmy.v33nus followed up TIP #3 with this: “before you achieve that desired ranking, practice makes perfect. When there’s an opportunity to practice, do it. Never stop learning and discovering your battling strategy so you’ll be able to champion your way to the global competitions.”

When asked how often and for how long the team grinds to get to be as good as they are, they practice a minimum of 8 hours per day, extending to up to 10 hours. “This helps us build team dynamics better and strengthen our strategy,” Ohmy.v33nus said.

TIP #5 – Know the meta

If you’ve got all 5 down so far, you’re up for more technical know-how. So, given the ever-changing game meta it can be challenging to keep up. This is where noting patches and updates can be helpful. Keeping track of who has been nerfed, buffed, and adjusted. And, knowing little tweaks Moonton has made in-game can help players adjust and adapt.

It’s also good to note that this is where you’ll be returning to TIPS #1 – #5, where it rides on comfort and familiarity. So, whether you fully grasp the meta or not, you can play however you feel outside the world of going pro.

So, with the current meta, we had to ask Blacklist for their whitelist. Jokes aside, we had them recommend heroes for each role and Ohmy.v33nus answered, “Marksman: Granger, Tank: Tigreal, Support: Rafaela, Angela, Assassin: Ling, Fighter: X-Borg, Mage: Nana.” When asked about the top meta hero picks for ranked, he said that he wasn’t quite sure with the recent patch. But, he thinks some of the best heroes last season kept their placement. “Like Mathilda, Yve, Granger, and Harith,” Ohmy.v33nus said.

TIP #6 — Play on a gaming-capable smartphone

You know that highly-contested-on-who-said-it quote about how when you give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime? Well, think of getting the perfect gaming smartphone as equal to getting yourself a fishing rod to get started on learning how to fish. But, enough silly metaphors.

Ohmy.v33nus aptly said, “it goes without saying that your tools can make or break your game. You need a phone that has the processing power, battery life, storage space, and stunning display to give you long-lasting, smooth, and precise gameplay.”

When asked about particular phones and features the team liked, he said they loved OPPO’s A94 and its AI gaming features. Adding, “our favorite is the Gamer Mode which lets you block off interruptions and notifications so you can focus more on your battle.” Plus, when waiting on important messages, the phone features a Bullet Screen Message that allows users to instantly receive messages without blocking or interrupting the game.

TIP #7 – A gaming phone, stripped

Not all gaming features need to be game-centric. At the end of the day, it’s night. No, kidding aside, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is a fun team game and if you’re stripping the game of its fun and the team, you’ve got no one to be or get good with. A gaming phone, stripped without games, are phones, and as good as the OPPO A94’s 48MP AI rear quad-cam matrix and 32MP ultra-clear front camera set-up was, we needed to know if Blacklist had much use for it.

So, we asked how important camera specs and features were to team members when picking out a gaming phone. Ohmy.v33nus replied saying, “a lot. We don’t only focus on gaming, as professional players; we also create content and stay active on social media for fans, family, and friends.”

The OPPO A94 Features:

Display — 6.43-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED display, 90 Hz refresh rate, 409 PPI

Processor — MediaTek Helio P95 octa-core processor

Storage — 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage

Camera — Quad rear cameras: 48MP F1.7 (primary), 8MP F2.2 (ultra-wide), 2MP F2.4 (macro), and 2MP F2.4 (portrait); Selfie camera: 32MP

Operating System — ColorOS 11.1

Battery – 4310mAh, 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0

Price and availability

OPPO A94 comes in Fantastic Purple, Crystal Silver, and Fluid Black. It has a price tag of PhP 13, 999 and can be purchased via OPPO Brand Stores nationwide, Shopee, and Lazada.

TIP #8 – Lastly, soft skills and heart

When asked for advice for aspiring pros on what they can work on, Ohmy.v33nus said, “since ML:BB is a team game, a crucial soft skill you can develop is communication. Being clear and precise with teammates not only helps in-game strategies but also helps strengthen the synergy between them and their teammates.” Going on to say, “keep your heart in the game. Keep practicing and play regularly to boost your skills to achieve top leaderboard spots.”


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and OPPO Philippines

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