Asus ROG Zephyrus 14 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS | 14-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD |
$1,399.99 $899.99 at Best Buy (save $500)
If you don't want a hulking gaming laptop, let me introduce the Zephyrus 14: a 14-incher that can game without busting your bank balance or your shoulder when lugging it around. No-nonsense specs in a delightful package. That $400 saving doesn't hurt either.
What the hell are you doing still reading this? Don't waste your time reading me talking lovingly about the excellent Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 now dropping below $900 at Best Buy, and how it's one of the best gaming laptops of the past generation. If you're in the market for a new notebook you should just go buy the damned thing and then pop back if you want a little post-purchase affirmation.
Sorted? Excellent. You, my good human, will soon be the proud owner of an outstanding little gaming laptop.
Asus has been in the headlines a lot recently for the mess it's made of its side of the burning AMD Ryzen 7000X3D CPU issue. But whatever shine that might take off the brand itself, there's no getting away from the fact the Zephyrus G14 is a gaming laptop classic.
And it's been influential, too. Without it we wouldn't have the Razer Blade 14, or any of the other 14-inch gaming laptops that have arrived since.
The smaller form factor makes it a genuinely portable gaming machine, and the RTX 3060 GPU is powerful enough to game happily on its 1080p, 144Hz screen. It will run the latest games at great frame rates, certainly for a sub-$1,000 gaming laptop. We're now seeing more RTX 4060-based systems popping up for just a little over the $1,000 mark, which is forcing still-great machines such as this down to a far more affordable price point.
It's not just the GPU that's good for the money; the eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 5800HS is a great little Zen 3 chip that will boost all the way up to 4.4GHz. There's also the requisite 16GB DDR4-3200 memory to keep it running happily, and a 512GB SSD for storage.
That's maybe a little slight for the long term, but it's actually pretty straightforward to open up the laptop's chassis and upgrade the SSD yourself. It's just a standard 2280 NVMe SSD, and they're super cheap these days. You can pick up a fast 1TB drive for less than $100 right now.
So yes, you've bought a good 'un.