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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: AMD has rewritten the rules

In their early years, gaming laptops were meant to be desktop replacements. The first Razer Blade, released in 2011, was almost seven pounds; the 2012 Blade was 6.6. Battery life was a laughing matter. (The 2017 Zephyrus had just over two hours.) Gaming laptops were bulky and garish. They were designed for gaming on a budget, not for gaming on the go.

But the age of the ultraportable is here. There’s now a 2.01-pound laptop with six cores, there’s a 3.3-pound laptop with a discrete GPU, and a 5-pound laptop is considered to be on the heavy side. Each year, we’re expecting lighter notebooks that can do more — and as productivity laptops move in that direction, so are the gaming machines.

That’s where the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS comes in. For the past decade, the main argument for a Ryzen chip over an Intel chip centered on price rather than performance. But AMD has released a CPU that could, for the first time in recent memory, compete with Intel’s top-of-the-line model. The 35W 4900HS, with 8 cores, 16 threads, and 3.0 GHz clock speeds that can boost up to 4.4 GHz, goes head to head with Intel’s Core i9-9880H; it’s meant to power desktop-class gaming and productivity in portable laptops.

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