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Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G14 has a hidden LED dot-matrix display on the lid

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Plus, AMD’s newest Ryzen 4000 H-series chips

GIF by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Asus has a new gaming laptop at CES 2020: the 14-inch ROG Zephyrus G14. It’s the smallest Zephyrus gaming laptop Asus has ever made, and it features AMD’s newly announced Ryzen 4000 chips. It also has a rather neat trick: an optional LED dot-matrix display hidden in the lid that can show GIFs, the time, and more.

Like previous Zephyrus laptops, the G14 is designed to be an ultra-light and portable gaming machine that still delivers enough high-end power to play modern games. It weighs just over 3.5 pounds, but it still promises to deliver 10.5 hours of battery life.

Asus says that this design is meant to move away from more traditional gaming laptop designs and aesthetics by building something that looks and feels more professional (a similar ethos that’s resulted in products like the recent Razer Blade lineup).

Despite that more serious design, Asus is still leaving room for fun in the form of the optional AniMe Matrix display hidden in the lid. It’s made up of 1,215 mini LEDs, each with 256 levels of brightness control that allows users to customize the lid of their laptops with new designs. The AniMe Matrix can show animated GIFs, music visualizers, the time, or whatever else you’d like to show off to your friends and co-workers.

The G14 isn’t a slump on power, either. It features processors from AMD’s newly announced 45W Ryzen 4000 H-series line (up to a Ryzen 4800HS), along with up to an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. It can also be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and up to a 1TB SSD, although, presumably, those top-shelf specs will cost extra. Displays are a choice of a 14-inch FHD panel with a 120Hz refresh rate or a QHD panel with up to a 60Hz refresh rate.

The G14 also supports USB-PD charging, and it can run for normal workloads off a 65W USB-C adapter. That said, you’ll still need a normal 180W barrel connector to take advantage of the discrete GPU for actual gaming sessions. Oddly missing is a webcam, which is a puzzling decision given the other productivity-focused choices here. The G14 has a power button with a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader embedded in it for faster sign-on.

Like other Zephyrus laptops, the G14 features a raised lift design where the bottom of the laptop lid lifts the back of the laptop off of your desk for improved cooling. The G14 features a different twist on it, though: instead of separating halfway through like older models, it lifts the entire back of the laptop for a more solid base.

The standard version of the G14 (without the pixel display) is expected to ship sometime in mid-March, while the AniMe Matrix model will be available later in April. No price for either version has been announced.

Additionally, Asus also announced an updated version of 2019’s Zephyrus G laptop, the Zephyrus G15. Like the G14, the G15 will feature AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 processors, maxing out at a Ryzen 7 4800HS. It’s also getting support for Wi-Fi 6 and a 240Hz display option, although the design is otherwise similar to last year’s model. It’ll be out sometime in early 2020, too.