ROG Magic 14 Review: The eyes of the prodigal move

When it comes to products such as gaming laptops, what is your first impression?

"Stupid, black and rough"? "Horse racing frame"? "A must-have fitness equipment for martial artists"?

And now there is a new product that has successfully removed the labels of these traditional gaming notebooks, and is officially positioned as a "thin and thin, high-performance, trendy gaming notebook."

From ROG's official positioning, it is not difficult to see that the dazzling features of the Magic 14 are three points: thin and light, high-performance and fashionable.

The tide is on side A

Speaking of ROG, besides being expensive, everyone's impression should be that big eyes and cool RGB lighting effects. However, in the past two years, ROG has launched many more low-key models, and our Phantom 14 is one of them.

On the A side, the Magic 14 still uses ROG's classic bevel design from top left to bottom right, dividing the A side into two parts. Except for the small nameplate printed with "REPUBLIC OF GAMERS EST.2016", the lower part is a large area of ​​white space.

In the first half, the familiar "Player's Eye" logo is gone, replaced by a dense cluster of small holes. When I first opened the box, apart from feeling uncomfortable because of the intensive phobia, I didn't understand the meaning of this design at all, and I asked myself the question "Am I out of touch with fashion?"

However, after turning on the power, I discovered that it was these densely packed small holes that made the "player's eye" jump.

In fact, there are 6,536 miniature round holes on the A side of the Magic 14, and 1215 white mini LED lights are mounted under these holes, which can provide 256-level brightness adjustment. It is these holes and lights that make up the light display matrix screen named AniMe Matrix on Magic 14.

Officially, this unique light display matrix screen is inspired by the nostalgic 8-Bit pixel style. It organically combines lighting art and trend culture, paying tribute to the classic arcade games of the past, and has a retro style of trendy play.

The user only needs to enter the "Altron Center" built into the system to personalize the display content of this light display matrix screen. As long as your brain is big enough, you can play countless tricks under such a magical lighting effect.

For example, you can set up the "Eye of Prodigal" with different special effects to show your blood.

It can also display various custom patterns or texts, and even make you a mobile billboard.

Of course, in addition to the display content of these Zhang (hua), Yang (li) and (hu) sex (shao), you can also choose to display practical information such as mail messages, time, power, etc. on the light display matrix screen of Magic 14. Similar to the AOD function in mobile phones.

This cool pixel-style screen on Phantom 14 is definitely an eye-catching artifact no matter where you are. It has broken through the appearance of traditional notebooks and added more fashionable and avant-garde elements to the product. It is a very bold design attempt.

From the actual experience, although the practicality is difficult to conclude, the playability is indeed very broad. It will be a good novel experience for many users who admire trendy play personality.

Thin and light design

Let's turn on the screen again after the A side is finished. The B side of the Magic 14 is a 14-inch 2K screen that covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut. It has also passed the Pantone professional color certification, which can accurately restore the essential colors of the picture.

However, for e-sports players, it is a pity that this screen does not support a high refresh rate, which is not a small disadvantage when facing fierce FPS game scenes.

Unlike the regular configuration of the notebook, the Magic 14 does not have a camera on the body, which will cause a lot of trouble for users who need video communication. What you get in exchange for this is a slimmer 6.9mm micro-frame screen. Only the chin area has a lot of room for improvement.

The C side is as low-key as the A side. The only thing that can prove ROG's pedigree is the independent button that activates the "Ultron Center" with one click. The hexagonal power button is located in the upper right corner, and a fingerprint recognition module is built in, which can directly wake up and unlock the computer.

As for the keyboard, the Phantom 14 has a key stroke of 1.5mm, and the triggering force is moderate, not too soft or too hard, and the rebound feedback is quite clear.

In addition, the Phantom 14 also uses the familiar "small tilt heel shaft" design. That is, after turning on the screen, the chin of the screen will slightly lift the body, allowing the keyboard and the horizontal plane to form a small angle, making the user's operating posture more comfortable.

In terms of fuselage interface, Magic 14 is equipped with a power interface, an HDMI 2.0 interface, two USB 3.2 Type-C interfaces, two USB 3.2 Type-A interfaces and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Basically meet the daily needs of external equipment.

The low-key and concise shape allows users to hold the Phantom 14 in the coffee shop without being obtrusive. But what makes this computer more office-like is its thin and light body.

The Phantom 14 is made of magnesium-aluminum alloy. The weight is only 1.7kg, and the thickness of the body is about 19.9mm. There will be no obvious burden whether it is put in a backpack or placed on the thigh.

Of course, I said that there is no obvious burden without the power adapter. Because the 180W power adapter that comes with the Magic 14 has reached more than 500g, the volume is similar to a small brick.

With this in mind, ROG also provides a 65W PD charging function for Magic 14. Therefore, if you are out of office and the software power consumption is not high, you can consider putting your own power adapter at home and replacing it with a smaller PD charger to carry with you.

High performance

The Magic 14 we have is the top version of the product line. The main performance configurations are as follows:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-core 16-thread processor
  • Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q with 6GB video memory
  • Memory: Micron 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • Hard Drive: Intel 1TB Solid State Drive
  • Network card: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  • Battery: 76Wh

Currently, the Ryzen 9 4900HS, Ryzen 7 4800HS and Ryzen 5 4600HS processors are all monopolized by ROG. Among them, the Phantom 14 we have is equipped with the big brother among the three processors, and it is also the flagship model 4900HS of the Ryzen 4000 series.

Compared with the Ryzen 9 4900H, it is clear that the Phantom 14 processor model has an "S" in the suffix. In fact, the two processors have no change in the number of cores and threads, and both have 8 cores and 16 threads. The difference is that the latter's TDP has been reduced from 45W to 35W, and the base frequencymaximum acceleration frequency has also been reduced from 3.3GHz4.4GHz to 3.0GHz4.3GHz.

The intuitive manifestation of the reduction in power consumption is the reduction in heat generation, which is especially important for the small Phantom 14, after all, no one wants to practice "sizzling bear paws" on a laptop keyboard. But will lower power consumption compromise its performance? Next we will take a look at its actual performance.

Open the "Ultron Center" homepage, adjust the Magic 14 to performance mode, and ran the CINEBENCH R20 and 3D MARK Time Spy tests. The scores were 4102 and 5668, respectively, and the results were very impressive.

It can be seen from the software database that the performance of Ryzen 9 4900HS has surpassed its predecessor Ryzen 7 1700X. And from the results of the comparison test in the pen bar evaluation room, it is known that its strength is even ahead of Intel's latest i9-10980HK flagship processor.

The familiar six letters, I believe I don’t need to say more.

▲Picture from: Pen Bar Evaluation Room

Thanks to the dual blessing of the advanced 7nm process and the Zen 2 architecture, this processor has burst out of strength, reducing power consumption while maintaining a high level of performance.

It is also worth mentioning that not only the CPU performance is strong, but the RTX 2060 Max-Q on the Phantom 14 is also an explosive version that can be overclocked. The user enters the "Ultron Center" and switches to manual mode, and can independently set related parameters and fan speed.

Children only make choices. Of course, adults are full.

Of course, overclocking comes at a price. After some operations, we found that the fan had reached the "take-off state" and made a loud and deafening noise. Re-run 3D MARK Time Spy and got a score of 6210 points, which is close to a 10% improvement compared to the previous performance mode running points.

Coming to the game, we chose the classic PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds for the test experience, and recorded the number of frames with 2K resolution and triple-extreme image quality settings.

The results show that the average number of frames throughout the game is 87 frames, and the overall fluctuation range is not large. And thanks to the screen’s Adaptive Sync
Synchronization technology can effectively eliminate screen tearing, and the actual experience is very smooth, and there has been basically no frame drop or jam.

The relatively interesting point is that Magic 14 is a three-manufacturer product that integrates AMD processors, Nvidia graphics cards, and Intel SSDs.

In the above test, we have also seen that both the processor and the graphics card have a good performance, then Intel will have to fight for the rest.

Judging from the test results of AS SSD Benchmark, this Intel 660P QLC solid state drive may be a shortcoming in the Magic 14 configuration. The read and write speed is slightly average in front of many excellent solid state drives, but at least it has 1TB of storage space, and the overall performance is definitely sufficient for ordinary people.

Omnipotent cannon

Although the Phantom 14 is full of ROG e-sports blood, after using it for a period of time, I haven't seen too many gaming notebooks, and even feel that it is not a gaming notebook at all.

On the one hand, its appearance is too low-key. The RGB romance pursued by straight men cannot satisfy you. Secondly, in terms of performance, although the actual performance is pretty good, it always feels a little worse than the full-fire game book.

But if you look at it from another angle and don't require it based on the positioning of a traditional game book, the situation is different.

For office, it can be low-key and restrained when you need it to be concise, and it can also be cool and showy when you need it with personality. Besides, it is light enough, and it won’t attract strange eyes when you go to the coffee shop with it.

The key is that it is packed with Ryzen 9 4900HS+RTX 2060 Max-Q in such a thin and light body, which is enough to run 3A masterpieces smoothly, and it also provides performance support for high-load work.

Fantasy 14 is like a small steel cannon in a car, small, flexible and omnipotent.

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