[Review] Join the Walkers: The ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition
ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition
Although the idea of brands producing special editions of a product is not something new, I'm still blown away when ROG announced its collaboration with popular DJ Alan Walker. Now many fans would know that Walker is not only a DJ but also a gamer so I was both extremely curious and excited when I found out about the ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Edition laptop.
While ROG has retained most of the features like display size, design, and processor of its regular variant, the ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Edition has major changes in its design and aesthetics.
The limited-edition laptop comes in a unique package with exclusive items that you won't find somewhere else, after all, it's the special Alan Walker edition laptop. Besides all the normal stuff that you will find coming along with a regular laptop like charging support, a laptop sleeve, and paperwork, the package includes a baseball cap and a pair of socks with printed ROG and Alan Walker's 'AW' logos.
Perhaps, the coolest thing that comes with the laptop is the packaging that houses the laptop itself. Turns out, it's more than a packaging box but it also doubles as a DJ deck when it is connected to the laptop with a USB-C to USB-C cable that comes with the package. We'll get to it later in this review.
You will notice the difference of this edition from the regular variant by its exterior design with a reflective belt, featuring silver ROG x Alan Walker text along with the edition's slogans: 'Join The Republic' and 'Join The Walkers'. The whole dark scheme of the lid resembles Walker's signature hoodie-and-mask look. There's also a blue PVD coated nameplate with the ROG and AW logo carved on it, along with Walker's signature. The top panel's Anime Matrix display gets four new Alan Walker animations in LED colour - Spectre Blue - inspired by Walker's track, "The Spectre". As if the branding isn't obvious enough, the bottom of the laptop also features the ROG x Alan Walker text.
Opening the lid, you will be greeted by more Alan Walker theme aesthetics on both the keyboard and the trackpad. The keyboard has exclusive bright blue splashes - Walker's favourite colour - across the Esc, Enter, and Shift keycaps. To top that, the original A and W text on their corresponding keycaps are replaced with the AW logo using white colour to highlight the respective alphabets. There are also several other keycaps that are painted in bright and dark shades of grey that are specially chosen by Walker himself. To complete the Alan Walker theme on the exterior look, the space bar even has Alan Walker's name printed on it. Additionally, the touchpad displays a bold diagonal line pattern which is supposed to resemble the patterns of music equaliser.
In terms of connectivity, the chassis offers a 3.5 mm headphone jack, an HDMI 2.0b port, and a USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port which supports Display port 1.4 as well as Power Delivery, on the left. On the right, there are two USB3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports and another USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C port as well as a Kensington lock to prevent people from stealing your device. This one has an ergo hinge too, which lifts up the laptop by a certain angle for comfortable typing or usage of the laptop and better airflow of the device.
Ergonomically, the Alan Walker edition is similar to the standard model but it is thinner with Anime Matrix display at 17.9 mm while the standard one measures 19.9 mm, albeit both have the same weight.
Upon turning on, you will see new exclusive custom animations and boot-up sound effects that are created by the artist himself. Also, when you are logged in to the laptop, you will see exclusive Alan Walker wallpaper that ROG has kindly set for you out of the box. You'd definitely be in love every time you switch on the laptop, if you're a Walker.
This Alan Walker edition comes with a 120 Hz 14-inch display with 2560x1440 resolution as well as 300 nit peak brightness and 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut. While this edition comes with a slightly lower refresh rate than the standard G14, it still does a very good job in gaming. Overall, it has vivid colour output with good daylight visibility and viewing angles.
With an AMD Ryzen R9-5900HS processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti powering it, paired with 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB M.2 SSD, the laptop offers exceptional performance for daily tasks like office works, browsing, and watching Netflix. When it comes to content creating, it can breeze through 4K video rendering in the background while editing high-resolution photos in Photoshop. Even when I tried running it on triple-A titles like Call of Duty and CyberPunk 2077, it showed great performance and delivered great frame rates.
In terms of audio, it is equipped with two 2.5 W subwoofers and two 0.7 W tweeters. Similar to the standard model, it offers robust sound and great volume powered by Dolby Atmos technology. It also has two-way active noise cancellation technology that will preserve your sound while eliminating environmental sounds like keyboard clatters and mouse clicks. Speaking of audio, that brings us to the highlight of the Alan Walker edition.
Join the Walkers: Meet the ROG Remix Sampler
The main highlight of the ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Edition is the packaging box that is made of acrylic with conductive ink applied on its surface. So what makes this box so unique and special? It comes with a built-in mixer which turns it into what ROG called the ROG Remix sampler. And what does it do? It lets you be your own DJ!
The translucent top panel of the box features touchpads that allow you to play or stop songs, speed up and down the tracks, switch between 3 sets of samplers comprising 18 sound effects, and apply a low-pass filter.
As a non-DJ and someone who isn't familiar with anything like this, I was at first worried about how should I make the Remix sampler work. Fortunately, ROG and Walker have got you covered as you only need to connect the remix box to the laptop with a Type-C cable and a pre-loaded ROG Remix software will open immediately. ROG added Walker's "Sorry" as the default song but you can switch to any songs that you have saved locally.
You can play songs by tapping the play button on the panel of the remix sampler and explore the sound effects with the sampler buttons. All the buttons work fine and the sound effects are very cool, thanks to Walker's creation and ROG's speakers. Although the sound cracks a little at the beginning, it quickly catches up and plays perfectly fine later on. Additionally, ROG's Aura Sync software also matches the lighting in the ROG Remix box’s LED trim and the laptop lid to the music.
It's actually pretty simple to begin with for fans who would like to experience Walker's musical experience. Of course, it's far from professional DJ equipment but it seems like a fit that you can set up for a party. A few rounds of practice and if you learn to play the effects at the correct timing, you might just learn to be a beginner DJ. Personally, I'm just blown away by how the effects and samples to alter music come out from a plastic box!
Buy or no buy?
All in all, the ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker edition laptop is pretty remarkable. ROG has totally justified it with the addition of Alan Walker-themed designs, boot-up animation and sound, Walker's Anime Matrix display, as well as the remix sampler.
If you're a music lover, gamer, and especially if you're a Walker, this laptop is definitely a bang for your buck. However, if you're not an avid fan, you might want to settle just with the regular Zephyrus G14 (GA401QM) priced at RM7,699 since the two models are quite similar in terms of hardware.
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