Asus ROG Flow Z13
Gaming computers don’t tend to be shy about adding new features that could be innovative. These include display technologies that are always getting better, second screens, and new options for external graphics card units (eGPUs). ROG, Asus’s game sub-brand, has tried its hand at all these, but here we’ll focus on the last one. It’s an interesting idea that lets you take your thin device with you and allows you to pay more to turn it into a full-fledged gaming laptop.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 Specs
|Processor||12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H Processor|
|Support Dolby Vision HDR||YES|
|Memory||8GB*2 LPDDR5 on board|
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
|Storage||1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (2230)|
- Excellent refresh rates for a tablet
- Colorful, unique style
- Slim, foldable metal frame
- Display supporting a pen and a high resolution
- Don’t count on a long battery life
The ROG XG Mobile eGPU was first seen in the Asus ROG Flow X13, a super-thin clamshell laptop that can boost game power with the help of the eGPU unit. ROG’s new kit goes even further with this idea of improving performance. For example, the Flow Z13 is a rare 2-in-1 game tablet that can also be used as a laptop. Asus has already tried to make a good device like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
The VivoBook 13 Slate OLED device looks a lot like this one. But in the end, it wasn’t powerful enough and cost too much to compete with Microsoft’s 2-in-1 approach. The Z13 doesn’t make the same mistakes. The fact that it is a tablet makes it more useful as a gaming gadget because it can be taken anywhere.
The tablet and keyboard together weigh 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg), which isn’t as light as many thin laptops but is amazing, given the specs inside. It’s also a device that encourages you to remove the detachable keyboard, which is included in the price (unlike Surface Pro machines). This lets you easily place it while you play with a controller or a separate gaming keyboard. This is different from many other 2-in-1s that don’t have game capabilities and don’t make sense as stand-alone tablets. It feels like a portable game PC that takes the best parts of a powerful, heavy laptop and Valve’s Steam Deck.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card is to blame for the ROG Flow Z13 not living up to its interesting design. It’s hard to ask for more power from a GPU in a device that is so thin and relatively light, but it still limits the Z13’s potential and general appeal. But even though the RTX 3050 Ti and the Intel Core i9-12900H chips don’t have enormous power, they are great if you like games that focus more on frame rate than on graphic detail.
With ‘Low’ settings, games like Borderlands 3 and Ghost Recon:
- Breakpoint will run at 50 to 80 frames per second on this machine’s 1080p 120-Hz display.
- The Flow Z13 also has less powerful graphics and processors, and there is a choice for a higher-resolution UHD+ display with a slower refresh rate of 60 Hz.
- The results aren’t great, but they aren’t all that bad for such a small device and you can switch to 720p to get a few more frames.
Whether you use this tablet alone or with the eGPU, the amazing display here makes games so much better. You might think that a display made for games that only have a 1080p resolution and a high refresh rate would skimp on colour accuracy and vibrancy, but this panel always gives you smooth colours and realistic tones. You’d have to try hard not to like this screen, whether you’re a gamer or not. The keyboard cover is also an important part of this set, but it’s not all good.
The attachable section is much more flexible than similar 2-in-1 machines like the Surface Pro. But after using it for a while, it’s not too obvious when typing, and if it is, a key press with a lot of travel and a good amount of feedback helps. It works fine, but users who want to get serious might want to add a mouse and keyboard from outside the system.
Speed of typing
The typing experience and the clicky, but small, keyboard are both good for productivity work, which this powerful device is also more than capable of doing. On the Z13’s 16:10 screen, you can easily write an article or two and surf the web. We found that the battery life was usually less than five hours, which made it hard to work on the go. You can’t really play games without power, either, unless they aren’t very popular. In general, the device will not work well, and it will be hard for it to last even an hour.
So, we’re in a tight spot because of all of this. The Asus ROG Flow Z13 has a new and interesting design for gamers, but the price and technology aren’t there yet for most people to buy it. You might be able to convince yourself that this is worth the money if you really like the idea of a light machine with low- to mid-tier gaming performance and the chance to beef it up with an eGPU for even more cash.
At the same time, Sonos is putting out two new speakers. The Era 300 is made for spatial audio, so it can send sound in more than one way. The Era 100 is better than the Sonos One because it plays music in stereo and has better bass. Both have Bluetooth and USB-C line-ins, so you can quickly play music from other devices or plug in a turntable.