ASUS ROG Flow Z13 review: A detachable 2-in-1 gaming machine
Now asus is back to turn that concept into an actual retail device, Music for those familiar with microsofts attachables youll immediately see why i mentioned the surface pro line, because asus has basically taken that blueprint and made it all gamery you get a bright 13.4 inch full Hd screen with a 120hz refresh rate, a handy kickstand in back and a magnetic strip for hooking up a removable keyboard cover typing and mousing also feels just like a surface right down to the slightly too small touch pad and hidden behind the kickstand asus, even carried Over the surface pros micro, sd card slot and removable n.2 cover, regardless, while its general design might be similar to a surface, the rog slow z13 gives off a very different impression. I mean just look at it: the over the top cyberpunk aesthetic, combined with a splash of red and black accents, might be a bit much for some, but i kind of love it, especially that window with rgb lighting in back. In fact, im going to go out on a limb and say we need more see through gadgets in general elsewhere we have one usbc port with thunderbolt 4, a usb 8 port and then a couple of other ports hidden beneath a protective seal. But more on those later on, the inside we got some pretty beefy specs, especially for a system. This size were talking an intel core i9 cpu 16 gigs of ram one terabyte m.
2 ssd, and an rtx 3050 ti now normally pairing an i9 chip with a 3050 ti. Wouldnt make a lot of sense because in most games the rog flow, the z13 is going to be bottlenecked by its gpu, which makes a high end cpu. Like this kind of overkill in benchmarks, we saw frame rates like 37fps and forza 5 on ultra 64fps, on highest in shadow of the tomb raider and 40 fps in metro exodus on high, so decent, but not exactly mind blowing thats, where those bonus ports come in Because once you remove the seal, you can attach asus xg mobile graphic stock, which has even more ports along with an rtx 3080 graphics card. After attaching it, gaming performance basically doubled with frame rates in forza 5 jumping up to 87 fps at the same settings with similar results for all the other titles. So now were looking at a portable gaming tablet that has the kind of performance you typically only get from a big 15 or 17 inch notebook and because the dock is attachable, you have the flexibility to carry it around. Only when you need it. The xg mobile dock even has its own power cable, which will send juice over to the z13 when connected. So theoretically, you could throw both of these in your bag and leave asuss basic charging brick at home and when youre not using the dock beneath that seal. Next to asus is a proprietary, xg port theres, even a bonus, usbc 3.
2 connection that supports video with g sync. Now there are a couple quirks about the xg mobile dock. We got to talk about first, you cant just connect it and disconnect it at will. If you want to take it out, you need to manually disable it from the icon in the windows system, tray first, which takes more than a moment. You also cant, really pick and choose what gpu goes in there, its either an rtx, 3080 or bust. That means, if you want to upgrade in the future youre gon na, have to buy a whole new dock. Assuming asus even makes a new one, and because of that proprietary port, the xg dock is only compatible with the z13 float and the rog flow x13, which is basically the laptop version of the z flow and thats kind of where my issues with the z flow. Come in now, dont get me wrong. I love the idea. I love the way it looks and i love being able to tack on a beefy gpu. When i want some extra performance, i also love being able to flip it open pair a controller and just get to gaming, no need to worry about a keyboard. Frankly, there really isnt anything else like the z13 flow on sale. Today, however, the problem with the whole kit is that it isnt very practical and its not a great value either when youre using it as a laptop, like you know, on your lap, because all of its guts are stuffed inside what is essentially a tablet chassis, its Really top heavy, also its battery life just isnt very good, lasting at least two to three hours shorter than every other gaming laptop, both big and small weve tested recently, and while it is relatively thin for what you get when you think about all the accessories, you Might want to carry around youre, not really traveling any lighter when compared to a rival, 14 or 15 inch laptop and then theres its price.
The z13 flow starts at eighteen hundred dollars or around nineteen hundred dollars for one with a 3050 ti gpu, which is as high as you can spec it. And if you want the xg mobile graphic stock, you need to tack on another fourteen hundred dollars, which brings your all in price. Well above three thousand bucks when compared to a similarly equipped traditional gaming laptop, an alienware x14 goes for sixteen hundred dollars about two hundred. Less and asuss own g14 zephyrus can be had for as little as 1450 and thats with a slightly more powerful rtx 3060. So if you just want to be able to game on the go, youre going to save a bunch of money simply by getting a traditional gaming laptop instead and if you need some extra performance every now and then youll probably be better off getting a more standard. External gpu enclosure that you can upgrade yourself in the future instead of relying on asuss proprietary dock. Now all this doesnt mean you shouldnt get one, but you should know what youre getting into first. The z13 float is a wildly interesting system and im glad aces finally made a gaming tablet, slash detachable two in one a real thing after all these years. So even though this thing is kind of a hard sell, i still think its impractically cool.