ASUS Z13 Takes Portable Gaming to the Next Level!
Last year, ASUS introduced the Flow X13. A portable 13 2 in 1 tablet like device with an 8 core Ryzen processor.. This one was special as it had a custom PCIe connector, allowing for external graphics to be connected. The XG Mobile. This year, ASUS are introducing the even lighter Flow Z13 for even more portability, and this supports the XG Mobile eGPU as well with the same custom, PCIe port.. The Z13 gives off Microsoft, Surface vibes its even got a full CNC milled metal chassis. So it feels great, but this isnt, the first time ASUS, have done a design like this.. You might remember the ASUS Mothership from a few years back, which had a similar design, though that one was much larger.. The basic concept is the same with the new Z13, which is to keep the heat generating components behind the screen, so they can easily pull in air from the back its just at a much smaller scale compared to the Mothership.. Most laptops pull air in from the bottom, so running them on a desk restricts cooling but thats not the case with the Z13.. The Z13 can also be used in tablet mode as the included per key RGB keyboard comes off so a bit different compared to last years X13, which flips over more like a 2 in 1 design.. The keyboard can also be propped up on an angle to improve typing. Otherwise, when folded up, it protects the screen when, in your bag.
, The screen and keyboard connect together super easily with magnets. Theres a kickstand on the back to support the screen, and we can see the air intake vents back there too, with an interesting cut out section Revealing some of the internals., No doubt that RGB lighting will help boost FPS in games. Air then gets exhausted out of the top left and right sides, so not out the sides near the keyboard, like with most other laptops, which can heat up your hand.. The kickstand has this little rubber tab on the side that sticks out, so you can easily pull it out when setting the device down, but I really wanted to see the same automatic mechanism on the larger Mothership, where it just pops out by itself. Once you put it down. Im guessing, it may not have been possible to do that in the smaller size., While the older X13 is AMD. Ryzen based the new Z13 uses, Intels 12th gen processors. Its kind of hard to see, but in this shot provided by ASUS, we can see its using an Intel i9 12900HK, meaning we get 14 cores and 20 threads of performance in this small device.. Of course, actual performance will come down to things like power limits and how much thermal headroom is available, but its worth considering that if you do connect an XG Mobile to the Z13, then if youve got a GPU in this laptop, then it will be disabled and Not active so basically, the entire cooling solution will just be dedicated to the processor.
Thats, just the advantage of being able to move your GPU workload externally and Im sure there will also be lower tier spec options as well. I think this one has the i7 12700H.. The Z13 makes use of liquid metal for cooling and uses a vapor chamber cooler and combined with the ability to pull in air behind the screen. Its probably going to be one of the best performing 13 inch options out there. Granted there isnt a whole lot of competition at this smaller size.. Interestingly, the use of Intel 12th gen means that the Z13 has both Thunderbolt 4 support for a traditional eGPU, as well as the custom PCIe connector for the XG Mobile. So I cant wait to test both on the same machine to see the difference. Speaking of the XG Mobile. If youve already got one from last year, that will work on the newer Z13 too. ASUS will also be launching some new XG Mobile options.. The Z13 should be quite capable for its size, even without the XG Mobile., Its available with up to RTX 3050 Ti graphics, but, interestingly, its actually got a MUX switch. So we can disable optimus to help boost gaming performance., Something I dont think Ive ever seen in any other 13 gaming laptop. Youre definitely going to want to make sure that youre subscribed for my benchmarks and upcoming full review Now up to RTX 3050 Ti graphics and I9 processor in such a small machine, definitely isnt going to come cheap.
. However, there will also be a cheaper that doesnt have discrete graphics in the actual laptop part of the machine, so it would just essentially be processor only, and this could be a much better option if you do actually plan on using an XG Mobile, because if you Dont actually need the Nvidia graphics when, on the go and youre just docking with the XG Mobile at home, then yeah thatll make sense. No point spending more money to have a 3050 Ti, or some other GPU in here, if youre not going to use it.. Of course, lets not forget how portable the XG Mobile still actually is. So even if you did want GPU power on the go, it wouldnt be that hard to bring it with you.. The 13.4 touchscreen is 1610 and available with either 4K 60Hz or 1080p 120Hz options.. In addition to there being a camera above, the screen theres also one on the back too, which can record 4K video. If you want to use it tablet, style. Theres, an easily accessible hatch door. That gives you access straight to the PCIe 4 M.2 slot, without the need to remove the entire back panel, though, due to the smaller size, it can only fit 2230 sized SSDs, which I think right now max out at 1TB. Theres a MicroSD card slot underneath the Rear stand so it is more awkward to access, but hey better than not having it at all. If youre after more storage.
. Unfortunately, RAM is soldered to the motherboard, but I mean its a tiny 13 device, so kind of expected., At least its available with up to 32 gigs of LPDDR5 5200 memory. Seriously. Other companies need to get it together. Im. Looking at you Razer Blade 14 with your maximum 16 gigs of soldered memory.. Sure 16 gigs may be a nice sweet spot today, but its hard to justify spending so much money on a device right now, when you have no idea how much youre going to need years from now., But I digress. The point is at least you can get up to 32 gigs here, even if it is soldered.. Port selection on the left includes two Type C ports. One is Thunderbolt 4, but both provide DisplayPort 1.4 support. One goes to the iGPU and the other to the dGPU. If you have one., One of the Type C ports is found within the XG Mobile port, which has a rubber cover and the whole device can be fully powered over Type C, with 100 watts using either port.. The right has a 3.5mm, audio, combo jack and a USB 2.0 Type, A port.. The power button is on this side too, along with volume up and down controls.. Now I did ask ASUS why they decided to use the older and slower USB 2.0 on that Type. A port and was basically told that it was just a limitation of extending the PCB from this side to that side.
. Essentially, it came down to it being a case of having a USB 2.0 Type, A port or no Type A port. So in that case, if thats actually accurate, I suppose I would prefer to have 2.0 Type, A port rather than no Type A port at all., At least until we get to the point where all devices rely on Type C but hey. I suppose there are also adapters available.. Unfortunately, I dont have pricing or availability details just yet, but given the relatively powerful specs you can get in such a smaller 13 device expect to pay quite a bit., Regardless of whether or not youre into an eGPU setup. I think its great to see ASUS continuing their XG Mobile and making new laptops that support it.. A lot of other companies would introduce something like this and then just abandon it and hope you forget about it. 12 months later. Im looking at you upgradeable Alienware 51m, that didnt even get RTX 30 series. Graphics. Now ASUS have also made way more changes to their gaming laptop lineup this year, which you can check out in this video over here. Seriously. They added a MUX switch to pretty much every gaming laptop.. You definitely want to check this one out And, of course, make sure youre subscribed to the channel.