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Asus ROG Flow Z13 Review : The Most Different Gaming Laptop Is More Of A Hardware Tetris | Tech Reviews

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Asus ROG Flow Z13 Review : The Most Different Gaming Laptop Is More Of A Hardware Tetris | Tech Reviews



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ASUS happens to be one of the gaming laptop brands with the most imaginative “form factors” for its equipment. We have the maximum exponent in front of us and it is a gamer tablet . As you read.

The ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is not a tablet/convertible that claims to be for gamers. It is literally a tablet that has a dedicated graphics card, in this case an RTX 3050 Ti , inside. But that we can also enhance more with a complete Nvidia RTX 3080 in external format. How do you stay? Well, go ahead to know all the details of one of the strangest products that we have analyzed lately at Fadvices.

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 technical sheet

SCREEN 13.4-inch IPS-LCD
RESOLUTION WUXGA (1920×1200) a 120 Hz
MICROPROCESSOR Intel Core i9-12900H
  • 3.5mm combo audio jack
  • 1 x USB 2.0 type A
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, DisplayPort/Thunderbolt™ 4 Compatible
  • ROG XG Mobile Interface
  • 1x card reader (microSD) (UHS-II)
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support DisplayPort™ / power delivery / G-SYNC
WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) y Bluetooth 5.2
SOUND AND WEBCAM 2 Dolby Atmos speakers (2x1W)

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720p Webcam // 8MP Rear Camera (1080p)

BATTERY 56Wh (100W adapter)
WEIGHT AND THICKNESS 1.18 kg & 12 mm
PRICE 2099 euros


A muscular tablet with a surprise inside

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When I tell you that the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is a tablet for gamers, I am not exaggerating or buying anything from any brand. Its format is that of this product, although since it comes with a keyboard that we can easily place and remove, convertible , we also accept it as a pet .

Pros & Cons

  • Robust and original design
  • Good keyboard and touchpad for a convertible
  • Quality display
  • Somewhat fair battery for a convertible
  • Yield lower than that corresponding to the technical data sheet
  • Not very clear usage profile

With a removable keyboard, the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 can be defined as a tablet or as a convertible.

With the interior that we will see later and a screen diagonal of 13.4 inches , do not expect this ASUS ROG Flow Z13 to be a tablet model that you can use to consume content comfortably lying on the sofa holding it in one hand. That’s not what it was designed for.

Nor is it a tablet model that we can associate with the idea of ​​a screen with which to play freely because it is a somewhat heavy device for that functionality (a little more than 1 kg). Here we are rather facing another twist around the gaming laptop to expand the ecosystem of something that a few years ago had a fairly defined format and design.

One thing cannot be denied to the ASUS ROG Flow Z13: it is very well built and there is nothing like it on the market.

The construction of the ASUS gaming convertible is impeccable. The feeling of robustness is amazing. It has a design with straight edges and slightly softened corners .

Far from leaving a completely flat or classic design, ASUS gives the ROG Flow Z13 a huge personality with a gaming touch here (strong air vents on the upper frame) and exclusivity there, in this case in the form of a rear with more air vents and a small red tab (with ROG logo) that opens the integrated stand of this tablet.

This folding support beyond 160 degrees is articulated by tremendous hinges in terms of resistance, which allows it, from about 45 degrees, to hold the heavy tablet at any inclination safely and reliably.

The rear of the ASUS ROG Flow Z13, in addition to being attractive, includes a folding support of amazing resistance.

The geek touch is also found in that area, where a window leaves part of the tablet’s motherboard visible , animated with RGB AURA Sync lighting when the tablet is on.

It also includes information on ports and removable or accessible elements, such as the microSD slot or the M.2 SSD drive, with a curious but improvable serigraphy in terms of visibility.

The ASUS ROG Flow Z13 has a thickness of 1.2 cm, which provides a good space for connectivity, which is composed of a USB 2.0 port, 3.5 mm combo for audio and the volume and power controls on the right side. .

The power button acts as a fingerprint reader for secure biometric identification in the system. Given its size and location, it’s not an input method that I’ve found comfortable. Much better to use Windows Hello for facial recognition, although in this model we do not have support for it from the integrated webcam.

Already on the left side is the USB-C port, type 3.2 Gen2 compatible with DisplayPort/Thunderbolt 4 , as well as the ROG XG Mobile Interface port to connect the external graphics card, in which we have the second USB-C, of Type 3.2 Gen 2 with support for DisplayPort, Power delivery and G-SYNC.

As we have anticipated, we also have a UHS-II microSD card reader.

Wireless connectivity is also up to the equipment: bluetooth 5.2 and Wifi 6 with great performance.

Offroad touch screen

In teams with a focus on players but who don’t want to leave out any other profile, the choice of screen can sometimes be gibberish .

The screen of the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is contained in diagonal and resolution due to the convertible format that it wants to take advantage of, but it offers 120 Hz and factory calibration.

The ASUS ROG Flow Z13 has opted for a 10-point touch IPS panel (with stylus support), WUXGA resolution ( 1920×1200 ) and a 13.4-inch diagonal. The format is 16:10 widescreen, has Dolby Vision support and offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz , in addition to a response time of 30 ms, not ideal for gaming.

At first it looks like a screen to take advantage of the internal dedicated graphics, remember that it is an RTX 3050 Ti. The screen of the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 offers a high brightness, around 500 nits, 1500:1 contrast, 8-bit color depth and 100% coverage of the sRGB space. It also has factory calibration certified by Pantone .

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And indeed the display of the screen for all purposes of the consumer market is very correct, but it is not a specific panel for creatives or designers.

The behavior of the panel can be managed from the Armory Crate software, where we find a specific space to calibrate the panel ourselves with the help of the X-Rite i1 Display Pro as well as a section called GameVisual to choose between different display modes (8 different, some of them specific for gamers), as well as adjust the color temperature.

A convertible that aspires to everything could not leave aside the aspect of sound. Here we do not have four high-quality speakers as we have already seen in many high-end tablets on the market, but rather something more similar in this regard to what the laptop segment can offer us.

The main speakers of this ASUS ROG Flow Z13 are located at the bottom of both side frames. There are two and it offers a good balance between power and audio quality without distortion, although there are no miracles at the bass level.

They also have Dolby Atmos , thus being able to configure aspects of the sound in addition to obtaining a certain sensation of surround sound.

The only drawback is that we must be careful that, when holding the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 with both hands and in landscape mode, we do not cover the speakers because the sound is then greatly reduced.

As a tablet, convertible or laptop, the webcam does not miss its appointment in this ROD Flow Z13. We have a webcam with 720p quality , we already said that it is not compatible with Windows Hello (a real shame), and that it offers us a fair quality, here again inheriting the worst of laptops when it could have chosen to offer a bit of the world of the tablets. Too bad also because at the level of microphones and noise cancellation by AI this ASUS is well equipped.

We also have a rear camera, 8 MP and 1080p video recording and that gives us the fair game for a very residual use.

Convertible to zero point…

The role of convertible equipment has been earned by this ASUS ROG Flow Z13 thanks to the fact that it is sold as standard with a keyboard that we can place quickly and easily thanks to the specific connector located in the lower frame and to which the keyboard is attached securely. magnetic.

The fit is very solid, it can be laid completely flat on the table as well as with a slight tilt, and it comes with an integrated touchpad that is just the right size but very soft to the touch and very precise.

The keyboard of the ASUS ROF Flow Z13 is quite thin and light (0.56 cm and 340 grams) and has a fabric finish, which means that in the lower part that is in contact with the outside and the surfaces where we support it, it can accumulate some dirt.

Despite the little thickness, the keys (island type) have a wide travel (1.7 mm) and are both comfortable and with good feedback . Perhaps the lateral stabilization can be improved.

The keyboard is also backlit and compatible with the Aura Sync lighting system, although it is neither individual nor zoned.

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From fair to outstanding with a single connector

The ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is available with a single hardware configuration featuring the Intel Core i9-12900H (14 cores and 24 MB cache), the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics card (4 GB GDDR6 and 40W), 16 GB of RAM. LPDDR5 (soldered to board) and a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD. It is a good technical sheet although at first it seems unbalanced due to the ambition of the processor and the limitation of the GPU.

However, to buy we can choose between three different models, which differ in the accessories and additions that they include. The model that we have analyzed is the most complete of all, which includes the ASUS ROG XG Mobile eGPU (GC31S with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080).

This external GPU comes in its corresponding case, in the same black tone as the ASUS convertible, and, in addition to including the aforementioned RTX 3080, multiplies the connectivity possibilities of the equipment.

This element adds an Ethernet port (1 Gbps), an HDMI 2.0b port, another DisplayPort 1.4, four USB-A 3.2 Gen1 and an SD card reader.

But let’s first start assessing the performance of the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 with the internal stock configuration. For its use profile we will see that it offers everything it promises and beyond the format, there is not much difference with the performance of a laptop with a similar technical sheet except in the graphic section.

Despite its natural power and form factor, the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is a convertible that doesn’t seem like it’s going to take off when we’re using it.

To use as a powerful convertible it is more than enough and we navigate, edit photos and even play idle with excellent fluidity.

In our usual performance tests with different synthetic tests , the premises have been corroborated, always taking into account the power limitations applied to the components by the format of the device.

In Cinebench R20 Multi-Core , which we use for comparison, the processor has only performed well in this convertible form factor.

If we go to the tests with Cinebench, we got 1872 and 12977 in Single and Multi Core respectively. In the test with PCMark, in the Creative and Work challenges we got 8107 and 5880 respectively.

This ASUS ROG Flow Z13 has a 1 TB SSD drive that is easily accessible by the user but whose performance is not among the best on the market either. We have measured just over 3000 MB/s in both reading and writing.

In the graphic section, this ASUS ROG Flow Z13 includes Optimus technology to automatically manage the change between the dedicated and integrated graphics card. In our regular 3DMark test, the RTX 3050 Ti has shown its limitations.

If we move on to analyzing performance when gaming, we have measured graphics performance with the usual titles in our gaming laptop tests. In all of them we measure the fps with 1080p resolution and High quality in the graphics of the games, in addition to the Turbo mode.

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In this case we have done it both using exclusively the graphics of the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (RTX 3050 Ti) and with the external unit RTX 3080.

The first graph shows us the performance with the Shadow of the Tomb Raider game with High graphics and 1080p resolution. Here we see that when we use the internal GPU unit of the ASUS convertible, the performance is fair due to the power and cooling limitations of the GPU in the tablet format.

When we pull the eGPU unit, let’s remember that it is only available with the RTX 3000 (and that we cannot update), the fps are already in the expected range.

In other titles in our tests, already tested exclusively with this convertible’s stock RTX 3050 Ti, we got 77fps in Far Cry 5, 127fps in Battlefield V, or 53fps in Red Dead Redemption 2.

The challenge of cooling a gaming tablet

If in a more classic gaming computer, cooling is already a challenge (in many cases, we would actually speak more of a problem than a challenge) for the manufacturer, in this convertible format we can already imagine it.

Part of the implementations that we find in ASUS gaming laptops are also found in this ROG Flow Z13. There are therefore two generously sized fans as well as the corresponding steam chamber heatsink.

In operation, the average temperature of the CPU at maximum performance has been 87 degrees Celsius, compared to just over 52 for the RTX 3050 Ti GPU. At rest, both components keep working around 45 degrees.

Challenging cooling system keeps temperatures largely under control without noise being an issue.

The cooling system keeps temperatures controlled most of the time, but heat is evident very quickly at the rear , making the unit unusable by hand.

Regarding the noise in operation, when we are not playing or demanding much, the fans are turned off or running at low revolutions, so very little noise is generated. Only when we demand superior performance is when we notice that this equipment includes fans and in any case is far from the levels of gaming laptops.

In all cases of use we can choose different operating profiles , including Turbo and Silent, something that is always appreciated. But we already know that performance, in the latter case, drops quite a bit.

Tablet format but gaming laptop autonomy

The ASUS ROG Flow Z13 battery offers a nominal capacity of 52 Wh , somewhat scarce for a team with this profile and ambitions. But you can’t have everything in a team like this.

In our tests, using the device for tasks not related to the game but more as a convertible to use, both with the keyboard and as a tablet, we have averaged between 5.5 and 6.5 hours of real autonomy , all with connectivity all the time and brightness about 25%. Playing do not wait more than an hour.

We can charge it via USB-C , coming standard with a fairly compact 100W charger.

ASUS ROG Flow Z13, Fadvices opinion and note

ASUS has not hesitated for a second to plant an evolution of its lighter-cut and consumer gaming laptops on the market. And he has done it with all the consequences.

The ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is, for all intents and purposes, a sign that if you want to adopt a format to the gaming world, you do it, period. With more or less sense. That is already valued by those who intend to buy it.

Overcome that first encounter, there is no doubt that both at the level of construction, design and execution , this convertible works as such. It is limited in power by the format, but as a convertible it performs very well except in autonomy. And playing, without great aspirations, too.

But in the gaming world, the maximum possible performance is a requirement as well as having a 100% functional keyboard. If you have to connect a screen to have more diagonal and resolution, eGPU, external keyboard… it is to think about it.

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A full time tech enthusiast with a passion for writing. Religiously follow everything new happening in the tech world and share my two cents with my audience here.

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