Asus ROG Flow Z13 – What is it all about?



Asus launched a highly unusual device in India this week, one that has been in the works for a few years. Yes, we are talking about the Asus ROG Flow Z13. When a few of us techs were introduced to the product a few weeks ago, there was no general consensus as to which category the product would actually fit into. Some thought it was a tablet, some a laptop, some even called it a portable gaming console and some thought it was impractical.

Image Credit: Ameya Dalvi | Tech2

This might remind you of the blind men and the elephant story, but rest assured we had our eyes wide open and also managed to observe the product up close from all angles. So why such a divided house, you ask? Well, it’s just the way the product is designed. Any of those observations may be true, and at the same time, it probably doesn’t quite fit into one of those categories in a traditional way. Enough of the tension and it’s time for me to tell you all about the most important aspects of the product.

Image Credit: Ameya Dalvi | Tech2

So what exactly is the ROG Flow Z13?
No, I’m not opening the debate anymore! As Asus likes to put it, the ROG Flow Z13 is a detachable 2-in-1 gaming tablet. Removable because the keyboard is detachable. 2-in-1 because it’s a tablet and a gaming laptop in one. I’ll break it down further. For starters, it runs Microsoft Windows 11 and not Android. Second, it houses some pretty powerful hardware that I’ll discuss in a future section. But the design is a bit unusual.

Image Credit: Ameya Dalvi | Tech2

Think of it as an inverted laptop with the thin screen side remaining horizontal, while the rest of the bulky case is placed vertically. You still have the screen in front of you in its usual vertical position with the processing hardware behind it, while having an ultra-slim keyboard on the table. There is a retractable kickstand behind the vertical part to support it. If it’s hard to imagine, we’ve got plenty of images for you to check out. Asus claims that this inverted form factor allows for much better airflow and cooling, and thus better performance.

How big and heavy is this device?
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is fairly compact for a laptop, but quite bulky for a tablet. It is 12 mm thick and weighs almost 1.1 kg. Asus thinks it’s a featherweight, but I’m not sure what kind of birds they have near their development center. Add another 300 grams for the included 100 Watt adapter that supports fast charging and claims to charge 50% of the Z13 battery in just 30 minutes.

Image Credit: Ameya Dalvi | Tech2

What are the main specifications of the ROG Flow Z13?
The Z13 is powered by a 14-core Intel i9-12900H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU. You get 16 GB dual channel DDR5 RAM and 1 TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD. It has a 13.4-inch UltraHD+ IPS display with a resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels. The touchscreen display has a refresh rate of 60 Hz and is compatible with Dolby Vision. It has a built-in array with 3 microphones and 2 speakers with Smart Amplifier technology with Hi-Res certification and Dolby Atmos support.

To power it is a 56 WH 4-cell battery. As for wireless connectivity, you have dual band WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. As you can see the machine is loaded to the brim. But in case you find the GPU disappointing, you have the option to upgrade it to RTX 3080 using an external XG Mobile module. Think of it as an external graphics card that you have to pay extra for. You can also opt for an XG Mobile with AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT GPU.

Image Credit: Ameya Dalvi | Tech2

Like all 2022 ROG models, the Flow Z13 also features the MUX Switch which reduces in-game latencies and improves performance by up to 10%. It also features two display options (both touch panels) – a 4K 60 Hz display with 85 percent DCI-P3 coverage, or a Full HD 120 Hz display with 100 percent sRGB coverage.

What is the price of Asus ROG Flow Z13 in India?
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 costs Rs 1,36,990 with a one-year warranty and is now available for purchase in online and offline stores.

Image Credit: Ameya Dalvi | Tech2

Summary of first impressions of Asus ROG Flow Z13
While the debate about the category to put it in will continue, I really liked what I saw and the interesting approach Asus took to build it. It might be too bulky for a tablet and probably too expensive for a gaming laptop with an RTX 3050 Ti. But it gives you the option to use it as either one, and the compliance with XG Mobile external GPUs can be a game changer. You can also think of it as a portable gaming PC if you have the cash to spare.

Image Credit: Ameya Dalvi | Tech2

There’s definitely an X factor in the way the Asus ROG Flow Z13 is built, and that little transparent window on the back with LED lighting is sure to grab gamers’ attention. It is certainly not a product for everyone, but this is the first of its kind at the moment. We have yet to see the best of this approach and I hope Asus continues on this path for longer.

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