Thanks to its companion eGPU that boosts graphics performance, the Asus ROG Flow Z13 is the most powerful 2-in1 laptop available. This modular design comes with a few drawbacks, but it’s still a wonderful option for people who are always on the move.
- Performance of the Ryzen 9 5980HS in a 2-in-1 laptop
- In a 2-in-1 laptop, high-end GeForce RTX 3080 performance
- On the go, an eGPU is cumbersome
- The eGPU port cover is flimsy
At CES 2022, Asus announced the Asus ROG Flow Z13 2-in-1 gaming laptop. The Z13, the successor to the ROG Flow X13 from 2021, is a new take on the notion of a hybrid gaming laptop/tablet with an additional GPU enclosure for added gaming strength.
It’s an interesting concept, and we commended the Asus ROG Flow Z13 in our review for its lightweight design and sharp display, even if its gaming performance was a little lacking when not linked into the eGPU container.
The redesigned ROG Flow Z13 with Windows 11 will be available in 2022. A new design and heavier internal components may help the Flow Z13 outperform its predecessor and win a position on our list of the best 2-in-1 laptops available. Here’s all we know about the Asus ROG Flow Z13 thus far.
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Asus ROG Flow Z13 Review
Specifications of Asus ROG Flow Z13
4K 60Hz w/ 85% DCI-P3
1080p 120Hz w/ 100% sRGB
|Up to Intel Core i9-12900H
|Up to NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti
|Upgradable PCIe 4.0 SSD
|1.1kg (2.4 lbs)
Price and Release Date of Asus ROG Flow Z13
Asus has not confirmed price or a specific release date for the Asus ROG Flow Z13 foldable gaming laptop, simply stating that it would be available in the first half of 2022.
The Flow Z13 is unlikely to be inexpensive. Last year’s ROG Flow X13 started at $1,499, but that rapidly rose to about $3,000 if you bought for the external GPU container with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series card inside.
While we don’t know how much the Z13 will cost, we expect it to be at least as expensive as its predecessor, so expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000.
The Asus ROG Flow Z13, like the X13, has a stunning design that allows it to be used as a laptop or a tablet. You can disconnect the screen from the keyboard, and thanks to the 170-degree kickstand on the rear, you can pair it with a gamepad and set it up on a table for some Nintendo Switch gaming on the road.
The Z13’s mainboard can be viewed via a little glass on the back of the laptop, which is a great feature that Asus claims improve performance. Because of this decision, bigger components may be put on each side of the Z13’s mainboard.
Credit: Asus ROG
The 13.4-inch 16:10 IPS touchscreen on the ROG Flow Z13 can be set to either FHD 120Hz or 4K,60Hz.
The FHD 120Hz display with last year’s ROG Flow X13 model we tested was clear and vibrant, and we’re curious to see how big of a difference a 4K display offers for gaming on the Flow Z13.
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 Detacjable Gaming Laptop appears to perform similarly to last year’s model in terms of performance. The Z13 will be available with 16GB of RAM and up to a 1TB SSD for storage, just as the X13. Models with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU are available, but you can gain additional graphics power by putting it into the XG Mobile external GPU enclosure, which has up to an RTX 3080 inside.
The ROG Flow Z13, however, will be customizable with the newest Intel 12th Gen CPUs, up to a Core i9-12900H, unlike last year’s model. That’s a significant improvement over the AMD Ryzen 9 5000-series CPU that powered the Asus ROG Flow X13 we tested last year, and we’re looking forward to getting a new Flow Z13 in for testing to see how big of a difference this CPU upgrade makes when gaming.
We don’t have big hopes for the Flow Z13’s 56WHr battery because Asus hasn’t made any formal statements regarding how long it will last when gaming on batteries.
Last year, we criticized the Flow X13’s 62WHr battery for lasting less than two hours when playing demanding 3D video games in our review. That’s not bad, but it’s far from ideal, and it severely limited the Flow’s utility as a mobile gaming device.
While we’re optimistic that the new Flow Z13 will be more battery-efficient than its predecessor, we won’t know for sure until we try one.
For a thin-and-light gaming laptop/tablet, the Asus ROG Flow Z13 appears to have a reasonable port array. A USB-A port, two USB-C ports, a headphone/mic jack, a microSD card reader, and a custom connection for connecting the ROG XG Mobile GPU enclosure are all included.
That’s a lot more ports than on last year’s X13, which is great to see. It also looks like Asus has placed the power button on the laptop’s edge further away from the ports than on the X13, which is a good thing because it was far too easy to press the power button when connecting accessories into the X13’s ports.
The ROG Flow Z13 is slated to hit shops in Q1 2022, and according to my sources, it will start at around $1000 for the base versions with the FHD+ screen and Iris Xe graphics only, and will equal the Flow X13 convertible in pricing for higher-tier configurations. The keyboard folio comes standard, and an Asus pen that works with it will be offered as an add-on.
When not used on a desk, the form factor is definitely an adversarial point for this series, with benefits in performance/cooling over comparable ultra-compact items, but also downsides in practicality and ergonomics.
Still, I expect the Flow Z13 to be the most powerful small-format computer of its generation, making it a viable alternative for a few of you, especially when you consider the ROG XG Mobile compatibility and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, which the Flow X13 2-in-1 series lacks. For what it’s worth, this year, Asus will release new XG Mobile machines with either Nvidia or AMD graphics.
Overall, the Asus ROG Flow Z13 GZ301 is an interesting laptop, but I’d wait for our final thoughts before buying it, once we’ve had a chance to properly examine the performance, thermals, noise levels, and battery life. Meanwhile, please share your thoughts on this series in the comments box below.