The Asus ROG Flow X13 review: Fantastic gaming Laptop ?
Pic credits: PCMag.com
When it comes to buying a laptop, you have to choose two out of three factors: size, speed, and battery life. You can purchase a tiny laptop with a strong processor for a reasonable price, but the battery life will be limited. Are you looking for a powerful gaming laptop? It’ll be large and cumbersome, with a battery life measured in minutes. At least, that’s how it generally goes.
The Asus Republic of Gamers Flow X13, on the other hand, aims to bend the rules by separating the laptop into two parts: a tiny, portable laptop and a graphics processing unit that can be added (GPU). You can leave the GPU section at home if you want to take the laptop on the road for work. You plug in the GPU and start Doom Eternal when you arrive home and want to frag some demons.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Laptops Under 30000 in India
Asus ROG flow X13 review
Features and Design
The Flow X13 is made up of two parts: a laptop and an XG docking station. First, let’s have a look at the laptop. With a matte black shell, a huge, crisp WXGA screen, and a good-sized keyboard, it’s a stylish tablet. It weighs just under 3 pounds (1.3 kilogrammes) and is only 0.6 inches (1.58cm) thick, making it incredibly portable. When you flip the screen over, it becomes a tablet.
There are plenty of ports to choose from, including USB-C, USB 3.2, and an HDMI port. However, the newer Thunderbolt 3 and 4 standards are not supported. There’s also a headphone jack and an unique port for connecting the XG docking station.
The secret sauce that makes this laptop work is hidden beneath this enigmatic cover: a unique port that looks like a stretched USB-C connector with a slew of extra pins. The XG Docking Station attaches into this port and adds the Nvidia RTX 3080 Laptop GPU to the PC.
In terms of bandwidth, this port provides the same as a PCIe X8 port, which is about half of the bandwidth provided by a PCIe X16 connection used by a full graphics card in a desktop gaming PC. The XG is about the size of a paperback book and contains the GPU, as well as a power input, DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, gigabit Ethernet, and four more USB 3.2 connections.
You can’t utilise the external GPU away from a power socket because the docking station only works when the power source is connected. It does, however, charge the laptop when attached, so the idea is that it sits on your desk at home while you play games, and then you remove it to take with you and work.
Screen and Speakers
The Flow X13’s 13.4-inch screen is bright, crisp, and sharp. It features a peak brightness of little about 300 Cd/m2 and a WUXGA (1920 by 1200) resolution. That means it’s bright enough to use in all but direct sunshine, though I did find myself dimming it most of the time. The blood splatters in games like Doom Eternal show off its great color and dynamic range.
The speakers are also decent, with plenty of volumes and decent bass, which is unusual for a laptop. The bass was a little flat, though – it lacks the oomph and thump that makes it feel you are really punching a demon in the groin.
Performance and Software
Let’s get down to business: does the Flow X13 deliver the best of both worlds? Is it a combination of a lightweight laptop and desktop gaming power? It does, but the procedure entails a number of trade-offs that limit its flexibility. It’s not as quick as a dedicated gaming laptop or desktop, nor is it as tiny or light as an Ultra Lite laptop.
With the CG docking station installed, the X13 scored 10,340 on the 3D Mark Time Spy test. It handled games like Doom Eternal and Formula One 2021 with ease. It managed frame rates close to the maximum 120Hz refresh rate of the built-in display in Doom Eternal on the highest Ultra Nightmare graphics setting, and 160 frames per second on an external 240Hz monitor connected to DisplayPort.
To put it another way, the games looked fantastic, with smooth, fluid animation. However, the Flow X13’s laptop version of the RTX 3080 GPU lacks the same level of performance as the desktop version, which routinely reaches scores of 12,000 and higher.
The Flow X13 comes with a 62Wh battery that I felt to be enough. It lasted 9 hours and 2 minutes on the PC Mark 10 Video battery test. That’s a good battery life, which implies it should last at least a day of work.
The lifespan of a mobile game is likely to be no more than a couple of hours, depending on the game. It’s also worth noting that when the game is ran on battery power, the frame rate dips to 30fps.
The RoG Flow X13 comes close to accomplishing its goal of providing both desktop-level gaming at home and decent gaming on the go. However, it falls short of this goal. The Nvidia GTX 3080 GPU in the XG Docking Station is a laptop variant that doesn’t perform as well as the desktop version. Disconnecting the external graphics card is likewise a time-consuming process.
The laptop’s built-in GPU performs admirably, and the pricing is reasonable for a gaming laptop. However, it appears to be an insufficient compromise. Get a desktop PC if you want all-out gaming performance at home. Get a dedicated gaming laptop and hope you can find a power outlet if you want all-out gaming performance that you can take with you.