Asus ROG Flow X13 - Full Review with Pros and Cons
Asus has been playing tough in the laptop industry for some time now. Their ROG lineup is a go-to for anyone looking for a gaming laptop. The newest addition to the lot is ROG Flow X13. A 13 inch 2 in 1 convertible gaming laptop. With never heard combination and attractive pricing did Asus get this bet right? Let’s find out in this full review.
For starters, the laptop has 2 processor options with multiple RAM and Storage options with support for external GPUs. The lower-end version offers an AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800HS Processor which has 8-core/16-thread, 20MB cache, and up to 4.4 GHz max boost. The upper trim has an AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900HS Processor with 8-core/16-thread 20MB cache, and up to 4.6 GHz max boost.
Build and Quality
At first glance, the compact size and weight may trick you into believing it not being a gaming laptop, flip the laptop, and you are greeted with massive fans neatly placed. The Magnesium alloy improves the look and feels of the laptop tremendously.
The 13-inch laptop while unusual for a gaming laptop is also super lightweight at a mere 1.3 kilos.
Being a 2 in 1, you can flip the screen by 360 degrees and use it the way you want. With fingerprint and power button integrated into a single button neatly on the side of the laptop, can be easily accessed. This compact design looks premium and is functional at the same time.
Ports, I/O and Connectivity
The ROG beast comes equipped with many functional ports. A 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, ROG XG Mobile Interface(Used for adding additional accessories like external GPU), Two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with support for DisplayPort™ and power delivery charging.
The laptop supports Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) with Bluetooth 5.1 (Dual band) 2*2 for excellent connectivity.
Keyboard – Being a small and compact laptop it does lack the additional numeric key rows. The keyboard while having good travel, is not recommended for gaming, but it gets the job done. The support for the backlight is helpful while gaming in the dark. Overall a good keyboard but lack of RGB coloured backlighting would have been the cherry on the cake.
Touchpad –The trackpad is small, but most of the 13-inch laptops do not have a large trackpad. Also, being a gaming laptop the trackpad doesn’t feel properly optimized as the feel is not exactly amazing. Again just like the keyboard, it is also decent but a special mouse would be a great compliment for this machine.
The ROG Flow X13 has a 13.4-inch display and is available in two different configurations. One with a resolution of 4k and a refresh rate of 60Hz while the other with a resolution of Full HD and a refresh rate of 120Hz. For gamers, the latter option would be suitable.
The laptop in review is the model with Full HD and 120Hz refresh rate configuration. The 16:10 display is IPS level and Pantone Validated. Apart from fancy names, the display is indeed a looker. With sRGB at 116% and, DCI-P3 at 85%, the screen is highly colour accurate with amazing viewing angles. Being a touch screen it is glossy by nature and thus attracts a lot of fingerprints.
The fingerprints on the screen can be avoided by the pre-included Stylus in the box which has a good response and feels natural.
The laptop is available with two different CPU configurations, the Ryzen 7 5800HS, and the Ryzen 9 5900HS. The former one has a configuration of 8-core with 16-thread, 20MB cache, and up to 4.4 GHz maximum boost while the latter has a configuration of 8-core with 16-thread 20MB cache and up to 4.6 GHz of maximum boost. Simply speaking with support for Liquid Metal cooling the thermals are mostly in control. The only heating part in the laptop is the down bezel. While it is not a big issue, it is not much noticeable and the performance throttling is low. Speaking of benchmarks, for the upper trim variant, the Cinebench (Release 23) scores are over 11,000. In comparison the 2021 MacBook scores around 12,000. So overall the CPU is really powerful.
You may check out the review of MacBook Pro here.
The GPU too is available in two different configurations, Nvidia Geforce RTX 3050 and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650. The former with ROG Boost clocks up to 1157.5MHz at 35W, 40W with Dynamic Boost, and 4GB GDDR6 graphics. While the latter With ROG Boost clocks up to 1255MHz at 35W (40W with Dynamic Boost) and 4GB GDDR6. Please keep in mind that there is also support for external GPU using ASUS XG Mobile which is sold separately. The gaming performance of 1650 is decent for the price, as it is evident from CS-GO constantly pushing over 100fps at maximum possible graphics. For AAA titles it can handle but extensive gaming is not recommendable.
The dual fans and the metal liquid cooling systems keep it relatively cool.
The configuration of 1TB M.2 2230 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD is common for all the variants and the read-write speeds are acceptable as well.
The laptop has a dual speaker system. Compact yet the quality of the speakers is good. It is accredited to the fact that it has Smart Amp Technology, DAC, Dolby Atmos, AI noise-canceling technology, and Hi-Res certification. It is not the loudest but gets the job done.
This ROG machine has 62 WHr Quad cell Lithium-ion batteries. The laptop can deliver just average battery life. The lifesaver is the 100W of power delivery fast charger. It fills up the tank to 50% in just 13 minutes. It can charge at 100 Watts from either of the type C ports. Also, it can charge different devices which supports power delivery.
The laptop is compact and yet powerful. It can do all the things a normal Ultrabook or a 2 in 1 convertible could have done with extraordinary capabilities of gaming. At the base price of ₹ 1,09,990.00 at the time of writing this article, it is a tempting offer. Yet the lack of a good speaker and just acceptable battery life doesn’t feel right. Hence we hope Asus fixes these issues and come up with an even better machine next year.