Asus ROG Flow Z13 Review: Portable but Expensive Gaming Tablet | Whuff News

Gaming laptop rarely shy away from introducing new and potentially innovative features. These range from ever-evolving display technology to second screens and new external graphics card unit (eGPU) solutions. Asus’ gaming sub-brand ROG has delved into all of these categories, but the latter is the focus here. It’s an interesting idea that offers mobile with the option to spend more to upgrade your slim device to the level of a fully gaming laptop.

ROG XG Mobile eGPU first appeared with the Asus ROG Flow X13—a super-thin clamshell laptop with the option to have gaming power boosted by an eGPU unit. ROG’s new kit takes this performance-enhancing idea even further, with the Flow Z13 becoming a rare complete 2-in-1 gaming tablet.

Asus has already made efforts to create a good Microsoft Surface Pro-like device with the VivoBook 13 Slate OLED, a machine that looks very similar to this one. However, it was ultimately too weak and too expensive to take on Microsoft’s 2-in-1 formula. The Z13 doesn’t make the same mistake. As a gaming device, the level of portability gained by being a tablet enhances this unique proposition.

Full of Promise

Photo: Asus

The tablet and keyboard combo weighs 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg), which isn’t as light as most thin laptops, but it’s impressive considering the specs under the hood. It’s also a device that invites you to remove the detachable keyboard (included in the price, unlike the Surface Pro machine), allowing you to easily put it away while you play on a separate gaming controller or keyboard. This is in contrast to many other non-gaming 2-in-1s that typically don’t justify themselves as stand-alone tablets. It feels like a truly portable gaming PC, something that cherry-picks the best bits from big high-powered laptops and Valve’s Steam Deck.

The ROG Flow Z13 doesn’t fully live up to its attractive form factor, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card is the reason. For a device so thin and relatively light, it’s hard to expect more horsepower than what’s on offer from that GPU, but, nevertheless, it limits the Z13’s overall potential and appeal.

But although the power offered by the RTX 3050 Ti, alongside the Intel Core i9-12900H chip, is far from titanic, it’s better if you’re a gamer with a greater focus on frame rate than graphic finesse. For titles in the latter category, such as Borderlands 3 and Ghost Recon: Breaking Pointyou’ll get 50 to 80 fps performance with the ‘Low’ setting on this machine’s 1080p 120-Hz display.

The Flow Z13 is also available in variants featuring lower-powered graphics and processors, as well as an option for a higher-resolution UHD+ display, but with a lower 60-Hz refresh rate. The results aren’t great, but for a thin device and the option to drop down to 720p for a few extra frames, it’s not all bad either.

Photo: Asus

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