ASUS ‘ROG Flow Z13 is a gaming tablet with NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti

After delivering an ambitious gaming convertible notebook, the slim ROG Flow X13, last year, ASUS is moving forward in that concept with the Flow Z13 tablet. Think of it as an advanced Surface Pro: the Z13 has Intel’s new 12th generation processors and up to NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti, all in a sleek table. Weighing in at 2.43 pounds, it is clearly not intended to replace smaller tablets like the iPad. Instead, ASUS sees it as a way to take your PC games everywhere – say on a cramped airplane tray table – without a large amount of laptops.

Gallery: ASUS ROG Flow Z13 | 12 photos

Like the ROG Flow X13, the Z13 can be paired with an ASUS XG Mobile external GPU, which supports up to AMD’s Radeon RX 6850M in addition to NVIDIA’s mobile RTX 30 series. That eGPU still relies on a custom PCIe connection, which can reach up to 63 Gbps of graphics throughput, making it more capable than a 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 4. I was wary of XG Mobile last year, given how expensive and bad eGPUs were. And that was before we found out it would cost $ 1,500 with $ 3,080, and that it wasn’t even nearly as fast as the reviewers would have liked. At the very least, the Z13 promises to be better than the X13 with its built-in hardware, so an eGPU might be unnecessary.

Personally, the Z13 is exactly what you would expect a ROG gaming laptop to look like. The ASUS review unit sent for me to borrow felt thick and firm, surprisingly due to its thickness of 12 millimeters. Unlike the iPad and other tablets, it seems strong enough to survive a trip in a backpack without a protective case. On the front, you could easily replace it with a notebook. On the sides and back, however, it looks more like a Super Surface, with a flexible stand and keyboard cover.

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Unfortunately, I could not run any game and benchmark on ROG Z13. (I bet ASUS software and drivers aren’t ready for serious testing yet.) But I could see why that might be convincing: the RTX 3050 Ti in a machine of this size would be a dream trip (at least when it’s safe again) ). And its 13-inch 4K screen was perfectly good for productive tasks (there’s also a 1080p 120Hz option). However, given its size, the Z13 was too heavy to use as a standard tablet. It’s also nowhere near as “noticeable” as Surface Pro devices; it’s just too heavy to stay in place while you type.

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 keyboard

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

ASUS is credited with actually including a keyboard case with the Z13, something Microsoft still refuses to do with the Surface Pro. And the typing experience is actually quite decent, as long as the Z13 is firmly placed on a flat surface. I’ve seen that it’s a solid option for casual gaming, but the WASD inputs don’t work nearly as sensitive as a basic desktop gaming keyboard. Basically, if you expect to compete while using the Z13, plan to bring a separate keyboard with you.

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Naveen Kumar

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