[CES 2022] ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is the gaming tablet you didn’t know you wanted
When it comes to gaming PCs, we are usually looking at the same old form factors year in, year out. A clamshell notebook here, a desktop gaming PC there. But once in a while, we get a few interesting takes on the idea. Last year, ROG explored the idea of a 2-in-1 convertible gaming laptop with the ROG Flow X13. This year, we have the ROG Flow Z13, a gaming tablet.
ROG Flow Z13 — what happens when the ROG Mothership hit the gym
Now, you might be inclined to consider the ROG Mothership as the actual first gaming tablet from ROG. Well, you won’t be wrong, but I do think tablets ought to be more portable than a regular gaming laptop. The ROG Mothership packs a strong punch, but it is far from being a mobile machine. Instead, I think it’s closer to a mini desktop AIO PC of sorts, sans the monitor stand. But, when the ROG Mothership loses a third of its weight and two-thirds of its girth, we have the ROG Flow Z13.
The ROG Flow Z13 tips the scales at just 1.1kg, and measures just 12mm thin, which makes it a really portable machine. You will not mistake it for any other tablet in the market though, with its overtly gamer-centric design. Aside from the aggressive lines on the back, there’s a little window complete with RGB lighting to give you a peek at the inner workings. And ASUS also equipped the ROG Flow Z13 with an anti-fingerprint coating to hide the fingerprints from your long sessions of caressing the sweet CNC-milled 6063 aluminum alloy body.
Over on the front, you have a 16:10 touchscreen panel that’s Pantone Validated and comes with support for Dolby Vision and Adaptive Sync. The 170° kickstand means that you can get optimal viewing angles, no matter where you use the ROG Flow Z13. And of course, with this being a gaming tablet by ROG, you get an Aura Sync-capable detachable keyboard, that can also double as a screen cover when you are on the go.
While it is portable enough for anyone to carry around everyday entire the ROG Flow Z13 is still insanely powerful. It comes with the Intel Core i9-12900H, and packs the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics. The design of the ROG Flow Z13 sees the hardware components placed behind the display, just like the ROG Mothership. And just like the ROG Mothership, the ROG Flow Z13 benefits from the enhanced airflow for cooling. ASUS also uses a vapor chamber cooling system for more effective cooling of the multiple heat sources, and also uses liquid metal for its CPU, optimizing the thermal transfer.
As with the ROG Flow X13 convertible, the ROG Flow Z13 also supports the XG Mobile ecosystem. This year, ASUS is adding the AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT GPU XG Mobile, which offers an option for gamers to go with AMD graphics, aside from the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 XG Mobile that was released last year along with the ROG Flow X13. I am not exactly sure how well will the trio of graphics drivers play with each other, considering that the ROG Flow Z13 has Intel integrated graphics, built-in NVIDIA discrete graphics and support for AMD external graphics… But hey, that’s probably something ASUS engineers have thought about long before us.
ROG Flow Z13 Specs
|Processor||Up to Intel Core i9-12900H|
|RAM||Up to 16GB LPDDR5-5200|
|Graphics||Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6, 35W TGP (40W with Dynamic Boost)|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD|
|Display||13″ 16:10 UHD (3840 x 2400) 60Hz display, Adaptive Sync, 85% DCI-P3, Pantone Validated, Dolby Vision
13″ 16:10 FHD (1920 x 1200) 120Hz display, Adaptive Sync, Pantone Validated, Dolby Vision support
1 x USB-C, DisplayPort Alt Mode
|Connectivity||WiFi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2
1 x Thunderbolt 4
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), 10Gbps
1 x USB 2.0
1 x microSD card reader
1 x 3.5mm combo audio jack
1 x XG Mobile Interface
|Dimensions||302.8 x 204.8 x 12 mm|
ROG XG Mobile Specs
|2021 ROG XG Mobile (GC31S/GC31R)||2022 ROG XG Mobile (GC32L)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU 16GB GDDR6, 150W TGP
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6, 125W TGP (140W with Dynamic Boost)
|AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT, 12GB GDDR6, up to 165W with ROG Boost|
|Input||ROG XG Mobile interface + USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C||ROG XG Mobile interface + USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C|
4 x USB 3.0
1 x HDMI 2.0a
1 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x SD card reader
4 x USB 3.0
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x SD card reader
|Power supply||Integrated 280W power adapter||Integrated 330W power adapter|
|Dimensions||208 x 155 x 29.6 mm||217 x 165 x 32.6 mm|
This new AMD version of the ROG XG Mobile is actually slightly different from last year’s model, with support for faster 2.5GbE LAN, as well as the more power hungry Radeon RX 6850 XT that can draw up to 165W. To support this, the power supply has also been upgraded to a 330W one, and the overall dimensions and weight has also increased slightly. The ROG XG Mobile interface is still kept the same, so owners of the older ROG Flow X13 can easily switch to this year’s ROG XG Mobile.
Updated ROG Flow X13 with Ryzen 6000 and GeForce RTX 30 series graphics!
Along with the ROG Flow Z13, ASUS also announced the updated ROG Flow X13, now featuring an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS and a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU. This is a pretty huge upgrade from last year’s AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS and GeForce GTX 1650! With the upgraded CPU, you also get support for faster PCIe 4.0 storage and LPDDR5-6400 memory, which should improve the overall user experience as well.
Pokdepinion: I think the ROG Flow Z13 is a great device, but I believe that an OLED display might have befitted its intentions as a premium ultraportable tablet better…