When you think of Gaming Laptops you usually think of a machine that has some substantial size to it and although a lot of the machines we look at are relatively portable there is still nothing that comes close to the hybrid styles of the ROG Flow X13.
I say hybrid because this machine is like a transformer, it’s “more than meets the eye” and has the ability to undock from an external XG Mobile eGPU device and become what you would think is a standard laptop device that surprisingly still has some grunt.
Let’s start at the base machine,
ROG FLOW X13
This is a very portable machine with its ultra-slim design sporting a 13” screen on a 360 hinge essentially turning it into a tablet and making it feel more like a business device for presentations and the like. The big difference though is this one has been enhanced with the style of a typical ROG machine to give it that ultra gaming edge.
It has to be the only gaming machine I’ve seen that would easily slip into your bag and leave room for.. Everything else. All that and still be one of the most powerful machines on the market.
Although there is a good number of ports the placement of a majority on the right-hand side of the machine gives you a bit of grief if you have limited desk space and are right-handed. On a larger desk with more space to spread out, I didn’t find it to be an issue.
The vibrant screen with a high refresh rate makes it stand out for work and gaming and there’s a pretty standard webcam sitting above the display which is nice to see even if it’s only 720p. Some newer model laptops are doing away with webcams but for me, it’s still a necessity so I’d rather see a better resolution one but any is fine.
I’ve said it before and it proves me right every time but I just prefer it when ASUS uses Ryzen processors in their gaming machines. The ROG Flow is complete with an AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS 8-core, 16 threaded beauty, so it’s built for high performance even when it’s undocked from the XG mobile GPU.
The battery life is very impressive, you’ll get nearly 5 to 6 hours with standard work. If you are gaming you’ll want to plug it in with around a 2-hour limit. But that’s using a lot of power.
So it’s powerful enough to use as a production machine and other work on, even play most games.
But then you plug it into the XG Mobile eGPU and the game literally changes.
ROG XG MOBILE
This external graphics unit harnesses the power of a GeForce RTX™ 3080 GPU. the purpose build connection does away with the typical issues of bottleneck that you get from an external GPU and gives you up to 64 Gbps of bandwidth, with another 10Gbps reserved for USB link, allowing the external GPU to perform at its highest capacity.
The ASUS ROG X13 is a real technical marvel by a company that continues to lead the way in portable PC technologies.
Even though the device is available to buy without the external GPU I’d still recommend getting both as when it is fully docked it’s an absolute beast, and you’ll probably need to go out and get it later on anyway. You don’t see a lot of 13-inch gaming laptops, especially of this quality build and power. The machine feels more like a hybrid for gamers who also use their machine for work. Its extreme portability and versatility are major positives in the current work/life environment.