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Asus ROG Flow X13 Review: High-Performance Laptop Reinvented
If you keep a keen eye on the high-end laptop market, you'll know there are two major types of devices. One is thin-and-light notebooks with compromised performance and bulky gaming laptops that do not compromise on performance but are difficult to carry around, and with compromised battery life.
- 4K resolution touch screen display
- High-performance Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU
- Supports external GPU
- Glossy display
Yes, high-performance laptops are getting thinner each passing year. However, they are nowhere near as thin as an ultrabook like the HP Spectre x360 or the Dell XPS 13. Asus has now come up with the ROG Flow X13, a one-of-a-kind high-performance laptop that is thin and lightweight.
I have tested the Asus ROG Flow X13 powered by the AMD Ryzen 5900HS CPU and the NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU for a few weeks, and here is the full review of this one-of-a-kind laptop. It has a dedicated GPU and you can make it even more powerful with an external GPU. Let's dive into the details.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Specifications
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
- Display: 13.4-inch IPS 3840 x 2400, 60Hz (Touch)
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1650 Max-Q
- Memory: 16GB LPDDR4x
- Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD
- Battery: Up to 10 hours (claimed)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
Asus ROG Flow X13 Design: Transformative
The Asus ROG Flow X13 weighs 1.3KG, which might feel a bit heavy when compared to other thin-and-light laptops from Dell or HP. However, do note that the Flow X13 has an integrated graphics card (GTX 1650 Max-Q) while most laptops in this class pack an integrated GPU, which is nowhere close to the GTX 1650 offers.
This is a 2-in-1 laptop, as the device has a 360-degree rotatable hinge, which means, the Asus ROG Flow X13 can be used as a tablet or a laptop. On top of that, the laptop also offers a full-sized USB-A port, USB Type-C port with USB-PD charging support, full-sized HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and ROG XG mobile interface.
The ROG XG mobile interface is a port that allows users to connect an external GPU, which can further enhance the performance of this machine. The external graphics card can be bought separately, which means, you can buy just the laptop and buy the additional graphics card later.
The chassis of the Asus ROG Flow X13 is made using metal and plastic, which has helped the brand to keep the weight under 1.3KG. Not just that, the brand has also not compromised on the connectivity options. On top of that, this is the AMD-CPU-powered laptop that offers Thunderbolt 3 connectivity to offer better data transmission between the laptop and the external GPU.
Asus has done some good R&D to design this laptop, which makes it one of the most practical thin-and-light laptops that don't hinder the performance of the machine for just being thin and light in weight. This is definitely a well-designed laptop that does not lose on practicality.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Display: Color Accurate High-Resolution Screen
Another feature that Asus has not compromised on the ROG Flow X13 is the display. The company has not only offering a color-accurate 13.4-inch display, but it is also a 4K panel with a native resolution of 3840 x 2400p with a 16:10 aspect ratio, protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass.
A few more must-know features of the display on the ROG Flow X13 include the Pentonecolor validated with 116 percent sRGB coverage and 86 and 85 percent, AdobeRGB, and DCI-P3 coverage. Simply put, the high-resolution WQUXGA display on the ROG Flow X13 does not compromise color accuracy and can be used for professional users like photo and video editors.
Like almost every laptop with a 4K display, the refresh rate on the ROG Flow X13 is locked at 60Hz, which might be a disappointment for gamers. However, this is a laptop that is meant for more than gaming, and one needs to make this compromise. If you are a hard-core FPS gamer, then there are a lot of laptops in this price range that offers 1080/1440p resolution with a higher refresh rate.
I watched videos, movies, and I also attended a few video conferences and I was amazed by the screen on the ROG Flow X13. Again, you can also game on this machine, just make sure to set the resolution at 1080/1440p for enjoyable gaming sessions with over 60fps.
Overall, this laptop has a great display, especially with touch support, which gives more options to the user. If you are someone, who regularly uses a tablet along with a laptop, then, the ROG Flow X13 can definitely replace your tablet.
Asus ROG Flow X13L Keyboard, Sound, And Trackpad
The keyboard and the ROG Flow X13 feel very tactile and give good key travel, where, it almost fell like a keyboard from a gaming laptop. On top of that, the keyboard is backlit, although it is a single color, which would impress the office goers. Lastly, the keyboard has features like N-Key rollover, which ensures that every key click is registered, which is useful while playing games, which might involve repeated key presses.
This tiny laptop packs some impressive speakers. They not only get loud, but they also offer a clear sound output with support for Dolby Atmos. So, no matter you use a headphone or the built-in speaker, the ROG Flow X13 will impress you while listening to music, watching movies/videos, and even while playing games, offering a surreal sound experience.
Last but not the least, the trackpad also works as expected for most use cases. If you are a gamer, then you already know that you need to get an external mouse, and this device has a USB-A port for that.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Performance: Shines From Inside Out
The Asus ROG Flow X13 is one of the first laptops in the country, powered by the AMD Ryzen 5000 mobile processor. To be exact, the laptop is based on the Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU, which offers eight CPU cores and sixteen CPU threads with a max boost clock speed of 4.6GHz.
The CPU is built on top of a 7nm FinFET processor, which makes it energy efficient. This Zen3 architecture-based CPU comes with a TDP of 35W and offers great performance on applications that uses single-core or multi-core CPU performance. The unit that I reviewed comes with 16GB LPDDR4x RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD, which helps with OS boot speed and app opening speed without any issue.
The built-in GTX 1650 GPU is an entry-level dedicated graphics card with 4GB video memory, capable of handling most games at 1080p with around 60fps. Again, if you want more graphical performance, you can always connect an external GPU with up to NVIDIA RTX 3080, which can even handle games at 4K resolution.
Coming to the benchmarks, the ROG Flow X13 posted 1477 points on single-core and 7675 points on multi-core CPU performance. To give you some context, the Ryzen 9 5900HS outperforms the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H in both single-core and multi-core performance by a huge margin.
On CPU-Z, the ROG Flow X13 posted 620.2 points on single-core and 5586.4 points on multi-core CPU performance. Lastly, on Cinebench R23, the laptop logged 1459 and 10214 points on single-core and multi-core CPU rendering tests, respectively. These numbers just reiterate the fact that the Ryzen 9 5900HS can offer similar performance to the 11th Gen H series Intel Tiger Lake processor.
Coming back to the gaming performance, the GTX 1650 offered solid 60-70fps on GTA: 5 at default graphics settings, albeit, at 1080p. This should give you an idea about what you can expect from the onboard graphics card on the ROG Flow X13. Again, you can always boost the graphics performance with an external GPU.
I Didn't Get To Test The XG Mobile Or The External GPU
The USP of the ROG Flow X13 is the XG Mobile, which is a fancy term for the external GPU. The XG Mobile is not just an external GPU, as it comes with multiple I/O options, and it can also directly power the laptop, without needing another charger.
The external GPU is definitely going to boost the graphics performance of the laptop. However, as of now, there is no information on how much graphics gain it offers and its drawbacks with continued usage.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Battery Life: Above Average
I don't expect much on the battery life front on a laptop with a dedicated GPU, as graphics cards are usually power hog, and we can only get the full performance with a power supply connected to the machine. The ROG Flow X13 doesn't disappoint on the battery life either, as the device can easily last for five to six hours with continuous non-gaming usage.
This is also the first laptop that we tested that comes with a 100W USB-PD Type-C charging adapter, which means, you can easily charge the ROG Flow X13 with most USB Type-C power delivery certified chargers with lower power rating. Overall, the ROG Flow X13 can last almost for a full working day on a single charge and might need a refill at the end of the day.
Verdict: Distinct And Practical
The Asus ROG Flow X13 starts at Rs. 1,19,990 and the model that we reviewed is priced at Rs. 1,39,990. Even if we keep the novelty factor aside, the ROG Flow X13 still feels like a laptop that offers a good value-for-money proposition, considering the 4K display with computing capabilities.
The company has not compromised on the basic features of the ROG Flow X13 just to make this device noteworthy, and that's what makes it a good device for almost all sorts of audiences. It could be a gaming laptop, a laptop to render videos, or even a laptop for coding or working on regular office tasks, the ROG Flo2 X13 does it all with ease.
If you are confused between a gaming laptop and a thin-and-light laptop, not knowing which one to pick, without making any major compromise, then, just go with the Asus ROG Flow X13, and you won't regret your decision.