When we hear ‘ROG,’ the immediate word that strikes in our mind is a beastly gaming machine. However, Asus has slightly deviated from its usual course and tried of applying a unique approach with the new ROG FLOW X13. This 2-in-1 convertible can be used not just to throttle heavy titles, but use it as a tablet to sketch a few doodles. Asus has installed AMD’s premium Ryzen 9 5900HS chipset and added an external graphics dock to sweeten the deal. The 4K 16:10 panel is another good aspect of this laptop. While the specs look stunning on paper, can the FLOW X13 live up to expectations when compared to its hefty price tag? We will find out in our review. Also Read - Best laptops for students and professionals under Rs 60,000 in India in September
Asus ROG Flow X13 price in India: Rs 1,19,990
Asus ROG Flow X13 specs:
Display- 13.4-inch WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) IPS display (60Hz refresh rate), 16:10 aspect ratio, 300 nits brightness, Pantone validated | Processor- AMD Ryzen 5900HS | GPU- AMD Radeon integrated graphics, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q | RAM, storage- 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 1TB 2230 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD Also Read - Best affordable gaming laptops in India in September 2021 from Asus, MSI, HP and more
Pros Cons Also Read - Best laptops under Rs 50,000 for work or studies in India in September 2021
Sturdy build, compact design Average battery life
Vibrant 16:10 display GPU limitation
Chiclet keyboard Limited ports
Asus ROG FLOW X13 features a subtle design and unlike its older siblings, it doesn’t have the robust ROG emblem but a small metal nameplate with the branding inscribed at the bottom of the lid. The in-house Gravity Wave pattern is prominent on the magnesium alloy chassis. Compared to other ROG laptops, the ROG FLOW X13 has a smaller footprint. The ultraportable 2-1in-laptop is compact and has 360-degree hinges that allow the display to be used in tablet mode. The exhaust vents are placed next to the hinges and one on the right edge.
Coming to the ports, Asus has left limited options on the 2-in-1 ROG laptop. The HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack, ROG XG Mobile Interface (for external GPU dock) are flanked on the left side. There are three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports- a USB-A, and two USB-C ports for DisplayPort and power delivery. The power key is flushed with the body on the right edge with an M.2 SSD port alongside. The design feels polished if not premium, and despite the obtruded exhausts and vents, the lightweight just adds to the advantage of carrying it around and putting it on lappy for casual work (provided it’s not docked on the power socket).
The 15-inch chiclet keyboard layout delivers a smooth typing experience. The keys have tactile feedback. It’s a backlit keyboard that although doesn’t have RGB lighting (only white) but to keep users happy Asus has added a brightness level adjustment option that you can play around with. The keyboard feels solid even though with the short travel I often found myself hitting on the Caps Lock and Shift key more than I wanted it.
Nevertheless, the keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience and is ideal for users like me whose day mostly ends up in typing dozens of articles, emails, and texts on social networks. Speaking of the trackpad, the huge layout onto a small chassis does make it an unnecessary affair altogether. The trackpad’s surface is smooth and has support for Windows Precision drivers for precise tracking. The touchpad is quite responsive, however, the smoothness can be a minor fly in the ointment if your fingers are greasy.
Asus ROG FLOW X13 has a 13.4-inch 16:10 panel. The display comes with a resolution of 3840×2400 pixels and a pixel density of 338 ppi. It’s a 4K panel and even with a narrow 63.9 percent DCI-P3 colour gamut, the colours on the display pop-up vibrant and crisp. Moving on, the display offers a variable refresh rate between 4K and FHD+ 120Hz.
Asus claims that this ultraportable laptop has a rich colour calibrated Pantone validated panel. The colour reproduction is decent and would mostly fall under the liking of those who are into creative work. Having said that, the ROG FLOW X13 feature a touchscreen panel that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The display support Asus Pen which offers 1,024 pressure points. While the display is vibrant and the capacitive touch is responsive, one of the caveats is the glossy surface that tends to cause reflections on the panel. But overall, the display’s punchy colours levitates the gaming experience, and it is great for watching movies too.
Coming to the core part, the performance of this versatile 2-in-1 machine, the Asus ROG Flow X13 laptop is treated similar to those gaming beasts in the ROG series. Asus has equipped AMD’s high-end Ryzen 9 5900HS at the heart of the FlowX13 notebook. It’s a powerful 8-core, 16-thread processor and has a 4.6GHz maximum boost clock. Our test unit came with 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 1TB 2230 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD. The power-packed GPU is paired with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GPU for enhanced performance.
Speaking of the benchmark tests, the Flow X13 managed to earn a 6678 CPU score and 1112 graphics core in the 3D Mark Time Spy test. On the 3D Mark Wild Life test, the laptop scored 5856 points. While running PC Mark 10 it gave a score of 5809 points. As for Cinebench R20, the Flow X13 showed a CPU score of 4063 points. Going by the benchmark tests, the Asus laptop managed to achieve good results throughout. As for the real-world performance, I ran Valorant, Apex Legends, and GTA 5. While running Apex Legends, the Flow X13’s frame rates stick to 20fps at 4K, while GTA 5 reached 35fps at 1080p. Throughout the test, I didn’t observe any stutter, however, GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU has its limitations and it becomes visible when you play high-frame-rate modern games at 4K.
That said, the graphics card reaches its limit while running new titles. ASUS’ XG Mobile eGPU dock comes in as a rescue in this regard enabling access to an external graphics card on the laptop and levitate the gaming performance. But, unfortunately, due to the lack of eGPU dock’s availability, we only got the 2-in-portable machine and had to reconcile with the limited components. Nonetheless, the Flow X13 delivers neat performance, and the virtual Dolby Atmos-powered 5.1.2-channel surround sound boost the experience.
The Asus ROG FLOW X13 ships with a 62Whr battery. The battery life isn’t that great as that of its core performance. When gaming for around 45 minutes, the battery dipped to nearly half the amount. Although the notebook is rated for 10 hours of backup, in the real-life scenario it could last for about 6 hours with intensive activities.
However, it wasn’t the same case with mundane tasks. While using word press, keeping several tabs open in the web browser, editing photos, and working on MS tools, I could more than five hours worth of juice in a day. But, the backup will no doubt vary depending on the kind of tasks you would run on the laptop.
The Asus ROG FLOW X13 is a versatile laptop that caters to a variety of users. The powerful CPU, a punchy 4K panel, solid build and decent audio quality makes it an ideal package for most users who want a 2-in-1 combo. However, there are a few areas, the Asus laptop falls short, for instance, the battery life, low-powered graphics card, and the smudgy keyboard. Besides you can’t take advantage of the 4K panel to its full potential while gaming and rather compromise at 1080p resolution.
The AMD Ryzen CPU, no doubt helps the notebook get the lightning speed badge, but the GPU’s limitation brings the question of whether the machine is suitable for hard-core gamers. Well with the proprietary eGPU dock makes it a potent combo for gaming, but it’s an expensive deal. For those looking for mainstream gaming laptops, there are better options available out there in the market. But if you are a creative professional or a casual gamer who is looking for a compact, neatly-designed convertible, then you can pick this ROG laptop.