rog flow z13 The Best Gaming Laptop is a…TABLET?

good people i hope you remember this the rog flow x13 it was a device that took everything about portable gaming to a whole new level by introducing an ecosystem it was a thin and light two-in-one laptop that had really good battery life and specs and if you were craving for desktop class performance you were able to achieve that by plugging something like the xg mobile dock with an rtx 8080 and it was just a unique product that was done right however i was a bit skeptical about the support for this ecosystem because the one question that always boggled my mind was would asus continue to roll out new products to keep up with the latest hardware with this proprietary external docking solution well um they sure did prove me wrong my friends because what i have in front of me is the next step towards that ultimate portable gaming setup folks meet the flow z13 it’s a tablet more specifically a gaming tablet running windows with some insane specs it’s got intel’s 12 gen all the lake cpus an rtx gpu a faster screen and it’s 12 millimeters thin like do you realize how much power that’s sitting inside this beast it’s absolutely insane now coming to think of it i would classify this as the gaming version of the microsoft surface pro 8 because you know it’s got the kickstand in it kind of you know looks like one to be honest aside from the looks but we’ll talk about that later now i’ve been using this thing for a few weeks and let me tell you it’s awesome but there are some quirks that you need to know about and i hope by the end of this video you’ll get a clear picture as to who this thing is catered towards now before i get into the specs of the flow z13 i do want to quickly mention that asus has refreshed the flow x13 with amd’s new ryzen 9 6900hs cpu and an rtx 3050 ti that’s a pretty good spec refresh compared to last year’s model that only featured a gtx 1650 other than that it’s basically the same chassis offering the same set of features the z13 on the other hand is a completely different animal it starts at 1500 and that gets you a core i5 12500h with four performance cores and eight efficiency cores for a total of 16 threads 16 gigabytes of lpddr5 memory and 5200 megahertz half a terabyte of storage and integrated graphics according to asus this q will only be available in north america much later in the year the next tier costs an extra 300 and that bumps up the cpu to an i7 12700h with more threads and an rtx 3050.

You can only pre-order this skew at the moment and the sample that i have over here cost a little shy of 2gs and asus went all out by throwing in a core i9 12900h twice the storage capacity and an rtx 3050 ti the good news is that you can actually buy this right now from best buy now one thing to note is that all these skus will share the same 13.4 inch 1200 p 120 hertz display but more on that later and for those of you wondering about the xg mobile let me just tell you this external gpu dock is incredibly hard to find it still costs 1500 for the rtx 8080 and if you want to go team red rog has actually launched a newer model this year with the radeon rx 6850m xd gpu with 12 gigabytes of vram for a hundred dollars less it’s always refreshing to see some amd love uh but if you asked me about availability all i could say is um good luck finding one my friends so now that you know how much these things cost what’s it like to use it every single day well let me start off with the exterior design and handling they’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the rog mothership that was launched a few years ago and gave it a bit of a modern touch rog is calling it retro futurism which inherits the sci-fi and spacecraft beams and it looks unique the entire chassis is made out of cnc milled aluminum with a few easter eggs sprinkled here and there for instance the o6 vent cutouts over here signify the year that rg was established and if you take a look at the numbers over here by the kickstand 18 1507 is the numeric representation of rog and these coordinates right by the transparent window directs you to their main headquarters in taipei now speaking of this window it’s a cool design choice that peaks straight into the main board that’s powering this entire tablet plus it’s led lit by rgbs and you can play around with the effects to armory crate but personally i think it’s a little bit too much especially when you compare to the flow x13 it just loses that stealth and discrete vibe it’s certainly gonna draw a lot of

attention when you’re using this thing at a coffee shop or let alone just sitting in class i’m not really into it but i’m sure a lot of people will love this theme but i am a bit concerned about this window though because if it breaks stuff could get in and that could potentially lead to a disaster in terms of handling i would give this a 6 out of 10 because it is quite chunky for a tablet weighing in at 2.6 pounds or 1.8 kilos and to give you a little bit of context the microsoft surface pro 8 is almost 28 lighter than the z13 it’s a lot thinner too the surface pro is also more comfortable to hold in the hand due to the smooth edges compared to the squared off and aggressive design on the z13 again this is when you use this thing in tablet mode and you also have to realize that the specs packed inside this device is just way more powerful compared to the pro 8 but if you choose to use it in desktop mode with the kickstand the weight factor just fades away now speaking of the kickstand it can tilt all the way up to 170 degrees and there is a subtle red tab that makes it easier to open which is pretty cool now while i’m using this thing in tablet mode i might as well just talk about the display now asus has given it a 16 by 10 aspect ratio screen that spans across 13.

4 inches and it’s great it’s an ips panel that’s very similar to the rog zephyrs g14 with the exception of the resolution since it’s 1200p versus quad hd plus but i’m not complaining because i scaled it to 100 by default and given that it’s a touch screen every input works just as it should and it’s pretty flawless i can’t really complain about it now it also has stylus support so you could use something like this to expand your creative skills the color reproduction though is not on par with some of the other phenolite laptops or even the surface pro 8.

As you can see it only covers 100 srgb 75 adobe rgb and 78 p3 it’s not bad or really good it’s just good enough for streaming maybe a little bit of content creation and definitely you can get away with gaming because it’s got 120 hertz refresh rate which is awesome plus the sustainable peak brightness level is excellent our unit was able to get over 500 nits which i’m sure is a godsend when you’re using this thing outdoors for everyday tasks now asus is also offering a 4k option for this tablet but they would only bundle it with the rtx 3080 gpu dock for 3 300 that’s a lot of money people but you know what won’t cost you that much checking out today’s video sponsor yep you didn’t see that coming did you the view is spectacular indeed with the corsair xenion monitor 32 inches of gorgeous goodness with 165hz refresh rate qhd resolution and plenty of streamer friendly features including iq support for osd so you can enjoy your screen with zero that pixel guarantee check it out below all right so let’s talk about some of the other things that come attached to this tablet like the power button for instance it’s located on the right hand side which also doubles as a fingerprint reader unfortunately there is no support for windows hello like the surface pro 8 so if you want a quicker method of logging into the device this is the only option and it works really well i had no issues with accuracy but the sleep wake timings are not as fast as i expected the volume marker is located underneath is well defined and it adjusts the volume in two-step increments the included 100 watt power adapter is pretty compact and it charges the tablet via usb type c it also supports fast charge so it can juice up the battery from 0 to 50 in just 30 minutes which is pretty cool and the cherry on top of that is the rgb leds that are right underneath the transparent window showcase that feature of it charging which is also really nice now i have to give credit to asus for including the keyboard cover with the z13 unlike the surface pro 8.

fun fact this whole setup that i have over here costs hundreds of dollars less than that device but regardless you are getting an alcantara material in black which is very soft to handle and type with but it does pick up lint and all sorts of debris uh easily so you have to pay extra attention to keep it clean it also borrows a few other trades from the microsoft surface type cover by using the magnetic pin port that just simply snaps onto the bottom of the tablet and you can also angle the keyboard for a better type of experience now i would be extra careful when detaching this tablet since i cracked the edges holding the pins for the keyboard so now every single time when i turn on the device from sleep mode the keyboard wouldn’t really respond i would have to detach it and then attach it back again for it to work so yeah just uh just a word of caution my friends the keyboard layout is pretty standard and the switches offer great travel with satisfying feedback when you bottom out they’ve also managed to include rgb lighting and it looks pretty sweet keep in mind that the lighting system is linked to the transparent window leds so that means that you won’t be able to adjust the lighting separately the trackpad is great it’s using a glass surface so navigation is super smooth it’s literally the exact same feel as the surface trackpad including the well-defined primary left and right buttons the surface area is too small in my opinion though but that’s because if you know me i’m so used to bigger track pads this one just feels a bit too small but big hand problems man this is what the webcam looks like it is a 720p sensor so don’t expect the greatest quality compared to the microsoft surface pro 8.

now i keep making these comparisons because both these tablets are pretty much in the same category except one is just way too powerful and specifically meant for gaming compared to the other one which is more of a productivity device but you know you get the idea of what i’m talking about the microphone sounds pretty good i have enabled ai noise cancellation through armory crate and i do have a mechanical keyboard right over here and as i’m typing you can tell that it does a really good job at isolating background noise so if you’re in a business meeting or anything like that this feature will come in super handy the speakers are okay the trebles are good but there’s just no bass whatsoever so just keep your expectations low the port setup on this tablet is actually limited but that’s to be expected for a device of this form factor on the left hand side there is a thunderbolt 4 type c port and a silicon cover hiding the proprietary jack for the xg mobile dock but if you look closely there is a type c port that can also be accessed without the dock so that’s two in total now this silicone cover can easily be misplaced so watch out for that switching over to the right hand side there is a full-size usb type-a port but guess what it’s 2.0 that’s right a 2.0 port on a 2022 device now i don’t know if asus is trolling us or if this is just an engineering limitation uh but i was just really perplexed when i discovered this the built-in deck on the other hand is pretty solid personally i do find it a bit too bass heavy but i do know a lot of people prefer that kind of style uh there is also a micro sd card slot hidden underneath the kickstand which i think is a generous uh feature for expanding your storage and now keep in mind that this is a tablet and not a laptop so upgradability is very limited the only user upgradable option or component is the m.222 30 nvme ssd everything else is soldered onto the pcb including the memory and the drive speeds are really fast you are getting over three gigabytes per second both read and write performance which is much faster than the surface pro 8.

When it comes to battery life the cards are stacked against the set 13. first of all it’s got the smallest battery capacity here at just 56 watt hours and it also packs other lake an architecture that hasn’t been known for its overall efficiency so far so it ends up dead last in this test and a good hour and a half behind the flow x13 but if you think about this in a bit of a larger context seven and a half hours should still give you enough for a day worth of use but i just wish asus had found a way to cram a bigger battery into this thing and you can really see how the z13 suffers when you hit this with a heavier load at under an hour you’re really going to want to keep it plugged if you’re doing anything other than just document work or web browsing all right i think it’s time to discuss the performance coming out of this 12 millimeter gaming tablet i mean it’s rocking a high-end ultra lake processor and it even has a discrete gpu there’s just a lot of stuff crammed inside this small piece or inside the small space and that usually means some sacrifices somewhere right well let’s take a look at how asus has addressed this with their three power modes both turbo and performance act pretty similar in their behavior except one levels out at 50 watts while the other

runs the 12 900h at just 37 watts which is actually below intel’s base power now this really makes me wonder why asus didn’t just use intel’s all the lake p series here especially when you consider their pl2 phase only lasts for about five seconds instead of the usual 20 to 30 seconds and then there’s silent and while it’s meant to be super quiet and efficient the cpu’s performance gets completely kneecapped and it ends up running at just 14 watts you can see how this affects frequencies too and remember we’re taking an average of the p and e course here even then under an all-core load the p and cores barely hit a hundred megahertz above intel’s base clock in performance mode i mean using the below base power while getting higher than base frequencies does point to asus doing some cpu tuning but i really wish there was a bit of a higher setting for the 12900h anyways turbo is quite a bit better overall and if you look at silent well that’s just so low you’ll never want to do any intensive work with it enabled since the performance will probably be a lot worse than a low end budget laptop but there’s some really really good news here too and that’s the cooling system in every single mode temperatures are incredibly well managed they’re actually so good that i wish that asus had taken this thermal headroom and allowed the z13 to run at a bit higher power levels i mean i would have been totally okay with temps in the high 70s if it meant more

cpu performance so that’s how the processor is handled but remember there’s also an rtx 3050 ti packed into here as well and here at least the gpu is actually running a bit above nvidia’s baseline power of 35 watts with both performance and turbo hitting a consistent 40 watts average and if you look at silent well it’s not as bad as it was with the cpu but look you won’t get much performance out of any gpu running at just 26 watts gpu speeds are pretty much consistent with the input power but there’s something interesting going on here it looks like despite performance turbo modes sucking down the same amount of juice turbo is able to hit a bit more higher frequencies through the entire test i mean it’s just 50 to 80 megahertz most of the time but there’s definitely something causing it and you can see exactly what’s causing that slight increase too it looks like nvidia’s boost algorithms can take advantage of performance mode operating at a bit lower temperature since it’s running a few degrees hotter than turbo but look hot is a relative term here since the rtx 3050 ti runs super cool in every mode i’m a bit surprised by how low the temperatures were but maybe i shouldn’t because we did see something similar with the microsoft surface pro 8.

let me explain what’s going on here with some thermal shots i think the best way to describe this is to say these tablet-style laptops take advantage of the basic law of thermodynamics in other words heat rises with fresh air intakes positioned at the bottom and hot air being exhausted out the top airflow is super straightforward the vertical flow stack is a lot better managed than the horizontal layout of a standard laptop and the other nice thing about this layout is all the hot air is completely separated from your typing surface you can actually see this with the acoustic performance as well a more natural vertical airflow direction allows asus to run their fans at relatively low levels while still getting more than enough fresh air to the internal heatsinks i mean other than in silent mode this thing isn’t completely silent by any stretch of the imagination but it’s too far from loud too and that’s really impressive when you consider the temperatures alright so with that out of the way i think it’s time to start talking about performance but like i always do lately i need to set the stage a bit and that’s because the specs of laptops are starting to matter less and less these days because the amount of power being pushed to components has more of an impact than higher end hardware so let’s take a look at all the devices that you’re going to be seeing in our results first of all the z13 has almost identical power specs as last year’s flow x13 technically that should make for an interesting comparison between the 12900h and the 5900hs when both are used in a low power environment the same thing goes for the rtx 3050 ti and gtx 1650.

The other thing i need to point out is that both flows are completely going to be outclassed by any other gaming laptop we’ve tested when it comes to in-game frame rates that’s where the external gpu dock comes into the equation and hopefully those will allow for a bit more level playing field against similarly priced devices so starting off with cinebench and i want to mention right away that anything you see in these charts with the red bar is the flow z13 while the x13 uses a darker blue here and right away you can see that even though it has a lower power envelope the all the lake architecture really loves this benchmark that means the z13 is pretty competitive overall the single core results show about the same thing too and that should translate into pretty good frame rates in cpu limited games the rest of the real world benchmarks are pretty straightforward the lower

input power results in the z13 trading blows with the x13 sometimes it wins sometimes it doesn’t it really depends on the test but in general it loses by a pretty big amount against larger laptops that are running their processors and higher power levels i mean look the blade 15’s 1290h is chewing down only 8 watts more and while that might not sound like much it makes a world of a difference for overall performance especially in longer tests like maya moving on to premiere and this is where intel’s processors really do shine but the rtx 3050 ti ends up holding back performance in a big way but that’s where the external dock comes into the equation it turns a pretty good overall result into one that’s pretty amazing the only issue here is the performance increase isn’t as much as it could have been because intel’s integrated graphics isn’t being used anymore for secondary encoding tasks the same thing goes for resolve without that dock installed the time it takes to render our test is actually worse than the x13 and when you add the dock things just change completely for the flow series i would actually really

recommend getting this thing if you’re a creator while the flow z13 itself is pretty decent in nles the xg mobile turns it into a beast for renders the gaming results need a bit of an explanation too since there’s gonna be a whole lot going on here now just to make things easier for you guys the z13 with and without the mobile dock will be in red while the older x13 frame rates will be in orange now what you’ll also see is that the flows without the dock are on a whole different level and yet overall the gaming results pretty much speak for themselves the z13 has the capability to be one of the absolute fastest gaming tablets on the planet when paired up with the xg mobile station and sure there are some situations where the lower wattage processor holds frame rates back a bit but in most situations you’re going to see a performance that’s triple or even close to four times of what you get with the tablet alone now where this lies in relation to the blade 15 really goes to show how important it is to pay attention to gpu wattage when buying a laptop too so final thoughts on the flow z13 there’s a lot to like about this tablet it’s got a really bright and fast display it’s super portable and the performance is just really good although the 12mm h inside this thing isn’t just being utilized to its complete potential and i think that’s the problem because you’re not sacrificing a bit on battery life and because this is geared towards portability you just have to make sure that you’re

closer to an outlet often when you’re running intensive tasks on this machine and i gotta be honest this design is just way too much guys it’s a cool showcase piece but in reality would you really consider carrying this let me know in the comments if you’re on the same boat as i am and if you’re not then that’s completely okay personally if i were to choose between this or the flow x13 i would hands-down pick the x13 all day any day because of the power efficiency and performance that you get with ryzen cpus because that’s just amazing and i do like the stealth vibe that i get with that device and it just makes more sense when you paired with the xg mobile asus hats off once again for creating something really cool but i just wouldn’t go out and buy one you know on that note thank you so much for watching i hope you’re able to take away everything that you needed to know about the rog flow z13 let me know what you guys think about it in the comments i’m ebay with howard canucks thank you so much for watching and i’ll talk to you guys in the next one oh and before i forget spend responsibly

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