The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is a Windows 11 tablet with a 13.4 inch display, a detachable backlit keyboard, and a 12th-gen Intel Core processor. But what this tablet unlike most is that’s it’s designed for gaming.
That Intel Alder Lake processor? It’s a 45-watt chip with up to 14 cores and 20 threads, and the notebook is also available with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti discrete GPU. You can also hook it up to an external GPU if you want even more graphics horsepower when gaming at home. First announced in January, the Asus ROG Flow Z13 is now available in the US for $1700 and up.
Newegg has the lowest price I’ve seen, with $1700 getting you a model with an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 1080p display with a 120 Hz refresh rate.
Office Depot is showing an $1800 price for a model with similar specs, but a higher-performance Core i9-12900H processor, but it’s currently out of stock. And Best Buy is selling a Core i9 model with 1TB of storage, and RTX 3050 Ti graphics for $1900.
Here’s a run-down of the gaming tablet’s key specs:
|Asus ROG Flow Z13 specs|
1920 x 1200 (120Hz) or
3840 x 2400 pixels (60 Hz)
Pen and finger touch input
|Processor||Intel Core i5-12500H|
Intel Core i7-12700H
Intel Core i9-12900H
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe|
NVIDIA RTX 3050
NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti
|Memory||Up to 16GB|
|Storage||Up to 1TB|
PCIe 4.0 NVMe
|Ports||1 x Thunderbolt 4|
1 x ROG XG Mobile (for eGPU)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSDXC card reader
Dolby Atmos sound
3.5mm headset jack
Backlit chicklet keyboard with RGB lighting
302 x 220 x 5.6mm (11.9″ x 8.7″ x 0.2″)
340 grams (12 ounces)
|Charging||100W USB Type-C power adapter|
|Tablet Dimensions||302 x 204 x 12mm (11.9″ x 8″ x 0.5″)|
|Tablet Weight||1.18 kg / 2.6 pounds (with NVIDIA graphics)|
1.12 kg /2.5 pounds (with integrated graphics)
Nothing makes sense in this product.
A tablet that has to rely on external add-ons for ‘full’ gaming power. Relative gaming power that is limited by all sorts of factors. Let’s not forget of course the prohibitive pricing and complete lack of practicality.
And we’re back to the whole idea driving this in this first place: why does this thing even exist?
I think it exists because college students exist. They want to play their games, but they’re really short on space (especially packing space as they have to move every year), they can’t do their coursework without a computer, and don’t really have the time to manage more than one computer. I would bet that college students are the biggest users of external GPUs in general. Yeah, it costs a lot, but maybe the idea was “what’s another thousand bucks in a $100,000 student loan”?
Some of those people think that tablets are cooler than laptops. It doesn’t matter why, exactly, but a lot of them strive to look and act more “futuristic” even at the cost of typing with the keyboard being significantly clumsier in some situations. I presume Asus’s marketing checked and determined there were enough of them. Besides, it was another use for their compact EGPU system they’d developed for their smaller laptops with 360 degree hinges which are more practical, but maybe not as “futuristic”.
There’s absolutely nothing that a tablet can supposedly do that a laptop doesn’t already take care of. Short on space is nothing new, but a tablet with addons isn’t a solution (sounds even more cumbersome than a decent laptop).
No, really, I don’t understand who thought this would be a viable idea.
A very expensive toy, albeit a technological tour de force — no, you can’t cram a high-end gaming machine into a tablet form factor very successfully, but if you’ve got $1800 to blow on satisfying your curiosity, the Asus ROG Flow Z13 is here. One such consumer observed that the RTX 3050 just isn’t up to snuff (even I know that it must be terribly passe, given the existence of RTX 3060, 3070, 3080, and 3090s), that the tablet is limited by the thermal demands of gaming, and that he could only get forty minutes out of the battery while doing so — many people are sure that batteries are about to provide just as much energy as they require.
I was planning on buying one of these tablets when they were first announced, but the pricing is just beyond silly.
Initially, I was annoyed about the proprietary connector for the eGPU, but I’m willing to ignore that now on the basis that it makes no difference compared to an internal GPU (it also has no ability to be repurposed easily). It’s now obvious to me that there isn’t any possible way to utilize the tablet’s own display with a universal Thunderbolt-connected eGPU, it would be limited to an external display.
However, I just can’t get past the pricing of this thing. I’m having a hard time finding any of these Asus XG Mobile GPUs for sale anywhere, but it seems a 3080 model goes for around $1500 for the GPU alone.
$1900 for an i9+3050ti is already absurd (I can find an i9+3080 gaming laptop for around $2000). Now add $1500 for a 3080, for a total of $3400. This combination is overpriced by around $1400 compared to a similar gaming laptop.
Of course, this isn’t a totally fair comparison. But when I assess the benefits this offers, it isn’t worth an extra $1400.
For $3400, I’d sooner buy a gaming laptop AND a tablet.
This connector also has significant mechanical issues. Its metal lugs tend to get stuck inside the laptop when uneven pressure is applied to the sides of a connector. Very soon I had to disassemble the laptop and cut them away to unplug the eGPU. This happened after some 5 uses of the laptop in tent mode.
There have been dozens of people reporting the same issue on internets.
Thanks for sharing that. That’s unfortunate.
I think this product exemplifies the limits of x86 computers better than any other laptop/tablet. The fact that an external GPU is needed at all to achieve this performance is an artifact of the inefficient nature of x86 architecture, and the unwillingness of PC component manufacturers to build products that fit this need.
It’s hard in 2022 to see Apple’s M1 lineup, and then look at Asus and their big pile of compromises to make something like this.