Ameya DalviJun 24, 2022 17:28:09 IST
Asus launched a highly unusual device in India this week, one that has been in the making for a few years now. Yes, we are talking about the Asus ROG Flow Z13. When a bunch of us techies were introduced to the product a few weeks ago, there wasn’t a common consensus about what category the product actually fit in. Some thought it was a tablet, some a laptop, some even called it a portable gaming console and a few thought it was impractical.
This may remind you of the blind men and the elephant story, but rest assured, we had our eyes wide open and also managed to closely observe the product from all angles. So why such a divided house, you ask? Well, it’s just the way the product has been designed. Either of those observations can be right, and at the same time, it probably doesn’t entirely fit into either of those categories in a traditional way. Enough of the suspense and it’s time for me to tell you everything about the key aspects of the product.
So what exactly is the ROG Flow Z13?
No, I am not opening the debate again! As Asus likes to put it, the ROG Flow Z13 is a detachable 2-in-1 gaming tablet. Detachable because the keyboard is detachable. 2-in-1 because it is a tablet and a gaming laptop rolled into one. I will break it down further. For starters, it runs Microsoft Windows 11 and not Android. Secondly, it hosts some pretty powerful hardware that I will touch upon in a subsequent section. But the design is a little unusual.
Think of it like a reverse laptop where the thin screen side stays horizontal, while the rest of the bulky body is placed vertically. You still have the screen in front of you in the usual vertical position with the processing hardware behind it, while you have an ultra flat keyboard on the table. There is a retractable stand behind the vertical part to support it. If it’s hard to imagine, we have ample images for you to check out. Asus claims that this reverse form factor provides much better airflow and cooling, and hence better performance.
How big and heavy is this device?
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is fairly compact for a laptop but quite bulky for a tablet. It is 12 mm in thickness and weighs close to 1.1 kg. Asus thinks it is a featherweight, but I am not sure about the kind of birds they have near their development centre. Add another 300 grams for the bundled 100 Watts adapter that supports fast charging and claims to juice up 50% of the Z13 battery in just 30 minutes.
What are the key specifications of the ROG Flow Z13?
The Z13 is powered by a 14-core Intel i9-12900H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU. You get 16 GB dual channel DDR5 RAM and 1 TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD. It has a 13.4-inch UltraHD+ IPS display with a resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels. The touchscreen display has a 60 Hz refresh rate and is compliant with Dolby Vision. It has a built-in 3-microphone array and 2 speakers with Smart Amplifier technology with Hi-Res certification and Dolby Atmos support.
Keeping it powered is a 56 WH 4-cell battery. As for wireless connectivity, you have dual-band WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. As you can see the machine is loaded to the brim. But in case you find the GPU underwhelming, you have an option of upgrading it to RTX 3080 using an external XG Mobile module. Think of it as an external graphics card that you need to pay extra for. You can also opt for an XG Mobile with AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT GPU.
Just like all 2022 ROG models, the Flow Z13 also features the MUX Switch that reduces in-game latencies and boosts performance by up to 10%. It also features two display options (both touch panels) – a 4K 60 Hz display with 85 per cent DCI-P3 coverage, or a Full HD 120 Hz screen with 100 per cent sRGB coverage.
What is the price of Asus ROG Flow Z13 in India?
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is priced at Rs 1,36,990 with a one-year warranty and is now available for purchase in online and offline stores.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 initial impressions summary
While the debate about the category to place it in will continue, I quite liked what I saw and the interesting approach Asus has taken to build it. It may be too bulky for a tablet and probably too expensive for a gaming laptop with an RTX 3050 Ti. But it gives you the option to use it as either, and the compliance with XG Mobile external GPUs can be a game changer. One can also look at it as a portable gaming PC if you have the money to spare.
There is definitely an X-factor in the way the Asus ROG Flow Z13 is built and that little transparent window at the back with LED lighting is bound to catch the eye of gamers. It surely isn’t a product for all, but then this is just the first of its kind at the moment. We are yet to see the best of this approach, and I hope Asus continues on this path longer.