Asus ROG has always been at the top of its game when it comes to gaming devices. But this one is a tad bit different.
As the name suggests, it is a 13-inch slab of beauty. Clad in an all-black exterior made of aluminium, magnesium and plastic, the ROG Flow X13 is a convertible that lingers between subtle and aggressive. It weighs just 1.4Kgs but the build quality is top-notch and the unit feels sturdy and quite strong for what it is. The display area has little to no flex and even the keyboard base feels well built and doesn’t have any sort of unwanted ‘play’ when you type.
The Flow X13 can be had in a FullHD 120Hz display or a 4K 60Hz panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio. We got the 4K panel and at 338ppi it is as sharp as a samurai’s sword. The colours are rich and vibrant but the gloss finish may cause an issue if you use it on your balcony when the sun is out in all its glory.
Cramming AMD’s 5980HS in this form factor sure is an engineering masterstroke, but it’s Asus we’re talking about here. It’s clearly meant for work and while the base speed is 3.3Ghz, you can ramp it up to a cool (actually literally hot) 4.8Ghz! What that means is that it destroys some of the competitors out there in the market when it comes to sheer processing performance and it can handle anything you throw at it with the grace of an Olympic Figure Skater.
The chipset and the Nvidia GTX 1650 Max-Q can churn out a decent gaming performance, however, the external display dock with an RTX 3080 (₹1,39,990) makes it a lethal combination albeit a very expensive one. But not only is this combination a rare find in the market today, but also power-packed (quite literally too as it has its own 280W power supply built-in. It also offers additional connectivity that includes an ethernet port, multiple USB slots and an SD card reader! Frame rates are as expected from an RTX 3080 - we got 100+fps in Shadow of The Tomb Raider at 1440p. Everything we threw at it was handled with ease and there were no alarming heat issues either.
The rest of the flow
Battery life is a claimed 18 hours but in real-time usage we clocked less than 10 hours. There is fast charging though which juices the device up to 75% in about 45-50 minutes and a full charge is reached within an hour and fifteen minutes. The keyboard is what you’d typically expect from Asus. It has great feedback and has a discreet white backlight.
It is probably one of the best Laptop+External GPU combos available on the market today and the lightweight and slick form factor makes it really desirable. Yes, you will be paying big money for the external GPU making it a total crossing a cool ₹2,64,990! Is it worth it? That totally depends on you and your use case scenario and the price you are willing to pay for the convenience.