The ASUS Republic of Gamers brand is usually associated primarily with gaming. But, with the introduction of the ASUS ROG Flow line, it became clear that the company wants to offer users the most versatile powerful devices suitable for both gaming and work, and at the same time compact, comfortable and lightweight. The ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302) is just such a transformer ultrabook. It can be called the ultimate solution among ultra-compact models: it has incredible performance within its format, a versatile form factor, and a superb quality 13.4-inch display with high brightness and a 165Hz refresh rate. In addition, the laptop proved to be very durable in terms of battery life, and it has a great comfortable keyboard and touchpad. Overall, the ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 turned out to be an extremely interesting and pleasant laptop to use, and you don't want to find fault with it. Moreover, it has no significant flaws. It is only worth mentioning the almost zero upgrade options and the high price, which was quite expected, given the capabilities.
A flagship 13.4-inch ultra-compact convertible laptop with a bright 165 Hz IPS display, a top AMD Ryzen processor, 32 GB of RAM, a fast 1 TB SSD, a discrete GeForce RTX 4070 video card. It has a very comfortable keyboard and touchpad, it works full-time on a single charge day
ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 has a number of different configurations and bundles. The top configuration came to us, but this year without the external ROG XG Mobile graphics card. The kit comes in a large black box. Some accessories are in an external box, and the ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302) itself is in a smaller box with a very interesting look. In general, there is also a 130W Type-C power supply, a power cable, a ROG Flow Sleeve for the laptop, a case for an external graphics card (if the owner decides to upgrade the laptop with XG Mobile with RTX 4090), a ROG Impact mouse, an ASUS Pen 2.0 stylus with a short charging cable and interchangeable tips, and all the necessary documentation.
The case looks interesting and has soft inserts for safer transportation:
What about the look and feel of the ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302)?
A couple of years ago, we reviewed the first generation ASUS ROG Flow X13. In general, the updated model has a similar style, but quite a few elements have changed. This is an ultra-compact and lightweight laptop-transformer with a 360° rotating lid. The body is black and made of aluminium and magnesium alloy. The entire top lid has a diagonal wavy texture and a very nice matte finish. Compared to the first model, the waves are less prominent and slightly wider. There is a diagonal Republic of Gamers inscription in the middle of the lid, and a small triangle with the ROG logo in the lower left corner, which shimmers in different colours at different angles. It looks very stylish and restrained. Traditionally for the Flow line, the laptop does not have any RGB backlighting, which we are used to seeing in gaming models. The working surface also has a raised texture and a matte finish. The only decorative elements are the barely noticeable ROG logo on the right below the keyboard.
Considering the compact size of the laptop, the set of connectors is very good. On the left side there is HDMI 2.1 (discrete video card), a microSD (UHS-II) card slot, a combined audio jack and the proprietary XG Mobile Connector under a rubber cover. It includes a proprietary PCIe 3.0 x8 with 63Gbps bandwidth and USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2, which also supports 130W Power Delivery and Display Port 1.4 with G-Sync (also works with discrete graphics).
On the right are the power button with indicator, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A, and USB Type-C 4.0 (40 Gbps) with Display Port 1.4 (integrated graphics) and 130W Power Delivery, as well as ventilation holes:
On the front edge is a traditional lid lift cutout. On the back there are two hinges with small decorative engravings and a large number of ventilation holes.
ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302) is a transformer with a touchscreen display, so the entire panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DXC. The bezels around the display are thin, and the FullHD webcam and microphones are located in their usual places. They are complemented by a progress bar and an infrared camera for owner identification. The laptop does not have a fingerprint scanner.
The bottom of the laptop is quite standard: rubber feet, ventilation holes above two cooling fans, stereo speakers that are slightly angled to the surface, and screws that secure the bottom lid. It's not difficult to remove, but there's not much point in doing so. This is an ultrabook, so the upgrade options are minimal. The RAM is soldered on the board, and only the network adapter and the M.2 2230 SSD drive are accessible. The 16-inch ROG Flow X16 has room for an additional SSD. The ASUS ROG Flow X13 does not have room for it.
The ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302) looks great and is well-made. Nothing wobbles, the lids hardly bend. The laptop is very compact: 299x212x18.7 mm, and it weighs only 1.3 kg, which is especially impressive considering what's inside.
How comfortable is ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302) to use?
ASUS ROG Flow X13 has a dual-hinge design that allows the display unit to rotate 360°. The hinges allow you to open the laptop with one hand and hold the display well in position. It hardly shakes when accidentally bumped and does not change position when you make sudden movements (for example, when moving).
The laptop can be used in a variety of positions: presentation mode, tablet mode, and tent mode. Presentation mode, for example, is very convenient when connecting an external monitor, mouse and keyboard. And the tent mode is especially useful when travelling or flying: in this position, you can set the laptop on a narrow folding table and watch a film.
The keyboard layout is typical for ASUS ROG laptops: standard full-size without an additional number pad, but with four additional buttons above the main block. By default, they are responsible for volume, microphone mute, and Armoury Crate launch. It is also possible to assign macros to them. A number of function buttons and the arrow block are reduced in height. Both Shift and Enter are long, and Enter is single-level. So for users of ultrabooks, the keyboard will be absolutely familiar.
As for the buttons themselves, they have a full travel of 1.7 mm, which is not always the case with larger models. The click is very clear, tangible and informative. At the same time, very little pressure is required. This is one of the most comfortable keyboards I've ever used in an ultra-compact laptop. There is a white backlight with several brightness levels. The maximum level is even too bright.
Compared to the previous version of ASUS ROG Flow X13, the touchpad has been increased by 56%. It is really big: 129.7x76.8 mm. Made of glass, it has an excellent coating and sensitivity. Of course, you should connect a mouse for gaming, but for everything else, it's enough.
How good is the screen?
ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302) has configurations with two different displays. The younger option is IPS FullHD+ with a frequency of 120 Hz. A variant with a more interesting screen came to us for review. This is the so-called ROG Nebula Display, which has a bunch of different proprietary technologies. But as for the specs, it's a 13.4-inch IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 2560x1600 resolution, 165Hz refresh rate, and 3ms response time. It is claimed to have 100% DCI-P3 colour space coverage, a maximum brightness of 500 cd/m2, support G-Sync adaptive frequency, Dolby Vision HDR standard and is Pantone certified. The display is of excellent quality: maximum viewing angles, rich colours and high brightness levels. The only thing to remember is that the screen is touch-sensitive and protected by glass, so it will glare in bright light. The ROG Armoury Crate app has traditional colour presets for ROG laptops in the Game Visual section. It is also possible to adjust the colour temperature and calibrate the screen if you have an X-Rite i1 Display Pro calibrator.
The maximum brightness almost reaches the declared value and amounts to 486.977 cd/m2, the black field brightness is 0.503cd/m2, and the static contrast is 968:1. The colour gamut is much wider than sRGB. In general, the colour reproduction is quite accurate, but the picture tends to be a little cold.
What about performance and battery life?
ASUS ROG Flow X13 laptops use powerful new AMD processors of the Phoenix generation. We have the top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS. This is an octa-core processor based on the Zen 4 architecture and manufactured on 4nm FinFET according to TSMC process standards. It supports up to 16 threads (SMT) and has 16 MB of third-level cache. The base frequency is 4.0 GHz and the maximum frequency is 5.2 GHz. In the standard version, TDP is 35-54 W, but ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 can overclock up to 60 W. There is a built-in AMD Radeon 780M graphics accelerator with 12 Compute Units based on the 3rd generation RDNA architecture, with a frequency of 2800 MHz. This is one of the most powerful integrated solutions available today. Inaddition to the built-in graphics, there is a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop graphicscard , which is impressive given the dimensions of the ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023. But, of course, you won't be able to install a high-powered card in an ultrabook. The standard TGP level in this case is 45W plus ROG Boost 15W in turbo mode. The standard frequency is 1230MHz, Boost is 1280MHz. The amount of video memory is 8 GB GDDR6. There is a MUX Switch multiplexer that allows you to switch a discrete video adapter directly to the display, rather than through an integrated card. This reduces latency and increases performance in games. Interestingly, the company does not position the laptop as an exclusively gaming solution. ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 is also aimed at those who work with heavy graphics and video processing. The appropriate NVIDIA Studio drivers are installed out of the box. The amount of RAM is 32 GB LPDDR5 6400 MHz. No upgrade is provided. Wireless interfaces: Bluetooth 5.2 and fast Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) (Dual band) 2x2.
The laptop demonstrates very high performance in both processor and graphics performance tests. Although in the latter parameter it does not reach the top gaming solutions of a larger format, which is quite expected. Still, we are dealing with a limited version of the RTX 4070.
The cooling system includes two Arc Flow fans with 84 blades, thin heat pipes, and radiators with a large heat dissipation area. Liquid metal is used as a thermal interface for the processor. In addition to the three main ventilation zones on the case, cooling air is also drawn through the keyboard. The AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor specification indicates a maximum operating temperature of 100°. Under prolonged maximum loads, the processor can heat up to 90°, and then the temperature drops to around 85°. The processor does not lose performance, and the laptop operates stably. The noise of the fans is clearly audible under load. But it is much quieter than in large gaming models. At minimum load, the fans turn off and the laptop is absolutely quiet.
The drive used is an M.2 2230 PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe SSD. The model is the Western Digital PC SN740 with a capacity of 1 TB.
The read speed is up to 5200 MB/s and the write speed is up to 4470 MB/s:
Of course, it's worth bearing in mind that the laptop uses a low-power GeForce RTX 4070. But still, all modern games run well on the ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023:
Baldur's Gate 3. Ultra settings: 50-60 FPS.
Cyberpunk 2077. Maximum settings, ray tracing - average: about 40-50 FPS.
Gears 5. Ultra settings: 80-90 FPS.
Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition. Ultra settings: 65-75 FPS.
The Ascent. Maximum settings, all ray tracing options enabled, DLSS in balanced mode: about 60 FPS.
The autonomy of ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 is another feature that impressed us. To begin with, it's worth saying that there's a large 75 Wh battery inside, which is pretty big for its size. In a typical operating mode (brightness of about 50%, Wi-Fi, working with documents, a browser, and minimal photo processing), the laptop can withstand about 9 hours. This is enough for a working day and the power supply can be left at home. Fast charging is supported: up to 50% in half an hour. Of course, discrete graphics are not involved.
ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 is equipped with a pretty good stereo system. Of course, considering the form factor. It sounds loud, although there are few low frequencies, which is quite expected.
Two applications are used to configure the laptop. The usual MyASUS with system updates, resource monitoring, battery charging mode and connection priority settings.
And Armoury Crate. It allows you to select performance modes, update the system, adjust the backlight, record macros, and more.
Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) (Dual band) 2x2, Bluetooth 5.2
HDMI 2.1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1xUSB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort/Power Delivery/G-SYNC), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort, Power Delivery), ROG XG Mobile, microSD (UHS-II, 312 MB/s), 3.5 mm audio combo
ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302)
Top 13.4-inch laptop-transformer with AMD Ryzen
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