ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022) review: The most powerful gaming tablet

By: Alex Chub | 30.06.2022, 18:55
ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022) review: The most powerful gaming tablet

ASUS continues its bold experiments with form factors. After last year's unusual gaming ultrabook-transformer ASUS ROG Flow X13, the Flow line was replenished with the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022) gaming tablet. It turned out to be an extremely interesting and unique, but rather niche device. The main idea remains the same as ROG Flow X13: power, portability and versatility. But now the form factor offers even more use cases. Now this is a tablet, and a laptop with a fastened complete keyboard, and a gaming PC, if you connect a large monitor, keyboard and mouse. ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022) received very productive hardware, which is enough to play without an external video card, and ROG XG Mobile makes the device comparable in power to top-end full-size gaming laptops. At the same time, I was very pleased with the cooling system, which can easily cope with any load. The tablet received a bright high-quality 13.4-inch screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a very pleasant to use detachable keyboard with full keys, standard layout and backlight. Such an unusual design also has its less pleasant nuances: there was no place for a normal set of ports and there is only a pair of Type-C (Display Port and PD) and only one USB 2.0, which is not enough for a gaming model. This can be compensated by ports on an external video card. 

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 ASUS ROG Flow Z13
The most powerful gaming tablet ever
Transformative gaming tablet with a removable Windows keyboard, 13.4-inch 120Hz IPS touchscreen, top Intel Core i9 processor, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 1TB fast SSD, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop discrete graphics card, and the ability to connect an external graphics card ROG XG Mobile
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5 reasons to buy ASUS ROG Flow Z13:

  • Impressive performance with ROG XG Mobile external graphics;
  • excellent IPS touch screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz;
  • efficient cooling system;
  • universal form factor with a bunch of use cases;
  • convenient removable keyboard.

2 reasons not to buy ASUS ROG Flow Z13:

  • high price;
  • few ports on the tablet.

Fast passage:

  1. What's in the box?
  2. What about the appearance and design of ASUS ROG Flow Z13 and ROG XG Mobile?
  3. How convenient is the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 to use?
  4. How good is the screen?
  5. What about performance and autonomy?
  6. In the dry matter

What's included?

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ASUS ROG Flow Z13 (2022) came to us in the highest possible configuration and configuration, with an external graphics card ROG XG Mobile AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT. The entire kit comes in two separate boxes (ROG XG Mobile sold separately in different variants). ROG Flow Z13 is packaged in a large black box, inside of which are two smaller silver ones. The set includes the tablet itself, a removable keyboard with a magnetically attached touchpad, a compact 100 W Type-C power supply, a detachable power cable, an ASUS ROG Impact wired mouse, a branded stylus, documentation, and two covers with a rubberized surface and a soft seal for protection. from blows.

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Bigger for a tablet, smaller  for an external video card. They are attached to each other for easy transportation.

ROG XG Mobile is packaged in a smaller black box. The set is more modest: the external video card itself and the power cable.

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What about the appearance and design of ASUS ROG Flow Z13 and ROG XG Mobile?

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Structurally, the device resembles Microsoft Surface Pro tablets with a clip-on keyboard and a folding stand, only on steroids. By the standards of tablets, ASUS ROG Flow Z13 turned out to be large and weighty: a screen diagonal of 13.4 inches, a thickness of 12 mm and a weight of 1.18 kg (and with a fastened keyboard - closer to 1.5 kg). But considering the insides, it's absolutely forgivable. Although using it as a traditional tablet holding it in your hands is really not very convenient. The case is metal, and the entire front panel is covered with protective glass, as it should be when using touch screens. Above screen - front camera for video calls and microphones.

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On the top of the tablet are vents for blowing hot air and a silver inscription Republic of Gamers.

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On the left side are a speaker, an LED indicator, Thunderbolt 4 (Type-C) with support for Display Port and Power Delivery, as well as ROG XG Mobile Interface, which consists of a proprietary PCIe 3.0 x8 with 63 Gb/s bandwidth and USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2, which also supports Power Delivery and Display Port. ROG XG Mobile Interface is covered with a rubber plug.

On the right is another speaker, a power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner, a volume rocker, a single full-size USB 2.0, and a 3.5 mm combo audio jack. The number of ports is really very modest, but with this form factor, you have to make compromises. This is completely solved with ROG XG Mobile, which has additional full-size video outputs and USB ports.

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On the bottom edge - only contacts and recesses for connecting a removable keyboard.

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The keyboard itself is quite thin and also acts as a protective cover. The inner working surface has a pleasant rough rubberized coating. The outer coating tactilely resembles a pleasant fabric.

The entire back cover of ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is metal, with an abundance of decorative patterns with chopped outlines, which is reminiscent of the gaming positioning of the device. The matte finish doesn't pick up fingerprints too much. In the upper part there are two areas with perforations for the intake of cold air by two cooling fans. In the upper right corner is the rear camera, which reminds that this is still a tablet. For decorative purposes, there is a small RGB-lit window on the back, through which part of the tablet's motherboard is visible.

At the bottom there is a massive folding adjustable leg for setting the tablet at the right angle. Under it, they hid a slot for installing a MicroSD memory card, as well as a cover under which there is an SSD drive. The manufacturer also had to make compromises with it: the PCIe 4.0 interface is supported, but the format is only M.2 2230, not the usual 2280. So far, the range of SSDs is very modest and their speed is lower than that of full-size 2280 with PCIe 4.0 interface.

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is very well built, it feels solid thanks to the metal body, and it looks very unusual. Perhaps the only significant claim to the design is the small number of connectors, which we wrote about above.

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Structurally, the ROG XG Mobile external graphics card has not changed at all since the Flow X13. This is a large rectangular block of their black plastic with dimensions of 208x155x29.6 mm and a weight of 1.2 kg. It connects to a tablet or laptop using a fixed, relatively short cable with a proprietary connector. It is equipped with safety latches for secure fastening and an LED indicator of operation. It glows red if the external video card is active and white if it can be disabled.

The entire body is covered with diagonal decorative stripes. On one side, you can see the ventilation holes in the shape of the letters ROG, under which there is a cooling fan and a backlight. ROG XG Mobile can be used horizontally or placed at an angle for better cooling. For this, a folding stand is provided.

On the side of the integrated cable for connecting to the tablet, there are only ventilation holes for blowing hot air. On the other hand, a decent set of very useful connectors. 4 full-sized USB 3.2 Gen1, HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting external monitors or TV, network RJ-45 (Gigabit Lan 10/100/1000 Mbps), and a power cable jack. PSU built-in 330 W, it is enough to burn both the video card and the tablet itself. On the top end there is another bonus in the form slots for full-size SD memory cards with UHS-II support (312 MB / s).

How convenient is the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 to use?

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ASUS ROG Flow Z13 was conceived as the most versatile device with a bunch of use cases. Accordingly, it can be used as a regular ultrabook by connecting a complete keyboard, as a tablet to watch some movie lying down, connect an external video card, monitor / TV, gamepad or your favorite mechanical keyboard with a mouse to it and play with complete comfort.

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And, of course, there is enough power for work, be it up to some Unreal Engine 5, video editing, photo processing, sound recording, and so on. At the same time, you can use an external large monitor as the main workspace, and put a toolbar on the ROG Flow Z13 screen, where you can simply poke your finger if necessary. It's still a touch screen. In a word, you can think of a lot of use cases. Not to mention the fact that if necessary, take a laptop with you to work or on the road, if there are no plans to play, then XG Mobile can simply be left at home. Built-in stand allows you to place the tablet at the desired angle, up to 170°.

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Now let's move on to more familiar controls. The complete detachable keyboard has a number of its advantages and, perhaps, only one disadvantage (considering the form factor). The dimensions and layout are classic ultrabook, without any features, so you won’t have to get used to it for a long time. The top row of function buttons is reduced in height. It ends with the Del button. The block of arrows also has a reduced height. The arrows are aligned with Home, End, PgUp, PgDown via Fn.

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The keys have a very pleasant, informative click. The stroke is 1.7 mm, which is very good for such dimensions. There is a customizable RGB backlight with three levels of brightness and support for Aura Sync. The only minor complaint about the keyboard is related to the design itself: due to its small thickness, it flexes a little.

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The touchpad is very small, but thanks to sufficient sensitivity and a pleasant coating, it is quite comfortable to use. And for the game and work is to connect the mouse.

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How good is the screen?

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ASUS ROG Flow Z13 has a touch screen with a diagonal of 13.4 inches and an aspect ratio of 16:10, recently ASUS (and not only) has actively begun to use this aspect ratio in laptops. Both play and work quite comfortably. In various configurations, there can be either an option with a resolution of 4K 3840x2400 and a refresh rate of 60 Hz, or 1920x1200, but with a frequency of 120 Hz. IPS-matrices are used with a declared maximum brightness of 500cd/m2, certification pantone, support for Dolby Vision and Adaptive Sync frame rate synchronization. We received a version with a FullHD 120 Hz screen, which (in my personal opinion) is optimal in this case. It is of excellent quality, with very rich colors, maximum viewing angles and an impressive margin of brightness. The only thing worth remembering is that it is covered with protective glass and, of course, glare.

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The ROG Armory Crate app has a Game Visual section where you can choose from several picture presets, adjust color temperature, and calibrate the screen. True, this requires a calibrator and only one model is supported: X-Rite i1 Display Pro.

Hardware measurements showed that the screen is really of very good quality. The maximum brightness was 489.782 cd/m2, black field brightness — 0.44 cd/m2, and the static contrast ratio is 1113:1. The color gamut is close to the sRGB color space, and all indicators have minimal deviations from the reference values:

What about performance and autonomy?

All ASUS ROG Flow Z13 configurations ship with Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake-P processors. This is the first generation of Intel processors that uses two types of cores: performance and energy efficiency, something similar we have long seen in mobile processors for smartphones. A configuration with a top Intel Core i9-12900H. It is manufactured using a 10nm process technology, has 6 productive cores and 8 energy efficient ones. Powerful cores support Hyper Threading, as a result, the processor can process up to 20 threads simultaneously. The frequency of productive cores is from 2.5 to 5 GHz and 1.8 - 3.8 GHz for energy efficient ones. L3 cache - 24 MB. Used as integrated graphics Intel Iris Xe with 96 compute units and up to 1.45 GHz. Claimed TDP is 45W (up to 115W for short term loads). RAM - 16 GB LPDDR5-5200, operates in dual-channel mode. It is soldered on the board, it will not be possible to increase the volume. As for wireless interfaces, there is Bluetooth 5.2 and fast Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) (Dual band) 2x2.

Now let's move on to discrete video accelerators. The tablet itself has an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop with a frequency of overclocking up to 1085 MHz, TGP 35 W (and boost up to 40 W) with 4 GB of GDDR6 video memory. Not the most powerful video card, but very impressive, given the size. You can play it quite comfortably if you do not twist the settings to the maximum. At the same time, the tablet is equipped with a MUX Switch multiplexer. The bottom line is that usually in laptops (and tablets in this case) discrete graphics are connected not directly to the display, but through an integrated one. MUX Switch allows you to switch the discrete video adapter directly, which reduces latency and increases performance (they promise a 9% increase). But at the same time, energy consumption increases. More interesting is the external ROG XG Mobile. A variant came to us with a new AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT. This is the mobile version. With a desktop one, it would simply not have been possible to make XG Mobile so compact. The video card is based on the RDNA2 architecture and is manufactured using the 7nm process technology. Includes 40 compute units, 64 raster units and 2560 stream processors. Base frequency - 2454 MHz, boost - up to 2598 MHz. Equipped with 12GB GDDR6 VRAM, TGP up to 165W (ROG Boost).

The used processor and graphics card in XG Mobile are among the most powerful at the moment. In benchmarks, the results are relevant. Very high performance in both graphics and processor tests:

The GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop, of course, demonstrates more modest performance compared to the external AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT. But as for this format of the device, it's very good.

The cooling system includes two Arc Flow Fans, an evaporative chamber and radiators with thin 0.15 mm fins. And liquid metal is used as a thermal interface, as in all top ASUS gaming solutions for the last couple of years. The ROG XG Mobile uses a heatsink, a vapor chamber and a single fan. SO works very efficiently. In productive mode, the insides do not heat up more than up to 65 °. Accordingly, no performance drops are observed. Structurally, hot air is blown upwards, so there can be no discomfort, only the back cover of the tablet heats up. ASUS ROG Flow Z13 along with ROG XG Mobile are not too loud. Yes, the work of CO is audible, but the noise level is comparable or even slightly lower than that of the usual gaming laptops. At the same time, the tablet switches to passive cooling mode at minimal loads.

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M.2 SSD is used as storage PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe, as mentioned above, short format 2230. Model manufactured by Micron with a capacity of 1 TB.

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The speed of work is very impressive, but closer to the top models with PCIe Gen3. PCIe 4.0 drives can run significantly faster, but so far the choice of a suitable 2230 format is very modest:

Using ROG XG Mobile turned all graphics settings in games to the maximum, including ray tracing where possible. And AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution worked in quality mode (where this technology is supported). In Godfall, FPS was in the range of 160 to 190 fps. Elden Ring - 60 FPS without any drawdowns. Ghosrtunner - 100-110 FPS. God of War - 94-120 FPS. Ghostwire Tokyo - 60-75 FPS outdoors and over 100 indoors. Shadow Warrior 3 - 120-140 FPS. The Ascent - around 40 FPS with everything maxed out and over 70 FPS with ray-traced reflections turned off.

With the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop, everything is much more modest. But if you turn the settings towards medium, you can get quite a comfortable frame rate in most demanding games. Godfall 40-60 fps on medium settings. Elden Ring - 40-45 FPS at max. Ghosrtunner - about 60 FPS at max. God of War - 50-60 FPS. Ghostwire Tokyo - 30-35 FPS. Shadow Warrior 3 - 60-80 FPS. The Ascent - 30-60 FPS without reflections with ray tracing.

ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is powered by a 59 Wh battery. There were no special expectations, but the tablet quite pulls out in a gentle mode with low brightness for almost 7 hours. Of course, this is working with documents, instant messengers and a browser, connecting via Wi-Fi. Only the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics are active. From a complete 100 W power supply, the laptop charges for about 2 hours, fast charging is supported.

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The tablet's built-in speakers are quite modest. Watching a movie is enough, but no more. For playing games or listening to music, it is better to connect headphones or speakers. You should not expect miracles, but it sounds quite sensible, given the form factor. An application is used to set up a laptop Armory Crate. In it, you can select laptop operating modes, update the system, adjust the backlight, including AURA Sync, monitor system status, create profiles with different settings for different applications, games, and so on.

in dry residue. Three things to know about ASUS ROG Flow Z13.

  • ASUS ROG Flow Z13 is a flagship Windows gaming tablet with a top-end Intel Core i9 processor, graphics acceleratornVidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop internal and external graphics card ROG XG Mobile with AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT.
  • With ROG XG Mobile, the laptop "pulls" any modern games at maximum graphics settings with a comfortable FPS level.
  • Thanks to its form factor and included keyboard, ASUS ROG Flow Z13 can be used as a tablet, portable ultrabook or full-fledged gaming machine.
Specifications ASUS ROG Flow Z13
Display 13.4 inches, 1920x1200 (16:10), IPS, 120 Hz, Gorilla Glass
Dimensions 302x204x12 mm
The weight 1.18 kg
Operating system Windows 11 Pro 64bit
CPU Intel Core i9-12900H (2.5-5.0 GHz), 14 (6+8) cores, 16 threads, (Alder Lake-P, 10nm)
RAM 16 GB LPDDR5-5200 MHz
Graphic arts nVidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop, 4 GB GDDR6, Intel Iris Xe
Storage device 1TB SSD (M.2)
Communications Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.0
Connectors USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4, USB Power Delivery), 1xUSB 2.0 Type-A, 3.5 mm audio, ROG XG Mobile Interface
optical drive Not
Battery 59 Wh
ROG XG Mobile
Graphic arts AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT (TGP 165W) 12GB GDDR6
Connectors 1xHDMI 2.1, 1xDisplayPort 1.4, RJ-45 (Gigabit Lan), DC, 4xUSB 3.2 Gen1, SD Card reader(Standard)/UHS-II(312MB/s)
Dimensions 217x165x32.6mm
The weight 1.2 kg
ASUS ROG Flow Z13 ASUS ROG Flow Z13
  • Impressive performance with external ROG XG Mobile graphics.
  • Excellent IPS touchscreen with 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Efficient cooling system
  • Universal form factor with a range of use cases
  • Convenient detachable keyboard
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