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Asus ROG Flow Z13 hands-on

Asus has introduced its ROG Flow Z13, which it’s touting because the “world’s strongest gaming pill.” Sure, you learn that appropriately — it’s a pill for gaming. Not cell gaming, however PC gaming. It’s acquired an RTX 3050 Ti inside, and you’ll hook it as much as Asus’ ROG XG Cellular exterior GPU for much more frames.

I’ll caveat proper off the bat that we don’t have a value for this factor but, and it doesn’t seem to be the kind of factor we will anticipate to be tremendous inexpensive, particularly in case you tack on the XG Cellular. Asus’ final crack at this kind of type issue, the ROG Mothership, began at $5,499.

However even when this finally ends up being a luxurious product, it might be a glimpse right into a type issue that may ultimately make its approach to a extra accessible tier (as we’re beginning to see with, for instance, dual-screen gadgets). We’ll discover out extra when the system is launched in “Q1/Q2 2022.”

The Asus ROG Flow Z13 in laptop mode seen from the back with the kickstand out.

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Kickstand, activate.

Anyway, in case you noticed this system and thought, “Wow, a Floor Professional,” you’re not alone. After spending a little bit of time with the ROG Flow Z13, I can affirm that it additionally appears like utilizing a Floor Professional. It’s acquired a kickstand and a removable keyboard, which pops on and off with little effort. It’s a usually nice-looking and well-made system.

A pair issues which may not be obvious from the images. First, it’s large. The first profit of those removable gadgets is usually how skinny and light-weight they’re. This factor is 2.43 kilos and 0.47 inches thick. It’s a chunky pill, is what I’m saying — it’s a really totally different expertise from utilizing an iPad of any dimension, and it’s not one thing I’d wish to essentially carry round the home or maintain whereas I used to be giving a presentation. (It’s nonetheless fairly compact in comparison with the ten.5-pound Mothership, after all.)

Second, the keyboard is kind of versatile. This was an issue I had with earlier Floor Professional fashions, although Microsoft’s stiffened it up on the newest one. I’ve a light-weight keystroke already, however every of my faucets depressed this removable deck. I’m not somebody who usually notices keyboard flex in any respect, however even I used to be slightly unnerved by how a lot this one was bouncing up and down all day. I’d most likely suggest that individuals who really need sturdy keyboard decks await the subsequent technology. With that mentioned, I did actually get pleasure from typing on this factor as a result of the keys have a wild quantity of journey (1.7mm).

Elsewhere, I didn’t have too many complaints. The 13-inch, 3840 x 2400 contact show regarded good and was responsive. There’s additionally a helpful port choice (which you hardly ever see on these sorts of merchandise) that features a USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort 1.4, a USB-A, and a microSD slot along with a headphone jack. Connecting the XG Cellular (which might now provide an AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT in addition to a GeForce RTX 3080) will add a bunch extra, together with one other DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1, and RJ-45 Ethernet.

The Asus ROG Flow Z13 closed, seen from above, on a wooden table.

Neat little cowl.

The Asus ROG Flow Z13 keyboard illuminated in red.

There’s even some RGB (effectively, R, a minimum of).

Picture by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The issue that may make or break this system, after all, along with the value, is framerates. The Flow Z13 has as much as a twelfth Gen Intel Core i9-12900H, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage along with the RTX 3050 Ti. The Core i9 is the most important unknown there — final yr’s ROG try at a gaming ultraportable, the convertible ROG Flow X13, had a monstrous AMD processor inside, and we don’t know but how this new Core i9 will evaluate. The X13’s battery life additionally wasn’t significantly good, in order that’s a query mark.

The Z13 does have a bonus over conventional clamshell laptops in that its backside half isn’t pressed in opposition to the desk. In concept, this might give it extra room for cooling (and the Mothership ran cooler than lots of its rivals). The system was noticeably heat throughout a lot of my non-gaming use, however I didn’t hear followers operating.

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The Asus ROG Flow Z13 closed, upside-down, seen from above on a wooden table.

See you quickly, Flow Z13.

All informed, the truth that there’s a pill you may sport on, and that it really appears to work, is cool. It was a enjoyable system to make use of, and I’m all for highly effective gadgets getting thinner and lighter without having to compromise every little thing else that laptop computer customers need. The removable type issue, if this yr’s CES is something to go by, looks like a technique producers are seeing as a viable means to do this.

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