The Asus ROG Flow X13 takes on a rather unusual look if you’re more accustomed to the usually chunky chassis and large displays are seen on other Asus ROG gaming laptops. If I saw the Asus ROG Flow X13 in the wild, I would never guess it was a gaming laptop. It’s a 13.4-inch 2-in-1 convertible that’s just 2.9 pounds and .62 inches thick. Flip the screen around, and you can use it as a tablet.
This 13-inch ultraportable 2-in-1-style gaming laptop actually offers a few interesting benefits though, namely that you can purchase an additional eGPU (short of an external graphics card) to bump up the graphical performance of the device.
On its own, the Flow X13 looks like a high-end productivity machine. Inside is AMD’s Ryzen 9 5980HS, a monstrous mobile processor with eight cores and 16 threads — making this undoubtedly the most powerful CPU we’ve ever seen in a 13-inch chassis. That’s paired with an entry-level Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q design, 32GB of memory, 1TB of storage, and a 16:10 3840 x 2400 touch display. (You can choose a 120Hz FHD display as well.)
Here is the Asus ROG Flow X13 quick specs and features:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- RAM : 32GB 4200MHz DDR4
- Display: 13.4-inch 16:10, 3840 x 2400 pixel, multitouch, 60 Hz
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
- Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x headphone jack, 1 x external GPU port
- Connectivity: Dual-band WiFi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.0
- Camera: 720p HD camera with physical privacy shutter
- Size: 11.77 x 8.74 x 0.62 inches
- Weight: 2.87 pounds / 1.36 kg
How much is the Asus ROG Flow X13 in US, UK, Australia?
The Asus ROG Flow X13 is available now, from $1,699 / £1,499 / AU$2,999, with the XG Mobile RTX 3080 Laptop GPU priced at an additional $1,499.99 / £1,299. We couldn’t find an official price for the RTX 3080 eGPU in Australia, but then, we couldn’t find the Flow X13 at all on the Australian Asus website.
If you wanted to buy the two as a bundle, then there’s good and bad news. The good news is that the two are frequently bundled together, but both pricing and regional availability for this are all over the place. There are a few different listings for the same variant of the ROG Flow X13 that we reviewed at $3340 / £2899, but ran into similar issues trying to find something for Australia.
It’s also possible to buy the laptop with an RTX 3050 or RTX 3050 Ti GPU and weaker Ryzen 9 5900HS processor, at a similar price to the version running with an older GTX 1650 which could give a little RTX boost to creative applications and games that allow DLSS.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Display and Design
As far as gaming laptops go, the ROG Flow X13 is rather conservative, but that plays in well with its marketability towards working professionals who need a portable workstation by day and a gaming beast over lunch and when you clock off for the day. At 3 lbs / 1.3kg and just 0.6 inches / 158mm thick, this won’t be weighing down a bag on your morning commute and will easily fit into a standard satchel or backpack.
The black design is modern and simple, though it still retains a lot of that iconic ROG styling we’ve come to love from Asus. The 13.4-inch screen of the Flow X13 is very bright, clear, and sharp, with a full HD 1080p resolution and a peak brightness of just under 300 nits. That’s not mind-blowing, and you’ll struggle to work in bright environments but the visual quality is decent, with vivid colors coming through in gameplay and while streaming media.
Sadly, as is usually the case with smaller laptops, you’re not getting many ports on the Flow X13. On the right, you’ll find a single USB-A 3.2 port and a USB-C 3.2 port you use for charging (no support for the newer Thunderbolt 3 or 4). The left side sports a 3.5mm audio jack, an HDMI port, and the proprietary XG Mobile external GPU port that’s covered by a silicone cover.
The power button on the ROG Flow X13 is replaced rather precariously along the side of the device, so as to not interfere with it while in tablet mode but this does have its own set of issues. Though 2-in-1 laptops usually have power buttons on their sides, this was especially sensitive, and we did manage to accidentally put the device to sleep on a few occasions.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Performance
The Asus ROG Flow X13 is equipped with some pretty impressive kit for its diminutive size, rocking an AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS processor and a whopping 32GB of speedy RAM. This isn’t just good for gaming, it also makes it pretty good at managing creative applications too, especially those that will lean more on the CPU than graphics.
Even while running 10 tabs in Google Chrome (a browser known to be a memory hog), while also streaming music on Spotify, a muted video on one of the Chrome tabs, and then attempting to edit some images on Adobe Photoshop, the Flow X13 keeps up. While the fans do kick in and things can get pretty dang warm, it doesn’t appear to struggle with the workload, though we would suggest you don’t try this while the device is on your lap.
Here’s how the Asus ROG Flow X13 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
- 3DMark: Night Raid: 27,670; Fire Strike: 7,763; Time Spy: 3,308
- Cinebench R20 Multi-core: 4,374 points
- GeekBench 5: 1,506 (single-core); 7,941 (multi-core)
- PCMark 10 (Home Test): 5,781 points
- PCMark 10 Battery Life: 4 hours and 3 minutes
- Battery Life: 3 hours and 38 minutes
- Total War: Three Kingdoms (1080p, Ultra): 22 fps; (1080p, Low): 87 fps
- Metro Exodus (1080p, Ultra): 23 fps; (1080p, Low): 82 fps
We can’t speak for how the Flow X13 performs when docked into the XG Mobile Dock eGPU, but that little GTX 1650 runs surprisingly well regardless. Sure, you’re hardly going to be playing brand new release titles like Elden Ring on anything close to an enjoyable framerate if you don’t slap the settings on their lowest possible options, but there are still some beautiful games that will run just fine.
Horizon: Zero Dawn manages an admirable 31fps on standard settings, while The Witcher 3 runs along happily at 36fps, and while both are getting on a bit in age, they do show you won’t be restricted to just running indie or retro titles.
The usual low-demand Battle Royale games like Fortnite and Valorant will also play well on the system, but that’s hardly surprising given those titles are designed to run on just about anything. If you wanted a new laptop for work or school that you can also play a few rounds on during breaks, this isn’t a terrible option.
Still, if you’re not keen on playing games around 30fps you’ll need to buy the additional eGPU or look for something with a little more power behind its graphics. As it stands, the Flow 13 has more in common with something like the Dell XPS 13 than other gaming laptops – a powerful, portable workstation, but once that’s a tad gutless for gaming.
Our actual benchmarks are…okay for a laptop in this price range given its other features, but you’ll certainly get more for your money if you want more power for the same budget. You can buy an Asus TUF A15 for $1,300 (£1,300, around $2,000), and while it gets bested by the Asus ROG Flow X13 in productivity benchmarks like Geekbench 5, with the TUF A15 scoring 1,175 (single-core); 7,708 (multi-core) against the Flow 13’s 1,506 (single-core); 7,941 (multi-core) score, It dominates the 2-in-1 at gaming capabilities, and still manages to stay fairly professional looking.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Battery life
Many workstation laptops can offer some pretty impressive battery life despite having powerful components, and similarly, we see that some older or budget-friendly gaming laptops can also chug along for a while thanks to them using older hardware that’s less demanding on power.
In actual gaming, it runs dry in just under two hours, which is pretty abysmal. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that can actually run for a while away from a power outlet, consider the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 which in the same looped video test lasts an incredible 8 hours and 10 minutes.
Asus ROG Flow X13 Webcam
Webcams on any laptop tend to be a bit lackluster, but having one included on a gaming device at all is a modern-day miracle. Thankfully, the ROG Flow X13 does include a camera, and while it’s a far cry from anything on our list of the best webcams, the 720p resolution is fine for video conferencing or having a quick chat with friends.
The sensors are pretty bad though, so you’ll want to make sure you’re facing a decent light source. In the dim light, there’s a lot of background noise in the shot, and even if used in a well-lit room the colors can look washy. It also doesn’t have IR sensors or privacy shutters, so you won’t be able to log in with your face using Windows Hello.