The ROG brand from ASUS has a bit of a niche following when it comes to gamers interested in gaming on their laptops. The ROG Flow X13 is a gaming plus 2-in-1 convertible that comes with a lot of bells and whistles up its sleeves. Priced at around Rs. 1,74,990, the Flow X13 is equipped with some top of the line hardware, including Ryzen R9 7940HS chip along with nVIDIA RTX 4060 graphics. Let’s where it does well and where it falls behind.
Design: The first thing you might notice about this 13.4-inch convertible is its textured design and compact body. The textured aluminium lid carries the ROG naming and logo and it continues at the bottom near the vents. The device weighs about 1.3kg and measures 32mm (when closed) in thickness, making it a comfortable gaming machine to be carried around. The right side houses the Power button, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 type A port, a 1 x USB3.2 Gen 2 type C with Display Port 1.4; while the left side houses the 3.5mm audio jack, an HDMI 2.1 port, a microSD card slot and XG Mobile Platform to attach external GPUs. The display is a bit glossy and requires cleaning up every now and then though not very frequently that it should bother you much. The device goes full 360 degrees for use like a tablet and doesn’t show any bends or creeks anywhere during the usage. It’s a well-built compact Windows gaming machine that doesn’t put too much weight on your lap. Also, you get a sporty-looking zipped carrying cases with the laptop, which is designed to keep water away from the insides.
Display: The Flow X13 boasts of a 13.4-inch 16:10 QHD+ (2560x16000) Nebula Display (IPS panel) that supports up to 165Hz refresh rates, MUX switch, and Dolby Vision plus HDR. Theis touch display goes up to 500nits in peak brightness and is usable outdoors, too. It is a really nice display here, shows details and provides crisp videos most of the time, including HDR content in darker scenes. In games, the display is capable enough to show varied details and handle changing contrast and colour depth without too much overlap or ghosting troubles.
Keyboard and trackpad: You get a full-sized chicklet keyboard (no numpad) with a short row of additional functional keys on the top. The keyboard’s backlighting is bright and can be customized using keyboard shortcuts to up to three different levels. The keys have just enough curve to them and are comfortable to be used for long typing sessions without. The large and smooth trackpad supports the usual Windows gestures, including multi-finger gestures and it works really nicely for these gestures.
Performance and gaming: The Flow X13 comes equipped with Ryzen’s R9 7940HS (up to 5.2GHz octa core processor), chip with integrated Radeon 780M GPU plus nVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, this is coupled with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 1TB of M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD. It runs on Windows 11 Home single Language and comes with a couple of ASUS apps pre-installed. The ARMOURY CRATE app can be used to give your laptop a bit of a uniqie look and feel in terms of wallpaper, RGB, checking CPU stats, temperature, changing GPU mode, and so on. Trying on a game such as Forza horizon 5, it got around 50FPS when playing at full HD highest settings selected; while for Red dead Redemption 2 Ultra, the device was able to handle the gameplay at around 47-48FPS at 1600p having the Turbo mode on. I found the fan to really ramp up and produce noise quite rarely, and only during initial gameplays at highest resolution while using it in the regular laptop mode. For heat ventilation, there’s dual heat pipes, liquid metal thermal, three heat sinks along with the dual vents at the bottom. I think it would be safe to say that the machine handes most of your demanding games well enough that you wouldn’t have to check and tweak things along too much and can play many of these popular games at their highest or close to highest settings without seeing any noticeable throttling happening.
Battery life: gaming laptops aren’t exactly known or talked about for their battery life, but the Flow X13, with its 75Whr battery unit, does a pretty decent job, giving around 6.5 hours or so on an average, with little gaming, but of course a lot less the more you play a game like the ones mentioned above. But for regular day to day usage without gaming, it lasts around 6-7 hours or so. The laptop charged in around 2-2.5 hours using the bundled 130watt power delivery AC charger.
What could have been better:
Two things I would have really liked added to the package here – fingerprint scanner and at least one more USB type C port. Windows Hello is there and it’s fine, but having a physical fingerprint scanner would have made for a better experience. Also, having just one USB type C port seems really low, especially since a lot of its users might be attaching different devices and accessories. Just to add, I also would have preferred the Power button to be at the front/next to the keyboard, rather than on the right side, but that’s not a big deal.
One bug that I found was, in silent mode, when waking up from sleep, the machine would extra long before you are on the login screen. A bit odd, but something I noticed several times, on what is otherwise a really well-performing Windows 11 device.
Verdict: All in all, the ROG Flow X13 is a well-designed, compact yet powerful machine that does gaming, its main job, on the go well – handling graphic intensive games at medium to highest settings without showing any major glitches or heating issues. For those looking for a Windows gaming laptop that isn’t heavy on the lap, with a good aesthetics and powerful enough internal hardware, the Flow X13 (2023) (GV302) is definitely a contender now.