Asus is taking advantage of CES 2021 to unveil some of its new features for gamers. This is the case of the Flow X13, an ultraportable PC that can do a lot of things taken alone and which would turn into a real gaming machine thanks to an accessory no bigger than a power supply.
Asus’ ROG Flow X13 is one of the unexpected stars of CES 2021. It’s a gamer laptop, but not quite like the others. It is a hybrid ultraportable computer with a 13.4-inch touch screen. It can also be folded up on the back of the keyboard so that you can use the device as a large tablet or, failing that, adopt intermediate positions.
The Flow X13 is clearly inspired by the Zephyrus G14 but is, above all, yet another attempt by a brand to ensure that players / creators can use one and the same machine in their personal and professional environment.
Asus – The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 on the left, the Flow X13 on the right
Thus, the Flow X13 (1.3 kg and 1.58 cm thick) can both be used at home or in the office, as it will allow both work and play. An Intel processor and an Nvidia graphics card, such as GeForce GTX, are present to perform all the tasks.
But, even stronger, it is possible to transform this ultraportable into a real lightning strike by adding a dedicated external GPU no heavier than a mains charger, which it will replace, in passing. Inside this case, one of the latest RTX from Nvidia.
XG Mobile: small external graphics card with big ambitions
Asus – The new eGPU, from Asus, could easily evolve over time … we ask to see!
Asus has therefore imagined an external graphics card with all kinds of sockets (full-format USB, HDMI and DP video outputs, an SD card reader and an Ethernet port) and a large 3D chip. And no, it’s not a huge box … on the contrary. You will be able to take him in the backpack, too. Resembling a power supply and moreover capable of powering the laptop PC and the graphics part hidden in its guts (the 280 watt miniature power supply is inside), this ROG XG Mobile (15.5 x 20.8 x 2.9 cm) of 1 kg presumably contains one of Nvidia’s new RTX 3000 series. We are betting on the GeForce RTX 3080 but this remains to be confirmed.
Asus – Asus ROG Flow X13, the magic connector that turns it into a gaming machine. To keep the GPU cool, Asus has developed a special dissipation device but, above all, a foot kick stand to deploy when in use so that it can capture as much air as possible.
And, so that all the information between the CPU and the GPU can go to maximum speed, Asus has developed its own communication interface. One part uses USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbits / sec) but the other part is home cooking. Why ? Quite simply because the Thunderbolt 4, from Intel, is only connected in PCIe 4x to the processor and that the Asus interface, it is connected in PCIe 8x. However, Asus ensures that the connector and the controller are easy enough to reproduce to make partners want to go there and offer equipment compatible with the Flow X13. Or with other future machines from Asus which, too, could embed the connector among their arsenal of sockets.
Flow X13: the ultraportable that hides its game well
His taste for polygons is no longer in doubt. It has all the physical characteristics of the Taiwanese brand’s ROG (Republic of Gamers) video game machines. The beautiful magnesium case was cut and assembled with care from what we could see of it in the videos and sessions – online – for the press.
Asus – Asus ROG Flow X13
The Flow X13 can display Windows 10 in Full HD at 120 Hz or in 4K at 60 Hz. For the moment, Asus has not yet been able to give us very precise configurations but, one thing is certain: these are AMD Ryzen processors. New generation series at the helm. They will be able to count on the support of DDR4, up to 32 GB and the storage will be provided by an SDD, the capacity of which will increase to 1 TB.
For nomadic gaming, a GeForce GTX 1650 will be at the controls. Everything will be powered by a battery to be recharged via a very small 100 watt AC adapter, USB Type-C standard. As it stands, the Flow X13 is suitable for playing games that are not too greedy and its GPU can support video coding programs. For heavy applications, the XG Mobile will be present with you, or wisely placed on the desk.
Want to crack? So get ready: the ROG Flow X13 will be available from the end of January, from 1,800 euros about. The ROG XG Mobile can be purchased separately, at a price of 1,499 euros and should only arrive during the first quarter of 2021. Finally, if you want to wait and offer yourself the PC and the eGPU, be aware that bundled offers are planned in the coming months and that it will still be necessary to pay 4,000 euros or more to get your hands on a pack.