Comparison between Asus ROG Flow X13 and Asus ROG Flow Z13

Asus has doubled down on mini gaming laptops — literally. Introduced in 2021, ROG Flow X13 is a 2-in-1 convertible 360-degree unit with a fast CPU and discrete graphics. It then followed in 2022 with the ROG Flow Z13, a bona fide detachable tablet with a faster CPU and the same GPU. This is among the fastest 2-in-1 laptops you can buy today, and it’s still lightweight and portable.

The choice between them is mainly down to whether you prefer the 2-in-1 convertible format or want a detachable tablet. There are performance differences to consider as well, but not to the same extent in the gaming department. So which of these two little game machines is right for you?

Specifications

Asus ROG Flow X13 Asus ROG Flow Z13
Dimensions 11.77″ x 8.74″ x 0.62″ 11.89 x 8.03 x 0.47 inches
Weight 2.87 EGP 2.47 EGP
Healer AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS
Intel Core i5-12500H
Intel Core i7-12700H
Intel Core i9-12900H
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050T
Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 via ROG XG Mobile
Intel Iris Xe graphics
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050T
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050T
Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 via ROG XG Mobile
RAM 8 GB DDR4
16 GB DDR4
32 GB DDR4
8 GB DDR5
16 GB DDR5
an offer 13.4 inch 16:10 IPS WUXGA (1920 x 1200)
13.4 inch 16:10 IPS WQUXGA (3840 x 2400)
13.4 inch 16:10 IPS WUXGA (1920 x 200)
13.4 inch 16:10 IPS WQUXGA (3840 x 2400)
storage 1 TB PCIe 3.0 SSD 512 GB PCIe 4.0 SSD
1 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
touch. Contact. Link yes yes
ports 1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x ROG XG Mobile Interface
1 USB-A 2.0
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSD card reader
1 x ROG XG Mobile Interface
wireless Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 720 p 720 p
Operating System Windows 11 Windows 11
battery 62 watts/hour 56 W/h
price $1700 or more $1450 or more
evaluation 3.5 stars out of 5 4 stars out of 5

Design

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

ROG Flow X13 is a 2-in-1 convertible 360-degree display, which means its screen rotates all the way from clamshell to tablet, with tent and media modes in between. This makes it better as a shell than the detachable ROG Flow Z13 tablet, which isn’t as stable on the lap but makes it a much better tablet. They both have relatively small bezels, which means they fit into smaller versions of their shapes. ROG Flow Z13 features a stand that extends out from the middle of the back of the tablet, just like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8. You won’t find much to fault with their design characteristics, as both devices show very little flex, bend, or torsion in their chassis.

Aesthetically speaking, ROG Flow Z13 has a more gamer-oriented aesthetic. It’s all black and looks like any other tablet from the front, but around the back, you’ll notice some gaming textures and a slot that provides an RGB-lit view on the laptop’s interior. The ROG Flow X13 is all black too, with a textured lid and gamer keycaps being the items you mostly give away as a gaming laptop. Both are 2-in-1 laptops with great looks.

The keyboard on the ROG Flow X13 has excellent key size and spacing, and its keys have plenty of movement at 1.7mm. It was clear and fast in our tests and provided an accurate typing experience. The additional keyboard on ROG Flow Z13 mimics the Surface Pro 8’s Signature Pro typing cap, and that’s a good thing. It even has a travel distance of 1.7mm like the ROG Flow X13, giving it precise switches that delight touch-type typists. Interestingly enough, the ROG Flow Z13 keyboard features single-zone RGB lighting, while the ROG Flow X13 keyboard features simple monochrome backlighting.

Both touchpads are smooth and accurate to touch, with support for Microsoft’s precision touchpad drivers. It’s not the largest of the touchpads, but it still offers convenient support for multi-touch gestures for Windows 11. Both screens are touchscreen as well.

Password-free Windows 11 Hello support is provided by the fingerprint reader built into the ROG Flow X13’s power button. ROG Flow Z13 has neither an infrared camera for facial recognition nor a fingerprint reader, so users are unable to type in a password or PIN.

Communication is a mixed bag. ROG Flow X13 has a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.0b port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a ROG XG Mobile interface. Since it uses an AMD chipset, it does not support Thunderbolt 4.

ROG Flow Z13 has a single USB-A 2.0 port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4, a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card reader (missing in the ROG Flow X13), and an XG Mobile interface. Thanks to the 12th-gen Intel chipset, ROG Flow Z13 also has faster Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 compared to Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 in the older device.

performance

Playing Fortnite on ROG Flow X13.

ROG Flow X13 is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 9 octa-core / 16-thread chip: either the Ryzen 9 5900HS, or the faster Ryzen 9 5980HS. This ran against the 14 cores (6 performance and 8 efficiency) and 20 threads of the Intel 12th-gen Core i9-12900H. Both are incredibly powerful CPUs to pack into such small machines, and they both work great. In our benchmark set, the laptops were mostly equally matched, with the ROG Flow Z13 being significantly faster only on Geekbench 5.

That is, until we turned on the ROG Flow Z13’s Turbo mode, which pushed its results into an entirely different category. On the Cinebench R23, for example, the two devices were close to the same results without the Z13’s Turbo mode turned on, but when we flipped that switch, the tablet became noticeably faster. We tested ROG Flow X13 and ROG Flow Z13 using different versions of Handbrake, which we use as benchmark by encoding a 420MB video as H.265. Normally, the two copies are within a few points of each other, which is a warning of the results in the table. Most notably the effect of the ROG Flow Z13’s Turbo mode, the tablet finished the test in 87 seconds.

Both 2-in-1s are fast enough not only for extremely challenging productive workflows, but they can also handle some creative tasks. However, ROG Flow Z13 will continue to move forward thanks to its Turbo mode.

Turbo mode didn’t make much of a difference in gaming, and laptops were similarly matched when configured with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. Thanks to the CPU, ROG Flow Z13 was faster in Civilization VIbut they basically hit the same tires in It is an electronic game 1080p HD and epic graphics. We’ve changed our gaming benchmarks between these two reviewers and so don’t have any other comparisons, but it’s possible that with both using an Nvidia GeForce RTX 1050 Ti, they’ll reach similar frame rates across a variety of titles.

There’s also the Asus ROG XG Mobile add-on to consider, which plugs into a proprietary port on either a 2-in-1 and can outfit up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. That means if you’re okay with setting things up in one place, you can Incredibly fast gaming performance from these small devices. You may even be able to play some 4K games if you adjust the graphics settings. This is impressive.

Asus ROG Flow X13
(Ryzen 9 5900HS)
Asus ROG Flow Z13
(Core i9-12900H)
Geekbench 5
(single / multi)
1,415/7,592 1,784 / 9,387
handbrake
(seconds)
102 103
Turbo: 87
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
1,441 / 9,559 1,548 / 9,664
Turbo: 1,906 / 13,400
PCMark 10 Complete 6,249 6417
3DMark Time Spy 4,503 4,612
Turbo: 4,777
civilization VI
(1080 pixels ultra)
65 74
It is an electronic game
(epic 1080p)
47 46

an offer

Asus ROG Flow Z13 gaming laptop.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

In terms of general specifications, the 2-in-1 offers the same display options. You can choose between a 13.4-inch 16:10 IPS WUXGA panel (1920 x 1200) or a WQUXGA-powered panel (3840 x 2400). Either way, the WUXGA screen (also known as Full HD+) has a fast refresh rate of 120Hz while the WQUXGA screen (also known as UHD+ or 4K+) is stuck at 60Hz for pedestrians. Not only does the 120Hz option make Windows 11 smooth, but it frees up more space in games — although none of the laptops are fast enough to push modern titles with a fast refresh rate.

The ROG Flow Z13 display was brighter than the ROG Flow X13, at more than 500 nits compared to about 300 nits. They both have similar hues and subtleties, and both have serviceable contrast ratios. These aren’t the best displays for demanding content creators, but they’re more than good enough for office work and gaming. Thanks to its brightness, the ROG Flow Z13 display is moving forward.

Mobility

ROG Flow X13 ports.

As a tablet, the ROG Flow Z13 is naturally the smallest device, although not as big of a difference as you might imagine. The two laptops are similar in width, with the ROG Flow X13 being roughly an inch deep. The ROG Flow Z13 is a little thinner, however, at 0.47 inches versus 0.62 inches, and it’s lighter at 2.47 pounds versus 2.87 pounds. However, both devices are small enough to be carried around unnoticed.

With a slightly larger battery and the efficiency of AMD’s Ryzen chipset, the ROG Flow X13 (62 Wh) achieved longer battery life than the ROG Flow Z13 (56 Wh). It managed about an hour longer web browsing test that goes through a series of popular and complex websites and about two hours longer in our video test running local Full HD loops Avengers Brief movie review.

However, neither laptop will help you spend an entire day at work. You’ll want to carry a charger if you’re out of the office.

Asus ROG Flow X13
(Ryzen 9 5900HS)
Asus ROG Flow Z13
(Core i9-12900H)
Browse the web 5 hours 25 minutes 4 hours 10 minutes
video 9 hours and 7 minutes 6 hours 54 minutes

Equally, it all depends on which design you prefer

ROG Flow X13 is available in a special Best Buy configuration that costs $1,500 (on sale now for $1,200), including an AMD Ryzen 9 5900H, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, Full HD+ display, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050T. Other configurations are hard to find online at the time of writing, but note that the ROG XG Mobile costs $1,500 on its own.

It is also difficult to find different configurations for ROG Flow Z13. The single configuration listed on the Asus website is $1,800 for a Core i7-12700H, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, Full HD+ display, and RTX 3050 Ti.

These two-in-one deliver excellent productivity, creative performance, and solid gaming for beginners. Both are well built, look great, and feature excellent input options. The biggest difference between them is in the form factor – would you prefer a clamshell that can act as a swipeable tablet or a tablet that can act as a clamshell that wobbles slightly on a lap? Ultimately, that’s what your decision will come down to.

Editors’ Recommendations






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