These two ROG laptops are the smallest available to date and the most powerful compact ultrabooks money can buy, capable of handling sustained demanding workloads and games despite being 13-inch sub-3lbs formats. The Asus ROG Flow X13 as well as Flow Z13 13-inch performance/gaming ultraportable laptops will be updated in 2023, according to this article.
The ROG Flow X13 is a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree screen, whereas the ROG Flow Z13 is a tablet with a detachable keyboard folio, similar to a Surface tablet on steroids.
Flow Z13 and Flow X13 Hardware Upgrade
The Flow Z13 tablet received a hardware upgrade to the latest Intel and Nvidia platforms for the 2023 model years, as well as an updated display option and a few other tweaks. The convertible Flow X13, on the other hand, is a complete redesign of previous generations, with a thicker chassis as well as refined IO, updated AMD Ryzen + Nvidia RTX specs that run at higher power, a 75 Wh battery, and a new screen. We’ll go over the two 2023 Asus ROG Flows below, comparing them to previous iterations.
On the outside, the ROG Flow X13 GV302 generation builds on the design concepts of the previous model, with textured black metals used for the chassis, as well as a convertible hybrid format with a 360-degree display. Hopefully, Asus can improve their quality control, as there were some complaints about the armrest coating peeling off with general use around the front edge and corners on previous models.
The 2023 model has a slightly smaller footprint than its predecessors, resulting in smaller bezels around the screen and, especially, on the bottom chin. At the same time, it’s thicker, which I don’t mind because it allows for updated internals. Furthermore, the available information suggests that the 2023 ROG Flow Z13 weighs roughly the same as the previous model, at 3 lbs for the basic specifications.
That aside, despite the smaller footprint, Asus have been able to keep the ROG keyboard implemented on the previous generation, with 1.7 mm of key travel as well as dedicated macro keys in the top-left corner of the chassis, and also implemented a bigger touchpad (56% bigger). In addition, they crammed in a few more ports around the edges, including one USB-C 4.0 port on the right, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, and a microSD card reader, in addition to the XG Mobile + USB-C port, USB-A, and audio jack that were previously available.
The AMD + Nvidia exclusive 2023 ROG Flow X13 is still built on Zen4 AMD Phoenix 7000 processors (the Ryzen 9 7940HS) and several Nvidia RTX 4000 graphics chips. I don’t have access to specifics, but Asus is mentioning an RTX 4070 on this new X13, which is a significant upgrade from the 3050Ti in the 2022 model.
They also mention that they’ve updated the cooling for better air intake, as well as the charger capacity (130W vs 100W previously) to allow for higher power settings. That could mean up to 50-60W sustained on the dGPU and around 70-80W sustained combined, or something along those lines. For comparison, the previous-generation X13 was 55W combined power design.
Another platform feature worth noting for the 2023 ROG Flow models is support for Advanced Optimus, whereas previous models only received a standard MUX that required a restart when switching modes. GSync support is also mentioned, for both the laptop’s main display and compatible external monitors via the USB-C ports.
Another notable interior change is the updated battery, which is now 75 Wh in capacity, up from 62 Wh in previous models. The charger has also been upgraded to a 130W brick – it’s still USB-C and slightly larger than the previous 100W charger.
I’m not sure if the speakers have been updated in any way, and I’m guessing they haven’t because Asus would have mentioned them in the press release. Nonetheless, the audio quality was already satisfactory, so an update was unnecessary. They did mention an updated 2 MPx camera with IR functionality located at the top of the screen, which is a welcome addition given the previous X13’s poor camera quality and lack of IR. However, I’m not sure if the finger sensor in the power button is still available for the 2023 model year.
Availability and Verdict
Overall, the 2023 Asus ROG Flow X13 GV302 series is slightly smaller than previous X13 generations while providing a better mid-range display, better inputs, significantly faster hardware, and a larger battery. You’ll have to wait for our detailed review to see how much faster this Ryzen 9 7000 + RTX 4070 generation is compared to the previous Ryzen 9 6000 + RTX 3050Ti model, as well as whether Asus was able to improve fan noise or sustained performance with the new model.
The new X13 should be available in February or March, with pricing to be announced later. Given the bump in specs, I expect the higher-tier models to easily go for 2000++ USD/EUR.
Asus Flow X13 V Flow Z13
The 2023 Flow Z13 convertible, unlike the 2023 Flow X13, is a hardware upgrade and minor refinement of the previous 2022 Z13 chassis. Regardless, the Z13 was a newer and superior design than the previous X13, and it still is to some extent. Sure, it’s a tablet, so it’s not as convenient to use on the lap or on the go, but thanks to its excellent thermal module and unrestricted flow of fresh air into the fans, it’s a more comfortable tablet and a better desk laptop.
You may have heard that the Z13 is a quieter and cooler running computer than the X13. Asus updated the charger to 130W for the 2023 model and increased the power settings, implementing up to 65W sustained GPU and 70+W combined CPU+GPU settings. That’s 10+W more than the 2022 Z13, resulting in improved performance but possibly increased fan noise and/or temperatures.
The 2023 model also gets an updated Intel 13th-generation Core i9-13900H processor as well as up to an RTX 4060 8GB dGPU. Aside from specs, Asus has updated the cameras on the Flow Z13, including a 5 MPx front webcam with IR and a 13 MPx back camera, as well as the same QHD+ 500-nits Nebula display found on the X13.