The ROG Flow Z13 is currently the most powerful all-purpose computer available in a compact 13-inch tablet form factor right now. Asus nailed the design and screen options, didn’t skimp on inputs, features, or IO, and made sure the thermal design can handle the specs inside in demanding loads. On the other hand, as a potential buyer, you should consider the mediocre battery efficiency with Intel 12th generation hardware, as well as the adjustable variations of the tablet format.
If you’ve used a Surface Pro before, you’ll know what to expect in terms of overall functionality from the Flow Z13. It’s the same tablet computer as before, but with the hardware hidden behind the display and a detachable keyboard folio. On the back, it gets the same type of multi-angle adjustable kickstand. This is one-of-a-kind, with a sturdy metal chassis and various engravings and easter eggs on the back, along with a RGB-lit glass window that allows you to peek inside.
The Flow Z13 is also heavier and thicker than a Surface Pro, which is not surprising given that it contains far more powerful components and the necessary cooling to keep them at bay. As far as I’m concerned, I’d keep this mostly on a desk because the ergonomics on the lap/tighs are questionable, and the extra weight has an impact on the experience in tablet mode. This is not just a feature of the Flow Z13, but of the entire category of tablet computers.
This device has two USB-C ports on the left side, a USB-A and a headphone jack on the right, and a microSD card reader on the back, under the kickstand. On the left is the proprietary XG mobile connection, which is protected by a rubber cap. The USB-A is only 2.0, which is extremely slow by today’s standards.
Another flaw with this tablet-like design is that connecting any cables or peripherals will look messier than on a laptop format, because the cables will be in the way and always visible. You can connect it to the lower USB-C port, but you’ll have to remove the rubber cap and risk losing it.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The ROG Flox Z13 comes with a keyboard folio that includes a backlit keyboard and a clickpad. The folio connects to the tablet via a physical connector, so there is no lag like with Bluetooth peripherals, and magnets are strategically placed to aid in docking. At the same time, this means you can’t use the keyboard when the tablet isn’t physically connected to it.
By today’s standards, the clickpad is only adequate. While the surface tracks well and interprets gestures and taps as expected, the physical clinks are clunky as well as loud. At least the surface isn’t rattling from taps. In terms of biometrics, there’s a finger sensor in the power button on the side, but no infrared cameras.
The Flow Z13 features the same 13.4-inch 16:10 touch display as the Flow X13 series, with two-panel options:
- UHD+ 60Hz with 550+ nits of brightness as well as 85% DCI-P3 colours
- FHD+ 120Hz with 500+ nits of brightness as well as 100% sRGB colours
With its higher resolution and wider gamut support, the UHD panel appears punchy and sharp in the preview unit.
However, the FHD+ panel makes the most sense on this type of computer, not only because the lower resolution is better suited for the available hardware, but also because the 120 Hz refresh rate makes this preferable for occasional gaming, which is something you’d want when purchasing a ROG computer. There’s Adaptive Sync with both panel options, so tearing shouldn’t be an issue, but both panels are fairly slow in response time based on what we’ve learned from the X13, so ghosting could still be an issue in fast-paced titles.
Hardware and Performance
Our test model is the highest-specced ASUS ROG Flow Z13, codenamed GZ301ZE, which features an Intel Core i9-12900H processor, 16 GB of LPDDR5-5200 memory in the dual channel, 1 TB of fast SSD storage, and the dual graphics: the Nvidia RTX 3050Ti dGPU with 4 GB of vRAM as well as the Iris Xe iGPU integrated within the Intel processor.
This 2022 ASUS ROG Flow Z13 tablet is equipped with the most recent Intel and Nvidia hardware. With 14 Cores and 20 Threads, the Core i9-12900H is one of the top mobile processors in Intel’s Alder Lake 12th-generation platform. It is a hybrid design with 6 Performance and dual-threaded Cores and 8 additional Efficiency Cores that work together in different loads.
The Flow Z13 series has Iris Xe graphics and an optional Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 or RTX 3050Ti dGPU, the latter of which is available in this unit. The RAM and storage options for the Z13 are limited to up to 16 GB of LPPDDR5 memory as well as a single M.2 SSD slot, which is a miniaturised 2230 format.
This ROG Flow Z13 has a 56 Wh battery, which isn’t bad for a 13-inch tablet with this kind of hardware & cooling, so Asus didn’t skimp on this end either. In comparison to our previous findings with the previous software, the efficiency improved with BIOS 308.
On battery mode, the system automatically switches the screen to 60 Hz, but the 12th generation Intel platform is still not as efficient as the AMD options available, especially with casual loads and streaming. A mid-sized 100W USB-C charger is included with the laptop. It’s a standard dual-piece design with two long cables that plugs into either of the two ports on the left edge via USB-C.
The ROG Flow Z13 is a one-of-a-kind product, combining a powerful all-purpose computer with a compact 13-inch tablet form factor. In a nutshell, think of this as a thicker, heavier, and more powerful Surface Pro, as well as given the popularity of that series, I can see it appealing to a sizable portion of potential buyers.