The gaming tablet we didn’t expect

Welcome to the future. With its spaceship look, (pseudo) cryptic engraving, articulated cabin with thousands of details and outer shell, ROG Flow Z13 doesn’t leave you indifferent. The core of the concept is a Microsoft Surface tablet, with a detachable keyboard. The tablet part includes its own Nvidia RTX 3050, but it can also turn a little and take advantage of surplus power, thanks to “ROG XG Mobile,” an external case that adds sockets and integrates the powerful RTX 3080 Max -Q.

The promise then is to be able to take advantage of a tablet (on the train or plane), a very portable computer on the go, and a powerful PC designed for 3D gaming at home by plugging into the case as well as for external displays. But do you take the sauce?

Excellent build quality and good components

In the “glorious” days of motherboards (in the ’90s/2000s), Asus was the Taiwanese brand with a reputation for quality build. In the battle over laptops, Asus has maintained its brilliance. If we can always discuss the design of this machine, we must realize that Asus knows how to make machines crosswise excellent.

The touch of the metal is really fun, the arrangement of the parts is micrometers, the design is full of detail – you should like it, but it’s very well made – and the glass that shows the components lit up when the computer is working provides a touch of skill.

includes Republic of players (ROG), the Flow Z13 produces a start-up sound, like “space laser katana dissection” (and “loud” of course). Be forewarned, if you can seduce your IT department to swap your Surface for a ROG Flow Z13, starting the device in a meeting can cause a stir (preferably waking up).

In terms of components, the Core i7-12700H comes from a brand new 12And A generation of core processors, as indicated by their serial number. A chip with six high-performance cores (two missions each) and eight low-power cores, providing Windows 20 execution cores. Hard to line up the machine! 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM is (unfortunately) logically soldered, as is 4GB of GDDR6 that powers the RTX 3050 Ti.

Read also: ‘The biggest evolution of x86 for ten years’: Intel reveals the inner elements of the next core processors

The only disappointment with our configuration was the tiny 512GB SSD. With the gaming aspect of the machine and high prices, it’s easy to simply not offer 1TB directly – games are now 70 or 100GB…

Three graphics chips and three levels of performance

The configuration we tested consisted of a case equipped with an RTX 3080 Max Q, when the graphics card was inside the RTX 3050 Ti. This gives us not two chips, but three graphics chips, an Intel processor that integrates an Xe GPU with 96 execution units. This chip provides enough performance for mobile Ultra HD devices to play games in 720p / 1080p in low detail. However, here we are talking about a laptop from the Asus range for gamers. So if your Windows desktop is well powered by an Intel chip, as soon as you run the slightest 3D game, the second RTX 3050 Ti chip takes over.

And the performance delta is more than enough for the Flow Z13 to qualify as a PC the games. 1920 x 1200 pixels (16/10 screen .)And) every detail meticulously, horizon zero down Runs at 35-50 frames per second. Far, far from what other Surface and other cloned PCs can offer.

It is clear that once plugged into the case, the level of performance increases very dramatically with the launch of the RTX 3080. The number of frames per second in the same game ranges from 60 to 120 frames per second. More greedy game like Cyberpunk 2077 movie Consistently over 45fps, Metro Last Light Redux Above 60-70 fps. This allows us to say that the couple will be able to run all the games at maximum quality and in a very comfortable way for some time to come.

That’s not to say the device is capable of standing up to turrets and other thick PG games. Not all RTX 3080s are created equal. This is the Max-Q version intended for integration into laptops, which develops less power – the RTX 3080 is approximately 40-50% more powerful than the Max-Q version.
Even worse, here is the fact that the card is external to the chassis means that the chip is more obstructed. If the performances are excellent for the type of device format, then it should not be overlooked that the performance / price ratio is still very high, the chip is not able to fully express itself.

ROG XG Mobile: the stable case

In addition to the powerful RTX 3080 Max-Q graphics card, the external box also provides additional sockets. That’s not a steal, because the tablet itself is a bit sloppy: a dual jack for connecting the case (PCI-Express and USB-C for power supply), USB-C, USB-A, and a 3.5mm jack for headphones. In addition to the Micro SD slot on the back of the device, below the hinge.
An important extension, because if you can change the SSD (via a single screw slot), the fact that it uses the very small M.2 2230 format limits the number of references available to upgrade the internal storage.

On the outer box, there are four USB A 3.2 sockets, HDMI 2.0b, Display Port 1.4, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, and on one edge, a standard UHS-II SD card slot. A good point for those who intend to control a large stationary station: in addition to its integrated screen, the Flow can simultaneously manage two other screens.

Like a “normal” USB device, there is no need for any special procedure to connect the stream. We connect the cable, the Asus software, Armory chest He switches to another secondary GPU, “turning off” the integrated RTX 3050 Ti chip.
To unplug it, click on the ROG XG Mobile icon in the status bar. If we unplug quickly, Mr. Windows and Mrs. ROG send you a letter protesting your lack of good manners. But for doing the “wrong” processing multiple times on the Windows desktop, nothing caught on. But in the game, we can’t promise you anything…

Note that the ROG XG Mobile powers the tablet / PC perfectly, and the 100W “Nomadic” charger can stay in your backpack. Nomads in quotes, because we’re far from standard cables for ultra-portable, even powerful, 15-inch chargers — it’s a square block whose portability and ergonomics are subverted by a thick Clover connector cable.

Very good screen but battery in the coil

With 489 cd/m², a measured contrast ratio of 1439:1 and excellent color accuracy (Delta E 2000 at 1.13), the 13.4-inch panel offers true work comfort. In 16/10 . formatAnd With a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, it displays a small additional vertical surface compared to a regular Full HD panel. Its frequency of 120 Hz makes it particularly suitable for video games, unlike the 4K + (WQUXGA in real life, i.e. 3840 x 2400 pixels) version available in another version of the device. We’d also be glad not to try a more specific version: between the Core “H” processor (between 35W and 45W) and the RTX 3050 chip, this “Vitamin Surface” consumes a lot of power.

If we consider the ROG Flox 13 2022 as a gaming PC, it proves to be durable as it displays 5 x 58 in multi-use autonomy and 5 hours 21 in video playback. The problem is that part of its mission is still to play it as a high-performance portable device.
However, if these values ​​are around five to six hours and are fairly good for a gaming machine, then it is clear that they rebound if we compare them to real ultraportables. Which is rather about… doubling. The price of the power of the “H” processor, an additional graphics card, and the shape of the tablet…

Original concept, flawless execution…but for what audience?

Believe it or not, at 3,499 euros per set, our copy of the ROG Flow Z13 and ROG XG Mobile RTX3080 is not the best model from Asus. A version of the tablet is offered in Core i9, with 1 TB of storage and a 4K + screen (WQUXGA, or 3840 x 2400 pixels) at a price of 3,799 euros. Suffice it to say that we are far from the best price-performance ratio. And it makes sense: it is clearly a luxury device for those who prioritize mobility and the high-tech character of the device.

The difficulty of talking about such a device is to imagine the goal. To defend its product, Asus France clarifies that it is a device “The ultimate tablet form. ROG Flow Z13 is aimed at those who love innovation and are looking for that form factor”.

Far from the logic of collective profitability – like Apple designs a chip (M1) to serve in all kinds of sauces, Asus assumes its pioneering approach and the exceptional character of the device, adding “With [leur] The ROG range, between Strix, Zephyrus, and Flow, there’s something for everyone ». As well as for all budgets…

If using this concept you have a tablet, a very laptop and a gaming PC, the experience remains much less than on dedicated hardware. Et le tout n’est pas forcément moins cher : à 3 500 euros le combo (machine + cavier + carte externe), il ya de quoi se payer un iPad (500 euros), un ultraportable léger et efficace à 1 000 euros et machine the games At just under $2000 – which will save more fuel than an outboard RTX 3080 MaxQ. If the overall weight is in favor of Asus, each device will provide a better ROG Flow experience and ergonomics. And you will have more iterations if you fail.

In short: if we do not have a typical profile of this device of exceptional character, at least it is someone who loves technology … and has the potential.

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