Asus ROG Z13 Flow Is a True Removable Gaming Tablet

Asus has announced a follow-up to the unique ROG Flow X13 game conversion that launched last year. The ROG Flow Z13 (which now officially makes the Flow line a product series) flipped the script as a tablet converted into a laptop, not the other way around. Nevertheless, it's fully ready for gaming, and looks like it will pack an impressive punch, given its size.

We can take a closer look at the Flow Z13 in a pre-CES 2022 private meeting, so check out the video below for details about its design and components.

Design Like a Sleek Surface

While the Flow X13 is a convertible with a fixed 360-degree hinge keyboard that can be folded backwards for tablet mode, the Flow Z13 is a tablet combo and a removable keyboard. Unlike the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, the Z13 keyboard cover comes standard in the box, not an additional accessory. Since you can ditch the keyboard, the new device is lighter than the X13, weighing about 2.4 pounds and just 0.47 inches thick.

The keyboard can be magnetically clamped easily, folded to protect the screen, or pulled with a pull.

Meanwhile, the back of the tablet has a built-in buffer that can be adjusted to almost flat (170 degrees). Also unlike the Surface, the button has a backlight with RGB lighting.

Under the buffer, in addition to a small window that lets you peek at some interior components, there's a hole to swap the solid-state PCI Express 4.0 M.2.SSD drive uses a Type-2230 (30mm) square form factor instead of the longer stick-of-gum design used in most desktop motherboards, but alternative drives are already available at retailers.

There is also design work done to create a device this thin that is suitable for gaming. Such slim PCs require advanced cooling, so like other Asus gaming products, the Flow Z13 uses a sophisticated end-to-end steam room and liquid metal thermal solutions to keep core temperatures as low as possible. That's especially important when you look at what's packed in this tablet. True Game Class Components

In addition to design comparisons with Microsoft's Surface Pro, Flow is a gaming rig, so the real difference is on the inside. The components are exceptional for a tablet, including a 12th Generation Intel Core i9 H-series processor. That's the kind of 45 watt CPU you'll find in a 15- or 17-inch gaming laptop, rather than the less powerful U-series chips typically used in thin, lightweight designs. We'll create our own Z13 benchmark when the review unit is available, but that's a serious strength on paper.

Joining the high-end CPU is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics processor, which is the same as the Flow X13. So the Z13 will provide a considerable jump in processing, but its graphics performance should remain the same. There are also lower configurations available without discrete GPUs, for users who want a tablet with extreme processing power but don't play games or use 3D graphics applications.

Strengthen with eGPU

In addition, the ROG Flow Z13 pairs with the XG Mobile Asus external GPU (eGPU) cover, so you can connect a more powerful graphics card to your system (spending quite a lot of money on privileges). The XG Mobile box itself was also updated this year, with amd Radeon models joining the GeForce RTX 3070 and 3080 versions. (See our review of the original XG Mobile.) XG Mobile uses a proprietary connector with more PCI Express lines than thunderbolt eGPU can offer, although the Z13 is also compatible with that.

Given the wide variety of components, and some features that until now have not been seen on the tablet, we can't wait to test this removable game. We'll run it when the production unit arrives, so look forward to the full review.

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