The ASUS ROG Flow X13 2023 is one of the latest additions to the PC manufacturer’s gaming portfolio. ROG gaming laptops are top-notch machines and in this review, we will be finding out whether the Flow X13 2023 is able to stand its ground.
ROG Flow X13 2023: Specifications
- Processor: 4nm AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS (8-core/16-thread, 16MB L3 cache, up to 5.2 GHz max boost)
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU (TDP 60W), 8GB GDDR6 (128-bit)
- Display: 13.4-inch IPS LCD, touchscreen, glossy, 500 nits brightness, 3ms response time
- Colour: 100% DCI P3
- Resolution: QHD, 2560 x 1600/165Hz
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (2230)
- I/O: 3.5mm audio jack, USB 3.2 gen 2 Type A, full-size HDMI 2.1, ROG XG Mobile Interface and USB 3.2 gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort), USB 4 Type C (with DisplayPort), microSD card slot
- Camera: 1080P FHD (Windows Hello)
- Speaker: 2x with Dolby Atmos
- Connection: Wifi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
- Battery: 75Whr
- Power supply: 130W USB-C charger
- Weight: 1.3kg
The laptop weighs about 1.3 kg with a thickness of about 1.87 cm. The body is made of magnesium alloy and has grooves that seem like parallel lines. This gives the laptop a texture upon touching it. The right side has the power button (fingerprint sensor), 1 x USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C port with Display Port 1.4 and 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port. Just beside these, you can also find the heat exhausts.
On the left side, you’ll see 1 x HDMI 2.1 (dGPU), 1 x 3.5mm uudio port, 1 x microSD (UHS-II) slot and 1x USB 4 Type-C port (40Gbps) with Display Port 1.4. Both the Type-C ports have 130W PD charge support (great move by ASUS). The right side also houses the ROG XG Mobile Interface.
The 13.4-inch ROG Nebula display (LCD IPS display) is everything a gamer needs. A 2560 x 1600 resolution, 165Hz screen refresh rate (with an option of 60Hz), a 225 ppi pixel density and an extended 16:10 aspect ratio all to make the gaming experience unforgettable.
This laptop has thin bezels which gives it an appearance of being smaller than it is. The 1080P camera at the top-centre is average and can be used for various things including Windows Hello face unlock or video calls. The 360-degree hinge is not stiff but rigid enough to prevent wobbling during sudden movements. ASUS claims 500 nits of brightness on this IPS LCD display which is sufficiently bright for gaming, designing, video editing and everyday work. Not enough for working in sunlight, though. I tried.
The touchscreen display is highly responsive. The ASUS Pen 2 works like a delight. However, you will feel that there is a certain level of pressure needed before it actually starts to feel flowy. It is a great tool for designers to bring their creativity to life. Although the Pen 2 is not a professional-grade designing tool, it is great for beginner and intermediate users. Oh, and did I tell you this panel is also Pantone-validated and Dolby Vision HDR-enabled?
Touchpad and Keyboard
If not anything, ASUS will always be remembered as a brand that listens to its users. Previous editions of the Flow X13 had an issue of a smaller touchpad and the 2023 edition has finally solved it. We finally have a larger touchpad on this laptop which is always a requisite for gamers and designers.
There’s no number pad on the keyboard an there’s no power button on top either. The fingerprint sensor is missing on top as well. Instead, it is on the right side clubbed together with the power button. Furthermore, this is not an RGB keyboard. Users only have 3 modes of keyboard lighting, i.e., static, breathing and strobe.
|Benchmark Scores –|
|Cinebench R23 (Single-Core) – 1814||Geekbench 5 (Single-Core) – 2052|
|Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core) – 17638||Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core) – 12667|
The processor in this laptop is the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS with 8-cores and 16-threads and a base frequency of 4.0 GHz. The CPU can go up to 5.2 GHz (max boost). AMD processors have been wreaking havoc in the PC space and the 7000 series Ryzen 9 processor only goes on to prove that. Multitasking is simply superb and performance is lag free. We edited and exported videos on Premiere Pro and at the same time edited photos on Lightroom with ease.
For the geeks out there, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 does come with a MUX switch, which is always good to have when there are multiple GPUs. In terms of computational prowess, the 4060 clocks 12.8 TFLOPS, which is not bad at all.
As far as gaming performance goes, it is excellent at 1080P (4K is not too bad either but it takes up a lot of VRam). The 8GB NVIDIA RTX 4060 GDDR6 (60W) gets you great results in AAA games. I got up to 50 FPS in Red Dead Redemption II at 1920×1200 and up to 60 FPS in Forza Horizon 5. Despite portability being touted as one of this laptop’s USPs, you might want to connect it to power for better performance while gaming. You can also connect an external GPU via the ROG XG Mobile Interface for better gaming performance. The RTX 4090 can take over and turn this 13-incher into a battleaxe.
The laptop also comes with an AMD-integrated GPU (Radeon 780M). The system swiftly changes modes between the Radeon 780M and the NVIDIA RTX 4060. If you pay attention, you’ll actually be able to notice the exact moment of switching too.
When you buy a laptop like the Flow X13, you’d want it to handle other multimedia tasks as well and that is exactly what it does. Tasks like video and photo editing are a smooth ride with this PC. Software such as Premiere Pro, After Effects and Photoshop work wonderfully without any noticeable lag.
Memory and Storage
The ROG Flow X13 comes with 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM. This RAM (8GB x 2) is soldered and therefore there is no scope for increasing it in the future. Regarding storage, the laptop comes fitted with a 4th generation 1TB PCIe 4.0 gen NVMe M.2 SSD. 4th gen PCIe SSDs (5 GBPS) are faster than 3rd PCIe SSDs (3.3 GBPS). Booting software and games is very quick and so transfer of data.
The 75Wh lithium-ion battery offered about 5 to 6 hours while at full brightness and about 9 hours at 50 per cent brightness. Prolonged gaming takes this number down to 3 to 4 hours. We won’t say it has the best in class numbers in terms of run time but it’s still much better considering this is a gaming laptop. Plugging in the charger is highly recommended while playing games.
Verdict: Is It Worth It?
Asus has made a reputation for itself over the years by creating crème del la crème machinery and they have done it once again with the ROG Flow X13. AMD Ryzen 9 processor, 165 Hz display, 500 nits brightness, 100 per cent DCI-P3 coverage, NVIDIA RTX 4060, liquid metal cooling system, use of ARC flow fans, silent cooling, you name it. This 13-inch beast of a gaming laptop has it all.
As a matter of fact, this should not be labelled as a gaming laptop at all. Gaming laptops do not have touch screens simply because they don’t need one. The ROG Flow X13 should instead be marketed as a 360-degree versatile performance Magnesium-alloy monger. It is great for gamers, it works wonders for creators and designers and it delivers when it comes to multi-tasking and professional work. Just an all-rounder in every way possible. The compact size allows for hassle-free portability and the 75wH battery really does ensure a prolonged power supply.
Heating is an issue with almost all gaming laptops but it is prominent with the ROG Flow X13. The exhaust vents are on the right-hand side, so if you put the laptop on your lap while working, you’ll definitely feel the heat.
Laptops by definition are created for portability. However, when it comes to gaming laptops, due to the stacking of different components, portability gets compromised. This laptop right here is meant for those users who prioritise portability and need a powerful machine on the go.
In conclusion, the ROG Flow X13 is by far the best 13-inch gaming laptop to come out this year. Not only is it proficient in gaming, but it is also a powerhouse when it comes to content creation, designing and multitasking.