Gaming

Asus ROG Flow Z13: A beefed-up Microsoft Surface competitor

Launched at CES 2022, the Flow Z13 crams a powerful CPU and discrete GPU into a 13-inch design. And it works with Asus' eGPU dock when you need a graphics power boost.

Asus

This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

Asus' ROG Flow has officially become a line. Last year's ROG Flow X13 convertible with its XG Mobile external GPU/dock combo really impressed me, and I guess it must have impressed Asus enough to add a sibling for CES 2022. Its new ROG Flow Z13 is sort of a Microsoft Surface competitor, but targeted at people who want higher power and better gaming than the Surface supplies. A 13-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard that also works with the XG Mobile, it sounds like a great alternative for people living at the intersection of Windows, portability and power.

It can be configured with up to an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, with all the features that accompany Intel's 12th-gen chipsets like LPDDR5, PCIe 4 solid-state drive -- upgradable! -- plus Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6E. It either uses the integrated graphics or can be configured with a Nvidia 3050 Ti GPU, and there will be a new model of the XG Mobile option equipped with an AMD RX 6850M to join last year's Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 model. A dedicated vapor chamber means it can push the components a bit more. Asus is generally pretty good at getting the best performance possible out of a lot of its systems.

The base model comes with a 1,920x1,200-pixel 120Hz display and you have the option of a 4K UHD-class 60Hz version. Both are factory calibrated touch screens that support Dolby Vision and MPP 2.0-compatible styluses, and are the same as the new screens on the updated Flow X13. It's not clear whether the keyboard is bundled, but it has a stepless kickstand for those of us who don't like being constrained to only three choices for angling the screen.

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