The Asus flow X13 is the smallest gaming laptop with an 8 core Ryzen process of that I've ever tested, so let's find out just what this 13-inch machine can. In this detailed review, my configuration has the 8 core Ryzen 7 5800HS processor also an Nvidia GTX 1650 Max Q. graphics with 16 gigs of memory in a dual channel. It's available with the 1080p 120HZ or 4k 60HZ screen, and I've tested both options. What makes Asus flow X13 unique is that you can connect an external GPU with a direct PCIe connection to boost gaming performance, and I'll be testing out the RTX 3080 model in this video.
Design / Size & Weight
Let's start out with the laptop first, it's got an all-black design, and honestly, I couldn't tell you what materials it's using, it felt like plastic the touch screen can be flipped completely back in most regions it's bundled with the stylus, but that's not the case in Australia, so I didn't have to test with this allows you to use it in regular laptop mode and tablet mode stand mode or tent Mode.
Now I initially thought that only laptop and tablet modes would be of any practical use, but intent mode like this, it can actually run a fair bit cooler because it's easier for air to get in underneath, though, of course, doing this does prevent access to the touchpad and keyboard on the back so do use it like this you would need an extra keyboard and mouse or otherwise a controller while playing a game.
Screen / (Response Time)
The laptop alone weighs under 1.4KG or 3lb, the under 1.8kg or 3.9 pounds with a 100-watt type C charger and cables. It's quite small as you'd expect from a 13-inch machine, so quite portable considering the hardware inside the Asus flow X13 has a glossy gloss 16 by 10 touch screen, so a little more vertical space compared to your traditional 16 by 9 options as is typically the case. The 4k option had a better color gamut on offer compared to the 1080p panel and birth of FreeSync support.
Likewise, the 4K panel also got brighter than the 1080p one third to 1080p 1 had a better contrast ratio. Unfortunately, the screen response times one great for me. The panel of the 4k 60-hertz screen was actually slightly better on average than the 1080p 120Hz one.Here's both panels compare against all the laptops. Despite the results not being impressive, to be fair, they all still better than the Razor blade stealth 13. The only other 13-inch gaming laptop I've tested mine didn't have any bleed, just some subtle glow with the corners that I never noticed, but this will vary between laptop some panels. Unlike other Asus models, there's a 720p camera above the screen in the middle, but there is no IR for Windows Hello
Keyboard Asus Flow X13
The Chiclet keyboard has white backlighting and can be adjusted between 3 levels. All keys and secondary functions are eliminated, and I liked using it with the exception of the small arrow keys, but Hey it's a smaller 13-inch laptop so I got it typing has a subtle clicky feel with 1.7 millimeters of key trouble is how it sounds to give you an idea of what to expect. There are some extra buttons above the keyboard on the left, including volume adjust microphone mute and a shortcut to open the ASUS armory crate software, the control panel for the Asus flow X13.
Build Quality Asus Flow X13
The front has a groove in the center for getting your fingering to open the lid. Despite its small size and lightweight, it opens up easily with one finger and feels well balanced. The touchscreen can, of course, go the full way back because a conflict completely around by 360 degrees and be used in tablet mode the back of the laptop raises up ever so slightly with the screen back far enough, which means at can better get in underneath to help with cooling, plus you get a slightly better typing angle.
This means these little rubber feet on the back on the bottom of the lid are the only contact point between the tables which allows for more slip compared to having the screen forward. I suspect this is also contributing to the more than average keyboard flex, as there are just fewer contact points to support it, but that said, this was not something I ever noticed during normal use that's some would flex, but it's not too bad and to be fair it's on the thinner side.
Getting Inside + Internals
Underneath, there are just some events directly above the intake fans at the back. Getting inside was easy. That's just not much reason to just take out 11 Phillips's head screws the four down on the front shorter than the rest, so you keep track of them to make putting it back easy all inside we've got the battery down the from taking up around half of the available space. The 1TB NVMe and M.2 SSD is on the right above the battery, but it's the smaller 2230 size. I'm not 100 percent, but I think this is the largest size you can get for an SSD of this size at the moment, so storage upgrades may not be possible.
Memory is soldered to the board, which isn't surprising for a small model like this, so you'll have to make sure you buy it with what you need. It still runs the dual-channel and is available with up to 32 gigs. The speakers are towards the front on the left and right sides; I thought they sounded great for a laptop, possibly the best I've ever heard from a 13-inch machine still clear at Max volume with a bit of base present, and the latency on were not too bad.
By default, it plays the sound on boot. Fortunately, you can disable it either through software or the BIOS. Speaking of the bios, it's the same as most of the Asus ROG laptops I've tested, just the usual basic options available.
Battery Asus Flow X13
The Asus flow X13 has a four-cell 62Wh battery inside. I've tested it with keyboard lighting off background apps disabled and screen set to 50 percent brightness. The Asus Armory crate software gives you the option of enabling our IGPU only mode. This will disable the Nvidia discrete graphics to help improve battery life. You can manually enabled it through the software also or also choose for it to enable automatically when you unplug.
Additionally, the panel power saver option will automatically change the 120-hertz refresh rate in the 1080p model to 60Hz to help save battery, and this results in the screen briefly flashing black when you unplug as it changes despite the IGP mode, I was getting pretty much the exact same run time with either mode in use.
So it would appear that I don't have software or the operating system waking up the 1650 and burning more power, but there could be more of a difference based on what you have installed. It's not doing too bad when compared against the other laptop, 7 an half hour is a decent result though there are other the machines with smaller batteries that can do better. The Asus flow X13 is ahead of its 13-inch competition, the Razer blade stealth.
XG Mobile Asus Flow X13
Before we get into the thermal and gaming benchmarks, I need to explain the XG mobile. Basically, this optional external box as an external GPU or eGPU, and it connects directly to the Asus flow X13 with PCIe 3. At the moment, the Asus flow X13 is the earliest Asus laptop that supports XG mobile. But Asus do hope to add support for other models in the future.
The XG mobile is currently available with either RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 laptop graphics inside, and that's the full wattage laptop GPU, not the desktop GPU, which is important to not as they are differences in specs between them. My laptop RTX 3080 in the XG Mobile, for example, has more VRAM than a desktop RTX 3080, but it's slow. It's got fewer CUDA cores and has a low power limit. I've actually compared to RTX 3080 in the XG mobile against a desktop RTX 3080 in a thunderbolt eGPU setup on other guides.
The XG mobile about connects with the dedicated port on the left of the Asus flow X13. This uses a PCIe 3.0 lanes and dedicates 63 gigabytes per second of bandwidth to the external graphics, which is 57 percent more bandwidth compared to Thunderbolt 4.
The rest is used for things like USB. The XG Mobile also office Ethernet USB display outputs, and even an SD card slot. Basically, when you connected, there's a locking mechanism you need to slide down. The Asus software will ask if you want to swap over the XG Mobile. Before you 1 plug it, you need to go through the software and safely remove it to avoid potential issues.
Something tells me windows probably weren't like it if you suddenly rip out its graphics. You can't even unplug the XG Mobile if you first turn off the Asus flow X13. The next time you boot it up, it will ask you to connect the XG Mobile and disconnected it probably.
So it's all going to be done through the software with the RTX 3080 enabled the GTX 1650 in the laptop disappears and is an active allowing the CPU in the laptop to perform better as they're less power and thermal constraints we get some options for software to customize the XG Mobile we can see the overclock applied by default and modify it change the fan speed of the eGPU, and most importantly of all enable or disable its red lighting the XG Mobile also completely powerless Asus flow X13 laptop while it's connected, so you don't need it's 100-watt type-C charger. This is pretty cool because the XG Mobile was so small that you can easily just pick it up and take it with you in your bag.
Thermal Performance Asus Flow X13
The Asus flow X13 comes with thermal grisly liquid metal applied to the processor by default, while the XG Mobile is cold with a vapor chamber. The ASUS summary creates software lets you change between different performance profiles, which from lowest to highest a silent performance turbo and manual. Manual applies in overclock to GPU by default, but you can modify it here, and it also lets you modify fan speed. I've set mine to Max speed when testing manual mode. I've also set the power limits sliders in manual mode to maximum for best results. I've tested the laptop by itself, laptop plus eGPU, and then the same again but with the laptop, in tent mode, as should improve airflow.
The idle results down the bottom were on the warmer side in my 21 degree Celsius room. The rest of the stress test results with the Aida 64 CPU stress test with stress CPU only chucked and heaven GPU benchmark run the same time. These top 3 results were done with the XG Mobile eGPU connected. The others were all just the laptop by itself, with the laptop learn silent performance mode were about the same temperatures and the turbo wasn't much warmer.
Manual mode with the fans maxed out with the hottest as you'll see soon this boost performance more. With the eGPU, the CPU was still thermal throttling at 95 degrees, but it was possible to remove the simply by raising the fan speed, and if we flip the laptop over into the intent mode, we are able to improve cooling for the CPU significantly these are the clock speeds for the same tests to shown. Despite silent performance and turbo mode having similar temperatures, we can see the performance does actually improve with the higher mode. It's just that fan speed also increases at the same time as you will here soon.
Manual mode boosts the performance of the process that I found the GPU to lower a little here. The GPU speeds with the eGPU are, of course, much better. It's an external RTX 3080 and not exactly comparable despite the CPU thermal throttling at 95 degrees in both of these modes. The CPU is reaching high speeds with eGPU because there is more thermal headroom for the CPU that it's able to get higher as cooling improves.