One of the daring arguments made at CES in 2021 is that Asus said its convertible laptop ROG Flow X13 was as fast as a larger gaming laptop.
Let’s reorganize it. Asus claims that a 13-inch lightweight convertible laptop, weighing less than 1.3 kg, is a desktop replacement and is as fast as a gaming laptop that doubles in weight and size. You might think it’s just an exaggeration. But when you hear the tricks Asus has done with this product, you’ll marvel.
Let’s look at the basic specifications. The highest spec of ROG Flow X13 is AMD’s new 8-core Ryzen 5980HS and GeForce GTX 1650. The 13.4 inch IPS panel has a 16:10 ratio, and the resolution and refresh rate can be selected from 1920×1200/120Hz or 4K/60Hz. The battery can also be used for up to 10 hours for video playback.
What makes this mediocre laptop as powerful as a large gaming laptop is due to the new ROG XG Mobile, an external graphics dock.
Of course, there were many Thunderbolt-based external GPU devices in the past, but Flow X13 and XG Mobile are completely different in size and connection. Asus said that the x4 PCI Gen3 connection through Thunderbolt does not provide enough bandwidth to support the latest high-performance GPUs, so it has designed a self-reversing connector using x8 PCIe Gen3.
In addition to the x8 PCIe, Asus added a 10Gbps USB-C port, Gigabit Ethernet, and an SD card slot to the XG Mobile. Using a custom PCB, the XG Mobile is equipped with a GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU and 16GB of RAM, and the built-in 280 watt power supply can be used up to the Flow X13.
The big advantage in performance that can be obtained from this external connection is heat generation. By using the XG Mobile instead of the built-in GPU, the Flow X13’s thermal margin increases, allowing the Ryzen 9 5980HS to run longer at higher clock speeds. In addition, XG Mobile’s vapor chamfer cooler blocks all heat outside the notebook and allows the GeForce RTX 3080 to run at 1,810 MHz at 150 watts.
With a weight of 1kg and a thickness of 29mm, you can carry it with you, but Asus has also created a custom carrying case to carry the Flow X13 and XG Mobile together.
It is an advantage that you can get the same performance as a gaming laptop that weighs over 2kg, but it has a disadvantage that it requires an external power source to drive it. Also, the GPU cannot be easily replaced.
The first Flow X13 product will be equipped with a Ryzen 5000 chip, but the Super Nova Edition scheduled to be released this year will be equipped with the Ryzen 9 5980HS. Pricing for the Flow X13 and XG Mobile has not been disclosed yet. firstname.lastname@example.org
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