CES 2021 | Asus just pulled a Razer with its insane ROG Flow X13 2-in-1 Ultrabook and super-slim ROG XG Mobile external GPU
If you want the most powerful Ultrabook money can buy, then the Razer Blade Stealth is pretty much the only option as there are no other 13.3-inch laptops with both a Tiger Lake CPU and a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU at the moment. However, Asus will soon have an even more powerful 13.4-inch laptop to rival the Razer system.
Called the Asus Flow X13, the convertible laptop will be one of the first to feature a 45 W Ryzen 7 5800HS CPU up to the Ryzen 9 5980HS to outright blow anything from the 15 W Intel Tiger Lake-U lineup out of the water. It will also come equipped with a GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, but Asus doesn't specify if it will be a Max-Q, Max-P, or even Ti variant. It will, however, have a 35 W TDP to suggest that it will be similar to the one found on the Razer Blade Stealth.
The second notable feature of the laptop is its special ROG XG Mobile external GPU dock. The small dock measures just 208 x 155 x 29.6 mm and it houses a non-removable mobile GeForce RTX 3080 GPU utilizing vapor chamber cooling and an active fan. The dock also integrates additional I/O ports and is able to recharge the laptop simultaneously. Asus says its XG Mobile will be a much more portable and elegant solution than the Razer Core.
So, what's our opinion on the Flow X13 and ROG XG Mobile dock? The concept is intriguing for sure, but the dock introduces one huge caveat: it will require a proprietary connector meaning that the dock will not work on laptops other than the Flow X13. Dell had a similar idea with the proprietary Alienware Graphics Amplifier port that ultimately never really took off and so the XG Mobile might have a similar fate. On the other hand, the special connector offers a wider PCIe x8 bandwidth whereas all current Thunderbolt-based eGPUs are limited to PCIe x4. Asus is claiming that Flow X13 users can squeeze more performance out of its external RTX 3080 when compared to Thunderbolt solutions with the same GPU.
The Flow X13 and ROG XG Mobile dock will launch before the end of this quarter with a starting price of $2999 USD. The dock will both be sold separately and as a package with the laptop.
|Asus Flow X13 Convertible|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS|
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS
|GPU||GeForce GTX 1650|
|Display||13.4-inch 1920 x 1200 touchscreen, IPS, 120 Hz, 100 percent sRGB, Pantone validated|
13.4-inch 3840 x 2400 touchscreen, IPS, 60 Hz, 116 percent sRGB, Pantone validated
|RAM||Soldered LPDDR4X 4266 MHz Dual-Channel (8 GB to 16 GB)|
|Storage||M.2 2230 PCIe 3.0 x4|
|Audio||Stereo, Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio|
|I/O||Proprietary ROG XG Mobile interface (PCIe 3.0 x8)|
USB-A 3.2 Gen. 2
2x USB-C 3.2 Gen. 2 w/ DisplayPort and Power Delivery
3.5 mm combo audio
100 W USB Type-C AC adapter
|Size||299 x 222 x 15.8 mm|
|ROG XMG Mobile eGPU|
|GPU||GeForce RTX 3080 mobile w/ 16 GB GDDR6 VRAM|
|I/O||4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A|
SD card reader
Proprietary ROG XG Mobile interface (to laptop) with USB-C charging
|PSU||Integrated 280 W|
|Size||208 x 155 x 29.6 mm|