This laptop is a rather different laptop by the ROG. It’s the company’s first-ever laptop ultra-thin, ultra-portable, convertible laptop. And yet this isn’t the first time I’m using the ROG Flow X13 as well – because a few months ago, we did a video with ROG Malaysia and we showcased the Flow X13 alongside the XG Mobile.
But we weren’t able to review that unit of the Flow X13 for multiple different reasons – mostly because of time constraints – and now, we have much more time to soak in the experience and share it with you guys.
So, the ROG Flow X13. This is a rather weird laptop by the company – and I’m not complaining because it can really compete with many other ultraportable laptops as well.
We’ll start off with the physical build. This ROG Flow X13 is covered by sandblasted magnesium alloy which contributes to its rigidity even though this laptop is pretty thin at 15.8mm, and it is also rather lightweight too – weighing at just 1.3kg.
As for the aesthetics, the laptop has a rather… nostalgic??? Okay, remember when we talked about the ROG Zephyrus G14 ACRNM edition in December of last year?
Anyway, in that video, I said it’s… like a fever dream. And that design philosophy seems to have inspired the Flow X13. According to ROG, this is called the “gravity waves” design. Okay? I guess?
And the default wallpaper of this laptop is also something along this line of gravity waves and truly, it reminds me of the Zephyrus G14 ACRNM Edition’s design.
Oh – while we’re here, let’s talk about the display. This is a 13-inch laptop with a 16:10 aspect ratio, so its resolution is at 1920×1200 pixels and supports 120Hz refresh rate too. It is using a glossy finish because this is a touchscreen.
The hinge on this laptop is decent enough but it does wobble when I’m using the touchscreen. And of course, this is a convertible laptop after all so it can be used in the 4 typical modes – laptop, tent, stand, and tablet mode.
Now – back to the design of this laptop. The deck of this laptop is also using the same “gravity waves” design. The lines run across the entire wrist rest area and ROG also took some creative liberty to “bend” the gravity waves to create the ROG logo. Pretty sure gravity waves don’t bend at a 90° angle though.
And since we’re here, let’s talk about the trackpad. Yes, the “gravity waves” also cover the trackpad but they’re under the glass surface. And the trackpad works fine most of the time. It caught me off-guard at first because there is acceleration – but not a big deal for me. So overall, no complaints about the trackpad.
And now the keyboard. This keyboard is one that I thought I wouldn’t like as much but turned out to love it a lot. The layout is fantastic and the keys have a long travel distance. I had fun typing on this laptop, honestly.
Also, I should add that after typing for many hours on this laptop, I realized the “gravity waves” on the wrist rest actually helps to wick sweat away while providing some breathing room for my palms. I don’t know if this “feature” is intentional or not – but it’s surely a functional design.
What I love even more is the fact that ROG made use of the extra space above the keyboard and placed some quick shortcut buttons there.
“But where’s the power button?” That’s a good question. It’s placed at the right side, along the ports. And this is where I think the Flow X13 could’ve been better.
At the right side of this laptop, we have a USB 3 Type-A 10Gb/s, and another USB 3 Type-C 10Gb/s too. The placement for both these ports though… directly interferes with the typical mouse placement area.
Also, the USB Type-A port is placed beside the power button. They both have more or less the same size and I tried stabbing a USB cable into the power button way too many times, honestly.
On the left side of the laptop, we have a 3.5mm combo audio jack, and an HDMI 2.0b port, and a rubber flap that reveals another USB 3 Type-C 10Gb/s and a proprietary port.
Both the USB-C and the proprietary ports are used for the XG Mobile’s connection but to me, this is just very reminiscent of the ROG Phone situation. There’s a typical USB-C that is perfectly usable on its own, placed beside a proprietary port for functionality expansion. But for some reason, ROG decided to also make a rubber plug that covers both the USB-C and the proprietary port.
For me, I ended up leaving that rubber plug because I don’t want that USB-C port to be covered. I mean, I can charge the laptops by plugging them to either USB-C ports and why would I ever want to make myself suffer by suffocating myself from one high-speed USB-C port?
By the way, the Flow X13 charges using a 100W USB-C charger.
And now, for the performance. Our specific unit of the ROG Flow X13 that we got here.
Obviously, this laptop can do some gaming since the GTX 1650 is rather powerful. Just don’t expect smooth gaming experience with newer AAA titles at high graphical settings, though.
Nonetheless, I still played the entirety of Portal Reloaded – yes, the new Portal 2 mod with time portals – and it plays without issues – as expected.
This laptop also automatically switches between iGPU and dGPU mode on what seems to be a hardware level as the NVIDIA GPU disappears from the task manager while in iGPU mode.
As for the battery life, we got about 5 hours while in iGPU mode and at 60Hz refresh rate because the Armoury Crate automatically switches to 60Hz to save battery.
I also edited a bunch of videos on this laptop while connected to the Dell U4021QW monitor via its USB-C port. It’s 40-inch 5K2K monitor and the review will be at Tech Critter’s channel, so check it out here.
And speaking of Tech Critter, we’ll have to end our review here because we don’t have the XG Mobile with us. This review is only about the laptop alone and so far, I’m impressed and amazed by what ROG made.
Of course, there are a lot more improvements that can be made – for example, the USB port placement.
So finally, the price. The one that we have here is RM6,499. Honestly speaking, it’s a good price to pay for a laptop like this because at this price point, the competition either isn’t a convertible or doesn’t offer the same level of performance. And that makes the ROG Flow X13 a unique convertible laptop on its own.
You can maybe even get the RM5,999 version if you don’t need that much CPU power or storage – but know this – the ROG Flow X13 is not upgradable. Everything is soldered onto the motherboard.
So, it’s nice to see competition in the high-performance ultrabook segment – and I think the ROG Flow X13 is a laptop that other companies cannot ignore.