We recently reviewed a relatively compact gaming laptop ROG Zephyrus G14 2023, but this is far from the smallest model for gamers in the ASUS ROG lineup. Another series of the manufacturer boasts the 13-inch ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302), which, despite its compact size, has a fairly powerful platform with an AMD Ryzen R9 7940HS processor and an NVIDIA RTX 4070 mobile graphics card. I will tell you how these components perform in a thin case and what else ROG Flow X13 2023 has to offer in this review.
ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302) specifications
|Model||ROG Flow X13 2023 (GV302)|
|Display||IPS, 13”, resolution 2560×1600, aspect ratio 16:10, frequency 165 Hz|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS Mobile Processor|
|RAM||32 GB DDR5 6400 MHz|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 8 GB|
|Ports||XG Mobile Connector PCIe 3.0 x 8 (USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C with Display Port 1.4 G-Sync and Power Delivery up to 130W), HDMI 2.1 (dGPU), combo audio jack, microSD, USB 4.0 (40Gbps), USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A|
|Wireless modules||Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2|
|Camera||Full HD-камера, infrared sensor with Windows Hello support|
|Audio||Speaker system with 2 speakers, Dolby Atmos|
|Keyboard||Backlit island keys with backlighting|
|Battery and charging||75 W-h, power supply 130 W|
The delivery package
The Flow series is a relatively new addition to the Republic of Gamers (ROG) gaming device lineup, but ASUS is well aware that the top Zephyrus models have set high standards among the brand’s fans, including in terms of equipment. So in this regard, the manufacturer does not skimp on accessories.
In the box with the ROG Flow X13 2023, the user will find a wired ROG Strix Impact gaming mouse, which is quite comfortable to use, a 130W charger, a laptop carrying case, and another case for the ROG XG Mobile docking station with desktop graphics. The latter is not included, which is probably a good thing, because the price of the laptop would have been prohibitive.
Design and materials
The appearance of the model has not received significant changes, ASUS did not completely deviate from the design of last year’s Flow X13, which launched the line, which now also includes the 16-inch Flow X16 with a similar style case.
However, the continuity in design does not mean that it has not been updated. ASUS has added a few small details, such as the ROG logo on the lid of the display unit is now inscribed in a small triangle, and the Republic of Gamers inscription is on one of the textured lines that adorn the surface.
As before, the laptop is available in only one black color – Off Black.
One of the main features of the model, as well as the entire Flow line, is a touchscreen and a hinge that allows the screen to be opened 360 degrees.
Even if you don’t plan to use the ASUS Pen for handwriting or drawing, or use the laptop as a tablet, this degree of adjustment of the display lid opening is still very convenient.
It allows you to choose a comfortable level of inclination regardless of whether you are sitting at a table or lying on the couch.
In order to lighten the design of the ROG Flow X13 2023, ASUS used aluminum for the display unit cover and magnesium alloy for the keyboard base. Therefore, despite the rather powerful components, the model weighs only 1.3 kg. The laptop is comfortable to carry around in a backpack.
All ports in the ROG Flow X13 2023 are located on the sides of the case. On the left, you can find the XG Mobile Connector PCIe 3.0 x 8 connector for a docking station, which also includes USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C with support for Display Port 1.4 (dGPU), G-Sync, and Power Delivery charging up to 130W, one HDMI 2.1 (dGPU), a combo audio jack, and a microSD card slot.
On the right side are: USB 4.0 (40Gbps) with Display Port 1.4 (iGPU) and Power Delivery up to 130W, one USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port.
So, on the one hand, we have a pretty good set of ports for a compact laptop, but the XG Mobile Connector takes up quite a bit of space, and because it’s covered with a cap, it’s not obvious that the connector contains another USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port. In addition, I wouldn’t mind replacing the microSD port with another USB Type-A port, which was often missing, especially when using a mouse that is connected by a wire or dongle.
Display ROG Flow X13 2023
The test version of the laptop had an IPS screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10, a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, a color depth of 8 bits, a refresh rate of 165 Hz, and a response time of 3 ms. ASUS has a separate marketing designation for such matrices – ROG Nebula Display.
This is a very high-quality panel with a maximum brightness of 500 nits, a contrast ratio of 1000:1, and the ability to display 100% of the DCI-P3 color space. For a gaming model, this display is more than enough to comfortably conduct hours-long gaming sessions.
Traditionally for the top models of ASUS laptops, the display has been certified for Pantone Validated color reproduction, supports Dolby Vision video enhancement technology and NVIDIA G-Sync to eliminate image artifacts during gaming.
Platform and performance
The laptop is based on the AMD platform with a Ryzen 7000 series processor (Phoenix Point), which is based on the new ZEN 4 architecture and built using a 4-nm process technology.
AMD Ryzen 7000 series chips offer a number of upgrades such as better power efficiency, higher frequencies, and larger L2 cache, which together lead to improved performance. In particular, the Phoenix Point processors are focused on thinner and lighter designs, with a greater focus on power efficiency with a base power of 35W to 54W, fewer cores, and a better balance between CPU and GPU performance.
I was tested with the top-of-the-line ROG Flow X13 2023 configuration with the AMD Ryzen R9 7940HS processor. This chip is equipped with 8 cores (16 threads) with a base frequency of 4 GHz and a maximum frequency of 5.2 GHz, as well as built-in AMD Radeon 780M graphics with a frequency of 3 GHz.
Although this GPU accelerator is one of the fastest built-in solutions available today, the Flow X13 2023 can be counted on for discrete graphics; the test model was equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory.
Switching from an integrated to a discrete graphics card in the ROG Flow X13 2023 is done through the MUX Switch multiplexer, which does it directly from the graphics chip to the display, bypassing integrated graphics, which increases gaming performance.
The laptop platform is complemented by 32 GB of dual-channel LPDDR5 6400 MHz RAM and a 1 TB M.2 2230 PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe SSD. The latter demonstrates high speeds for both writing and reading information.
Overall, the ROG Flow X13 2023 delivers a high level of performance in everyday tasks, which is confirmed by both real-world use and synthetic tests. In PCMark 10 in performance mode, the laptop scores 7714 points. For comparison, last year’s ROG Flow X16 with AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS scored 7248 points in the same test, and the new ROG Zephyrus G14 scored 8051 points.
When the ROG Flow X13 2023 is disconnected from the power supply, it enters a power-saving mode, which reduces the level of performance. In the same PCMark 10, the laptop scores just over 5000 points, which is a significant decrease, but when working with office programs and even when processing photos, the user will not feel a lack of power.
When it comes to gaming, there is an interesting nuance. Given the thin body of the laptop, ASUS was not able to fully unleash the potential of the RTX 4070, its total graphics power (TGP) level is reduced to 45 watts in normal mode and 60 watts in ROG Boost turbo mode, compared to 105 watts that this graphics chip is capable of. But despite this, ROG Flow X13 2023 allows you to play modern games.
In No Man’s Sky, with a native laptop resolution of 2560×1600 pixels and maximum graphics settings, you can get a stable 50-60 FPS. Halo Infinite has more than 50 FPS.
This is also confirmed by the results of synthetic tests in 3DMark, with Time Spy scoring 8,282 points and Speed Way scoring 1,975 points.
This is much less than the mobile RTX 4090 can achieve in the same Zephyrus G14 2023, but slightly more than the mobile RTX 4060 shows, for example, in a larger gaming model MSI Cyborg 15.
So, considering the size of the ROG Flow X13 2023, we have a truly outstanding result. A truly compact laptop that allows you to play modern games even without connecting an additional docking station with more powerful graphics.
Other features of the ROG Flow X13 2023 platform include Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E wireless interfaces.
Heating and stable performance
The relatively thin body and fast platform of the laptop raise questions about heating and stability. And here I can’t help but note the skill of ASUS engineers, because the ROG Flow X13 2023 is surprisingly quiet. In office mode, the laptop does not heat up at all, and the cooling system does not turn on. The latter consists of two slim Arc Flow fans with 84 blades, heat pipes, and enlarged heat dissipation radiators. At the same time, liquid metal is used to remove heat from the processor.
Together with software add-ons that try to balance performance and heat, ASUS has dubbed this cooling system the ROG Intelligent Cooling Ecosystem. Unfortunately, I was unable to run the standard AIDA64 system stability test due to the lack of support for the latest AMD processors. However, I can note that during a long load, the processor temperature remains at 78-85 degrees Celsius, although the characteristics of AMD Ryzen R9 7940HS allow temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius. The noise of the cooling system does not even reach 40 dB, which is a very good result.
ROG Flow X13 2023 also passes the 3DMark stability test with a score of 98.6%.
In general, during prolonged use, the user will feel the ROG Flow X13 2023 body heat up, but it will be warm, not hot. The competent design of the cooling system provides a comfortable level of heat for the surfaces that the user’s palms and fingers touch during work or gaming sessions.
Webcam and face recognition
The laptop is equipped with a Full HD webcam, which is traditional for this class of laptops, but by the standards of modern smartphones it demonstrates mediocre image quality, but it will be quite enough for video meetings in Zoom or Teams.
In addition to its direct use, the camera in the ROG Flow X13 2023 is also used for facial recognition, and the laptop also has an infrared sensor for this purpose.
It works through the standard Windows login option – Windows Hello. The system recognizes the user quite accurately in different lighting conditions, allowing you to log in to your profile without using a password, which is quite convenient.
Keyboard and touchpad
The laptop is equipped with a backlit island keyboard with a 1.7 mm key travel. In general, the layout and keys here are similar to the Zephyrus G14 with larger dimensions, so ASUS did not compromise on the case size. Working with such a keyboard is very convenient, the keys have a clear but not too short stroke.
The touchpad in ROG Flow X13 2023 is much larger than the touchpad in the previous generation, with a 56% increase in size. Now it’s a glass panel with dimensions of 129.7×76.8 mm and support for all standard Windows gestures.
The laptop has two external Smart Amp speakers with Dolby Atmos spatial audio support.
They are quite loud, but have a typical sound level for compact laptops, which is enough to watch videos, but it is better to listen to music in headphones or on separate speakers.
The compact dimensions of the ROG Flow X13 2023 may suggest a mediocre battery life, but it exceeds expectations here as well. The fact is that ASUS managed to build a 75 Wh battery into the laptop.
The manufacturer claims an autonomy of 11 hours, and I managed to get even a little more, the Flow X13 lasted 11 hours and 12 minutes in the PCMark 10 battery test.
The laptop is charged from a 130W power supply, and what’s nice is that you can use both USB Type-C ports on the case of the model, and not just one of the manufacturer’s own ports, as is often the case with gaming models.