The ROG Flow Z13 will arrive with the keyboard cover already attached. This is a magnetic cover and does not work wirelessly. As such, I feel people will use it primarily in this configuration. As all the components of the ROG Flow Z13 resides on the main body, all the weight is in there as well.
That said, this makes it quite hard to really use the Z13 on your laptop despite having a stand on the back. That said, this is where the unique limitations of a tablet will become a burden in some situations for the Flow Z13, starting off with the actual ergonomics of the device.
At a combined weight of 1.5kg, the Flow Z13 with the keyboard cover is very light for its specs but as a tablet, is not the lightest on one hand. Without the keyboard cover, the weight drops to 1.2kg but is still far from being idle as a one-handed device.
Removing the keyboard cover gives us a more familiar tablet look. The Flow Z13 can be oriented in landscape (pictured above) or upright portrait. As with any laptop, portrait mode lends itself nicely for browsing through feeds and content and the Flow Z13 has decent touch responsiveness and pen responsiveness is certainly usable and feels so much more smoother on the 120Hz 1080p screen.
ASUS offers the ROG Flow Z13 in 1080p 120hz or 4K60 resolutions. In ASUS’ configurations, the 4K screen comes out as the lesser model as its larger screen will tax the GPU in most games in native resolution but as crisp as images may look, its 85% sRGB coverage versus the 100% coverage of the 1080p 120hz panel instantly devalues it as a multimedia professional’s workhorse.
ASUS classifies the screen as IPS-level instead of actual IPS. Regardless, the viewing angle is very and colors are rich on the 1080p 120hz panel. ASUS says it is Pantone-validated and as announced in CES earlier this year, majority of ASUS ROG laptops will have a MUX switch particularly those with dGPUs.
Viewing the ROG Flow Z13 from the back though is wonderful sight. The stylized cutouts, panel lines, toolings and of course, that RGB-illuminated window. Notice that ROG also colored the pull tab on the rear stand of the Flow Z13 to make it easier to spot. Other than that, the design fits well with ASUS’ modern ROG design and while it may be polarizing to some, it fits the company’s design language and if you can’t appreciate that then this may just be the biggest turn off you can have on this machine.
Exploring the back more we see the stands supporting hinge which is very well made. Made of dense material and moves really fluidly, this hinge should really last until you manage to stick something in it.
Underneath that stand flap is a layout trace of the board and I have to mention this right now because ASUS explicitly disallowed tearing open the Flow Z13. Given its tablet form factor, I also had misgivings prying this thing open. ASUS did have some way for servicing the unit with a screw-on cover for the M2-2230 length SSD. ASUS only gives 512GB configuration on our local models with a 1TB option for the Core i9 in other regions. Something to note is that the ROG Flow X13 (laptop) has a 1TB M2-2240 single-sided SSD and that will not fit the Flow Z13. You still need a single sided option as there will be no way to close the slot door with a dual-sided SSD.
The hinge allows the ROG Flow Z13 to stand at an angle or almost flat to a surface. This stand will support the tablet throughout, even in portrait mode so take note of this is even the keyboard cover does not have enough weight to prevent the Flow Z13 from staying flat on say, your lap when using it as a laptop with the keyboard cover.
The keyboard cover isn’t anything special but if RGB makes it so, then it do know it does have RGB. The Flow Z13 smartly disables the keyboard cover lightning to conserve battery. The design is the same as with most ROG laptops but key travel is very short. While its easy to adjust to that sensation, getting used to the slight give that the keyboard cover has is something you really can’t do anything about.
The touchpad is standard and isn’t anything special but its worth noting that ASUS still managed to get that robust click all over the pad surface.
The cutout on the Flow Z13 is purely cosmetic but is raised which will be very evident when laying the Flow Z13 on this side as it makes the Flow Z13 wobble around. ASUS didn’t really say its not against positioning it this way but with glass on that side, I’d be very cautious.
Since we’re talking about laying the Flow Z13 flat, let’s check out the sides. The long sides of the laptop will house the cooling vents and magnetic ports for the keyboard cover. ASUS designed the Flow Z13 to recognize when there’s a blockage in the cooling vents and will warn you with a prompt on the system tray when Armoury Crate is installed.
On the I/O side of things, this is where those tablet limits creep up again. While its great to see ASUS provide a 3.5mm combo audio jack, tablets rarely do have many input option and the ROG Flow Z13 isn’t any exception.
We have a single USB2.0 Type-A port and a Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port as the only I/O for this device. There is another slot present here though: the XG Mobile slot. Just like on the Flow X13, the Flow Z13 has a similar XG Mobile slot which is a proprietary connector exclusively for use with ASUS’ XG Mobile external GPU.