The iPad Pro is likely the most powerful gaming tablet you can currently buy — and likely the most popular — but Asus is announcing a Windows-based gaming tablet that may go toe-to-toe in terms of power but will vastly exceed Apple’s tablet in terms of game and accessory compatibility on day one.
The ROG Flow Z13 has been announced at CES 2022, and it’s a tablet with a 13.4-inch display and a kickstand. Impressively, Asus will offer configurations of the Z13 with Intel’s Core i9-12900H 45W processor and Nvidia’s RTX 3050 Ti with 40W of total graphics power — both of which are incredible achievements in a 12mm-thick tablet. The Z13 is essentially a high-end gaming laptop that’s been crammed into a much thinner form factor, complete with a few other trends from CES 2022, like fast DDR5 RAM and PCIe 4.0 storage.
The Z13 is a wholly original product in Asus’ lineup, but it builds on the coolest feature of the Flow X13, Asus’ 2-in-1 laptop: being able to connect to an external GPU enclosure for faster, better graphics via a proprietary port. Asus’ XG Mobile eGPU kit can connect to the Z13 to deliver RTX 3080 graphics (or AMD’s Radeon RX 6850M XT, which is new for 2022) via the aforementioned proprietary port that connects directly to the card with a PCIe 3.0 connection with eight lanes for data throughput. That’s cool and all, but it’ll likely cost you a fortune. Last year, my colleague Monica Chin priced the kit including the 2021 ROG Flow X13 and the XG Mobile eGPU at $3,299.99, and the Z13 will likely cost more given its thinner, more ambitious design.
The ROG Flow Z13 can be configured with a 1080p IPS touchscreen with a 120Hz refresh rate and 100 percent sRGB coverage with 500 nits of brightness. For better picture quality, you can get a 4K IPS touchscreen with just a 60Hz refresh rate, which covers 85 percent of the DCI-P3 color space and has a peak brightness of 450 nits. Both screen types are Gorilla Glass-covered, validated by Pantone for color accuracy, and have a 16:10 aspect ratio, and all configurations of the Z13 come with a detachable keyboard that offers per-key RGB backlighting.
In terms of ports, the Z13 has one Thunderbolt 4 port with DisplayPort 1.4 for video output (it taps the integrated graphics) and up to 100W PD charging, while another USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port can handle video (tapping the dedicated graphics) and PD charging. According to materials provided by Asus to The Verge, there’s a third USB-C port that can handle video and PD charging, but it doesn’t clarify whether it utilizes integrated or dedicated graphics. To round out the I/O, there’s an eGPU port, one USB-A 2.0 port, a UHS-II class microSD card reader, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a headphone jack.
If you want to learn more about the Flow Z13 this week, including getting an in-depth look at the tablet, stay tuned to The Verge. The Z13 will be available in Q1 or Q2 2022.