Despite ASUS releasing many big and bulky gaming notebooks at CES 2021, they weren’t the ones to peak our interest. What really managed to make our jaws drop was the ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301), a laptop convertible that, if done right, can completely change the way we perceive not only gaming laptops, but the market as a whole. It does that by offering a Ryzen 9 5980HS, which can compete with the big boys without breaking a sweat, and a GTX 1650 Max-Q.
All of that in a chassis so light and so portable that you would be scratching your head and wondering if ASUS has figured out how to replicate a TARDIS. Even more, it has an optional (and very costly) discrete GPU and PSU unit that you can plug into the laptop, in order to transform it into a beastly gaming rig that has the dimensions of an A4 piece of paper.
Today we are presenting you with LaptopMedia’s top 5 picks about the ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301).
4 reasons to BUY the ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301)
1. The Design and build quality
The body of the ROG Flow X13 is made out of a combination of materials, including magnesium and aluminum alloys and plastic that combine together to create a very solid structure, considering that the device is only 15.8 mm tall and weighs around 1.30 kg. As for the design, it has stripes all over it, which are very grippy and make holding and carrying the laptop in hand an easy task. The lid gets a glossy ROG logo, which comes in a purple hue and can change colors, but such additions are only available on the “Supernova Edition”.
The lid itself is easy to open single-handedly, and the bezels on the display are thin enough for 2021 standards. While the top and bottom bezels are thicker, they house the HD Webcam and the ROG logo. The display itself has a glossy finish thanks to the glass cover.
2. The Display
The display options on the ROG Flow X13 are cut down to two 13.4-inch IPS panels with a 16:10 aspect ratio. This makes the laptop a productivity machine as well, allowing for more applications to be present on the screen at once. The first panel, which our unit came with, had a Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The second panel has a UHD+ resolution, which must be a treat to use and look at. Going back to the 1080p display, it has comfortable viewing angles and a good contrast ratio. Combine this with a flicker-free backlight and a 98% sRGB coverage and you get a very capable device for color-sensitive work.
The color accuracy is great, even without our “Gaming and web design” profile, but with it, you can get even more accurate colors. Below you can see the results of our color accuracy test, which uses both the factory settings (left) and with our “Gaming and web design” profile applied (right).
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Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301) configurations with 13.4″ Sharp LQ134N1JW52 (SHP151E) (FHD, 1920 × 1200) IPS panel.
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Read more about the profiles HERE.
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Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
3. The Battery life
Being a convertible (and a thin one at that) battery life should be one of the strong suits of the ASUS ROG Flow X13. Even more, when you consider the hardware that is inside it, you would be more than happy to hear that the relatively big 62Wh battery unit lasts for 10 hours and 29 minutes of Web browsing, and 6 hours and 42 minutes of video playback.
4. The Performance
Now, for the elephant in the room, the performance. We have to say that even without the external GPU unit, which ASUS calls the ROG XG Mobile (we are working on securing one and will update the review once we do), the laptop performs exceptionally. Our unit had the Ryzen 7 5800HS, which tore apart its competition, as you will see below, and the GTX 1650 Max-Q, which does an adequate job both in the GPU benchmarks and in our Gaming tests.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average fps||56 fps||53 fps||50 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average fps||104 fps||71 fps||35 fps|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)||Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)|
|Average fps||91 fps||50 fps||45 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average fps||56 fps||51 fps||45 fps|
1 reason NOT to buy the ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301)
1. The Upgradeability and I/O
As with other compact devices, and especially convertibles, the ROG Flow X13 fails in its upgradability. Having all of its RAM soldered onto the motherboard makes it so that you’re stuck with the choice that you make when you purchase the laptop. Thankfully you can spec it out with up to 32GB of memory, so you should be set for a couple of years. Storage-wise, you only have one M.2 PCIe slot, and it only supports 30mm drives.
If you have decided to upgrade the storage but don’t know how, feel free to watch our detailed teardown video, which shows the exact steps of safely getting access to the M.2 slot.
The I/O is pretty scarce as well, with the laptop only having an HDMI connector, an audio jack, one USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, as well as the proprietary connector for the ROG XG Mobile.