ASUS ROG Flow X13: ultra-portable gaming laptop with external RTX 3080 graphics
ASUS announced a 13-inch gaming laptop that ships with an external docking station that acts as a graphics solution.
ASUS ROG Flow X13 is an entirely normal ultra-portable laptop except for one thing. It comes with a special port that attaches to a custom-built external docking station acting as a GPU enclosure. This design allowed ASUS to utilize the full potential of the PCIe Gen3 at x8 interface designed specifically this for laptop.
The laptop ships with just announced AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS (35W) based on the AMD Cezanne family. This CPU features 8-cores and 16-threads, which boost up to 4.8 GHz. The ROG Flow X13 connects to an external dock called ‘ROR XG Mobile’ which is essentially a custom graphics card that looks like an external 3.5-inch disc. This station can supply up to 280W of power through a built-in power supply. More importantly, it is equipped with GeForce RTX 3080 mobile graphics card which features 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Combined with Ryzen 5980HS this device is extremely powerful in such a form factor.
This is actually the first 2-in-1 gaming convertible from ASUS ROG. It only has a thickness of 15.8 mm and a weight of 1.3 kilograms, it aims to be the world’s most powerful convertible of this size. The 16:10 display with a size of 13.4 inches is available as an FHD solution with 120 Hz or optionally with UHD. The built-in 62 Wh battery is said to last 18 hours in mixed operation and 10 hours in continuous video playback. It charges through a 100-watt USB-C connector.
The external graphics solution is a blower-design enclosure with a built-in connective expansion slot. Thus it cannot be replaced or upgraded by the user, however, ASUS has plans to offer new GPUs in this form factor in the future. Theoretically, this would solve a problem for GPU replacement, however, it is hard to imagine that they will be cheap.
The station functions as an I/O hub with four USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, an SD card slot, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0a connect directly to the external GPU. The integrated 280W power supply unit supplies both the external GPU and the notebook with power thus no additional charger is required for the notebook when using the ROG XG Mobile.
ASUS has announced that the laptop will cost at least 1499 EUR and it will be available by the end of this quarter. What is important to note is that the ROG XG Mobile will be sold separately. Both devices might cost around 3499 EUR when bought together.