At this year’s CES (2021), ASUS brought a lot of firsts to the world. It was one of the first manufacturers to introduce a mainstream laptop equipped with the Zen 3 processors, as well as the RTX 3000 series graphics cards. However, one of the notebooks there caught our eye. Although they released a super-powerful ROG Strix G733 and the ROG Zephyrus Duo, we were interested in their smallest challenger – the ROG Flow X13 (GV301). Why? Because, if it’s done right, it might revolutionize the market. Not only the gamer one but the entire laptop world, based on very strong foundations.

So, what is so special about this device. Well first, it comes in a convertible form factor. So far we’ve seen very few 360° gaming machines. Then comes the hardware – you get up to the Ryzen 9 5980HS 35W processor, which is pretty much on the level of the big boys. Also, it packs a 1650 Max-Q inside. Inside of what? Well, inside of a 15.8mm thin and 1.30 kg light chassis. All of that? Inside of all of this? Man, this has to fail, right? Well, it might not actually, because ASUS used a liquid metal thermal compound for their processor. Interestingly, they did that to most of their new gaming notebooks, but we surely didn’t expect to see it here.

By the way, not only do you get two display options – one 1920×1200 and one 3840×2400, but they come in a 16:10 aspect ratio and the former has a 120Hz refresh rate.

And finally, there is the cherry on the cake – the ROG XG Mobile external graphics card. For the low low price of another ROG Flow X13 (GV301), you get up to an RTX 3080 with 150W TGP, which has its own 280W power source, quite the I/O hub, and charges the laptop at the same place. So basically, you can plug it into a monitor. Leave it at your home, and every time you get back from work, just plug the connector, and you have the power of a huge gaming rig, in the size of an A4 document.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-flow-x13-gv301/

Contents


Specs Sheet

ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301) – Specs


OS


Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro


Battery


62Wh, 4-cell, 62Wh


Dimensions


299 x 222 x 15.8 mm (11.77″ x 8.74″ x 0.62″)


Body material


Plastic / Polycarbonate, Aluminum, Magnesium alloy

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • 2x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Audio jack 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Proprietary ROG XG Mobile interface

Features

  • Fingerprint reader optional
  • Web camera HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone Array Microphone
  • Speakers 2x 1W, Smart Amp
  • Optical drive

What’s in the box?

This laptop comes in a pretty interesting box. Inside, there are some paper manuals, the device, itself, as well as a 100W USB Type-C power adapter.

Design and construction

Undoubtedly, this laptop has unique design features. Most of its body has stripes all over it, which according to ASUS will offer more grip. We found that this is mostly true. Also, they use magnesium alloy, aluminum, and plastic. Its chassis is incredibly strong, and the flat surfaces make it easy to use in “tablet” mode. As we mentioned, the profile stands at 15.8mm, while the weight is 1.30 kg making it very easy to carry. And even though you get a mostly matte surface, it is fingerprint heaven. Moreover, the glossy ROG logo on the lid changes color to a purplish hue, but only if you get the so-called “Supernova Edition”.

Interestingly, you can open the lid with a single hand. So, the bezels around the screen are pretty thin, with a slightly bigger top and the bottom one. Thankfully, this is one of the few ROG notebooks that feature an HD camera, while the display has a glossy finish due to the glass cover.

Next, let’s move to the base. There we see a very pretty pattern, with the ROG logo being crafted with the lines in the bottom right corner. As for the keyboard. It has decent key travel and clicky feedback. Also, you get the mandatory shortcut keys, some of which allow sound control, while the last one opens the Armoury Crate app.

Further down below, there is the touchpad, which has decent gliding and accurate tracking, although it feels a bit too small.

If you turn the laptop upside down, you will notice that there are only two grills placed right beneath the fans. Also, you get two speaker cutouts. As for the hot air, it is exhausted from two vents on the back, and one on the right side of the machine.

Ports

In addition to the HDMI 2.0b connector and the audio jack on the left side, you will find the proprietory ROG XG Mobile Interface connector. Then, on the right, you have one USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, and the Power button.

Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

There are 11 Phillips head screws keeping the bottom panel in place. After you undo them, pry the panel with a plastic tool and you should be able to lift it from the chassis.

Here, we see a cooling solution that consists of two heat pipes, and a total of three heat spreaders. Interestingly enough, ASUS uses liquid metal for the thermal compound of the CPU die.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to upgrade the memory on this notebook, as it is soldered to the motherboard. Also, the M.2 NVMe storage slot is a bit too specific – it only fits 30mm drives.

In terms of battery, this laptop is supplied with a 62Wh unit.

Display quality

ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301) is equipped with a Full HD IPS touchscreen panel, Sharp LQ134N1JW52 (SHP151E). Its diagonal is 13.4-inch (34 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1200p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:10, the pixel density – 169 ppi, their pitch – 0.15 х 0.15 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 51 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 320 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 304 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 9%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6700K – slightly warmer than the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 54% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.08 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1800:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 98% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976, providing a punchy and vibrant image.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301)’s backlight doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment at any level. This makes it comfortable for long periods of use while being safe for your eyes in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusion

ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301)’S IPS touchscreen panel has a WUXGA resolution, which is a bit better than the standard Full HD one for presentations and images because the additional 120 vertical pixels are surprisingly useful. Also, its contrast ratio is very good, and the viewing angles are comfortable. This is combined with a non-flickering backlight and a 98% sRGB coverage. And thankfully, it can be used professionally, as its colors are accurate enough, thanks to our Gaming and Web design profile. Let’s not forget the fact that it comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, which will surely please gamers.

Buy our profiles

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.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work - screen profile

Office Work

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 - screen profile

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 - screen profile

Health-Guard

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.

All

Sound

ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301)’s speakers produce a sound with decent quality. Although there are some deviations in the lows, the mids and highs are clear.

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://rog.asus.com/laptops/rog-series/2021-rog-flow-x13-series/helpdesk_download

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This notebook comes with a 62Wh battery pack, which lasts for 10 hours and 29 minutes of Web browsing, and 6 hours and 42 minutes of video playback.

CPU options

You can get the ROG Flow X13 (GV301) with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS, Ryzen 9 5900HS, or the Ryzen 9 5980HS.


GPU options

In addition to the GTX 1650 Max-Q found inside of the machine, there is an option to upgrade it with an external XG Mobile paired with a 150W variant of the RTX 3080.


Gaming tests

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS (35W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301) 3.23 GHz (B+15%) @ 67°C 3.23 GHz (B+15%) @ 73°C 3.14 GHz (B+12%) @ 87°C
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS TUF A17 (FA706) 2021 3.42 GHz (B+7%) @ 74°C 3.34 GHz (B+4%) @ 78°C 3.35 GHz (B+5%) @ 84°C

Despite its 35W TDP, the Ryzen 7 5800HS actually works at very similar clock speeds to its beefier brother – the Ryzen 7 5800H. And what is more impressive, that it reaches them inside of the thin and light chassis of the ROG Flow X13 (GV301), definitely helped by the liquid metal between the cooler and the CPU die.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
ASUS ROG Flow X13 (GV301) 1457 MHz @ 69°C 1448 MHz @ 70°C
MSI Prestige 14 (A11Sx) 1235 MHz @ 74°C 1148 MHz @ 74°C
Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5) 1480 MHz @ 66°C 1476 MHz @ 68°C
MSI Prestige 15 1408 MHz @ 70°C 1388 MHz @ 74°C
MSI GF63 10SCXR 1230 MHz @ 77°C 1250 MHz @ 78°C
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 1345 MHz @ 69°C 1343 MHz @ 72°C
ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534 1229 MHz @ 77°C 1221 MHz @ 78°C

Also, despite its small size, the ROG Flow X13 (GV301) happens to be one of the best-performing GTX 1650 Max-Q laptops we’ve ever tested. The only other device that is capable of running higher frequencies is the Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5), which has the CPU and the GPU separated in different housings, which greatly improves the thermal efficiency.

Gaming comfort

Inevitably, during gaming, the tiny body of this notebook heats up. We measured a maximum temperature on the keyboard of about 50°C, and the bottom panel was pretty warm as well. Also, the noise levels were a bit high for a convertible, but right in check if we consider this device a gaming laptop.

Verdict

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get our hands on the ROG XG Mobile external GPU, and we will definitely give our best to snatch it and update the review. Nevertheless, even without the added graphics power, the ROG Flow X13 (GV301) is a remarkable device. We are positive that it will change the way we look at convertible laptops, and not only because of the decent gaming capabilities, but mostly due to the fact, that it has outstanding CPU performance.

This is helped by its cooling solution, which uses three heat spreaders, and of course, the liquid metal on the CPU chip. So what would you need all of that performance for? Well, 3D modeling can benefit from that, and the touchscreen display might make it easier. However, we have no information about stylus input support or anything.

ASUS ROG Flox X13 (GV301)’S IPS touchscreen panel (Sharp LQ134N1JW52 (SHP151E)) has a WUXGA resolution, which is a bit better than the standard Full HD one for presentations and images because the additional 120 vertical pixels are surprisingly useful. Also, its contrast ratio is very good, and the viewing angles are comfortable. This is combined with a non-flickering backlight and a 98% sRGB coverage. And thankfully, it can be used professionally, as its colors are accurate enough, thanks to our Gaming and Web design profile. Let’s not forget the fact that it comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, which will surely please gamers.

By the way, the battery life here is good when it comes to Web browsing – roughly 10 hours and a half, but during video playback, it will last for no more than 6 hours and 40 minutes. Now, for an average convertible, this score is very modest. However, this is no ordinary laptop, as you know, so there are some things you need to swallow.

Now, there is something that takes a bit of the experience – the I/O. I mean, don’t get us wrong, there is one USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, an HDMI connector, and an audio jack. Usually, this is okay for a 2-in-1, but for a gaming laptop, it’s nothing short of pathetic. Nevertheless, if you get the XG Mobile graphics card down the line, you will not only improve your gaming experience but your port selection, as well.

Okay, so there is a fix to the aforementioned issue. The next one, though, cannot be fixed. Unfortunately, the ROG Flow X13 (GV301) has all of its memory soldered to the motherboard. Yes, it can get up to 32GB, but you have to get it configured at the factory. Also, the memory is in dual-channel mode and has an LPDDR4 type, that runs at 4266 MHz. So what’s so bad about it? Well, it runs at base speeds for DDR4. This will reduce the performance both of the CPU, and of the GPU, but if we have to be completely honest, we were pretty satisfied with what we got for now.

So, if you want to be a part of the revolution, nobody can’t get that away from you. Keep in mind, though, that this is a first-gen product and might show some weaknesses down the line. And its price is what will keep most people away from it. Especially with the ROG XG Mobile, you might need to part ways with one of your kidneys.

Pros

  • The most powerful convertible on the market
  • Decent cooling, considering the size of the laptop
  • 16:10 aspect ratio is great for work and the 1200p panel has a 120Hz refresh rate (Sharp LQ134N1JW52)
  • Covers 97% of sRGB and our Gaming and Web design profile helps it reach an Average dE of <2.0 (Sharp LQ134N1JW52)
  • Doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment (Sharp LQ134N1JW52)
  • Optional RTX 3080 (150W) upgrade with an I/O hub
  • Great build quality and revolutionary design
  • Very high CPU performance

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Soldered memory
  • Limited I/O and no SD card reader

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-rog-flow-x13-gv301/





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