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The 2021 Asus ROG line includes its first convertible gaming laptop (ish)

Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) presented its diverse, eclectic and very great range of new gaming laptops for 2021. The focus and the product that I am very excited and very confused about is ROG Flow X13. This is the company’s first convertible 2-in-1 gaming laptop.

That’s right – a 2 in 1 gaming laptop. You don’t see this every day. Moreover, as you may have guessed from the name, X13 is a 13-inch convertible laptop for games.

As you can probably see from the photo above, the X13 doesn’t look like your typical gaming platform. This is something I wouldn̵

7;t be surprised to see someone throw up in class or on a date. Portability is a topic here: Asus says you’ll get up to 10 hours of video playback for a fee, and that the 100-watt USB-C charger provides 50 percent in 30 minutes. You can choose between a 120Hz FHD touchscreen display or a 3840 x 2400 touchscreen display. Either way, you get a 16:10 aspect ratio with extra vertical space for multitasking.

It all sounds nice enough, but the inside is where things get confusing. The Flow X13 includes AMD’s Ryzen 9 5980HS, one of the leaders in its new Ryzen 5000 series. This makes sense for a gaming laptop. You’d think this should connect to a pretty powerful graphics processor, but instead Asus went with the entry-level GeForce GTX 1650, which just feels like a loss of power on the 5980HS. Similar combinations have been tried before: take a look Verge Writer Cameron Faulkner’s review of Lenovo’s IdeaPad Gaming 3, which also tried to pair the GTX 1650 with an H-Series processor to disappointing results.

Now, for a regular work laptop that can sometimes be used to edit some photos, this combination makes a lot of sense. But if you buy the X13, expecting incredible frame rates, you may be disappointed. (Of course, I’ll have to play games on this thing myself before making a recommendation in one way or another.)

The way Asus is trying to circumvent this is to connect the Flow X13 to an external graphics processor called the ROG XG Mobile. This could include up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics, and Asus says it will provide X13 board game performance. It also acts as a power adapter. Fair enough. But with the X13 and XG Mobile packages, you’re looking for a $ 2,999.99 price tag. Yes.

You can pre-order Flow X13 and XG Mobile now at the Asus store.

I have to admit, it looks very cool.
Image: Asus

Another headliner (which is perhaps a little more practical) is the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE. This is a refresh of the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, which has two screens – the regular (15.6-inch, 4K, 120Hz panel or 300Hz FHD panel) and ScreenPad Plus (14.1-inch touch screen, which is built into the upper half of the keyboard deck – select a resolution of 3840 x 1100 or 1920 x 550).

The form factor means that in theory you can start a game on the top screen with a Spotify playlist or a Discord chat on the bottom screen, although my experience with the previous Zephyrus Duo 15 is that your mileage varies by game. Perhaps more promising, Asus says it is working with game developers and companies like Adobe to customize content for dual screen setup.

Asus Zephyrus Duo 15 SE is tilted to the left.  The main screen shows the ROG logo.  ScreenPad Plus shows the Asus home screen.  The RGB keyboard is illuminated.  The touchpad shows an LED numeric keypad.

See this beauty. The touchpad even turns into a digital panel.
Image: Asus

The main update is that the new Duo 15 comes with up to an octa-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics processor. There is a new design of the “Arc Flow” fan, which according to Asus can help dissipate “up to 165W combined power processor ”. You also get up to 2TB of storage and up to 32GB of combined internal and SO-DIMM memory.

You can now order the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE at the Asus store for $ 2,899.99. (Yes, it’s cheaper than the Flow X13 package.)

Finally, there are two major additions to the esports side: the Strix Scar 15 and the Strix Scar 17. Both models have an optical-mechanical keyboard, the first to ever appear on the Scar model. They also got a higher screen-to-body ratio (up to 85 percent), a larger battery, an updated cooling system, support for Type-C charging and quad-core speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. The Scar 17 now offers a 360Hz panel option, the fastest display you can get on a laptop. Both models include the new Ryzen and Nvidia chips, up to the Ryzen 9 5900HX and GeForce RTX 3080.

Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, seen from above with an illuminated RGB keyboard.  The screen shows the ROG logo on a purple background.

Check the RGB lighting for each key.
Image: Asus

The Strix Scar 15 and Strix Scar 17 arrive in North America in Q1 2021.

Asus has also announced the Strix G15 and Strix 17, lower Strix models for gamers who are not serious esports players. They can also be supplied with a Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, but a maximum of GeForce RTX 3070 and a 300Hz screen. The G15 comes to North America in Q1 2021; The G17 already has a pre-order for $ 1,799.99.

These models join the big wave of gaming laptops that were announced today, after the release of AMD on its Ryzen 5000 processors and the release of Nvidia on its RTX 3000 graphics processors. Razer, Gigabyte, Acer and others introduced new models.

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