Asus has introduced its ROG Stream Z13, which it’s touting because the “world’s strongest gaming pill.” Sure, you learn that accurately — it’s a pill for gaming. Not cellular gaming, however PC gaming. It’s acquired an RTX 3050 Ti inside, and you may hook it as much as Asus’ ROG XG Cellular exterior GPU for much more frames.
I’ll caveat proper off the bat that we don’t have a value for this factor but, and it doesn’t appear to be the kind of factor we will count on to be tremendous reasonably priced, particularly for those who tack on the XG Cellular. Asus’ final crack at this type of type issue, the ROG Mothership, began at $5,499.
However even when this finally ends up being a luxurious product, it might be a glimpse right into a type issue that can ultimately make its option to a extra accessible tier (as we’re beginning to see with, for instance, dual-screen gadgets). We’ll discover out extra when the system is launched in “Q1/Q2 2022.”
Anyway, for those who noticed this system and thought, “Wow, a Floor Professional,” you’re not alone. After spending a little bit of time with the ROG Stream Z13, I can verify that it additionally seems like utilizing a Floor Professional. It’s acquired a kickstand and a removable keyboard, which pops on and off with little effort. It’s a typically nice-looking and well-made system.
A pair issues which may not be obvious from the images. First, it’s large. The first profit of those removable gadgets is mostly how skinny and light-weight they’re. This factor is 2.43 kilos and 0.47 inches thick. It’s a chunky pill, is what I’m saying — it’s a really completely different expertise from utilizing an iPad of any measurement, and it’s not one thing I’d need to essentially carry round the home or maintain whereas I used to be giving a presentation. (It’s nonetheless fairly compact in comparison with the ten.5-pound Mothership, after all.)
Second, the keyboard is kind of versatile. This was an issue I had with earlier Floor Professional fashions, although Microsoft’s stiffened it up on the most recent one. I’ve a light-weight keystroke already, however every of my faucets depressed this removable deck. I’m not somebody who usually notices keyboard flex in any respect, however even I used to be just a little unnerved by how a lot this one was bouncing up and down all day. I’d most likely suggest that individuals who really need sturdy keyboard decks watch for the subsequent era. With that stated, I did actually get pleasure from typing on this factor as a result of the keys have a wild quantity of journey (1.7mm).
Elsewhere, I didn’t have too many complaints. The 13-inch, 3840 x 2400 contact show appeared good and was responsive. There’s additionally a helpful port choice (which you hardly ever see on these sorts of merchandise) that features a USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort 1.4, a USB-A, and a microSD slot along with a headphone jack. Connecting the XG Cellular (which may now supply an AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT in addition to a GeForce RTX 3080) will add a bunch extra, together with one other DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1, and RJ-45 Ethernet.
Neat little cowl.
There’s even some RGB (effectively, R, a minimum of).
Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The TechMac
The issue that can make or break this system, after all, along with the worth, is framerates. The Stream Z13 has as much as a twelfth Gen Intel Core i9-12900H, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage along with the RTX 3050 Ti. The Core i9 is the most important unknown there — final 12 months’s ROG try at a gaming ultraportable, the convertible ROG Stream X13, had a monstrous AMD processor inside, and we don’t know but how this new Core i9 will examine. The X13’s battery life additionally wasn’t notably good, in order that’s a query mark.
The Z13 does have a bonus over conventional clamshell laptops in that its backside half isn’t pressed in opposition to the desk. In concept, this might give it extra room for cooling (and the Mothership ran cooler than lots of its rivals). The system was noticeably heat throughout a lot of my non-gaming use, however I didn’t hear followers working.
See you quickly, Stream Z13.
All instructed, the truth that there’s a pill you may recreation on, and that it truly appears to work, is cool. It was a enjoyable system to make use of, and I’m all for highly effective gadgets getting thinner and lighter without having to compromise all the things else that laptop computer customers need. The removable type issue, if this 12 months’s CES is something to go by, looks like a method producers are seeing as a viable approach to try this.