This week’s virtual CES 2021 has served plenty of new home and lifestyle electronics, but now it’s the turn of gaming notebooks. To that end, the Asus ROG lineup of devices is getting a few new additions, with two in particular catching our eye – the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE and Flow X13.
You won’t have to wait long to get your hands on these new devices either, with Asus South Africa confirming that both are expected to be available to purchase locally in February.
We’ll share recommended pricing for each notebook a bit further down, but let’s first run through what these new devices are sporting.
Starting with the Zephyrus, which is the second iteration of this particular form factor. As the name suggests, a 14.1″ ScreenPad Plus complements the 15.6″ main one, with the latter now available in 4K flavour that supports up to 120Hz refresh rates. There’s also a Full HD variant that handles up to 300Hz and delivers a 3ms response time.
In terms of performance, you can get this model specced out in up to a AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Mobile Processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. The Asus ROG division is also claiming that the redesigned fans and cooling system on this unit will be able to dissipate 165W of combined processor power.
Other noteworthy elements include 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM reserved exclusively for the GPU, as well as Dual NVM Express PCIe x4 SSDs run in RAID 0 to provide up to 2 TB of storage, along with up to 32GB of combined onboard and SO-DIMM memory.
As such, the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE looks well appointed on paper.
Moving on to the other new offering in the Asus ROG lineup, the Flow X13 is the division’s first convertible gaming notebook. This 13″ device is also ultrathin given its gaming billing, with a body that’s 15.8mm thick and tipping the scales at 1.3kg.
The 360 degree rotating hinge will serve up a few different modes for the X13 to be posed in, and Asus is hoping players pair it with a companion external GPU, which is says offers comparable desktop-class performance. Natively, however, the X13 features an octa-core AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS CPU and dedicated GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. The 16:10 panel is also available in either a 120Hz support version or UHD 4K option.
As for the external GPU, which Asus ROG has christened the XG Mobile, it sports a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU connected directly to the CPU via a custom PCIe 3.0 x8 interface that’s faster than Thunderbolt 4, according to the Taiwanese firm. Asus adds that the XG Mobile he interface dedicates 63Gbps of bandwidth exclusively to graphics, which reportedly results in significantly higher performance than external GPU alternatives.
Whether that is indeed the case remains to be seen, as is whether consumers will want to carry both the notebook and external GPU to game.
As mentioned, both devices are expected in South Africa during February, although a precise date is unconfirmed at this stage. That said, retailers like Evetech will be stocking these new Asus ROG notebooks, with the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE starting at R59 999 (RRP). The Flow X13 will start from an estimated R34 999, and the bundled version with the XG Mobile for R69 999.