ASUS created its own PCIe 3 connector for the eGPU, which can deliver 63 Gbps of graphics bandwidth, significantly higher than Thunderbolt 4’s 40 Gbps maximum. The connector isn’t as sleek as Thunderbolt 4’s USB-C interface though — the cable looks thick, and it plugs into a port on the side of the Flow X13 that resembles an over-sized SATA connection. I’m always skeptical of custom interfaces like this, because you can only turn to ASUS if the cable breaks. The large port on the X13 also isn’t as battle-tested as USB-C, so I worry about its long-term durability too. If that breaks, you can say bye bye to your eGPU.
Since it’s a convertible, you can rotate the X13’s screen into a tablet or tent mode, giving you a variety of ways to enjoy gameplay. I could see that aspect being particularly compelling for anyone who wants a light machine for gaming with a controller. Putting the X13 into tent mode would be a great way to play on an airplane or in a hotel, and ASUS notes that orientation also delivers better cooling. The X13 comes with either a 120Hz 1080p panel or a 4K screen (given its relatively underpowered internal GPU, 4K seems like a waste on such a small display). And at 2.9 pounds, it’s as light as Dell’s XPS 13.
I can’t fully judge the Flow X13 until I get my hands on it, but I’m certainly intrigued. The biggest downside at this point is its 13-inch screen, which can feel a bit cramped if you’re trying to get truly immersed in a game. That’s one reason I dug the Zephyrus G14 so much: its 14-inch panel felt more like a 15-inch screen, which is my preferred size for gaming on the go.