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Asus will offer its standout ROG Flow X13 ultraportable convertible laptop without having to pony up for the custom eGPU GeForce RTX 3080 unit as well.
The company said late Tuesday that it made the change based on reaction from the public to the launch of the ROG Flow X13, which stole the show at CES with its amazing three-pound weight, stupidly fast Ryzen 9 CPU, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, and gorgeous 16:10 aspect-ratio panel. The real hat trick was the custom XG Mobile eGPU, which stuffs Nvidia’s stunning new GeForce RTX 3080 into a tiny cabinet.
Despite the appeal of the high-performance GPU, many apparently only wanted the laptop. Gizmodo’s Joanna Nelius went so far as to say the inability to buy it without the eGPU broke her heart like a Corleone.
Asus has gotten the message and will now offer four different options:
- ROG Flow X13 with Ryzen 9 5980HS, GeForce GTX 1650, 32GB LPDDR4X, 3840×2400@60Hz 16:10 panel, 1TB SSD, sleeve bag, pen, and XG Mobile with GeForce RTX 3080@150 watts for $3,300
- ROG Flow X13 with Ryzen 9 5900HS, GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB LPDDR4X, 1920×1200@120Hz 16:10 panel, 1TB SSD, sleeve bag, pen, and XG Mobile with GeForce RTX 3080@150 watts for $2,800
- ROG Flow X13 with Ryzen 9 5900HS, GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB LPDDR4X, 1920×1200@120Hz 16:10 panel, 1TB SSD, sleeve bag, pen for $1,500
- XG Mobile with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080@150 watts for $1,500
Which is right? You can read our own coverage and in-depth testing of the ROG Flow X13 without the XG Mobile (which was tied up in customs last month). While we do have issues with the battery performance on our unit (probably reasonable, considering it outperforms laptops twice has heavy), our gut says the special sauce of the ROG Flow X13 is the eGPU, which we finally have in hand to test.
Basically if you’re into gaming, pay the premium for the XG Mobile. If, however, you don’t game–you just want an 8-core Ryzen 5000 for 3D modelling or other thread-heavy tasks, and you don’t need the power of a GeForce RTX 3080? Then it might make sense to skip the XG Mobile in the short term.
It’s very much up to what you do, but having that dedicated eGPU port sit empty seems like an opportunity lost.
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One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998.