ASUS Unveils TUF And ROG Gaming Laptops With Latency-Busting Mux Switch, ROG Flow Z13 Tablet With eGPU

hero asus rog ces2022
Besides that gorgeous Zenbook with the OLED screen we showed you earlier, ASUS has positively a plethora of new and refreshed laptops. In this post, we're going to gloss over the gaming models from the TUF and Republic of Gamers lines, including a gaming 2-in-1 and even a gaming tablet.

Before we get to the portable PCs, though, let's check out a fancy bit of tech featured in every single one of these models. ASUS simply calls it MUX Switch. That's a nice name, because that's exactly what it is. By inserting a multiplexer (MUX for short) between the CPU, GPU, and display, ASUS can avoid the latency penalty that normally comes along with switchable graphics. That means better frame pacing and thus, smoother gameplay in gaming laptops so-equipped.

asus mux
(click to enlarge)

Fundamentally, this is the same thing as AMD's SmartAccess Graphics that it talked about at its CES show yesterday. The performance penalty from routing the discrete GPU's output through the integrated GPU's display connections can be avoided by simply wiring the discrete GPU directly to the display, but that means the power-thirsty discrete GPU is always on, murdering battery life. Using a MUX allows the machine to retain the battery savings of switchable graphics without the performance penalty. ASUS isn't the first company to do this, but it's probably the first company to deploy multiplexers across its whole gaming laptop family.

Anyway, let's take a look at some laptops, shall we? We'll start with the ROG family, comprising Strix G, Strix SCAR, and Flow models.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 (click to enlarge)

ASUS' best gaming products fall under the Republic of Gamers brand, and Strix is the cream of the crop. The absolute top of the pile is the Strix SCAR, and as you'd expect from that description, it comes with top-end hardware. Most of the Strix Scar models, whether you pick the 15" or 17" size class, come with Core i9 CPUs and high-end GeForce RTX graphics cards, all the way up to the just-announced RTX 3080 Ti. 165Hz displays come standard, although both models have options to upgrade to 240Hz, 300Hz, or even 360Hz panels if you prefer.

It seems ridiculous to say that a laptop with a Ryzen 9 6900HX and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is a "step down" from anything, but that's the kind of hardware you'll find in the ROG Strix G15 and G17 laptops. Much like their SCAR brethren, they come with high-refresh-rate displays by default and have the option to upgrade further. Aside from the choice of AMD CPUs, the Strix G models are extremely similar to the Strix SCAR.

asus rog flow x13
ASUS ROG Flow X13 in two forms. (click to enlarge)

The Flow side of the ROG family is focused on ultra-portable machines that still offer serious gaming grunt. Currently, ASUS is refreshing the ROG Flow X13 and introducing the brand-new Z13. The Flow X13 is a 2-in-1 convertible that ASUS originally introduced last year; the latest model gets strapped with the latest hardware: Ryzen CPUs up to the 6900HS, and discrete GeForce graphics up to the RTX 3050 Ti. It's a versatile machine; you can use it like a tablet for creative tasks, or game on the go with its 120Hz touchscreen.

inline asus rog flow z13
ASUS ROG Flow Z13 tablet.

Meanwhile, the all-new ROG Flow Z13 (also pictured at the top of this post) is a gaming tablet. Before you roll your eyes, take a peek at the specifications: a Core i9-12900H CPU, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and 16GB of LPDDR5 memory at 5200MT/s. Sure, it's a little limited in external connectivity with its two USB ports, but it makes the Switch look like a Fisher-Price toy. Like the X13 above, it comes with a 120Hz screen, although there's a 4K option for both systems.

asus rog xg mobile
ROG XG Mobile external GPU and dock. (click to enlarge)

If you need even more power, both the ROG Flow systems can be connected to the ROG XG Mobile docking station that offers four more USB ports, 2.5G Ethernet, two extra display connections, and oh—a GeForce RTX 3080 or Radeon RX 6850M XT. The dock connects to the ROG Flow systems using a proprietary connector, and of course, requires its own power cable to run the meaty GPU inside.

Over on the TUF side of things, ASUS is refreshing its F-series, A-series, and Dash lineups. Very much like the ROG Strix models above, the TUF F-series and A-series laptops come in 15" and 17" sizes, but which size you pick doesn't affect much more than the physical size of the laptop. The A-series is home to AMD CPUs, while the F-series laptops bear Intel chips, but regardless of which line you pick, you'll be packing NVIDIA firepower.

inline tufgamingf15 engraved
ASUS TUF Gaming F15, showing engraved lid.

The latest models top out at the Core i7-12700H (for the F15/17) and the Ryzen 7 6800H (for the A15/17). Graphics max out at the GeForce RTX 3070. Once again, 144Hz displays are standard, but you can either bump the refresh rate to 300Hz+ or opt for a 165Hz QHD screen.

asus tuf dash f15 design
A graphic from ASUS showing the TUF Dash's forms and angles. (click to enlarge)

The TUF Dash was introduced in last January as a "more portable, lightweight, and inclusive" option in the TUF family. So saying, it's basically a thin and light gaming laptop. Despite that, the TUF Dash F15 doesn't lag far behind the standard F15; it can have a Core i7-12650H and a GeForce RTX 3070. Screen options are the same, too. It still manages to shave a quarter of an inch of thickness and a half-pound off the weight of the regular F15, though.

ASUS didn't provide us pricing or availability on any of these models, but you'll probably start seeing them on store shelves later this month.