The Asus ROG Stream X13 was one of many most-hyped announcements of CES 2021, with good motive — how usually do you see a 13-inch convertible gaming laptop computer, particularly one that appears so cool? — however there was a catch. On Asus’ retailer, the ROG Stream X13 was solely listed in a $3,000 bundle with an XG Cell eGPU. (This was additionally the one preorder hyperlink given to media on the time of the Stream X13’s announcement.) That’s a bit of change, and it led most Stream X13 reviewers (myself included) to specific reservations in regards to the steep worth.
However a brand new clarification from Asus could change the sport. On the newest episode of the ROG Pulse Podcast, Asus advertising supervisor Sascha Krohn indicated that the corporate does, sooner or later, plan to promote the ROG Stream X13 by itself.
“There was some misunderstanding about us solely promoting it as a bundle, so the XG Cell along with the X13,” Krohn mentioned. “So we do promote it as a bundle, however we additionally promote it individually, and that’s necessary.”
Asus advertising specialist Ryan Nesbit gave a tough beginning worth of “$1,200-ish.” There does appear to be some confusion right here — once I contacted Asus about this, the corporate mentioned it might be promoting the standalone unit for $1,499, deviating from Nesbit’s declare. There’s additionally an ROG Stream X13 listed on Asus’s retailer for $1,699. Bizarre! I’ll replace this text when that is all sorted out.
That $1,200 worth level, if Asus follows by means of on it, can be a game-changer for the ROG Stream X13. Many evaluations identified that the X13’s worth proposition as a $3,000 gaming laptop computer is iffy outdoors of a reasonably area of interest viewers. Its inside GPU is entry-level in comparison with the chips you’ll discover in different gaming ultraportables, and exterior GPUs are likely to incur a efficiency penalty. (In any case, they’re outdoors the laptop computer.)
However as a $1,200 general-purpose laptop computer, I’d be snug calling the Stream X13 an absolute steal. Not solely is it nice in virtually each means — there’s a novel and durable design, a terrific keyboard, and a very good 16:10 touchscreen with stylus assist — but it surely contains an eight-core processor (beginning with AMD’s Ryzen 5900HS). That’s undoubtedly essentially the most highly effective chip you’ll be able to presently discover in a 13-inch chassis. At $1,200, this laptop computer can be a no brainer for anybody who wants a 13.4-inch laptop computer for CPU-intensive work.
The flipside of this: it means the GeForce RTX 3080 XG Cell (within the bundle that’s listed on Asus’ website and likewise the one which was despatched to reviewers) is fairly costly. Krohn and Nesbit additionally indicated that an RTX 3070 version of the XG Cell might be accessible sooner or later, with an estimated worth of “round eight to 9 hundredish.” Fundamental math suggests this might make the RTX 3070 XG Cell as a lot as $1,000 cheaper than the RTX 3080 configuration within the bundle that’s presently listed. That’s fairly a big delta, however I assume we’ll see.
It’s not clear from the podcast whether or not Asus plans to promote the RTX 3070 XG Cell by itself or whether or not this eGPU might be offered in a less expensive Stream X13 bundle. We’ve requested Asus for clarification right here, too.
You possibly can view the total episode under. The pricing dialogue begins simply over 15 minutes in.
Images by Monica Chin / The Verge
Replace January 29th, 2:50PM ET: Up to date with Asus’s affirmation that the Stream X13 might be offered by itself, and with its acknowledged MSRP.