Laptop Mag Verdict
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM is a beautifully chaotic convergence of fashion and gaming, but it appeals to a limited audience.
Awesome clicky keyboard
Asus Pen 2.0 included
Wacky, edgy design
Detachable straps are useful
Microsoft Surface-esque built-in kickstand
Quiet, discordant speakers
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I never thought I’d be reviewing a laptop that looks like a pair of cargo pants, but here we are. Meet the Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM: the RTX 4070 gaming rig you can technically wear. How did we get to this bizarre convergence of fashion and tech? Blame Errolson Hugh. He’s a popular fashion designer who co-founded Acronym, a slick streetwear brand seen on the likes of Drake, Travis Scott, and John Mayer. And with good reason — you’d need celebrity-tier money to buy anything from Acronym.
Asus tapped Hugh to put his own stank on the ROG Flow Z13 — and well — the end result is a laptop that looks ready for a rock climbing expedition. I can’t help but roast the funky looking laptop, but its out-of-place straps are surprisingly practical. You can transform the 13-inch machine into shoulder bag, crossbody bag, and briefcase modes. Hell, you can even let it lean off your chest, facing you, like you’re holding a weird laptop Baby Bjorn.
Also on the design team for this out-of-this-world gaming laptop is Phil Saunders — a concept artist who designed the iconic Iron Man suit for Marvel.
It may be chaotic on the outside, but the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM is quite structured on the inside. It’s packed with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, and as mentioned at the outset, an Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU. However, after testing this portable laptop, I’ve concluded that this laptop has more limited appeal than I thought. While I’m extremely impressed with its design, I’m blasé about its performance — read on to find out why (and to see if it falls on our best gaming laptops page).
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM price and configuration
Have you seen the price tags on Hughes’ high-end streetwear clothes? I thought this Acronym jacket was pretty nice — until I nearly fell off my chair when I saw that it’d set me back $2,015! That’s more than my rent!
Naturally, that premium pricing trend continues with Hughes’ collaboration with Asus. The ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM costs a cool $2,500 via Amazon. It comes with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 13.4-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel display, and Windows 11 Pro.
This is the only configuration available and it’s a limited edition Asus laptop.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM design
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM, if it were personified, would be the moody, cargo pants-wearing character hanging out in a dystopian, high-tech metropolis with a grungy, edgy, cyberpunk style.
Form-wise, the ACRNM is like the Microsoft Surface Pro X — featuring a built-in kickstand on a tablet and a detachable keyboard — but make it street fashion! The Asus laptop has a digi-tribal look with a futuristic, metallic-esque, CNC aluminum chassis; the back of the tablet is bespeckled with rectangular black rubber feet and adorned with primitive-esque, light-gray markings. The black rubber feet are eye sores, but they do serve a purpose, especially if you plan on using the ACRNM in tablet mode. They keep the tablet slightly elevated off the surface so the vents can do their job.
The tablet, by the way, is no iPad Air. It’s heavy AF. This is not something you can leisurely hold in one hand, so you’ll likely be using that kickstand 99.9% of the time.
Asus claims that the detachable keyboard, which doubles as a tablet cover, is made of “high-quality leather.” This may be true, but the material doesn’t have that addicting feel that premium fabrics often have — it’s unnoteworthy. Usually only the WASD keys get special love on gaming keyboards, but on the ACRNM, all the keys are black except for 20 caps, including W, A, S, D, E, I, J, K, L, Esc, Backspace, Shift, and CTRL. They’re all decorated with some variation of the khaki-yellow hue. Is it my style? Not really, but the black and khaki combo is very Hughes.
You won’t find the power key on the keyboard — trust me, I looked. It’s located on the right edge of the display; you’ll also find a volume rocker there, too, which is convenient.
The straps that come with the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM are my favorite part. After attaching them to the laptop, you can actually wear your gaming rig in a number of different postures where you can hang it over your shoulder, cross it over your body, and even hang it over your neck while holding the tablet (as if you’re about to serve hors d'oeuvres).
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM measures 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6~0.79 inches and weighs 2.91 pounds. Its competitors are the MSI Raider GE78 HX (6.5 pounds, 15 x 11.7 x 1.1 inches) and the Origin EON16-S (5.5 pounds, 14.1 x 10.74 x 0.78 inches). They’re 16-inch and 17-inch laptops, respectively, so naturally, they’re larger and heavier.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM ports
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM has a nice mix of legacy and modern ports distributed on both sides of its tablet display.
On the left side, you’ll find a Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, a microSD card reader, and Asus’ proprietary ROG XG Mobile interface (a port that’s also available on the new ROG Ally), which lets you connect an Asus-branded mobile eGPU and docking station to amp up the ACRNM’s graphics horsepower. (The best one you can get is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 ROG XG Mobile eGPU.)
On the left side, you’ll find a USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and a headset jack.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM display
The ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM comes with a 13.4-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel, 165Hz touchscreen display with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
Right off the bat, just by looking at the Windows Spotlight picture that popped up on the lock screen (a few horses grazing in a field), I could tell that the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM has a gorgeous pop of color. I pulled up the Transformers 7: Rise of the Beasts YouTube trailer, and wow, I didn’t know Bumblebee could be so yellow! Fiery red-and-orange hues popped off the screen as fireballs flew through the sky and Optimus Prime’s red-and-blue armor caught my eye as he trudged through a rainy, muddy bus depot.
However, I wasn’t particularly impressed with its sharpness; it could stand to be more detailed. While I could see actor Anthony Ramos’ striking freckles, I couldn’t spot more muted facial features (e.g., pores).
I came across a similar experience while playing Hogwarts Legacy with all settings on Very High. My Hogwarts-bound, custom-created character was surrounded by a striking lush verdant landscape while climbing up a seaside cliff. When my witchy protagonist arrived at her Slytherin-based room, the melange of mint green, emerald, and chartreuse that decorated the gothic-like quarters were pleasing to the eye. However, like my scrutiny of the YouTube trailer, details were middling — they could stand to be more striking.
As it turned out, my anecdotal experience matches the numbers. According to our display testing, the ACRNM is the most colorful compared to its rivals, which also sport 2560 x 1600-pixel displays. It covers 116.1% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, barely surpassing the MSI Raider GE78 HX (115.4%), but it beat the Origin EON16-S (83.5%) by a landslide.
On our Delta-E color accuracy test, the ACRNM delivered middling results with a score of 0.26 (closer to 0 is better). It bested the Origin’s measly 0.32 score, but the MSI claimed the throne as the most color accurate with an excellent score of 0.12. The average premium laptop has a Delta-E color accuracy of 0.24.
During our brightness test, the ACRNM was a shining star, emanating 453 nits of brightness, outluminating the MSI (412 nits), Origin (326 nits) and the average premium gaming laptop (396 nits).
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM stylus
Yes, the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM comes with a pen — a black and yellow one that matches the keyboard’s color scheme. However, it’s nothing new. It’s just the Asus Pen 2.0 with a new design.
I appreciate that the Asus Pen 2.0 has a true cylindrical shape while other pens — like the Apple Pencil and the Surface Pen — have flat edges that don’t feel very comfortable between my fingers. I fired up Microsoft Whiteboard where I sketched and scribbled notes. The Asus Pen 2.0 felt smooth and easy as it glided across the touchscreen.
The Asus Pen 2.0 has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing you to create the finest strokes and broadest lines. Asus claims that after just 30 minutes of USB-C charging, you can get up to 140 hours of usage. My only gripe is that I wish there was a magnetic dock for this stylus — there’s a good chance you’ll end up losing it because it doesn’t have a dedicated home on the ACRNM.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM audio
The ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM’s Dolby Atmos-tuned dual speakers can be found on either side of the display.
I fired up the Mega Hit Mix playlist, which launched Doja Cat’s “Woman,” and oof, these speakers don’t sound great. The upbeat tune sounded too tinny for my tastes — as if it was playing from a years-old smartphone. Just one minute in, I had to turn it off because it was too dissonant. I had the same experience when I listened to Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO,” which had a strange metallic sound.
With the Dolby Access app, I played around with the five presets — Dynamic, Game, Movie, Music and Voice — to see if I could improve the audio. None did much to positively affect the sound, unfortunately.
While playing Hogwarts Legacy, on the other hand, the tinny sound wasn’t as obvious. The classical scores that played throughout the game, often filled with sweet-sounding flute melodies, were triumphant, regal and majestic, but one glaring issue is that the audio is too quiet. Even at max volume, the speakers couldn’t fill my medium-sized testing room.
I’d recommend pairing the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM with one of the best wireless headphones.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM keyboard and touchpad
I thought the keyboard was going to be a stinker — cramped, mushy, and spongy. However, to my surprise, the detachable keyboard on the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM is so clicky I’m gonna die! Hell, it’s got springier feedback than recent built-in keyboards I’ve used that are larger and sturdier — and truly have no excuse for their squishiness.
What adds to the keyboard’s comfort is that it doesn’t lie completely flat on the surface — it has a comfortable slope that makes the keyboard feel extra ergonomic.
To demonstrate how good the ACRNM’s keyboard feels on my fingers, let me show you the results I got on the 10FastFingers.com test. I typically type at an average of 87 to 89 words per minute, but on the ACRNM, my rate jumped to 94 words per minute. Nice!
The only thing I don’t like about the ACRNM’s island-style keyboard is the weird characters and symbols placed on the keys.You’ll see your typical QWERTY letters, but opposite of those letters is what Asus calls a “new alphabet,” giving the keyboard a bizarre tribal-futuristic vibe. There’s no rhyme or reason for this funky “new alphabet” — it’s just a quirky design decision.
I also don’t understand what the hell is going on with the function row keys — it’s filled with unintelligible symbols, too. However, if you read the subtle red text above the white characters, it all makes sense (e.g., Sleep, Mic Off, Fan, Silence). I struggled to figure out which keyboard shortcut takes screenshots, but after some experimentation, the F12 key did the trick.
The 4.1 x 2.4-inch touchpad sits below the spacebar, and there’s not much to rave about. It does the job, responding to Windows 11 touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, two-fingered scrolling, and three-fingered downward swipes to show the desktop.
No, the ACRNM doesn’t have any fancy stuff like per-key RGB lighting — this is a single-zone white LED keyboard. And I’m OK with that; I don’t need a gaudy disco ball party on my gaming laptop to enjoy it.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM gaming and graphics
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM comes with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM. How does it hold up against its MSI (RTX 4080) and Origin (RTX 4070) rivals?
Let’s start with the Far Cry 6 (1080p, Very High) benchmark. The ACRNM delivered 69 frames per second, but the MSI and Origin crushed it with scores of 121 and 99 fps, respectively. (The average premium laptop delivered a score of 91 fps on the Far Cry 6 benchmark).
Now, let’s take a look at how the ACRNM performed on the Borderlands 3 benchmark (1080p, Badass). It delivered 74 fps, but the MSI crushed it with a score of 153 fps. The Origin sat in second place with a middle-of-the-road score of 102 fps. The ACRNM failed to catch up with the average premium laptop (114 fps).
The ACRNM continued to drop to third place on the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (1080p, Highest) with a score of 82 frames per second, lagging behind the MSI (177 fps) and the Origin (114 fps).
Anecdotally, I played Cyberpunk 2077 on the ACRNM. With everything turned up to the max (e.g., High or Ultra), all settings turned on (e.g., DLSS, ray-tracing, path tracing), and the resolution set to 1600p, the game delivered about 40 fps. However, when I dropped the resolution to 1080p and turned off ray tracing, I could squeeze out 20 more frames at a rate of 65 fps. With this setting, Cyberpunk 2077 played smoothly, rendering the gold parachute pants of a street thug superbly. As his MC Hammer-esque pants glimmered under the neon lights that decorated the city, how could I be intimidated? My character shoved him out the way and showed him who’s boss.
However, things took a turn when I visited a flashy, dingy club in Cyberpunk 2077 with tons of characters dancing to trance-like music. I noticed a significant framerate drop where gameplay felt sluggish.
It’s worth noting that the ACRNM comes equipped with a MUX Switch. What does this do? While firing up a game via Steam, it automatically switches to Nvidia GPU only mode, which ensures that all rendered graphics are passed through the discrete GPU directly (as opposed to passing through the integrated components first).
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM performance
Priced at $2,500, this laptop better handle everything I throw at it — and then some! The ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM, outfitted an Intel Core i9-13900H CPU with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, giggled when I tried to suffocate it with a random assortment of 55 Google Chrome tabs — 10 were playing videos from various streaming sites simultaneously. After firing up a fresh Google Doc to test its responsiveness, the ACRNM carried on without any slowdowns despite the chaos running in the background.
Unfortunately for the ACRNM, it is up against some stiff competition. On the Geekbench 6 overall performance benchmark, the Asus laptop reached a multi-core score of 13,611, surpassing the premium gaming laptop average (11,168). However, it could not compete with the Raider GE78 HX (Intel Core i9-13950H CPU) nor the Origin EON16-S (Intel Core i9-13900H CPU), which delivered scores of 15,916 and 14,068, respectively.
The ACRNM was the slowest on our Handbrake test, which involves transcoding a 4K video to 1080p. The Asus gaming laptop took 4 minutes and 48 seconds to complete the task, which trails behind the average premium gaming laptop (4:28). It’s also slower than the MSI Raider GE78 HX (4:08) and the Origin EON16-S (3:46).
On the file-transfer test, the 1TB SSD inside the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM took 22 seconds to duplicate 25GB of mixed-media files, which translates to a file transfer rate of 1,241 megabytes per second. This is slower than the category average (1,513 MBps). It also couldn’t keep up with the 2TB SSD inside the Raider GE78 HX (1,715 MBps), and the pair of SSDs — 1TB of system and 2TB of storage — inside the EON16-S (1,818 MBps).
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM battery life
We ran two battery life tests on the ACRNM. Let’s start with the Laptop Mag battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. The ACRNM lasted 6 hours and 45 minutes, which isn’t half bad for a gaming rig. This beats the average premium gaming laptop (5:29), the Raider GE78 HX (2:33) and the Origin EON16-S (5:06).
However, when we ran the PCMark 10 test, which runs a continuous script to simulate a gaming experience, the ACRNM lasted only 1 hour and 16 minutes. This is better than the EON16-S (1:14), but worse than the MSI Raider GE78 HX (2:33).
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM heat
Asus boasts that the ACRNM is packed with the ROG Intelligent Cooling System, which features a vapor chamber that takes up 50% of the motherboard. Packed with liquid metal and arc-flow fans, Asus says the ACRNM should offer ambient cooling at 0 dB. So far, this is true. While gaming on the ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM, I’ve found it to be surprisingly quiet.
We performed two heat tests. One involved running a 15-minute fullscreen video, which made the underside climb to 77.5 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other test, which involved playing Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition for 15 minutes, the underside hit 81.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Both backsides managed to stay below our comfort threshold of 95 degrees, so you don’t have to worry about the ACRNM scalding your thighs.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM webcam
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM has a 5MP front-facing, IR camera, which is a step up from the 720p and 1080p webcams that are flooding the market. However, I can’t get myself to gush about it. There’s still some visible noise on the shooter, but it renders color accurately, capturing my hot pink robe and the colorful classical painting hanging behind me.
But imagine my surprise when I saw that the ACRNM has a world-facing camera, too — a 13MP one. Sweet! If I’m taking a video call with a long-distance friend or family member, I can simply flip the camera with one press of a button to show them what’s in front of me (instead of turning the whole laptop around). The 13MP is as color accurate as the 5MP camera, but as expected, it is slightly more detailed and sharper, perfectly capturing the messy contents of my disorganized desk.
If you don’t like either of these cameras, take advantage of the MyAsus app, which lets you use your phone’s camera as your PC’s webcam. Another option is to snag one of the best webcams.
Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM software and warranty
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM runs on Windows 11 Pro. You'll likely find the Armoury Crate app to be the most useful. It has information regarding your system's CPU and GPU usage, memory and storage, and fan speed. You can also switch the GPU mode to the following presets: Ultimate, Standard, Eco and Optimized.
There are display presets there, too, which are pretty self explanatory, including Default, Racing, Scenery, RTS/RPG, FPS, Cinema, Eyecare and Vivid. There are also News and Shopping tabs in the Armoury Crate app that I will likely never use.
You’ll also find your standard fare of Microsoft apps, including Edge, Photos, Store, Teams, and People.
There’s also the MyAsus app, which lets you transfer files to its cloud service. Under the Remote Access tab, you can use your phone to remotely access your PC anywhere. You can manage the ACRNM’s battery and bandwidth prioritization there, too.
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM ships with a one-year limited warranty and a two-year battery warranty. See how Asus fared during Tech Support Showdown, our annual special feature.
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 ACRNM is not for practical-minded consumers — buyers who want to get the most bang for their buck. Why? Because the Origin EON16-S has the same exact specs — an Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU — and it performed significantly better on our performance and gaming benchmarks. (On top of that, it's less than $2,000 via Origin's official website.)
As such, no one in their right minds would purchase this bizarre-o Asus laptop over the Origin. But that’s exactly it, right? Asus didn’t design this for people with “right minds.” This laptop is for the wacky, edgy technophile who wants to give off an, “I’m an eccentric hipster with deep pockets vibe.” The ACRNM is for those who want to wear a conversation piece around their bodies while still emanating an air of experimental, cutting-edge fashion.
I’d also argue that the ACRNM is perfect for frequent travelers who are tired of holding their laptop in their hands, but still want easy access to it. (TSA makes you take your laptop out of your bag at security checkpoints, so having it hanging over your shoulder is convenient while keeping your hands free.) However, this would have to be a strong selling point for you to consider shelling out nearly $2,500.
To sum it all up, the ACRNM is a fascinating, wacky, bizarre gaming laptop with an innovative, unforgettable design. It has an excellent keyboard, a sweet variety of ports, a colorful display, and satisfactory front-and-world-facing cameras. However, its performance and gaming scores are too middling for my tastes.
Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!