Asus believes it has the kind of newer designs and concepts gamers are looking for, and the company showcased what’s coming in 2019 here in Las Vegas.
There were several new products on display, but not at the sneak peek I went to, which was primarily catered to gamers. Two new products under Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand captured the most attention at the event.
The ROG Mothership
Starting with the aptly-named ROG Mothership (GZ700), this monster of a gaming laptop is, in effect, a two-in-one design. The keyboard detaches from the 17.3-inch base monitor with a foldout kickstand in the back to keep the display propped up. The reason for the move? To better vent out the heat driven by the internal components.
While designed to be a desktop replacement, the Mothership isn’t exactly diminutive. It weighs 10 pounds and is made with an aluminum chassis. The screen is 1080p with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time and Nvidia’s G Sync—including the latter’s GeForce RTX 2080 graphics processor. All that’s powered by Intel’s Core i9-8950HK chipset.
The three-drive setup is made up of a HyperDrive Extreme array with two SSDs hanging directly off the CPU, which Asus says can enable a peak throughput up to 8700MB/s. A heat spreader covers all three drives to improve cooling for sustained storage loads. Complementing that is up to 64GB of RAM.
If you’re wondering about ports and connectivity options, there’s a fair bit included. You get a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, a standard USB-C port, four USB Type-A ports, one HDMI, an SD card slot, and an Ethernet port. On top of that is a dual set of 280W charging ports to get enough juice flowing to keep the lights on with this thing.
The keyboard attaches magnetically a lot like a Microsoft Surface one does. Detaching it is easy and it works just the same wirelessly. It even folds in half to take up less space. Asus says that it’s possible to use the USB-C port to tether the keyboard to the display if you don’t want to attach it with the magnets. That way, gamers would have the flexibility to keep the keyboard further away without worrying about any latency.
There’s a lot to this unique gaming laptop, and it’s expected to come to Canada in the spring.
The ROG Zephyrus S GX701
For something a little lighter and less modular, the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 still gets the same 17.3-inch display with 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. The same Nvidia GeForce GPU has been thrown in, and storage options aren’t any different, either
It is Asus’ thinnest gaming laptop at this size, and with a slimmer frame come a few differences under the hood. Intel’s Core i7-8750H processor is the main driver, with 24GB of RAM being the maximum memory configuration. You don’t get quite as many ports, but you do have the option to charge the laptop via USB-C—at least when you’re not gaming. Once you plan to start a game, the 230W charger is completely necessary. Asus showed its own USB-C adapter (sold separately) but any one using USB-C would do fine.
The keyboard is well lit with individual LEDs per key, also featuring the trackpad to the right side that can also double as a numeric pad. A volume wheel is built into the body for gamers who don’t want to fiddle with keys or software.
Those not wishing to wait for the Mothership can expect this 17-inch Zephyrus to drop within the next two months.
Check out the other devices and laptops Asus announced at CES 2019.