What do you call a Surface Pro that’s been fitted with enough firepower to effectively replace a desktop gaming rig? Apparently, you’d call it the ASUS ROG Mothership.
With the goal of “redefining the form factor for desktop replacement gaming laptops”, the ASUS ROG Mothership has done that, and more.
At CES 2019, ASUS turned a lot of heads when they announced the 17.3-inch 2-in-1 gaming laptop. Mirroring the design of the Surface Pro, complete with the pop-up kickstand and detachable folding keyboard, the ASUS ROG Mothership isn’t just any gaming laptop though. It’s what you’d refer to as a “Surface Pro on steroids”.
A Gaming Laptop Quite Unlike Any Other
While the ASUS ROG Mothership may share a similar design with the Surface Pro, the two have a lot of differences.
For starters, the ROG Mothership is bigger. It comes with a 17.3-inch 1080p display with a 144HZ refresh rate and a 3ms response time, and perhaps more importantly, NVIDIA’s proprietary adaptive sync technology, G-Sync.
The screen, though, isn’t the only thing that makes the ASUS ROG Mothership the gaming equivalent of Microsoft’s Surface Pro. It’s also powered by the recently-announced mobile version of NVIDIA’s all new RTX 2080 graphics card, as well as Intel’s premiere Coffee-Lake processor, the i9-8950HK processor. As if that wasn’t enough, ASUS also announced that they have overclocked both the CPU and the GPU beyond their stock settings. This is something that they could reportedly afford to do so because of how the vertical design gives the souped up 2-in-1 better cooling capabilities.
Storage-wise, the ASUS ROG Mothership comes equipped with three NVMe SSDs in RAID 0. It also comes with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM.
Other noteworthy features include facial recognition support for Windows Hello, and a wide assortment of available ports (1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, 1 x USB-C port, 4 x USB Type-A ports, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x SD card slot, 1 x Ethernet port), as well as dual-280W charging ports.
Accessories and Weight
For easy one-handed setup, ASUS worked hard to make sure that kickstand pops out automatically from the bottom of the computer. The keyboard isn’t half bad either. You can attach it to the ROG Mothership magnetically, or you can also use it as a wireless keyboard. To save space, you can even fold the entire keyboard in half. If you’re worried about latency issues, you can still connect the detached keyboard via the USB-C port.
For all of its greatness, the one glaring problem with the ASUS ROG Mothership is its weight.
Whereas the 5th-generation Surface Pro weighs just 1.73 pounds for the i7 model, ASUS estimates that the ROG Mothership will be around 10.36 pounds. Although it does indeed succeed in being a “desktop replacement gaming laptop”, it might just be a bit too heavy for gamers who are literally always on the go.
MORE: The Best Desktop Replacement Laptops – Our Top Picks
Are There Other Things that ASUS Announced?
While the ASUS ROG Mothership headlined ASUS’ announcement at CES 2019, it wasn’t the only eye-catching product that the Taiwan-based gaming company had to offer.
Overshadowed by its bigger and more ambitious sibling are the stealthier and sleeker ASUS ROG Zephyrus S laptops, the all-new GX701 and an updated GX531. The former is essentially a bigger version of last year’s GX531 for gamers who need the additional real estate. The GX701 upgrades the screen from 15.6 inches to 17.3 inches. Despite making the display larger, ASUS claims that the GX701 remains the most compact 17-inch gaming laptop available on the market. At just 18.7mm thick, 15.7-inches wide, and roughly 6 pounds, it’s hard to deny that claim. It’s also much thinner and lighter compared to the ASUS ROG Mothership.
MORE: The Best 17-inch Laptops – Buying Guide
At the same time, ASUS will also upgrade the latest GX531 to have the same specs as the all-new GX701. The only difference is that the GX531 will retain the 15-inch display and will be slightly thinner than the GX701 at just 15mm.
Other than the size difference, both the all-new GX701 and updated GX531 will feature the same specs under the hood when they launch. This includes the latest Intel processors and NVIDIA’s Max-Q design RTX mobile GPUs, as well as the ability to charge over the USB-C port.
Shipping Date and Pricing
ASUS expects the ROG Zephyrus S GX701 and the GX531, as well as the ASUS ROG Mothership to hit the market sometime later in Q1 2019. However, ASUS have yet to release any info regarding the pricing and exact configurations of the gaming laptops.
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