The Asus ROG Mothership is a preposterous piece of expertise. I do know I mentioned earlier within the week that the Acer Predator Triton 900 was the maddest gaming laptop computer I’ve ever seen, however this desktop alternative actually takes the biscuit. Not solely does this large good thing want a kickstand to prop up its 4.7kg chassis, however its keyboard can be folded in half and indifferent from the principle physique of the laptop computer. It’s utterly and totally ridiculous in each single means, and but it’s additionally type of good.
The idea of removable keyboards isn’t new, in fact. There have been many such hybrids over time, however normally these two-in-one laptops are little greater than glorified tablets. Remove the keyboard, and also you’re caught utilizing the touchscreen. They’re not lower out for gaming.
The Asus ROG Mothership, however, is successfully a two-in-one laptop computer PC, giving the liberty to place the display screen and keyboard wherever you rattling nicely please and nonetheless (type of) take it on the transfer with you. Sure, its large 17.3in display screen and 29.9mm thick chassis means it most likely isn’t finest fitted to cramped trains or lengthy flights, however the concept of with the ability to prop it up on my espresso desk and relax with its removable keyboard and built-in contact pad on the couch is definitely an interesting one, particularly if it means my legs don’t get toasted within the course of.
By sticking all of its elements behind the display screen as a substitute of the keyboard, the ROG Mothership can really draw much more air into the system as an entire, serving to to maintain it cooler below load whereas taking part in games. Indeed, Asus mentioned their authentic Mothership prototype was nearer to 40mm in thickness once they first began growing it, however the design proved so efficient they had been capable of shave one other 10mm off it.
Admittedly, a laptop computer that’s nonetheless almost 30mm thick isn’t precisely perfect on the subject of portability. But in contrast to quite a lot of different laptops I’ve seen at this 12 months’s CES such because the tremendous slim MSI GS75 Stealth, a minimum of this one must be much less prone to throttling when below load. Asus aren’t taking any probabilities right here, as this factor has eight heatpipes, 4 heatsinks with 375 copper fins which might be simply 0.1mm thick and two 12V followers, which you’ll be able to see under. Asus’ onboard software program additionally provides you loads of totally different cooling profiles to play with as nicely, together with a Turbo mode that spins every part as much as eleven, a silent extra that’s simpler on the ear drums, plus the choice to create your personal.
Its design additionally permits for the Mothership to place its audio system proper under the display screen, supplying you with a richer, deeper sound that doesn’t get misplaced beneath the laptop computer. There are 4 4W audio system in complete, and Asus have even thrown in a high-end ESS Sabre DAC and headphone amp with Hi-Res audio certification for as much as 24 bits and 192 kHz, which can little question come as excellent news for anybody with a big library of Hi-Res audio information.
Its six-core 4.3GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK processor is overclocked to 4.8GHz out of the field, too, supplying you with a heck of quite a lot of energy to play with in games and desktop duties alike. Add in area for as much as 64GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB NVMe drive RAID Zero array that hangs two of its three SSDs straight off the CPU as a substitute of the motherboard’s chipset so it may possibly bypass the same old bottlenecks and obtain speeds of as much as 8700MB/s, based on Asus, and also you’ve received one severely beefy system.
As for the Mothership’s gaming chops, there’s an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 chip inside it, which must be greater than sufficient to make full use of the display screen’s 1920×1080 decision, 144Hz refresh fee and Nvidia G-Sync adaptive body fee tech. It’s a mad set of elements, and I’ll have an interest to see how all of them maintain up below strain as soon as assessment samples can be found.
The Mothership’s masterstroke, nevertheless, must be its foldable, removable keyboard. Held in place by magnetic anchors, the entire thing lifts away and slots again into place with unimaginable ease. There was an honest quantity of journey once I had a fast play on it myself, and there was barely any delay once I took it off and beginning typing on it over its 2.4GHz wi-fi connection, both.
I believe it’s a extremely neat concept, and hammering away on it wirelessly was undoubtedly much more comfy than attempting to make use of its quite steep default typing angle once I had it connected to the remainder of the keyboard. Asus couldn’t give me any indication of what the keyboard’s battery life was like, sadly, however you’ll be happy to right here there’s a sneaky little USB-C port tucked away beside its sturdy-looking hinge so you should utilize it as a wired keyboard if it occurs to expire of battery mid-sentence.
The solely factor it’s actually lacking is a slide-out mouse mat just like the Razer Turret, because the squished, built-in contact pad on the facet merely isn’t sensible or responsive sufficient for enjoying games on from afar. Still, it’s a small niggle total and I recognize that this might solely make this hulking monstrosity even larger and heavier than it already is.
The massive query is how a lot this mad Mothership is definitely going to value. Asus weren’t able to announce a value once I requested them throughout my demo session, however with a obscure launch date someday between April and June, it hopefully gained’t be too lengthy earlier than we discover out.
For extra information and palms on previews from this 12 months’s CES, try our CES 2019 tag.