One of the hottest brands in computer game hardware has taken the wraps off its 2019 laptop lineup.
Republic of Gamers, or “ROG” for short, is the gaming division within Asus, the No. 5 computer maker in the world, according to Gartner (based on shipped PCs in 2018). A subsidiary founded in 2006, ROG has now become “the world’s best-selling laptop gaming brand,” based on the Taiwan-based company’s internal data.
The computer maker is aiming to maintain its dominance in a crowded PC gaming and esports space – shared with brands like Dell’s Alienware, HP’s Omen, and Lenovo’s Legion – and recently unveiled new mobile products at an event in New York City. Here’s some highlights.
Make way for the Mothership
As the most unique ROG offering, the ROG Mothership looks like a conventional laptop at first glance, but the 17.3-inch 4K screen is propped up on a kickstand (which also promotes better air flow), and the RGB backlit keyboard can be removed from the device and positioned however you like on a desk or table. Detaching the keyboard also reveals four forward-firing speakers under the display.
Fusing portability with performance and versatility, this desktop replacement aims to offer plenty of power under the hood, housing a factory overclocked Intel Core i9 eight-core CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 discrete graphics processing unit (GPU), and up to 64GB of system memory (RAM).
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The company says ROG Mothership took three years to develop from first concept to finished product. Its aluminum chassis that takes 20 hours to produce (across 114 tooling stages) and is made with liquid metal that lowers CPU temperatures by up to 13 degrees Celsius (compared to standard thermal paste).
The computer will be available this fall. Pricing and configurations will be announced then.
Z is for Zephyrus
Perhaps named after the Greek god, a few new Zephyrus-branded laptops were also unveiled last week.
With its thin 18.7-millimeter chassis and super narrow bezel design, Zephyrus S GX701 is billed as the most compact 17-inch gaming laptop ever made – yet will be available with up to a GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, which could be overclocked for even greater graphics performance thanks to a “ROG Boost” feature.
Along with a Pantone-validated display – meaning it’s calibrated in the factory to guarantee color accuracy – its 144Hz refresh rate keeps up with fast action sequences. An exclusive GPU switch allows you to toggle between NVIDIA G-SYNC mode (for smoother visuals) and Optimus mode (for longer battery life).
There’s also an optional HDR (high dynamic range) version of the Zephyrus S GX701, which boasts over a billion colors, along with higher brightness, better contrast, and localized dimming across 15 backlight zones (available in Optimus mode only). Prices start at $2,099, and pre-orders are being taken now on asus.com.
For those who prefer an ultra-slim gaming laptop, the Zephyrus S GX531 measures just 15mm thin, and incorporates a 15.6-inch display with super-narrow bezels to squeeze into a smaller form factor.
Its Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) cools off the heat generated by the GeForce RTX 2080, plus lifting the lid opens a 7mm vent that boosts airflow into the chassis by 22%.
Gamers will have a choice in displays, including a superfast 240Hz refresh rate or HDR panel instead. The Zephyrus S GX531 is available for pre-order now, with prices starting at $2,199.
For those on a more limited budget, the ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (from $1,099, Pre-orders are available now.) is a more affordable ultraslim gaming laptop, says ROG, by pairing GeForce graphics with an AMD Ryzen CPU.
Specifically, specs will include a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU and Ryzen 7 mobile APU – an AMD-coined phrase that refers to a processor that includes both the CPU and GPU on a single chip – and an optional 120Hz display. Battery life tops seven hours.
Strix laptops for serious gaming to go
Finally, a handful of Strix-branded laptops aren’t quite as thin as the Zephyrus line, but are designed for serious PC gamers on the go.
Available in either 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch sizes, the ROG Strix Scar III and Hero III include up to an Intel Core i9-9880H processor, up to NVIDIA GeForce RT 2070 graphics (with ROG Boost) and up to a 240Hz display. Prices will start at $1,699 when these laptops go on sale in June.
The ROG Strix G, on the other hand, offers a more affordable system at $999 and up –with up to an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, and up to a 144Hz display – when it’s available in late May.
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