ASUS ROG Mothership Gaming Laptop Beams To Earth With 17-inch IPS Display And GeForce RTX 2080

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Well, this is definitely a break from the norm. ASUS has just announced its new Republic of Gamers (ROG) Mothership, which is a desktop-replacement gaming notebook that manages to pack quite a bit of hardware into a truly unique form-factor. At first glance, the ROG Mothership looks somewhat like an all-in-one desktop, as the display sits upright and is propped up by a rear-mounted step-less kickstand.

However, you'll then see that it also includes a keyboard that can be attached or used wirelessly. When attached to the ROG Mothership, the keyboard is fully extended and sits at an incline. However, once detached, the keyboard can be folded (basically doubling its height) allowing you to position it wherever you like on your desk.

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The keyboard connects either with low-latency 2.4GHz wireless tech or via USB-C. You'll find per-key RGB backlighting along with 2.5mm of key travel with Overstroke technology. Other features include curved key caps and an integrated touchpad.

ASUS says that its research found many people that use desktop replacement notebooks hook up their own keyboard and mouse. By going with a detachable keyboard, it frees up desktop space for those that prefer to use their own gaming peripherals.

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"Research also supported that gamers prefer their keyboards off to the side and at an angle, which simply isn’t possible with traditional laptops layouts Prototypes were created that introduced a detachable keyboard with a folding design that dramatically reduced the system’s overall footprint," writes ASUS. "This granted the flexibility to not only position the keyboard as needed, but to also replace it entirely without wasting desk space."

It's definitely an intriguing (and a bit fussy) design choice for ASUS, but we can't argue with its configurability and the fact that it caters to hardcore gamers that want a tailored experience.

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Getting down to hardware, ASUS has fitted the ROG Mothership with a 17.3-inch Full HD IPS G-SYNC display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3m response time. It also covers 100 percent of the sRGB gamut. And it is backed by a GPU that you will be hearing about a lot in the coming days: NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 2080 GPU. This is of course the mobile-centric version of NVIDIA's recently released desktop-class GeForce RTX graphics cards. In this application, the GeForce RTX 2080 is paired with 8GB of GDDR6 memory.

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When it comes to the CPU, ASUS chose a factory-overclocked Intel Core i9-8950HK which can hit up to 4.3GHz with all six cores and 12 threads enabled. Turbo mode boosts those clocks to 4.8GHz. ASUS says that the ROG Mothership supports up to 64GB of DDR4-2666 memory, and there are three M.2 NVMe PCIe slots which can each support up to 512GB SSDs. They can also be hooked up to a RAID-0 array, which ASUS describes:

SSDs normally connect to the chipset, which is constrained by a DMI link to the CPU with only four lanes of PCI Express 3.0 bandwidth—the same as a single high-end M.2 drive. The three-drive HyperDrive Extreme array in the ROG Mothership hangs two SSDs directly off the CPU, bypassing the DMI bottleneck and enabling peak throughput up to 8700MB/s. All three drives are covered by a heat spreader that improves cooling for sustained storage loads.

Both the ROG Mothership and the keyboard are machined from CNC milled aluminum that is both brushed and anodized. Other features include quad speakers with smart amplifier technology, an ESS Sabre DAC and Sonic Studio III software. There's a microphone array seated next to the Windows Hello cameras in the display bezel. There's also a Realtek 2.5G Ethernet controller onboard and an Intel 802.11ax Wi-Fi controller. And you'll of course also find a nice smattering of ports including HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C and VirtualLink (for VR headsets).

ASUS plans to launch the ROG Mothership during the first quarter, however, pricing has not yet been announced.