WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU TAKE Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 and cross breed it with a powerful gaming laptop? Well, Asus reckons it has the answer in the form of the ROG Mothership.
Initially looking like a beefy gaming laptop, the ROG Mothership has a 17.3in 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync, housed in a chunky tablet-looking chassis with a Surface-style kickstand.
The keyboard deck is set further back from where one would normally expect to see it, much like the keyboard of Asus Zephyrus laptop. But that keyboard can be detached and folded form a gaming-style stand-alone keyboard, which promises decent key travel.
That leaves the main part of the ROG Mothership to effectively sit like a cross between an oversized tablet and a compact all-in-one PC. We nodaa towards the latter as the machine has some serious computing guts.
It sports Intel's ninth-generation Core i9-8950HK processor, a seriously powerful piece of silicon, with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM backing it up. Storage comes in the form of a RAID 0 array mixed with a trio of NVMe SSDs.
But the party piece is Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, Team Green's new top-end consumer mobile GPU. With the all that power on offer, the ROG Mothership arguably offers near desktop replacement specs in a rather interesting if potentially polarising design.
Speaking of which, there's a solid array of front-facing speakers, which look like it could deliver some proper audio punch not normally found in gaming laptops. And there's a good deal of vertical venting and heat management on offer to keep the Mothership's guts cool.
There's a good dollop of connectivity as well, such as a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, quad USB Type-A ports, an SD card reader, HDMI and Ethernet ports. Yeah, this is a well-connected laptop-tablet-thing.
Weighing some 4.6kg, the ROG Mothership isn't going to be something you can simply sling into a satchel bag, but it could double up as both a gaming laptop and some kind of pseudo games console machine.
While the ROG Mothership isn't a prototype machine, there's no word on a firmed up release date or pricing; we suspect the former will be this half of 2019 and the latter will be wallet-busting.
And the ROG Mothership isn't likely to be a machine many people will want to rush out and buy. But a bit like some of the suitably different gaming laptops Acer has made, like the Triton 900 and frankly ridiculous Predator 21X, the ROG Mothership is more an expression of what can be done with the latest laptop and gaming-based tech.
That creativity and we guess innovation, is all good news for the PC market, which often seems to enter into the swamp of stagnation more often than we'd like.
But Asus seems to be pushing the envelope with its laptops, having popped a touchscreen into ZenBook Pro machines and introducing the laptop display notch at CES 2019. µ
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