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Asus ROG Mothership is a Massive Gaming Detachable

Update 4/23/19 6:00 a.m. PT: Asus today beamed down new info about the ROG Mothership GZ700. The machine, now expected to debut by the end of June, will feature a factory-overclocked eight-core Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU. To handle all that processing power, the laptop will feature liquid metal cooling, which Asus claimed can keep CPU temperatures 13 degrees Celsius cooler than regular thermal paste. The liquid metal cooling is mechanically applied, while an “internal fence” prevents leaking, Asus said.

We’ve also learned that the Mothership’s Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card will be factory overclocked up to 1880MHz at 200W.

When the Mothership lands in stores, gamers will have two display options. In addition to the FHD option originally announced, Asus will offer the system in 4K form with a 60Hz refresh rate and 100% coverage of the Adobe RGB color gamut.

At the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, the Mothership has landed. That’s Asus’ new monstrous gaming machine, the ROG Mothership GZ700, a sort of portable all-in-one laptop that works as a desktop replacement. It will use Nvidia’s latest GPUs and launch in the first quarter of 2019.

Asus ROG Mothership GZ700Asus ROG Zephyrus GX701
CPUIntel Core i9-8950HK at 4.8GHz TurboUp to Intel Core i7-8750H
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB GDDR6)Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6X)
RAMUp to 64 GB DDR4 2666 MHzUp to 24GB DD4 2666MHz
Storage3x 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD in RAID0Up to 2TB SSD
Display17.3-inch: FHD/G-Sync/144Hz/3ms or 4K/G-Sync/60Hz/100% Adobe RGB17.3-inch, FHD or 4K, 60Hz
PortsThunderbolt 3, VirtualLink, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type- A, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, 3.5 mm microphone jack, 3.5 mm headphone/mic jack, Ethernet port, SD card reader, Kensington lockUSB Type-C Gen 2, USB Type-C Gen 1, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI, headphone jack
Dimensions20 x 12.6 x 1.2 inches / 510 x 320 x 29.9 mm15.7 x 10.7 x 7.4 inches / 399 x 272 x 187 mm
Weight10.4 pounds / 4.7 kg6 pounds / 2.7 kg
Starting PriceTo be announcedTo be announced

It’s truly a sight to behold. While it folds shut like a laptop, it opens to appear more like the Microsoft Surface Pro of gaming, with the 17.3-inch FHD display standing tall over the detachable keyboard with 2.5 mm of travel and per-key backlighting. When detached, the keyboard can connect over 2.4GHz wireless or USB Type-C to work more like a traditional desktop computer.

Asus said that the Mothership is over three years in the making, and that it came out of discussions over how to increase airflow. The answer? Apparently, to stand the display upright. It allows for additional air to flow into the dual fan setup, and there’s extra exhaust vents on the machine’s top corners. The factory-overclocked chips are covered by eight heat pipes across four heatsinks.

The visual aesthetic seems a bit overkill, even for a machine with a Core i9 and RTX 2080. It has a bit of the ROG Zephyrus motif with black and gold lines, but the design is all over the place. A representative said in a hands-on that it takes 20 hours to carve the blocks of aluminum.

The machine features top-shelf parts, including a Core i9-8950HK, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, 64GB of memory, three 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIE SSDs in RAID0 and a 17.3-inch display, with G-Sync and a 144Hz refresh rate. Asus claims it has the i9-8950HK turbo up to 4.8GHz. That new RTX 2080 for laptops, of course, allows for ray tracing and AI-enabled anti-aliasing. 

Additionally, the Mothership is among the first laptops using 802.11ax Wi-Fi, which we expect to see roll out fairly quickly.

The whole machine is a bit bulky – a representative who showed it to us has it in a carry-on. But this isn’t meant to go too far. The keyboard is a nifty idea and we’ll have to see how the cooling works in our lab. But this innovative idea has piqued our curiosity.

For those with more conventional tastes, Asus is updating its Zephyrus lineup with the new GX701, a 17-incher with Intel Core i7-8750H, Nvidia’s latest graphics cards, up to 24GB of RAM and a 1080p, 144Hz display. It also rocks a ton of new RGB, including in the vents, as well as a new volume wheel above the left side of the keyboard.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex. among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE