The trend in mainstream laptop design is to make it as unrealistically thin as possible, even if that means sacrificing battery life and performance. Improvements in mobile CPUs have made super-thin laptops much faster than they once were, but what if that’s not enough? For the discerning on the go gamer, Asus has announced a new version of its monstrous GX700 gaming laptop called the GX800 at Computex 2016. It has all the latest hardware with a giant liquid-cooling docking station. It takes the phrase “desktop replacement” seriously.
This is a big, big laptop, even without the liquid cooling dock. The display is 18.4-inches diagonally with 4K resolution and support for Nvidia G-Sync. To power that display the GX800 will have a pair of Nvidia GPUs configured in SLI, but Asus has only said they are unannounced GPUs — it was the same deal last time with the GX700. The version of the GX800 on display at Computex had dual GTX 980 GPUs. However, last year’s GTX700 turned out to have a GTX 980. Either the production version of this laptop will come with a newer GTX 1000-based GPU, or the “unannounced” aspect is simply that now there are two GPUs in SLI.
The GX800 will include the latest Intel Core-i7 chip clocked at 4.4GHz and memory clocked at 3.8GHz. In combination with the GPUs, not only will you be able to play games at incredibly high native resolution, but the G-Sync display refresh rate will by synchronized to the GPU to reduce tearing and lag. This laptop needs two 330W power supplies to keep all that hardware running, but it gets even more powerful when plugged into that massive water cooling dock.
You can’t usually overclock laptops very much, but the GX800 is designed for that very thing. When you connect the laptop to the water cooling dock, it is capable of overclocking the GPUs as much as 236%. The docked GX800 can also push the CPU to its maximum clock without fear of overheating. If it’s anything like the GX700, the liquid from the cooling dock doesn’t actually circulate through the entire laptop when you plug it in. That would interfere with cooling when the dock wasn’t attached. Instead, the compressor moves liquid through a smaller loop that pulls heat away from the components via a more conventional heat pipe. It’ll run fine without the dock, but not as fast.
The larger frame of the GX800 has also allowed Asus to upgrade this year’s gaming powerhouse laptop with a custom mechanical keyboard. Laptops are plagued by flimsy, low-travel keys, but Asus says this one will make gamers quite happy. It uses switches Asus designed in-house called MechTAG (Mechanical Tactile Advanced Gaming). The company didn’t go into detail, but the keys are raised from the surface of the laptop, indicating they have a good amount of travel. The “tactile” part of the name suggests the MechTAG switches will have a slight tactile bump like MX browns on full keyboards. The GX800 also has full RGB backlighting in the keyboard.
The GX800 is expected to launch in August, but the price is unknown. Prepare yourself for sticker shock, though. The GX700 retailed for over $3,000 when it came out.