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ROG Mothership: A “tablet” from ASUS that can replace your desktop gaming machine

ASUS ROG Mothership

When it comes to PC gaming, you usually have to choose between a laptop and a desktop. At CES 2019, ASUS has just announced something very different with its ROG Mothership. At first glance, it looks like an oversized Microsoft Surface Pro but this is not your average convertible tablet. ASUS is calling the Mothership a desktop-replacement gaming laptop and it packs killer specs including an Intel Core i9 processor and a GeForce RTX 2080 GPU.

The ROG Mothership features a 17.3″ Full HD IPS display that pushes a 144Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time which is encased in an aluminium chassis frame. It has a kickstand that pops up automatically when the bottom edge touches the table.

For added versatility, the keyboard can be detached from the Mothership for a more comfortable setup. The keyboard can be folded to reduce footprint and it attaches to the mothership with magnetic anchors. When detached, it can be connected via USB-C or wirelessly with a low-latency 2.4GHz connection. The keys have a 2.5mm travel distance and there’s also aura sync RGB backlight which can be enabled in wired mode. There’s also a trackpad on the right which doubles up as a capacitive numpad.

The Mothership runs on an Intel Core i9 (8950HK) processor that can be configured with up to 64GB of DDR4 2666MHz RAM and it has three 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID0. For graphics, it gets the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM. It also supports Intel WiFi 6 (802.11ax) that promises to deliver a peak bandwidth performance of up to 2.4Gbps under ideal situations.

Looking at the sides, the ROG Mothership has an array of ports to keep most power users happy. It has two USB-C ports (Thunderbolt 3 and Virtual Link), four USB-A ports, a HDMI 2.0 output, RJ-45 LAN port and an SD card reader. There are also four front-facing 4W speakers under the screen that are directed at the user.

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While the ROG Mothership is just a hair under 3cm thick, it looks more like a portable all-in-one device instead of a convertible laptop. It weighs a hefty 4.7kg and it has a footprint of 41 cm x 32 cm.

So far there are no pricing details yet and ASUS is targeting to release the Mothership around Q2 this year.

Alexander Wong