Even though the power and compactness of laptops have made leaps and bounds over the years, we as gamers always crave for moar power as game developers continually ramp up the resolution and fidelity of the latest games. Now your fantasy of carrying an ultra-portable laptop (such as the ASUS Transformer 3 Pro T303UA) when out and about and using it as a gaming powerhouse when you get home - has become a reality. The new ROG XG Station 2 can upgrade compatible laptops to full desktop gaming performance. The most appealing part is the ability to upgrade the graphics card solution for your laptop whenever you like.
In 2007, ASUS introduced world's first docking station to boost laptop performance. The original XG Station even came with an OSD (on-screen display) and allowed you to adjust the GPU clock, fan speed and volume. Adding a desktop NVIDIA 8600GT to your laptop was at the time highly sought-after.
Performance & Connectivity
Fast forward to today, XG Station 2 utilizes the speed of Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gbps) which allows eight times the data transfer rate of USB 3.0 (5Gbps) and four times the video bandwidth of HDMI 1.4. Ideally, it would be best to allow all laptops to be compatible with the XG Station 2, however, it would be a travesty to connect this to a single-core processor laptop with USB 3.0 for example. That's why ROG has chosen to only support selected ASUS and ROG laptops with enough processing power and Thunderbolt 3 so you get your money's worth in performance for years to come. The performance is up to within 10% of the graphics card's maximum performance and ROG has made it possible to connect and disconnect the XG Station 2 without restarting.
A compact laptop usually offers less connectivity in favor of reducing overall size and thickness, XG Station 2 can serve as a docking station allowing you to use a single Thunderbolt 3 cable to charge your laptop, connect to your peripherals, external storage, VR headset and internet connection simultaneously. There are four USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a dedicated USB Type-B port at the back of the XG Station 2 to push the USB performance even further.
Everyone wants a hassel-free and clutter-free solution, that why XG Station 2 is designed to not only supply 500W of power to the graphics card, it provides up to 100W to charge your compatible laptop and other USB-connected devices via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. The internal power has an 80 Plus Gold certification, and is up to 90 percent energy efficient.
Wondering if this can support the latest graphics cards? There's enough juice here for the current king of the hill - the ROG Strix GTX 1080, and also supports the latest offerings from AMD, such as the ROG Strix RX 480. For future cards, XG Station 2 can accommodate full-length graphics cards up to 2.5 slots wide.
The centerpiece of the station is an ROG-themed plama tube, it gives you a sense of the power and futuristic tech within. Don't be surprised if you find yourself staring at it like a hypnotized mosquito. The window on the side reveals the graphics card and all the additional lights surrounding it, through software you can synchronize the RGB lighting effects the way you like it. All the latest ROG Strix graphics cards support Aura Sync and GPU Tweak II to help you get the best performance possible.
ROG-themed plasma tube
ROG Strix GTX 1080
A single cable to upgrade your laptop, charge your laptop, expand connectivity and possibly lure mosquitos, sign me up!
ROG XG Station 2 will be available worldwide in the beginning of 2017.