CES 2021: ASUS ROG XG Mobile, An External Graphics Dock For ROG Flow X13by Gavin Bonshor on January 13, 2021 3:00 PM EST
Alongside ASUS's announcement of its latest ROG Flow X13 13-inch gaming notebook, it has also unveiled an interesting new external graphics dock to go with that notebook. Dubbed the ROG XG Mobile GV301, the external graphics dock is designed to augment the ROG Flow X13's capabilities, turning it into a powerful and lightweight portable gaming rig. And though graphics docks themselves are nothing new, this one stands out due to its portability, with the dock being similar in size to a second laptop.
From a high-level perspective, the graphics dock lives up to its name. At its heart, of course, is a high-performance GPU, with ASUS tapping NVIDIA’s new laptop-grade RTX 3070 and 3080 adapters, both of which will be a significant step up from the Flow X13’s built-in GeForce GTX 1650 graphics adapter. Along with this, the dock can power the Flow X13 – thanks to its integrated 280W power supply – and offers several ports including HDMI and DisplayPort, a Gig Ethernet jack, 4 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and an integrated SD card reader.
Notably, like some past efforts to provide graphics docks for thin & light laptops, ASUS is going with a proprietary connection here rather than relying on Thunderbolt. The unnamed connector is split intwo two segments, with one carrying PCIe 3.0 x8 data while the other segment is a USB-C connector for carrying power and USB data. This significantly limits the compatibility of the dock, but it does provide twice as much PCIe bandwidth as Thunderbolt 3 or 4 otherwise would.
As previously mentioned, one of ASUS’s design goals for the ROG XG Mobile is portability, so that it can be carried around with the Flow X13 rather than serving as a relatively static dock at home. To that end the dock is 29.6mm thick, with a 208mm x 155mm footprint, making it comparable in size to a second laptop. It also weighs similar (if a bit denser) at a flat 1kg (2.2lbs). Fittingly, ASUS is supplying a sleeve with the Flow X13 to carry both the laptop and XG Mobile, simplifying this process some.
The ROG XG Mobile is due this quarter, with pricing to be announced.
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