So you want a laptop that’s thin, light, and gets long battery life for use on the go… but you also want a high-power graphics card for gaming. Soon you’ll be able to opt for one of the new laptops built around NVIDIA’s new MAX-Q design for balancing portability and high-performance graphics.
But another option is to get a laptop that has a Thunderbolt 3 port and plug in an external graphics dock when you want to get your game on.
Razer and Asus already offer a Thunderbolt 3 graphics docks. Zotac has one on the way. And this week Aorus is showing off a new model at Computex. It’s the smallest, and potentially the most affordable of the bunch.
The Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box is an external box that sells for $599, which makes it about $100 more expensive than a Razer Core. The difference is that Razer’s graphics dock doesn’t actually include a graphics card. You have to supply your own.
When you buy the Aorus model you get an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card built in. The box also has HDMI, DisplayPort, and two DVI outputs along with four USB 3.0 ports. So you can leave the graphics dock plugged into your display(s) and/or other accessories and just connect your laptop when you want to play.
Or you could pack up the graphics dock and take it with you. It’s not exactly tiny, but it’s about half the size of a Razer Core.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Aorus Gaming Box comes with a mini version of the GTX 1070 graphics card. While you can upgrade to a different graphics card in the future, it will need to be a mini card that’s small enough to fit in the case. That’s not an issue with larger docks that are meant to accommodate full-sized desktop graphics cards.