According to NVIDIA, there are more than 40 new laptops featuring GeForce RTX graphics on the way, but one isn’t really a laptop so much as a multi-function tablet with a detachable keyboard.

The Asus ROG Mothership is a 17.3 inch tablet with a 1920 x 1080 pixel, 144 Hz IPS display, an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics, support for up to 64GB of RAM, 3 PCIe NVMe SSDs, and all-around hardware that’s so power-hungry that the system has two 280W charging ports.

Weighing in at 10.3 pounds, this isn’t exactly the most portable “desktop replacement.” In fact, you could probably argue that it is a desktop — there’s a built-in kickstand that lets you prop up the tablet like a monitor. But the detachable keyboard and built-in battery mean that theoretically you could use the Asus ROG Mothership on the go as well… at least for a little while.

Asus says it got the idea for this device after noticing that many gamers already use an external keyboard and display with their “desktop replacement laptops.”

One reason is that some gamers prefer the keyboard to be positioned to one side of the screen and at an angle to it. A detachable keyboard lets users adjust the placement of the keyboard. And the keyboard itself can fold in half when it’s not attached to the laptop, reducing the amount of space it takes up.

The tablet-style design also aids in cooling since it allows for exhaust vents near the top of the system.

Update: I spotted one in the wild… and it is really far too big to think of as a tablet. It’s more of a smallish desktop monitor that happens to have a battery so that it’s theoretically portable.

press release


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4 replies on “Asus ROG Mothership is a massive gaming tablet with a detachable keyboard”

  1. At 10 pounds, I’ll pass. It is a beast, but I’d rather carry a gaming laptop and separate keyboard and mouse.

    1. Good luck finding a 17″ gaming laptop with an unlocked CPU that doesn’t also weigh 10 pounds. The only ones that weigh less are ones with really small CPU coolers and lower end video cards (like 1050 or 1060), and they aren’t that much lighter (maybe 9 pounds).

      That exact configuration (gaming laptop + keyboard + mouse) is the exact thing that Asus designed this to improve. Your 17″ gaming laptop needs to be pushed back a fair distance if you put another keyboard infront of your laptop keyboard. It begs the question: why even have that keyboard on the laptop?

      I know many people who own gaming laptops because they attend gaming events, they travel lots, or because they spend large amounts of time away from home. However, not one of them likes the concept of a “gaming laptop”, they all hate it. Most of them hate the keyboard, and the fact that the keyboard is in a fixed-position relative to the screen.

      I know someone who is a long-haul truck driver, and he says there are many truck drivers who travel with a gaming laptop, or some that even bring a 42″ HDTV and a gaming console to game in the back of their truck. Some of them even have a full gaming PC and monitor (the ones lucky enough to have a desk/table big enough).

      There are a growing number of people looking for new solutions. Lots of people build Mini-ITX gaming PCs, which have their own compromises. Lugging around a monitor and a Mini-ITX PC is still much more inconvenient than a 4.7kg tablet.

      There are lots of people who have various reasons to travel with very inconvenient gaming setups. Even above $2000, a 4.7kg gaming tablet WILL sell. Some gamers spend much more, on setups much less convenient.

  2. Wow I actually really want one of these. This would be a great portable workstation PC. When I read “144hz” screen, I immediately thought “TN panel” and assumed it would have horrible colour accuracy. But Asus says it is an AHVA panel, which have decent gamut. Asus claims 100% SRGB, which is good because I don’t work in AdobeRGB.

    There were so many good decisions in this design. Full-size SD card slot, separated Headphone and Microphone TRS connectors (as opposed to a combination TRRS connector), and most importantly low-mounted USB connectors. Nothing more annoying than tablets with USB connectors mounted half-way up the side of the tablet.

    I think anyone who needs a high-horsepower laptop, but hates laptop-keyboards will really appreciate this. Having said that, this is really heavy for a laptop-replacement. 4.7kg is about 1kg heavier than most 17″ workstation-laptops.

  3. WOW! WANT! How much is it gonna be? I am going to be saving up my money, this will be my next machine, no matter what! … SERIOUSLY, a TABLET without a TOUCH SCREEN, nevermind…

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