Asus Water-Cooled Gaming Laptop Arrives At IFA - InformationWeek

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Asus Water-Cooled Gaming Laptop Arrives At IFA

Asus announces the world's first water-cooled laptop, and it is cool but hard to pin down.

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At a pre-briefing for this year's IFA, Asus announced its new line of gaming rigs with one curious addition—what's believed to be the world's first closed-loop water-cooled gaming laptop. The Asus GX700 laptop features impressive specs, but water-cooling creates puzzling tradeoffs.

First, let's get the specs out of the way. The GX700's 17-inch 4K display is a major draw, and the laptop will feature an overclockable 6th-generation Intel® K-SKU processor and "latest NVIDIA GPU." It has all the bells and whistles you'd expect on a gaming rig, including an awesome new color scheme of "Armor Titanium and Plasma Copper." Check it out. It is truly gorgeous:

(Image: ASUS)

(Image: ASUS)

The red glow is especially cool. But wait? What's that giant thing behind it? Is it mood lighting? Nope. Is it a nice speaker accessory? Nope (though details are scarce, and it looks like it might also have a speaker in it).

That thing, which is almost the size of the laptop, seems to be the water-cooling system. And most game enthusiasts are speculating that it will be required to overclock the processor.

So here's my question -- Whose lap does that go on? I mean, a laptop is supposed to sit on your lap, right? I'm typing on a laptop right now. It is on my lap. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. Maybe I took it all too literally.

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It seems to me that if I use this as a laptop, I'd need to find a very comfy ottoman to put my legs up on, because the laptop is not going to fit on my lap with the cooler on it. I'm going to need my shins.

Granted, I know gamers like myself buy bigger laptops than everyone else for gaming. The screen real estate is important. That's why I'm not even batting an eye at the 17-inch display, despite that not being very "laptoppy." But what exactly is the niche for this? What is the use case?

The reason a gamer buys a laptop instead of a desktop gaming rig is to go places with it. Lugging around a 17-inch laptop is already a pretty big ask. Carrying around a second laptop-sized case for the cooler seems problematic. You're only allowed two carry-on bags on a plane, for example, and I'd rather not trust that equipment to the underside of a commercial jet.

Generally speaking, professional gaming is done on desktops to gain extra cooling and power advantages. So it probably isn't only intended for pro gamers to bring to competitions (though I'm sure there are exceptions).

There are already liquid-cooled gaming desktops, so it isn't that.

As much as I love this idea, I'm hard pressed to find the use case for this lovely machine. Where do I need to be slightly mobile with my gaming, but not truly mobile? When can I carry around a cooling unit with my giant laptop and still game? This is a far cry from the time Nintendo put a strap on the GameCube so you could carry it to a sleepover.

The best I can figure is that the target market is gamers who reside in small apartments and dorms where there's not enough room for a traditional desktop gaming rig. So I need your help, gaming community. What is the purpose of this laptop? When would you use it? And would you buy one? Meet me in the comments section below so we can talk about this.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2015 | 8:03:38 AM
Re: Giant Laptops
I think seeing one of these in the wild will be exciting you can't exactly throw this whole thing in a backpack.  The laptop itself won't fit into a standard laptop bag then you have the desktop PC sized cooling dock.  I can see it now, rolling road case being pushed into Starbucks early in the morning to get a table near a power outlet, all the lights dim and the blenders crawl when it's plugged in.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2015 | 11:00:42 PM
Re: Giant Laptops
@gary_el- I don't know if it runs on iced coffee, but I bet it runs on unicorn tears or the blood harvested from your virtual enemies depending on what kind of games you play.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2015 | 10:58:06 PM
Re: Giant Laptops
When I first saw this post, I though someone was pulling my leg - a watercooled laptop?? That almost sounds like high-heeled sneakers! But I guess some of you gamers are so hot that you need water-based cooling. I can't wait until I see one in the Starbucks downstairs! I wonder if it'll also run on iced coffee?
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2015 | 11:13:36 AM
Re: Giant Laptops
Personally I would prefer to have a water-cooled gaming desktop. I don't have the demand to bring a heavy gaming laptop around. Furthermore, the desktop can be made much more powerful.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2015 | 8:34:00 AM
Giant Laptops
Even without the giant docking station the laptop is huge.  When I first saw the reports I assumed they were doing the cooling internally but from what I can see the giant box isn't a necessity but having it attached does allow them to increase performance dramatically.  For now I'm going to call this overkill because I'm not really sure what the market is for a high performance gaming laptop that is only a high performance gaming laptop when you can dock it in a specialized cooling system.  Maybe they'll be able to bring this down in size significantly and mount it to the back side of the display a few generations down the road.
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