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Hands on: Asus ROG GX700

Chilling out with the first liquid-cooled laptop, Asus' outrageous GX700

The GX700 will boost your performance, if you’re willing to stay in one place

For all the time and effort put into making laptops more portable, it feels like a bit of a waste. Most laptops spend a majority of their life at the desk they were first set up at, even more so when you’re talking about gaming laptops.

The GX700 is one of the fastest consumer laptops ever made.

Enter the GX700, for the realists who know that, for the most part, they’ll be gaming at their desk at home, and are willing to sacrifice a bit of portability for a lot of power. With an Intel Core i7-6820HK, up to 64GB of RAM, and a GTX 980, it’s essentially a desktop, and it even includes a couple of features never before seen on laptops – liquid cooling and overclocking.

We had a few minutes to check out the GX700 at Asus’ ROG Unleashed event, and were impressed with how far it’s come, at the very least.

A fresh new look

The GX700 takes its design language from the new titanium and copper colored coating on the G752. It’s a welcome change from the black and red color scheme that’s proliferated across gaming machines. It feels sturdy, whether you’re carrying it around or plugging it into the cooling dock.

Speaking of, the cooling dock is surprisingly simple and seamless. It works just like any other dock you might have used to improve a laptop’s connectivity before, albeit with a couple of important changes. A large clamp on top of the dock allows you to lock and unlock the system, as well as extend and retract the set of connectors.

Related: Hands on: Asus ROG G752 gaming notebook

The plug at the back of the laptop doubles as a power connector when you aren’t using the dock. It’s a nice touch that keeps the cable clutter to a minimum, and it makes the switch between docked use and un-docked use a bit more seamless.

Performance

Under the hood, the GX700 is one of the fastest consumer laptops ever made, at least on paper.

Connecting the dock automatically kicks overclocking into gear.

The Core i7-6820HK is only found in a couple of enthusiast-grade gaming machines, with a base clock of 2.7GHz and a Boost clock of 3.6GHz across four cores with Hyper-Threading.

Exact configuration details haven’t been revealed, but we do know there will be a GTX 980 powering the graphics, up to 64GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. Users will have their choice of 17.3-inch 1080p or 4K displays, both of which feature G-Sync.

That’s a powerful setup for a laptop to begin with, but Asus says connecting the liquid cooling makes things even better, as it automatically kicks the overclocking into gear. We weren’t able to run benchmarks to test the changes, but Asus shared some preliminary numbers for baseline overclocking.

Asus GX700
Brad Bourque/Digital Trends

The CPU sees the most dramatic improvement, with a quoted 48-percent improvement on benchmark testing by bringing the base clock up to 4.0GHz. The GTX 980 sees a huge gain of 43 percent as well, and even the RAM went up 31 percent, from a 2133MHz base clock to 2800MHz. In the real world, Asus says that means a real 4K gaming experience, with framerates averaging over 40 in the latest titles.

Conclusion

The Asus ROG GX700 is a laptop that’s designed for those willing to accept that a gaming system is never going to be the most portable option. It’s definitely not a laptop that you can take with you everyday to work or on a trip, unless you’ve got a strong back.

While we don’t know the price yet, It’s probably best to start saving now if you plan to order when it launches later this year. The G752 starts at $1,500, and quickly pushes over $2,000 without blinking an eye. Expect the price point on the GX700 to start in the upper range of the G752’s possibilities and continue upward from there.

Still, it offers high end performance like nothing you’ve ever seen in a gaming laptop before. Just how fast will have to wait until we can spend more than a few minutes getting to know the system. If you just move your computer a few times a year for a LAN party or a weekend away, it’s worth considering how your gaming will look when you’re at home, and in that regard, the GX700 is strikingly self-aware.

Highs

  • High-end performance
  • Elegant design
  • Docking is seamless

Lows

  • Bulky
  • Will be expensive