Hands on: Asus GX700

Asus’ new gaming laptop has an alien parasite attached

The Asus GX700 may not be the next great gaming notebook, but it’s sure fun to dream about.

Overclocking is one of the main reasons gamers tend to choose a desktop over a laptop. By tweaking a few settings, an enthusiast can often gain 10 to 15 percent in performance — the difference between perfectly smooth 60 FPS gameplay and stuttering from dropped frames, or the extra juice needed to turn on fancier graphical details.

Now, for the first time, mobile players can gain the same advantage. That’s thanks to Intel’s recently announced K-series for mobile, which can be overclocked just like the K-series for desktop. Details about the processor actually remain surprisingly scarce – it wasn’t included in Intel’s big release of Skylake at the beginning of the IFA 2015 show, for example – but several manufacturers are talking it up, and Asus actually has a laptop to show.

Well, kind of. From what I saw, it’s not right to treat the GX700 as an entirely unique model. It’s more like a variation on the G752. From the outside, the two appear almost identical. The main difference can be found around back, where the G752’s massive exhaust is replaced with a series five round ports. These are used to attach the liquid cooler – and that’s where things start to get weird.

The GX700’s liquid cooler could be a mechanical parasite in some cyber-punk horror flick.

The liquid cooler itself doesn’t look at all like you might expect. Radiators are square, so it’d be reasonable guess a liquid cooler would be so as well, but the GX700’s dock defies that expectation. It’s instead a huge, bulbous apparatus that could be used as a mechanical parasite in some cyber-punk horror flick. It has a strange wing on the top, apparently used to support the display when it’s tilted far to the rear, and it appears to offer an LED readout – though that wasn’t working on the units I saw.

In fact, the GX700 wasn’t working at all. While the floor models were attractive, none of them turned on. That shouldn’t reflect on the final quality of the product, and I didn’t need to see it on to know what it’s like. As mentioned, the GX700 is a dead ringer for the G752, which is shaping up to be an absolutely stellar system. But that lack of functionality is surprising for a system that’s supposed to be out this holiday season. It’s only four months until the new year, after all.

Asus GX700

Matt Smith/Digital Trends

The dock itself is a bit of a quagmire as well. Obviously, it’s needed to get the most out of overclocking such a small computer, but it’s not a piece of hardware you’ll easily tote around. As mentioned, it was ripped straight from a sci-fi horror film, so it’s not sleek. It’s larger than some small form factor PCs, and heavier as well. Even if you have a pack large enough for the GX700 itself, I’m not sure there’d be room left over for its cooler. I’m told you don’t need the dock, but performance will be reduced significantly without it.

Honestly, the GX700 feels like a bit of a gimmick. The entire idea of overclockable gaming laptops remains unconvincing. It’ll be nice to have the option, but it’s unlikely that players will see a great gain in performance without contrivances like this notebook’s strange liquid-cooling dock. This approach may make notebooks more competitive with desktops in performance, but it also almost entirely sacrifices portability – and if you need a duffle bag to take your laptop to a LAN party, what’s the point?

But that doesn’t mean the GX700 isn’t cool. This probably won’t be the next great gaming notebook, but it’s fun to look at, and fun to dream about. Maybe one day, when processors are wildly more efficient than even today’s lofty standard, a project like this will be viable. Until then, you can stare at this notebook with lust.

Highs

  • Interesting design
  • Based off the excellent G752

Lows

  • Liquid cooling dock is massive
  • Functionality away from dock is unclear
  • Intel K-Series for mobile remains mysterious
Product Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 review

Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Max-Q is the fastest GPU you’ll find in any laptop, but it usually comes at a steep price. Acer’s Predator Triton 500, starting at $2,500, makes it a little more affordable. But what must you sacrifice in the…
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

The Lenovo Legion Y740 brings RTX 2080 graphics power for under $2,500

Coming with the Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, the Legion Y740 one big beast. But priced at under $2,500 how does Lenovo’s Legion stand up against the crowd?
Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.