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Trump’s lawyer brought a gaming laptop to $250M fraud trial

We’ve seen gaming laptops in classrooms and out in the wild on public transportion, but we’ve never expected to spot an Asus ROG laptop in a courtroom — especially in the hands of an attorney representing former President Donald Trump. Still, there it was, with RGB lighting changing colors all throughout the first day of Trump’s $250 million fraud trial in New York.

The unidentified laptop in question belongs to Alina Habba, one of Trump’s attorneys, and it was first spotted by Ryan Rigney, a marketing director at a game development company called Odyssey Studio. Rigney took to Twitter to share his findings, claiming that we’re looking at an Asus laptop with an Nvidia RTX 2070 Ti inside. The RTX 2070 Ti doesn’t exist, so Rigney is most likely talking about the RTX 2070 Super.

gamer lawyer brought the 2070ti asus laptop with the blue underglow to the court hearing

— Ryan K. Rigney (@RKRigney) October 2, 2023

This very well might be true. Kotaku pins the laptop as the Asus ROG Strix G17 G712, and although I’ve done a fair bit of digging, a lot of the Asus ROG lineup looks very similar from the back. One thing is for sure — this isn’t a workstation kind of laptop, like the Lenovo ThinkPad seen on the left side of the photograph. This is a gaming laptop with the fancy lighting to match, and Habba hasn’t even disabled the cyclical color changes, letting the Asus logo softly transition from blue to green, orange, red, and more.

If this is the 2021 ROG Strix G17 G712, it’ features a 17-inch 144Hz IPS display, a 10th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor with a boost clock of up to 5.1GHz and eight cores, an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super graphics card, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Not too shabby for a laptop being used in a courtroom.

Of course, this invites some speculation — is this a personal gaming laptop that doubles as a work machine, or did Habba simply pick out something that was powerful enough for her needs? It’s easy to buy a gaming laptop based on specs alone. Productivity-oriented laptops often don’t have a discrete graphics card, or are generally weaker in that department, and may prioritize a thin and light design over specifications. Sometimes, buying a gaming laptop is just a better deal.

With Nvidia’s RTX 40-series laptops, it’s hard these days to find a notebook that fits the quota of “reasonably priced” and “powerful.” Acer’s recent laptops come in at just under $1,000, but those are equipped with an RTX 4050. Habba’s equivalent would likely be more expensive; even now, it retails for $1,700. If you want to see how the current model performs, make sure to read our Asus ROG Strix G17 review.

One thing is for sure — Asus just received some unintended marketing in front of a whole new audience.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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