LAS VEGAS — Asus' latest device could do nothing and I'd still want it on my desk — it's just that pretty. But the ROG XG Station 2 does have a function, and its pretty awesome. Shipping in the second quarter, the XG Station 2 can turn a regular Asus laptop into a gaming powerhouse by simply plugging it in via USB-C.
I love looking at the XG Station 2. Three-quarters of the graphics amp resembles the ROG G20 desktop with its black chassis and glowing red accents. However, the front of the device has a narrow tube that creates waves of electricity, reminiscent of what you'd see in a tesla coil. If that weren't captivating enough, the remaining side of the device is made of glass where you can watch your graphics card's fans spinning away, awash in a seductive red glow.
Similar to other graphics amps on the market, the XG Station 2 bypasses a notebook's installed graphics chip in favor of the desktop graphics card currently in the station. What type of card depends on you as Asus expects you to provide your own AMD or Nvidia GPU. Asus has not released the specs on this system, so we're not quite sure yet exactly what cards it can handle, but if it's anything like the similar amps, it should be able to use up to a Nvidia GTX GeForce Titan X.
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Unleashing your mild-mannered Asus laptop's inner gaming beast is as simple as plugging the XG Station 2 into your laptop's USB-C port. From there, Asus' custom interface takes over, switching to the desktop graphics card, significantly boosting its power. During our demo, we watched the XG Station 2 tethered to an Asus UX305 tear through the 3DMark11 benchmarks. Asus claims that this external dock will only work with its own notebooks.
We can't wait to test this accessory that's equal parts art and performance.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.