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ASUS XG Station Rises from the Dead

It's baaa-aaack. A couple of CESes ago, the Asus XG Station was revealed to much acclaim, touted as the world's first external graphics card/multimedia hub that would bring desktop-caliber graphics and 5.1 surround sound audio to notebooks. We even deemed it the Best Notebook Accessory of CES 2007. So it was no surprise that gamers and multimedia junkies instantly began salivating; the bit of surprise was that they'd have to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. The wait was so long that nearly a year later, we pondered whether the XG Station was beginning to drift into the dreaded "vaporware" category. Patience is a virtue, they say, especially for those that still cling to the hope of the XG Station being released. And it has paid off: Today ASUS lauched the ROG (Republic of Gamer) XG Station. Featuring an Nvidia GeForce 8600GT graphics engine, 4 USB 2.0 interfaces, Dolby sound (Dolby Headphone, Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Pro Logicllx), VGA, DVI, an ExpressCard slot, headphone and mic jacks, and an LED that gives read-outs of GPU speed, temperature, and fan speed, frames per second, and Dolby Headphone feature status. ASUS claims that the ROG XG Station, when connected to a notebook with integrated Intel graphics, improved performance six-fold with Intel 965M and twelve-fold with Intel 945GM. We're working on gathering pricing info and U.S. availability. Stay tuned.