ASUS Unveils External Graphics Card
January 7, 2007 2:12 AM
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The ASUS XG Station is connected via a dongle to the notebook ExpressCard interface
ASUS introduces the world's first external graphics card for notebook users
ASUS today introduced a dedicated external graphics card for laptops -- the XG Station. The XG Station is an external graphics card that allows laptop users to enjoy high end graphics performance while plugged in. As the XG Station is an external graphics it can be unplugged when portability is needed.
The XG Station connects to any notebook’s ExpressCard slot and provides a PCI Express x16 slot for graphics cards. Since ASUS has opted to equip the XG Station with a standard PCI Express x16 slot, the station can be equipped with any PCI Express based graphics card: AMD, NVIDIA or even Matrox. ASUS launched the default XG Station with an NVIDIA 7900GS powered graphics card.
The XG Station is powered externally. A separate power brick plugs directly into the adaptor.
An integrated LCD display and control also grace the XG Station. The display is customizable and can display information such as frame rate, fan speed, GPU temperature and more while the control knob can change various settings of the XG Station such as the core and memory clocks.
Expect ASUS to release the XG Station in Q2'07 this year. Pricing of the XG Station is unknown at the moment.
The XG Station adaptor only interfaces with ExpressCard interfaces at the moment, but will work with with PCIe ExpressCard interfaces installed in a desktop PC.
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1/7/2007 2:53:15 PM
If you're into the LAN party scene then you are correct, it would be a pain to lug this all around and then set it up. You might as well get one of those cases with the handle and radiation stickers. But if you're and average college student who likes to game then this is a great idea. Part of the start up cost is the monitor, speakers, full-size mouse & keyboard, and docking station. When you go off to class (or library) you just un-dock the laptop and take it with you. When you get back to your room you just dock the laptop without having to re-hook up all the periphials. Makes sense to me. A laptop takes up a lot less space then a tower. I don't have a laptop, but if I was in college today I would get one. Like I said, it may not make sense to you (and it doesn't for me either), but it does for today's college student. And for a lot of them they spend time gaming and this device will integrate nicely with their laptop to allow them to do so. It hooks up to the bus without the need for a tower to house the device. I would call that a good idea for those that it's geared towards.
1/7/2007 5:12:24 PM
Well, we really need to get the final word on whether this really requires an external monitor. My claim is not that there is no audience for this. There is. My claim is that, if you really do need an external monitor and other peripherals, the utility goes down dramatically, and the target audience goes down exponentially. This is not what we have been waiting for. LAN party? I need an upgradeable notebook gpu solution for the airport gate, travel destinations, the coffee shop, the building lounge, ect. and I'm not alone. If I'm expected to use this product in my home, that, coincidentally, is the same place I keep my desktop. If I could use my otherwise perfectly acceptable notebook for gaming outside my home, that would be outstanding. By the way, regarding college students, we were broke when we were in college, and Microsoft and Sony had excellent solutions for gaming. We sure weren't buying gpu's and external multi-display gadgets. We were attending meetings to get the free pizza.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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