Turn your laptop into a VR powerhouse

Nine years after it launched the XG Station external graphics card, ROG decides it's time for an upgrade: the VR-capable XG Station 2. Better late than never, right?

Nic Healey
Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia

Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.

2 min read
Claire Reilly/CNET

First announced back at CES in January, the Asus brand Republic of Gamers (better known at ROG to the party faithful) has used the Computex 2016 show to talk more about its XG Station 2 external graphics card dock.

Like Alienware and Razer, ROG clearly thinks there's a market for this style of external GPU boost and it resurrected a device from 2007 to do it.

Like other external graphics enclosures, the ROG XG Station 2 is basically a powered box that lets you install a standard GPU and connect that to your laptop, giving you vastly improved graphics power when you're gaming at home. Unplug it and you've got a portable laptop all over again.

The XG Station 2 has a a 680W power supply and support for the latest generation of GeForce GTX and AMD Radeon graphics cards. It uses a Thunderbolt 3 connection and what ROG describes as "an exclusive proprietary connector" that it claims will deliver a further 15 percent graphics performance.

ROG is so confident in the power level, it says that the XG will offer VR-ready graphics processing for laptops. At the moment, only the gutsiest of desktop PCs are capable of running high-end VR experiences.

Claire Reilly/CNET

It can be hot-swapped, meaning you can plug and unplug it while the laptop is running, and it has four USB 3.0 ports and a LAN port.

Asus mentioned the XG at its launch of the new Transformer range, which gives you an idea of the company's strategy for the product.

For reference, the original used the ExpressCard port, had two USB 2.0 slots and could take the 8800 GTS card. The 8800 GTX was too long to fit inside.

At the moment, we're waiting on more details and pricing.

Check out the rest of CNET's Computex 2016 coverage here.

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