PostHeaderIcon Everything Cool Asus Showed at CES



CES is becoming more of an automotive show than anything else. Every year there’s more car companies and more car demos. This year was no exception. The PC industry really needs to have its own show. Thankfully, there are still plenty of nuggets to be found, and Asus showed off some goodies this year.

ROG XG2 external graphics docking station
External graphics is getting serious.
External graphics is getting serious.

Asus won’t be left out in the external graphics department with its new XG2 docking station. The XG2 is similar to Razer’s new Core in that both are USB Type-C docking stations. Whereas the Core uses Thunderbolt 3 over USB Type-C, Asus tells us that it’s using something else entirely—something proprietary. The XG2, says Asus, doesn’t rely on Thunderbolt 3, which would require encoding and decoding of the graphics card’s signal. While Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gb/s speed is fast, Asus tells us the XG2 is using raw PCIe signally. We’ll have to wait to get both units in for some benchmarking to see which one performs best.

ROG Claymore mechanical keyboard
Smart keyboard design.
Smart keyboard design.

Asus unveiled its Claymore mechanical keyboard, which offers the full range of Cherry MX key switches. The keyboard also interfaces with Asus’s ROG software to customize its RGB lighting. Standard affair so far, except the specialty is that you can swap locations of the side num-pad. Don’t like it on the right? Move it to the left. Or, you don’t have to use it at all to reduce the keyboard’s desktop footprint.

ROG Maximus VIII Formula
RGB motherboards. It had to happen.
RGB motherboards. It had to happen.

Asus’s new Maximus VIII Formula defining feature set is its monochrome design with full RGB lighting. Sometimes going with your favorite motherboard means you’ll have to be specific about how your want to customize the color of your build. Not so with the Maximus VIII Formula. Asus removed all permanent color components from the board and made it completely black. In place of fixed colors, the new Maximus VIII Formula integrates full RGB lighting around various parts of the mobo.

The Maximus VIII Formula is a socket 1151 with support for 4 DDR4 DIMMs. One interesting feature is a dedicated LED light strip header on the bottom-left of the board. The board ships with an extension cable that you connect your light strips to, and depending on the strips, allows you full customization and syncing with the board’s lighting.

XG-D2008 10GbE switch
The XG-D2008 10GbE switch is very thin.
The XG-D2008 10GbE switch is very thin.

Asus is getting into the 10GbE business with its new XG-D2008 switch. The box is very thin and small compared to other switches with the same number of ports. Two of the ports on the XG-D2008 are 10GbE, while the rest are 1GbE. The two ports are for connecting your primary system and one other 10GbE device, such as a NAS. No word on pricing for this slick switch. We’re waiting on Asus to deliver its new router with full-on 10GbE support. That’ll be slick.

ROG Spatha gaming mouse with changeable switches
Swapple switches in a mouse.
Swapple switches in a mouse.

The new ROG Spatha mouse offers some real customizability with switches that are completely removable and changeable. The company says this will allow for greater control over how the mouse feels and responds. To our knowledge, this is the first feature of this kind to be offered in a mouse.

Spatha breakout.
Spatha breakout.

We can see where this might go, with Asus’s future gaming motherboards that’ll offer removable Cherry MX switches—free idea for keyboard companies! The mouse has 12 programmable buttons and offers a 2GHz polling rate. No details on DPI but it’s fully configurable, too. ROG RGB lighting is naturally included.

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