CES 2019 Highlights, Part One

by Reads (12,241)

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show is upon us! Join us as we look through the latest in PC-related consumer tech with, of course, a focus on notebooks.

Asus RoG Mothership Gaming Notebook Turns Heads

We’ve seen detachable tablets like the Microsoft Surface before. The Asus Republic of Gamers Mothership might not be one of those, but it’s also not a notebook, either. Its unique design divorces the keyboard from the rest of the device for a unique gaming experience. The computer portion features a built-in kickstand so you can angle the display however you wish, or even lay it flat.
The 17.3-inch display has a 144Hz refresh rate. Packed right next to it is a four-speaker array rated for an impressive 16 watts of output. (Most notebook speaker setups are just a couple of watts or less.)Asus RoG Mothership

The keyboard has RGB LED backlighting support and folds in half to reduce its footprint.

Behind the Mothership is an Intel Core i9-8950HK hexa-core processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. CES 2019 is the first time we’re seeing the GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards make it into notebooks. This notebook/supersize tablet supports three M.2 PCI Express storage drives, up to 64GB of memory, and has a new 802.11ax-standard wireless card.

The Mothership measures (WDH) 16.14 by 12.59 x 1.17 inches and weighs 10.4 pounds. Its twin 280-watt power supplies won’t help its portability factor, but it’s still more portable than a mid-tower desktop.

Asus says the Mothership will be available in Q2 2019. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but I’ll be surprised if it’s south of $3,000.

Asus RoG Mothership Press Release

Asus RoG Zephyrus S 17 Ultra-Slim Gaming Laptop

Hot on the heels of the RoG Mothership announcement is the Zephyrus S 17 (GX701). Asus says it’s the smallest 17.3-inch gaming notebook on the market. The razer-thin display bezels means it measures just 15.7-inch wide. The GX701 is also just 0.73 inches thin and 5.9 pounds, which is light for a 17.3-inch gaming notebook.

Inside is power-packed thanks to an Intel Core i7 hexa-core processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. Together they should have no problem pushing in excess of 100 frames per second onto the laptop’s 144Hz G-Sync-enabled display. The bottom of the notebook can open for improved airflow.Asus GX701

One interesting feature of the GX701 is its ability to use a 65-watt USB Type-C power adapter for regular use. You’ll need to plug in its 280-watt adapter for gaming, though. Another interesting feature is the external webcam, which Asus says should deliver better quality than a unit they could house in the notebook itself. (I like this compromise.)

Availability for the GX701 is supposed to be this quarter, but there’s no word on pricing. I’d expect it to be in the $2,500 range, if not a little above. Uniqueness like this isn’t going to be a bargain.

Asus RoG Zephyrus S 17 Press Release

Samsung Announces RTX-Powered Odyssey Gaming Laptop

The Samsung Odyssey is a new gaming notebook powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. It sports a metallic design and a 15.6-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync support.

The Odyssey’s other specifications include a Core i7 hexa-core processor, 16GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD and 1TB hard drive storage combo. Other technical details are scant, although its 5.2-pound weight makes it reasonably portable.Samsung Odysey Gaming Notebook

Samsung says the Odyssey will be available early this year (likely Q1) although didn’t announce pricing. I’d expect it to be in the $2,000 to $2,500 range.

To go along with the gaming theme, Samsung also announced a series of gaming monitors.

Samsung Odyssey Press Release

Retro Style for $349: Samsung Notebook Flash

Samsung also unveiled what it calls its “trendy” looking Notebook Flash at CES 2019. If trendy refers to nostalgia, then it would appear they hit the typewriter on the head. The notebook indeed has a keyboard whose keys look like they came off one.

The charcoal-colored 13.3-incher has a textile-patterned chassis for extra uniqueness. Samsung says the battery life should be up to 10 hours.Samsung Notebook Flash The technical specifications are basic; this notebook is for light duty tasks.

  • 13.3-inch display
  • Windows 10 Home operating system
  • Intel Celeron N4000 or Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor
  • 39Wh battery
  • Weight: 3.02 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12.69 x 8.64 x 0.67 inches (WDH)

The Samsung Notebook Flash goes on sale starting at $349 on January 15 on Samsung’s web store and Amazon.

The AMD-Powered Chromebook: HP Chromebook 14

Nearly all Chromebooks – that is, notebooks specially designed to run Google Chrome OS – run on Intel chips. That’s why HP’s new Chromebook 14 turns heads. It’s based on an AMD Dual-Core A4-9120 processor and includes built-in AMD Radeon R4 graphics. The AMD processor and graphics combo ought to be a good alternative to Intel’s Celeron and Pentium offerings. Chrome OS doesn’t require much processing power, so a lower-end processor like this should work fine.HP Chromebook 14

The HP Chromebook 14 has a 14-inch display, although it’s a low-resolution one with just 720p HD support. (Higher-end Chromebooks have 1080p displays.) 4GB of memory, a 32GB storage drive, and up to 9 hours and 15 minutes of battery life round out its technical specifications. The Chromebook 14 weighs 3.4 pounds and measures 13.27 x 8.93 x 0.72 inches (HWD). That means it’s not super slim and portable, but certainly portable enough.

HP says the Chromebook 14 will be $269 when it goes on sale later this month. That seems reasonable for a plastic-clad Chromebook.

More CES 2019 Coverage Coming

Stay tuned for more coverage! We’ll continue to post the latest on notebooks and PCs.



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