Asus manages to show up to every trade show with a menagerie of products for gamers, and this year's CES is no different. The company has a couple of ROG gaming laptops, a desktop PC, and a handful of peripherals and odds-and-ends. Let's get right to it and have a look.
On the portable front, Asus' ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition is a laptop designed in conjunction with League of Legends team SK Telecom T1. The MOBA-focused notebook is built around an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6 GB of its own video memory. The screen is a 15.6" number with a 1920x1080 resolution and a fast 120-Hz refresh rate.
The laptop has 16 GB of memory, a 256 GB NVMe boot drive, and a 1 TB 5400 RPM hard drive for bulk storage. Asus says the key switches in the backlit keyboard are rated for 20 million key presses. The special graphic on the laptop's lid will let the world know of your support for Team SKT T1.
Gamers needing greater power on the go can look forward to the ROG G703 laptop, an upgrade to an existing notebook that's now available with a 17.3" 144-Hz 1920x1080 display with G-Sync support. Asus claims the G703 is the first gaming portable to include such a screen. The rest of the system's specs carry over from the previous iteration, including the available factory-overclocked Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, an RGB LED keyboard with per-key backlighting, and an integrated Xbox One wireless controller receiver.
Those that intend to play games at the desktop might wait for Asus' ROG Strix GL12 machines carrying eighth-generation Intel Core CPUs and a variety of Nvidia GeForce 10-series graphics card. All that hardware goes inside a chassis decked out with RGB LEDs and a hot-swappable SSD tray. That case has a transparent side window for ogling the fancy stuff on the inside. The light show runs in concert with Asus' Aura Sync illumination control utility so buyers can coordinate the blinkenlights on the GL12 with the diodes in their Asus ROG gaming headsets and monitors.
Asus' ROG Strix Flare keyboard uses Cherry's MX RGB key switches to light up players' gaming setups. The Flare has dedicated media controls, including a volume wheel. The board has a detachable wrist rest and a USB pass-through port for use with a mouse or another device.
Gamers can keep the triangular piece of acrylic with the Asus ROG logo, or engrave a custom image on a blank bit of transparent plastic that's included in the package. The keyboard has RGB LEDs under each side in addition to the diodes under each key. As one would expect, the whole light show is directed by Asus' Aura Sync utility.
With all of that conventional stuff out of the way, now we get a chance to gawk at some more fanciful gear. First up is the ROG Aura Terminal, a four-channel addressable RGB controller that works with Aura Sync and the company's new ROG Halo technology. RGB LED strips can be placed behind the monitor, and ROG Halo will illuminate them in matching colors, producing a halo of light around the monitor for a more immersive experience, in a similar vein to Philips' Ambilight. The Aura Terminal can also be placed inside a case for use with the usual Asus Aura components.
Next up is the Asus Bezel-free Kit, which is made of vertical refractive lenses intended to hide the bezels in multi-monitor setups. The lenses are designed for monitors mounted at 130° in relation to one another, an angle that Asus says is best for immersion in games that support multiple displays. The bezel-free kit is completely passive and requires no software or power. We don't know if the kit requires Asus monitors or displays of a particular size. Interested gerbils will have to stay tuned for future coverage.
Rounding out Asus' new stuff is the ROG Spotlight, an accessory that looks like a webcam but instead projects Asus' ROG logo onto a wall or other surface. The Spotlight can be rotated 360° within its aluminum enclosure to ensure the logo is always displayed upright.
The price of the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero laptop will be announced when the machine starts shipping during the first quarter. The top-shelf ROG 703 laptop with the high-end 144-Hz G-Sync display is available now for a princely $3499. The Strix GL12 gaming desktops are to hit the market in the second quarter of 2018. The ROG Strix Flare keyboard, ROG Aura Terminal, Bezel-free kit, and ROG Spotlight are all scheduled for release in the next six months. Their pricing should be announced closer to launch.