Gaming is a big theme of IFA 2015. Acer's unleashing a whole new line of Predators, and Lenovo is taking on the challenge with a new range of gaming PCs of its own. But as aggressive and hungry for hype as both have been, neither is going quite as far as Asus, which today introduced the world's first water-cooled laptop.
Water cooling has traditionally been an exotic extra that gamers would append to their rigs to enhance their cooling setups, on the one hand, and to accredit themselves as hardcore enthusiasts, on the other. It's grown increasingly easier to incorporate into modern PCs as the size of other components has shrunken and companies have started developing self-contained water-cooling kits that take a lot of the pain (and spills) out of the installation. Even so, water cooling in a laptop is about as far-fetched as modern gaming gear gets. Forget MSI and its blinged-out WASD keys, the new benchmark for laptop gaming bragging rights is having your own radiator and pump combo.
The Asus GX700 is still mostly a mystery at this point. Asus isn't divulging many of this machine's specs, other than to say that it will be the first 17-inch laptop with a 4K display. We know there'll be an Nvidia GeForce graphics card inside it, and we can assume it will be ready to overclock once the water cooling rig is joined up with the GX700 to amp up performance. The premise of this laptop is that it's a mighty pixel-pushing machine in its own right, but once it's docked, everything can be turned up that extra bit further into the ludicrous sphere.
I struggle to understand how a big and heavy cooling setup is an improvement on something like Alienware's external-GPU system that lets you power gaming on a laptop with a desktop graphics card (and replace that card when needed). That's about as portable a setup as this, but leaves more flexibility for the user. Then again, we still don't know the price and full details of the GX700. So, for now, let's just enjoy the wild view.
Hands-on photos by Tom Warren