Hands-on with the Asus XG Station external GPU

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Thomas Ricker
January 8, 2007 7:45 PM
Hands-on with the Asus XG Station external GPU

We had to see it to believe it, but the Asus XG Station does indeed turn that wimpy laptop of yours into a somewhat capable gaming rig. The cats at ASUS set us up with a head-to-head demo of two, 'zactly spec'd laptops with awesomely weak Intel GMA 945 graphics processors -- just one of the two was hooked up to an Asus XG Station via ExpressCard. After attaching the external monitor to one of the XG's two DVI connectors, Asus let the gaming demo fly. The stock laptop struggled to keep up with the action with noticeably huge jumps in frames making intense game play a non-starter. The XG-equipped laptop, however, hummed along quite happily. Game play was smooth though a few frames were occasionally dropped. Surround sound is in fact simulated, which is both good and bad: the good is you get pseudo 5.1 surround from any headphones; the bad is you get pseudo 5.1 surround from any headphones. Verdict: the XG Station is ready to game as long as you don't expect it to perform like a dedicated gaming rig. But if you're the occasional gamer who like his lappie ultra-portable and under powered for gaming as a result, then this might be the solution for you. Lots of pics after the break.

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