The Asus ROG watercooled laptop is surprisingly thin (and surprisingly heavy)

Asus GX700 laptop side

Asus trotted out the GX700 watercooled laptop at an event in San Francisco on Friday, giving us our first good look at the system since it was announced at IFA. The GX700 was definitely the star of the show at the event thanks to its watercooling dock and overclocking potential when icy cold liquid is passing through its guts. I spent a few minutes hands-on with the laptop, and realized it’s very different than the usual laptop-with-base-station configuration. Namely, it’s still a seriously heavy system even when it’s detached.

In the last year or two, we’ve seen companies like MSI design thin, extremely portable laptops that dock into a graphics card base station. Detached, their gaming performance is dramatically limited by relying on integrated graphics. Docked, they get most of the performance of a desktop graphics card over PCIe. The GX700 is not that kind of laptop.

It’s a dense, eight pound (3.6 kilogram) laptop with some serious components:

  • Intel Skylake i7-6820HK CPU clocked at 2.7GHz (turbo to 3.6GHz)
  • 17.3-inch IPS display, configurable up to 4K display (baseline 1080p)
  • Nvidia GTX 980 desktop-grade GPU
  • Support for up to 64GB DDR4 RAM

Asus RoG GX700 dock

It’s going to be a high-end gaming laptop even detached from the base station, but cooling for those components will still be a challenge, like it is with any gaming laptop. The GX700 doesn’t have the massive rear cooling vents of Asus’s G751, our favorite gaming laptop, but that’s where the dock comes in. We asked Asus a bit about the docking mechanism, and they assured us the quick release nozzles are designed to keep any water from spilling out during a sudden ejection.

PC World’s got more details on the hybrid cooling system in the GX700, which uses a standard heat pipe system alongside the watercooling pipes to give the laptop decent cooling on air, too.

The GX700 is a surprisingly thin laptop for everything it’s packing, even if it is a heavy eight-pounder of a system. As extreme as the watercooling here is, we think Asus has room to go further. Maybe the second iteration will pair its desktop-grade GPU with a desktop CPU, tool.


Asus ROG GX700

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).