Alongside ASUS's announcement of its latest ROG Flow X13 13-inch gaming notebook, it has also unveiled an interesting new external graphics dock to go with that notebook. Dubbed the ROG XG Mobile GV301, the external graphics dock is designed to augment the ROG Flow X13's capabilities, turning it into a powerful and lightweight portable gaming rig. And though graphics docks themselves are nothing new, this one stands out due to its portability, with the dock being similar in size to a second laptop.

From a high-level perspective, the graphics dock lives up to its name. At its heart, of course, is a high-performance GPU, with ASUS tapping NVIDIA’s new laptop-grade RTX 3070 and 3080 adapters, both of which will be a significant step up from the Flow X13’s built-in GeForce GTX 1650 graphics adapter. Along with this, the dock can power the Flow X13 – thanks to its integrated 280W power supply – and offers several ports including HDMI and DisplayPort, a Gig Ethernet jack, 4 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and an integrated SD card reader.

Notably, like some past efforts to provide graphics docks for thin & light laptops, ASUS is going with a proprietary connection here rather than relying on Thunderbolt. The unnamed connector is split intwo two segments, with one carrying PCIe 3.0 x8 data while the other segment is a USB-C connector for carrying power and USB data. This significantly limits the compatibility of the dock, but it does provide twice as much PCIe bandwidth as Thunderbolt 3 or 4 otherwise would.

As previously mentioned, one of ASUS’s design goals for the ROG XG Mobile is portability, so that it can be carried around with the Flow X13 rather than serving as a relatively static dock at home. To that end the dock is 29.6mm thick, with a 208mm x 155mm footprint, making it comparable in size to a second laptop. It also weighs similar (if a bit denser) at a flat 1kg (2.2lbs). Fittingly, ASUS is supplying a sleeve with the Flow X13 to carry both the laptop and XG Mobile, simplifying this process some.

The thermal solution on the ASUS ROG XG Mobile

The ROG XG Mobile is due this quarter, with pricing to be announced.

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Source: ASUS

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  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - link

    Can we also have this without the GPU (and thus smaller)? I'd pay a lot of money for a power adapter/USB-C charger that also acts as a hub to expand my laptop's ports with USB-A, ethernet and HDMI. The only solutions so far are hubs with pass-through charging plus a separate power brick, but that's two separate devices.
  • notb - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - link

    Why would you like a power brick combined with a hub?
    Power bricks are big, hot boxes that often break down before the laptop dies or becomes obsolete.

    Why would you want to put them on your desk - let alone glue them to something as expensive as a complex hub?
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - link

    Because it would take less space when travelling for example. I bring my power adapter with me almost every day when I expect to do some work on the laptop, and sometimes it would be nice to also have access to more ports. And no, power bricks are not big, at least mine is smaller than many hubs I've seen. And I've never had one break before the laptop itself. Hubs aren't expensive, unless you look at the really bulky ones or if it has TB.

    My power brick already has both the USB-C port with PD for my laptop, as well as a few USB-A ports for charging devices. So close, everything already connected to a single power brick, but still not connected to each other...
  • notb - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - link

    These are not full USB ports. They only include power wiring. And there's no logic in the brick to work with data.

    If they added USB hub functionality to the power adapter, it would be as big as the 2 separate devices glued together. They're usually quite packed inside.

    2 smaller objects are easier to pack than one object of the combined size. And there's always the possibility that you won't need one of them.
  • ajp_anton - Thursday, January 14, 2021 - link

    Huh? I know they are just charging ports. Hence why they only charge. I don't believe they will be the size of two separate devices. Especially hubs are full of air, plus all of the plastic packaging of two devices makes them larger than a single device. And I disagree on the easiess of packing. Oh well, it looks like I'm the only one requesting something like this, so it probably won't happen.
  • lmcd - Thursday, January 14, 2021 - link

    Hubs that charge are not full of air. They're very expensive. The Anker USB-C and USB-C/TB docks sound like what you want, though you perhaps need a higher wattage. Those are probably as small as anyone would get.
  • Myrandex - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - link

    This would still plug into the wall too, so I don't see the real advantage to something like this over something like the HyperDrive Qi Charger and hub that I use ( plus a USB Type C PD Charger (which I have wall outlets installed in my office so I can avoid the 2nd brick, but even a USB PD charger for a laptop isn't that much of an extra to carry, and you would have the charger anyways to directly connect to the laptop if you weren't using the hub anyways when traveling).
  • danwat1234 - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - link

    I do hope basis will supply 4000 series gpus in the external solution as well so that this laptop can still remain very relevant for many years and take advantage of the PCI Express 4.0 bandwidth in future gpus. Will Asus make any new egpus for the laptop, who knows not holding my breath
  • keshan - Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - link

    look like Asus use oculink-2 to connect 3080.may it can DIY?
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, January 14, 2021 - link

    And why is this proprietary sGPU connection succeed where XGP, MSI Shadow, Alienware Amplifier and others failed?

    Might as well just wait for PCIe 4/5 based thunderbolt adapters, or even USB 4 ones.
    These companies should be aware by now that proprietary connectors have little hope of getting wide adoption.

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