If you're a PC gamer, CES usually represents the year's earliest showcase of what PC manufacturers have up their sleeves to help separate you from your money. CES 2018 is proving to be no different, and ASUS, in particular, is looking to make things extra colorful with the latest additions to its Republic of Gamers (ROG) lineup.
Leading the lineup are three new PCs, the Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition, the Strix GL12, and the ROG G703. The first is a special edition laptop brought about as a partnership between ROG and eSports team SK Telecom T1. Along with its custom design, the Strix SKT T1 hero Edition comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, and a 120Hz display. Of course, the included keyboard is backlit with RGB lighting, which is a bit of a theme here.
The Strix GL12, on the other hand, is a desktop machine that is packed with an overclocked eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics, and easy-swap SSD trays for quick switches. On the outside, the Strix GL12 includes RGB lighting that can sync up to ASUS' ROG Aura Sync lighting system. The transparent side panel also lets you peek in to see more RGB lighting on the internals.
Lastly, in terms of PCs anyway, is the ROG G703, which includes an overclocked Intel Core i7-7820HK processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics. The 17.3-inch display is massive for a laptop, so you won't be doing yourself any favors as far as portability is concerned here. However, that's rounded out with support for G-Sync and a speedy 144Hz refresh rate. And if you use Xbox peripherals, the ROG G703 is one of the few laptops out right now with support for Xbox Wireless tech, allowing you to connect compatible accessories to it with the press of a button.
While that's all pretty standard fare for gaming PCs, ASUS also revealed a few new peripherals under the ROG banner – and there's plenty of RGB lighting to be found here as well. In fact, that's the sole focus of one accessory: the ROG Aura Terminal.
Coming in the form of a relatively small box, the ROG Aura Terminal is meant to act as an RGB controller that creates an "immersive gaming environment." Basically, that means it can control lighting strips mounted behind your monitor to create bias lighting that synchronizes to what's going on on-screen. ASUS claims that the Aura Terminal can determine the colors being displayed on the edges of your screen and illuminate lighting strips with colors to match, creating what it calls a "dynamic halo" effect on the wall. This can be combined with another curious accessory called the ROG Spotlight, which lets you cast the ROG logo on a wall or surface, synchronized to your other Aura Sync gear. That's clearly not meant for everyone, but if you're insanely into the ROG brand, it's a neat addition to your setup.
Lastly, the potentially most intriguing peripheral is ASUS' new Bezel-free Kit for multiple-monitor setups. The kit is made up of vertical lenses that can be mounted between monitors to create what is a nearly seamless connection using light refraction to make monitor edges disappear. If it works well, the Bezel-free Kit could be a pretty neat way to create a massive, cohesive display out of more than one monitor. We'll have to wait to see it in action for more, though.
According to ASUS, the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition will be available in Q1 2018, with pricing yet to be determined. The ROG Strix GL12 is expected in Q2 2018 with pricing to be announced later, and the ROG G703 is available now starting at $3,499. Each of the peripherals and accessories, including a new Strix Flare RGB keyboard, will be available later in the first half of 2018, with pricing to be announced at launch.