MSI’s External Gaming Dock And GS30 Shadow Gaming Notebook Offer Alternative PC Paradigm

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turkey3_scratch

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It's a unique idea, almost like adjoining laptop and desktop into one machine and then splitting them apart when you want to go mobile. I just think that for the price people already pay for laptops and with this on top they would not want to spend the money but rather just buy a gaming desktop or gaming laptop itself.
 

Gam3r01

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Make this a bit more streamlined (smaller box, and make it seem more "meant to be" than just sitting on top), and cost slightly less and I would be interested in picking one up.

I already like the idea, and think it could go places, just not for that pricepoint.
 
I have two of these "in concept" on a shelf in my office...a 1996 Toshiba and a 2000 ish IBM. They came with a monitor stand and I used it with an external full size monitor, KB and mouse and it had built in 5.25 bays, SCSI, zip drives and everything else this has (and more) minus a "gaming specific GFX card". Ours were used primarily for AutoCAD.

I hated when docking stations fell out of favor and bringing that lappie in meant reconnecting 5-6 cables (mouse, KB, ethernet, power, speakers, joystick) instead of "drop and latch". They were same footprint but about half as tall.

My guess is they took this form factor to allow the use of the laptop screen. I'd prefer the old form factor where the closed laptop slid into the docking station horizontally under the monitor stand.
 

TechyInAZ

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I've had the same concept for a while now that laptops are getting more popular than desktops.

However, I would prefer a thunderbolt connection so that more laptops could be compatible.
 

knowom

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"does so via a proprietary PCIe x16 slot" probably simply a riser slot adapter like used for bitcoin mining or something similar
 
Now I miss my old docking laptop but this does give me hope for the future of mobile computing. It's still a little pricy for me to jump at but I'm sure hoping this is the beginning of a trend and not just for laptops, as TechyInAZ points out, a Thunderbolt connection incorporated could really open the possibilities
 

Nossy

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For $2000, I can get me a surface pro 3 (799USD) and a powerful pc rig with i5 4690k and GTX 970GTX (1200USD)
 

Vlad Razvan

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I've been waiting for something like this for years... but MSI's implementation has several major issues in my humble opinion:

1. They should have used a cable to connect the eGPU to the laptop, instead of turning it into a dock, so one could use the laptop's display and keyboard to game while away from home.

2. Laptop is too small. 13" is portable, and I'm sure that's what they were going for, considering you can't comfortably use the laptops display while it's connected to the dock - but I would have prefered a slim 17 or 18" machine.

3. Dock is excessively bulky. I've seen mITX computers with dedicated GPUs smaller then that. Combined with the fact that you can't comfortably use the laptop's display with the eGPU, a mITX gaming sistem would make more sense, be cheaper and more upgradable.

I think the best idea so far is ASUS / Silverstone's external GPU via Thunderbolt - but that is also too big for an external enclosure.
 


"1. They should have used a cable to connect the eGPU to the laptop, instead of turning it into a dock, so one could use the laptop's display and keyboard to game while away from home."

Your leaving out that there's a KB, muse and all the other cables ... the average is 5 not counting the GFX cable. This is where's I'd be (11 cables w/ GFX) if no docking.

a. Mouse cable
b. KB Cable
c. Ethernet cable
d. Speaker cable
e. Headphones cable
f. BlacX (Backup Drive)
g. Flight joystick cable
h. Flight Throttle cable
i. Head Mouse cable
j. Headphones cable

That's why you have a docking station to eliminate disconnecting 5+ cables when you leave and reconnecting all that stuff

"2. Laptop is too small. 13" is portable, and I'm sure that's what they were going for, considering you can't comfortably use the laptops display while it's connected to the dock - but I would have prefered a slim 17 or 18" machine."

I agree.... but don't wanna kill the concept as it's likely the same would be done for 15 and 17" models

"3. Dock is excessively bulky. I've seen mITX computers with dedicated GPUs smaller then that. Combined with the fact that you can't comfortably use the laptop's display with the eGPU, a mITX gaming sistem would make more sense, be cheaper and more upgradable."

Not sure why they are so bulky.... I would think the 300 watts from the 290x plays a part. And also enclosure (obviously not the connector as yet) should be able to accommodate SLI'd 980s. Also I don't know what as yet might be able to go in there.

Where I see this going is flipping that thing 90 degrees and having the lappie stand vertically with one of those laptop / tablet rotatable screens so you can view the screen side by side your monitor

 

codo

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I guess it would be too hard to make something like this that can work over USB. would love to have something like this that I could hook up to my Surface to make it truly gaming ready, not just indie and oldies
 

allawash

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Very limited market. If you recall, Motorola made smartdocks for some of it's phones, which was an awesome idea. You take you're phone everywhere, but you could get some real work done by plugging it in to a dock that gave you a keyboard, monitor, and speakers(???). Unfortunately it costs hundreds of dollars, and was phone specific, two major cons. They no longer make those, and the MSI and Alienware products probably won't last long either.
 
The problem with docking stations has been the same for 20+ years, namely "Consumers feature expectations exceed what most of them would be willing to pay for it". But "when ya do the math" and add up all the component costs, the prices are generally not outta line.

I'd have no problem paying $300 - $500 for a docking station that didn't require cable disconnects / reconnect every time I left the office, added SLI's video cards and a back up HD. I wish Clevo would jump on this bandwagon. For one, their market is the PC performance enthusiast who they reach mainly though boutique resellers and two, a high performance lappie from Clevo with a docking station would not be for off from a Clevo lappie after the boutique guys get done selling them to consumers.
 

WojciechWroblewski

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I'm waiting for this very much. Right now I have an Alienware M14 R3. After 1,5 years i have a laptop with still very good CPU and quite satisfying amount of fast RAM, but obsolete GPU (GTX 765M) which won't Run AC Unity or the Witcher 3. That made me understand how fast do the GPUs get old. l'd gladly change just the GPU, but I can't.

As for the comparison of GS 30 vs. Alienware 13 with amplifier, I prefer the first one despite the bulky box (which I'd strip of the speakers and put an optical drive in it instead). Why? Because I don't want to pay money for another mobile GPU which wil be old in 0,5 years. Instead I want to have a very light, yet powerful laptop with the ability to connect a replaceable GPU.

Besides, in desktop GPUs you get more power for the money.
 


Back in the pre Dell days, when Alienware laptops were just Clevo laptops with a cute logo, you could change GPUs.....ya still can on Clevo, within limits.

 
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