One of the bigger surprises of this year’s E3 — if you’re willing to venture off the beaten paths of the LA convention center — is GAEMS and their Guardian Pro XP case. This is a WIP that I saw during CES 2019 and if you weren’t paying attention then you’d think it’s the same prototype, however, the company announced its intention to break into the PC market.
This is quite a shift from what we usually get from GAEMS as they began with portable console cases and USB monitors, and they’re serious about this endeavor, just not in the way you’d expect. More accurately, their target crowd is for content creators and studio livestreamers on the go.
For the sake of simplicity and this article, I’m going to call this the Guardian Pro PC from here on, and man, this is a doozy of a gaming travel case. The Guardian shell itself remain large sporting a briefcase-like aesthetic that houses a 24-inch 1080p 60Hz monitor, with enough connectivity like an HDMI output, USB passthrough for webcams and peripherals, and device charging that’ll work as miniature workstation for Twitch or YouTube. There’s also active cable management and 9-watt stereo drivers for dynamic audio, with optional dual headphone jacks. The entire case measures in at exactly 23.56 x 16.91 x 4.87 inches and weighing 18 lbs, before dropping in your console or PC.
That’s the basic package and already tailor-made for whatever PlayStation 4, Xbox One model or Nintendo Switch you have. Of course, if you’re trying to compare this against a full-size laptop like an MSI GT75 Titan, Alienware Area-51m, or the gargantuan Acer Predator 21 X then there’s a lot more potential to the Guardian PC with necessary installed components.
I was given the backstory on how this project was done away from prying eyes and with the assistance of a passionate PC builder who is well-known among specific enthusiast circles, who went beyond the levels of bespoke to make this a reality for GAEMS. Yes, there are real desktop component in this concept and everything humanly possible was done to make it all work, despite them being tight-lipped on how much of it had to be Frankenstein’d to actually fit.
For curious modders though, I was told that this example was equipped like a desktop incorporating a mini-ITX motherboard and a GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. They said that getting the pieces was easy compared to keeping the machine running cool during extended sessions, with a vented shell, multiple discreet fans, and exhaust expelling heat underneath then immediately absorbed by a thick rubberized insert, so as to not burn your hands when using a keyboard.
“The primary goal of this Guardian Pro concept is to provide livestreamers or eSport competitors the freedom to do their job without the hassle of compromise away from home.” That alone makes sense as aspiring or professional live gamers must often adhere to both frenzied broadcast schedules, and the ever-growing demand of constant audience engagement. This is a volatile segment that can potentially cost online personalities thousands of dollars in just a single day, and not fully addressed until now. GAEMS also touted the ability of being able to support dual ultra HD/4K camera streaming/recording and graphic output to an external monitor, which sounds like a hefty claim but couldn’t be tested during my meeting at their suite — it’s enticing but we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
With no base configuration, cost, or launch date finalized, it will certainly be interesting to see how GAEMS gets this monstrosity to market in realized form, and they did promise a lot while I was there. With the Guardian Pro PC variant, GAEMS plan on undercutting the competition by over a thousand bucks (they’re aiming for $900-$1200 starting price), not just for gaming laptops but full-fledged desktops built by Origin, IBUYPOWER and MAINGEAR. Those sound like fighting words, but the company is adamant that this briefcase PC is a substitute for content creators and jet-setting gamers alike. Who knows? This could be the machine to kick off that streaming career you’ve dreamt about.