External graphics cards for laptops and mini PCs aren't a new idea. The 2015 13.3-inch MSI GS30 Shadow was notable for its external graphics dock that would connect via a proprietary connector. Thunderbolt 3 was not yet widely available at the time and so the MSI dock can be seen a precursor to the universal Thunderbolt-based eGPUs of today.
Following the GS30 Shadow, more and more OEMs would begin offering Thunderbolt-enabled laptops and universal eGPU solutions including HP, Razer, Gigabyte, and even accessory makers like StarTech. One would expect eGPUs to start taking off, but the notorious ongoing shortage of desktop graphics cards have been preventing prices from falling to more affordable levels.
The shortage will inevitably come to an end at some point in the future and the prices of both eGPUs and the desktop graphics cards that power them will subsequently fall. Once that happens, we strongly believe that many gamers will forego large dedicated gaming laptops in favor of Thunderbolt laptops or Ultrabooks powered by modular eGPUs. We've already proven that even an ULV Core i7 CPU can run games at 4K 60 FPS when paired with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti which will arguably be more than enough for a lot of gamers. When considering that a GeForce RTX 2080 laptop can cost 3x more than the suggested retail price of the desktop graphics card itself, the large price savings will surely have people thinking twice about buying a full-on gaming laptop once the supply and demand for chips have normalized.