Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 28, 2012 - 03:18 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zenbook, windows 8, ultrabook, nvidia, laptop, Ivy Bridge, GT650M, GT620M, asus
Asus has announced a refresh of its Zenbook lineup of Intel-powered ultrabooks to accompany its new VivoBooks and VivoTabs running Windows 8. Available next month, the PC OEM is introducing six new laptop SKUs with Ivy Bridge processors and dedicated graphics cards from NVIDIA. Specifically, the Asus Zenbook UX21A, UX31A, UX32VD, UX42VS, US52VS, and U500VZ ultrabooks are coming soon with the refresh.
The UX31A Ultrabook with touch display
The new Zenbooks will have Ivy Bridge processors, up to 10GB of memory, and up to NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics. They maintain the aluminum chassis of Asus’ previous generation ultrabooks but up the hardware ante. The company has expanded the lineup to include models with 11.6,” 13.3,” 14,” and 15.6” IPS displays, backlit keyboards, and multitouch trackpads. The U500VZ and UX31A can even be outfitted with capacitive touchscreen displays.
The ASUS UX42VS Zenbook
The VX42VS further includes an optical drive, but otherwise the Zenbooks source of storage lies in solid state or hybrid hard drives. Interestingly, the UX32VD and U500VZ can even be configured with two 256GB solid state drives in RAID 0 (Ryan’s favorite kind of RAID).
The ASUS UX52VS Zenbook
The following chart outlines all the known specifications. Note that several of the ultrabooks are not listed on Asus’ website yet so exact dimensions are unknown for the UX52VS and U500VZ in particular.
|Dimensions||299 x 196.8 x 3 ~ 17 mm||325 x 223 x 3 ~18 mm||325 x 223 x 5.5 ~18 mm||14" tapers to 6mm||~15" tapers to 6mm||~15"|
|Weight||1.1 kg||1.3 kg||1.45 kg||1.5kg||2.2kg||2 kg|
|Processor||i5 3317U or i7 3517U||i5 3317U or i7 3517U||i5 3317U or i7 3517U||i3, i5, or i7 IVB||i5 or i7 ULV IVB||i7 std voltage|
|Storage||256GB SSD||256GB SSD||2 x 256GB SSD (RAID 0)||1TB Hybrid Hard Drive||1TB Hybrid Hard Drive||2 x 256GB SSD (RAID 0)|
*onboard + 1 x SODIMM
All of the new Zenbook laptops will be available in November and will come with Windows 8. Pricing will range from $699 to $1999 for the premium model (The U500VZ). Specific pricing details should become available closer to launch.
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2012 - 02:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: winRT, vivotab rt, asus
Why settle for second best when you can get your hands on a WinRT powered device? If Fruit Ninja and Farmville represent the pinnacle of your gaming experience, if using macros in Office software just seems complicated, the ability to install software from any source is just too much choice to handle and if being able to join a Domain sounds dirty to you; why not supersize your phone by replacing it with an ASUS VivoTab RT? The Tech Report tried out this convertible device, a tablet in the front and a laptop in the back, with some mixed success. While the OS interface was comfortable for them, attempting any real work in Office proved quite a chore and they look forward to trying out an Intel powered Surface device with the full Win8 OS. If you are looking for more information on Microsoft's unique new OS head on over.
"After using that system for about a week, there is one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty: a Windows 8 convertible is in my future. It probably won't be the VivoTab RT, but my time with that device has made plainly clear that Microsoft's fusion recipe has immense potential."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 8 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Visible Energy UFO Power Center Smart Power Strip @ AnandTech
- Microsoft Windows 8 Launch Event @ NGOHQ
- Can a new TCP scheme give wireless a 16-fold boost? @ The Register
- Intel’s Broadwell CPU chipsets @ SemiAccurate
- US rules jailbreaking tablets is illegal @ The Inquirer
- Samsung releases Exynos 5 ARM Cortex A15 development board @ The Inquirer
- Visible Energy UFO Power Center Smart Power Strip @ AnandTech
- Natasha Sampson interview reveals Radeon RAMDisk secrets @ Kitguru
- Find a way to stop robocalls to grab this $50k prize @ Hack a Day
- Win the super sexy Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 Motherboard @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 26, 2012 - 01:05 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows 8, vivobook, laptop, asus
Asus has launched a line of VivoBook laptops to accompany its series of convertible Vivo Tab Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets. Initially, there will be two VivoBooks available around Windows 8’s October 26, 2012 launch date that will come in 11.6” and 14” screen sizes with the VivoBook X202 and S400 respectively.
The VivoBook series will focus on multitouch input available on a lightweight laptop chassis. They will have a similar tapered design as the company’s Zenbook laptops, and will use metal for the chassis and a glass screen rather than plastics. SonicMaster audio, and 32GB of Asus WebStorage space (for three years) also come standard with all VivoBooks models.
The X202 VivoBook
Interestingly, the specifications put the laptops just out of ultrabook territory, which should mean cheaper starting prices. Both the X202 and S400 will have processor options spanning Intel's lineup from lowly Celeron 847s to its Core (Ivy Bridge) series. However, the X202 will be limited to a top end of Core i3 while the S400 will be able to utilize up to a Core i7 processor. Both further feature 5400 RPM hard drives, though the S400 will have a 24GB caching SSD option to speed up general performance. Also, the X202 and S400 will come with multitouch displays and large trackpads. While Asus made no claims on the S400, they have stated that the X202 will have a trackpad normally used on a 14” laptop despite the X202 being a smaller 12” model. The larger trackpad will allow for easier gesture control of Windows 8, according to the company.
The specifications for the X202 and S400 VivoBook touch-enabled laptops are as follows:
|VivoBook Model||VivoBook X202||VivoBook S400|
Intel Core i3
Intel ULV Pentium 987
Intel ULV Celeron 847
Intel Core i3, i5, or i7
Intel ULV Pentium 987
Intel ULV Celeron 847
|Display||11.6" @ 1366 x 768||14" @ 1366 x 768|
|Graphics||Integrated (Intel)||Integrated (Intel)|
|Memory||1333MHz DDR3 up to 4GB||1600MHz up to 8GB|
|Hard Drive||320GB/500GB 5400RPM HDD||
320GB/500GB 5400 RPM
+ 24GB SSD (cache drive)
|Ports||1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI, 1 x SD Card Reader||1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI, 1 x SD Card Reader|
|Wireless||802.11n Wi-Fi||802.11n Wi-Fi|
|Dimensions||30.3cm x 20.0cm x 2.17cm||33.9cm x 23.9cm x 2.1cm|
|Weight||1.4Kg (with 38W/h Li-Po battery)||1.8Kg (with 44W/h Li-Po battery)|
|Operating System||Windows 8||Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro|
|Starting Price||$599 (for Core i3-3217U)||$699.99 (for Core i5-3317U)|
Of course, the laptops will come pre-loaded with either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. The X202 measures a bit over 0.85-inches and the S400 is slightly thinner at approximately 0.82-inches. On the other hand, while the S400 is thinner, it weighs more at approximately 3.96 pounds versus the X202's 3.08 pounds.
The X202 is in stock at Amazon now, and should be availabe at other retailers soon. The Core i3-3217U (1.8GHz) version has a listed price of $599. On the other hand, the S400 with an Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz) has a list price of $699.99. Unfortunately, pricing on the other models is still unknown, though you can expect the Pentium and Celeron powered X202 and S400 VivoBooks to be cheaper – it is jsut how much cheaper they will be that is still up in the air.
These do appear to be interesting machines if you are considering a new Windows 8 computer and want more of a traditional laptop form factor than the dockable tablet announcements that have dominated the news.
What do you think, would you use a touch panel on a laptop?
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2012 - 02:26 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: windows rt, windows 8, vivotab rt, vishera, tegra, podcast, nvidia, n668, linus, fx 8350, fx 6300, asus, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #224 - 10/25/2012
Join us this week as we talk about the ASUS N66U Router, AMD FX 8350 and 6300 CPU, our Windows RT hands on, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Linus Sebastian
Program length: 1:30:18
Podcast topics of discussion:
- 0:00:50 Welcome our Guest: Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips!
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:36:20 This podcast is brought to you by MSI
- News items of interest:
- 1:06:15 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | October 23, 2012 - 02:55 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: taichi, asus
ASUS has just officially announced their new TAICHI mobile computer which they are branding as both an Ultrabook and a Tablet. What differentiates this device is that it contains two 1080p touchscreens on either side of the laptop lid. When the lid is closed it is a tablet, when the lid is open it is a standard Ultrabook with a monitor facing away from the user.
The real difficulty is explaining use cases for potential buyers. Having done some high school teaching in the past the first usage which comes to mind is creating surveys and quizzes without a projector. Since a simple bar chart tends to have larger details it should be quite visible even on an 11.6” display. If you are teacher who tends to do a lot of “clicker” demonstrations it might be particularly useful as you would be able to modify the question on your screen and show the answer on the reverse.
In terms of a regular laptop it has quite a few nice features: Core i5 or i7 processor, an actual Intel HD 4000 GPU, USB3.0 for practically full-speed external drives, and a 128 or 256GB SSD. It is expected to have 5 hours of battery life when browsing the internet wirelessly. I am satisfied with 4GB of RAM but frankly these days it would be good to get a little more.
Prices start at $1,299 and go up to $1,599 for the i7 with a 256GB SSD. Availability starts November.
Subject: Mobile | October 23, 2012 - 02:54 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: windows rt, vivotab rt, tegra 3, asus
Let the onslaught of new Windows devices continue, this time with the announcement of the ASUS VivoTab RT, a Windows RT-based tablet powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC. We have seen the VivoTab RT leaks and pictures for several months including a price listing just last month, all of which seem to have been spot on.
One of the flagship Windows RT devices, the ASUS tablet utilizes an NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC running at up to 1.3 GHz in either dual or quad-core mode. You can see more background information on the processor itself in our story from September of last year when the product was first announced.
The tablet has a sleek design with a 8.3mm profile (0.32 in), 525g weight (1.15 lb) and 10.1-in Super IPS+ screen with a 1366x768 resolution behind scratch-resistant Corning Fit Glass. It will be available with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage and will start at $599 with an included keyboard dock.
As we saw with ASUS Transformer series of tablets, the VivoTab RT will have an optional keyboard dock that includes a trackpad and nearly doubles the battery life of the machine. Below is the full spec sheet as provided by ASUS:
When docked, ASUS is claiming a total of 16 hours of usable battery life and with the inclusion of the Office Home and Student version of Microsoft Office 2013 RT, you should actually be able to use this tablet for content creation and business purposes - something we haven't been fond of claiming on Android or iOS based tablets.
If you are curious to learn more about the VivoTab RT we'll be doing a live streaming run through on the device on our PC Perspective Live! page at 4pm EDT / 1pm PDT, so be sure to join us!!
Missed the live stream? Here is a replay so you can enjoy seeing our experiences for a solid hour of usage including SmartGlass! Also, make sure you pay attention to the first few minutes as we explain the pricing.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Mobile | October 22, 2012 - 06:22 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: asus, vivo tab rt, tegra 3, nvidia, video, live
If you happen to be free tomorrow afternoon and would like to be one of the first to see the upcoming ASUS Vivo Tab RT based on the Windows RT operating system and the NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, you should set your calendar for 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT and join me on the PC Perspective Live! page.
While we won't have any insight on our long term experiences with the device at that time tomorrow, you can see our initial impressions and anything/everything that occurrs with our intial setup and usage!
If you have questions or thoughts on the device that you want addressed during the live stream, you can leave them here in our comments or hang around in our chat room during the event as well. We want this to be interactive so your input is requested!
Again, that is 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT at the PC Perspective Live! page.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 03:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, Matrix HD 7970 Platinum, amd, factory overclocked
The ASUS Matrix HD 7970 Platinum is an impressive card, physically as well as the performance it offers. It is a triple slot card measuring 11.25" long and 5.5" deep, so you might want to measure the space you have before thinking of purchasing one, it also weighs in at over 3lbs (1.4kg) which you should also keep in mind. While it is factory overclocked to 1050MHz on the GPU and memory of 6.6GHz, if you plan on leaving those numbers untouched you are missing out on the real reason to pick up this particular HD 7970. When [H]ard|OCP put the 20-phase Super Alloy Power technology and chokes to the test they hit 1310MHz on the GPU and pushed the memory to 7GHz, far beyond what any other HD 7970 they've reviewed could manage. That overclock was definitely noticeable when they benchmarked the card, which helped it win a Gold Award as the best HD 7970 they've seen ... even if it is hard to find for purchase.
"ASUS is launching its highest-end ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum video card today, poised to give you the best experience possible out of a Radeon HD 7970. This highly customized video card is geared directly towards the hardware enthusiast. Come see the highest overclock we've ever achieved on a 7970 GHz Edition based video card."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS Radeon HD 7970 ROG MATRIX Platinum @ Guru of 3D
- Asus Matrix HD 7970 Platinum Review @ OCC
- ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS HD 7970 Matrix Platinum 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- Asus Matrix HD7970 Platinum @ Kitguru
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Vapor-X Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte HD 7970 Super Overclock Review @ Hardware Canucks
- HIS Radeon HD 7750 iCooler 1GB Low Profile Review @ NikKTech
- Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X @ Bjorn3D
- HIS 7970 IceQ X2 3GB GHz Edition Review @ HardwareLOOK
- AMD Radeon HD 7660D On Linux @ Phoronix
- AMD Catalyst: Ubuntu 12.10 vs. Windows 7 @ Phoronix
- AMD 12.11 "Never Settle" Driver Performance @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Catalyst 12.11 Never Settle Driver Performance article and Bundle @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Never Settle Game Bundle & Catalyst 12.11 Driver Performance @ Legit Reviews
- AMD Catalyst 12.11 Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition 1GB @ Bjorn3D
- EVGA Geforce GTX 650Ti SuperSuperClocked Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650Ti Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- MSI GTX 650 Power Edition OC Review @ OCC
- GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC 2GB @ Bjorn3D
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 650 Ti AMP! Edition 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards from Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, Inno3D, KFA2, MSI, Palit and Zotac @ X-bit Labs
- MSI GeForce GTX 660 HAWK 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GeForce GTX 650Ti Power Edition OC Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS GTX 650 Ti DirectCU II TOP @ Guru of 3D
- Inno3D GTX 680 iChill Black Edition and GTX 660 Ti iChill Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gigabyte GTX 650 OC @ Funky Kit
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Power Edition OC Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Inno3D iChill HerculeZ GeForce GTX 660 @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GeForce GTX 660 HAWK Edition @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GEFORCE GTX 650 1GB Power Edition @ Tweaktown
Some computer components get all the glory. Your normal lineup of FPS crushing GPU’s, Handbrake dominating CPU’s, and super-fast Memory end up with most of the headlines. Yet behind the scenes, there are some computer components we use that are pivotal in our use and enjoyment of computers and receive very little fanfare. Without networking we wouldn’t have file sharing, LAN parties or even the Internet itself. Without routers and network adapters, we wouldn’t have networking.
ASUS recently sent a whole slew of networking components our way and we’ve decided to take them for a spin and see if they’re worth your hard earned dollars. Our box of ASUS goodies included:
- ASUS RT-N66U Gigabit Router – Dual Band Wireless-N900
- ASUS PCE-N10 - Wireless N PCI-E Adapter Wireless-N
- ASUS PCE-N15 - Wireless N PCI-E Adapter Wireless-N
- ASUS USB-N53 - Dual Band Wireless N Adapter
- ASUS USB-N66 - Dual Band Wireless-N900 Adapter
Without further ado, let’s jump in and tackle each one.
ASUS RT-N66U Gigabit Router – Dual Band Wireless-N900
Routers are one of those components that most of us don’t really think about unless something goes horribly wrong. Most people will buy one they find on a big box store shelf (or even worse, just use their ISP’s router), pull it out of the box, plug a few cables into it and then forget about it in a closet for a few years.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 16, 2012 - 05:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: whatthecamera, padfone, asus
Out of fairness to our American viewers I will state upfront that information for North America is not currently available and will surface at a later date. ASUS currently only has availability information for the Eastern Hemisphere.
Today, ASUS released their official announcement for their upcoming PadFone 2.
The original PadFone launched just about six months ago starting with Taiwan in April of this year and reaching Australia by August. The refresh adds a half of an inch to the screen but changes the display technology from Super AMOLED to Super IPS+ LCD/LED. (Edit: The original PadFone screen was 4.2" and the new one is 4.7". The PadFone 2 dock screen is 10.1")
While common convention suggests that a Super AMOLED screen has a higher true contrast than a SuperIPS+ LCD/LED TV we will not know for sure until launch how the latter’s specific SuperIPS+ will stack up the former’s specific Super AMOLED in that metric. On the other hand, we are certain - because ASUS said so - that the SuperIPS+ screen will be 720 HD resolution unlike the 960x540p screen of the original Super AMOLED.
The internals are getting the largest refresh. The functional RAM of the unit is doubling to 2GB of RAM and the number of cores doubles from dual to quad while maintaining their 1.5 GHz clockrate. The camera also got a resolution bump from 8 megapixels all the way to 13 megapixels. This camera will also be able to take 1080p video at 30fps or 720p video at 60fps.
Again we will need to reserve full judgement until the phone launches whether we will notice a bump in quality with the finer resolution sensor. One trick that a lot of digital camera manufacturers play is putting a ridiculous sensor in a camera behind a lens that cannot focus down that far because it makes for a large number on your box.
My photographer side was drawn to the f/2.4 aperture and burst mode capabilities: the phone will be capable of taking 6 shots per second for over 16 solid seconds. That is a 100-shot consecutive, solid burst of pictures for those times when you want to capture a specific moment. I guess that is as good of a reason as any to justify sticking twice the RAM of a typical netbook in a phone. The wide aperture should also help with low light performance if you can get in a situation that is not too sensitive to depth of field blur and if the minimum focal distance is small enough let you soften the background of your macro shots.
The 2140mAh battery is rated for 13 hours of Wi-Fi usage. When connected to the tablet dock the phone will have access to its 5000mAh battery. Sure it will also have a 10.1” screen to power but that is still almost two and a half times the capacity of the phone itself.
The PadFone 2 will launch in 19 countries across Europe and Asia by the end of the year with other countries to be announced later. Official press blast after the break.