Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Design

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We’ve reviewed several gaming laptops here at PC Perspective, but strangely, we’ve usually reviewed systems with 15.6” displays or smaller. Although large by most any other measure, these laptops are actually small by the standards of gaming laptops. Many gamers prefer laptops with a display over 17 inches because the extra screen real estate results in a better gaming experience.

Today, however, we finally have a giant in our hands – the ASUS G74S. At first glance, this appears to be nothing more than a minor update to the original ASUS G73, adding Nvidia’s latest GTX 560M in replacement of the older GTX 460M.

Take a closer look, and it becomes apparent that laptop has been completely redesigned. While the lines of the chassis are similar, the cooling vents in the rear are larger and in different locations. A new strip of gray plastic covers the display hinge, and the optical drive has been moved further forward. All of this communicates a new internal configuration that could make or break this laptop.

Keep reading our review of the new ASUS G74 notebook!

Just how much fun is the Eee Pad Transformer

Subject: Mobile | July 26, 2011 - 10:47 AM |
Tagged: asus, eee pad transform

The Tech Report has had a while to form an impression of the utility of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the tablet and smartbook hybrid device that was first shown at CES.  More than just a quick review of the capabilities, this article covers a month of actual usage.  The keypad dock, which is how the tablet transforms into a smartbook was perhaps the only letdown for The Tech Report, the quality was a little lower than on an nondetachable netbook.  The screen on the other hand was a big factor in the positive feelings that this review shares, being able to play 720p HD video without scaling is a big thing.  Read on, and start thinking of saving up the $400-$500 you need to pick one up.

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"Asus' Eee Pad Transformer may cost $100 less than the competition, but you wouldn't know it from using the thing. I've spent more than a month with one, and there's much to like about this tablet/smartbook hybrid."

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Mobile

Just Delivered: ASUS ROG MATRIX GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 1, 2011 - 12:03 PM |
Tagged: ROG, matrix, just delivered, GTX 580, asus

Just Delivered is a section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.

We like big graphics cards and we can't deny...when the FedEx guy shows up with a great big box and....okay, sorry about that.  But it is true, we definitely love it when new GPUs find their way to our testing facilities.  Today is no different as the delivery guy dropped off a box that gave us the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) MATRIX GTX 580 1.5GB.

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We first saw this card at Computex in June and we are without a doubt preparing a full review of it in the next week or so, but we wanted to show it off right away - after all, we like to share the goodies that make their way to PC Perspective as often as we can.  At first glance you can easily tell that the ROG MATRIX GTX 580 is more than just your standard 580-based solution - it takes up three slots with its large cooler and uses dual 8-pin power connectors rather than an 8-pin and 6-pin combination.  

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It has some very unique options including buttons directly on the PCB that instantly put the fan at the full 100% speed and + and - keys for increasing and decreasing the GPU clock rate without the need to go into software.  Pretty damn cool!

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There are voltage measurement positions on the PCB and a Safe Mode button to instantly revert back to the standard clock rates if you have pushed the card too far - this will make things much easier for those overclockers that push things well past reasonable limits.

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The cooler is GARGANTUAN but keeps the temperatures reasonable while the card runs on a 19-phase PCB.

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ASUS MATRIX GTX 580 - Reference GTX 580 - ASUS ARES

This probably won't beat out the Radeon HD 6990 for the fastest graphic card around but we are thoroughly expecting to be impressed in our full review.

Source: ASUS

If you are going to get a discreet sound card then go all out with the ASUS Xonar Xense kit

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2011 - 12:55 PM |
Tagged: xonar, xense, audio, asus

The ASUS Xonar Xense Premium Gaming Audio Set is more than just a soundcard you pick up to take a bit of load off of your CPU, it is an audiophile class sound card with replacable op-amps.  The list of supported technology reads like a sound techs dream, Dolby Headphone, Dolby Prologic IIx, Dolby Digital Live, Xonar GX2.5 and ASIO 2.0. and it can process up to 192kHz/24bit bit stream.  There is nothing minimalist about the software controls that come with the card, you have significantly more control over your audio than with just about any other sound card and the screenshots that Think Computers posted show a fairly intuitive interface.  The only potential drawback is the Sennheiser PC350 Xense headset that the card ships with, which Think Computers was not overly impressed with. 

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"When you first see the ASUS Xonar Xense’s EMI shield, you get a sense that this isn’t anordinary soundcard. The non-ironic conclusion is, you’re right. ASUS has put together another great soundcard and bundled it with a great pair of headphones, the Sennheiser PC350 Xense Edition. The Xonar Xense offers a myriad of inputs and outputs, and can chug out high definition audio up to 192kHz/24bit without breaking a sweat. It easily is one of the coolest pieces of hardware you can add to your rig. Need more convincing? Continue reading to check out all of the details of the ASUS Xonar Xense."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

More fun with AMD's new 990FX chipset

Subject: Motherboards | June 27, 2011 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: Sabertooth, asus, amd, 990fx

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX is not a ROG board as you might expect, instead it bears a logo describing it as a member of "THE ULTIMATE FORCE" aka TUF.  This AM3+ board still features some serious extras, from TUF components and MemOK as well as DIGI+ VRM which denotes an 8+2 power phases on the board and the ability to run 2 of it's 3 PCIe slots at a full 16x simultaneously.  Legit Reviews used the Phenom II X6 1100T BE to power the system during their testing as we are still awaiting the release of the AM3+ CPUs from AMD.  From their testing this $200 board takes top spot, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbp/s performance were significantly ahead of the 890FX board they compared the Sabertooth to, making this a worthy upgrade for AMD users.

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"ASUS hit the mark with the Sabertooth 990FX! The Sabertooth 990FX was able to dig its teeth into everything we threw at it and be the dominant force in the charts! If you're in the market for a motherboard the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX should be at the top of your short list..."

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Motherboards

Asus Announces New Feature Rich F1A75 Motherboard Series For Llano APUs

Subject: Motherboards | June 24, 2011 - 11:27 AM |
Tagged: llano, cpu, asus, APU, amd

Asus today launched a new AMD focused F1A75 motherboard series, which the company claims is designed to optimize the performance of AMD’s Llano APUs. Equipped with such Asus features as Dual Intelligent Processors 2 (DIP2), DIGI+ Voltage Regulator Modules, auto-overclocking features, and a UEFI BIOS the new motherboards are packed with features and ready to be paired with a socket FM1 AMD processor thanks to the A75 chipset.  

The most noticeable end-user feature in the new motherboard series will be the UEFI BIOS which does away with the old-school DOS look in favor of a sleek graphical interface that can be navigated via a touchscreen or a mouse (in addition to the obligatory keyboard input).  Further, beyond the EZ mode and auto-tuning functions, it will allow overclockers to enter an Advanced mode to tweak their settings to get the highest overclock possible, and then save screen captures to a thumb drive by pressing the F12 key.

More specifically, the F1A75-V EVO model features the FM1 processor socket as well as two PCI-Express x8 slots for CrossFireX support in addition to native support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps standards.

The new boards should be available shortly at your favorite retailer(s).  Be sure to stay tuned to PC Perspective for Llano desktop APU benchmarks.

Source: Asus

A powerful and relatively inexpensive P67 board from ASUS, meet the P8P67 vanilla edition

Subject: Motherboards | June 17, 2011 - 11:58 AM |
Tagged: p67, asus, sandy bridge

[H]ard|OCP just finished reviewing the ASUS P8P67 Rev. 3 board, a fairly plain Sandy Bridge board that still manages to include a great mix of features.  The price of $160 demonstrates that this is by no means a high end SandyBridge board but looking at the feature set it self it is hard to tell.  ASUS included a UEFI BIOS, Bluetooth, four USB 3 ports and four SATA 6GB/s ports which match the offerings of higher end boards.  It is the slots where you will notice at least some deficits such as the single full speed PCIe 16x slot, the other runs a 4x.  Those who do not overclock might encounter a nice surprise, it seems ASUS is up to its old tricks with Intel's Turbo Mode.  Where once ASUS tended to bump the FSB 1MHz or more above the stated speed, it looks as if ASUS bumps the Turbo Mode speed up a bit on Sandy Bridge CPUs.

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"ASUS' P67 chipset product portfolio can get fairly confusing at times with the slew of "P8P67" models. This time we are taking a look at the "vanilla" P8P67. Though you could say its vanilla with a lot of twists as this board offers a "B3" stepping version of the supporting chipset and sports a very solid feature set for "vanilla.""

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Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Can ASUS' new ASUS P6X58-E WS Workstation board make it in a gaming machine

Subject: Motherboards | June 13, 2011 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: asus, P6X58-E WS, X58, NF200

With the rise of SandyBridge in the enthusiast market, it seems that motherboard vendors are keeping the X58 chipest alive with server and workstation boards.  Ryan just wrapped up a review of Intel's own Extreme Series DX58SO2 board, which could have gone better for both parties.  [H]ard|OCP picked a different board altogether, the ASUS P6X58-E WS, which sports not only the X58 chipset but also th NF200 bridge chip which helps bring the total count of PCIe x16 slots to five.  The BIOS is the old AMI style, so put down that 3TB drive, you can pump up your storage with the outstanding RAID choices if you wish.  Really the only issue [H] had with the board was its form factor; with that many PCIe slots an eATX sized board seemed more appropriate to them.

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"ASUS' X58 member of its Workstation line of motherboards, the P6X58-E WS motherboard, looks to offer an appealing mix of features and functions. With its use of both the Intel X58 and NVIDIA NF200 chipsets, the board offers the potential for unparalleled gaming performance."

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Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

When the world's largest motherboard maker says your time is come, you'd best pay attention

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2011 - 08:43 AM |
Tagged: wintel, ubiquitous computing, asus

ASUS is currently the largest motherboard manuacturer on the planet, almost single handedly started the netbook craze and is now working on moving up in the rankings of those companies making tablets and full sized notebooks.  So when the chairman of Asustek states that the Wintel era is over, both Microsoft and Intel had better pay attention.  Some of us remember the good old days when Cyrix and AMD first started making inroads on Intel's market share and it seemed that the CPU market was going to open wide up.  That might not have happened in the way some hoped but we are now seeing a second renaissance, the market is expanding not just beyond Intel and AMD but beyond the chip architecture that has been dominant for so long. 

They might not be making motherboards for ARM processors in the near future but from what DigiTimes discovered they are likely to start selling products that have non x86 based products in the very near future.

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"The so-called Wintel era is over with no CPU or OS vendors to be able to dominate the PC, tablet PC or handset markets as they did before, according to Asustek chairman Jonney Shih. The breakup of the Wintel alliance offers a brand new opportunity for system vendors to thrive again in the IT market, Shih said.

Shih pointed out that system vendors, which have innovations in design, capabilities in technology R&D, and are closer to the market, will be able to achieve success in the new IT era. Asustek is currently learning from vendors such as Apple and Sony, and is aiming to own a market position within the new IT era, in which the boundaries between the notebook, tablet PC and handset markets are already turning blurry.

Although the rise of tablet PCs is expected to provide system vendors opportunities, it may also significantly reshuffle the ranking of the whole IT market.

Commenting on Acer's recent downward performance, Shih pointed out that Asustek already improved its inventory management system after experiencing the financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2008, and its retail channel partners all have healthy inventory levels. Asustek is currently checking its downstream partners' inventory levels every Thursday to ensure their supply management.

For the future, company president and CEO Jerry Shen estimates that the company's third quarter performance will be stronger than the second with the IT market in 2011 to return to its usual pattern of having stronger sales in the second half than the first."

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

ASUS does thin and light right: UX21 and X101 Photos

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2011 - 09:19 PM |
Tagged: x101, ux01, notebook, laptop, computex, asus

ASUS had a lot of new and innovative products on display at Computex, but maybe none as interesting as these two notebooks.  The UX21 was the flagship product for Intel's new "Ultrabook" category and while we have already posted about it earlier, I thought these new photos would be worth sharing.

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The UX21 is an ultra-thin 1.7cm at its widest and weighs only 1.1 Kg fully loaded.  It will include the ASUS "Instant On" technology, resuming the system in just 5 seconds and is claimed as the first notebooks with a SATA 6G SSD.  

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Sporting a new ULV Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, this system won't skimp on performance either if it lives up to its claims.  

More photos and information after the break!!

Source: ASUS