CES 2017: ASUS Announces HiveSpot and HiveDot Mesh WiFi

Subject: Networking | January 5, 2017 - 12:40 AM |
Tagged: wifi, router, mesh, hivespot, hivedot, gigabit router, asus, 802.11ac

ASUS has just announced the HiveSpot and HiveDot Mesh WiFi systems, which both combine multiple access points into a single network. Any individual node could be configured as either a router or a repeater, but the system is designed around one acting as a router and the rest, repeaters. The main difference between the two models is the higher-end set, the HiveSpot, utilize an extra, 5 GHz band, running 867 megabit, that’s dedicated to communication between the access points.

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Because of this, the HiveSpot is listed as AC2134 while the HiveDot is AC1300, but devices that connect to this network will see two, 650 megabit bands in either case. What the HiveSpot will get you is higher performance (and maybe stability) should multiple devices be communicating with different nodes at the same time. With the HiveDot, the routers will be sharing the same bandwidth as the devices connecting to them.

ASUS wasn’t too clear about pricing in their press release, but CNet is reporting that they will be sold in bundles of three, which is the minimum for the mesh network. Three HiveSpot devices will carry an MSRP of $399 USD, while three HiveDots, $299. In other words, it will cost you $100 if you want the high-bandwidth, dedicated link between the nodes.

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Source: ASUS

CES 2017: (Leak) ASUS Announces PG27UQ HDR G-Sync

Subject: Displays | January 4, 2017 - 09:03 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, hdr, g-sync, asus

VideoCardz have apparently got their hands on an early ASUS press release for a new G-Sync monitor with DCI-P3 HDR support: the PG27UQ. This 27-inch panel can be driven up to 3840x2160 at 144 Hz, which is obviously a very high resolution that G-Sync will be a great help in making playable. This is one of the first G-Sync monitors to support HDR with the standard, just a couple of days after AMD announced FreeSync 2 (which also added HDR).

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Image Credit: ASUS via VideoCardz

In terms of the display itself, it is based on IPS technology atop a quantum-dot-enhanced back-light. It has a high peak brightness (1,000 cd/m2) and likely a good contrast ratio as well, although the latter number is unlisted. They also don’t mention how far into the expanded color palette the monitor can represent, but they clearly didn’t intend to announce it yet, so we’ll probably find out when they’re ready. The leaked press release does mention that it has 384 local-dimming zones, though.

We’ll need to wait for an official announcement to find out more.

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Source: VideoCardz

CES 2017: ASUS Announces ZenFone 3 Zoom

Subject: Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: zenfone 3 zoom, zenfone 3, zenfone, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has just announced the ZenFone 3 Zoom, which resides in the camera and battery life areas of their product stack. While we will discuss its performance below, this phone prides itself on a 5,000 mAh battery and two rear-facing cameras, which are paired for an interesting feature: optical zoom.

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Instead of trying to fit a lens assembly into a smartphone that expands and contracts to zoom in and out, this phone switches between two cameras, one with a wide-angle lens, and the other with a telephoto one. Typically, cameras attempt to solve the “zoom” problem by including higher and higher megapixel sensors, which provides finer images but reduces low-light performance -- you have to acquire a signal from a smaller and smaller fraction of the photons that hit your sensor.

Going one step further, because their users will need to crop less of their photo, ASUS used a fairly large, but 12 megapixel sensor for each camera. This means that the pixels are fairly big, 1.4 microns, allowing them to gather more light. This should translate to good and relatively consistent low-light performance at either zoom level, which are 2.3x apart.

As for the battery? That’s a lot of power. The original ZenFone 3 had 2,600 mAh with the same SoC. The ZenFone 3 Zoom almost doubles that. ASUS claims 40 days of 4G standby, but I’m more curious how long it can play games and watch videos untethered. Update: It was quick, but I believe they said over eight hours of live video streaming on a single charge.

Being based on last year’s mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, it will perform like the base ZenFone 3, rather than the flagship ZenFone 3 Deluxe and its Snapdragon 820. Despite the chip’s GPU being listed at about a third of the performance of its bigger sibling, depending on clock rate, it is still capable of Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.1 should ASUS ship a driver.

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is expected to be available in February, but prices and SKUs are TBD.

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Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Announces ZenFone AR

Subject: Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: zenfone AR, zenfone, asus

ASUS has just announced the ZenFone 3 AR, which implements both Google’s DayDream VR API as well as Google’s Tango AR platform. The former is designed for games, apps, and videos, allowing the user to block out their vision a headset that the phone is mounted into. Tango, on the other hand, was announced a couple of years ago. It creates a 3D representation of the space around the user, which is accessible to compatible apps.

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The phone itself is built around a large, 5.7-inch, 1440p AMOLED display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. While this the same SoC that you would find in the already-released ZenFone 3 Deluxe’s high-end SKU, the ZenFone AR is expected to launch in Q2, which is makes the 821 the fastest chip that they could have possibly integrated. Also, ASUS claims that the Snapdragon 821 is designed with Tango in mind, with the API able to accelerate positional awareness using its DSP.

The ZenFone AR also contains 6GB of RAM, because why not. Update: The ASUS presentation just said 8GB, although the press release says 6GB. I'm guessing both options will be available.

It is expected to launch in Q2, but that typically varies greatly by region for ASUS products.

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Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Announces ZenBook 3 Deluxe (UX490)

Subject: Systems | January 4, 2017 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: zenbook 3 deluxe, zenbook, asus

ASUS brings Kaby Lake to their ultrabook line-up with their new ZenBook 3 Deluxe (UX490). It is based around the Intel Core i7-7500U, which is a dual-core, four-thread processor that launched a few months ago. What’s more interesting is the support it has: 1TB of PCIe 3.0 x4-connected SSD and Thunderbolt 3.

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Product Image Not Yet Available

You may or may not like the IO ports, however. The laptop has three USB 3.1 Type C ports, two of which also function as Thunderbolt 3, as mentioned, and a single headphone / microphone jack. Unlike the Apple MacBook Pro, however, it does not need to cater to the legacy of video producers and others who rely upon a variety of accessories. If that person is you, however, then you might find yourself stuck with a bunch of adapters in your laptop bag.

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The ZenBook 3 Deluxe is 12.9mm thick and weights 2.42 lbs. It is expected to ship in May for $1699 USD.

Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS ProArt HDR and Designo Curve Monitors

Subject: Displays | January 4, 2017 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: UHD, ProArt, PA32U, PA27AQ, MX38VQ, monitors, hdr, displays, Designo Curve, DCI-P3, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has announced a pair of large monitors at CES, beginning with the impressive 32-inch ProArt PA32U, a UHD HDR Thunderbolt 3 display which offers 384 (direct) backlighting zones, 95% DCI-P3 coverage, and peak brightness of 1,000 nits.

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The ASUS ProArt PA32U

“The 32-inch ASUS ProArt PA32U is the world’s first professional direct-lit LED 4K UHD HDR monitor, delivering breathtaking levels of detail. It has a full-array LED backlight with the all-new ASUS LED-driving technology, featuring 384 LED zones and capable of a peak brightness of 1,000cd/m2, which offers a wide range of dynamic luminance for a much richer, nuanced image. The use of quantum dot technology provides a wide color gamut, enabling ProArt PA32U to deliver 99.5% Adobe RGB, 85% Rec. 2020, 100% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 color-space performance for high-end video-editing and production.”

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HDR in full effect on the ProArt PA32U

The use of direct backlighting with individual zones - with what sounds like local dimming (“a wide range of dynamic luminance”) - should put the ProArt PA32U high on an HDR enthusiast’s list.

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Back view of the ProArt PA32U

Next we have the Designo Curve MX38VQ, a massive 37.5-inch monitor a 2300R curved IPS panel that boasts ultra-wide QHD (3840x1600) resolution. The MX38VQ also features a Harman Kardon branded 8-watt stereo speaker system and Qi wireless charging base built into the stand.

The ProArt PA32U will be available in Q3 2017, with pricing to fall in the $1799-$1999 range. The Designo Curve MX38VQ will also be available Q3 2017, with pricing set at $1099.

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Source: ASUS

ASUS Announces the Chromebook Flip C302

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 4, 2017 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: asus, CES, CES 2017, Chromebook, Flip C302

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 weighs a mere 2.65lbs and is just 13.7mm at it's thickest point. The 12.5" touchscreen display is 1080p and can be rotated 360° for use as a tablet in the same way their Yoga series can. 

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The chiclet style keyboard is backlit, thankfully not in a billion different colours, and travel a distance of 1.4mm for ease of use on such a small device.  The trackpad is a little larger than we have seen on other models and thankfully includes enhanced palm rejection as you are going to brush it while you are typing. 

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Connectivity is provided by a pair of USB 3.1 Type C ports, microSD, 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.  The frequency of the Core m3 processor inside will depend on the model you chose, as well as the amount of RAM, the maximum being 8GB.  The base model is available now, you can order it for $499.

c302specs.PNG

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Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS ASUSPRO B9440 Business Notebook

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 05:17 PM |
Tagged: notebook, laptop, kaby lake, CES 2017, CES, business, B9440, ASUSPRO, asus, 7th generation core

ASUS has announced the ASUSPRO B9440, which the company claims to be "the world’s lightest 14-inch business notebook" at just 2.31 lbs.

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"The sleek B9440 is designed to be both stylish and practical, using an all-metal chassis crafted from magnesium alloy — a premium material that is lighter but more rigid than standard aluminum alloy. The ergonomic keyboard has an innovative tilting design that positions it perfectly for comfortable typing.

Like all ASUSPRO business notebooks, B9440 is designed to exceed military-grade durability standards. It also passes our extra-strict ASUSPRO reliability standards, undergoing a series of tough torture tests to ensure dependable operation in any environment.

The B9440 is equipped with the new 7th-gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) i5 and i7 U-series processors optional Intel vPro support, along with up to 16 GB onboard LPDDR3 memory and up to 512 GB SSD storage, with security features including TPM 2.0 and a fingerprint sensor.

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Specifications for the ASUSPRO B9440 from ASUS:


  • Processor: 7th Gen Intel Core i5/i7, with optional Intel vPro support
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD wide-viewing-angle display with anti-glare coating
  • Memory: 8GB/16GB LPDDR3 onboard
  • Storage: Up to 512GB M.2 PCIe or M.2 SATA SSD
  • Connectivity
    • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (one port supports docking, power delivery)
    • 1 x combo stereo headphone/mic port
  • Wireless: 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Security
    • Fingerprint sensor
    • TPM 2.0 (downgradeable)
  • Audio
    • Integrated dual-microphone array
    • Harman Kardon stereo audio system
  • Battery: 4-cell 48W Li-polymer
  • Operating system: Windows 10 / Windows 10 Pro
  • Dimensions: 12.65 x 8.51 x 0.35~0.58 inches
  • Weight: 2.31 lbs

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The ASUSPRO B9440 will be available in May with a retail price starting at $999.

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Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Updates Notebook and AiO Lineup to Intel Kaby Lake

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 03:15 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, notebook, laptop, kaby lake, intel core, detachable, convertible, CES 2017, CES, asus, all in one, AIO, 7th generation

ASUS has refreshed their notebook and all-in-one (AiO) desktop lineup with the new 7th-generation Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processors, with models ranging from the ultra-thin UX330 to the 27-inch ZN270IE AiO.

UX330.jpg

The ZenBook UX330

The refreshed notebook lineup includes the 13.3-inch ZenBook models UX310 and UX330, and 15.6-inch ZenBook UX510. The convertible ZenBook Flip UX360UA and detachable Transformer Pro T304 have also been updated to Kaby Lake.

UX360.jpg

ZenBook Flip UX360

On the all-in-one side the refreshed models include Zen AiO Pro Z240IE and Zen AiO ZN241IC desktops, with a new model announced in the Zen AiO ZN270IE, a 27-inch (FHD) model which pairs a 7th-gen Core i7 processor with discrete NVIDIA graphics.

ZN270.jpg

Zen AiO ZN270

Pricing and availability of the updated machines is as follows:

Available immediately are the ZenBook UX310UA ($699), ZenBook UX330UA ($749), and ZenBook UX510UW ($999). The ZenBook UX360UAK ($899) and Transformer Pro T304 ($999) will be available in May. Updated AiO desktops will be available in March, with the ZN241IC and ZN270IE priced at $999, and the Zen AIO Pro Z240IE at $1799.

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Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Announces VivoPC X Compact VR-ready PC

Subject: Systems | January 4, 2017 - 03:48 AM |
Tagged: VR, small form factor, SFF, PC, gaming, desktop, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has announced a compact, VR-ready desktop called the VivoPC X, and this small form-factor PC contains a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and discrete NVIDIA graphics.

 VivoPC M80.jpg

“VivoPC X is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core processor with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics, and is fully compatible with the latest VR headsets. Its compact 5-liter chassis can be placed anywhere in the home, and has extensive connectivity features including four USB 3.1 Gen 1 and two USB 2.0 ports for VR peripherals and controllers. VivoPC X is designed for general consumers who are looking for a VR-ready PC that meets the hardware demands of VR tasks and entertainment.”

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A look at the cooling system within the VivoPC X

Here are the specifications from ASUS:


  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • Chipset: Intel HM175
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 2133MHz
  • Storage     
    • Up to 2TB SATA hard drive (7200RPM)
    • 512GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Connectivity    
    • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x 3-in-1 audio jack
    • 1 x RJ45 LAN (Gigabit)
    • 2 x HDMI
    • 1 x DisplayPort
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Power supply: 230W adapter
  • Size: 2.99 x 10.23 x 11.02 inches

VivoPC M80 1.jpg

The console-sized VivoPC X will be available in March with an MSRP of $799.

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Source: ASUS