CES 2017: Hands-on with the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ HDR Monitor

Subject: Displays | January 6, 2017 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: swift, ROG, PG27UQ, monitor, high dynamic range, hdr, display, CES 2017, CES, asus

While the announcement of a new 27-inch HDR display from ASUS leaked a bit early, the ROG Swift PG27UQ is now official, and Ryan spent some quality time with this impressive display at CES:

There is no shortage of lust-worthy specifications from the PG27UQ, with a 144 Hz refresh rate from its 4K panel, NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR with 384-zone local dimming from its direct LED backlighting system, 1000 nit peak brightness, and quantum dot technology for a wide color gamut.

Here are the specifications for the ROG Swift PG27UQ from ASUS:

  • Display Resolution: 3840x2160
  • Panel type: 27in (16:9) IPS panel
  • Backlight Type: Direct LED; dynamically controlled across 384 zones
  • High Dynamic Range: Yes, HDR 10
  • Refresh rate: Up to 144Hz
  • Brightness: 1,000cd/m² (peak)
  • Quantum Dot Technology: Yes
  • Input: DisplayPort 1.4 x2, HDMI x1

ROG_SWIFT.jpg

No specifics on pricing or availably have been announced yet.

(Update -- Scott Michaud @ January 6th, 11pm EST: ASUS has published a blog post claiming that the monitor will be available in Q3. OC3D claims that the price will be $1199, although that doesn't seem right and our anonymous sources have it closer to $1500.)

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NZXT & ASUS Stand Together with Noctis 450 ROG

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2017 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: asus, nxzt, ASUS ROG, Noctis 450 ROG

NXZT have just announce a case which is part of the ASUS ROG family, the Noctis 450 ROG.  In this case ROG also means RGB, the main feature to the case is Aura Sync which controls lighting effects on the case which can be synchronized with Aura certified motherboards.  The case RGB LEDs attached to the power, PSU shroud, two internal LED strips and even underglow as seen on the cars of people with questionable taste a few decades back.

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There is more to the case that this however, the front and top panels can mount radiators up to 360mm in size, all the intakes are filtered and the case is described as having 80% more cable management space than existing cases. It also includes an integrated PWM fan controller with an impressive 8 ports.  The case will be available in February at a cost of $180.

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Source: NZXT

CES 2017: ASUS Announces VivoMini PCs

Subject: Systems, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: vivomini, SFF, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has just announced three mini PCs at CES. Each of them run Intel’s Kaby Lake processors, but they otherwise differ from one in terms of specifications, such as the number of drives, how they are connected, and so forth. Prices range from $275 up to $799, although that comparison ignores who each specific product targets, so read on for more detail below.

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UN65U

The UN65U make up the cheapest units of the product stack, ranging from $275 to $449 USD and available in Q1 2017. Interestingly, it also allows for up-to 512GB of SSD to be connected through M.2 via PCIe Express, and that can be expanded upon with up to 1TB of 2.5-inch HDD. The design is based on their “spun metal” pattern, common for their laptops and smartphones, which I, personally, like the look of. The device can output 4K UHD via the integrated GPU, and it comes with 802.11ac WiFi built-in. ASUS has suggested using this machine as either a home theatre PC or as a small business terminal.

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VM65

The VM65 ups the graphics performance a little, including an NVIDIA GeForce 930M with Optimus technology. It apparently doesn’t have support for M.2 hard drives, but it can mount two, 2.5-inch drives, either SSD or HDD. It also has built-in WiFi and three USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. It is expected to cost $549 USD and it also ships in Q1 2017.

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VC66

The VC66 apparently goes back to integrated graphics, but allows both M.2 and two 2.5-inch drives, either SSD or HDD, and they can be joined with built-in RAID. It also has quite a few connectivity options: DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. It seems like they’re aiming this at businesses primarily, though, especially with the ability to remotely update its BIOS. Prices range from $499 to $799, and it ships in February 2017.

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Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Announces HiveSpot and HiveDot Mesh WiFi

Subject: Networking | January 4, 2017 - 07:40 PM |
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 - 04:03 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 - 02:30 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 - 02:30 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 - 02:30 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 - 02:30 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 - 01:59 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.

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Source: ASUS