Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 04:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, Mixed Reality, CES 2018
The ASUS Windows Mixed Reality Headset offers a very easy setup procedure, which might help adoption as the current configuration process for many current VR/AR headsets have created more than a few consumers to return their purchase.
The headset relies on two two built-in front facing tracking cameras with 6DoF position tracking as opposed to external sensors which track your head positioning. ASUS claims that this allows you to set up your system in 10 minutes, ensuring frustration doesn't stop you from jumping right into VR. The controllers each have 32 LEDs on them, which the cameras on the headset use to accurately track the position of your hands; we shall have to wait for hardware to test the accuracy of this tracking system but it should work well as long as the controllers are visible to the cameras.
The headset itself weighs less than a pound and has a hinge to allow you to quickly flip up the headset to revisit the real world for a moment. The headset offers a 2880 x 1440 resolution display with up to a 90Hz refresh rate, better than the current models available from HTC and Oculus, though that may change during CES.
As of now ASUS reports compatibility with over 20,000 Windows apps and more than 2,000 Steam VR titles so we look forward to testing it out. Unfortunately, as of now there is no MSRP.
Subject: Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 03:24 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: kaby lake, convertible, CES 2018, CES, asus, 8th generation core, 2-in-1
While the ROG products made the biggest splash at the ASUS booth, ASUS also launched a small 2-in-1 laptop dubbed the ZenBook Flip 14 (UX461). The convertible tablet measures 327.4 x 226.5 x 13.9mm and comes wrapped in an Icicle Gold or Slate Gray colored aluminum unibody with spun metal finish. The ZenBook Flip 14 manages to pack quite a bit of hardware into its 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) package including a quad core Kaby Lake processor, NVMe storage, and discrete NVIDIA graphics.
Asus’ new 2-in-1 features a 14” 1920 x 1080 resolution multitouch display that dominates the top half of the notebook with an 80% screen-to-body ration thanks to its “NanoEdge” bezels that measure 7.15mm. The display is rated at 100% sRGB and offers 178° viewing angles along with support for the ASUS Pen active stylus. The ZenBook Flip 14 uses a 360° hinge to enable tablet, tent, and laptop modes with the display able to flip all the way around to touch the bottom of the keyboard housing. External I/O includes two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, one HDMI 2.0, one Micro SD, one combo audio jack, and one DC power input port. There is also an HD webcam and stereo Harman Kardon certified speakers with a two-channel amplifier.
The Zebook Flip looks nice on the outside, but it is the internal hardware that makes it interesting. Specifically, the half inch thick notebook is powered by an 8th Generation Core (KBL-R) Core i7-8550U quad core (4 core / 8 thread) processor clocked at 1.8 GHz base and up to 3.7 GHz Turbo with Intel UHD 620 graphics (1.1 GHz), up to 16 GB LPDDR3 (2133 MHz) RAM, and up to 512 GB of PCI-E x4-based NVMe solid state storage. The system can further be configured with a standalone GPU up to an NVIDIA MX150 (Pascal-based) though doing so adds slightly more weight (1.5kg bs 1.4kg with only Intel UHD 620 graphics). The laptop has dual band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. ASUS claims “all day” battery life with the 57 Whr Li-Po battery delivering up to 13 hours of usage.
In a nice surprise we do have pricing and availability on this announcement with ASUS announcing that the 14” ZenBook Flip 14 UX461 available in March 2018 starting at $899. Of course, the discrete graphics and fully loading memory and storage will cost you extra, but creative types may want to take a look at this one if the reviews hold out on build quality as it seems to pack quite a bit of power into a small frame while staying portable and stylus-friendly!
Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ZenBook 13, notebook, laptop, desktop, CES 2018, CES, asus vivo, asus, all in one, AIO
The consumer PC annoucements from ASUS include a pair of new consumer notebooks with the ZenBook 13 (model UX331UAL) and ASUS Laptop X507, along with a pair of Vivo all-in-one desktops.
We start with the ZenBook 13 notebook, a lightweight (2.17 lb) with up to 15 hours of battery life according to ASUS.
ZenBook 13 (UX331UAL)
“The elegantly designed ZenBook 13 is a Windows 10 laptop that's ultralight and powerful. It's designed to provide users the ultimate in mobility, featuring a feather-light 2.17lb all-metal chassis and up to 15-hour battery life. And despite its compact design, ZenBook 13 doesn't compromise on performance. Its 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD lets users blast through all their tasks with ease, and its Harman Kardon audio system delivers powerful immersive sound.”
Next is a more mainstream notebook option with the device called simply ASUS Laptop X507.
ASUS Laptop X507
“Offering easy portability and uncompromising performance for daily computing, the stylish ASUS Laptop X507 is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX110 graphics and a flexible, convenient dual-storage design. With its slim-bezel NanoEdge Full HD display for unbounded visuals and Windows 10, ASUS Laptop X507 is the ideal laptop for daily computing and entertainment.”
A pair of AiO desktops are next up, with 27 and 22 inch options.
Vivo AiO V272
“Vivo AiO V272 features an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics for uncompromising performance. The 27-inch multitouch display has a wide 100% sRGB color gamut and 178˚ wide-view technology for truly great visuals and combines with the ASUS SonicMaster audio system with its bass-reflex speakers to offer a superb entertainment experience. The ASUS ZenAnywhere app gives users effortless remote access, and turns Vivo AiO V272 into a personal cloud storage center. Windows 10 provides a secure and familiar computing experience, including Cortana’s voice recognition capability for more efficient and productive computing."
ASUS Vivo AiO V222
“Vivo AiO V222 has a frameless 22-inch Full HD display that features edge-to-edge visuals. Combined with its advanced ASUS SonicMaster bass-reflex speaker system, exclusive ASUS Splendid and Tru2Life Video technologies, Vivo AiO V222 delivers immersive visuals with crystal-clear audio for the ultimate entertainment experience. The ASUS ZenAnywhere app gives users effortless remote access, and turns Vivo AiO V222 into a personal cloud storage center. Windows 10 provides a secure and familiar computing experience, including Cortana’s voice recognition capability for productive computing.”
All four of these new systems are set for release in the first half of 2018, with pricing to be announced at launch.
Subject: Networking | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: smart speaker, router, mesh network, mesh, asus lyra, asus, 802.11ax
ASUS today announced new products in its Lyra brand of connected devices. The Lyra Voice is a multi-featured device that acts as both an 802.11ac mesh Wi-Fi hub as well as a voice assistant-enabled stereo speaker.
The networking side of the Lyra Voice integrates with ASUS's existing Lyra mesh networking system with a tri-band AC2200-class radio, while the personal assistant side relies on integration with Amazon Alexa, allowing users to play music, check the weather, control smart devices around the home, and all of the other Alexa-enabled capabilities.
For those looking for networking without the personal assistant features, the ASUS Lyra Trio is a dual-band, multi-hub mesh Wi-Fi system that features a design with unique antenna placement to increase wireless range and speed.
Both the Lyra Trio and Voice can be used together to form a home mesh network and are controlled and configured via the ASUS Lyra mobile app. Detailed technical specifications for both products are not yet available.
Finally, ASUS didn't forget about its traditional RT-series of wireless routers. The company also announced the RT-AX88U, an 802.11ax router with maximum throughput of up to 6000Mbps. The RT-AX88U also includes 8 Gigabit LAN ports for wired connections, and utilizes MU-MIMO technology to provide maximum performance to all connected devices.
Like the Lyra products, detailed technical specifications for the RT-AX88U are not yet available. All three products are expected to be available in the first half of the year, with pricing to be revealed closer to launch.
Subject: Systems | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: CES, ROG, nvidia, Intel, GTX 1080, geforce, coffee lake, asus, CES 2018
ASUS has just announced a high-end gaming desktop: the ROG Strix GL12. It looks like it will be a standard mid-tower form factor with a highly stylized design and, of course, RGB lights. They will pair with Aura Sync, so you make your case match your keyboard and pretty much whatever else you have from ASUS with RGB lights in it.
The main selling feature of the system, however, is the factory-overclocked Coffee Lake CPU – up to six cores at 4.8 GHz. You can also pair this with an NVIDIA GTX 1080. At first, I found it odd that they didn’t go up to the GTX 1080 Ti given the rest of the system, although I guess they would need to produce stock ahead of time, and it would be risky to have too many enthusiast parts sitting in a warehouse. They don’t state the maximum configurable RAM, but Coffee Lake maxes out at 64 GB so we know that it won’t be more than that. It all depends on whether ASUS wants to make a 32 GB or a 64 GB SKU.
The ASUS ROG Strix GL12 gaming desktop will launch in April. Pricing TBA.
Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: CES, spotlight, ROG, asus, CES 2018
ASUS has just announced the ROG Spotlight. It’s literally a spotlight.
The idea is that you can connect these to your PC and use it to project RGB-configurable light onto your wall, in the shape of the ROG logo, and control it with Aura Sync. I’m guessing the ASUS is not planning on selling these on a massive scale, but it could be a cute novelty to add to an ASUS-centric build. They don’t mention how the device connects to your computer, but I’m guessing USB. They also note that the ROG logo can freely rotate, in case you are looking through your room and can’t find some place to mount it upright. The base is magnetic, so you can just stick it on the side of something then rotate the logo such that it is upright.
The ASUS ROG Spotlight will ship in the first half of this year. Pricing TBA.
Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ROG, bezel-free kit, asus
So I would love to see this one in action. ASUS has just announced the ROG Bezel-free kit. This device is a series of lenses that sit atop a trio of monitors. Its goal is to align the edge of each monitor to the edge of the next one by refracting the light that comes off of them, such that the gaps are skipped. Because this is an optical process, no software is required.
I’m curious how much (and what type) of distortion is added through this process. The lenses are vertical, so it should only be a horizontal stretch at worst -- it may even be canceled out by the curvature, but I'd need to see it to know. Also, I am wondering what kind of monitors will be supported. I would expect that it would need to be tuned to the size and bezel width at the very least. We know that it is dependent upon the angle between the monitors, too, although ASUS has specified that value: 130 degrees. They said that this number was arrived at by user testing.
The ASUS ROG Bezel-free Kit will be available in the first half of this year. Pricing TBA.
Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: RGB, CES 2018, CES, ASUS ROG, ASUS Aura, asus
ASUS today announced the ROG Aura Terminal, a controller that synchronizes your RGB lighting in real time with the content displayed on your monitor.
Similar to the many products that have long offered synchronized ambient backlighting for televisions, the ROG Aura Terminal connects to your PC's video output and then synchronizes the lighting effects of RGB strips mounted to the rear of your monitor to the colors on the screen, creating a "more immersive gaming environment." The device can also be connected to your PC's existing internal RGB lighting and ASUS's Aura Sync devices to synchronize your gaming setup's other lighting with the on-screen action.
ROG Aura Terminal is a quad-channel addressable RGB controller designed to bring gamers a more immersive gaming environment. Featuring innovative ROG Halo technology, ROG Aura Terminal enables stunning system lighting effects synchronized to in-game action. When LED strips are mounted behind a monitor, ROG Halo instantly determines the colors displayed at the edges of the screen and illuminates the LED strips with matching colors, creating a dynamic halo of lighting around the display for captivating gaming. ROG Aura Terminal can also be mounted inside the PC case and connected to Aura Sync devices to create unified system lighting effects.
The ASUS ROG Aura Terminal is scheduled to be released in the first half of the year, with pricing to be announced at launch.
Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: ROG Strix, mechanical keyboard, keyboard, gaming keyboard, Cherry MX, CES 2018, CES, ASUS ROG, asus
ASUS today announced the ROG Strix Flare, an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard.
Featuring Cherry MX switches, dedicated media keys, a USB passthrough port, and a detachable wrist rest, the ROG Strix Flare aims to combine "top-notch performance with ergonomic comfort." Oh, and those dedicated media keys? They're all located on the upper-left side of the keyboard, enabling gamers to adjust volume and control their tunes without needing to take their hands off the mouse (sorry, southpaws...).
ROG Strix Flare is an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard that combines top-notch performance with ergonomic comfort, and brings customizable style to a whole new level. Constructed with world-renowned Cherry MX RGB switches — the preferred choice of professional and amateur gamers alike — every press of the ROG Strix Flare is of optimal actuation to deliver satisfying and reliable keystrokes. Dedicated media keys, including a convenient volume wheel, are located on the upper left of the keyboard for instant access, so the gamer’s right hand can remain on the mouse at all times. A USB pass-through port lets gamers connect a mouse or other device, and a detachable wrist rest provides extra comfort during extended gaming sessions.
The ROG Strix Flare will be available in the first half of this year, with pricing information to be announced at launch.
Subject: Systems | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Tinker Board 3, tinker board, small form factor, SFF, PN40, PB40, mini PC, Chromebox 3, Chromebox, CES 2018, CES, asus
ASUS has four new small form-factor devices on display at CES, with mini-PC hardware as well as a new Chromebox 3 and Tinker Board 3. We start with the mini-PCs:
ASUS PB40 mini PC
“The ASUS PB40 mini PC offers unparalleled connectivity with up to six USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ ports and a flexible I/O port design with VGA/DP/COM/HDMI support. Its metallic chassis houses the latest 8th Generation Intel Pentium® Silver processor for powerful performance. The PB40 is also offered in a fanless design with Intel Celeron® processors for completely silent operation. In addition to its compact design, the PB40 supports optional stackable modules such as optical drives to provide space-saving versatility for a wide range of usage scenarios.”
ASUS PN40 mini PC
“Powered by 8th Generation Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors, the new ASUS PN40 mini PC features a sliding bottom case design for easy upgrades. Compact and lightweight, it measures 114 x 114 x 49mm and weighs just 1.54lbs. With a wide range of connectivity options including USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C for fast data transmission, and a changeable I/O port for VGA or COM support, the PN40 is ideal for both home entertainment and business solutions.”
Next we have the third-generation Chromebox, ASUS's Chrome OS mini-PC:
ASUS Chromebox 3
“ASUS Chromebox 3 is the latest addition to the ASUS Chromebox family and is powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core processor and DDR4-2400 memory for faster, smoother and more energy-efficient performance. It is equipped with a versatile USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port for quick data transfers, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi and Gigabit LAN for faster streaming along with DisplayPort and HDMI connectivity for 4K UHD playback of your favorite videos.”
Finally we have the new Tinker Board S, with "S" clearly meaning storage here as this new Tinker Board adds 16GB of onboard eMMC. This should make getting a project started that much easier as the previous design only offered a memory card slot, requiring a microSD card of at least 8GB.
ASUS Tinker Board S
“The new Tinker Board S features 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage, while retaining the same board size and component placement as the original Tinker Board.”
Availability for all of these products - PB40, PN40, Chromebox 3, and Tinker Board S - is expected in the first half of 2018, with pricing to be announced at launch.