Subject: Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 04:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: CES, CES 2018, acer, nitro 5, ryzen mobile, RX 560, Polaris, amd
Acer is showing off a new 15.6" gaming laptop at CES using both AMD's Ryzen Mobile processors and RX 560 discrete graphics cards. The Acer Nitro 5 is a stylized gaming notebook aimed at mainstream and casual gamers that are looking for a mobile platform for LAN parties and portable PC gaming.
The laser etched top cover and stylish chassis holds a large 15.6" 1080p display and webcam up top and a full backlit keyboard and trackpad on the bottom half. A large crimson red hinge accents the slate gray and black angular body. There is support for USB 3.1 with three USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C, one headset jack, one HDMI output, one SD card reader, and one Gigabit Ethernet jack. Audio is handled by Dobly Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony powered speakers. There is a numpad and the trackpad appears fairly large, but the arrow keys are somewhat squished between the standard keys and the numpad. The WASD keys can be outlined with brighter backlighting and CPU and GPU temps can be monitored with NitroSense software though, so there's that (heh).
Acer did not provide exact specifications, but the Nitro 5 will be able to be configured with Zen-based Ryzen Mobile processors and Polaris-based AMD RX 560 graphics. It is not clear which specific Ryzen Mobile chips Acer will use or if the Vega-based onboard GPU will be able to be used with the discrete graphics active (perhaps in DX 12 games). The AMD chips are paired with up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of PCI-E based SSD storage. In addition to the wired networking, the Nitro 5 also has dual stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The AMD-powered Acer Nitro 5 will be available in North America in April starting at $799. EMEA (countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) availability is also slated for April starting at €1,099. It is nice to see AMD getting some design wins with Ryzen Mobile, though discrete mobile Vega would be a nice thing to see happen sooner than later.
Subject: General Tech, Networking, Storage, Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 03:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: CES, CES 2018, Elgato, dock, thunderbolt 3, adapter
Elgato is launching a smaller Thunderbolt 3 dock aptly named the Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock to its family of docks (how many times can I use dock in one sentence?). The portable dock comes with a tail Thunderbolt 3 cable that is permanently attached and stows away into a groove on the bottom of the dock when not in use.
Using the single 40 Gbps connection provided by Thunderbolt 3, the Mini Dock offers up display outputs, USB 3.1, and network ports including:
- DisplayPort 1.2 (4k60)
- HDMI 2.0 (4k60 and HDCP 2.2)
- RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps UASP and 0.9A of power).
Users will need a newer laptop or desktop with Thunderbolt running Mac OS Sierra 10.12 or Window 10 operating systems or newer. The compact dock will be available in the sping with as yet unanounced pricing. It should be cheaper than Elgatos larger docks (currently their Thunderbolt 3 Dock is $291) though since it is not powered and offers fewer ports.
As notebooks continue to get thinner, these docks (along with ones based on USB Type-C) are going to become more useful in getting the most out of our faster mobile hardware.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more CES news as it develops!
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: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2018 - 03:04 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: XS700, toshiba, ssd, RC100, portable, ocz, NVMe, CES 2018, CES
Toshiba announced a couple of new additions to their SSD lineup. First up is the RC100:
This is a DRAMless design intended to target budget builds - something much needed in the current (pricey) SSD landscape. Just because there is no DRAM present in the design does not mean that the RC100 can't perform well. Toshiba has implemented the Host memory Buffer (HMB) feature, which allows the NVMe driver to share a small (38MB) portion of host memory via the same PCIe 3.0 x2 link used to transfer user data. This memory portion effectively caches a portion of the FTL, which should bring the random performance of smaller sections of the SSD up to what you would expect to see from a higher performance product. Specs are as follows:
- Capacities: 120/240/480GB
- PCIe 3.0 x2
- Random read/write: 160/120k IOPS
- Sequential read/write: 1620/1130 MB/s
- Warranty: 3 years
Up next is the XS700, Toshiba's first portable SSD:
- 240GB only
- USB 3.1 Gen2 (type-c connector on device)
- Ships with type-c to type-a cable
The XS700 is the first portable SSD I've seen out of Toshiba. It was just a matter of time here as just about every other major SSD maker has offered a similar product.
We don't have pricing yet, but these should shape up to be highly price-competitive products offering decent performance. Both models will be coming later this year.
Press blast after the break.
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 | 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.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Strix SKT T1, strix, ROG, Republic of Gamers, notebook, laptop, gaming, g703, CES 2018, CES, asus
ASUS has a pair of laptops from their Republic of Gamers lineup at CES this year, and we'll begin with the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition, a limited-edition laptop which "marks the first collaboration between ROG and top eSports team SK Telecom T1".
In addition to bundled ROG/SK Telecom T1 co-branded swag (team jersey, mouse pad, posters) the laptop itself has been externally designed to reflect its affiliation. Hardware reflects its MOBA-inspired gaming approach, which includes an unspecified Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and 120 Hz IPS display (which offers 100% sRGB coverage). The keyboard features N-key rollover, upgraded switches with "20-million-keystroke durability", and RGB lighting.
Next we have the massive 17-inch ROG G703, which was launched back in November, and is "the world's first gaming laptop with an ultra-smooth 17.3-inch Full HD wide-view display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology for a 144Hz refresh rate" according to ASUS.
The ROG G703 is powered by an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor which is factory-overclocked for speeds of up to 4.3 GHz, and no less than an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (with a top clock of 1974 MHz) handles gaming duties. The biggest part of the laptop (literally) is the display, as ASUS explains:
"High-refresh-rate displays provide the fluidity and responsiveness demanded by top eSports gamers and enthusiasts, so ROG also created ROG Strix Scar Edition with a 144Hz panel and GTX 1070 graphics. ASUS has also introduced high-refresh-rate displays into the mainstream gaming market with the FX503 laptop, which features a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics."
The ROG G703 also offers built-in Xbox Wireless capability, freeing up USB ports when connecting Microsoft's gaming controllers.
The ROG G703 is available now with an MSRP starting at $3499, and ASUS says the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition will carry an MSRP of $1699 with availability in Q1 2018.