Archive for Asus

ASUS announces the ZenFone Live

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 22, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS today announced ZenFone Live (L1), a compact 5.5-inch entertainment-focused smartphone that’s designed to put the fun back into mobile lifestyles.

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ZenFone Live features an 5.5-inch Full View 18:9 display in an amazingly compact body that’s as small as many 5-inch phones, offering an immersive cinema-like entertainment experience in a comfortable-to-hold form factor. The high-capacity 3000mAh battery now gives users more mobile freedom than ever, giving them all-day standby with extended talk times and the ability to enjoy their music or videos for longer. It’s also equipped with up to a 13MP rear camera with phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) and a high-quality five-element lens, allowing users to capture amazing and memorable moments.

Offering class-leading convenience, ZenFone Live features face unlocking capabilities for easy hands-free unlocking. It also includes dual SIM slots and a microSD card slot for adding up to 2TB of extra storage.

ZenFone Live is available with Android Oreo enhanced with the brand-new ASUS ZenUI or with Android Oreo (Go Edition).

The pocket-friendly 5.5-inch ZenFone Live is just as small and compact as many standard 5-inch phones, something made possibly by its big and bright ASUS Full View HD+ display. This has ultra slim side bezels and an 18:9 aspect ratio that not only make it bigger, wider, clearer, and brighter (up to 400 nits), but also allow it to fit in a much smaller frame than a standard display. The result is more screen with less bulk, providing users with an immersive cinema-like experience in a lightweight body that’s truly comfortable to hold.

For non-stop entertainment, ZenFone Live is fitted with a powerful 3000mAh battery that just goes on and on, so users can drown out the world with all-day music, watch back-to-back videos or chat from dusk to dawn — if they’ve the stamina, so has ZenFone Live!

The high-capacity battery supports up to 29 hours of 3G talk time, up to 4 days of music playback, video playback of up to 9 movie-length videos, up to 42 days of 4G standby time and up to 18 hours of Wi-Fi web browsing.

ZenFone Live is designed for maximum convenience, with class-leading features including face unlock. This allows easy hands-free unlocking of the, a very useful feature when the user’s hands are occupied, wet or when wearing gloves.

At the rear is up to a super-sharp 13MP main camera with a 0.3-second PDAF focusing system, so ZenFone Live is always on hand to capture life’s magic moments — even the fastest-moving ones. A high-quality five-element lens ensures bright, crisp and clear pictures in any situation.

With ZenFone Live, users don’t need to carry two separate phones: its handy triple-slot tray takes two 4G LTE SIM cards, and there’s also a microSD card slot supporting up to 2TB of extra storage. With this great feature, users can have two different phone numbers, and add as much storage as they need for their music, photos, videos and other personal stuff.

With a choice of four vivid metallic colors — luscious Midnight Black, sophisticated Shimmer Gold, chic Rose Pink and tasteful Space Blue — ZenFone Live lets users make their own bold style statement and let their individuality shine.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The ASUS ZenFone Live L1 is planned for a Canadian release within Q2 2018. MSRP is $149.00 CAD.

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ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces ROG Join the Republic: Community Challenge 2018

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 8, 2018 by itnerd

ASUSRepublic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the 2018 season of ROG Join the Republic:Community Challenge (JTR:CC), the third season of this renowned global gaming tournament.

After a successful first season in 2016, JTR:CC expanded its second season in 2017 to include popular MOBA title League of Legends (LoL) alongside Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). The 2018 season sees the debut of multiplayer online battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) in, with PUBG replacing LoL alongside CS:GO.

Starting in May, the PUBG edition of JTR:CC will feature four captains from three regions (Europe, America, and APAC) who will each seek out a squad of four team members. During the search, a content team will follow the captains to document their journey as they attempt to form their team and head to boot camp. Once all the teams have been assembled, they will meet up in Stockholm to battle it out for the championship.

JTR:CC was founded by ROG as a platform for skilled — but as yet undiscovered — gamers to showcase their talents on the global stage. Well-known gamers, serving as team captains, audition prospective team members in a reality-talent-show format. With millions of online viewers keeping tabs on the campaign and watching the various finals, JTR:CC is the ideal community platform for ambitious gamers looking to take the next step.

Here’s Season One of JTR:CC.

Here’s Season Two of JTR:CC.

For more information please visit http://jointherepublic.global

ASUS Announces New ZenBook Pro 15 (UX550G)

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 8, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS today announced the new ZenBook Pro 15 (UX550G), a high-performance 15.6-inch laptop that’s now faster than ever.

ZenBook Pro 15 offers discerning professional users the ultimate combination of serious performance and supremely elegant design, now harnessing the amazing power of up to an 8th Generation Intel Corei9 processor, up to gaming-grade NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics, the fastest PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 x4 SSDs, high-speed 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, 802.11ac gigabit-class Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C (USB-C) ports. An integrated fingerprint sensor allows fast and secure one-touch login with Windows Hello.

State-of-the-art visuals are provided by the 15.6-inch NanoEdge PANTONE Validated multitouch display, featuring up to a 4K UHD resolution, 100% Adobe RGB and 132% sRGB color gamut, a Delta-E (ΔE) color difference of less than 2.0 and an ultrathin 7.3mm bezel that gives ZenBook Pro 15 an 83% screen-to-body ratio. Powerful immersive sound is delivered by the Harman Kardon-certified audio system.

ZenBook Pro 15 retains the same stunning compact design as the previous generation, featuring an all-aluminum unibody with a brand-new luxurious Deep Dive Blue spun-metal finish and contrasting Rose Gold diamond-cut edges.

A high-capacity 71Wh lithium-polymer battery gives ZenBook Pro 15 astonishing all-working-day endurance with up to 10 hours battery life. It also incorporates fast-charge technology to minimize recharge times.

Designed to entice. Crafted to perform.

ZenBook Pro 15 is built to deliver the ultimate on-the-go performance. At its heart is up to an 8th Generation Intel Core i9-8950HQ hexa-core processor — 29% faster than the previous generation, and with an operating frequency that can be boosted up to 4.5GHz. This amazing processor is backed with up to 16GB of high-performance 2400MHz DDR4 RAM and a blisteringly fast up to 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD.

ZenBook Pro 15 uses up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti gaming-grade graphics with up to 4GB of GDDR5 video memory. This delivers all the horsepower needed for even the most graphics-intensive tasks, such as 3D rendering, 4K UHD video playback or ultra-detailed 4K UHD gaming. Designers, developers and gamers will enjoy the best possible graphics performance with ZenBook Pro 15.

Enduring elegance, timeless style

The elegant finish and refined profile of ZenBook Pro 15 belies the power inside. Its precision-crafted, solid-aluminum unibody features the iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish on the lid, and comes in a brand-new luxurious Deep Dive Blue color scheme with contrasting Rose Gold diamond-cut edges

Featuring a 15.6-inch NanoEdge display with an ultrathin 7.3mm bezel that gives it an incredible 83% screen-to-body ratio, ZenBook Pro 15 is remarkably compact for such a high-performance laptop, with dimensions comparable to some 14-inch laptops. And at just 18.9mm thin with a travel-friendly weight of only 1.86 kg, ZenBook Pro 15 is a gorgeous powerhouse that can be taken anywhere and everywhere. 

Immersive audiovisual performance

With an astonishing resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels — 4X more than Full HD — the 4K UHD NanoEdge display on the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 is something to behold. The pixel density of 282ppi ensures that everything is pin-sharp — from the finest details in photos and videos to the tiniest text — and the ultrawide 100% Adobe RGB and 132% sRGB color gamut combined with a Delta-E color difference of less than 2.0 give the PANTONE Validated display incredibly accurate and natural-looking colors. Its 178° wide-view technology allows users to enjoy a perfect picture even at acute viewing angles.

ZenBook Pro 15 delivers amazing audio performance through its Harman Kardon-certified ASUS SonicMaster sound system, which features high-quality speakers powered by a smart amplifier for sound that’s 1.4X louder than the previous generation of ZenBook Pro. It also delivers a 1.6X-wider frequency response, ensuring rich, crystal-clear full-range sound even at high volume levels.

Ultrafast connections

With faster-than-wired speeds of up to 1734Mbps[iii]— up to 12X faster than 802.11n — the dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi in ZenBook Pro 15 allows smooth streaming of 4K UHD online videos, with greater range and more stable network connections.

The two USB-C ports on ZenBook Pro 15 incorporate the latest Thunderbolt 3 technology for versatile, ultrafast connections. Along with up to 40Gbps data transfer speeds — up to 2X faster than Thunderbolt 2 and 8X faster than USB 3.1 Gen 1 — Thunderbolt 3 supports power delivery and dual 4K UHD external displays, making ZenBook Pro 15 a superb choice for graphics professionals. There are also two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports and an HDMI port for the ultimate, hassle-free connectivity. An integrated fingerprint sensor in the touchpad allows fast and secure password-free login with just a single touch via Windows Hello.

 

ASUS Publishes First Environmental Profit and Loss Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 21, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has announced the publication of its first environmental profit and loss (EP&L) report. Done in collaboration with global consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers Taiwan, the EP&L report allows ASUS to thoroughly evaluate the direct and indirect environmental impact of its corporate actions and entire supply chain, identify any hotspots that need to be addressed, and serve as an example for other companies.

ASUS EP&L project

In recent years, the trend of sustainable development has emphasized the need to understand the social and environmental impact caused by a company when engaging in business activities. To assess the overall cost and value of operations, ASUS launched its first Environmental Profit & Loss project in 2017.

The project is aimed to measure both positive (“profit”) and negative (“loss”) environmental impact of a single product line — consumer notebooks — throughout the company’s operations and supply chain. The project also aimed to provide an overall monetary valuation by assessing the economic value of each loss or profit, thus allowing different impacts to be comparable. As a result, the project provided internal decision-making units with an important reference for future product development and supply chain management strategies.

Key findings

ASUS has learned that water pollution had the most significant environmental impact in the investigated product cycle, followed by greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste and water consumption. These were largely generated in the stage of mining and manufacturing of raw materials, and the stage of major component manufacturing.

Next steps

Effective life cycle costing requires the thorough identification of all costs involved in the life cycle of a product, and the EP&L project has highlighted the importance of considering external factors when choosing suppliers.

Furthermore, the scope of the EP&L project will be expanded to include the monetary valuation of other products, including handheld devices, motherboards, desktop computers and monitors. At the same time, ASUS will continue to calculate annual environmental profit and loss in order to verify the effectiveness of new green strategies in the supply chain. By incorporating this approach into the current procurement process, it will be possible to identify hotspots and address issues throughout the company’s corporate actions and supply chain.

 

ASUS Republic Of Gamers (ROG) Named The Official Hardware Sponsor Of H1Z1 Pro League

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 21, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced it will be the official hardware sponsor of H1Z1 Pro League, the first professional battle royale esports league. ASUS will provide all of the hardware for the esports league, supplying 100 best-in-class gaming systems comprised of the ROG Strix Gl12 Gaming Desktop, ROG Swift PG248Q Gaming Monitors, and ROG Strix Flare Keyboards. Fifteen charter pro esports teams, including the ASUS-sponsored Echo Fox, will compete during the H1Z1 Pro League inaugural season beginning April 21st, at the newly established Twin Galaxies Esports Center at Caesars Entertainment Studios in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be streamed exclusively via Facebook Live.

Gaming Systems Designed for Pro Esports Teams

The ASUS ROG brand was founded on a desire to grow the global gaming ecosystem through sponsorships and the development of innovative hardware specifically designed for the needs of dedicated players. For the H1Z1 Pro League tournament, ROG will provide 100 of each of the following:

The ROG Strix GL12 is powered by up to a factory-overclocked 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8700K processor (up to 4.8GHz full hexa-core), with NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 graphics for boundless gaming experiences. A transparent side panel coupled with customizable Aura Sync technology light effects let you express your gaming persona, inside and out. This gaming desktop has a striking, unconventional design and features an esports-ready hot-swap bay for a 2.5-inch SSD that allows gamers to remove and replace the drive in seconds, all without having to shut down the system.

The ROG Swift PG248Q was designed specifically for esports, and is a competition-grade gaming monitor that provides seamless visuals and super-smooth gameplay. ROG Swift PG248Q has a 16:9 aspect ratio 24-inch Full HD (1920 by 1080) panel. In addition, it features an overclockable 180Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ technology. This gives gamers ultra-smooth, fast-moving gaming visuals with no lag or motion blur, making ROG Swift PG248Q ideal for first-person shooters, racing, real-time strategy and sports titles.

ROG Strix Flare is a versatile RGB mechanical gaming keyboard outfitted with four different Cherry MX RGB switch types — red, blue, brown, and black —to deliver the precise mechanical feel and responsiveness demanded by gamers. The keyboard also features 100% anti-ghosting technology with N-key rollover to ensure all keystrokes are registered reliably, no matter how many keys are pressed simultaneously.Individually backlit keys are housed in a dual-textured case, and a row of LEDs under both sides of the case creates a vibrant underglow that extends the customizable lighting beyond the keyboard. Powered by Aura Sync, ROG Strix Flare puts the entire color spectrum and a range of dynamic lighting effects at gamers’ command, enabling them to create a unique color scheme. All onboard lighting can be synchronized with the extensive portfolio of Aura Sync-enabled devices for a truly immersive gaming environment.

 

ASUS Announces AREZ Graphics Card Brand

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2018 by itnerd

Today, ASUS has announced AREZ, a new brand identity for ASUS Radeon RX graphics cards. Derived from Ares, the Greek God of War, AREZ-branded graphics cards are built using industry-leading automated manufacturing to provide AMD gamers and enthusiasts with superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem.

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The new AREZ brand underlines the strong working partnership between ASUS and AMD that spans decades. Gamers and enthusiasts will enjoy a combination of exclusive ASUS innovations and technologies and AMD’s Radeon graphics processors and software.

Extreme durability: Auto-Extreme technology and Super Alloy Power II components

AREZ graphics cards are produced using Auto-Extreme technology, an industry-exclusive, 100%-automated production process that incorporates premium materials to set a new standard of quality, performance and longevity. Since the introduction of Auto-Extreme technology in ASUS graphics cards, reliability has improved by 30%. This manufacturing process is also environmentally friendly, eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing power consumption by 50%.

Super Alloy Power II components deliver enhanced efficiency, reduced power loss, reduced component buzzing by 50% under full load and achieve thermal levels that are approximately 50% cooler than previous designs for enhanced quality and reliability.

Hi-tech cooling: MaxContact, patented Wing-Blade IP5X-certified fans and FanConnect II

MaxContact is an industry-first GPU cooling technology featuring an enhanced copper heat-spreader that directly contacts the GPU. MaxContact utilizes precision machining to provide a 10X-flatter surface for up to 2X more contact area with the GPU than traditional heat spreaders, resulting in improved thermal transfer. Select AREZ graphics cards are also constructed with up to 40% more heatsink surface area than previous dual-slot designs, further improving heat dissipation for dramatically cooler and quieter performance.

A patented Wing-Blade fan design delivers 105%-greater static pressure over the heatsink for more efficient cooling and up to 3X-quieter operation compared to other fan designs. The fans are certified under the International Protection Marking (IP code) as IP5X dust resistant for improved reliability and a longer lifespan. This stringent certification process ensures AREZ graphics cards provide optimal fan performance, even under severe operating conditions. Additionally, 0dB technology stops the fan completely when the GPU temperature is below a set level, letting players enjoy light gaming sessions in complete silence.

ASUS FanConnect II features two four-pin hybrid-controlled headers that can be connected to both PWM and DC system fans for optimal system cooling. The connected fans reference both the GPU and CPU, and operate automatically based on the one with the higher temperature. A comprehensive set of tuning options allow gamers to tune fan speeds for efficient cooling.

 

Software ecosystem: GPU Tweak II, plus Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition

Redesigned with an intuitive user interface, GPU Tweak II makes gaming and overclocking easier than ever, while retaining advanced options for seasoned overclockers. With one click, the Gaming Booster function maximizes system performance by removing redundant processes and allocating all available resources automatically.

AREZ graphics cards also support the latest AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition drivers for comprehensive control over AMD GPUs. Core features include power-saving Radeon Chill technology; Radeon WattMan for profile-based custom control of voltages, engine clocks and fan speeds[i]; and Radeon ReLive for easy capture and sharing of in-game action.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

ASUS AREZ-branded graphics cards will be available from May 2018 in selected markets.

 

Review: Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1)

Posted in Products with tags on April 4, 2018 by itnerd

Today I’m going to review the Asus ZenFone Max Plus which is classified as a budget phone. Seeing as it goes for $299 CDN, it certainly fits into the budget category. But it didn’t perform like a budget phone by any means. In fact, it performs like a phone several levels above its weight class.

Let’s start with the display which is a very sharp and bright 5.7-inch 18:9 display which is viewable in all lighting conditions. It has a resolution of 2160 x 1080 which is way above what you would expect at this price point. Another plus is that fingerprints don’t seem to affect this phone’s display in a negative way.

Next up is the layout of the phone. The right side has the volume control and power button. The left has the SIM slot. The top has the headphone jack and the bottom has a Micro USB connector. That’s kind of odd seeing as we’re moving towards USB-C being the standard. There are speakers on the bottom as well.

In terms of key stats, here’s what the ZenFone Max Plus has under the hood:

  • Dual Sim Unlocked (one SIM supports 2/3/4G, the other SIM support 3G/2G voice)
  • Octa-core 1.5Ghz Processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB of storage (expandable up to 2TB via a MicroSD slot)
  • 8MP front camera
  • Dual rear camera with 16MP and 8MP Wide-Angle
  • Android 7.0
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n WiFi

What’s cool about this setup is that unlike a lot of phones with dual SIM slots, this one has two slots for nano SIMs, and a separate slot for storage. That way you can fully maximize the phone’s capabilities. From a performance standpoint, it was okay. I was able to run games on it with the graphics settings cranked down a bit. But if you’re expecting Galaxy S9 or iPhone X levels of performance, you won’t get it here. Ditto for the fact that this only supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi in an age when 802.11ac is the standard. But for most people that this phone will be targeting, all of that is not going to be a problem.

The real star of the show is the camera setup. It has a dual camera setup in the rear that’s capable of 16-megapixel camera for regular shots and an 8-megapixel camera for wide-angle stills. My test shots on the trails of Rouge Park showed that it was a capable setup that worked well in a variety of lighting conditions. You can right click on any of the photos to enlarge:

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On top of that, you get a panoramic mode (click to enlarge):

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On top of that, it does a portrait mode as well as a “beauty mode” that makes your selfies look better. There’s also a 64MP mode that uses software to increase the detail of any photo taken in that mode. Shuttle lag was almost non-existent and autofocus was instant. You can run it in auto mode or take total control using the “Pro” mode.

Now when it came to videos, the ZenFone Max Plus does HD videos as evidenced by the video below:

You’ll note that the video shows that the ZenFone Max Plus was having issues with autofocus. Other than that, the video was good. The audio was clear as well as evidenced by the honking geese. But a software update to fix the autofocus issue would be welcome.

In terms of battery life, the phone was able to last a day and a half of moderate use on my part. But it does charge quickly.  It gets from zero to 20 percent within 30 minutes, while an hour of charging will get you 47 percent. A full charge takes more than two hours.

So what’s the bottom line? While not perfect, the Zenfone Max Plus from Asus does more than enough right that it merits strong consideration from you if you’re looking for a phone in  the budget end of the market. In fact considering that it has features like an 18:9 display which a lot of flagship phones don’t have, it might even be a choice for someone who’s looking upmarket. It’s another strong effort from Asus who seems to be constantly putting out phones that are going to attract attention in the marketplace.