Archive for Asus

ASUS Announces Best-Ever Performance At 2021 Red Dot Brands & Communication Design Awards

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 10, 2021 by itnerd

ASUS today announced that it has achieved its best-ever performance at the prestigious 2021 Red Dot Brands & Communication Design Awards ceremony, picking up a total of five accolades across multiple disciplines — including Digital Solutions, Brand Design & Identity, Film & Animation, Packaging Design and Interface & User Experience Design.

Each year, companies globally are invited to take part in Red Dot’s Brands & Communication Design Awards. All entries are assessed by the expert Red Dot judging panel with regard to their design and creative performance. Specifically, for the Brands aspect of the awards, the jury assesses vision and brand values, design and brand communication, and brand identity and differentiation. For Communication Design, the core criteria are originality and creativity, design quality and innovation, and comprehensibility and emotional significance.

In being awarded winning status in five out of 18 categories, ASUS has built on its year-on-year success at the Red Dot Brands & Communication Design Awards — notching up more accolades than ever before — and sent a strong signal that is now a leading force in both branding and communications design. This leveling-up of our success is also recognition of the fact that ASUS is committed to designing every detail of its products, packaging and customer experiences.

Full details of the Red Dot Brands & Communication Design Awards achieved by ASUS and Republic of Gamers (ROG) in 2021 are as follows:

ROG Citadel XV: Digital Solutions Award

During CES 2021, we unveiled ROG Citadel XV — a new, innovative and joyful way to discover more about ROG products. ADC collaborated closely with third party animator studios to develop an ambitious virtual experience unlike any other. The result is an exciting interactive experience that includes stories from the ROG visual universe, a gallery tour of the latest ROG devices, and an FPS-style minigame.

ROG Brand Book: Brand Design & Identity Award

ROG has designed a brand book that both explores and frames the history, design, technologies and innovations of the ASUS gaming sub-brand, from its inception to now. The unique design of this brand book outlines ROG’s brand values, core vision and product aesthetics.

ROG Flow X13: Film & Animation Award

The product video for ROG Flow X13 is unique, envisioning a futuristic world out of space where viewers are immersed into the universe of product innovation and design. It also explores the incredible performance and features unleashed by the remarkable ROG Flow X13 gaming laptop.

ASUS Zenfone 8: Packaging Design Award

ASUS has long understood that in order to deliver the incredible experiences, every step of the customer journey is essential – and that’s why the Red Dot judging panel appraised the packaging of Zenfone 8 as worthy of its Packaging Design Award. The sleek packaging has a premium feel and finish to deliver a heartfelt unboxing experience. The package even includes a color-matched case for Zenfone 8, ensuring that the product is protected and ready to use, right out of the box.

ROG Phone 5 Ultimate: Interface & User Experience Design Award

The Red Dot jury also recognized the unique nature of the packaging that enrobes ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. Specifically, the unboxing experience provides access to a unique chronicle rendered on the phone’s display via augmented reality (AR). When firing up ROG Phone 5 Ultimate for the first time, the user is invited to scan the book-like interior of the packaging. This in turn triggers an immersive AR experience that builds into a story that forms the start of their gaming journey. Storytelling is at the center of the user experience, deepening the unboxing experience to help the user become immersed in gaming from the get-go. At every step of the unboxing, the user discovers more content and story behind ROG Phone 5 Ultimate.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

ROG Citadel XV is available to download from Steam. The ROG Flow X13 and ASUS ZenFone 8 are now available in Canada. The ROG Phone 5 will be available in Q4 2022 in Canada.

ASUS Reveals Powerful Creator-Focused Laptop Lineup

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2021 by itnerd

I wanted to share some of the exciting new products revealed by ASUS that you might have missed. ASUS revealed the Zenbook Pro, ProArt Studiobook, and Vivobook Pro lineups, a series of powerful laptops geared to creators at any level.

The Zenbook Pro: A recipient of the CES 2021 Innovation Award, the Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED is perfect for advanced creators on the go. The 15.6 Inch laptop brings the ASUS ScreenPad Plus, a 14 inch secondary touchscreen to allow effortless multitasking. It features up to an Intel Core i9 processor with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 to easily run demanding applications.

ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED: This laptop is equipped to display professional grade videos with a 16 inch 4k OLED HDR display, an AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series Processor or a 3rd Generation Intel Xeon workstation processor, and an NVIDIA RTX A2000 or A5000, allowing users to seamlessly run visualization, simulation, or photorealistic rendering applications.

Vivobook Pro: Perfect for hobbyists and aspiring creators alike, the 15.6 Inch Vivobook Pro 15 OLEDweighs just under 3.64 lbs, has an FHD OLED display, ultrafast WiFI 6, and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050. It’s a perfect, budget friendly yet highly capable laptop for those looking to break into the creative world.

You can get more info from this press release.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces ROG Phone 5 Series

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 10, 2021 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, the latest and most powerful incarnation of the world’s most advanced gaming smartphone.

The ROG Phone 5 series is powered to win by the flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platform featuring advanced 5G communications and premium Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming™ features. The upgraded GameCool 5 cooling system along with the all-new performance manager in Armoury Crate ensure maximum performance is available for any gaming scenario.

For ultra-smooth and ultra-responsive gaming visuals, the ROG Phone 5 series is equipped with a Samsung-built 144 Hz / 1 ms AMOLED HDR10+ certified display with an industry-leading 300 Hz touch sampling rate and ultra-low 24.3 ms touch latency.

Gamers can play longer with the ROG Phone 5 series thanks to the monster 6000 mAh battery, and the phones come with a 65-watt HyperCharge adapter that tops up the battery in the shortest possible time.

The ROG Phone 5 series continues the ROG built-for-gamers design philosophy with ROG Vision, a never-before-seen rear matrix display — available exclusively on ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate — that shows customizable animations in response to a variety of system and in-game events.

There are also massive enhancements to the pioneering and still-unrivaled AirTrigger 5 control system, and the powerful GameFX audio system has also been overhauled to deliver even more immersive sound.

Dare to win

The ROG Phone 5 series harnesses the massive power of the latest flagship Snapdragon 888, which packs industry-leading innovations in 5G, AI, gaming, and camera technologies. Snapdragon Elite Gaming allows gamers to harness the power of ultra-smooth play at the highest possible HDR quality levels, with desktop-level capabilities. It also debuts Qualcomm Game Quick Touch, so players can experience up to a 20% increase in touch responsiveness and lower latencyi. With up to a stunning 35% increase in GPU performance and 25% in CPU performanceii, even the most demanding 3D mobile games run smoothly with maxed-out settings.

To enable maximum sustained performance, the GameCool 5 cooling system in the ROG Phone 5 series now has an optimum thermal structure featuring a centered CPU with the battery split into two parts, one located on each side of the CPU. This ensures that the heat generated by the CPU is transferred to all the edges and corners of the chassis simultaneously for higher thermal efficiency. The reshaped 3D vapor chamber and extensive graphite sheets also help to spread the heat evenly across the device to reduce heat build-up in the middle.

The completely revamped AeroActive Cooler 5 now intakes and expels an incredible amount of air directly onto the center of the phone — right where the CPU is — to deliver an amazing 10°C drop in the CPU temperature.

The all-new performance manager in Armoury Crate now includes X Mode, with multiple system profiles to give gamers even more performance settings and performance tuning tools, so they can instantly adapt the phone to the task at hand.

Additionally, ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is the world’s first smartphone to use 18 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which dramatically increases the overall gaming performance and takes the user experience to the next level.

Dare to see

Cutting-edge displays have been a signature ROG Phone feature since its inception, and the ROG Phone 5 series continues this tradition. Boasting an industry-leading 300 Hz touch-sampling rate, the 144 Hz / 1 ms AMOLED display — built by Samsung — delivers a super-smooth gaming experience, with an ultra-low touch latency. Tuned in collaboration with leading visual-processing company Pixelworks®, the supreme visuals are enhanced even further with world-beating Delta-E <1 color accuracy, the new always-on HDR technologyiv that improves non-HDR visuals, and a screen that’s protected by the toughest ever Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™. The ROG Phone 5 series is built to endure — and built to win.

Dare to play

To extend both screen-on time and the lifespan of the monster 6000 mAh battery, ROG Phone 5 series is optimized using new software optimizations and power-saving mechanisms, including a charging upper limit, steady charging, and enhanced scheduled charging. There are also passive power-saving mechanisms to limit inactive apps and deliver up to 67% more power savingsv. The ROG Phone 5 series always optimizes itself for the best power efficiency, however it’s being used.

Rapid charging is assured by the bundled 65-watt HyperCharge adapter, which gets gamers up and running again in the fastest possible time.

Innovative ROG Vision

ROG Phone 5 Ultimate and ROG Phone 5 Pro let gamers make their presence known to the world with the exclusive ROG Vision, a pioneering rear matrix display that’s never been seen on any phone until now. ROG Phone 5 Pro features a color ROG Vision display, while ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has a monochrome version.

ROG Vision can display a variety of cool animations that show whether the phone is charging, if there’s an incoming call, whether X Mode is enabled, and more. Owners can even create custom animations to make their phone even more personal.

Built for gamers

Total control is the name of the game for the ROG Phone 5 series, and the massively upgraded AirTrigger 5 control system now gives gamers up to four distinct ways to interact with their ROG Phone 5, delivering an unrivaled level of game control. The AeroActive Cooler 5 now also features two extra physical buttons to allow a genuine console-like gaming experience.

The ROG Phone 5 series supports an unprecedented total of 10 different motion controls, so gamers can easily pick the moves to fit their game. In a racing game, for example, they can swivel the phone to steer or pull it towards them to brake. Game control has never been so easy.

ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate additionally features innovative hidden rear touch sensors on the back cover, which provide L2/R2 trigger functions, just like a game console controller. These also work together with the ultrasonic sensors, the AeroActive Cooler 5 buttons and the motion controls to provide full control for a total gaming experience.

The GameFX audio system in the ROG Phone 5 series now incorporates symmetrical seven-magnet dual speakers for truly balanced stereo sound effects. Optimized in collaboration with audio specialist Dirac, the projected sound quality will grab the user’s aural senses and take them to a different world. There’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a hi-fi-grade ESS DAC for lossless audio processing. The AudioWizard audio-tuning app has also been completely revamped to optimize sound for different audio styles, including Game, Cinema, and Music settings. GameFX audio on ROG Phone 5 series delivers the crystal-clear in-game sound effects and powerful aural soundscapes that gamers never dared to hope for in a phone.

For the ROG Phone 5 series, ASUS has teamed up with some of the most popular game titles to give owners a series of different theme packs for customizing their device with their favorite characters and screens. Gamers can also share, discuss, and interact via ROG Connect, an online community that’s built into the ROG Phone 5 series.

ASUS held an early morning launch event for the ROG Phone 5 series that you can watch here:

ASUS Reveals New Array Of Products At CES 2021

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

ASUS announced a number at items at CES this year. But the ASUS and ROG brand were represented and here’s the highlights.

ASUS ROG announced an exciting lineup of gaming weaponry and technologies at its CES 2021 ROG For Those Who Dare virtual launch event, including: 

  1. ROG Flow X13 gaming laptop with the XG Mobile external GPU: The 13-inch ultraportable gaming laptop powered by up to an AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS mobile processor CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics. The energy efficient CPU helps prolong battery life, giving Flow X13 up to 10 hours of gaming on a full charge. It also comes with a lightweight, 100-watt USB-C PD charger that can charge an empty battery to 60% in just 39 minutes.
  2. Dual-screen ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE: Features the innovative ROG ScreenPad Plus to give gamers the advantage of a secondary screen for more usable onscreen space for gaming and productive tasks. 
  3. ROG Swift PG32UQ: The world’s first 32 -inch HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor and features a 144 Hz IPS panel with a 1ms moving picture response time (MPRT). It has two HDMI 2.1 ports to support up to 4K visuals at up to 120 Hz on the latest gaming consoles.
  4. You can read more in the press release here.

ASUS also introduced a wide variety of new laptops at CES that push the boundaries of design and innovation to deliver ultimate mobile computing experiences. The new line-up includes:

  1. The new ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED and ZenBook Duo 14: feature upgraded ScreenXpert 2 software, which introduces powerful and intuitive new features to streamline workflows.
  2. VivoBook S14 (S435): The lightest 14-inch VivoBook model, it is a powerful companion for discovering, exploring and creating. With the latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16 GB memory, and Intel Optane Memory H10, VivoBook S14 can handle any workload
  3. Chromebook Flip CX5/C536 (CX5500): A groundbreaking new laptop that expands the capabilities of Chromebooks for cloud entertainment. This is the first 15.6-inch Chromebook Flip to be powered by an 11th Generation Intel Core processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, and features Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
  4. ZenBeam Latte L1 projector: ZenBeam Latte L1 projector enables users to take their favorite movies or music on the go. The projector introduces a new cylindrical mug-shaped design, which enhances sound transmission while providing a compact footprint. 
  5. You can read more in the press release here.

Last-Minute Black Friday Deals With ASUS

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 23, 2020 by itnerd

With the holidays approaching ASUS has some Canadian Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals for you that I’d like to share:

  1. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C433TA has a stylish contemporary look, compact portability and powerful specifications that are all designed to help you accomplish every task. The ideal gift for anyone working or studying remotely. (CAD $499.00 @Amazon)
  1. The ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QL1A HDR Gaming Monitor is designed for gamers and others seeking immersive gameplay. This monitor delivers stunning visuals from all angles, with wide 178-degree viewing angles that ensures minimal distortion and color shift even when viewing from extreme positions. The perfect gift for all gamers out there. (CAD $449.99 @Newegg)
  1. ASUS RT-AX58U is a 2×2 dual-band Wi-Fi router that provides dramatically faster wireless connections. With a total networking speed of about 3000Mb, this router improves coverage, providing a significantly better networking experience for households, making it a must-have while we continue to work and study from home. (CAD $189.99 @The Source)
  1. The ASUS VivoBook 14  has an ultrathin profile making it perfect for everybody on the go. This stylish laptop adds flair and dynamis to daily computing. It has an Intel® Core™ i7 processor, providing the power you need to get things done.(CAD $529.00 @Amazon)

Check them out today as these deals are not likely to last.

ASUS Unveils New Laptop Lineup with 11th Generation Intel Core Processors and Premiers First Laptop Verified as an Intel Evo Platform Design

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2020 by itnerd

ASUS today announced a full lineup of new and upgraded PCs at the Built for Brilliance virtual launch event, including laptops featuring the power of 11th Generation Intel® Core™ processors and the debut laptop verified as an Intel® Evo™ platform laptop design. Groundbreaking laptops in the lineup include ZenBook Flip S (UX371), the world’s thinnest OLED convertible laptop and the first ASUS laptop to be verified on the Intel Evo platform; ZenBook S (UX393), world’s thinnest and lightest 3:2 3.3K laptop; ZenBook 14 (UX435), the world’s smallest 14-inch laptop with ScreenPad; ZenBook Pro 15 (UX535), the world’s smallest 15-inch 4K OLED laptop; and ExpertBook B9 (B9450CEA), one of the world’s lightest 14-inch business laptops. The 2020 PC lineup incorporates ASUS and industry leading-edge solutions to provide ultimate productivity and user experience. 

Equipped with 11th Generation Intel Core processors and new Intel® Iris® Xe graphics, the latest ASUS laptops break the boundaries of performance for thin and light laptops and empower users with ultimate experiences in productivity, creativity, gaming, entertainment, and collaboration. The 11th Generation Intel Core processors harness the power of AI technology to enable unparalleled speed and intelligent performance for everyday PC users, and integrated Intel® Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt™ 4 provide fast, reliable connectivity. New Intel Iris Xe graphics deliver discrete-level graphics performance for next-generation media experiences. 

ASUS is dedicated to delivering incredible laptop experiences for users. During the launch event, ASUS debuted ZenBook Flip S (UX371, FHD LED-backlit 1W panel version), which is verified as an Intel Evo platform laptop design, ensuring it meets the second edition specification and Key Experience Indicators of Intel’s Project Athena innovation program. Other laptops in the 2020 lineup are targeted for verification based on these standards, pending further tuning and testing. Laptops with Intel Evo verification bring together the perfect combination of premium performance and responsiveness, efficient battery usage, and stunning visuals to create a new class of laptops that provide an exceptional experience, anywhere. In addition to 11th Generation Intel Core processors, Intel Evo platform-based laptops feature Intel Iris Xe graphics, support for Intel Wi-fi 6, and Thunderbolt 4. 

ASUS combines the performance of the latest Intel processors, exceptional user experiences based on the Intel Evo platform, and pioneering technology to deliver unstoppable laptops that empower users in an ever-evolving world.

ASUS and industry leading-edge technology in new PCs

In addition to premiering a laptop verified on the Intel Evo platform and providing laptops with 11th Generation Intel Core processors, this year’s lineup of laptops empowers users with cutting-edge solutions from ASUS, including several that accommodate the rise of remote work. 

ASUS laptops with OLED displays provide exceptionally detailed and realistic visuals with eye-friendly panel lighting. Each display offers ultra-vivid colors and blur-free motion with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and 0.2 ms response time, deep blacks that are certified as VESA DisplayHDR™ 500 True Black, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and PANTONE® Validated certification for true-to-life color accuracy. They are also certified by TÜV Rheinland as having reduced blue light and being flicker-free for enhanced eye care. 

The ASUS ScreenXpert 2.0 user interface on ASUS ScreenPad provides enhanced productivity and capabilities with an intuitive interface design, smoother processing between screens, personalized multitasking workflows, and compatibility with multiple ASUS utility apps. MyASUS is a one-stop software portal that provides easy access to ASUS apps and software designed to help users maintain their system, optimize PC performance, and contact ASUS for after-sales service and support. A wide range of system controls can be personalized in MyASUS, including the new and enhanced Fan Profile, which is a fan control setting that optimizes fan speeds based on usage scenarios. Fan Profile allows users to set to Whisper Mode for a quieter working space, Performance Mode for significantly improved power and heat dissipation, or Standard Mode for everyday tasks. 

For enhancing user experiences when working from home or remotely, ASUS also provides ASUS Wi-Fi Master technology and AI noise-canceling audio. ASUS Wi-Fi Master technology, which includes Wi-Fi SmartConnect, Wi-Fi Stabilizer, and Wi-Fi RangeBoost, ensures that users enjoy stable connections, filters out wireless interference for fast connection speeds, automatically selects the best Wi-Fi signal, and uses multiple antennas to enhance signal throughput. AI noise-canceling audio employs next-level machine learning in order to remove unwanted noise from human speech during conference calls. Available via MyASUS, the ClearVoice Mic and Speaker feature filters out ambient noise, isolates and focuses on each individual voice received by the mic, and filters out ambient noise from the speaker—providing users with incredibly clear audio.

Introducing ASUS laptops with 11th Generation Intel Core processors 

ASUS ZenBook Flip S (UX371)

The ultracompact ZenBook Flip S is the first ASUS laptop to be verified as an Intel Evo platform laptop design. It is effortlessly portable, measuring just 13.9 mm thin and weighing a mere 1.2 kg. The superb ultra-vivid 4K UHD OLED NanoEdge PANTONE® Validated color-accurate touchscreen has a wide 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, and is VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black-certified for deep blacks and exceptional contrast. It is also TÜV Rheinland-certified for eye care, and for intuitive input it supports the new ASUS Pen active stylus with 4096 pressure levels.

ZenBook Flip S has a luxurious premium design, featuring a Jade Black finish with contrasting Red Copper diamond-cut highlights and a brushed-aluminum deco bar. The durable precision-engineered 360° ErgoLift hinge allows the laptop to be used in laptop, tablet, stand and tent modes — or anything in between. The ASUS NumberPad 2.0 enables fast data entry, and the new edge-to-edge keyboard design provides space for convenient extra function keys.

Incredible on-the-go performance is provided by up to an 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, combined with up to 16 GB RAM and up to a 1 TB PCIe® 3.0 x4 SSD. For ultimate connectivity, ZenBook Flip S offers two Thunderbolt™ 4 USB-C® ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, and an HDMI port. The high-capacity battery in ZenBook Flip S lasts for up to an amazing 15 hours, enough for even the longest working day.

ASUS ZenBook Flip 13 (UX363)

Measuring just 13.9 mm thin and weighing only 1.3 kg, the compact ZenBook Flip 13 has a precision-engineered 360° ErgoLift hinge that allows versatile usage modes: laptop, tablet, tent, stand, or anything in between. It also automatically lifts and tilts the new edge-to-edge keyboard for comfortable typing and improved system cooling.

With a high-capacity 67 Wh battery that can deliver up to 14 hours of operation on a single charge, ZenBook Flip 13 is perfect for today’s work-anywhere lifestyles. ZenBook Flip 13 supports fast charging with the supplied 65-watt charger, and ASUS USB-C®Easy Charge allows users to take advantage of a wide range of standard USB-C or USB-C Power Delivery (PD) chargers. 

ZenBook Flip 13 features up to a sleek NanoEdge FHD OLED touchscreen that is fully compatible with the newly designed ASUS Pen. The display supports 4096 pressure levels, ensuring enhanced precision and sensitivity for more natural-feeling stylus input. 

For silky-smooth performance, ZenBook Flip 13 is powered by up to an 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Xegraphics and 16GB of RAM. For storage, it supports up to a 1 TB PCIe 3.0 SSD.

ASUS ZenBook S (UX393)

The ZenBook S is a premium ultraportable 13.9-inch laptop with a brand-new 3:2 aspect-ratio form factor. It is 15.7 mm thin, 1.35 kg light, and exquisitely constructed, with a compact, tough all-metal unibody that premieres an exciting new productivity-enhancing shape. It is built around an amazing 3.3K (3300 x 2200) NanoEdge PANTONE® Validated touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio that fits more on the screen, providing a larger visual workspace and reducing the need for scrolling. A high-capacity 67 Wh battery with fast-charge support gives ZenBook S up to 12 hours of autonomy.

The elegant new Jade Black livery features contrasting Red Copper diamond-cut highlights, and a special off-center ASUS logo on the lid adds to the visual appeal of the design. A precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge ensures a comfortable typing position on the spacious edge-to-edge keyboard, along with improved cooling airflow.

For outstanding on-the-go performance, ZenBook S is powered by up to an 11th Generation Intel Core™ i7 processor, with up to 16 GB RAM and up to a 1 TB PCIe 3.0 x4 M.4 SSD. It features full-size HDMI and USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, along with two ultrafast and versatile Thunderbolt™ 4 USB-C® ports and a MicroSD card reader. 

The latest version of the MyASUS software portal allows users to get the most out of their laptop and smartphone, and the ASUS NumberPad 2.0 provides easy numeric data entry. An infrared (IR) camera allows convenient face login with Windows Hello.

ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450CEA)

The ExpertBook B9 (B9450CEA) features a sleek precision-crafted minimalist chassis that is 1005g light for premium portability. It is built for travel with all-day battery life, and the dual-storage design, a full set of I/O ports, innovative ASUS NumberPa8, and proximity sensor improve on-the-go work efficiency. Constructed solidly with magnesium-lithium alloy and extra structural rigidity, it meets ultra-demanding US MIL-STD 810H US military standards, and enterprise-grade security ensures that confidential data is kept safe.

The ExpertBook B9 is powered by up to an 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics and superfast Intel® Wi-Fi 6, providing quick and responsive computing, network, and graphical performance. Dual SSDs support RAID 0 and RAID 1 technology (on select models), providing options for faster data transfer or secure data backup. Advanced video conferencing solutions include AI noise-canceling audio for crystal-clear sound and ASUS Wi-Fi Master technology for stable network connections. The ExpertBook B9 includes a user-friendly accessory box that can also be used as a laptop stand. Highly portable, powerful, and tough, the ExpertBook B9 is the ideal partner for the corporate world.

ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX435)

ZenBook 14 is an all-new ultraportable laptop that combines superb performance and effortless portability with timeless good looks. Weighing as little as 1.19 kg, ZenBook 14 includes the revolutionary ASUS ScreenPad for enhanced productivity, and is powered by up to 11th Generation Intel® Core™ processors with NVIDIA® GeForce® MX450 discrete graphics (UX435EG). 

This latest addition to the ZenBook Classic series also boasts a full array of I/O ports: two Thunderbolt™ 4 USB-C®, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, standard HDMI 2.0, microSD card reader, and an audio jack. ZenBook 14 provides a four-sided frameless NanoEdge display with a remarkable 92% screen-to-body ratio, and is available in two distinctive new shades – Pine Grey and Lilac Mist.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (TP470)

VivoBook Flip 14 is a boldly styled convertible touchscreen laptop with a 360° hinge that allows it to be used in laptop, stand, tent and tablet modes — or anything in between. It also supports the ASUS Pen active stylus for accurate input and writing with a natural, responsive feel.

Everything is a breeze with VivoBook Flip 14, thanks to the power of up to an 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 16 GB of memory, up to a 1 TB PCIe® SSD, and comprehensive I/O connectivity—including Thunderbolt™ 4 USB-C®. It is also full of personality, sporting a sleek Indie Black and Transparent Silver finish and a color-blocked Enter key with yellow edges and text. The compact VivoBook Flip 14 is the perfect on-the-go laptop for productivity or entertainment, anywhere.

ASUS ZenBook 13/14 (UX325EA/UX425EA)

ZenBook 13 (UX325EA) and ZenBook 14 (UX425EA) are two new-generation 13.3-inch and 14-inch ultraportable laptops in the ZenBook Classic series. ZenBook 13 and ZenBook 14 are even thinner and lighter than the previous generation. ZenBook 13 weighs just 1.07 kg and both models are a mere 13.9 mm thin, but uniquely for such an ultrathin design they offer comprehensive I/O capabilities, including full-size HDMI and USB Type-A ports in addition to Thunderbolt 4 USB-C® and a microSD card reader. They are the world’s thinnest 13.3-inch and 14-inch laptops to offer such comprehensive and versatile connectivity[xiii]

Compact four-sided NanoEdge displays offer up to a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio for immersive visuals, with the option of an ultra-low power 1-watt display that maximizes battery life. The user experience is also fully updated, featuring ASUS NumberPad 2.0, up to 21 hours of battery life, a new edge-to-edge keyboard design, ErgoLift hinge mechanisms, and IR cameras for fast face-recognition. ZenBook 13 and 14 are available in two sophisticated new colors, Pine Grey and Lilac Mist.

Powered by 11th Generation Intel® Core processors with up to 32 GB RAM, ZenBook 13 and ZenBook 14 make light work of multitasking, productivity, and entertainment. Up to 1TB PCIe® 3.0 x2 SSDs and the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) round off the specifications for superb all-round performance.

ASUS VivoBook S13/S14/S15 (S333EA/S433EA/S533EA)

VivoBook S13 (S333EA), S14 (S433EA), and S15 (S533EA), are a series of ultraportable 13-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch laptops that strike the perfect balance between personality and performance, and feature a new and bolder look. VivoBook S laptops are distinctively styled with diamond-cut edges and metallic textured finishes, and are available in multiple colors that have been chosen to reflect the user’s personality. They also provide style on the inside with an Enter key with color-blocked edges. In addition to a unique design and sleek looks, the new VivoBooks are powered by up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16 GB RAM, and a large-capacity PCIe® SSD with Intel® Optane™ Memory H10 that provides superfast storage. It also offers comprehensive I/O connectivity, including Thunderbolt™ 4 USB-C®.

ASUS VivoBook 14/15 (K413EQ/K513EQ/F513EA)

The VivoBook 14/15 series features vivid, colorful laptops built for productivity and entertainment. VivoBook F513EA models offer an all-plastic chassis in Dreamy White, Cobalt Blue, or Bespoke Black, while K413EQ and K513EQ models have a metal lid design and come in Hearty Gold, Indie Black, or Transparent Silver. Powered by up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16 GB RAM, Wi-Fi 6, and a large-capacity PCIe® SSD, VivoBook 14 and 15 laptops empower users with supreme productivity. The unique ASUS NumberPad 2.0 on the VivoBook 14 makes number-crunching tasks easy and efficient, a color-blocked Enter key adds a touch of style, and the dual-storage design of VivoBook 15 delivers the superfast data-access speeds of an SSD combined with the large capacity of an HDD.

ASUS laptops with 10th Generation Intel® Core™ processors

ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 (UX535)

The ZenBook Pro 15 is the latest model in the ZenBook Pro series of ultraportable creative laptops, and is also the world’s smallest 15.6-inch laptop to feature a 4K UHD OLED touchscreen.

The elegant ZenBook Pro 15 allows casual creators to work on their projects anywhere, thanks to a compact design that is enabled by the slim bezels on the bright and clear NanoEdge 4K UHD OLED touchscreen. A wide 100% DCI-P3 color gamut ensures vivid hues, and the 88% screen-to-body ratio delivers expansive visuals.

ZenBook Pro 15 is powered by 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 and i5 H-series processors, 16 GB of RAM, and up to an NVIDIA®GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti discrete graphics for powerful on-the-go creative performance, as well as up to a 1 TB PCIe® 3.0 x4 SDD for ultrafast storage.

For enhanced productivity, ZenBook Pro 15 includes the latest ASUS ScreenPad™, a 5.65-inch secondary color touchscreen built into the glass-covered touchpad that allows easy interaction via the new and intuitive smartphone-like ScreenXpert 2.0 interface. 

Designed for on-the-go convenience, ZenBook Pro 15 features a high-capacity 96 Wh battery and comprehensive set of I/O ports, including Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C®, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, standard HDMI 2.0, an audio jack, and a SD card reader. The precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge creates a comfortable typing position, and there is an IR camera for hands-free face login with Windows Hello. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) offers ultrafast wireless connectivity, enhanced by ASUS Wi-Fi Master Premium technology for rock-solid connection stability.

AVAILABILITY 

  • ASUS ZenBook Flip S (UX371) will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • ASUS ZenBook Flip 13 (UX363EA) will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • ASUS ZenBook S (UX393) will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9450CEA) will be available starting from late Q4 2020 in North America.
  • ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX435) will be available starting from November 2020 North America. 
  • ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (TP470) will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • ASUS ZenBook 13/14 (UX325EA/UX425EA) will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • ASUS VivoBook S13/S14/S15 (S333EA/S433EA/S533EA) will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • ASUS VivoBook 14/15 (K413EQ/K513EQ/F513EA) will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 (UX535) will be available starting from late October 2020 in North America. 

ASUS Republic Of Gamers Announces Meta Buffs Product Lineup

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2020 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced an all-new lineup of gaming gear at the Meta Buffs online launch event. Aligning with the event theme, the new products are all meta buffs: status enhancements that are lighter, faster and more powerful for taking gaming experiences to a new level. 

The lineup features the new ROG Strix GeForce RTX™ 30 Series graphics cards, which unleash an amped-up thermal design and chart-topping performance with the NVIDIA® Ampere architecture. The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, the 2nd generation of RTX, feature new RT Cores, Tensor Cores and streaming multiprocessors, bringing stunning visuals, amazingly fast frame rates and AI acceleration to games and creative applications. Powered by the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, which delivers increases of up to 1.9 times performance-per-watt over the previous generation, the RTX 30 Series effortlessly powers graphics experiences at all resolutions, even up to 8K at the top end. The GeForce RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 represent the greatest GPU generational leap in the history of NVIDIA.

ROG also introduced the ROG Swift PG329Q, ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QNR gaming monitors for ultrafast and ultrasmooth visuals; the ROG Strix XF 120 fan for low-noise cooling performance and versatility; ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E router; the ROG Strix Scope RX gaming keyboard, which debuts the responsive, reliable and durable ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches; the ROG Keris Wireless mouse for compact and nimble control; the ROG Delta S headset for crystal-clear audio; and ROG Scabbard II, an extended gaming mouse pad with a protective nano-coating that repels water, oil and dust. 

By providing gamers with this lineup of meta buffs for optimal gameplay and potent status enhancements, ROG is delivering ultimate gaming experiences and the power to conquer the competition.

ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards

From top to bottom, ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards deliver the next wave of innovations in thermal design and accommodate the dynamic NVIDIA Ampere architecture. A new shroud with metal accents encompasses a trio of Axial-tech fans that have been tuned to fulfill specialized purposes. The center fan leverages a full-height barrier ring and 13 fan blades to provide boosted static pressure that drives air through the heatsink fins and onto the GPU heat spreader. The two outer fans feature 11 blades each and half-height barrier rings to allow for more lateral dispersion and to provide better airflow through the cooling array. Turbulence between fans is reduced due to a reversal of the center fan’s rotational direction. 

A larger heatsink that fills most of the card’s 2.9-slot footprint was designed to leverage the increased airflow. To get heat up off the die and into the heatsink array, MaxContact technology has been utilized to polish the surface of the heat spreader and improve smoothness at the microscopic level. The extra flatness allows for better contact with the die for enhanced thermal transfer. Not only has the cooling array been enhanced, but top-shelf capacitors, chokes and power stages effortlessly deliver hundreds of watts at a millisecond’s notice. ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards feature Super Alloy Power II components that have been soldered to the PCB using Auto-Extreme technology — an industry-exclusive automated manufacturing process — to ensure each card meets rigorous ROG specifications for quality and reliability.

Also included are FanConnect II headers that allow PWM fans to be tuned based on CPU and GPU temperatures, providing extra intake or exhaust for demanding 3D tasks and compute workloads. Builders looking for a quick and simple way to adjust the card’s default behavior can flick an onboard Dual BIOS switch to choose between “performance” and “quiet” profiles without software. Another ease-of-use feature is an onboard voltage sensing circuit that monitors PSU rail voltage. The circuit is fast enough to catch any transients that result in the rail voltage dropping too low. If that happens, a red LED will light up to indicate a power supply issue, making it easier to debug the source of crashes during gameplay. 

The front side of the GPU has also been buffed up. An addressable RGB element can be customized with the Armoury Crate software utility and the graphics card’s reinforced metal frame adds a literal layer of durability. Flipping the card around reveals a metal backplate with a wide vent. The vent allows hot air to escape towards chassis exhaust fans instead of being recycled back into the GPU cooler. Beneath the GPU, a bracket provides consistent mounting pressure between die and heat spreader. Stainless steel is used for the I/O bracket to protect ports and provide a more secure mount. 

The sum of all the design enhancements found on ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards results in a massive leap forward in thermal design. Paired with the outstanding performance of NVIDIA Ampere architecture, gamers now have access to fresh experiences ranging from insane frame rates in competitive titles to smooth high-resolution gameplay in immersive AAA games.

ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR gaming monitors

ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR are the world’s fastest esports gaming monitors with refresh rates of up to 360 Hz. The astounding 360 Hz refresh rate offered by ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR delivers up to 50 percent more frames per second than 240 Hz gaming monitors, giving gamers an edge over the competition. The 24.5-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) display features Fast IPS panel technology. The liquid crystal elements in the display turn on and off up to four times faster than conventional IPS panels for a superfast 1 ms gray-to-gray (GTG) response time. The display is also HDR10 compatible for color and brightness that exceed that of ordinary monitors, treating gamers to ultrarealistic graphics. A built-in NVIDIA® G-SYNC®processor provides full variable refresh rate (VRR) range and variable overdrive for ultrasmooth gaming visuals with no tearing, stuttering or input lag.

Reflex Latency Analyzer is a revolutionary system latency measurement tool integrated in new ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QNR NVIDIA G-SYNC Esports displays. PC performance for competitive gaming is about responsiveness—how quickly the display updates after mouse clicks or movements. The Reflex Latency Analyzer detects clicks coming from the mouse and then measures the time it takes for the resulting pixels (i.e. a gun muzzle flash) to change on screen. This type of measurement has been virtually impossible for gamers to do before now, requiring over $7,000 in specialized high-speed cameras and equipment. Reflex Latency Analyzer provides a much more complete and accurate understanding of mouse, PC and display performance. Now with Reflex Latency Analyzer, gamers can start a match with confidence, knowing their system is operating exactly as it should be.

In addition to the Reflex Latency Analyzer, the ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QNR also comes with an ROG Desk Mount Kit that saves ample desk or table space. ROG Desk Mount Kit can be switched with the monitor stand in only three simple steps and has a C-clamp that opens up to 80 mm wide for compatibility with most desks. 

ROG Swift PG329Q gaming monitor

ROG Swift PG329Q is a 32-inch (2560 x 1440) 175 Hz gaming monitor that features Fast IPS panel technology and is the world’s first NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible gaming monitor with variable overdrive. The liquid crystal elements in the display turn on and off up to four times faster than conventional IPS panels for a superfast 1 ms gray-to-gray (GTG) response time. Quantum-dot technology with factory color pre-calibration, DisplayHDR™ 600 certification, DCI-P3 98% and sRGB 160% provide wide color space for stunning color fidelity. ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB Sync) technology eliminates motion blur without sacrificing variable refresh rates, and customized variable overdrive on ROG Swift PG329Q takes smooth visuals to the next level by dynamically adjusting pixel response to accommodate an entire range of refresh rates for razor sharp images in the heat of battle.

ROG Strix XF 120 cooling fan

ROG Strix XF 120 is a versatile 120-mm 4-pin pulse-width modulation (PWM) cooling fan that has been tested and verified to deliver optimized acoustic profiles across a range of performance demands. It delivers 62.5 cubic feet per minute (CFM) airflow and 3.07 mm H2O static pressure, which provides the flexibility to use ROG Strix XF 120 for static pressure applications, including as a CPU cooler or radiator, or for chassis cooling. For further cooling power, its small fan hub allows greater space for airflow, and the aerodynamic fan blades and curvature of the frame struts help direct air throughput to minimize turbulence and maximize airflow. 

ROG Strix XF 120 features magnetic-levitation technology that reduces friction when the fan rotates for a quiet acoustic profile and 400,000-hour longevity, while the specially grooved blades and an anti-vibrating design further reduce noise. With an extensive operating range of 250 to 1800 RPM, the fan can be adjusted to as low as 250 RPM and even automatically turns off when set to 0% PWM duty cycle for an ultralow noise profile and super-efficient cooling. 

ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 gaming router

ASUS is an established leader in the networking market and was the first to launch a Wi-Fi 6 router. Now ASUS is delivering the wider bandwidth and increased 160 MHz channels of Wi-Fi 6E with ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E router. With a tri-band design and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 supports speeds of up to 11,000 Mbps and features WAN aggregation for WAN speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. With 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 and a 2.5 gigabit-per-second LAN port, both wired and wireless networks can achieve speeds of more than 1 gigabit per second, bringing true multi-gigabit performance to life. GT-AXE11000 is powered by a quad-core 1.8 GHz 64-bit CPU with 1 gigabyte of RAM, so it can handle heavy traffic in Wi-Fi 6E networks. The router also uses the latest 6 GHz power amplifier to improve both the signal coverage and quality. 

Wi-Fi 6E technology takes advantage of the newly available radio spectrum in the 6 GHz band, which has three-times more bandwidth than the 5 GHz band. It also adds seven extra 160 MHz channels to the current Wi-Fi 6 standard, provides lower latency, and will be dedicated to Wi-Fi 6E devices for maintaining high speeds that will not be affected by legacy devices.

ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard

ROG Strix Scope RX is the first mechanical RGB gaming keyboard to debut ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches, which are the first in the world to feature a hollow-square stem design with embedded RGB LEDs for all-round per-key lighting. The unique design of each switch delivers a near-zero debounce delay to ensure instantaneous activation the moment a key is pressed. The hollow-square stem and X-stabilizer mechanism provide consistent wobble-free keystrokes, while the 100-million-keypress lifespan ensures extreme durability. 

ROG Strix Scope RX provides an alloy top cover and IP56 water and dust resistance to further ensure durability and longevity. It comes ready for the action of first-person shooter (FPS) games with an extended Ctrl key for ‘Crouch,’ and other commands. A USB 2.0 port can be used as a passthrough for device charging and external storage. The Stealth key hides all apps and mutes audio for instant privacy, and the quick-toggle switch quickly changes between functions and media inputs. The keyboard also features a backlit ROG logo and customizable lighting effects. The Armoury Crate software utility allows users to customize user profiles, map keys, record macros and even track hardware stats during gameplay.

ROG Keris Wireless mouse 

ROG Keris Wireless is an incredibly light and nimble gaming mouse at just 79 grams, providing increased grip comfort during extended gameplay. The mouse is the product of ROG’s close collaboration with a professional esports team to create the ultimate gaming mouse for pro gamers. After six months and numerous prototypes, ROG Keris Wireless offers gamers the perfect mouse shape. 

Featuring tri-mode connectivity, ROG Keris Wireless gives gamers a choice of using an ultrafast 2.4 GHz wireless, energy-efficient Bluetooth® LE, or wired USB when the battery needs to be topped up. The high-speed sensor has been specially tuned by ROG to have 16,000 dpi sensitivity, 400 ips and 40 g acceleration for premium precision and swiftness. ROG Keris Wireless also features the ROG-exclusive push-fit switch-socket design with the new ROG Micro Switch, which offers 70-million-click durability and a gold-plated electro junction for longevity. 

Equipped with the firm texture of L/R buttons made of PBT, ROG Keris Wireless offers exceptional durability. The rounded, 100 percent TPFE mouse feet provide a smooth glide across any mousepad. ROG Keris Wireless also includes swappable side buttons that come in different colors for more customization options and an extremely soft ROG cable to reduce friction for unimpeded gameplay. 

ROG Delta S headset

ROG Delta S gaming headset delivers impeccably clear, detailed audio to give serious gamers the edge to win. It features the industry-leading, hi-fi-grade ESS 9281 CODEC with QUAD DAC™ technology, and is the first gaming headset with Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology, which is an award-winning technology that delivers studio-quality audio files to reveal every detail of the original recording. Embedded MQA Renderer technology in ROG Delta S can connect to an MQA core signal and complete the final “unfold” of an MQA file for incredible audio quality. The ASUS AI noise-canceling microphone on ROG Delta S delivers crystal-clear in-game voice communication, and exclusive ASUS Essence drivers, an airtight chamber design and audio signal diversion technology work in unison for incredibly immersive audio. 

ROG Delta S weighs just 300 grams and has ergonomic D-shaped ROG Hybrid ear cushions for unmatched comfort during extended gaming sessions. Its USB-C® connector allows users to play on a PC and then jump to a gaming console or mobile device without having to change headsets. Customizable, circular RGB lighting can be used with other Aura Sync-enabled gear and unique soundwave lighting effects flash in tune with the user’s voice.

ROG Scabbard II mouse pad

ROG Scabbard II is an extended gaming mouse pad that offers ample space for a keyboard, mouse and other gaming gear, making it the ideal battle stage for gaming. It is made out of durable fabric with a military-grade nano-coating that repels water, oil and dust, giving gamers an optimal mouse gliding surface. Featuring anti-fray, narrow-stitched edges and a non-slip rubber base, ROG Scabbard II is a gamer’s best ally. 

AVAILABILITY 

  • The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards will be available starting from September 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and PG259QNR monitors will be available starting from September 2020 and November 2020 respectively in North America. 
  • The ROG Swift PG329Q monitor will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Strix XF 120 fan will be available starting from December 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 gaming router will be available starting from December 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Strix Scope RX keyboard will be available starting from October 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Keris Wireless mouse will be available starting from late Q4 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Delta S headset will be available starting from late Q4 2020 in North America. 
  • The ROG Scabbard II mouse pad will be available starting from Q4 2020 in North America. 

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces All-New Peripherals For Mobile Gaming

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 22, 2020 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced all-new gaming peripherals that deliver the ultimate mobile gaming experience: the ROG Falchion gaming keyboard, ROG Cetra RGB in-ear gaming headphones, and the ROG Strix XG16 gaming display.

The ROG Falchion wireless mechanical keyboard offers a space-saving layout that is 65 percent of the size of a standard keyboard, a user-friendly multi-use interactive touch panel, and wireless Aura Sync lighting. ROG Cetra RGB in-ear gaming headphones feature active noise cancellation (ANC) technology and customizable RGB lighting. To round out this all-new peripheral lineup, the ROG Strix XG16 is a 15.6- inch portable gaming display with a built-in battery and user-friendly kickstand design that supports an up to 144Hz refresh rate and 1080p HD resolution. These gaming peripherals deliver the high-caliber portable controls, audio, and graphics needed to take mobile gaming to the next level.

ROG Falchion: An ultra-portable wireless mechanical keyboard

ROG Falchion is a wireless mechanical keyboard with an innovative design that’s 65 percent of the size of a standard keyboard. It offers a versatile cover case and an interactive touch panel that can adjust volume, play and pause music, and zoom the screen in and out. The touch panel can also be programmed for use as a macro key, and the RGB LEDs inside the touch panel indicate battery status in real time. It provides gamers with ultrafast 1ms response time, 2.4GHz connectivity and up to 400 hours of battery life. With a cutting-edge design and user-friendly features, ROG Falchion empowers gamers with next-level control and performance.

ROG Cetra RGB: In-ear gaming headphones with active noise cancellation technology and RGB lighting

The ROG Cetra RGB in-ear gaming headphones support multiple platforms via a USB-C® connection, including mobile phones, PC, Mac and Nintendo Switch . The active noise cancellation (ANC) technology

and innovative Ambient mode on the earbuds enable users to adjust their listening experience, allowing them to either fully immerse themselves in games, music and other media without distraction, or tune into their surroundings and external sounds. Exclusive 10mm ASUS Essence drivers deliver optimized gaming audio and strong bass. Users have a choice of three sizes of silicone tips and ear fins, as well as a pair of foam ear tips ― all to provide flexibility to ensure a comfortable fit. The customizable RGB lighting on the headphones allow users to enjoy high-quality audio in style.

ROG Strix XG16: The ultimate portable gaming display

ROG Strix XG16 is a 15.6-inch portable gaming display with a built-in battery that supports an up to a 144Hz refresh rate and 1080p HD resolution. Its IPS panel enables wide viewing angles and displays high- quality colors and brightness. For I/O options, the XG16 offers two USB-C® ports and one Micro HDMI port, which provide flexible connectivity and the ability to charge during gameplay. The user-friendly kickstand on the back can be opened up to 70 degrees and provides the display with stability on a flat surface in landscape or portrait orientation for comfortable viewing on-the-go. Underneath the kickstand is a mesh design with cybertext patterning, which adds to its futuristic aesthetic. The ROG Strix XG16 is also compatible with ROG Tripod, which allows gamers to position the display above a laptop for use in a portable dual-screen setup.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The ROG Falchion will be available in Q4 2020 in North America.
The ROG Cetra RGB will be available in September 2020 in North America. The ROG Strix XG16 will be available in December 2020 in North America.

Review: ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Posted in Products with tags on July 6, 2020 by itnerd

Before I get to the review, let me tell you a funny story. So I had a Netgear router for the longest while. However their security issues made me switch to another router. Specifically the ASUS ZenWiFi AC (CT8) model which ASUS sent over for me to review. I set it up and locked it down and I declared all to be well with the universe.

Two days after that, ASUS called and wanted their router back. After all, it was a press loaner that they had kind of forgotten about during the pandemic.

Craptastic.

That meant that I had to get a replacement in a hurry. While I could have gone with more of the same, I figured that I would take opportunity to future proof my network. Which meant that after a quick trip to Amazon.ca, and a screw up in terms of delivery by Purolator Courier in terms of delivery, I got this:

This is the ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) mesh WiFi router. You get two nodes in the box which will cover 5500 square feet. It supports a variety of standards including the following:

802.11a: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11b: 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11n: up to 300 Mbps
802.11ac (5GHZ-1): up to 867 Mbps
802.11ac (5GHZ-2): up to 3466 Mbps
802.11ax (2.4GHz): up to 574 Mbps
802.11ax (5GHZ-1): up to 1201 Mbps
802.11ax (5GHZ-2): up to 4804 Mbps

So in short, you get every standard available including WiFi 6/802.11ax. That pretty much future proofs your network by allowing you to use any device including the latest MacBooks, Surface devices, and iPhones with WiFi 6. What also is cool is that you get three bands. A 2.4 GHz band, and two 5 GHz bands. Though when used in a mesh setup, the second 5 GHz band is used for a dedicated backhaul between the nodes. Thus you effectively have 1 2.4 GHz band, and one 5 GHz band,

Here’s a look at one of the nodes:

It looks exactly like the ones that come with the AC version of this mesh router. But the black version looks way better than the white version. For the record, both the AC and the AX versions come in black and white.

On the back you can see that each node comes with three gigabit Ethernet ports for your devices, one 2.5 gigabit port for your Internet connection which is handy as many Internet Service Providers are now offering above gigabit speeds. Which means that you don’t want your router to be the bottleneck. There’s also a USB port for a printer.

The setup process of the ZenWiFi AX is absurdly simple by using the ASUS Router app. The app can automatically detects the mesh WiFi system over a Bluetooth connection. Just connect one unit to the modem from your ISP and turn both units on. Once both units are booted up, you can use the ASUS Router app to setup the system. It’s a wizard driven setup that if you want to just go the easy route, it will have you set up in minutes. But I like to do a lot more in terms of setting up a router, which means that I have to go to the web based interface to do things like disable WPS and UPnP for security reasons.

I configured the ZenWiFi AX (XT8) to be used in my condo with one node in my den and another one in the living room. The result was that I had 100% coverage in terms my 800 ish square foot condo. The other thing that I noticed is that I was able to get roughly get this speed in my condo using my MacBook Pro:

Now this speed is consistent with the AC version of router. If I had any WiFi 6 devices, I suspect that this speed would be faster. I was getting these speeds regardless of where I was in my condo. I also noticed that the experience was seamless. I was able to walk through my condo and the ZenWiFi AX seamlessly switched between nodes. So if it works in my use case, it will work for houses up to 5500 square feet in size.

Now like the ZenWiFi AC, this router is highly configurable and the nodes are accessible via the router app, or via a web page which is really good for nerds like me as the advanced features are available via the latter. You also get a pile of security to keep you safe via AiProtection Pro. And it supports Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.

Gripes? Well the only thing that was an issue was that I had to set up the 2.4 GHz band according to this FAQ as not setting it up this way was causing my wife’s Joule not to connect to WiFi. This was something that I did not encounter with the AC version of this router which is a side effect of the fact that this is a 802.11ax/WiFi 6 router. This is something that I will keep an eye on.

That brings me to another gripe. It also would be nice to have the Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports to be bondable so that you can get extra speed from a NAS or something like that. But I will have to admit that I am really being nerdy at this point.

The ZenWiFi AX is a great product which you can pick up for roughly $680CDN for two nodes from Amazon. That’s not cheap. But if you need WiFi across your home, and you want something that is future proof, the ZenWiFi AX deserves a good hard look.

Replacing My Netgear Router With The ASUS ZenWiFi (CT8)

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2020 by itnerd

I’ve been reporting recently that networking gear maker Netgear has had a massive security #fail where 79 of their router models are affected by a security flaw that allows for the complete takeover of the router. If that isn’t bad enough, exploit code and tools to find these routers out on the Internet were already in the wild. Meaning that the bad guys are likely trying to exploit this and that users of Netgear products are not safe.

That’s not good.

Now while Netgear seems to be trying to roll out fixes for this security #fail, I’ve argued that because of their past history when it comes to security issues, and the fact that they sat on these new issues since January of this year and only started doing something about it when the issues were made public, you should pull any Netgear routers from service and replace them with something that is far more secure. Oh year, you should also never spend a penny on their products again. Now I am not saying lightly. The fact is that this specific security issue is not trivial. And even if you take Netgear’s advice and disable remote administration (which for the record, you shouldn’t be using any form of remote administration if you want to be completely secure), it is only a mitigation. Netgear won’t go as far to say that this will make you completely safe until fixes come out for this issue. Thus this router had to go as I take the security of my network very seriously.

For the last few years I’ve been running an R8500 which is also known as the Nighthawk X8. It has been a pretty fast router with features such as aggregate ports that I do appreciate, but it is on the list routers that were affected by this issue. So I shut it down and in it’s place went the ASUS ZenWiFi AC (CT8) mesh WiFi system which I recently reviewed. Now in theory, I am giving up two things by going to the ZenWiFi AC. Specifically:

  • There’s no ability to aggregate ports. Which means that accessing my NAS for media streaming and backup purposes should be a bit slower.
  • The Zen WiFi has a pair of 802.11ac bands. One is for the dedicated backhaul between the nodes that runs at up to 1733 Mbps. The other is for devices which runs at 867 Mbps. That’s a drop from the R8500 which did  2.1 gigabits for each band that it has. Though as it is a classic router, it doesn’t have a backhaul connection.

But in reality, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The speed differences are very slight from my testing. For example, doing a backup of my MacBook Pro over 802.11ac to my NAS was five minutes slower. And surfing the net, playing games, doing Zoom calls, doing remote access doesn’t feel any different. So perhaps my fears were unfounded.

Now by using the ASUS ZenWiFi (CT8), I was able to clean up a few things:

  • When Rogers installed my cable modem years ago, they dropped it in the living room. I then had to run a long Ethernet cable from the cable modem to the den which is where my NAS and router live so that I could connect it to the router. Because this is a mesh WiFi system, that cable is no longer required as the node in the living room plugs into the cable modem, and then that node connects over the dedicated backhaul to the other node that is in the den.
  • Since I have a TCL 4K TV and a PC that I use for Zwift in the living room, I plugged those into the node in the living room via the gigabit Ethernet ports on the node. That node is also plugged into my Rogers gigabit Internet connection.
  • In my den, I plugged in my NAS which has two Ethernet ports on it into the node that lives in there.

Top tip: For best results with the ASUS ZenWiFi (CT8), make sure that the light that is on the front of each node is white and not yellow. White indicates that the backhaul is operating in an optimal manner. In my case, the original location in my den that the second node was going to placed on made that node light up yellow. Which meant that the backhaul connection was not at its best. Though my testing indicated that it was still plenty fast. Thus because I am OCD about these things, I had to play around with the location of each nodes to get it to light up white.

But what about security you ask? Well this is what I typically do when setting up a new router:

  • I disable UPnP for the reasons I outlined here.
  • I also disable WPS for the reasons outlined here.
  • If the router supports it, I use WPA3 for authentication.
  • I never use any sort of cloud management for the router nor do I expose the admin page to the outside world as those are great ways to get pwned by hackers.
  • I make sure that the firmware is up to date.
  • I use a third party DNS service rather than Rogers DNS service.
  • I disable PING, Telnet, SSH, and HNAP to make sure that the router isn’t accessible or seen from the Internet.

The only thing I haven’t done is done a penetration test on this setup. I’ll do that in the coming days and update this post with the results. I don’t expect anything out of the oBut other than that, everything has been positive so far. All my devices work, everything is fast. I have no complaints and I can sleep better knowing that my network is as safe as possible.

UPDATE: I got around to scanning my network from the outside using a tool called Nmap. It allows you to scan for open TCP or UDP ports and it has predefined profiles that allow you to scan for as little or as much as you want. I spent about 30 minutes scanning for open ports or services across the TCP/IP spectrum and found nothing open. Thus I am confident that my network is properly locked down.