Archive for Asus

Review: ASUS ROG Phone

Posted in Products with tags on January 29, 2019 by itnerd

A phone for hardcore gamers? How is that even a thing you ask? Well, it is as a lot of people do play games on their phones. And Fortnite has made gaming on your phone huge. Thus it cannot be a surprise that ASUS who are serious about gaming came out with a gaming phone called the ASUS ROG Phone. Here’s why it’s a gaming phone:

  • 6″ 90Hz FHD+ AMOLED screen
  • 128GB of storage
  • Overclockable SnapDragon 845 CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • Dual SIM (Nano), 4G LTE on both slots
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint reader
  • Headphone jack
  • Two USB-C 3.0 ports
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dual rear-mounted 12-megapixel camera
  • 8-megapixel front camera

Those are some over the top specs. But so is the design. Visually, the ROG Phone either going to look really cool, or it going to look over the top. And ASUS is likely fine with that. The metal sides have hard-line edges all around, and an RGB ROG logo that changes colour every few seconds can be found emblazoned on its rear. The latter that you can turn off. It has customisable “AirTrigger” keys on its top-right side. These are programmable capacitive controls that you can use for gaming. There is a secondary custom USB-C charge port on its bottom left side. The idea here is that you can charge your device whilst gaming, without the cable interfering with your grip. The front-facing speakers prove excellent for the gaming experience.

The 6-inch, 2160 x 1080-resolution AMOLED screen that supports HDR is another key selling point. It is stunningly good. The use of AMOLED tech meant that blacks are significantly deeper than any LCD screen. Colours uniformly looked vibrant without being oversaturated.

The phone runs a heavily customized version of Android 8.1.0, and like the phone’s physical design, the UI has been tweaked to push a number of game-centric features to the forefront of the OS. If you plan to use the phone primarily for gaming, then you need to pay attention to Game Center. Game Centre is the command centre, where you can check CPU and GPU temperatures, clock speed, create profiles for each app, adjust the phone’s fan speed, RGB lighting colour, and pick which will run at the higher 90Hz refresh rate. The feature works well enough and has a similar UI to Asus’ desktop overclocking suite, which means PC gamers will instantly feel at home.

Performance is another area the ROG Phone excels at. Thanks to all the overclocking tricks, playing everything from PUBG to Banner Saga 2, Fortnite and Asphalt 9 were a total non issue. In fact, I would hazard to say that this is the fastest phone I’ve ever tested as I could not find anything that would make it hiccup.

One very unique thing that the ROG Phone has are accessories that are available to make your gaming experience better. These accessories are:

  • The desktop dock offers more precise control, allowing you to connect the phone to a monitor, mouse and keyboard to play games and open Android apps on the big screen. If the peripherals are attached to a PC then you can also switch between mobile and PC views, although I didn’t get to try this during my demo.
  • The TwinView dock adds a second AMOLED display, physical shoulder buttons and more powerful haptics. I did not try this during my demo.
  • The Gamevice Control is for couch gaming. It’s an attachable controller that makes the phone look like a Nintendo Switch. I did not try this during my demo.
  • The AeroActive cooler is the only add-on that doesn’t cost extra and is bundled with the phone. It’s designed to aid the device’s already impressive cooling system, stopping the phone overheating using a secondary fan. It came in handy to keep the phone cool when I cranked up all the settings to push the ROG Phone hard.

Now over to the cameras. Asus has loaded it with a pair of the ROG Phone’s dual rear-mounted 12-megapixel sensors. The lack of a zoom secondary lens is a little odd, but it works. Here are some photos that I took with said camera in a variety of lighting conditions:

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The pictures are pretty good with a healthy amount of detail. One thing that I did notice is that in auto mode, it boosts the lighting levels a bit more than it should. But other than that it was a pretty good camera with a quick shutter and lots of options for those who want to control things themselves.

Finally let’s get to battery life. It will last all day, but you’ll be on fumes by the end of the day. But you’re not buying this phone for battery life so for the target audience, this is a total non issue. Another thing that makes this a total non issue is that it has fast charging on board. I was able to take it from 20% to full in 45 minutes.

As for price, I found the ASUS ROG Phone on Amazon for $1,479.00 CDN. Not cheap, but this isn’t your typical phone as it is complete overkill for most. But having said that, it’s going to have a limited target audience who will leverage the capabilities this phone. And that’s fine if you’re ASUS. Thus if you’re in the target audience, this is your phone. 

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ASUS Ranked as One of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 24, 2019 by itnerd

ASUS today announced its honourable recognition as one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies. The company has been ranked as a leading enterprise in the Computers category, reaffirming its leading position in the industry as a strong brand that continues to deliver excellent products and services.

Survey Methodology

Fortune collaborated with its partner Korn Ferry to perform a survey of global corporate reputation. Beginning with a list of about 1,500 candidates, the 1,000 largest US companies were ranked by revenue along with non-US companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database that have revenues of $10 billion or more. The highest-revenue companies in each industry were then selected, totaling 680 in 30 countries.

To determine the best-regarded companies in 52 industries, Korn Ferry asked executives, directors, and analysts to rate enterprises in their own industry from the final list of 680 candidates on nine criteria, including investment value, quality of management, products, social responsibility and ability to attract talent. A company’s score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be listed.

The full ASUS ranking can be viewed at: http://fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies/asustek-computer/

 

ASUS News From CES – Part 3

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 8, 2019 by itnerd

Here’s the final part of everything that ASUS announced at CES. If you missed part one, click here, and if you missed part 2, click here.

TUF Gaming K7 & ROG Gaming Keycap Set & ROG Strix CTRL

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Today, ASUS is excited to reveal the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix CTRL and TUF Gaming K7 gaming keyboards. The ROG Strix CTRL mechanical keyboard was designed with the most discerning gamers in mind. An oversized Ctrl key creates a larger target when you need to crouch, walk, dock, or lie prone in your favorite first-person shooter. Media keys put audio controls in easy reach. Per-key RGB LEDs with Aura Sync support facilitate endless customization options. And of course, a host of performance optimizations ensure hardware never holds you back in a competitive match. The ASUS TUF Gaming K7 optical keyboard is no slouch either with faster actuation, near-instantaneous switch response time, and durability that exceeds anything mechanical switches can offer. An aluminum top plate, per-key RGB lighting, and a compact, frameless design ensures a stylish look that upgrades the look of the entire setup. The ROG Gaming Keycap Set is made for gamers looking to tailor the feel of their keyboard while adding gamer flair.

ROG Strix CTRL – Take CTRL

On most keyboards, Ctrl is barely bigger than a regular alpha key, and it can be tough to hit accurately with a pinky finger. But in a lot of games, it’s the default for important actions like walking and crouching. In games, a misclick can be lethal.  ROG created the Xccurate design on the Strix CTRL by enlarging the Ctrl key, making it as wide as the left Shift key, and adding two side-stabilizers to improve accuracy. To accommodate the extra size, the right Windows key was nixed. Most gamers disable that key anyway to avoid accidentally triggering the Start menu in the heat of action. The left Windows key was also shortened to make it less of a target.

A Gaming Mode in the Armoury II software can be used to lock out the remaining Windows key altogether, along with other undesirable combinations like Alt + Tab and Alt + F4. Armoury II also allows the remapping of keys on the ROG Strix CTRL, so the easier-to-reach Ctrl key can be set to other convenient options.

Another menu in Armoury II provides an interface for recording, adjusting, and saving macros. While the Alt key labeled “Macro” allows one to be created on-the-fly. There’s enough memory built-in to the ROG Strix CTRL for one default profile and five custom configurations. Just press Fn + 1-6 to switch between them.

The perks

No gaming keyboard is complete without eye-catching lighting. The ROG Strix CTRL features per-key RGB LEDs, plus an illuminated ROG logo. Aura Sync compatibility means the ROG Strix CTRL can match with other Aura-enabled components. Alternatively, the keyboard’s six available profiles can correspond to different applications, providing custom layouts and lighting effects depending on the game being played.

The keycaps are designed to take full advantage of the RGB backlighting, with secondary legends that are carefully placed to be just as brightly lit as the primary functions. . Legends on the front of the caps indicate that the media controls are active by default, rather than the usual F functions to provide eight dedicated media keys. The Fn Lock key is a one-click quick-toggle switch so that the media keys can be changed to F-keys and vice versa to best suit the situation.

The F12 key has its own unique purpose. It’s a Stealth key that hides all running apps and mutes audio, giving privacy when the phone rings or someone walks in uninvited.

Built for action

The Strix CTRL’s sturdy chassis has a classy yet distinctly gamer-oriented brushed metal finish across the right side, and the all-black look is punctuated by four silver caps for the WASD keys. Those caps come bundled with the ROG Strix CTRL.

A built-in channel for cable management gives flexibility in how to lay out gaming gear on the desktop. The wire routing recess runs both right and left, giving two options other than straight out the back.

The ROG Strix CTRL is configurable with Cherry MX RGB Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver and Silent Red switches.

Game long and prosper

Gamers love the freedom of choice. Whether it’s picking the perfect switch for your game style, setting up the right combination of RGB lighting effects, or building macros that guarantee impeccable timing, the ROG Strix CTRL covers all bases. And it’s a pleasure to use during long gaming sessions. The wider Ctrl key puts a greater number of actions in easy reach and built-in cable management ensures a stable surface, no matter how you organize your desk.

ASUS TUF Gaming K7 – Blink and you’ll miss it

The TUF Gaming K7 keyboard offers a unique combination of lightness and speed thanks to its TUF Optical-Mech Switches, plus toughness and durability with metal construction and IP56-related protective measures.  TUF Optical-Mech switches use the speed of light and gamer-friendly construction to deliver speedy response. Optical-Mech switches are like standard mechanical switches in terms of their internal moving parts. The difference is in how they tell the PC that a key has been pressed. A standard mechanical keyboard switch has two metal pieces that touch to send the signal. In comparison, our TUF Optical-Mech switches employ a beam of infrared light inside the switch housing. When you press a key, the switch shaft interrupts the light beam, triggering actuation. Metal contact points require a built-in debounce delay of about 5ms to keep one keypress from registering as several. But the optical design has no such limitations and actuates way faster, at 0.2ms.

There are two versions of the TUF Optical-Mech switch. One is linear, and the other is clicky and tactile, meaning there’s an audible click and a physical bump in the key travel that can be felt. The click and bump of the TUF Optical-Mech switch is placed right at the actuation point, so when it’s heard and felt, that’s the moment the signal is sent to the PC.

The actuation point of both TUF Optical-Mech switches is 1.5 mm, which is much shallower than the approximately 2-mm actuation of most mechanical switches. This higher actuation point will make you feel like you’re sweeping through games at warp speed.

A real looker

The ASUS TUF Gaming K7’s floating keycap design on top of a matte aircraft-grade aluminum top plate just begs to be touched. It has a frameless design with no bulky bezel, yielding a trim, deadly look. The TUF Gaming logo in the upper-right corner is made of iron, and the keyboard includes a black leatherette wrist rest with memory foam. It attaches to the keyboard via magnets, making it easy to snap on or pull off, and features a TUF aesthetic to match.

 

 

The per-key RGB lighting can be controlled with the Armoury II software. Moreover, Aura Sync compatibility allows the TUF Gaming K7 to participate in the ROG gaming lightshow. There are lots of effects to try out, plus more than 16 million colours to cycle through. The software makes it possible to create, edit, and assign macros to customize gameplay input.

Built to last

The metal top plate isn’t just for looks. It provides serious structural integrity and a firmness that can be felt while typing. Not only was this keyboard built to survive the rigors of hardcore gaming, but also moisture, crumbs, and dust. It’s IP56-rated to be water and dust resistant, so even a spilled soda won’t ruin the ASUS TUF Gaming K7’s responsiveness.

The PCB inside is also protected with a special nano-coating and added protection to combat oxidation on the keyboard’s metal parts. The optical switches themselves are inherently resistant to damage from moisture because, unlike regular mechanical switches, they have no metal parts inside.

Even the feet under our TUF Gaming K7 were redesigned to ensure their durability. Tougher rear anchor points on the hinges were designed to last. And that’s good news since TUF Optical-Mech Switches are rated for 100 million clicks. They won’t wear out any time soon.

Stronger, faster

The ASUS TUF Gaming K7 keyboard offers a unique combination of lightness and speed thanks to its TUF Optical-Mech Switches, plus toughness and durability with metal construction and IP56-related protective measures.

ROG Gaming Keycap Set

The Republic of Gamers is all about daring to be different, and it’s this spirit that drives the design of all our products. Whether it’s the unique cooling mechanism that opens up the back of the Zephryus S gaming ultrabook, or the detachable display in the brand new ROG Mothership desktop replacement laptop, ASUS is always pushing the boundaries in favor of functionally superior design. Still, improvement doesn’t always mean going back to the drawing board to look for big breakthroughs, because it’s often the smallest changes that make the biggest difference.

For CES 2019, ASUS is introducing an ROG Gaming Keycap Set that allows you to add some custom flair to your favorite mechanical keyboard while also fine-tuning the feel of the most used gaming keys. The set includes seven keycaps for covering the crucial controls for MOBA and FPS games, and we’ve also given the all-important Esc key a makeover.

The seven alpha caps are designed for the QWERASD keys and the Escape key. When in place, they map out the ROG logo in a mosaic of black and red. It’s a great visual, but not the primary differentiating feature. In addition to their artistic style, each alpha key is textured with a coarse grain finish that sets it apart from the rest of keyboard. This textured surface adds additional grip for improved control. It makes it easy to find the keys by feel alone, and reduces slippage when the heat is on and palms start to sweat. The caps are fashioned from plastic to avoid changing the weight of the keys, which might throw some off their game and impact performance.

The cherry on top is the shiny Esc key. It’s Republic of Gamers red with the ROG logo in relief. The diamond-cut ROG logo stands out in shiny silver and makes Esc impossible to miss when going to launch the game menu. Since weight is less of a factor for single function keys that you don’t press very often, ROG went for a more luxurious high-density aluminum alloy that’s cool to the touch. The metal housing sits on top of a plastic shell to prevent damage to the switch underneath. The ROG Gaming Keycap Set is made for gamers looking to tailor the feel of their keyboard for the best performance while also flying the flag for ROG.

The ROG Strix CTRL and ASUS TUF Gaming K7 gaming keyboards will be available in January 2019. Expect the ROG Gaming Keycap Set in February 2019. Pricing will be announced at launch.

For additional details visit the ASUS Edge Up feature articles on the ROG Strix CTRL and ASUS TUF Gaming K7 gaming keyboards, or the ROG Gaming Keycap Set article.

 

 

ASUS News From CES – Part 2

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 8, 2019 by itnerd

Here’s part two of the announcements that ASUS made at CES. If you missed part 1, click here to have a look.

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today is excited to introduce the new PNK LTD line of coloured gaming peripherals. The Republic of Gamers has a unique style and prides itself on a consistent aesthetic that’s synonymous with the choice of champions. ROG works hard to weave red, black, and grey DNA into every product. In order to fulfill different champions’ tastes, ROG is releasing a new limited edition colour for some of ROG’s most popular peripherals. While this bundle of peripherals might look completely different, the underlying technology remains the same to provide the same great features while giving gamers another option for expressing their personal style. The change in colours also allowed ROG to visually highlight some of the best features of each product.

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The ROG Strix Flare

The ROG Strix Flare features a hairline finish that traverses the right side and runs parallel to a diagonal slash that cuts right down to the keyboard’s bottom edge. With the matte pink and textured finish right next to each other, there’s an almost two-toned effect that’s edgy without being too aggressive. The slash is continued through to the detachable palm rest, which is all grey.

The keyboard itself is predominantly pink, save for a few key elements (no pun intended). The easy-to-reach media controls on the left are grey, including the rubberized volume wheel, which is ridged for easy scrolling as you stretch your fingers on your left hand up to reach it. Rubber tends to collect dirt, and any debris trapped in the ridges would be really obvious if it were pink, so grey is a better choice. The primary alphanumeric zone is decked out to match, with gloriously pink function keys that blend into the body of the keyboard. The customizable acrylic insert still comes emblazoned with the ROG logo, though you can DIY your own with the blank insert that ships in the box.

Underneath, it’s the same Strix Flare you know and love. Per-key RGB lighting can be used to go all out on pink or you can go wild with a rainbow of colours that pulse in and out with different effects. The Strix Flare is available with a range of switch types, and the PNK LTD edition has the choice of Cherry MX Red, Brown, or Blue switches, depending on your preference for switch feel.

 

The ROG Gladius II Origin

The ROG Gladius II Origin PNK LTD follows the Flare’s lead with a strategic blend of our chosen colours. The Mayan-inspired etchings on the sides and scroll wheel stand out even more in lighter grey than the traditional black, and the grey won’t collect stains as easily as pink rubber might. We also didn’t want the detachable cable to get dirty as it moves back and forth across the desk or sits coiled up in the bottom of your bag, so we went grey there, too. The DPI switch behind the scroll wheel and the programmable buttons above the thumb rest see a lot action, which makes grey a smarter choice to protect against grime, and the contrast works well against the perfectly pink primary buttons and palm rest. The ROG logo on the back stands out in bright white, and when you want some bling, Aura Sync-enabled RGB can light up the scroll wheel as well as the underside of the mouse, so you can add a hot pink glow or a rainbow of colours that shines down onto the desk.

The Gladius II Origin PNK LTD is based on the same PixArt 3360 optical sensor as the vanilla version. The sensor can reach 12000 DPI, but can be dialed back for games where a lower DPI makes more sense, like in MOBAs. The ability to hop back and forth between programmed settings using the dedicated DPI switch is handy for transitioning between work and play, or even just between different game genres. This version of the Gladius II is only going to be available for a limited time, which means it’s even more important that it’s built to last. Underneath those pink primary buttons are Omron switches rated for 50 million clicks. Our push-fit switch socket lets you easily swap in switches with different resistance and click-feel, or replace worn out switches when the time comes. The braided cable is more durable, and there’s a second standard cable and pouch, too, so you don’t have to plug and unplug when you leave the house.

 

The ROG Strix Fusion 300

Planning out which bits of the ROG Strix Fusion 300 PNK LTD should be grey and which should be pink was a bit easier. We didn’t want the parts pressed against your face and hair to get discoloured, so opting for cool grey on the headband and protein leather ear cups was a no-brainer.

Because pink is the whole point, we didn’t add any more grey than we had to for the Fusion 300, so the rest is all pink. We even added some pink to the bottom of the extendable frame of the headband. The fully adjustable retractable microphone blends into the frame on the right ear cup, so there’s no disruption to the pink when it’s stowed, and the red accent lighting of the original Fusion 300 has been swapped for white, which better matches the overall aesthetic.

Underneath the Fusion 300’s pastel exterior, it’s the same awesome gaming headset as before with 50-mm ASUS Essence drivers and 7.1 virtual surround sound. The modified chamber design is airtight to seal air inside and reduce audio leakage and vibrations, and the area around the drivers is bigger, which allows for more air and creates a wider soundstage. The Fusion comes with two cables, a USB cable and a regular 3.5 mm audio cable, to allow you to connect to mobile device as well as your PC.

 

The ROG Sheath

Completing the perfect pink picture is a reimagining of our ROG Sheath desk mat, which is large enough to fit all of your gear while providing precise tracking for your mouse. It features a tightly woven fabric on top of a non-slip back that doesn’t budge as you play. While the PNK LTD edition maintains the same ginormous 35″ by 17″ footprint as the original, this version of the Sheath is visually different to the original, which was all black with a red ROG logo emblazoned on a mayan-inspired background.

For the PNK Sheath, we took our cue from the Strix Flare. A bold dividing line runs from top to bottom at an angle and separates the pink from the grey. The top left portion of the mat is pink with a lighter coloured cyberpunk-inspired pattern. The rest of the mat is solid grey, save for the pink border of reinforced stitching that runs around the edge to limit fraying. The dominant grey is the perfect backdrop for the primarily pink peripherals you’re going to place on top it. It’s also the most highly trafficked part of the mat, so the grey helps to hide any dirt that might result from sliding the mouse back and forth over the same spot.

All four PNK LTD peripherals will be available in the coming months. Pricing will be announced at launch. For more detailed information, please read the article on EdgeUp, or contact your local ASUS representative.

Part three…. Yes there’s a part three…. Of the the announcements made by ASUS at CES will be online shortly. Stay tuned!

ASUS News From CES – Part 1

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 8, 2019 by itnerd

With new devices comes new awards and ASUS is being honored for a couple of their own. The ASUS ZenBeam LED Portable Projector (S2) was awarded in the Computer Peripherals category, while the ROG Strix Gaming Monitor was awarded in the Gaming category – both of these products will be featured at CES 2019.

ASUS has also announced some more new devices and updates to current devices at CES – new two-in-ones, laptops and some more peripherals. Below is a comprehensive list of the devices that ASUS will be featuring.

 

VivoBook 15 and 17

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VivoBook 15 feature frameless four-sided NanoEdge displays with at least an 88% screen-to-body ratio for immersive viewing. Meanwhile, VivoBook 17 has a slim-bezel display with an 85% screen-to-body ratio. The incredibly slim bezel allows a large display to fit into a smaller chassis, effectively reducing the laptop footprint for a more compact and portable machine. These laptops are powered by up to an 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor with up to NVIDIA® GeForce® MX130 discrete graphics, and include the ErgoLift hinge that tilts the keyboard to replicate the feel of a desktop keyboard for a more comfortable typing experience. VivoBook 15 are available in four gorgeous colours so users can select one that best express themselves. There are classics such as Transparent Silver and Slate Grey, as well as iridescent Peacock Blue, which changes colour tone depending on how light strikes the laptop surface. There’s also the eye-catching Coral Crush, which is slated to be a big hit in 2019.

ASUS VivoBook 15 will be available in March in Canada from Best Buy Canada. Availability for VivoBook 17 will be announced closer to launch.

For additional information, visit https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Laptops/ASUS-VivoBook-15-X512UF/

 

Chromebook Flip C43

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ASUS today unveiled the next-generation ASUS Chromebook Flip C434. This powerful convertible squeezes up to an Intel® Core™ i7-8500Y processor and a maximum of 8GB of RAM into its slim frame and can be configured with up to 128GB of storage. The gorgeous 15.7mm-thick metal chassis can accommodate more than enough connectivity to work seamlessly from anywhere, whether for setting up at home, in the office or at a cafe. A versatile design and 1.45kg total weight make it ideal for anyone who finds themselves on-the-go or working from a variety of locations daily.

Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) ensures a reliable and stable connection everywhere, and Bluetooth® 4.0 facilitates file transfers over the airwaves. Two speakers built into the base pump out sound for watching movies in the hotel room, though the audio combo jack is probably a safer bet for video calls or listening to music when working in a public space. There are two USB Type-C™ (USB-C™) ports, as well as a standard USB Type-A port for peripherals. The USB-C ports are fully functioning, which means they can be used for data transfer, hooking up to an external display, or for power delivery. Finally, the 48Wh battery saves users from constantly searching for an outlet to plug into everywhere they go.

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 is scheduled for launch in the coming months. The Chromebook Flip C434 will be available in a variety of configurations starting at $699 CAD.

For additional information about the new ASUS Chromebook Flip C434, please visit https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Commercial-Laptops/ASUS-Chromebook-Flip-C434TA/.

 

ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Graphics Card

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The Matrix name is reserved for exceptional products that leap forward, exceeding innovation and performance expectations. The ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the latest graphics card to earn this pedigree by introducing Infinity Loop, a unique all-in-one closed-loop cooling system that is integrated into the card’s 3-slot footprint. Each Matrix GPU has been binned and tuned to deliver the best out-of-the-box Turing™ experience, raising the bar for graphics horsepower in small chassis and air-cooled builds.

 Infinity Loop Cooling

Developing the Matrix’s Infinity Loop cooling technology presented many new design challenges for the team and took more than five rounds of prototyping with industry partners. The result is a unique solution that seamlessly integrates pump, tubing and radiator under the shroud. Infinity Loop beats competing hybrid designs with 120mm radiators and goes head to head with 240mm radiator configurations, all in the space of three slots.

Binned and Tuned

In order to target extreme out-of-the-box clock speeds, the custom circuit board from ROG Strix cards is used for Matrix, allowing an aggressive binning process that pushes the GPU core to 1815MHz and memory to GDDR6-14800MHz — overclocks that the only the top 5% of cards can achieve. Tailored BIOS profiles based on the new clock targets and control curves for the three Axial-tech fans are then loaded, ready for new owners to hone with GPU Tweak II software.

More Information

The ROG Matrix is truly a spectacular testament to the infinite loop of research and development that brings the latest innovations to gamers around the world under the Republic of Gamers brand. Did you know that the Matrix has a super-sized heatsink that was developed to cover both the GPU die and GDDR6 memory? Learn more about how the Matrix was made and all of its innovative features in our ROG article.

See the ROG Matrix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, from January 7–10. The first shipments are scheduled for this month.

 

Lyra Voice – a three-in-one router with Amazon Alexa and Bluetooth stereo speakers

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ASUS today announced Lyra Voice, an all-in-one home network solution featuring an integrated 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) AiMesh Wi-Fi router, Amazon Alexa and Bluetooth stereo speakers. Its all-in-one design eliminates the need for a separate Wi-Fi router and smart speaker and keep the home free from the clutter caused by having multiple devices. With Lyra Voice, users can enjoy fast and stable Wi-Fi throughout their home, listening to music, news and podcasts through great-sounding stereo speakers, controlling smart-home devices with their voice and all of the other benefits that a virtual assistant provides. Lyra Voice also features lifetime-free home network security with AiProtection Pro powered by Trend Micro and advanced parental controls to ensure a safe and enjoyable internet experience for all family members.

Whole home WiFi Coverage with AiMesh support

Lyra Voice supports operation in three types of WiFi modes: as an AiMesh router or node, as a stand-alone router and as a universal WiFi repeater. ASUS AiMesh technology lets users create a seamless, whole-home WiFi system with any combination of compatible ASUS routers. As an AiMesh router, Lyra Voice enables users to easily create a powerful, seamless and flexible whole-home WiFi system.

As an AiMesh node, Lyra Voice extends a current AiMesh WiFi network, so users can place it anywhere they need additional stable WiFi coverage and a smart speaker, such as in the kitchen or family room. When used as an AiMesh node, Lyra Voice inherits all of the current settings and powerful features available on the primary AiMesh router, such as Game Boost and screen-time management tools.

Lyra Voice also works as a stand-alone router and makes a great choice for the hub of a smart-home network if a smart assistant is needed in the same location where the internet connection enters the home. As a smart-home hub, Lyra Voice provides fast and stable WiFi to all connected smart devices and makes it easy to add more AiMesh nodes to the network in future.

As a WiFi repeater, Lyra Voice lets users extend their current WiFi network to eliminate WiFi dead zones and provide better WiFi coverage within the home. Lyra Voice works perfectly with almost any other router on the market, still making it an ideal choice for users who do no own other AiMesh routers.

Integrated Amazon Alexa

Lyra Voice integrates Amazon Alexa, enabling users to enjoy all the convenient benefits of the voice service, such as asking questions, listening to the news and traffic information, playing music and controlling smart-home devices, without the need for a separate smart speaker. Integrating Alexa in Lyra Voice also eliminates connection issues between traditional WiFi routers and separate smart speakers, while keeping surfaces free from the clutter of multiple devices. Lyra Voice features a pair of microphones with 360°, far-field voice detection to easily pick-up commands and questions for Alexa, even when spoken at low volume or from across the room. Additionally, a Synaptics audio chip provides enhanced noise cancellation and background-noise filtering to ensure Lyra Voice can always hear users’ voices, even when music is playing at high volume.

Immersive surround sound with stereo speakers

Lyra Voice also features two built-in stereo speakers with passive radiators and bass reflex ports to extend resonance of low-frequency sound. The speakers have been tuned by expert audio engineers on the ASUS Golden Ear team to ensure they deliver maximum audio fidelity. This sophisticated speaker design and tuning combined with DTS surround-sound technology enables Lyra Voice to deliver natural, full-sounding audio that’s incredibly spacious and immersive. With Lyra Voice, users can play music from their favorite streaming service or stream audio from their smart device via Bluetooth.

A safer internet experience for families and all connected devices

Lyra Voice not only enables users to connect all of their smart devices to fast, stable WiFi and enjoy the convenient benefits of Amazon Alexa, it also incorporates AiProtection Pro, commercial-grade security for home networks. Powered by Trend Micro™, AiProtection Pro keeps every connected smart device on the network, including IoT devices, safe from Internet threats. It also comes with free updates for the life of the product to ensure protection stays current and effective.

Lyra Voice also comes with state-of-the-art parental controls that let parents keep a watchful eye on how much time children are spending online and set time limits and schedules. Parents can also block specific categories of mobile apps and websites and then apply them to all devices belonging to a particular family member, while allowing free access to the rest of the internet.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

ASUS Lyra Voice will be available in Canada. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

There’s more coming from ASUS at CES. Stay tuned for part two of what they announced later today.

A Whole Lot Of News From ASUS

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 3, 2019 by itnerd

ASUS announced a new line of education-oriented Chromebooks. They include:

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  • ASUS Chromebook Tablet CT100: The first tablet running the secure, reliable Chrome OS from Asus, with tough all-round protection and a stunning 9.7’’ QXGA touchscreen.
  • ASUS Chromebook C204: A 11.6 inch clamshell Chromebook that features classroom-ready durability, school day-long battery life, and compact size.
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip C214: A 11.6-inch ruggedized convertible Chromebook that empowers innovative and flexible learning with 360° hinge built-in stylus, and world-facing camera.
  • ASUS Chromebook C403: A 14-inch clamshell Chromebook that combines big-screen productivity with classroom-ready toughness. Its ergonomic keyboard let things done in total comfort

The ASUS Chromebook Tablet CT100, ASUS Chromebook C204, ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 and ASUS Chromebook C403 will be available in the coming months with configurations, pricing, and availability to be announced at launch. For more detailed information, please read the article on EdgeUp

ASUS has also announced the new Mini PC ProArt PA90 series:

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This is a new series of compact, workstation-class PCs that deliver powerful, fast and stable performance for designers and content creators. Featuring 9th Generation Intel Core processors, NVIDIA Quadro graphics, up to 64GB of high-speed DDR4 memory, Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and a triple-storage design that blends ultrafast SSD and high-capacity HDD storage, Mini PC ProArt PA90 provides uncompromising performance for computer-aided design (CAD) workflows for architecture, engineering and manufacturing in an attractively modern, compact form-factor that fits easily into any workspace.

Finally, for the third consecutive year, eight Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams from all over the world will come together in Stockholm, Sweden to fight it out for the title of Join The Republic:Community Challenge (JTR:CC) champions. This flagship event is scheduled for January 4-7, 2019, and will be aired live on twitch.tv/ASUSROG.

JTR:CCoffers amateur players an all-inclusive pro-gamer experience of a lifetime. With the best gaming gear at their disposal, these players took part in team auditions at major events like GamesCom, PAX West, and DreamHack Masters Stockholm to impress team captains and earn their place in the regional teams. The captains are a mix of active professional players, coaches, influencers, and commentators that all have one thing in common — their lives revolve around CS:GO. The teams will represent their respective regions, taking on teams from all over the globe.

ASUS ROG invites CS:GO fans worldwide to take part in this event and catch the biggest names in gaming battle it out in the unique 2018 JTR:CCformat.

Review: ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR II Edition GL504GS

Posted in Products with tags on December 26, 2018 by itnerd

Serious gamers who want portability want a gaming laptop that doesn’t feel like a sack of bricks to carry around. But at the same time they want enough power to pwn their opponents in Call Of Duty, Fortnite, or whatever game they’re playing. ASUS can help you with that by serving up the ROG STRIX SCAR II Edition laptop:

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This is your classic gaming laptop with a full sized mechanical keyboard that feels great when you type on it. It’s also capable of lighting up as you can see from the picture. You will also note that besides the keyboard, the underside of the laptop lights up and the ROG logo on the back lights up as well. That’s either going to be cool to you or it will be a bit over the top.

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The left side of the laptop is where most of the ports live, You get gigabit ethernet, HDMI, two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack.

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The right side has a USB-A port and a SD Card reader slot. Plus there’s a security cable lock slot near the back.

It has a 15.6″ IPS panel that does HD resolution and exhibits zero glare which makes it easy on the eye. The bottom of the screen has a really thick bezel and is the location of the HD webcam as illustrated here:

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The reason why I am pointing this out is because the camera makes you want to look at it in a very un-natural way. That might be a problem for someone who does a lot of video calls and the like.

Other specs include:

  • 2.2GHz (up to 3.9GHz) Intel Core i7-8750H processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe solid state drive + 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 6GB of dedicated video memory
  • 802.11ac Wave 2 Gigabit WiFi. What’s cool about this is that it has four antennas that provide better WiFi connections to the laptop.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • Windows 10

It weighs in at around 5 pounds which isn’t light, but far lighter than a lot of gaming laptops out there. The side-firing speakers are excellent. They have a loud but clear and unmuffled sound profile that’s supported by tons of bass. They’re great if you want to game alone and out loud or if you decide to watch a few videos with friends or roommates. You get a ton of apps to aid in your gameplay. Such as utilities to overclock the system, crank up the fans, or making your gameplay better by helping you to play better. It feels very upscale and classy thanks to the aluminum finish.

To test out the power of this laptop, I tried out Zwift which is an online platform that allows cyclists to ride a variety of real and imagined courses assuming you have a stationary software controlled stationary trainer. In my case, this one. That doesn’t sound exciting. But Zwift really pushes a computer because it has to acquire data such has the riders heart rate via a Bluetooth enabled chest strap, their cadence (how fast they are pedaling) via a Bluetooth enabled sensor, and not only determine how fast you are going via the software controlled trainer, but also to the required math to replicate uphills and downhills in 1% gradient increments. All while trying to replicate roads of London, Innsbruck, or wherever else you happen to be riding. Not to mention the dozens or in some cases hundreds of people around you. In short, that’s not easy for any computer to do as there is a lot that is in play. Now, the actual look of Zwift at HD resolution or higher connected to a 4K TV was dead smooth with no stuttering an no lag. However, I did run into issues with connecting my Bluetooth sensors to the ROG STRIX SCAR II laptop. I was able to connect two sensors with ease. But when you added a third to the mix, it had problems with the third sensor staying connected. I was able to replicate this with another set of sensors connected to the ROG STRIX SCAR II laptop. However I was not able to replicate this behavior with another laptop that I was reviewing at the time. Thus I have to assume that the implementation of Bluetooth 5.0 on this laptop is problematic. But the flip side to that is that I am testing using a pretty extreme use case. Thus if you’re sticking to more straightforward games like Call Of Duty or Fortnite which don’t use the sort of sensors that Zwift does it shouldn’t be an issue. Though it should be something that ASUS should look at.

Finally, while battery life is usually an issue on gaming laptops. The SUS ROG STRIX SCAR II Edition GL504GS isn’t any different. You’ll get about 3.5 to 4 hours on battery if you’re surfing the net and watching videos on YouTube. The take home message is that you should not stray far from a power outlet. Having said that, the target market for this laptop isn’t interested in the best battery life possible.

The ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR II Edition GL504GS goes for $2000 CDN at Best Buy which is great price given the power and capabilities of this laptop. If you want a laptop that will allow you to pwn people with power to spare, the ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR II Edition GL504GS should be on your list to look at.