Archive for Asus

ASUS Launches Intel Z390 Series Motherboards

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2018 by itnerd

Almost exactly one year after introducing six-core Coffee Lake processors alongside Z370 motherboards, Intel is back with more cores, higher clocks and the new Z390 chipset. The new 9th Generation Intel Core processor family offers up to eight cores and 16 threads of parallel processing horsepower that’s perfect for content creation, heavy multitasking, and other demanding workloads. With clock speeds as high as 5GHz on the flagship Core i9-9900K, these new processors also raise the bar for gaming performance, especially if you’re streaming, recording, and chatting simultaneously.

ASUS is excited to support this new generation of Intel processors with a wide variety of new motherboards based on the Intel Z390 chipset. The collection is led by a diverse cast from the Republic of Gamers that elevates gaming and overclocking to new heights. ROG Strix offers more streamlined alternatives that include a mighty Mini-ITX model, while TUF Gaming focuses on the essentials to hit more affordable price points. Outside the gaming sphere, the Prime family serves up signature ASUS features in a professional package, and the WS sets the stage for serious workstations and prosumer builds.

There’s an ROG or ASUS Z390 motherboard for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned veteran who tunes to perfection, a hardcore gamer obsessed with performance, or a first-time builder seeking a seamless PC experience.  For further details about our ROG lineup please visit ASUS ROG. The buying guide with complete specifications and images for the entire lineup of Z390 motherboards is located at Edge Up ASUS.

Automated intelligence optimizes performance

The latest 9th Generation Intel Core processor family arrives with a trio of unlocked processors ripe for overclocking, and our motherboards have learned new tricks for tapping into their potential. ASUS AI Overclocking makes automatic tuning faster and smarter than ever before. Available in Windows or directly through the UEFI, it profiles the CPU and cooling to predict the optimal configuration for each individual system. We created a proprietary algorithm that rates the quality of the silicon to see where your chip lands on the spectrum. The onboard intelligence also watches system vitals like temperatures, fan speeds, and power draw to evaluate cooling performance. Dedicated hardware makes the monitoring seamless, and you can allow continuous training that adapts to upgrades, seasonal ambient temperature changes, and dust buildup over time.

AI Overclocking is available on the Prime Z390-A, WS Z390-PRO, and all ROG models except for the Strix Z390-H Gaming. It’s not the only automated solution, either. Our newest 5-Way Optimization software offers an alternate approach to one-click tuning that simulates a human overclocker by increasing clock speeds, tweaking voltages, and testing stability before pursuing higher frequencies. This technique gets the CPU extremely close to the maximum speed that can be attained with manual tuning, and connected fans can also be calibrated as part of the process. TUF Gaming and lower-end ROG Strix and Prime models that lack 5-Way still have OC Tuner, which uses predefined profiles to hit higher speeds at the touch of a button. Auto-tuners are perfect for fresh recruits who are new to overclocking, and they provide experts an easy way to quickly assess a system before proceeding with manual tuning.

Memory tweaks increase speed and improve stability

Memory frequencies continue to climb, and our Z390 motherboards have evolved to keep pace. They feature OptiMem II, which reimagines memory traces from the ground up—literally. OptiMem II adds a dedicated ground plane and surrounding ground trace with via stitching to reduce interference for the traces connecting the CPU and memory slots. It also routes traces through different PC layers to cut down on crosstalk. These changes combine with our T-Topology trace layout to enable DDR4 speeds in excess of 4266MHz with all slots populated, even if you’re using RGB-infused RAM.

Memory is often to blame if systems fail to boot, so years ago we developed a MemOK! feature that rolls back to safe defaults and adjusts memory parameters to get the system to POST. This failsafe usually has to be activated by pressing a button on the board, but MemOK! II adopts a toggle-based switch that lets you turn it on once. When a memory-related POST problem is detected, MemOK! II automatically applies multiple profiles to bring your system to life.

Smarter cooling for both liquid and air

The higher power consumption and heat output that comes with additional CPU cores makes liquid cooling a requirement for serious overclocking, so all of our Z390 motherboards have one AIO pump header preconfigured for the all-in-one liquid coolers seen in most custom builds. Models in the middle of the range and up include another header for the stand-alone pumps used in custom loops, and ROG goes even further with dedicated sensors for monitoring coolant temperatures and flow rate.

Fan Xpert 4 manages complete system cooling capable of adapting to any workload. System fans plugged into the motherboard are typically limited to reacting to changes in the CPU or motherboard temperature, which isn’t ideal for gaming and other workloads that heat up the graphics card more than other components. With Fan Xpert 4, the motherboard can react to changes in the GPU temperature on select graphics cards to provide smarter system cooling for a broader range of scenarios.

Let your Aura Sync shine

RGB lighting has revolutionized how people personalize their PCs, and Aura Sync is the most complete implementation on the market. It synchronizes colours and effects across a diverse cast of system components and peripherals from ASUS and our partners, enabling cohesive illumination for your entire battlestation with just a few clicks. Developers can also use the Aura SDK to harness the lighting with their own software; for example, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has special Aura effects that enhance immersion by reacting to in-game events and environments.

Extensive connectivity inside and out

At least two M.2 slots are available across our Z390 lineup, which gives you the flexibility to run dual NVMe SSDs without connecting any cables. Alternatively, you can install a primary SSD and use the second slot for Intel Optane Memory that accelerates access to a much larger hard drive. More of our boards are equipped with accompanying M.2 heatsinks to reduce SSD temperatures and ward off thermal throttling with sustained transfers.

The ROG Maximus XI Extreme and Gene support up to four M.2 drives, half of which are sandwiched between new heatsinks on our latest DIMM.2 module. DIMM.2 takes advantage of the Z390 platform’s support for SSD RAID arrays attached to the CPU, which avoids the DMI bottleneck between the processor and chipset.

Intel Gigabit WiFi is available on select of ROG, Strix, and TUF Gaming models. The 802.11ac Wave 2 solution connects directly to the chipset via Intel’s CNVi interface. It supports 2×2 MU-MIMO and can push throughput well past 1Gbps on compatible routers like the ROG Rapture GT-AC5300. We use reliable Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers on virtually every board in the Z390 series, and the ROG Maximus XI Extreme and Formula take networking to the next level by adding Aquantia controllers capable of reaching 5Gbps.

All-new for this generation, the ASUS Node header allows monitoring and control via other devices connected to ROG, Strix Z390-E, Strix Z390-F, and Prime-A boards. Multiple devices can connect simultaneously, opening up interesting possibilities for DIY gear.

Subtle details

Several new board enhancements extend across the lineup, like overvoltage and ESD protection that help protect the boards from electrical damage. The VRMs are all digital, right down to the entry-level Prime models, and the PCIe slots are secured with extra solder to hold tightly under the strain of heavy graphics cards. Further SafeSlot reinforcement strengthens the walls and anchoring hook starting in the TUF Gaming series, where there’s a greater chance of running a monster GPU cooler, and pre-mounted I/O shields simplify installation on ROG and Strix motherboards.

More refinement is found inside the UEFI, which offers a streamlined interface for beginners and an advanced mode with more options for experts. Integrated search functionality makes it easy to find the setting you’re seeking within seconds, and any changes are summarized before you exit or save, so you can quickly double-check before pulling the trigger. Anyone can update the latest UEFI with the firmware’s integrated EZ Flash 3 tool, which automatically downloads and installs the right BIOS for your board.

Driver discs are rarely used, so our Q-Installer software lets you download all of the latest drivers and utilities for your board with a single click, or select only the ones you want. Our new Armoury Crate utility combines useful functions for multiple ASUS products in a single UWP app. Introduced this summer with new ROG laptops, Armoury Crate is expanding into Z390 motherboards and other components.

ROG raises the bar for Z390 motherboards

Since its inception way back in 2006, the Republic of Gamers has set the standard for gaming and enthusiast motherboards. We created the category, and with each new generation our designers and engineers refine the formula in pursuit of faster performance, more customization, and a better overall gaming experience.

For Z390, the Maximus XI series embraces the dark side with blacked-out boards in multiple sizes and variations. It leads with the unparalleled Maximus XI Extreme for dream builds, which is followed by armour-clad near twins in Maximus XI Formula and Code. The Maximus XI Gene rethinks our approach to microATX, and the Maximus XI Hero strikes the right balance in three different flavors.

Democratizing the republic with ROG Strix

ROG Strix fills the space below the Maximus series with more affordable options that retain the look and feel people have come to expect from the Republic of Gamers. These models keep must-have features for gaming and overclocking but are not as extreme as their ROG siblings. In the Z390 series, the Mini-ITX Strix Z390-I Gaming is joined by three full-sized ATX boards: the Strix Z390-E, Z390-F, and Z390-H Gaming.

Build a true battlestation with TUF Gaming

TUF offers a new direction for gaming hardware that combines builder-friendly features with battlestation-ready themes. Its unique aesthetic and focus on reliability and gaming essentials are shared by a growing collection of additional hardware we developed in-house, plus contributions from a broader TUF Gaming Alliance made up of industry titans that produce compatible parts. You can already buy matching memory, coolers, and power supplies along with a TUF Gaming case, and additional hardware is on the way.

The TUF Gaming Z390 series spreads across five different models that are ultimately very similar. You can choose between the TUF Z390-PRO Gaming and Z390-PLUS Gaming for ATX along with the TUF Z390M-PRO Gaming for microATX, with WiFi-equipped versions thrown in for good measure.

WS and Prime do more than just gaming

The recent resurgence of PC gaming is partly responsible for the litany of gaming boards in our lineup, but desktops can do a lot more, especially with eight CPU cores at their disposal. Our WS and Prime motherboards are more businesslike in their approach, with an eye toward professionals and prosumers building powerful machines geared more for productivity instead of play. They also appeal to enthusiasts and even gamers who want many of the same features with an entirely different look.

The WS Z390 PRO loads up on expansion capacity for Coffee Lake workstations, while the Prime Z390-A hits the sweet spot ASUS aficionados expect with each new generation. Basic builds can get by with the Prime Z390-P and Z390M-PLUS.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The Z390 series motherboards are available from October 8, 2018 in Canada from select retailers. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

For further information, product images and specifics on the ROG, ROG Strix, Prime, WS and TUF Gaming motherboards, please check the our buyer’s guide at Edge Up ASUS.

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ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Strix GL12CX

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) has announced Strix GL12CX, a full-featured factory-overclocked and liquid-cooled gaming desktop featuring up to the latest eight-core 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics. The 9th Gen Intel Core processor is fully unlocked for further fine-tuning via the ROG Armoury Crate software, which also lets users customize the Aura Sync lighting inside and out. To complement the hot-swap SSD bay demanded by esports tournaments, there’s an innovative DIMM.2 module that can hold dual SSDs cooled by dedicated heatsinks. With cutting-edge components and extensive connectivity housed in an easily upgradeable design, Strix GL12CX offers a jaw-dropping gaming experience today with room to grow into tomorrow.

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Locked and loaded with the latest processor and liquid cooling

Strix GL12CX is built with the most powerful components available, starting with the best processor for gaming: the new 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K processor. With 8 cores and 16 threads, the new Intel processor is capable of delivering high-frame-rate gaming while simultaneously live-streaming, recording gameplay, and juggling chat and other applications. It’s also ideal for creative professionals, delivering incredible performance in multithreaded workloads such as rendering, transcoding, and other tasks.

Only the best processors make it into Strix GL12CX. Each processor is subjected to a series of stress tests to ensure the high factory overclock. A custom Cooler Master CPU liquid cooler, along with an extra 90mm fan at the back on the overclocked models then help to keep processor temperatures in check, preventing heat-induced hitches and slowdowns in performance, all while operating at a stunning 4.9GHz overclock on all cores and threads.

The fastest processor for gaming finds its GPU counterpart in NVIDIA’s latest and greatest Turing architecture. Known as the GeForce RTX series, Turing mixes CUDA cores for traditional rasterization with RT cores for ray-traced effects and Tensor cores that accelerate noise removal through Deep Learning Super Sampling.

Innovative lighting and storage

Strix GL12CX has sharp angles on the front and top of the case, evoking the gashes on a katana on armor. The included Armoury Crate software allows for the customization of the RGB lighting that spills out of the intake and exhaust vents. ASUS Aura Sync technology also allows users to synchronize the system lighting with compatible peripherals such as mice, keyboards, and even monitors. The Aura Sync lighting can also reach to in-game events and environments in compatible games such as the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Strix GL12CX has a hot-swap SSD bay — developed for esports gaming — that’s hidden behind the case’s magnetic front cover, allowing for quick swapping in of profiles and games without needing to shut down the system to install a new drive with the required tools. The hot-swap bay also greatly simplifies storage upgrades for all users. Finally, Strix GL12CX includes the innovative ASUS DIMM.2 module that slots into the system’s new Z390 motherboard. This expansion card uses a memory-style slot to provide two M.2 connections for SSDs. Since heat can slow down the performance, the DIMM.2 module has integrated heatsinks for each SSD. These two additional connections allow for dual NVMe drives and RAID configurations, or one can be used for expansion while the other can be used for Intel Optanememory to accelerate a large hard-disk drive (HDD).

Extensive connectivity

Strix GL12CX was designed with extensive connectivity to support all gamers’ gear and needs. In addition to the front hot-swap SSD bay, other front panel ports include a 2-in-1 card reader, two USB 3.1 and two USB 2.0 ports. Strix GL12CX also features an optical disk drive to serve any legacy DVD needs. The back offers a total of six USB ports along with five audio jacks and a digital S/PDIF connector for compatible receivers. The 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi card is capable of greater-than-gigabit speeds and also includes Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to all the latest peripherals in supported low-energy modes, output to more than once device at a time and makes connections at greater distance and with greater throughput than before.

To find out more about Strix GL12CX, check out this ASUS ROG post.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

ASUS ROG Strix GL12CX is immediately available for pre-order with availability in November.

ASUS Gets Several Good Design Awards Wins

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has announced that nine of its products have won several prestigious Good Design Awards in recognition of excellence in design and engineering.

The awards highlight the continued ASUS commitment to quality design and innovation. The winning products showcase the In Search of Incredible brand promise, which pursues perfection in all areas with the ultimate goal of delivering an incredible consumer experience and empowering luxury for everyone.

The Good Design Award is organized by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP) and is now in its 61st year. It is one of the four major design awards recognized by the International Design Alliance. This year, JDP received over 4,789 entries from around the world. More information can be found at: www.g-mark.org/about/.

 

Good Design Award 2018 winners

ASUS ZenBeam S2

ASUS ZenBeam S2 LED Projector is the second generation of mobile S series of projectors, featuring a lightweight 497g design, 350 lumen maximum brightness, 720p resolution, 2D keystone adjustment and autofocus. Simple yet powerful, ZenBeam S2 delivers what users care about most: high mobility, easy setup and an intuitive interface.

ZenBeam S2 has a built-in 6000mAh battery that provides up to four hours of continuous projection and acts as a portable power source. With DLP technology, it projects a vivid 80-inch image at a distance of two meters. ZenBeam S2 offers a comprehensive set of connectivity features that can project content from various input sources via USB-C, HDMI or devices with wireless mirroring connectivity. SonicMaster technology provides excellent sound quality to accompany the projection images.

 

ASUS Gimbal G3M-B1

ASUS G3M-B1 is the first foldable gimbal stabilizer for smartphones that lets users capture smooth, professional-quality video of their precious moments anytime, anywhere. With 3-axis stabilization technology, 360-degree horizontal pan and intuitive operation via integrated buttons or the companion smartphone app, ASUS Gimbal G3M-B1 provides exceptional control and ease of use. Its ultraportable, compact form factor and minimalist design offer the perfect combination of features, aesthetics and mobility for users who want to capture the best-quality video with their smartphone.

 

ASUS VG49V

ASUS VG49V is an impressive 49-inch Dual Full HD gaming monitor. The monitor’s VA panel stretches a super-ultra-wide 32:9 aspect ratio over an 1800R curve that brings the far edges closer for a more immersive experience. The 3840 x 1080 resolution is exactly twice as wide as 1080p, which is why it’s dubbed Double Full HD or DFHD. Users get double the horizontal space of a Full HD monitor, which is tons of width to expand games deep into their periphery and view multiple open windows and tabs.

ASUS VG49V also features the exclusive GamePlus hotkey for in-game enhancements and GameVisual for optimized visuals. TÜV Rheinland Certification provides flicker-free performance, and Low Blue Light technology ensures a comfortable viewing experience during extended viewing sessions.

 

ASUS ProArt PQ22UC

ProArt PQ22UC is the world’s first 21.6-inch OLED 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) monitor with 204ppi pixel density and HDR support. Top-of-the-line OLED technology with pure RGB stripes ensures color purity and allows ProArt PQ22UC to deliver extremely high color saturation with 99% DCI-P3 coverage for greater color accuracy. ProArt PQ22UC also features true 10-bit color depth, achieving a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 for darker blacks and brighter whites. With a fastest response time of 0.1ms, ProArt PQ22UC provides a smoother experience without any motion blur for outstanding performance when showing animations or other moving content. And with HDR support, ProArt PQ22UC ensures HDR content can be created and displayed with consistent high quality, providing an unprecedented viewing experience.

 

ASUS ProArt PA34VC

ASUS ProArt PA34VC is a 34-inch curved IPS monitor with UWQHD (3440 x 1440) resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio designed for creative professionals, gamers and home entertainment. It features excellent color accuracy and fluid visuals with support for Adaptive Sync and refresh rates up to 100Hz. ASUS calibrates each monitor before it ships to guarantee a Delta-E color difference of less than 2. Users can further adjust the calibration if they desire, and ASUS ProArt Calibration Technology lets users save color profiles directly to the monitor itself instead of relying on their PC.

To connect to multiple input sources, ProArt PA34VC comes with DisplayPort 1.2, a pair of HDMI, and three USB 3.0 ports. Two Thunderbolt™ 3 ports including daisy-chain capability with USB-C™ connectors provide additional flexibility with power delivery and up to 40Gbps transfer speeds for plenty of throughput to work with content on external storage devices.

 

ASUS Mini PC PB Series

ASUS Mini PC PB Series features up to desktop-grade CPU performance in a compact size. Available with Intel®Core™ T Series, Pentium®Gold or Celeron®processors and fanless designs, the ASUS MiniPC PB Series can fulfill a wide range of needs for performance, efficiency and silent operation. A slim and extensible design with optional stackable modules for optical disk drives and other components make the ASUS Mini PC PB Series perfect for a wide range of business uses. The PCs can be operated in horizontal or vertical orientation and can be mounted on the rear of a display for maximum flexibility for business scenarios. An easy-access, slide-open chassis enables users to perform quick and easy component upgrades, and flexible I/O ports enable various connectivity options for different needs.

 

ASUS Mini PC PN Series

ASUS Mini PC PN Series, powered by Intel Core, Pentium Silver or Celeron processors, is line of mini PCs featuring a compact form factor with a volume of only 0.62 liters and a sliding chassis design for easy component upgrades. This new design enables users to quickly swap storage — the HDD or M.2 SSD — and memory in two simple steps with just a screwdriver. ASUS Mini PC PN Series also offers flexible I/O ports that provide connectivity to fit a wide range of applications. Its compact size and ability to be attached to the back of a monitor with a VESA mount make ASUS Mini PC PN Series an ideal fit for any living room or workspace.

 

ASUS ZenBook S

ZenBook S (UX391) is a premium 13.3-inch ultraportable Windows 10 notebook that not only delivers effortless portability, powerful performance and no-compromise connectivity for discerning on-the-go users, but also is tested to meet military-grade MIL-STD-810G durability standards. With an ultrathin 12.9mm profile and ultralight 1kg all-metal unibody, the sophisticated ZenBook S is finished in prestigious Deep Dive Blue or elegant Burgundy Red with Rose Gold diamond-cut edges, complete with the iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish for a luxurious look and feel.

ZenBook S incorporates the innovative new ErgoLift hinge that automatically tilts the keyboard by 5.5’ for the ultimate typing comfort. The raised chassis also improves airflow and enhances audio performance. Powered by 8th Generation Intel Core processors and a superfast PCIe®x4 SSD, ZenBook S also features up to a 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen and delivers up to 13.5 hours battery life for all-day performance. For ultrafast connectivity, two of the three USB-C ports support Thunderbolt™ 3 technology. ZenBook S features Amazon Alexa support for easy voice-controlled assistance.

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 Series

The ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) and 5Z (ZS620KL) share the same chassis and external components, giving them an identical appearance. The fundamental difference between the two models are the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processors they bear: The ZenFone 5 is the first globally-announced smartphone to use the Qualcomm®Snapdragon™ 636 Mobile Platform with its smooth, responsive, power-efficient performance and AI capabilities, while the ZenFone 5Z is one of the world’s first smartphones to use the elite Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with a full suite of AI-enhanced features powered by the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE). ZenFone 5 series are two exciting 6.2-inch dual-camera smartphones that are the first ever ZenFone to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI). ZenFone 5 series revolutionize mobile photography, giving users a simpler, smarter way to capture and share every magic moment.

ZenFone 5 series have an intelligent dual-camera system that adapts and learns, delivering perfect photos every time. With its flagship Sony®IMX363 sensor, 120° wide-angle secondary camera and AI-enhanced camera features — including AI Scene Detection, real-time portrait effects, AI Photo Learning and real-time beautification — ZenFone 5 series encourage creativity and free users to concentrate on their subjects rather than the cameras.

Crafted to perfection with premium materials, ZenFone 5 series have strikingly beautiful ultraslim-bezels, all-screen designs, featuring stunning 6.2-inch displays with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in glass-covered bodies that are as small and compact as most standard 5.5-inch phones.

 

 

 

Review: ASUS Zenfone 5Z

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

Apple just released a bunch of smartphones where it is possible that you could drop as much as $2000 CDN on one of them. Unsurprisingly there are people who don’t want to spend that kind of money, but still want flagship level features. If that’s you then ASUS would like to introduce you to the Zenfone 5Z which they hope will fill that space in the market.

At first glance it looks like an iPhone X right down to the notch (which can be hidden as it is software generated) at the top of the 6.2″ display (which is an IPS LCD display with a very odd 2,246 x 1,080 pixels and an 19:9 aspect ratio that while not the sharpest display around is pretty good and is readable in most lighting conditions). But if you look closer you’ll note that the fingerprint sensor is at the back.  The dual camera sensor sits at the top left, but the flash module is just below instead of inside it which is different. The bottom edge is home to a USB-C port and a headphone jack, while the right edge houses the power button with a volume rocker above it. Both the front and back are made of glass so I would highly recommend a case. One thing that I will note is that despite its size, it’s easy to hold and use one handed. ASUS has dual speakers which are impressively loud for a phone. And ASUS has made the phone Hi-Res Audio (HRA) certified which is pretty impressive as well. Other key specs include 64GB of storage (expandable to 2GB), dual SIM setup, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi with MIMO support, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0,

Under the hood is a  Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM. That combo makes the phone very very quick. Jumping in and out of apps and games was generally smooth and it will handle anything that you decide to throw at it. Though I did note that it got hot while I played PUBG. It runs Android 8 and has ZenUI 5.0 on top. It’s a serviceable launcher, but it would not surprise me if it got replaced with a stock launcher by some owners. There’s also an assortment of utilities that do everything from tweak the phone’s capabilities to enabling a face unlock feature. But some of those apps may annoy owners as a couple of things such as the Page Marker app that comes with the phone are just annoying. At least you can disable and hide apps if they get on your nerves.

ASUS has brought an interesting camera setup to the party. There’s dual-lens main camera that combines a 12-megapixel lens and a wide-angle 8-megapixel lens. The front camera is a 8-megapixel lens. It also apparently has AI to help you to take the best pictures. But if that doesn’t work for you, you have the ability to control everything to a level that will make control freaks overjoyed. To test that, I took a trip to Pearson Airport in Toronto to take these stills starting with portrait mode:

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Then moving on to some shots of planes landing:

 

 

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The phone is quick to snap a picture and get ready for the next one. And it was good at choosing the right settings on its own. Now the videos which were shot in 4K at 60 FPS:

Audio and video quality is quite good. The fact that this phone can do 4K video is pretty impressive.

Battery life was one area that I have to be critical of. When I used it as my daily driver, I got to the end of the day with very little left in the tank. But I am a heavy user when it comes to phones so you may do better on that front. One thing I do note is that there is no provision for wireless charging on the Zenfone 5Z But on the flip side it does support fast charging if you need a quick boost.

At a cost of $799 CDN or less if you look around, the ASUS Zenfone 5Z is a much cheaper option than the iPhone or Samsung flagships of the world, while getting most of the feature set that a flagship provides. If you’re looking for a flagship phone minus spending flagship money, the Zenfone 5Z is totally worth a look.

 

 

ASUS Republic of Gamers Collaborates with Activision and Intel to Introduce Limited Edition Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Products

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 25, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG), announced a collaboration with Activision and Intel to produce a range of limited edition Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 products in advance of the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PC. Expanding on the recently announced partnership with Activision, which allows consumers who purchase qualifying  ASUS and ROG products access to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, similarly, consumers who purchase certain limited edition ROG Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 products will receive a game code that will allow them to access the Digital Standard Edition for PC at launch. In addition, a unique integration with ROG’s AURA Sync technology allows theCall of Duty: Black Ops 4 emblems and RGB lighting elements to echo what’s happening during gameplay.

Experience Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on the Latest ASUS and ROG Hardware

Intel collaborated with Activision to help optimize the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for PC gamers, and worked closely with ASUS and Republic of Gamers to create products, like the ROG Strix GL12, that take advantage of the latest Intel Core processors to deliver the premium performance that gamers expect :

ROG Strix GL12 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Edition:The limited edition GL12 gaming desktop contains the best-in-class hardware, to deliver exceptional realism in and smooth gameplay in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The GL12 is equipped with a factory-overclocked 8thGen Intel® Core™i7-8700K processor and a brand-new NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX2080 graphics card. Specially designed for Call of Duty, the front façade includes the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 emblem and orange slashes, in addition to AURA Sync RGB lighting, and the specially-integrated Call of Duty lighting effects which interact with gameplay. In addition, the side panel is emblazoned with the Black Ops series skull. The GL12 will come with a game code that will allow purchasers to access the Digital Standard Edition for PC.

ROG Gaming Motherboard Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Edition:This upcoming motherboard will support the latest Intel chipset and is the perfect foundation for a Call of Duty gaming rig, as it combines substantial power, smart cooling and faster memory support under a stealthy skin. Loaded with renowned ROG features, from one-click overclocking and cooling to attention-grabbing AURA Sync illumination, this special edition is crafted for the battle ground and will let you become the hero. The soon-to-be-announced motherboard will include a game code allowing access to the Digital Standard Edition for PC

Customized Call of Duty Design Elements, Emblems and AURA Sync Integration into Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for an Enhanced Gaming Experience

For other limited edition Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 products, ROG worked with Activision to include design elements and emblems from the game. In addition, the design elements will incorporate customized AURA Sync capabilities and effects within Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for PC to AURA Sync capable devices, mentioned in the previous partnership announcement. AURA Sync coordinates colours and effects with compatible RGB-lit products like laptops, desktops, headsets, keyboards, mice, and motherboards, among others, making it easy for users to personalize their entire gaming set upto a consistent look and feel.

ASUS AURA Gaming: Immersive Gaming Experience with RGB Lighting

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4for PC gives the ROG community a totally unique experience that’s possible with AURA Sync-enabled hardware. When playing Black Ops 4, the RGB lighting signals changes in environment and offers crucial visual cues based on the in-game action. With rows of keys that change colour when a player’s health drops and switch off as a player’s ammo runs low, players are more in tune with the game and better equipped to handle high-stress situations.

Additional Black Ops 4 ROG Products:

Additional Black Ops 4 ROG Products that take advantage of AURA Sync and AURA Gaming, include:

ROG Strix GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti OC Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Edition:

The new ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti utilizes a custom circuit board engineered to ensure the highest performance from the GPU. With 16 phases, the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti has copious power on demand for both automatic clock scaling and manual overclocking. Premium alloy chokes and solid polymer capacitors ensure the GPU is fed with pristine power.AURA Sync RGB lighting illuminates the backplate and shroud with customizable colours and effects that are easy to synchronize with compatible components.The ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti will be packaged with a game code that will allow purchasers to access the Digital Standard Edition for PC.

ROG Swift PG258Q Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Edition:

The Black Ops 4 Edition ROG Swift PG258Q gaming monitor is all about speed — making it the perfect monitor for Call of Duty’s fast-paced matches. The Full HD monitor is one of the fastest on the market, with a 240Hz native refresh rate, 1ms response time and NVIDIA® G-SYNC™ technology for buttery-smooth gameplay in high-fidelity. In addition to matching the game with technical ability, the limited edition comes complete with design elements inspired by Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. In addition, the PG258Q will also come with a game code that will allow purchasers to access the Digital Standard Edition for PC.

ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Edition:

Sporting a Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 motif and a uniquely loaded web UI, the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 supplies menacing performance that is perfect for Call of Duty gameplay. 2.5G Ethernet and next-gen 802.11ax performance is fueled by a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, delivering the power to dominate online skirmishes even when multiple clients are vying for network bandwidth. The Digital Standard Edition for PC will also be included with purchase.

ROG Strix Flare Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Edition:

The ROG Strix Flare Black Ops 4 Edition is a mechanical gaming keyboard that features immersive ASUS AURA Sync and AURA Gaming lighting, in addition to rapid-response Cherry MX RGB switches, dedicated media controls, and an ergonomic wrist rest. RGB Lighting includes vibrant pre-key RGB backlighting and ambient under glow on both sides of the keyboard, and users can customize an illuminated Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 badge to their preference.

ROG Gladius II Origin Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Edition:

The ROG Gladius II Origin Black Ops 4 Edition is an optical gaming mouse that extends on-screen action to the illuminations of your mouse through AURA Gaming. The 12,000-dpi sensor tracks every movement precisely, while the exclusive socket design speeds the fitting of sweet-spot switches. Right-handed ergonomics meticulously designed in collaboration with esports pros imbue expert comfort into every sweep and shot.

The ROG Strix Edge Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 Edition:

The ROG Strix Edge Black Ops 4 Edition is a large, portrait gaming mouse pad with an optimized cloth surface that provides accurate, responsive tracking for outstanding gaming performance. Rounding out the collection of Black Ops 4 Editions peripherals, the ROG Strix Edge features design elements and graphics inspired by Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The ROGStrix GL12 – Black Ops 4 Edition will be available for pre-order today for $3,499 at select etailers. For more information, including updated where to buy links, please visit: https://www.asus.com/Tower-PCs/ROG-Strix-GL12-Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-4-Edition/.

Additional limited edition Black Ops 4 ROG Products will be available dependent upon region, and pricing and configurations will be announced at launch.

 

ASUS Announces ROG Strix, Turbo, & Dual Versions Of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti & 2080 Gaming Graphics Cards

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has announced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix, ASUS Dual, and ASUS Turbo graphics cards based on the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 GPUs, which feature support for high-speed GDDR6 memory and VirtualLink for quick, single-cable connections to next-generation VR headsets.

The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs have reinvented graphics and set a new bar for performance. Powered by the new NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture and the revolutionary NVIDIA RTX platform, the new graphics cards bring together real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading. This is not only a whole new way to experience games — this is the ultimate PC gaming experience.

ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080

The Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 keep Turing cool with brand-new Axial-tech fans that implement the latest ROG innovations, including a reduced-size fan hub to allow for longer blades and a barrier ring that increases structural integrity and downward air pressure through the Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080’s heatsink array. The new design allows Axial-tech fans to shift more air without increasing noise levels.

Auto-Extreme Technology

All Strix graphics cards are produced using Auto-Extreme Technology, an automated manufacturing process that sets new standards in the industry. Traditionally, soldering of through-hole and surface-mounted components needs to be performed in separate stages. Auto-Extreme Technology allows all soldering to be completed in a single pass, reducing thermal strain on components and avoiding the use of harsh cleaning chemicals. The end result is less environmental impact, lower manufacturing power consumption and a more reliable product.

ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080

The ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 graphics cards feature patented Wing-blade fans. This technology trickled down to Dual cards from the ROG Strix series and boasts higher air pressure, reduced noise levels and IP5X certified dust resistance. For those who love silence, the fan controllers also support a 0dB fan stop mode.

2.7-Slot design

The latest ROG Strix and Dual cards adopt a 2.7-slot footprint to accommodate a larger heatsink because bigger is better. The overall surface area of the cooling array is 20% larger for the Strix cards and more than 50% larger for the Dual cards compared to previous-generation designs. The improved heat dissipation provides more overclocking headroom for enthusiasts and an amazing plug-and-play experience by allowing lower fan speeds while gaming.

ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080

The ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 are designed from the ground up for systems with multiple GPUs or other airflow-restricting scenarios by incorporating a host of subtle design optimizations that improve airflow through the shroud and increase reliability. Upgrades include an 80mm IP5X dual-ball bearing fan and a new shroud design that allows more air to flow into the cooler, even when it’s pressed against a glass chassis panel or another graphics card.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The following models will be available for pre-order from August 20, 2018, from authorized retailers around the world. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

Pre-order models:

  • ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 TI OC Edition
  • ASUS Turbo GeForce RTX 2080 TI
  • ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 OC Edition
  • ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2080 OC Edition

ASUS Announces All-New ZenBook 13, 14 and 15

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 14, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS today debuted an all-new ZenBook series, with the launch of ZenBook 13 (UX333), ZenBook 14 (UX433) and ZenBook 15 (UX533).

This fully redesigned series of premium thin and light laptops introduces the stunning new frameless NanoEdge display, which features ultraslim bezels on all four sides and an unrivaled up to 95% screen-to-body ratio for a near-borderless viewing experience. The NanoEdge display also allows a much more compact design, with the result that each of the new ZenBook models has the smallest footprint in its class.

The 13-inch and 14-inch models also optionally include the exclusive new NumberPad, an innovative productivity enhancement that provides a full-size LED-illuminated numeric keypad built into the touchpad. All models feature a special 3D IR camera that allows fast face login using Windows Hello, even in low-light environments.

The combination of performance and mobility is a defining feature of the ZenBook series, and the new models feature a full complement of high-performance components including the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU, up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics, 16GB RAM, ultrafast PCIe SSDs and gigabit-class Wi-Fi.

All models are torture-tested to military-grade (MIL-STD-810G) reliability standards, with demanding tests that include environmental extremes of altitude, temperature and humidity, in addition to extensive drop, shock and vibration testing.

Ultraportable, redefined

The new ZenBook series ushers in a fresh era of ultracompact, ultralight laptops that boast the smallest footprints in their class, a feat made possible by the new frameless NanoEdge design. The stunning frameless NanoEdge displays now feature ultraslim bezels on all four sides, creating an unrivaled 92% screen-to-body ratio that maximizes the screen area in the minimum physical space.

The result is simply breathtaking: the near-borderless visuals and up to 4K UHD resolution deliver a more immersive viewing experience with less visual distraction, making ZenBook the perfect choice for on-the-go creativity or entertainment.

Complementing the groundbreaking new design, the traditional ZenBook style and elegance is apparent at a glance: all models feature the iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish on the lid, and there’s a choice of prestigious Royal Blue or sophisticated Icicle Silver anodized finishes, both newly enhanced with a contrasting Rose Gold trim bar above the keyboard for an extra touch of luxury.

No-compromise productivity

For the ultimate on-the-go productivity, ZenBook 13 and 14 are equipped with the exclusive new ASUS NumberPad. NumberPad solves the age-old problem of the lack of a dedicated numeric keypad on compact laptops. Tapping the NumberPad icon at the top right corner of the touchpad reveals a full-size LED-illuminated numeric keypad, allowing rapid and intuitive data entry or calculations. ZenBook 15 features a traditional physical numeric keypad.

All models feature an advanced 3D infrared (IR) camera, with see-in-the-dark capabilities to ensure fast, reliable hands-free face login with Windows Hello — even in dimly-lit environments. Unlike some rivals with awkwardly placed cameras, on ZenBook the camera is located on the slim top bezel of the NanoEdge display — yet another thoughtful design detail.

Advanced voice-recognition capabilities on the new ZenBook series means users can be entertained, informed, and organized simply by speaking to Alexa or Cortana. Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that helps users with tasks, entertainment, general information, and more. Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question. Just ask to play music, read the news, control a smart home, tell a joke, and more — Alexa will respond instantly.

When working on the go, it’s vital to be able to connect with anything and everything. The new ZenBook series features the revolutionary USB Type-C (USB-C) port for any-way-up connections and superfast USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gbps data transfers, and there’s also a range of other USB ports, including USB Type-A (up to 5Gbps or 10Gbps) and/or USB 2.0. All models also include an HDMI port and a microSD or SD card reader, so it’s easy to connect to all your current and future peripherals.

With any ZenBook, comfort is one of the top design priorities. The new ZenBook series goes the extra mile with the exclusive ErgoLift hinge, an engineering masterpiece designed to automatically tilt the keyboard to the most comfortable typing position. But that’s not all: the carefully calculated tilt improves cooling and audio performance, too.

Unbounded performance

The new ZenBook series is built to deliver unbounded on-the-go performance, featuring up to the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and a range of fast graphics options, including up to NVIDIA GeForce MX150 discrete graphics on ZenBook 13 and 14. ZenBook 15 is equipped with high-performance NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q GPU.

All models are equipped with PCIe SSDs and up to 16GB of RAM, making ZenBook ideal for creating complex documents, mining data, retouching photos, editing videos, or simply taking a gaming break. The new ZenBook series lets users do more, and do it quicker.

Mobile professionals need to stay connected — at the fastest speed possible. All new ZenBook models feature gigabit-class Wi-Fi and ASUS Wi-Fi Master technology, for ultrafast downloads and smooth streaming with greater range and more stable network connections than ever before. Additionally, the latest Bluetooth 5.0 lets users access all the benefits of the latest low-power peripherals and accessories.

Designed for non-stop, on-the-go lifestyles, the new ZenBook series gives users the freedom to work all day on a single battery charge — up to an impressive 14 hours for ZenBook 13 and 14, and an incredible 16 hours for ZenBook 15.

Ultratough: Military-grade durability

The new ZenBook series meets the ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810G military standard for reliability and durability, undergoing a punishing test regime that includes extended tests for operation in harsh environments including extreme altitudes, temperatures and humidity. The series has also passed ASUS internal laptop tests that far exceed the standards set by the industry. ZenBook is the ultratough ultraportable, the perfect choice for discerning on-the-go professionals.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

These new ZenBooks will be available:

  • ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX333) – TBD
  • ZenBook 14 (UX433) – late 2018
  • ZenBook 15 (UX533) – early 2019

in Canada. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.