At IFA Berlin, which kicked-off today, ASUS decided to launch not just a couple of products, but eight, encompassing tablets, notebooks and smartphones. Given the sheer amount of product to cover here, let’s waste no time, and start from the top.
The Transformer Book Trio is being touted as a ‘Three-in-One’ ultraportable, and if that seems impossible, allow me to explain. ASUS has long enjoyed creating dockable designs, where you can use your Transformer as a notebook or a tablet, and recently, it’s been testing out the combo waters, where one could be used with either Windows or Android – flip-flopping from one to the other.
Trio features a similar design, except here, the PC’s components are inside the dock, and Android’s, inside the tablet. Fully docked, you can choose between Windows or Android, and detached, you’ll be left with just Android. If you happen to take off with the tablet, the dock isn’t left entirely useless. Via a mini-DP or micro-HDMI port, someone else can hook the dock up to an external display and treat it just like a desktop PC. Damn! That’s flexibility.
The Trio features an 11.6-inch 1080p IPS display, up to a Core i7 for the PC side, and an Atom Z2760 for the Android side, 4GB of RAM for the PC and 2GB for Android, a rear 5MP and front 720p cameras, 802.11ac for the PC and n for Android, and quality speakers for both, making use of ASUS’ “SonicMaster” technology.
Also on the Transformer side of things, ASUS shows-off its TF701T and Book T300, both dockable models. The TF701T continues evolving the high-end Transformer legacy by boasting a 300ppi 10-inch display running a 2560×1600 resolution, and includes 2GB of memory, 32 or 64GB of onboard memory, a 5MP camera at the back, and a 720p one at front, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and powering the beast, NVIDIA’s T40X Tegra quad-core SoC. ASUS anticipates that you’ll receive up to 13 hours of battery-life on the tablet itself, and another 4 tacked on if you have it docked.
The Transformer T300 is a bit different, as it’s a Windows 8 tablet through and through – or more accurately, a notebook that happens feature a detachable top and bottom. This model features a 13.3-inch 1080p IPS display, up to a Core i7 processor, Intel’s HD Graphics 4000, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, between 64~256GB of internal storage, 802.11n, and other key features you’d expect from a notebook.
Outside of its Transformer line, ASUS has also introduced two new MeMO Pads, the MeMO Pad 8 and MeMO Pad 10.
Both of these tablets bundle in a 1280×800 resolution, with the higher ppi of course going to the 8-inch model. Both also feature a quad-core SoC (which in particular is not mentioned), up to 16GB of internal storage, a 5MP rear camera on the Pad 8 and a 2MP rear on the Pad 10, and a 1.2MP front for both. Both also feature 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0, with the Pad 10 being the only one to offer a GPS. Despite their goal of affordability, ASUS doesn’t prohibit the ability to add in more storage, which a microSDXC slot at-the-ready. For protection’s sake, a TriCover will be made available for additional purchase that will protect both the display and the tablet itself when it’s not in use.
On the notebook-but-not-so-dockable side, ASUS has its X102BA ultraportable, and Zenbook UX301 and Zenbook UX302.
Beginning with the X102BA, this is an ultraportable with touchscreen, built around a 10.1-inch frame. It’s sadly become a bit of a rarity, at least on our radar, but this machine packs in an AMD APU – the A4-1200 @ 1GHz, to be specific. This isn’t meant to be a powerhouse by any stretch, further proven by its 1366×768 resolution, but for those looking for a decently-sized ultraportable, this looks to be a fantastic offering. When it becomes available, you’ll be able to get a model with either 2 or 4GB of RAM, and 320GB or 500GB of hard drive space.
The Zenbook UX301 and UX302 aims to offer a “sleek beautiful” design, and does it ever. It features a glass finish, protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, and it comes in a “Moonstone White” or “Sapphire Blue” finish. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about the sapphire blue. Do… very… much… want.
In its super-thin 15.5~17.2mm frame, the UX30x offers a Core i5 or i7 processor, a 13.3-inch LED touchscreen (2560×1440 on the 301, 1080p on the 302), Intel HD Grapphics (5100 on 301 and 4400 on 302 – or NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 730M on the latter), 4GB of DDR3L memory, dual SSD capabilities on the 301, and up to a 750GB HDD + 16GB cache SSD on the 302, and 802.11ac and other common notebook niceties for both models.
That takes care of tablets and notebooks – onward to phones, featuring the Fonepad Note 6 and Fonepad 7.
Both of these ‘phablets’ offer similar goals: To give those who want a larger phone a great option. Both feature Intel’s Atom Z2560 dual-core processor (1.6GHz), Android 4.2 ‘Jelly Bean’, and nearly identical wireless support, with up to HSPA+ 3G mobile, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0.
The Fonepad Note 6 packs a mammoth 1080p resolution into its small display, resulting in a ppi of 367. It also bundles in 2GB of RAM, an 8MP camera at the back and 1.2MP at the front, and a 3200mAh battery under the hood.
While its higher model number would suggest otherwise, the Fonepad 7 is spec’d a bit less than the Fonepad Note 6. Its display offers a 1st-gen Nexus 7-level resolution of 1280×800, and has 1GB of RAM to keep things efficient. Compared to the 6, it does have a beefier battery, at 3950mAh, but that’s something we’d expect with a bigger model.
Alright, that was a lot to cover. Unfortunately, ASUS doesn’t have any pricing information at the moment, or any release dates for when these products might launch in North America. If you see a product here that you want to make sure the company does release here, be vocal about it!