ASUS has certainly been busy. At its latest presentation as part of the CES event, a new generation of products were announced, covering a wide gamut of display technologies, mobile phones, new laptops, motherboards, mice, keyboards, routers and even a microphone.
Note: Press packs were not complete at time of publish, so some products will be missing images. We’ll update when we get more details.
The main headline products are updates to ASUS’ ZenFone range, a well regarded and highly admired set of smartphones we’ve tested over the years. There are two new phones coming, each targeting a different niche. ZenFone AR is an augmented reality configured phone that integrates Google’s Tango and Daydream augmented reality technologies. The ZenFone 3 Zoom is a photography focused smartphone with an impressive 5000mAh battery.
ASUS is declaring the ZenFone AR as the world’s first Tango-enabled phone, leveraging the power of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 SoC. Tango is a set of sensors and technology that uses computer-vision to understand its environment and to integrate that into the display and integrated apps. This feeds into Daydream, which then uses these inputs to drive feature rich applications that can augment the user’s reality. Think games that show monsters that only your phone can see, as a portal into another world.
The ZenFone AR makes this possible with the integration of three camera system, called TriCam. A 23MP main camera provides the visual data, another camera dedicated to motion tracking, and the third is a depth-sensing camera. These are all forced into a relatively small package to help reduce the size.
Hooked up with 8GB of RAM and a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, the ZenFone AR certainly has the grunt and eye-candy to deliver next generation experiences, all from a healthy and modern Android 7.0 OS. And yes, ASUS typically keeps its OS up to date, at least for a couple years.
The ZenFone 3 Zoom is a novel phone with a focus (hah… puns) on the camera, or should we say, two cameras. Each camera has a different focal length, providing two different perspectives on the world. Both are fixed-focused f/1.7-apertures, but one has a 25mm wide-angle lens, and the other a 56mm for portraiture. There are 3 different auto-focusing systems too for different distances and subject tracking. There is even a laser focus system to help it bring out the sharpest of details in just 0.03 seconds, even when the subject is moving.
Since the ZenFone 3 Zoom is more camera than phone, it comes with a massive 5000mAh battery, which can keep the phone in standby for up to 42 days. Since people rarely leave their phone in standby for a month, real-world usage is still impressive. Providing you have enough storage on the phones, the battery can last up to 6.4 hours recording 4K UHD video continuously. Even better, you can plug the Zoom into another phone and use it as a power pack to charge other devices.
We can’t wait to get our hands on these phones.
Brightening up our future is a new monitor, the creative design ProArt PA32U. This is a 32-inch direct-lit LED 4K UHD monitor with HDR, that uses 384 LED zones to adjust the brightness over individual sections of the display. Color accuracy is pretty spot on, covering 99.5% of Adobe RGB, 95% DCI-P3, and up to 85% Rec. 2020. It can even be daisy-chained with DP 1.2, and comes equipped with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 2.
While the Acer Predator 21 X certainly stole headlines, ASUS has its own monster laptop being debuted, the ROG GX800VH. Much like the GX700 from last year, this is a water-cooled brute built for overclocking. Two GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI drive the 18-inch G-Sync enabled 4K UHD display. It also packs a mechanical keyboard too and full RGB backlighting. The smaller sibling, ROG G752, uses vapor chamber cooling and a GTX 1070 instead. Both come with NVMe enabled PCIe SSD storage for super-fast application response.
With more ROG products on the way, a new router is coming in the form of the Rapture GT-AC5300, a monster router built for industrial gaming. Tri-band WiFi, eight gigabit ports, a 1.8GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU, all to prevent packet dropping and keep latency low. It prioritizes games over the network borrows tech from Trend Micro keep you safe.
For the audiophile/gamers out there, ASUS is joining the ranks of Razor and co, with its own three-capsule USB microphone – the ROG Strix Magnus. Designed for environmental noise canceling with its cardioid pickup, and RGB lighting to look cool while streaming. It also doubles up as an external soundcard for recording from an instrument or smartphone, and comes with its own integrated hub.
More peripherals include the GX970, which is a wired gaming mouse featuring a detachable side panel. The standard side panel has two thumb buttons for light gaming and general computer use. This can then be switched with the included 10-button thumb panel for those more complex games like MMOs. It has built in memory and is fully programmable, with a huge DPI shift from 50-12000. There are also a variety of weights too.
On the integrated desktop side, there are some interesting new models including the ultra compact GT51CH and the GD30. The former is a tiny little PC that packs a punch, with and overclocked Intel Core i7-7700K at 4.8GHz, two GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI, and 64GB of RAM – a common theme for desktops and Laptops alike. The ROG edition of the GT51CH also features cool lighting and a high performance DAC for better audio.