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ASUS at CES 2007

Date: January 11, 2007
Author(s): Rob Williams

ASUS had a great showing at this years CES, so we’ve compiled our 7 favorite products and deliver them to you. Included is the XG Station, W5Fe Sideshow laptop, P535 phone and Commando motherboard.

XG Station, W5Fe, S6F

CES is over, but our coverage is not. ASUS unveiled so many great products this year, that we are going to sum them up in their own article. The bonus is that there were not only one or two products that really stood out, but many.

There’s no doubt that ASUS had more than one cool product showcased, but one of the most popular would have to be the XG Station. This is a laptop device designed for use with an express port. It essentially upgrades your graphics card so that you can enjoy high-quality and high-FPS gameplay instead of suffering with the small card your laptop may have.

That’s not all. You can also use headphones to plug directly into the device for Dolby sound and even overclock on the fly using the front knob. As you will see from the photos, the GUI is slick looking and has the goal of providing relevant information. The only downside would have to be the fact that you will require an external monitor. You cannot expect to play with higher FPS on the laptops screen.

The first version will include the EN7900GS but may support other GPUs in the future. Cards such as the 8800GTX cannot be used thanks to the size and heat dissipation. Again, in order to use the XG Station, your laptop requires an express port. If you have an older laptop, you will not likely have one.

We’ve heard rumors about it for the past few months and ASUS finally had it on display for everyone to see. The W5Fe Sideshow notebook is the first on the market to support the feature, which is coincides with Windows Vista. That said, you cannot purchase this notebook now, but will be able to once Vista is launched later this month.

System specs aside, the Sideshow is a small screen on the top cover of the notebook that displays various information. It’s GUI is designed like that of Vista, so you know what to expect there. The Sideshow does not require your laptop to be turned on, which saves on battery life. With the screen, you can check your e-mails, listen to music, check the date, et cetera.

Essentially, you will be able to perform simple tasks without ever booting up. From what I’ve seen, I have high hopes for a successful future. I have ideas flowing around my head in regards to future revisions, but I want to use the feature for more than five minutes before giving my ultimate thoughts.

For the ladies and pimps out there, ASUS unveiled the newest version to their leather line-up, the pink S6F. It weighs in at 3.6lbs and will retail for around $2,399.

Included is an 11.1″ monitor capable of 1366×768 resolution, 120GB HDD, Intel L2400 and is bluetooth enabled. This is obviously marketed to those who are into fashionable tech toys and of course, pimps.

P535, Commando, WL-700gE

If you’ve been looking for a phone that does far more than just dial numbers, then ASUS may have you covered. Their P535 tri-band phone is essentially a PDA, GPS, 2.0 Megapixel camera, business card scanner and of course, a phone. This gems retail price has not been finalized, but you can expect it to be placed in the $699 – $799 slot. As you can see from the picture, there is another model launched as well. I forget the model number, however this phone has many similarities to the P535 phone but lacks GPS functionality.

With the success of the Striker Extreme, Crosshair and others, ASUS has focused on developing other boards with varying price ranges that still offer insane overclockability. Welcome to the Commando. This board will retail for around $250 and has many features worthy of consideration. First and foremost, this is an overclocking board without limits. In fact, ASUS recently proved to push the FSB of the X6800 to 2,300. That’s no small feat.

The board is based on the i965 chipset and supports ATI Crossfire. It also includes such features as the LCD poster, which will give you the BIOS code that’s currently being called. This is a welcomed feature for whenever you run into a system halting problem. You just match the code to find out what it is in your rig that’s causing an issue. One of the best features may be the fact that there is a small bios reset button near the bottom of the board. So, if you fail an overclock, simply push the button to get yourself underway.

Also on the floor were two newer gaming specific laptops, one for both ATI and NVIDIA. Both of these notebooks have awesome picture quality and use the Intel 7400 CPU, so picture/performance wise you will expect the same. On the screen front, the ATI version uses a 17″ while the NVIDIA uses a 15.4″. This is purely coincidence as the notebooks are modeled differently and is not a matter of preference. Both include midstream mobile GPUs, so gaming is definitely in mind.

Pricing wise, you can expect $1,799 for the NVIDIA laptop and $1,899 for the ATI version which includes that larger screen.

Although there were still a few other products that ASUS had on display, the one that I actually got excited about was the new WL-700gE router. What makes it special is that it includes a 250GB hard drive that can be used in more than one way. You can copy files to it through the included manager, or set the router to handle downloads or torrents when your PC is off. There is also a dedicated BitTorrent chip on the board, so it should prove much more reliable than our previously reviewed WL-500g. Aside from that, there is a completely redone admin system which is much easier to use thanks to the common sense menus and also the more appealing GUI.

As mentioned, there were other new products that ASUS had to offer as well, but this list includes the one that we really enjoyed and wanted more of. Thanks to ASUS for taking the time to show us around the booth and for answering our questions. We look forward to getting some of these products in our labs to deliver reviews soon.

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