TechSummit Rewind #071: ASUS at Computex 2016

Editor’s Note: This is a special edition of the TechSummit Rewind, focusing on ASUS’ Computex 2016 press event.

Computex might as well be known as the ASUS show. Aside from the trade show being held in ASUS’ hometown, it’s typically home to the company’s biggest announcements of the year. This year was no different, here’s a recap of what happened:

ASUS ZenBook 3 is thinner, lighter, faster than MacBook

ASUS ZenBook 3_UX390_Intel Core i7 processor and 1TB SSD

ASUS’ ZenBook 3 ultrabook clocks in at two pounds and 11.9mm (0.46 inches) thick. In comparison, the previous ZenBook UX305 weighed 2.64 pounds and measured 12.9mm thick (0.51 inches) and Apple’s MacBook weighs in at 2.03 pounds and is 13.2mm (0.52 inches) thick. The ZenBook 3 is thinner than the 12-inch MacBook despite having a larger 12.5-inch display.

According to ASUS, this is because of an “aerospace-grade aluminum alloy,” which is 40 percent stronger than what’s typically used in laptops. However, it’ll look just like any other recent ASUS product with its “spun metal” finish in grey, blue, and rose gold.

The ultrabook tops out with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The display is covered in Gorilla Glass 4, and the bezel has been seemingly reduced to cover only 18 percent of the laptop’s front face. The ZenBook 3 packs in a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port for charging (which can charge the laptop’s battery up to 60 percent in 49 minutes), and won’t need to be used for around nine hours of typical use.

As for cooling, the ZenBook 3 is cooled by a three mm fan, which according to ASUS, is the world’s thinnest. There’s also a built-in fingerprint sensor with Windows Hello support.

The ultrabook will start at $999 with a Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. It’s also configurable with a 512GB SSD for $1,499, and you can add a Core i7 processor, 1TB SSD, and 16GB of RAM for $1,999.

Transformer 3

Transformer 3  Pro T303_01

The ASUS Transformer 3 Pro is aimed as a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, with a 2880×1920 display and 96dB speaker. The hybrid device is configurable with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. However, the key differentiator is the XG Station 2 external graphics dock, which offers a Razer Core-esque experience of being able to hook up a full-sized desktop graphics card.

The Transformer 3 will feature a seventh-generation Intel CPU in a similar form factor as the Transformer 3 Pro, according to ASUS’ Jonney Shih, at a $799 price tag when it launches this summer. The Transformer 3 Pro will start at $999.

Zenfone 3

Complete ZenFone 3 Family

ASUS went the way of Sony with its Zenfone lineup, with the flagship Zenfone 3, performance-focused Zenfone 3 Deluxe, and entertainment-geared Zenfone 3 Ultra.

Starting with the Zenfone 3, there’s a 5.5-inch LCD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 16-megapixel rear camera, eight-megapixel front camera, a 3000mAH battery, a fingerprint sensor, USB-C for charging, up to 4GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of storage. The phone is made from glass panels on either side with a metal frame, and is available in gold, blue, black, and white.

The Zenfone 3 Deluxe features a unibody construction with “invisible” antenna lines, and totes a 5.7-inch 1080p OLED panel, Snapdragon 820 processor, 23-megapixel camera, USB-C, and up to 6GB of RAM. Otherwise, it’s largely similar to the Zenfone 3 and is available in grey, silver, and gold.

The Ultra has a similar build to the Deluxe with a 6.8-inch 1080p LCD screen, Snapdragon 652 processor, up to 4GB of RAM, the Deluxe’s 23-megapixel camera, USB-C with DisplayPort support, a “4K TV-grade video processor,” and a 4600mAh battery. It’s available in grey, silver, and pink.

In terms of pricing, the Zenfone 3 starts at $249, the Deluxe starts at $499, and the Ultra will set you back $579.

ROG GX800

GX800_Docking

ASUS’ ROG GX800 gaming laptop with a separate water-cooling station is being touted as the world’s “most powerful gaming laptop.”

It’s being powered by a NVIDIA SLI GPU and Intel K-series CPUs, along with two separate 330W power supplies. For those looking for some bling, it features a mechanical keyboard that’s backlit with multi-color LEDs.

Zenbo

Lastly, there’s Zenbo. The BB-8 esque robot friend responds to voice commands to provide recipe recommendations, buy goods online, take photos, etc.

The robot’s being heavily pushed for older users, as shown by the marketing video embedded above.

Zenbo will also sing songs, dance to music, tell stories, and tutor to children in a package that’s roughly knee high compared to an average adult and a $599 price tag.

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