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Another ASUS Transformer Pad on the way: Snapdragon-powered TF303K

Posted by Tom July - 11 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

ASUS has been all about its Transformer Pads this summer, and another is on the way – as revealed in a teaser vid. The TF103 and TF303 models are Intel-powered, while the upcoming TF303K runs on an older Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.

With the step down in processing power, it’s likely this will be a cheaper release that still draws upon its reputation for good audio and the sleek MagSmart hinge.

The TF303K’s shell is polycarbonate, with a 3D micro weave pattern, and the keyboard is aluminum. It has a 10.1-inch Full HD display, 2GB of RAM and an expected 16GB of storage.

Check out the video here.

Via tablet-news

 

ASUS PadFone S, ZenFone 5 LTE go live in Taiwan

Posted by wicked July - 10 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

ASUS is expanding its product lineup in its Asian base of Taiwan with two new devices that sound and look like two existing models but, at the same time, not quite. The new PadFone S and the ZenFone 5 LTE do resemble the AT&T PadFone X and the plain ZenFone 5, but ASUS has put some twist to perhaps make them more attractive to that local market.

As mentioned before, the ASUS PadFone S is the same PadFone X that AT&T launched, except meant for international markets. Apparently, however, that’s not the only difference between the two. ASUS has upgraded the PadFone S CPU to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, compared to the Snapdragon 800 on the US version, but with the same 2.3 GHz clock speeds. In all other matters, the two are exactly the same, so you get the same 5-inch 1080p screen, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, and a 13 megapixel rear camera. Of course there is also the 9-inch tablet dock that makes this device line unique.

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ASUS has also changed the processor of the ZenFone 5 LTE, but this time with a bigger effect. Swapping out the 2 GHz Intel Atom Z2580 for a slightly lower 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 gave this smartphone one important new feature, as implied by its name. This ZenFone supports LTE networks, Taiwan’s bands to be exact, something none of the other ZenFone smartphones can do. That said, without the Intel chip, this pretty much becomes a rather plain ASUS smartphone, with the same 5-inch 720p screen, 2 GB of RAM, and 8 megapixel rear camera.

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Both ASUS smartphones will be launch in Taiwan today. The ZenFone 5 LTE will be sold for around 6,990 TWD, around $235 in the US. The PadFone S, on the other hand, will have a price tag of 9,999 TWD, roughly $335. The tablet dock for the PadFone S is sold separately for 5,000 TWD or $170.

SOURCE: ASUS (1), (2)
VIA: ePrice

ASUS has high hopes for their upcoming smartwatch

Posted by wicked July - 3 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

AsusAndroidWear

It’s no secret that ASUS has a smartwatch in development, as we’ve heard several promising rumors about the device. ASUS chairman really believes the smartwatch will be great, too, judging from his comments about it earlier today.

Chairman Jonney Shih discussed the trade offs that have to be made in a smartwatch, including form factor, size, and price and how focusing on different aspects of a device can make or break its success. He says the ASUS design team has learned a lot about smartwatches in their design process, and if the early rumors about how thin and affordable the device is pan out, there’s a good chance ASUS will have a hit product on their hands.

Shih also said that key features of the device, including voice recognition and being able to solve user problems, will be vital in making the smartwatch a “hero product.” Unfortunately, he didn’t have anything to say about the release date of the device, but it sounds like the smartwatch is fairly close to being done, so maybe we won’t have to wait much longer.

Source: Focus Taiwan

Via: G for Games

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ASUS PadFone 2 gets promised KitKat, ZenUI update

Posted by wicked July - 1 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Right on the dot, ASUS is delivering Android 4.4 to its 2012 smartphone/tablet hybrid, the PadFone 2. But while many owners are undoubtedly grateful for the most recent Android version to a 2 year-old niche device, the update process for the PadFone 2 is a bit more involved and more destructive compared to other smartphones similarly updated to KitKat.

Last February, ASUS promised to deliver the then still fresh and new Android 4.4 version to almost all of its PadFone line, starting with the PadFone 2 and the older PadFone Infinity. The schedule was slated for the end of Q2 2014 which is practically today. The update for the PadFone 2 has been delivered as promised, but unfortunately the ASUS PadFone Infinity isn’t so lucky, with no sign of the update anywhere in sight.

PadFone 2 owners shouldn’t consider themselves completely lucky just yet. While the update is indeed already available on ASUS’ support page, the process isn’t as easy. Usually, Android devices would get Android updates delivered over the air, or OTA. In this case, ASUS is only providing a flashable ZIP image. Those who flash ROMs will most likely be familiar with this process, but majority of users won’t. Users must also take care to backup their device before attempting the upgrade, as the flashing process will wipe out the PadFone 2. After following the instructions, which ASUS fortunately provided, they will then have to restore what they backed up in order to get back to a working state.

That said, should they survive the ordeal, users will be greeted by Android 4.4.2, up from the default Android 4.1 on the device. They will also have ASUS’ custom Android experience, ZenUI, installed on the PadFone 2, taking this 2012 machine forward to the same ranks as the company’s latest devices. Aside from the old PadFone Infinity, ASUS has also promised an update to the PadFone A80 for Europe around this same period. The new PadFone Infinity A86, however, is scheduled to get Android 4.4 only in the third quarter.

SOURCE: ASUS, (PDF)

Open thread: which Android Wear smartwatch would you buy?

Posted by wicked June - 30 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The Gear Live and G Watch will offer the same UI

Now that the dust is settling around last week’s big announcements, it’s time to make some serious decisions. Some buying decisions that is, preferably some that we won’t regret in a few weeks.

When it comes to Android Wear, there are two options currently on the table, the Gear Live and the G Watch, with the Moto 360 just around the corner. All three devices will feature essentially the same user experience when it comes to software, so hardware features and price remain the differentiating factors.

It’s not just the Moto 360 that’s coming this summer – rumors claim HTC has its own circular design ready for an August launch, and Asus may attempt to undercut rivals with a device that could cost as little as $100.

Let’s take a brief look at current and upcoming Android Wear devices.

LG G Watch

Price and availability

The G Watch is now available for pre-order in the Play Store. The device will start shipping on July 7 for $230. LG says it will sell the G Watch in dozens of countries in the following weeks.

Gallery

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Key specs

  • 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm, 63g
  • 1.65-inch IPS LCD display, 280 x 280 pixels
  • Snapdragon 400, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage
  • 400 mAh battery

Key details

The G Watch is a bit thicker than the Gear Live, and slightly heavier, though the difference is a matter of just a few grams. What you may notice is that its LCD display is lower-res than the Gear Live’s. The G Watch comes with a slightly bigger battery though, and battery life should be good for a day of medium usage. The device comes in Black Titan and White Gold and features a standard sized silicon strap with a buckle style clasp. There are no buttons on the smartwatch – to wake it up, simply double tap on the screen.

Samsung Gear Live

Price and availability

The Gear Live is currently available for pre-order in the Play Store. The device will start shipping on July 8 for $200. The device will become available in Samsung stores later this summer.

Gallery

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Key specs

  • 37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9mm, 59g
  • 1.63-inch IPS AMOLED display, 320 x 320 pixels
  • 1.2GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage
  • 300 mAh battery

Key details

The Gear Live looks very similar to the Gear Neo, Samsung’s Tizen-powered smartwatch, featuring the same general shape, dimensions, and even specs. Just like the G Watch, the Gear Live is made of stainless steel and plastic, and you can change the strap with any standard 22mm strap. The Gear Live features a rather small home button on its right side, that could be a little hard to use. The battery is smaller than on the Gear Live, but the AMOLED screen could help offset this issue. The Gear Live comes with a simple pin clasp, potentially making it easy to quickly remove and put on. The device also features a heart rate sensor on the back, but unless you’re a fitness buff, you might not care.

The others

Motorola is rumored to finally unveil the Moto 360 later this summer, but you might have a while to wait. The device will feature a beautiful circular design, resembling a traditional wristwatch, and that may be its biggest draw when compared to the Gear Live and the G Watch. There’s also talk about Qi wireless charging, which is something we wished we saw on LG’s and Samsung’s products as well. The Moto 360 could cost about $250 when it launches, and Motorola may offer some customization options, via Moto Maker.

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HTC and Asus will probably introduce their own AW smartwatches by fall, but we know little else. Asus is rumored to go for the budget-conscious with a device in the $100-$150 price range, while HTC will probably introduce something more akin to the Moto 360.

Sound off

If you had to recommend an Android Wear device, which one would it be? What about if you had to use your own money? Which watch delivers the best bang for your 200 bucks?

Would you buy one of the currently available models or would you wait for the Moto 360 or Asus or HTC’s products?

Is it even a good idea to jump on the Android Wear bandwagon now? Better, cheaper, sexier devices could be just months away…

Sound off in the comments!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.
Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

ASUS rumored to launch smartwatch by September

Posted by wicked June - 27 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

After the official unveiling of the first Android Wear smartwatches at the I/O Conference this week, sources are saying Taiwanese OEM is set to push through with their long-rumored smartwatch. They will reportedly try to launch it later this year, preferably by September. But what’s most interesting is that they will apparently price the gadget lower than their current rivals, the Samsung Gear Live, LG G Watch and the Moto 360.

The smartwatch will be priced between $99 and $149, compared to the $199-$229 price tag of the aforementioned brands. Previous reports about ASUS’ intent to enter the wearable market said that their device will include both voice and gesture controls since it will have a smaller screen. Their chairman Johhny Shih mentioned before that they were looking at “more natural user interfaces,” indirectly confirming the rumours. He also mentioned that while they were putting a lot of resources into coming up with a viable design, there were still some issues and challenges when it comes to coming up with a wearable device.

Now that Google has revealed more details about Android Wear, then the question is will ASUS still continue with their original plans with their smartwatch. As to why they’re only joining the fray now, behind Samsung, LG and Motorola, it was apparently a conscious decision by the company to wait until after Android Wear has been officially launched because they didn’t want to rush into creating the prototype and then manufacturing the device.

There were reports that Google had a strict timeline if any of the brands wanted to make it in time for the official launch this week. LG admitting that they did not include a heart rate monitor in their G Watch, which claims to be the first smartwatch under the Android Wear OS, somehow confirms that they were really on a deadline.

VIA: TechCrunch

Asus Android Wear device to be thinnest in the category

Posted by wicked June - 27 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

AsusAndroidWear

Evleaks dropped some information on the Asus made Android Wear device that’s set to be released in the fall. According to the leaker, the device is codenamed Robin and could very well be the thinnest Android Wear watch. At least that’s what Asus is aiming for — unlike the Moto 360. Even so, the device is rumored to come in as the cheapest of the Android Wear devices available at a possible price point between $99 and $150. Even so, we’re still a few months away from knowing for sure.

source: Evleaks

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Asus to release $99-$149 Android Wear smartwatch this fall – report

Posted by wicked June - 27 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

ASUS 2014 CES BRAND LOGO 9

LG and Samsung have taken the lead in the race to bring Android Wear to customers, with the G Watch and the Gear Live to start shipping in just 10 days. Motorola should be close behind, though we still don’t know when its circular wonder will finally hit the shelves.

But there will be other Android Wear partners launching their devices this year, and Asus may have a shot at mass-market success, if one report is to be believed.

According to TechCrunch, citing sources familiar with Asus’ plans, the Taiwanese company is gearing up to launch an Android Wear smartwatch that will be priced in the $99-$149 range, significantly less than the Gear Live ($200) and the G Watch ($225). With that said, LG and Samsung devices could see some price cuts by the time Asus’ Android Wear launches, which will reportedly happen in September. Incidentally or not, IFA will take place in Berlin in early September, so that could be a good place to look for it.

Can Asus make a great cheap smartwatch?

Asus’ smartwatch will reportedly feature an AMOLED screen (just like the Gear Live), but other than that we don’t know any details about it. Apparently, Google pushed for an aggressive release schedule, which is Asus decided to wait for the fall to release its first Android Wear product.

Asus is a master of producing affordable electronics, with the two Nexus 7 generations standing as prime examples. The company hasn’t been doing very well on the smartphone front, in part because of their limited availability, but hopefully its wearables will be easier to get by.

Who else might tempt us with a cool smartwatch this year? From the batch of partners that Google announced when Android Wear debuted, we still don’t have details about HTC’s product, though we do expect news on this front soon.

Asus planning September launch for smartwatch offering

Posted by wicked June - 27 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

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Now that the first Android Wear smartwatches are out the door with yesterday’s official launch of the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live, expect to see a flood of manufacturers bringing more devices to market. One of the first to sort of get an announcement out is Asus where an inside source has indicated the company plans to release their take on a smartwatch by September if all goes as planned.

According to this source, the Asus smartwatch will come with an AMOLED display, but it may be a bit smaller than current models on the market. Asus plans to set a price point somewhere between $99 and $149 in an effort to gain market share by pricing their device lower than the current market.

The Asus source says the company decided to set a release date for later in the year so as not to rush their development process. Still, it seems likely their design and production teams will be pressed to get a device out in advance of the 2014 holiday shopping season, probably along with several other manufacturers.

source: TechCrunch

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ASUS PadFone Mini shrinks down the 2-in-1 combo

Posted by Tom June - 26 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The new smaller ASUS PadFone Mini shaves an inch off the PadFone S, offering a 4-inch handset that sits within the 7-inch tablet.

The new Mini range comes in suitably summery bright colours: blue, yellow and red, as well as regular black and white.

Both phone and tablets have IPS displays: the phone’s resolution is 800 x 480 and the tablet’s 1280 x 800. The PadFone Mini’s camera is a respectable 8MP with F/2.0 aperture and ASUS PixelMaster tech for low light shots.

It runs on an Intel Atom Z2560 processor, supports Dual SIM and runs Android 4.3 and Zen UI.

The PadFone Mini’s listed on the ASUS website at 1,999 yuan (US$320).

Via tablet-news