After some 4K TV announcements by LG, Panasonic and Sharp at International CES today, Asus Chairman Jonney Shih jolted us awake with his usual energetic flair, revealing Asus’s 2014 lineup which includes new phones, a gamer-oriented monitor and the craziest four-in-one laptop-tablet we’ve ever seen.
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What Asus is calling the Transformer Book Duet TD300 is being touted by the Taiwanese company as the world’s first quad-mode, Dual-OS laptop and tablet. Asus, who alluded to the TD300 in a campaign pre-CES, revealed that the Dual-OS laptop-tablet hybrid runs on a fourth generation Intel Core CPU – likely Bay Trail – and can switch between Android and Windows in four seconds thanks to close collaboration between Intel and Asus.
Asus is touting it as the fastest Windows and Android tablet.
Shih was adamant that it’s not Android or Windows virtualisation. “It’s not Android on top of Windows and not Windows on top of Android which have emulation overhead and impacts performance. It has almost zero overhead,” said Shih.
The TD300 will sell in the US for US$599.
Next up was the Asus ROG SWIFT PG278Q monitor. Asus is touting it as “the world’s fastest & first NVIDIA G-SYNC WQHD monitor,” and it’s aimed squarely at gamers.
It has a 120+ Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time for ultra-smooth gaming. The 27-inch WQHD display has a 2560×1440 resolution and a PPI of 109. As a bonus, the super narrow 6mm bezel allows for near-seamless multi-display configurations.
It will start selling in the US for US$799
Then came the phones. Asus unwrapped three phones and also announced that the PadFone Mini and newly announced PadFone X will be coming to the US — all on AT&T by the way.
The baby of the flock, the Zenfone 4 has an 800 by 480 pixel, 4-inch IPS display, 5-megapixel camera, comes in five colours and will sell for US$99.
The Zenfone 5 has a 1280 by 720 pixel 5-inch display IPS display which can be operated with gloves on – Asus calls this “Glovetouch” – an 8-megapixel camera with image stabilisation and low light mode for up to “400% brighter photos and video” says Asus. It will sell for US$149.
The Zenfone 6 has a, yup you guessed it, 6-inch, 1280 by 720 display, can take pen input – Asus calls this PenTouch – and has a 13-megapixel f/2.0 camera, and the same low light tech as the Zenfone 5. You can pick one up for US$199
Both the PadFone Mini which converts a 4-inch Asus smartphone into a 7-inch tablet and the newly announced PadFone X which converts a 5-inch HD VoLTE Asus smartphone into a 9-inch HD tablet are coming to AT&T in the US. The Mini will sell for $249 – no pricing was given for the larger version.
The new line of Asus mobile devices will run a new Asus proprietary Android skin called ZenUI.