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Asus to Debut Chromebooks, Wearable Tech in 2014

By - Source: Taipei Times | B 13 comments

Asus will introduce Chromebooks at CES 2014 and wearable tech at Computex.

The Taipei Times reports that during an investor's conference call following the company's third quarter financial report, Asus chief executive officer Jerry Shen said that the company plans to launch new smartphones during CES 2014 in Las Vegas this January. Asus is looking to grow its smartphone business from around 1 million units in 2013 to 5 million units in 2014, a figure backed by the growing number of retail stores in China and cooperation with more tier-one telecom operators across the globe.

"We remain optimistic about the desktop and laptop market, but our priority is to make the company's smartphone business turn a profit next year," Asus chief financial officer David Chang added.

Asus also plans to launch new Chromebooks, or rather laptops sporting Google's Chrome OS, sometime within Q1 2014. The company is targeting students and teachers with two models: an 11.6 inch unit for $199 USD and a 13.3 inch unit for $249 USD. Currently, laptops are Asus' biggest source of income, making up 57 percent of the sales followed by tablets at 20 percent and motherboards at 13 percent.

In addition to jumping on the Chromebook bandwagon, the company also has plans to introduce wearable devices during Computex in early June 2014. The news isn't surprising given that many competitors have already jumped into the wearable tech pool including Sony, Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, Google and a number of others. The smartwatch market is suddenly heating up, and we're betting that's what Asus may reveal during the show next summer.

For the calendar fourth quarter, Asus expects to see its notebook shipments to grow 8.88 percent to 4.9 million units from the previous third quarter. Tablet shipments are expected to increase 2.85 percent to 3.6 million units, while motherboard shipments are expected to actually drop 3.63 percent to 5.3 million units. The company also expects an operating margin of 4 or 5 percent, compared with 4.5 percent last quarter.

Why is Asus producing Chromebooks? Shen indicated that the company wants to broaden its reach outside the traditional Windows-based envelope. However, the Chrome OS platform is struggling to gain market share, as the market is currently sitting at a mere 1 percent in Q3 2013 according to IDC numbers. Samsung led the Chromebook train during that quarter, selling around 652,000 units and others providing a "tiny volume." Asus is undoubtedly looking to change that market percentage.

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  • 3 Hide
    JD88 , November 21, 2013 9:21 PM
    Asus is a good company that makes reliable products. A bit odd that it took them so long to see the viability of Chromebooks as they are typically on the cutting edge.
  • -2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , November 22, 2013 12:23 AM
    Chromebooks are useless crippled junk both hardware and software wise. Only a few top models (e.g. that one with 2500x1600 screen - Samsung, I think?) are of any use when you wipe out the storage device and install a full-fledged OS. I know a few users with Chromebooks and the second the net connection drops (which happens often, blame ADSL), they start whining. This concept needs to die - if you want a basic device for emal and Skype and whatnot, get a Nexus 10 with a keyboard or some cheap but good convertible or whatever, but not this crippled, useless rubbish.
  • 4 Hide
    JD88 , November 22, 2013 12:35 AM
    Quote:
    Chromebooks are useless crippled junk both hardware and software wise. Only a few top models (e.g. that one with 2500x1600 screen - Samsung, I think?) are of any use when you wipe out the storage device and install a full-fledged OS. I know a few users with Chromebooks and the second the net connection drops (which happens often, blame ADSL), they start whining. This concept needs to die - if you want a basic device for emal and Skype and whatnot, get a Nexus 10 with a keyboard or some cheap but good convertible or whatever, but not this crippled, useless rubbish.


    This is hard to swallow coming from someone who has a Windows logo in their avatar.

    Clearly you know very little about Chrome OS because all of it's primary features work perfectly offline, including the full office suite.

    Also, I'm not sure where anyone is without an internet connection or what work they do without one. This isn't 1995 and most of us don't live in the third world.

    Chrome OS is faster, more stable, and much simpler than Windows.

    Did I mention it's free of Windows update, viruses, spyware, malware, palware, adware, bloatware, ransomware, dirty underware, and whatever other awful things that inhabit Windows based PCs.

    It's not too late though, you can free yourself from hassle, extra work, and frustration as well. Chromebooks are for everyone!
  • -3 Hide
    cats_Paw , November 22, 2013 1:37 AM
    I think the "can it play crysis" thing should be here somehwere. After all, its not really about "crysis", its more about the fact those chromebooks, ultrabooks and so on would have the performance of a decent laptop, then we are talking about "improvment".
    In this case its a side-grade at best, so im sticking with my laptop :D .
  • -2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , November 22, 2013 4:08 AM
    Quote:


    This is hard to swallow coming from someone who has a Windows logo in their avatar.

    Clearly you know very little about Chrome OS because all of it's primary features work perfectly offline, including the full office suite.

    Also, I'm not sure where anyone is without an internet connection or what work they do without one. This isn't 1995 and most of us don't live in the third world.

    Chrome OS is faster, more stable, and much simpler than Windows.

    Did I mention it's free of Windows update, viruses, spyware, malware, palware, adware, bloatware, ransomware, dirty underware, and whatever other awful things that inhabit Windows based PCs.

    It's not too late though, you can free yourself from hassle, extra work, and frustration as well. Chromebooks are for everyone!


    About that Windows logo: haha, almost forgot about it. I use Ubuntu just as much as Win7, so don't take me for a Windows troll. As for other points...

    First of all, MOST of the planet DOES live in the third world. Do the math/geography. And I'm telling you, Internet here SUCKS. And even if it doesn't, why should I buy a device with weak hardware and inferior OS that can't do anything without an Internet connection?

    What do you do offline? Oh, I don't know. Play games, listen to music, watch movies, write documents. I live without Internet at home for a few years. A pain in the neck, but survivable (wouldn't work nowadays for me because I do too much remote support etc.)

    As for Windows "problems"... I'll take a faint chance for having to deal with these "problems" (adware, malware and viruses? You have to be a complete lummox to pick any of these up nowadays!) over not being able to do shit with my hardware ANY day. Again, I've met a few people with Chromebooks. They are pathetic devices that can't do anything useful outside of browsing the Internet and their users regret the wasted money. The concept needs to die. If you are so afraid of dealing with Windows, Ubuntu/Mint are waiting. Just don't be fooled into willingly giving up the power of non-retardized hardware that is everything non-Chromebook. Hell, even a MacBook is better!
  • -2 Hide
    iamadev , November 22, 2013 4:21 AM
    @JD88 - Everything that I have seen has shown chromebooks to be slower than their windows counterparts as well as having less battery life and none of the software support.

    You are correct about the fact that they are free from malware but with Security Essentials (Defender in win8+) I have not had any sort of malware to speak of in years so that is really not the big issue it used to be.

    Realistically any tablet platform will give the same security/peace of mind of not having a machine that will get bogged down with malware and have much better battery life and software support. Chromebooks are a solution to a problem that does not exist and it is not a particularly elegant solution at that. People think because the hardware s so lightweight and the OS is so basic that it will be really quick and get great battery life but the opposite is true.
  • 4 Hide
    Bananaman8910 , November 22, 2013 6:39 AM
    Show me a $250 Windows laptop that weighs less than 4 lbs and can boot up in less than 10 seconds. It has to include a full size keyboard and come with a full productivity suite. Also include a battery that lasts all day.

    I'm not saying Chromebooks are the perfect solution for everyone all the time. But for me, it makes a great companion to my Windows desktop. The desktop is for gaming, graphic design, or anything else that one would do in a home office from a desk chair. I want a small, fast, reliable laptop that I don't have to mess with, for use on the road or around the house. The chromebook suits that need perfectly.
  • 4 Hide
    JD88 , November 22, 2013 6:57 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:


    This is hard to swallow coming from someone who has a Windows logo in their avatar.

    Clearly you know very little about Chrome OS because all of it's primary features work perfectly offline, including the full office suite.

    Also, I'm not sure where anyone is without an internet connection or what work they do without one. This isn't 1995 and most of us don't live in the third world.

    Chrome OS is faster, more stable, and much simpler than Windows.

    Did I mention it's free of Windows update, viruses, spyware, malware, palware, adware, bloatware, ransomware, dirty underware, and whatever other awful things that inhabit Windows based PCs.

    It's not too late though, you can free yourself from hassle, extra work, and frustration as well. Chromebooks are for everyone!


    About that Windows logo: haha, almost forgot about it. I use Ubuntu just as much as Win7, so don't take me for a Windows troll. As for other points...

    First of all, MOST of the planet DOES live in the third world. Do the math/geography. And I'm telling you, Internet here SUCKS. And even if it doesn't, why should I buy a device with weak hardware and inferior OS that can't do anything without an Internet connection?

    What do you do offline? Oh, I don't know. Play games, listen to music, watch movies, write documents. I live without Internet at home for a few years. A pain in the neck, but survivable (wouldn't work nowadays for me because I do too much remote support etc.)

    As for Windows "problems"... I'll take a faint chance for having to deal with these "problems" (adware, malware and viruses? You have to be a complete lummox to pick any of these up nowadays!) over not being able to do shit with my hardware ANY day. Again, I've met a few people with Chromebooks. They are pathetic devices that can't do anything useful outside of browsing the Internet and their users regret the wasted money. The concept needs to die. If you are so afraid of dealing with Windows, Ubuntu/Mint are waiting. Just don't be fooled into willingly giving up the power of non-retardized hardware that is everything non-Chromebook. Hell, even a MacBook is better!


    This sounds a lot more like a problem with your internet than with Chrome OS. It's working as intended. For those of us with reliable connections it works perfectly. Everything you said you do offline can be done on Chrome OS.

    Watch movies? Check.
    Play games? There aren't many available for offline mode yet but it's possible.
    Type documents? Check
    Listen to music? Check

    All of those things are easy to do offline on a CB.

    Don't attack how a particular product might be bad simply because it doesn't meet your needs. It might be meeting the needs of others perfectly. Your anger in this case surprises me. Perhaps Chrome OS has no problems and is so simple that its widespread adoption might put you out of a job?

    @iamadev

    Where have you seen a windows product with similar specs being compared to a Chromebook? Thew new Chromebooks get 9+ hours of battery life and cost ~$300. They also boot and are ready to use within 7 seconds. There is NO Windows based product that even comes close to matching that in the price range. If you're referring to the Asus T100 then it's $50-150 more, has a slower CPU, and bigger battery.

    You've got to consider price and hardware before you make judgement on an OS. Put the two operating systems on identical hardware and you'll see how efficient Chrome is.

    https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/chrome/devices/acer-c720-chromebook.html#ac-c720

    Show me a Windows PC that can match that in performance and battery life at the same price point.

    Here are the facts: Cloud computing is the future. Even Microsoft knows this and will have a cloud based OS in Windows 10. There's simply becoming no reason to have locally installed apps anymore when things can be done in the cloud without the need for high end hardware or the problems associated with it. Even gaming will be done in the cloud. Already browser based games are as good as AAA PC games from 5 years ago. Even today's games are streamable if you have a good enough internet connection.

    Mobile OSs like Android and iOS are proof of this. You say they have application support but really all those apps do is offer a nice looking interface to a website with few exceptions, most being games. I don't know of anything I can do on my Android tablet that I can't do on my Chromebook. Hell, there are few things I can do on my desktop PC that I can't do on my Chromebook aside from gaming.

    Photo editing? Got it.
    Document editing? Got it
    Video editing? Basic but for most people all that is needed.

    The facts are that these things meet the needs of the vast majority of people and do it with simplicity and peace of mind.


  • 3 Hide
    LS650 , November 22, 2013 12:06 PM
    Well, now you've met at least one Chromebook user who IS happy with his purchase.

    I work with Win 7 workstations in an office environment. When I go home, I want a basic, simple machine that lets me browse web pages, watch Netflix, read ebooks, etc. I want this machine to be simple and hassle-free. A tablet would work, but I want a device with a permanent keyboard. I would have been happy with an Android laptop, but there aren't very many such beasts.

    About 3 months ago I bought a Samsung Chromebook, and I have to say I am very pleased with its performance. 6.5 hours of battery life, and it recharges in less than 90 minutes. It connects without ail to every wifi router I've tried. From the time I lift the lid until I can browse the Internet is 9 seconds (yes, I've timed it). Is it fancy with a lot of bells and whistles? No. Does it just work? Yes.

    No one machine can be all things to all users. You Captain Negative types wouldn't be happy with it, and I get that. However, some of us have access to powerful machines, but we don't need that much power all the time. For sitting on the sofa doing a bit of web-surfing or typing up an email, a Chromebook can be a good choice for some people.
  • 2 Hide
    Simonatsydney , November 23, 2013 2:05 AM
    I think of them as tablets with built in keyboards and mice. I hate typing on my tablet!!!!
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , November 23, 2013 9:21 AM
    For all the Chromebook users here, check out our community on Google+ for lots of news and discussion:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105678482604512626671
  • 2 Hide
    assasin32 , November 23, 2013 6:33 PM
    Quote:
    Chromebooks are useless crippled junk both hardware and software wise. Only a few top models (e.g. that one with 2500x1600 screen - Samsung, I think?) are of any use when you wipe out the storage device and install a full-fledged OS. I know a few users with Chromebooks and the second the net connection drops (which happens often, blame ADSL), they start whining. This concept needs to die - if you want a basic device for emal and Skype and whatnot, get a Nexus 10 with a keyboard or some cheap but good convertible or whatever, but not this crippled, useless rubbish.


    I own a Samsung Chromebook and have owned one since December 2012. It may not be a "full fledged OS" but it does majority of what people need to do on a computer and does it well. I use mine for internet and typing up notes/papers. Outside of relaxing around the house where this is the go to computer, this is used for school and a large portion of it has been used offline as some of my classes were at the local Fire Tower where there is no internet connection. And I was able to use it in offline mode with no difficulty.

    Big differences between this laptop and others, were that at $250 it was the only laptop at the time, and still one of the few laptops a year latter that meet all my needs. Small size, full size keyboard, good battery life, good performance while using encryption (for basic internet, typing papers), SSD/fast bootup. The next closest laptop to meet these req at the time would have set me back $500 at the time when I priced it out, prices haven't changed too much so it might be closer to $400 now.

    Tablets aren't a good solution as I require a keyboard and Android isn't as secure as Windows or Chrome OS with how you don't always get updates and lack of support after a short time.

    Big advantage for the Chrome OS is it's a lightweight OS that doesn't take up many resources. The updates are forced out to all users and updates int he background so if there is something out in the wild going after it, it won't be out for long once it's patched. There is 0% maintenance in general, I have yet to have to do anything after a year except restart the machine. It just freaking works, I was skeptical till I bought one now I love it. I also love how all the personal data is encrypted by default which should be a requirement for any laptop that leaves the home.
  • 1 Hide
    Bruce Clarke , November 24, 2013 8:45 AM
    PS. I realized yesterday that it had been about six weeks since I last started up my Toshiba laptop with Windows XP. I decided I should ensure it has the latest updates.

    To update Windows, Avast, QuickTime, and Java took more than 30 minutes to download and install. During this I could barely get the browser to respond as the hard drive churned away.