Asus At Computex 2013
This month our editorial teams from Germany, Italy, and the U.S. were on the ground in Taiwan, covering the Taipei International Information Technology Show (better known as Computex) to bring you information about upcoming and prototype products. In this third and final installment, we have information from 19 different manufacturers!
Beginning with Asus' booth, we caught a glimpse of the MB168B+, an external 15.6" 1080p display driven by a USB power for mobile multi-monitor functionality. With a thin 8 mm profile and weighing in at just 800 grams (less than two pounds), it's as easy to tote as a tablet. The screen's carrying case doubles as a stand, and the MB168B+ adjusts its orientation automatically if you have it in landscape or portrait mode.
Asus' 27" VN279QLB was the second display we checked out. Boasting a resolution of 1920x1080, this IPS-based screen is clearly intended for use in multi-display configurations, owing to that super-thin bezel. Expect it show up for sale sometime in July.
The PQ321 is Asus' first 4K monitor. A 31.5" diagonal measurement and resolution of 3840x2160 yield a 0.182 mm dot pitch. It comes equipped with one DisplayPort and two HDMI 1.4 inputs. It's expected to arrive this month at a $3800 MSRP. Later this year, the company says it's planning to launch a 39" model, pictured to the right.
The upcoming Zenbook Infinity Ultrabook employs a 2560x1440 multi-touch screen, Gorrilla Glass 3, and a fourth-gen Core processor based on the Haswell architecture. This svelte machine weighs in at 2.6 lbs and should be available in September.
Perhaps the most interesting mobile platform at Computex was Asus' Transformer Book Trio. The three-in-one design includes a 10" Atom-powered tablet that runs Android 4.2.1 and a keyboard/docking station equipped with a mobile Haswell-based CPU driving Windows. You can plug the tablet into the dock and use the combination in Windows or Android. Or, use the dock separately with an external monitor (not included) as a workstation. When the dock and tablet are joined under Android, both batteries combine to deliver a purported 15 hours of runtime. Availability is expected in September.
Another mobile device, Asus' MeMo Pad HD7 is a 7" tablet also running Jellybean. It includes a 10-point multitouch IPS panel at 1280x800, a MediaTek quad-core processor, 16 GB of on-board storage, front and rear cameras, a microSD slot, and a Type D Micro HDMI output. According to company representatives, the MeMo Pad HD7 offers up to 10 hours of battery life.
None of those specifications sound particularly impressive, until you hear that it's supposed to cost about $150. Expect this tablet to surface in the third quarter in four different colors.
On to the PC components. We went hands-on with Asus' new ROG Poseidon graphics card design, featuring what the company claims is the world's first hybrid air/liquid cooler on a GPU. It will launch aside GeForce GTX 700-series boards in the near future, we're told.
Asus' mini-ITX ROG Maximus VI Impact motherboard was on display as well, and it earned Tom's Hardware's Best Of Computex 2013 award for high-end features like an 8+2-phase voltage regulator, 802.11ac Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0, an overclocking tool panel placed near the rear I/O panel, including LED debug display, power, reset, and clear CMOS buttons, and a SupremeFX audio card with high-end capacitors, amplifiers, and shielding. Expect it to arrive in the $300 range.
The Mini-ITX Z87I-Deluxe is pretty much a cheaper $200 counterpart to the ROG Impact, with a similar multi-phase power daughterboard and 802.11ac connectivity. It sports six SATA ports, and Asus claims it's the first mini-ITX board with four controllable fan headers.
We also saw some artistic-looking Z87-based motherboard mods that were worth checking out.
Finally, we scoped out Asus' ET2702IGTH all-in-one PC with a 27" 2560x1440 display, Haswell-based Core i7 processor, Radeon HD 8890A graphics, 16 GB of DDR3, Thunderbolt connectivity, SonicMaster audio, and an external subwoofer. This system is expected to be available in July for $2000, including a Blu-ray combo drive.