Asus was busy showing off its Eee PC 1005PR netbook during CeBIT, and has now gone official with its latest entry to the Eee PC line. So what's the big deal about this one?
When you flip the lid of the 1005PR, you'll find an LED backlit WXGA display with a 1366 x 768 resolution, making it the first 10-inch netbook in the Asus camp to sport a higher res display. But that's not all. Asus also crammed in a Broadcom BCM 70015 HD accelerator.
"The Eee PC 1005PR embedded HD Decoder Broadcom BCM 70015, which comes with ArcSoft Total Media Theater to smoothly play high definition quality video. Users can enjoy HD video entertainment on the unit's 10.1-inch high definition screen," Asus says.
The rest is mostly standard for a Pine Trail netbook, including Intel's Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. Other features include Express Gate / Dual OS, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, three USB 2.0 ports, and a 0.3MP webcam.
Asus today launched a pair of Radeon HD 5000 series videocards -- EAH5870 and EAH5850 -- the company claims will accommodate extreme levels of overclocking thanks to an "innovative thermal design."
Both cards come equipped with specially-flattened copper heatpipes Asus says helps dissipate heat up to 20 percent better while playing games, while also offering up to 35 percent quieter operation when idle.
Similar to what was so successful in Cooler Master's Hyper 212 Plus CPU cooler (see review here), Asus looks to have gone with a direct contact solution, squashing the 5.8-ounce heatpipes to at the base. Combined with the company's exclusive "Voltage Tweak" technology, which allows users to ramp up the GPU voltage through the included SmartDoctor application, Asus says users can expect up to a 50 percent performance gain (when overclocking).
Each of the new models will sport a 10-inch screen, a chiclet keyboard, a webcam, a double array microphone, and a promised 14-hours of battery life for the 1015P and 1016P. Cases will be made of aluminum.
The 1018P will be slimmer than its compatriots, and will come with USB 3.0. Unfortunately, its battery will provide power for only ten hours.
Sadly, information on the guts of each machine is unknown. Full details will most likely emerge when they show themselves at CeBit.
In a world where you can get a pretty decent $99.99 motherboard, a lot of consumers don’t understand why you would pay one-and-a-half times more for a board using the same chipset.
That’s because those same consumers don’t seem to understand the attitude and atmosphere you get with a high-end motherboard. It’s about the flair, and the Asus Maximus III Formula offers that in spades.
While some of the flair is extraneous, such as the garish case sticker, some can be truly handy. A set of stickers lets you label your SATA cables, for example. And then there’s the flair that we’ve come to expect of Asus: the ever-useful Q-connector for front-panel connections and the no-snag I/O shield and snag-free RAM slots we first saw on the P7P55D Deluxe. Audio is upgraded over baseline boards with the SupremeFX X-Fi module. The module and drivers give you X-Fi algorithms and the codecs are moved off the noisy motherboard. Since RAM configuration can affect system reliability, the board also includes a handy BIOS-based MemPerfect utility to validate your RAM settings.
Asus takes remote-control monitoring and overclocking to the next level with the MIIIF, too. You can now connect a laptop directly to the motherboard to monitor voltages, temperature, and fans; read POST codes; and even overclock the board. It’s neat, but we wish Asus would build in logging and graphing capabilities, as well.
Up to this point, Acer has been able to sit on top of the netbook hill with a comfortable market lead over its competitors, and while Acer will probably maintain a shipment advantage throughout 2010, other vendors are quickly closing the gap, DigiTimes reports.
Acer managed to ship about 9 million netbooks last year, almost double that of its nearest competitor (Asus), who shipped 5.4 million. Meanwhile, HP and Samsung shipped 4.2 million and 2.9 million units respectively in 2009, posing no real threat to Acer's No. 1 spot. That's about to change.
Acer recently indicated it expects mostly flat performance on its netbook shipments in 2010, or slight growth in a best case scenario. That leaves the door open for Asus to close the gap, who reckons it will ship 8 million units this year. Samsung and HP also expect better performance in the coming months and hope to finish the year with 7-8 million and 6 million units, respectively.
Asus' Waveface concept is the thing sci-fi flicks are made of. It also has all the makings of vaporware, but let's give Asus the benefit of the doubt and see what they're trying to cook up.
First up is the Waveface Casa. This is essentially a widescreen display that covers up and taps into the cloud when you're not flipping through channels. It also recognizes gestures, allowing the user to bring up family photos and home videos by pointing and waving around.
Then there's the Waveface Light. This one assumes the tablet craze sweeping the tech sector will stick around, because that's exactly what it is, albeit flexible. It's also a netbook when you choose not to fold it flat.
And finally there's the Waveface Ultra. You'll wear the Ultra around your wrist like an oversized watch, and this too is gesture controlled. It also connects to the cloud. Asus describes it as a wearable smartphone that "finds, filters, and provides you with the right information at the right time."
It all sounds pretty groovy, if not probably overly ambitious, at least in the short-term.
We've covered Asus' Eee PC T101MT a couple of times already, but we may have underestimated the the SDXC slot. Most reports (including ours) had the slot topping out at 32GB, but according to the latest tech chatter, the T101MT will come capable of reading 2TB SDXC cards.
So what exactly is SDXC? Short for Secure Digital eXtended Capacity, this new format was announced during CES one year ago. SDXC uses Microsoft's exFAT file system and boasts read/write speeds of 104MB/s with a roadmap to 300MB/s. According to the SD Association, a 2TB SDXC memory card (which is so far non-existent) can store 100 HD movies, 480 hours of HD recording, or 136,000 fine-grade photos.
Who knows how much a 2TB SDXC card would cost (a lot), but every indication is that the T101MT will be ready.
The new Asus T101MT netbook tablet was spotted in an FCC filing back in December, but it’s now been made official. The systems comes with the familiar netbook internals including a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, a 10.1-inch LED-backlit screen (with touchscreen capabilities), and 1-2GB of RAM depending on which version of Windows 7 the customer opts for. Consumers will also have a choice between a 160GB hard drive, or a 320GB hard drive with 500GB of Asus cloud storage free for a year.
Of course, the real trick here is the rotating screen that swivels around to put the computer into tablet mode. The system is not obscenely heavy at 2.9 lbs, and will offer a reported 6.5 hours of battery life. As an extra added bonus the SD card slot will be able to read the new SDXC cards up to 32GB in size. No specifics on price or availability were announced, but we’ll keep an eye out. Does this sort of form factor interest you at all?
Asus appears to be going all out on its upcoming custom Radeon HD 5870 videocard. It will be the newest addition to Asus' Republic of Gamers (ROG) Matrix series, and unlike any other HD 5870 on the market.
Not only will it look different, but there are some standout features underneath the hood. Asus put a little TLC into tweaking the PCB, resulting in higher quality voltage regulators, an aggressive factory overclock (900MHz core and 1225MHz memory clockspeeds), better overclocking potential, and twice the amount of RAM as any other HD 5870 (2GB versus 1GB).
Should things get a little too hairy, there's a "safe mode" button on the back that drops the clocks and voltage back to stable levels.
Tablet or netbook? Asus' upcoming convertible Eee PC T101MT is a little of both, and if Amazon's German portal is any indication, it's just about ready to ship.
Amazon's listing has the tablet pegged at 12.1 inches, but it's actually a 10.1-inch display. It's also touchscreen capable, hence the tablet talk, and includes an Intel Atom N450 processor (1.6GHz), 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, Intel GMA3150 graphics, and Windows 7 Home Premium. In other words, everything you would expect out of a modern day netbook.
Don't be alarmed by the pre-order price, which is listed at 499 Euros, or a little less than $690. We suspect it will sell for $100+ less once it goes stateside.