Just this week Asus announced their brand new Eee Top desktop computer, which is meant to directly complete with Apple’s juggernaut, the iMac.
The Eee Top is a fancy take on desktop computing, that features a 15.6-inch touch screen, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB DDR RAM, a 160GB 5,400RPM hard drive (boo!), a 1.3-megapixel webcam, and built-in WiFi. The price point is set at about $580 USD, but sadly the machine is only available in Taiwan. The rest of us will have to wait!
Though, the wait will be worthwhile, because if 15.6 inches sounds like it’ll be to small for you, Asus has a 20 and 22-inch version slated for release in June.
It’s official: People who buy motherboards with mainstream chipsets such as the P45 don’t want to pay for DDR3. At least, that’s what it seems like to us. Asus’s impressive Maximus II Formula is the third P45-based board we’ve tested, and not one of them sports DDR3 slots. But that doesn’t take anything away from the MIIF, the coolest P45 board we’ve encountered.
I built my computer about a month ago—it’s nothing special. I’m running an Intel Pentium D 820 on an Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard. For a videocard, I’m rocking a BFG 9800 GTX.
I stumbled upon the System Information at the bottom-left corner of the Nvidia Control Panel recently. When I clicked it, I took note of the plethora of information on the 9800 GTX. What caught my eye was the very last line: BUS: PCI Express x4. That seems off, given that my card uses an x16 interface. What gives?
A small group of Maximum PC readers (and editors) tend to glaze over at the mere mention of the Eee PC. For those of you that fall into this category, I’ll do my best to keep it interesting and you’ll be glad to know, this isn’t an ordinary netbook announcement. The now household name that spawned a generation of inexpensive PC’s have unveiled a new form factor that brings the Eee product line closer to being a desktop solution than ever before. First impressions of the product are obvious, it is clearly intended to appeal to the budget conscious crowd who can’t afford an iMac, or simply don’t care to pay the Apple tax. Asus isn’t the first to take on the iMac, but the Eee brand name, and touch screen interface gives it an interesting advantage over its competitors.
The Eee Top will come in two variations, the ET1602 and the ET1603. Both models feature a 15.6” touch screen display, a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of Ram, and a 160GB Hard Drive. Other less critical features include 802.11n networking as well as a built in card reader and web cam. The two models are almost completely identical with the one exception being the ET1603’s inclusion of the ATI Mobility Radeon HD3450 for graphics. The ET1602 by comparison will only sport Intel integrated. No pricing has yet been announced for either model, and both systems will feature Windows XP Home with a custom touch screen GUI.
So, is this the form factor of Eee PC you were waiting for?
When most computer users think of folding at home, the image that comes to mind is that of folding proteins in hopes of ultimately coming up with a cure for common diseases. But the term is about to become literal with Asus' announcement of its Vento TA-F foldable chassis.
The main benefit of a collapsible chassis lies in its portability. According to Asus, with a fully folded dimension of 434 x 87 x 434 mm, vendors can cut back on transportation costs by upwards of 30 percent. Presumably this would translate into reduced costs for the end users who often find themselves paying anywhere from $15 to $25 or more to have a case shipped. But are there any other benefits?
"This [space saving design] also allows DIY enthusiasts to carry the chassis back home or to the office without having to contend with the conventional bulk of a normal chassis," Asus explains in its press release. "Once the user arrives back home or at the office, the TA-F Series can be expanded quickly to use and also be kept away by simply folding it flat."
To do so would require removing installed components and then reinstalling, rinse and repeat. To its credit, the TA-F boasts a tools-free setup to help streamline the process, but we can't imagine system builders opting to tear down their system in order to save some cargo space.
What are your thoughts on a foldable chassis? Hit the jump and let us know.
While Apple may not be offering anything new this holiday season, there’s a good chance that Asus might. According to notebook component vendors, Asus may be planning to introduce a 12-inch notebook, similar to the high-end Eee PC S101.
Claims have been reported that the S101 was originally designed for Asus’ ZX series, but Asus decided to ultimately add it to the netbook line as the demand for a high-end Eee PC grew. The rumored 12-inch ZX is supposed to have similar functionality to the Eee, but with bonus screen real estate, packing a respectable 16:10 aspect ratio.
The rumored notebook is supposed to be launched by the end of 2008, with a price point lower than $1,000. So keep your eyes open in the coming weeks, the holiday season is just around the corner.
It can be argued that Asus pioneered the netbook market with its Eee PC line, much in the same way Apple stormed the MP3 front with its iPod. And like the iPod, a whole slew of complimentary products have been released with the Eee PC in mind, including a cup holder car mount. But despite the popularity of Asus' Eee PC line, the company may find itself playing second fiddle to Acer when it comes to shipments.
Acer, who announced its Aspire one netbook in June of this year, said shipments by year's end could reach 6 million units, which would be enough to outpace Asus. By comparison, Asus has set a goal of shipping 5 million Eee PCs, a distant second for a company that has had a 6-month head start.
"The netbook segment is growing very nicely," said Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci during the company's third quarter investor's conference in Taipei on Friday.
That might be the understatement of the year. It's been reported that the worldwide PC market is growing on the strength of netbooks, with mini-notebook shipments reaching 80.6 million units in the Q3 2008. The growing segment shows no signs of slowing down, and Acer looks to cash in with anywhere from 12 million to 15 million Aspire one shipments in 2009, according to Lanci.
Will Asus lose its lead in 2009? Hit the jump and tell us your prediction.
Asus company president Jerry Shen expects his company's notebook growth in 2009 to outpace the industry's average of 10 to 20 percent, while also grabbing nearly a third of the netbook market next year with shipments in the 6 to 7.5 million unit range.
According to DigiTimes, part of Asus' growth in the netbook sector will hinge on a new $200 Eee PC that Shen plans to introduce sometime in 2009. Not much is known about the proposed low-cost PC and whether or not it will be on par with the $300 Eee PC 900A Best Buy began selling earlier this month.
Notebooks have become Asus' bread and butter, with mobile PCs now account for 47 percent of the company's revenues. On the growing netbook side, the company's Eee PC line contributes 22 percent, while motherboards and graphics cards accounting for 19 percent, handheld devices 2 percent, and all other products contributing 10 percent of revenue.
Even notebooks and PCs that earn Maximum PC's coveted Kick Ass award leave room for improvement. Take Gateway's stellar P-7811FX gaming notebook, for instance. Somehow, Gateway managed to cram a bevy of high componentry into a package that's priced way below what gamers are accustomed to paying for pixel pushing laptops. But while the 9800M GTS and 4GB of DDR3 RAM are noteworthy high points, the integrated speakers and poor placement of the optical drive's eject button are both less than ideal. More SATA ports would make for welcome additions, too.
We all have different ideas as to what's important when it comes to desktop and mobile PCs, but we're ultimately left at the mercy of the manufacturer. Think you can do better? In a joint effort between Asus and Intel, your ideas can be heard and shared, and might even materialize on an actual shipping product.
That's the concept behind WePC.com, a new site by Asus and Intel that encourages visitors to share ideas and even create what they would consider to be a Dream PC. After selecting from three different categories -- Gamer PC, Notebook, and Netbook -- you can describe your idea(s) and name your creation, and even upload an image of what you're envisioning. Selecting the Dream PC option gives you even more options, including the ability to post a YouTube video, and greater control over the specifics, like what ports should be included, whether a large hard drive or an SSD is more important, and much more.
Once published, other community members can vote on your creation and leave comments. And if intriguing or popular enough, Asus might even build it. With Intel inside, of course.
What do you envision? Hit the jump and tell us all about it.
We know what you’re thinking, what more could a motherboard vendor put on the PCB that would convince anyone to part with $400? Asus thinks its latest Rampage II Extreme board in the Republic of Gamer’s series will do it.
This X58-based Core i7 board features support both Tri-SLI and CrossFire X, six DDR3 DIMM slots, EAX 4.0 software support, an audio card riser, heat pipes, LCD poster displays and a joystick and probe ports to connect your multi-tester.
What the hell do you need a joystick on a mobo for? Using the provided small single-line LCD display, you can toggle voltages, overclocking profiles or clock speeds. Want even more insane features? The board features probe ports to connect a multi-meter to the motherboard to read direct voltages for the RAM, southbridge, PCI-E, CPU, QPI and CPU PLL’s.
One feature the board doesn’t have that we expected was support for Nvidia’s nForce 200 chip. Instead of the Nvidia hardware, Asus has SLI certification for up to three-way SLI in a x16/x8/x8 configuration. There’s no word as to whether Asus plans to offer a board with an nForce 200 part in it yet.