Tag Archives: Asus

Asus Debuts ZenPad S 8.0 at Computex

Asus logoComputex 2015 is in full swing in Taipei and new product announcements are coming fast and furious. One of those products is a new tablet by Asus called the ZenPad S 8.0. This 8-inch ZenPad boasts some impressive features. Including:

  • Intel 64-bit Atom Z3580 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • PowerVR 6430 GPU
  • 3.4 times the browser performance of some competitors and 2.2 times the GPU performance
  • Optional stylus (this is where the ZenPad gets the “S” in its name)
  • Metallic finish with “diamond cut edges”
  • 6mm (0.25 inches) thick
  • Weighs 298 grams (10.5 ounces)
  • Screen is a 2K (2,048×1,536-pixel) IPS panel, offering 324 pixels per inch

This new ZenPad could be seen as a strong competitor to Apple’s iPad Mini, as the two devices are pretty similar in terms of overall size and spec. Also, the ZenPad comes with many of Asus’s proprietary enhancements, including TruVivid and Tru2Life (known collectively as VisualMaster), both of which are designed to increase screen clarity, contrast and brightness. The TruVivid technology actually alters the traditional screen manufacturing process to eliminate the “air gap” between the touch panel and the LCD ZenPad models, increasing optical transparency.

ZenPad S 8.0 also comes with optional accessories like the Clutch “fashion” cover as well as a Power Cover that offers an additional 15 hours of battery life.

ZenPad tablets will offer both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi only versions. Availability of these will differ from region to region. Full pricing and release dates haven’t yet been announced.

Digital Curmudgeon

EEEPC-SSDThere’s a dirty little secret about computer performance that is hiding within plain sight. A solid state drive (SSD) will take almost any machine manufactured within the past five to ten years and give it a massive performance boost.

I have an Asus 1000HE EEEPC Netbook from four or five years ago. It came with a 160 gigabyte 5900 RPM conventional spinning hard drive. With the conventional hard drive, the computer was painfully slow to boot up and to use. It would take the better part of 10 minutes to completely boot up and become usable.

I installed a 120 gigabyte Crucial M500 SSD drive into it and restored the operating system (Windows XP SP3) from the original system DVD that came with the machine. After installing the software I will be using with the machine, including Adobe Audition 1.5 and MS Office XP, it completely boots up and is 100% usable within 30 seconds! Programs load immediately and windows snap to attention.

I use this machine as a handy backup machine to an older SSD-equipped white plastic Macbook. The Asus Netbook doesn’t take up much room when I’m traveling. I realize that XP is no longer being supported by Microsoft, but I want to hang on to the perfectly functional older software such as Adobe Audition 1.5 that really has no modern equivalent that I like nearly as well. I am not browsing or doing email with this machine, so it should be perfectly safe to continue to use well into the future.

The move to mobile has caused me to shift away from relying much on traditional computers. During the last year I have used my computers only to record podcasts with. Email and browsing are handled exclusively on mobile devices.

In recent years I’ve grown increasingly annoyed by the constant upgrade cycle drumbeat. It seems there is always some fix or some new supposedly “must have” version of virtually every piece of hardware and software. Why upgrade? “Better performance” and/or “better security” are almost always the answers that are either given or implied. Often I find that NOT to be the case.

Operating system updates end up destroying existing software and hardware compatabilities. Sometimes software that won’t work on a new version of an operating system is never updated or replaced, and the functionality is simply lost.

So, if you have an older machine, including both Windows and Mac, depending on what you are using it for, if you want to hold on to perfectly functional older hardware and software, installing an SSD into an older machine can give it an incredible performance boost that will blow away any brand new machine that is not equipped with an SSD drive. Also, SSD prices contine to go down. A 120 gigabyte Crucial M500 drive now sells for about $72 dollars on Amazon, making it one amazing inexpensive upgrade that offers the absolute most bang possible for the buck!

New Nexus 7 Review!

nexus7I was very excited to get my hands on the new Nexus 7. Straight out of the box I knew this was a different animal. First and foremost it is as light as a feather compared to the prior model. Frankly I was shocked at how much lighter it is compared to the first model.

The second thing I noticed was the screen, it seemed dark and I attributed it to the background that Google selected to deliver with the device. Choosing a new background really helped, but that first impression of the default background was not flattering.

Doing a head to head though and you can see the resolution difference immediately. My son loaded his Ingress account on the old Nexus 7, and I loaded mine on the new one and the graphics delta was so obvious that my son has been begging me for one now for 3 days. We will be playing Ingress on several new Nexus 7’s in the coming weeks.

My wife lives with her iPad, so when I handed the Nexus 7 to her. I said mess with this the rest of the day, load some apps and let me know what you think. She loves the size and the graphics, she commented it fit in her purse better than the iPad and she may consider a switch when she is up for a new device.

Lucky for all of us, the price on the Nexus 7 is the best part. In my opinion this tablet has the most bang for the buck! The processor is fast, they have a decent amount of internal ram and storage. The size is perfect for everyday use and for those using a iPad Mini your going to want to get to a store and try this device out. Buy one Today.

Asus announces $149 MeMO Android tablet

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may be over, but it does not mean news and product announcements come to an end. Asus waited until today, perhaps to avoid the avalanche of other announcements, to unveil its new MeMO Pad — a seven inch Android 4.1 tablet that will be released soon.

The MeMO Pad will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a 1 MP front facing camera, 1 GB of RAM and comes with either 8 or 16 GB of storage. The company claims 7 hours of battery life. In addition, it claims to feature “a 10-point multi-touch LED-backlit display with 1024 x 600 resolution, 140-degree wide viewing angles, and its 350-nit brightness means images remain clear, even outdoors”.

The tablet “will be available starting this January in selected markets”. Prices begin at $149 — presumably for the 8 GB version. The MeMO Pad will come in three colors — Sugar White, Titanium Gray and Cherry Pink and will be in the U.S. market in April.

Asus Reveals Nexus 7 Created and Released in 6 Months

Nexus 7 (8GB)

In stark contrast to Apple, who thinks and brainstorms and plans and tests for months and even years before unveiling a product, Asus has reveled that the Nexus 7 was conceived at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) 2012 in Las Vegas and was on the market within six months.

The fact is, Asus revealed a 7 inch tablet, known as the Asus MeMo 370T at CES, but it quickly disappeared among rumors that Google had poached it as a concept for their own Android tablet.  It turned out that those early rumors were true.  Asus and Google executives met at CES and hatched the plan for the Nexus 7.  Execs from Asus recently revealed that the product, conceived in January, went to manufacture in May and, as we all know, hit the market in July.

“Our top executives met Google’s top executives at CES to talk about opportunities and how they saw the future market. That’s when we came up with the idea of the Google Nexus 7 by Asus. That was in January, and mass production started in May.”

That’s considerably shorter than the industry average for taking a product from concept to manufacture to release, but in this case it worked perfectly.  The Nexus 7 has exceeded all expectations with sales skyrocketing  and reviews almost all ranging from positive to gushing.  The tablet comes in both 8 GB and 16 GB flavors for $199 and $249 respectively and can be found over at the Google Play Store.

Possible Google Nexus Tablet Images Leaked

Enough information has found it’s way onto the web to say, with a great deal of certainty, that the Google Nexus tablet is a real device and will be on the market relatively soon.  It’s almost certain as well, that the device is being built by Asus.  What we don’t know are precise hardware specs and retail pricing, although rumors of the latter have placed it as low as $149.

Now today, mobile news site Phone Arena has posted leaked photos sent to them that are purported to be the highly anticipated tablet.  Although the images are fuzzy (why are leaked photos ALWAYS fuzzy?!), a few things can be seen.  One is the unmistakable Asus name on the back, along with the Google logo.  The tablet also appears to be two or three colors, with what seems to be a white face and grey and black back.

The source of the photos also claimed the tablet is running a Tegra 3 processor and will launch running Android 4.1, widely believed to be the version number for Jelly Bean.

The tablet is expected to be officially announced later this month at the Google I/O Conference and may begin shipping as early as July.  If the price rumors are correct then this could be an immediate competitor to the Amazon Kindle Fire.  You can check out the two images below, reprinted from Phone Arena.

Google Nexus Tablet to be Priced $149?

There has been a load of “information” floating around the internet the past few days regarding the Google Nexus tablet, which can pretty much be confirmed as a real product at this point.  It’s only the technical specs that are still just rumors, and we have seen nothing but speculation regarding the price, although rumors have been pegging it at $199 to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Personally I was expecting Google to try and undercut Amazon, perhaps going $189, but now tech news site SlashGear is jumping into the story with a report that the new Asus-manufactured tablet will hit the market priced at just $149!  In addition, they are reporting that the device will feature a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and the latest version of the Android operating system, although not 5.0 Jellybean as some sites have been reporting.  Instead, SlashGear claims it will likely be version 4.2, which will still be known as Ice Cream Sandwich.  SlashGear cites sources from both Asus and NVIDIA for their information.

So, what do you think of a $149 Android tablet?  Is it real?  Would you buy it?  Personally, I will not only buy one at that price, but also one for each of the two kids and the wife!