Laptop Thoughts: News & Reviews on Laptops, Netbooks, Slates, and More.

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Android Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "asus"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ASUS UX21: A Better and Less Expensive MacBook Air?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 PM

"The thickest part of this new laptop is 17mm, its entire body is built from an aluminum alloy (weighs 1.1kg / 2.4lb), and the CPUs can be specced as high as Core i7. Anything else you need to know before drooling all over yourself?"

Too late, I've already started to drool. The specs on this system are incredible. Extremely close in size to a MacBook Air, but with (up to) a Core i7 processor, SATA-III SSD at speeds up to 6GB/sec, and USB3. A glass trackpad, reinforced hinges, 7-hour (claimed) battery, and a metal keyboard (backlit?) appear to be standard. An InstantOn feature promises to resume (Windows) in seconds, and the UX21 can hibernate for a full week. Funny, but each successive product announcement blurs the lines between Mac and PC further. At some point I expect it to become like a Volkswagen vs. Audi debate: Identical features for the most part, but different packaging and pricing. Windows or OS X may become no longer important. No information on availability or pricing is currently availability, but in another review, PCMAG's direct question to ASUS was "will the UX21 be less expensive than the MacBook Air?" The answer "was a resounding yes."

Tags: hardware, asus, ux21

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. Is it More Than Meets the Eye?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"As the name would suggest, there is much more than meets the eye with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The tablet’s spec sheet reads nearly identical to its biggest Android-powered competitor, the Motorola Xoom. Both are powered by NVIDIA’s incredibly capable dual-core Tegra 2 processor, augmented with 1GB of RAM, and enter the market amidst significant hype. "

If you like the portability of tablets, but find yourself sometimes in need of some more heavy text input, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer may be what you are looking for. The specs are nice and about as speedy as one would expect any pricey Android tablet to be, but the big draw for the Transformer of any other tablet is its optional keyboard dock. A standard dock would raise questions with me, as if you are doing enough data entry to need a keyboard, would you not be better served with a netbook or Macbook Air? And at the price of the keyboard dock and the tablet, you are already in that price range. Still, it is an interesting addition, and it might be an indication of the netbook of the future. I read reports that the original netbooks that had Linux installed were often returned in favour of Windows based ones. With the market, consumers and expectations much different now, a netbook might be seen as no longer needing a traditional desktop OS.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Selling Out Everywhere

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:13 AM

"At the tail end of last month, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Best Buy listing appeared then disappeared for the Eee Pad Transformer tablet from ASUS. It U.S. release had been set for April, and now the Pad Transformer is here, and completely sold out at any major online retailer you can think of, including Amazon and Best Buy."

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is one of the more interesting Android-based tablets: it brings a lot of of hardware to the table, including a clever keyboard dock that boosts battery life to an estimated 16 hours of run time. Any Laptop Thoughts readers try and fail to get one?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Asus Eee PC Transformer: This Thing Looks Killer!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 02:00 PM

I can't say much for Asus' marketing tag line on the Transformer - "My Multiple Life, I decide" sounds like a bad translation of bottle of Chinese bipolar disorder drug - but the device itself is shaping up to me quite least on paper. It has all of the standard goodness that we've come to expect from a modern Android tablet - the NVIDIA Tegra 2 1 Ghz dual-core CPU, 1080p playback support, a nice 10.1 inch IPS display running 1280 x 800 resolution, 16 Gb or 32 GB of storage, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 1.2 megapixel front camera, and the usual assortment of sensors (G-Sensor, Light, Gyroscope, E-Compass, GPS).

What's really interesting about the Transformer is the fact that it docks with a keyboard that takes the 9.5 hour battery run-time and boosts it to an impressive 16 hours. If those are real numbers, and not inflated marketing numbers, this tablet will be an amazing breakthrough for people who need a device with incredible endurance. The fact that it has two USB ports, and an SD card reader in the keyboard base station, make it all the more tempting.

The best hardware in the world though won't make up for a lack of tablet-friendly applications, and based on my experience so far with the Motorola XOOM, this is a significant problem. I can only hope that as more Android 3.0 tablets come to market, developers will take note and gear up their coding efforts.

Asus Transformer Rooted Before Release

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 09:00 AM

"Before it hit store shelves here in the US MoDaCo founder Paul O'Brien managed to get his hands on one of the upcoming Android devices and, with a little help from Twitter user BumbleDroid, gained root access to the tablet."

The quote above pretty much says it all. The Asus Transformer has already been rooted! So why would anyone want this? Well, apparently this Honeycomb tablet will be available with a Tegra 2, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 1.2MP webcam, and a WXGA 10.1" IPS LCD for $400. Not bad and you already know you can root it, plus you can add a keyboard to the thing if you want (that's the "Transformer" part)! Will anyone be picking this up when it's released or will it at least make you hold off on a purchase until you get to try it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Features Videos

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:00 PM

"The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is seeing early action in the UK as we saw somebody unbox one the other day and now ASUS UK has their own walkthrough videos touching on various features of the tablet hybrid."

First video provides information on hardware features. Quite impressive!

I'm impressed by how rock-solid everything looks. It seems like the tablet really is locked-into the dock.

Game playing is quite impressive, excellent performance, and sound quality.

Lastly, some information on apps. Android Market is fully supported on this Honeycomb system.

Not a lot of information is available on release schedules for North America, but some early pricing shows that the tablet and dock will probably be sold and priced separately, with the tablet priced at about $400 for the 16GB model (about $500 for the 32GB model) and the dock (keyboard and ports) priced at about $150. ASUS appears to understand that they need to beat the iPad 2 and their Android competition on price, and offer compelling features to potential buyers. After looking at these videos, I personally think that this could be a very, very serious competitor in both the tablet and netbook markets. This is a likely candidate for my first Android device!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The March of Progress: The ASUS K53E Reviewed

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:30 PM

"ntel has taken the stock K53E and fitted it with a faster i5-2520M processor, which should be a moderate performance bump from the K53E with i5-2410M and a healthy upgrade from the non-Turbo i3-2310M model. The i5-2520M runs at a stock clock speed of 2.5GHz with Turbo modes running at up to 3.2GHz; in contrast, the i5-2410M checks in at 2.3GHz with a 2.9GHz max Turbo, and the poor i3-2310M runs at a constant 2.1GHz. There are a few other changes as well, depending on which model you want to take as the baseline."

As new form factors continue to amaze and entertain, the workhorse that is now the laptop, or notebook, if you prefer, continues improving. The ASUS K53E is not going to break any records, but it does show that notebooks are not standing still. The question mostly comes down to when is the right time to buy a computer? Special sales put aside, I have generally believed that the best time to buy is when you absolutely need it. Waiting until a particular model comes out only gives you more time to get interested in something even further down the line.

Friday, April 8, 2011

That Sweet Sound is Coming from Your Laptop

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

Every time we review a notebook, we test out its speakers by playing a few tunes and videos–and usually come away unimpressed. But laptop makers are now paying a lot more attention to both volume and fidelity, in some cases touting sound quality as a reason to buy their wares. With that in mind, we rounded up four systems that boast enhanced audio capabilities.

A few years ago, if someone told me that one should expect excellent sound through a laptop, I would have laughed at them. Then stop, take a breath, and laugh some more. Things have changed recently, part of which I think is driven by the increasing use of computers as media terminals for watching movies and music. While I still sincerely doubt that any laptop short of what would be classified as a "transportable computer" could have sound comparable to a proper stereo, they have improved. Unfortunately, to benefit from this, you still appear to have to choose one of the bigger laptops. I imagine this is probably a physical and technical limitation rather than a conscious choice by manufacturers. Still, I find that excluding bass, most laptops, even really light and tiny ones will generally provide "good enough" sound for casual listening. What about you? Are you picky about your listening environment, or do things like stock earbuds and netbook audio do just fine?

ASUS Lamborghini VX7: Intel Inside, Ugly Outside

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 PM

"Just in time for spring, ASUS has refreshed its Lamborghini VX7, a staple in the company's line of premium notebooks (and fugly smartphones) inspired by the storied Italian car maker."

OK, maybe a good color for an expensive car, maybe, but not my favorite in a laptop. It also comes in a more subdued black. That aside, this 8.4-pound beast packs a quad-core Intel Sandy Bridge i7, NVIDIA graphics with 3GB (!) of video memory, up to 16GB of RAM, an 8-cell battery, USB 2.0 and 3.0, HDMI-out, a 2MP webcam, and all sorts of storage options, including an SSD of 1.25 terabytes. Pre-order pricing for the VX7 appears to start at $2,269.

Friday, March 25, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Tablet/Notebook Hands-on

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 PM

"After showing off the Eee Pad Transformer at CES, Mobile World Congress, and other shows, ASUS finally announced that it has launched the 10.1-inch tablet and the optional keyboard dock that effectively turns it into an Android-powered notebook.. The unique device features a 1280 x 800 display with 10-finger touch support, a speedy Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage, and Android 3.0."

The hybrids are landing! Is it a tablet, or is it an Android notebook? Add an optional keyboard/dock to a Honeycomb tablet, and you have a very workable, powerful travel companion. Initial pricing estimates for the tablet itself (16GB) are in the $400-500 range, with the dock adding another $100. Details on North American pricing and ship dates are not yet available. Check out the video to get an idea of the speed and features of the Transformer, and note how well the two components work together. Impressive stuff!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Attempt at a Low Cost Netbook

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:30 PM

"The netbook market has more or less dried up; the little things might still be useful for light computing, but they’ve been clobbered by tablets as the go-to device for quick email and web browsing. Could it be that they’re just not cheap enough? Asus might be looking to fix that."

A netbook for $200? If that concept sounds familiar, that is probably because the initial targeted price for the infamous eee PC was supposed to be $200. It looks like several years later, Asus is making another attempt. The truth of the matter is that while the initial launch of the netbook had prices a little higher than expected, you can often find netbooks at the $200 price point these days. They may not be overly powerful, but I wonder if this Chrome netbook will be any different. I do not imagine that it will be any different, and with the interest in tablets over netbooks these days, it will find limited sales. Anyone else think this might be a bit of "too little, too late"?

Friday, January 21, 2011

When a Netbook is No Longer Enough

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 11:00 AM,2822.html

"I maintain that netbooks are good in limited cases (read our 2010 Fall Buyer's Guide), and their value really only revolves around a low price tag compared to more fully-featured notebooks. If you went ahead and added another $300 dollars to bottom line, we'd rather be talking about better-equipped systems armed with faster components."

Being a relatively recent owner of an Asus 1215N, the article strikes several chords with me. When you start delving into the sub $600 price range, and are looking for portability, sacrifices must be made. The question is what to sacrifice? The 12-13" screen netbook/notebook range is that line where options open up. It is big enough to start considering doing more serious work, but cramped and trimmed where it will never be able to compete against the big boys. While I am happy with my Atom based solution, part of my decision was based on cost. I got my 1215N well under MSRP. For those with the budget, CULV based notebooks are leaps and bounds faster, and since you are already going for something with a bit more oomph, might as well jump in with both feet.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

ASUS Eee Note EA800 Note-Taking Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:30 PM

"One of the most unique devices of 2010, the ASUS Eee Note EA800 is an 8-inch 64-shade grayscale slate that's designed to focus squarely on one important but often-ignored task: note-taking. Unlike popular consumer tablets such as the iPad and Galaxy Tab, which offer colorful multitouch-capable screens and thousands of apps, the Eee Note uses a stylus and a proprietary OS to focus on providing a better writing and drawing experience. Right now, the $250 device is only being sold in Taiwan, where it hit store shelves earlier this month."

I think 2011 is going to be there year of 1000 tablet launches, in all shapes, sizes, and functionalities...and by the end of the year most of them will be abandoned. Companies want to see what "sticks" with the market, so they're throwing a bunch of darts at the dartboard and hoping one will hit a bullseye. For me, the Eee Note EA800 is a miss - but maybe in some vertical markets (education, etc.) it might be a hit. You?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ASUS To Release 12-inch Eee Pad EP121 Windows Tablet at CES

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:48 PM

A 12 inch screen on a slate device? With a Core i5 processor? Hmm. That's a big screen to power, with a powerful CPU, which means a heavy draw on power compared to other tablets on the market. But this is a "real" computer, running Windows 7, so perhaps this is the type of device we've been waiting for? I just can't imagine that the battery life is going to be more than five hours without it becoming quite heavy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The ASUS Eee Note EA800 Unboxed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:13 PM

"The EA800 was released at IT Month 2010 in Taiwan on December 4th. We've managed to get our hands on the ereader on steriods and flashed it with the english operating system courtesy of ASUS. The 8-inch device is equipped with a Marvell processor, Linux operating system and supports Wi-Fi, shorthand writing and camera functions. The device also has a 3700mAh battery to provide a run-time of 10 hours per charge with wifi on, 13 hours with wifi off and 10 days of standby time. As any good student focused device should be capable of supporting a variety of e-book formats such as TXT, PDF and EPUB."

Take a Kindle, give it a larger touch screen, then give it some apps and you have something sort of like the ASUS Eee Note EA800...though it's bigger and heavier of course. The price point is around $200, which is quite low when you compare the capabilities of the EA800 to other eBook readers - but once you watch the lack of speed in launching apps, the price point makes more sense. I'm not sure how much of a market there is for a device like this, even amongst students - what do you think?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ASUS Sells SeaShells With The 1015PN

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"If you've laid eyes on any of ASUS' recent "Seashell" netbooks, the 1015PN will look extremely familiar. It's got the same soft-to-the touch lid as the 1015PE and 1215N as well as the same chassis design. We're happy to see that ASUS exterminated the traces of glossy plastic around the exterior of the system, however, there are still some glossy surfaces that didn't make the cut -- the wide screen bezel and keyboard deck still love fingerprints."

The ASUS 1015PN probably comes close to the cutting edge in terms of netbooks. Lightweight and tiny, but packing some extra GPU oomph for situations when you either want to do a little bit of light gaming, movie watching, or even some video rendering. The dual core CPU is also a nice plus which I hope will come to dominate the netbook, or any computing market for that matter. The performance just becomes that much smoother, especially when dealing with multi-tasking, or even multiple tabs when web browsing. Is it worth replcing your older netbook? Probably not. Most netbooks are quite capable of handling everyday tasks. But if you are in the market for one, or find yourself wanting a little more, you could hardly do worse than the 1015PN. That or take the next step and choose and ultralight notebook, maybe one with a CULV processor.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Asus G73Jw Replaces Desktop Replacements

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"So what has changed? We have USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, the i7-740QM, and a GeForce GTX 460M now, and the test unit also has a Blu-ray combo drive (which is available on G73Jh as well),but otherwise this is an identical notebook to what we reviewed in April. Obviously the addition of USB 3.0 is a big bullet item, and it involves some tweaks to the motherboard layout to make room for the additional chip."

When your laptop starts sporting a screen larger than 17 inches and weighs more than a new born baby, you start entering the desktop replacement category. Not so much portable as it is transportable, laptops this size do have their advantages from expansive screen real estate to computing horsepower normally seen on desktops to a full sized keyboard including a keypad. The only sad tale to come out of the review for this wonderful behemoth is that its capabilties when running on battery are both short lived and limited, regardless of what settings you use.

Tags: hardware, asus, g73jw

Thursday, October 14, 2010

3D Gaming On The PC In 3D

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"In fact, it’s a natural fit. The PC games we’ve been playing for years are already rendered with a 3D engine—stereoscopic technology and a suitable set of glasses just bring them to life. Newer games will only optimize that potential. Add to this a spate of Blu-ray 3D movies coming down the pike and you can see why the PC is well within the clutches of this latest trend."

If promotions and marketing is any sign of anything, life was a boring, dull, drab existence before 3D came along. In order to live life to its fullest and die happy, you need a 3D display. Even computing was nothing before 3D came along. Games will magically be exciting. Spreadsheets will pop out at you. YouTube videos will become entertaining. All thanks to the 3D revolution! If you have bought all the hype, Maximum PC has a guide that could help you make your choice when stepping into the wonderful world of the third dimension. It is fortunate that I like things dull because going 3D also appears to cost a fair bit more than your more pedestrian consumer electronics.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Attack of the 10 inch Netbooks!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM,2751.html

"Mobile systems have long been on our to-do-list. These days, nearly everyone has a notebook. However, picking the right notebook isn't like choosing a CPU, graphic card, or memory kit, where you can just simply swap out one piece for better performance. While there are those rare few who upgrade, the options are still limited (hard drive and memory). For the braver few, a mobile processor might be on the menu."

According to the media, there may not be many of you left who want in on the netbook fad, but Tom's Hardware has put up a good review of a whole collection of current generation 10" notebooks. 10 inches seems to be the sweet spot for these mobile warriors with just enough screen real estate to get some light browsing done, but not too big or expensive to creep into notebook territory. The newest batch seems capable of some decent video playback, you still should not expect a seamless HD watching experience. The biggest problem may be that anyone who wants a netbook may already have one, and while the new models are shiny, they fail to compell customers to think that their old mobile companion is worth letting go.

Monday, September 6, 2010

ASUS Releases Another 12" Laptop

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:30 PM

"The Asus Eee PC 1201K is a 12 inch mini-laptop which looks a lot like other Asus notebooks such as the Eee PC 1201N or Asus UL20A. But while those machines have Intel chips, the Eee PC 1201K has a low power AMD Geode processor."

I may not have been paying much attention to the CPU market lately, but it has been a long time since I have seen the Geode CPU in consumer electronics. My last experience with a Geode based computer was probably close to a decade ago, though I recall some mobile UMPCs making use of them. I have to wonder about the timing of this release though, as AMD's Bobcat is not that far away, and will probably offer far better performance per watt compared to the aging Geode platform. Even if the 1201k was available in Canada, I cannot say that I would find it that tempting. I would much prefer an Atom or Athlon Neo based setup.

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Sponsored links