An ultrathin high-end laptop, a new line of smartphones and a “home robot” named Zenbo helped Taiwan-based Asus grab numerous headlines ahead of today’s launch of the Computex 2016 ICT expo and conference in Taipei.
During a preview “Zenvolution” press event at Computex yesterday, Asus introduced a new family of ZenFone 3 smartphones, as well as a number of new devices developed in collaboration with Intel. It also took the wraps off its first-ever robotic assistant, which is designed to provide different household services based on the specific needs of individual family members.
Computex 2016, which runs through Saturday, focuses on technologies for business, gaming and the Internet of Things. It is also putting a special focus on technology startups this year through its new InnoVEX exhibits and events.
Ultralight, Ultrathin ZenBook 3
“The ubiquitous cloud computing era brings us to the crossroads of evolution and revolution,” Asus chairman Jonney Shih said at the start of yesterday’s press event. “Evolution perfects our existing experience, while revolution fulfills our wildest dreams for proactive computing.”
With that introduction, Shih announced the new ZenBook 3 (pictured above), which he described as “the world’s most prestigious laptop.” Featuring an Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, as well as 1 TB of SSD storage, the ZenBook 3 is priced at $1,999. A lower-cost version starting at $999 comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage.
Clearly aimed at Apple’s MacBook, the ZenBook 3 is 11.9 millimeters thick and weighs just 910 grams. It also features a new, quiet cooling system design that uses a liquid crystal polymer fan impeller that’s only 3 millimeters thick. Asus has not yet announced a release date for the ZenBook 3.
Caretaker Robot Does Entertainment, Too
Billed as “your smart little companion,” Zenbo — with its spherical body — bears a slight resemblance to BB-8, the droid that made its appearance in the most recent Star Wars film. In addition to being able to remind the elderly about doctor’s appointments or medication schedules, Zenbo can tell stories and play songs for children, as well as project movies or photo slideshows for home entertainment.
While a release date for Zenbo hasn’t been announced yet, Asus has revealed a price: $599.
Among the other devices Asus unveiled at Computex are the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, a 5.7-inch, full-HD smartphone with an aluminum-alloy body; the 5.5-inch ZenFone 3 and 6.8-inch ZenFone 3 Ultra; the Transformer 3 Pro 2-in-1 PC; and the Transformer Mini, which — at 530 grams — Asus is calling “the world’s lightest 2-in-1 PC.”
Asus devices have won four Best Choice awards and 12 design and innovation awards at Computex 2106. Among the award winners was the Reco Smart, Asus’ in-car dashboard camera that also functions as a portable camera, and the Asus BRT-AC828/M2 802.11ac router for startups, small businesses, branch offices and classrooms.