By Edd K. Usman
After Samsung and Oppo unpacked their latest flagship smartphones earlier this month, Taiwanese technology brand Asus has followed suit with the launch of its own smartphones and laptops in one go.
On Sunday, Aug. 14, at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel, Asus launched its myriad of new products — five smartphones, a premium laptop series, and 2-in-1 convertibles, more popularly known as the “Transformer.”
Dubbed “Zenvolution,” Asus brought the event to the Philippines which it had already conducted in other countries to introduce the new products and compete for the hearts, minds, and wallets of digital-obsessed Filipinos.
Taiwan’s technology giant considers their new line-ups their “newest premium product innovations” ? but came with high prices, too.
Jerry Shen, global CEO of Asus, presided over the local launch of the ZenFone family composed of the ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe, ZenFone 3 Ultra, ZenFone 3 Max, and ZenFone Laser.
Shen claimed that the ZenFone 3 series has taken the world by storm after it was introduced at Computex held in June 2016 in Taiwan.
“The highly anticipated ZenFone 3 series has become a global sensation after its debut at Computex this year. We deeply appreciate the loyalty and continued support from all our dealers, media partners and consumers in the Philippines,” Shen said.
George Su, country manager of Asus Philippines, then took the stage as he unveiled the ZenBook 3 notebook and the Transformer 3 and Transformer 3 Pro convertible.
The pre-selling for the products, which are now available in many computer shops nationwide, started after the event.
Of the ZenFone 3 family, the Deluxe is the most expensive at P34,995. It is described by the company as “the ultimate expression of the Asus smartphone technology”.
Coming second at the price spectrum is the ZenFone 3 Ultra, which retails for P32,995. It said to be “a smartphone for multimedia lovers featuring TV-grade image processing to deliver an incredible viewing experience.”
Then, there is the “beautifully designed” ZenFone 3, which has a price tag of P16,995. It has an “all-round smartphone? with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass with 2.5D contoured edges.
Asus also unpacked the ZenFone 3 Laser, which has “a 13MP camera with a Sony IMX214 sensor and color correction with an ultra-fast 0.03-second laser auto-focus, and is ideal for photography enthusiasts.” It sells for P11,000.
ZenFone 3 Max, which is available for P8,995, appears to be a reiteration of the ZenFone Max that has a monster 5,000mAh battery power. Its newer edition has a capacity at 4,100mAh. Both phones are capable of USB On-The-Go (OTG) for reverse charging.
The Asus ZenBook 3, meanwhile, is the next-generation ZenBook which has an 11.9mm chassis that weighs a mere 910g. It is crafted from aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, a premium material that is 50% stronger than standard alloy used in laptops.
The ZenBook 3 is available in three colors ? Royal Blue, Rose Gold and Quartz Grey ? and a special two-phase anodizing process is used to create golden highlights on its diamond-cut edges.
The ZenBook 3 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of high speed 2133MHz RAM, up to a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 ultra-fast SSD, a next-gen USB Type-C (USB-C) port, and quad-speaker audio system by Harman Kardon.
The ZenBook 3 has an innovative cooling system featuring the world?s thinnest fan design at just 3mm. This efficient cooling enables ZenBook 3 to achieve incredible performance in an ultra-thin from factor.
It features a full-size backlit keyboard with 19.8mm key pitch ? the same as most desktop keyboards ? and 0.8mm key travel to deliver a comfortable typing experience.
The ZenBook 3 provides up to nine hours of battery life for all-day computing. Its fast-charge technology brings ZenBook 3’s battery up to 60% capacity in just 49 minutes.
With all its groundbreaking features, it?s no wonder that Asus has put a staggering P79,995 price tag on the powerhouse laptop.
The Asus Transformer 3 Pro, meanwhile, is a 2-in-1 PC is precision-crafted from aluminum and is only 8.35mm thin. It has diamond-cut detailing that accentuates its elegant design, and it is available in Icicle Gold and Glacier Gray color options.
The Transformer 3 Pro, which a pricey price of P69,995, has an integrated metal kickstand with a stepless hinge that lets users set the device at almost any viewing angle up to 170?.
The included Asus Transformer Cover Keyboard is a backlit keyboard that is available in four attractive colors ? Stone, Charcoal, Taupe, and Amber.
The Transformer 3 Pro is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and has up to a 1TB PCIe x4 ultra-fast SSD and 16GB of high-speed 2133MHz RAM for the ultimate performance.
Its versatile, reversible USB-C connector supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices at speeds up to 10Gbps, and also incorporates Thunderbolt 3 for 40Gbps data transfers and support for dual external 4K UHD displays.
On the other hand, the Asus Transformer 3 is also precision-crafted from aluminum and weighs just 695g, is only 6.9mm thin, and has smaller dimensions than a sheet of A4 paper. Its compact and elegant design is accentuated by diamond-cut edges and an exquisite spun-metal finish.
Equipped with the detachable Asus Transformer Sleeve Keyboard that has 1.4mm key travel, an integrated two-position display stand, and a glass-covered precision touchpad, the Transformer 3 provides comfortable typing and accurate input for the best productivity and creativity experiences.
The Transformer 3 is available in Icicle Gold and Glacier Gray color options while the Asus Transformer Sleeve Keyboard is available in four colors ? Stone, Charcoal, Taupe, and Amber. It sells for P49,995.
The Transformer 3 has a 12.6-inch display with a 3K resolution of 2880 by 1920 and a 275ppi pixel density for pin-sharp, detailed images, as well as 450cd/m2 brightness and a color gamut of 121% sRGB for rich, vibrant colors.
The Transformer 3 has a quad-speaker audio system developed in co-operation with audio experts Harmon Kardon. Each speaker automatically adjusts the routing of low and high audio frequencies to the correct speakers depending on the orientation of the device, ensuring users will always enjoy optimum audio quality.
The Transformer 3 is powered by 7th-generation Intel Core processors, with up to a 512GB SSD and up to 8GB RAM. Its reversible USB-C connector supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices at speeds up to 10Gbps, and Thunderbolt 3 provides fast 40Gbps data transfers and support for dual external 4K UHD displays.