Computex 2015 is underway in Taipei, and little surprise that Asus is the one to kick things off in a big way with a slew of new devices.
First up is the ZenPad line of tablets, which will replace the old MeMo Pad line. The ZenPad will be available at 7, 8 and 10.1 inches with varying specs across the line.
The heavy hitter of the bunch is the ZenPad S 8.0, offering a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor and 4GB of RAM along with a 2K (1536×2048) IPS display with a 4:3 aspect ratio. It packs 16 or 32GB of storage and features an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera. Also notable is that it will be using a USB Type-C port, something which should start getting used to this year. At 6.6mm and 10.5 ounces, it’s going to be a compelling smaller tablet option. An optional Z Stylus is available with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, akin to the Galaxy Note line.
The standard ZenPad 8 relies on an Intel Atom X3 with either 1 or 2GB of RAM. It’s also substantial step down in the screen at just 1280 x 800 with a 5MP rear camera. What it lacks in raw specs, the ZenPad 8 tries to makes up for in optional accessories. There are interchangeable rear covers, a ZenPad Clutch carrying case, Audio Cover with 5.1-channel surround sound and a Power Case that will boost the battery life up to 15 hours of usage.
We are still working on obtaining the specs for the 7 and 10.1-inch models and will update when they are available, but we do know that they are lower end devices similar to the standard ZenPad 8.
I’ll give you exactly one guess as to what the focus is with the ZenFone Selfie. The highlight is naturally the 13MP cameras with dual-color, dual LED flash on both the front and rear of the phone. The rear camera offers a solid f/2.0 aperture lens along with laser auto-focus. The front-facing camera is a slight step down at f/2.2, but still a substantial upgrade from most front facing cameras and offers a Selfie Panorama mode to make sure everyone is in the picture. The Selfie has a 5.5-inch display at 1920 x 1080 with Gorilla Glass 4 to protect it. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 is powering the Selfie.
This is probably the most interesting of the Asus announcements given the attention that the original ZenWatch received last year. The design hasn’t strayed much, nor should it have, with the main focus having been reducing the thickness of the watch and also adding a metal crown to the side which allows you to power on the watch.
What has changed is the variety of options available with the ZenWatch 2. You can now choose between two sizes of ZenWatch with three stainless steel case colors and 18 different strap material and color combinations. Motorola is going to have to up its customization game with the second gen Moto 360 to keep up with Asus.
The stainless steel cases come in Silver, Gunmetal and Rose Gold. The cases are 49 x 41mm with 22mm straps for the larger watches and 45 x 37mm with 18mm straps for the smaller option. You have the choice of rubber, leather or stainless steel straps with a number of color options for each.
Asus claims that there new magnetic charging offers faster charging than the previous system, but nothing specific regarding times.
Asus mentions improved tracking designed for running and cycling, which suggests perhaps that there will be GPS on board this time around, but no confirmation of that at this time.
Look for the ZenWatch 2 around Q3 this year and pricing will be available closer to launch.