ASUS Reveals New ZenFone 2, ZenFone Zoom At CES 2015; Forums Added
ASUS chairman Jonney Shih took the stage at CES 2015 today to talk about ASUS’ upcoming line-up of devices. “The year 2014 has been incredible for ASUS”, he said. ASUS released the ZenFone last year which was met with very good customer and critical reception, and Shih has been inspired by his company’s success to improve on their franchises’ formula: “our goal is to create the ultimate dream machine to fulfil all of your desires”, he excitedly commented.
The first item presented at the conference was the new Asus Transformer-book “Chi” line-up, a powerful and sleek set of computers that provide what ASUS says is an unparalleled experience over the competition. When commenting about how he was inspired by Chi and the elements when designing the new electronic, he remarked “[it is] more sophisticated than the Air!”.
But this comment was evidently not unfounded, despite its smugness, as ASUS revealed that the new Chi’s best exponents not only rival the best of the competition, but the new Intel Core M featured in the new computers inspired by life force itself proves to pack a real performance capability. It “performs twice as fast as the Air [and other notebooks]”, Shih claimed, as the graphs displayed on the screen backed his information. Other notable features include up to 8 hours of battery life, blazing fast SSD performance, a full size keyboard, 128gb of storage with up to 8gb of ram, and FHD displays. The prices range from $799 for the most expensive T300 model to $299 for the T90 Chi.
The real star of the presentation, however, was the new ZenFone 2, successor to the acclaimed franchise of last year. Shih began by advertising how the phone “allows you to see where others can’t”, and then he went on to show us what he meant by this – the ZenFone 2 features a 13mp rear camera with t/f 2.0 aperture that has immensely powerful low-light capabilities. It features pixel-merging technology for up to 400% better light sensitivity and coupled with bleeding edge HDR technology for balanced exposure. ASUS also addressed the “selfie revolution” by telling us about the ZenFone 2’s “beautification mode” for its front and rear end shooters, which include software features to tweak faces by balancing exposure and color and smoothing any imperfections.
Performance was also claimed to not be compromised, as the device features a bleeding edge Intel Atom Z3580, a 64-bit quad-core processor clocked at 2.33ghz and built on 22nm processes that reportedly outperforms octa-core processors found today. The device will support the latest OpenGL as well.
ASUS put a bit of emphasis on its new interface, the ZEN UI, now based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. It’s keywords are “freedom, connection, and expression”, and Shih said the team’s goal was to give you “what you want, when you want it”. Zen UI has powered 16 million devices since it was conceived, and will now offer more personalization and security. It brings forth a new customizable launcher with motion gestures to access any app instantaneously, and the option to tap and switch to one handed mode. Snap view mode will improve business security by keeping your entertainment, work accounts and applications separate, ensuring no compromises to your job’s details or documents. There’s also a Kid Mode so that your children do not mess with your important files, and the new Zen UI Browser that has industry leading Trend Micro protection against web threats, one of the “best parts about Zen UI”.
As for the rest of the specifications, the device will feature small bezels surrounding a 5.5 inch FHD IPS display with 2gb or 4gb of RAM (different variants like the G3), 4G LTE, and ultra-fast charging technology. The front facing camera is a respectable 5MP. As previously stated, Android 5.0 will power the software allowing for 64-bit compatibility in the processor, supposedly achieving top-of-the-line performance.
There was another variant of the ZenFone announced that focuses on optics, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom. The device is the world’s thinnest 3x optical zoom smartphone, and contains additional sensors that detect the target quickly and precisely, also including laser auto-focus as seen with the LG G3. It allegedly captures intricate details for excellent macro photography, and comes with a professional manual mode to adjust white balance, exposure, and control ISO, shutter speed, and focal point. It’ll sport the same 5.5 FHD IPS display, with the 13mp rear camera and 5mp front camera combination, Optical Image Stabilization and the previously explained Zen UI.
The original ZenFone 2 will be priced start at $199 (most likely for the lower memory version) while the ZenFone Zoom will be priced at $399. The ZenFone 2 is set to release in March while the ZenFone Zoom is scheduled for Q2 2015.