Just in time for the Christmas shopping rush, ASUS Philippines has whipped the proverbial cloth off its latest wares with a flourish, unveiling a bevy of Windows 8-powered tablets, notebooks, ultraportables and an all-in-one PC – one or two of which we’ve mentioned previously, but now we’ve got some preliminary observations and pricing to share with you.
We’ll start off with the all-in-one, the Core i5-powered ET2300 (PhP59,995). It boasts a 23” HD display, features a decent set of built-in speakers and comes with an external subwoofer, and, thanks to what looks like a pretty sturdy hinge, can quickly fold flat for multi-touch use and pivot upright for regular usage. Perfect for those impromptu Air Hockey sessions to help interrupt the tedium of a long day at work.
Up next we’ve got a couple of tablets. ASUS’ VivoTab series represents the company’s attempt to offer “a perfect balance of portability and productivity”, and we found them snappy and responsive despite their slimness and lightness. The low man of the range, the 10.1” VivoTab Smart (PhP25,995) comes with an intriguingly designed Smart Keyboard cover; the 10.1” VivoTab RT (PhP38,995) [image above], as its name suggests, runs Windows RT; and the 11.6” VivoTab (PhP42,995) comes with a Wacom digitizer stylus to help make it even more of a productivity tool. (The VivoTab Smart and VivoTab rock Intel’s Z2760 processor, while the VivoTab RT is Tegra 3-powered.)
A few laptops, including the Windows 8 version of the acclaimed Zenbook – the Core i7-running 13.3” Zenbook Touch (PhP42,995) – also broke cover. Two models in the VivoBook range have also been fortified with Windows 8: the 14”, Core i5-powered S400 (PhP35,995) [image above], and the 11.6” X202E (PhP20,995 with the Intel 847 processor – quite the steal, in our humble opinion – and PhP26,995 with the Core i3 processor).
The undeniable star of the show was the Taichi (PhP85,995) – ASUS’ dual-screen ‘convertible’ ultraportable. Laptops that convert to tablets and back are of course nothing new, but the Taichi tries to do its predecessors one better, and might very well have succeeded. Its beautifully bright and responsive dual 11.6” HD IPS screens allow users to convert it to tablet mode by simply shutting the lid, and it remains appreciably thin and light despite the extra screen (and we were reassured of decent battery life as well).
The good folks at ASUS were kind enough to provide us with a few videos so we could help you visualize exactly how the Taichi works – here’s one of them.
These products should begin gracing ASUS displays at your favorite electronics outlets sometime this month, if they haven’t already begun to be offered, that is. Will you be investing in any of them?
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