Asus Stories December 10, 2015

ASUS and LG mock Apple’s ‘bumpy’ iPhone battery case

Earlier this week, Apple launched its very first official battery case for the iPhone 6/6s. It’d be an understatement to say that it got some attention on social media, mostly from people who couldn’t believe the design-focused company released something so hideous. In fact, you’ll be hard pushed to find someone who has something good to say about the way the case looks.

Not to miss a good marketing opportunity, ASUS and LG were among those mocking the battery case and using it to sell the benefits of its own products. ASUS was keen to point out that, even with the battery case attached, the iPhone 6 is still no match for the ZenFone Max. ASUS claims its 5000mAh battery-powered smartphone can handle 2 hours more video playback, 2 hour more internet use and 12 hours more talk time than a case-equipped iPhone.

Meanwhile, LG took a slightly different line with the V10, ribbing the Apple case’s ‘bumpy’ design. Incidentally, LG’s V10 has a 3,000mAh battery which you can fast-charge up to 50% in just 40mins. :

It’s no surprise to see the companies exploiting a weakness in Apple’s armor to fuel their own marketing efforts, and the Cupertino-based company could certainly have tried to make it a little harder. Right now, the humped battery case is an easy target.

One thing no company has mocked is perhaps the one thing that has impressed all of us: iOS integration. When an iPhone has a Smart Battery Case attached, it displays both the phone and case’s battery levels in the notification drawer’s ‘Today’ view. What’s more, it charges the iPhone automatically and charges via Lightning cable. Those are some convenient features, for sure. Whether or not you’d want a ‘bumpy’ case in your hand to gain those features is another matter entirely.

Asus Stories March 31, 2015

Microsoft shifted its focus when it introduced the Surface Pro 3 last year to target both the iPad and the MacBook, but today the company announced a more consumer level iPad-like version of its tablet simply called the Surface 3 with the same $499 starting price as the iPad Air 2.

Google also unveiled a collection of new competitively priced hardware including new Chromebooks and a Chromebit HDMI running Chrome OS for under $100 … expand full story

Asus Stories November 7, 2014

9to5Toys Lunch Break: iPad mini $199, ASUS 31″ 4K IGZO display $1470, JBL Lightning speaker/dock $30, more

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Apple Deals:

ASUS 31.5-inch PQ321Q monitor adds a high-end IGZO 4K display to your Mac for $1,470 (orig. $3,499)

JBL OnBeat Mini iPad & iPhone 6/6 Plus speaker dock with lightning connector $35 shipped (orig. $99)

Prime Members get $10 Free Amazon credit when you buy $45+ in Amazon Gift cards

Small States – Tucker and Bloom: father & son create functionally beautiful bags, giveaway worth $175

Other new deals:

Some solid deals from Specials.9to5toys.com:

More deals still alive:

Black Friday:

New products/ongoing promos:

Asus Stories September 17, 2014

In all of the hoopla over the new iPhone 6/Plus, T-Mobile in the US and EE in the UK got themselves a pretty big exclusive (for now). T-Mobile has been offering Wifi calling for years but it’s recently come to the iPhone – and with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, gets even better with cell/wifi handover. (T-Mobile partnered with Gogo to enable texting and voicemails on participating airline journeys as well).

Wifi calling, for some, may be the type of feature that makes or breaks a carrier relationship. With it, you can make calls anywhere there is a wifi signal. That means basements, country homes and even foreign countries are all now open to making and receiving calls from your carrier phone number… expand full story

Asus Stories July 17, 2014

Image via TechSmartt

Image via <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml1LzNFn8kc">TechSmartt</a>

According to figures released by market research company BCN, Asus sold more tablets than Apple during the first half of 2014 in Japan. Asus’ market share rose 8 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2014, the report claims, giving it a 38.9 percent portion of the tablet market in Japan. Apple, on the other hand, holds a 36.4 percent share (via Nikkei). This is the first time Asus has ever held the top spot in Japan, according to the report. expand full story

Asus Stories June 13, 2014

Ever since the Mac Pro was released in December, we’ve faced an onslaught of 4k displays. We reviewed Seiki’s budget offering last year, and while we liked it overall, it did have more than its fair share of set backs. For instance, you could only use the full 4k resolution at 30Hz, which meant that there would be noticeable lag when using the display as a monitor. Despite the low refresh rate, the display was still a great deal at its then $450 price point (now down to $390) and truly got us excited for the potential of 4k. At CES this year, we also saw a variety of 4k displays, some of which were priced for budget-minded customers, and some of which were high-end. Noticeably missing from CES, however, was Apple’s frenemy supplier/competitor Samsung.

Samsung, at the end of May, unveiled its take on an affordable 4k display. Samsung’s U28D590D is a 28-inch 4k monitor that supports full 4k resolution at 60Hz via a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. There are also two HDMI ports, but they’ll only do 4k at 30Hz, like the Seiki. The big selling point of the Samsung monitor, aside from doing 4k at 60Hz, is that it costs just $646 on Amazon. This puts it far below any currently available 4k monitor with 60Hz capabilities. I purchased the Samsung U28D590D on Amazon while it was priced at $666 and have been using it as my primary display for the past week. How does it compare to the Seiki? Is 4k all it’s hyped up to be? Let’s discuss.

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Asus Stories March 3, 2014

ipad

Figures released today by Gartner show that the iPad remained the best-selling tablet of 2013, selling more than the combined sales of the four runners-up.

Apple’s strong fourth quarter helped it to maintain the top position in the market in 2013 […]

Apple’s tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and, Apple’s approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share …  expand full story

Asus Stories February 7, 2014

mini

When it first launched in 2005, the Mac mini was almost unimaginably small. The original aim of the machine was to convert owners of desktop Windows machines. Because those people already owned monitors, keyboards and other peripherals, selling them just the computer itself would enable them to switch to Mac for far less than the cost of buying an iMac.

The typical Windows desktop box of that era looked like this:

windows

A system unit that measured just 6.5 inches square and only 2-inches thick was an incredible feat of engineering. Today, however, it looks rather less impressive …  expand full story

Asus Stories January 6, 2014

With the new Mac Pro capable of powering three 4k displays, new MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt 2 and 4K HDMI 1.4 in many hands and Apple taking its sweet time to release its own monitor, an affordable 4k display is something many people are searching out right now. ASUS, at the Consumer Electronics Show, has just unveiled a new 28-inch 4k monitor that will retail for just $799. Currently, ASUS’ 31.5-inch 4k offering comes in at over $3,000, and while the price difference between the two is major, there doesn’t appear to be a gap in features (via Engadget).

ASUS’s 28-inch 4k monitor will pack a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, just like its larger sibling. As far as ports go, we’re looking at one DisplayPort and one MHL-capable HDMI port. The monitor has a fully rotatable design, as well as a quick 1ms response time.

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Asus Stories November 17, 2013

According to Israeli publication Calcalist.co.il, Apple has purchased PrimeSense, the company behind the original Microsoft Kinect’s technology somewhere near a valuation in the $345M range. According to the report, a delegation of PrimeSense senior executives visited Apple’s engineering offices in recent days. The purchase would bolster Apple’s living room TV interface offerings and allow Apple to add controls with body movements and hand gestures to its products.

Calcalist reported in July that Apple was mulling a purchase for somewhere in the neighborhood of $280M.  PrimeSense had issued a denial that it was in talks to be bought by Apple. As we know with past history surrounding these type of matters, company denials don’t often mean much in the grand scheme of things.

Apple purchased Israeli Flash chip optimization company Anobit in late 2011 for $400M+, also originally reported by Calcalist. The company now functions as one of Apple’s R&D centers in-country… expand full story

Asus Stories August 5, 2013

IDC-tablet-market-Q2-2013

IDC is out today with its latest report tracking worldwide tablet shipments, reporting that total shipments have experienced a sequential decline during Q2 at the expense of Apple and the iPad. Apple already announced that it had sold 14.6 million iPads during the quarter, a significant drop from the 17 million it sold in the year ago quarter, but today IDC gives us some insight into where that puts Apple in its lead over Samsung as the top tablet vendor.

Apple was able to pick up 32.4% of the market during Q2, continuing its lead as the top tablet manufacturer, but dropping from the 60.3% of the market it had in Q2 last year. While Apple’s tablet shipments are clearly suffering from lack of new product announcements this year, it’s also losing share to Samsung and others. IDC reports 277% year over year growth for Samsung, giving it 18% of the market with 8.1 million units shipped during Q2. All of the top 3 vendors– Apple, Samsung, and ASUS– experienced a drop compared to Q1 2013, but the Android tablet makers have experienced significant growth compared to Apple since last year. expand full story

Asus Stories June 4, 2013

asus

We told you a few days ago about ASUS launching a 31.5-inch 4k monitor, and predicted that today’s Macs would struggle to drive it. The Verge has now confirmed this, by briefly hooking it up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Tangible lag was introduced when working in more demanding applications like Adobe’s Lightroom, while the mouse cursor also exhibited a troublingly low refresh rate … expand full story

Asus Stories May 31, 2013

PQ321Q_Side_650

Update: Pricing has just been announced, at $3,799. Pricey, but actually not bad value in a market that had five-figure pricing not so long ago.

ASUS today revealed that it will launch a 31.5-inch 4k monitor late next month, its 3840×2160 pixels allowing four 1080p HD videos to display full-size on the same screen without overlap. A 4k monitor in such a small package is made possible by using an IGZO panel, whose smaller transistors enable greater pixel density, and is likely to be in the same league (and possibly from the same manufacturer) as the 32-inch Sharp panel we saw at CES.

However, don’t rush out to buy one just yet: it’s unlikely that even a top-spec Mac from today’s line-up would be able to drive the resolution at a decent frame-rate. But the next-generation of Haswell-powered Macs almost certainly will. Indeed, as we mentioned earlier, it’s even possible that a next-generation MacBook Air could do so … expand full story

Asus Stories May 23, 2013

Microsoft hits iPad again, this time about hardware specs, multitasking, printing

Following up on its ad from yesterday claiming that the iPad is not a productivity device, Microsoft has posted a new ad pitting Windows 8 tablets against the iPad. Today’s ad focuses on expressing that Windows 8 tablets are better productivity devices with the full Microsoft Office suite rather than just OneNote and multitasking capibilities. Additionally, the Redmond-based company pits a single ASUS tablet’s weight and thinness against the iPad. Additionally, Microsoft shows how that single ASUS tablet includes an SD card reader, and the company claims that Windows 8 printing is more versatile than Apple’s AirPrint. Thanks, Matthew!

Asus Stories May 1, 2013

Research firm IDC is out today with preliminary data from its quarterly study tracking worldwide tablet market share putting Apple at 40% market share compared to Android’s 56.5% of the market in Q1 2013. In the year ago quarter, Apple held 58.1% of the market surpassing Android’s 39.4%. IDC says Android shipments were increased thanks to strong growth of Samsung’s smaller sized tablets, while ASUS moved into the number 3 spot with 350.0% year over year growth due to strong demand for the Nexus 7:

ASUS managed to move into the number 3 vendor spot as it continued to see decent tablet shipment demand from the highly marketed Nexus 7 device. But, with Google’s I/O conference right around the corner and expectations of an imminent device refresh, the company will need to find a way to sustain its momentum. Amazon fell to the number 4 position, once again the victim of a highly seasonal product cycle.

Despite Apple taking number two behind Android for tablet shipments by operating system, it remains the top vendor by OEM taking a 39.6% share of the market vs Samsung’s 17.9% and 5.5% for ASUS. IDC notes that Apple actually exceeded expectations for Q1, where it typically experiences a drop off in shipments, by selling 19.5 million units compared to a forecast of 18.7 million: expand full story

Asus Stories December 27, 2012

bluestacks

In June, we told you about BlueStacks. It is a tool that allows Android apps to run on a Mac. The alpha only officially supported 17 Android apps, with Pulse and Words with Friends being the two of the more notable apps at launch, but the application has improved immensely. As Venture Beat first noted, BlueStacks has moved into beta this morning. It now allows users to run every Android app that the Google Play store has to offer. Some may be puzzled at the need to run a mobile application on the desktop, but it does come in use for apps like Instagram and Flipboard that have no desktop equivalent. BlueStacks reminds us a lot of Parallels or VM Ware, and it definitely becomes more useful with the added apps.

As of earlier this month, the Silicon Valley-based company passed 5 million installs on both Windows and Mac. BlueStacks also plans an even more impressive growth with partners AMD and ASUS, as TechCrunch noted, where the software would be pre-installed on over 100 million devices. Upcoming features include an App Discovery system in the Mac app to make it easier for users to find apps. Interested? You can download the beta from BlueStacks.

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Asus Stories August 2, 2012

IDC: iPad still owns over 2/3rds of the tablet market, but Samsung and ASUS are gaining

Apple’s iPad set a shipment record in Q2 2012, which led to a “better-than-anticipated” quarter for the entire tablet market, according to the latest data from IDC.

Global tablet shipments hit 25 million units, with a 66.2-percent year-over-year increase, while Apple jumped from 11.8 million units shipped in Q1 2012 to 17 million for Q2.

“Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year,” said Research Director Tom Mainelli.

Four of the top five worldwide vendors also eyed shipment increases year-over-year and solid growth in Q2. Samsung sits at second place with 2.4 million units shipped, which is an increase from 1.1 million units in Q2 2011, and ASUS notably almost tripled its amount of units shipped from a year ago. Interestingly, shipments of the Google/ASUS-branded Nexus 7 are not a part of these totals.

Get the full breakdown at IDC.

This article is cross-posted at 9to5Google.

Asus Stories August 1, 2012

Apple leads global PC shipments with 19 percent share, primarily due to the new iPad

Global client PC shipments rose 12 percent year-on-year in Q2 2012, with the new iPad recognized as the primary influence on growth rates, according to the latest data report from Canalys, who treat the iPad as a PC (and with the ability to operate without being tethered and to use external keyboards and monitors and the like, why wouldn’t you?)

Apple lead the overall charge, boosted by strong iPad sales, with an estimated 19 percent share of global PC shipments. Canalys explained: 

Growth in pads more than compensated for disappointing sales of Ultrabooks. The new iPad had the biggest single impact on growth rates in the quarter, but Asus and Samsung made progress with their Transformer and Galaxy Tab product lines. Total pad shipments increased 75% to 24 million units, representing 22% of all PCs.

“There is now a large base of replacement buyers that simply must have the latest Apple product, and the decision to continue shipping the iPad 2 at lower price points has opened up new customers, for example in education,” added Canalys Research Analyst Tom Evans.

Samsung lead as the “Android pad vendor” in Q2. It more than doubled its Galaxy Tab shipments compared to Q2 2011, and Canalys said the company is “Apple’s chief challenger” in the tablet sector.

Get the full report at Canalys.

Asus Stories June 27, 2012

Google I/O is happening right now, and execs just showed off a new version of Google+ for tablets that will come to the iPad “very soon.”

From Google:

Of course, our tablet app isn’t just bigger, like our mobile app isn’t just smaller. It’s designed with the device in mind, and it includes:

-A beautiful stream that styles content based on popularity, type and orientation

-A “lean back” Hangouts experience that’s great for the couch or common room

-Crisper text, fuller photos and easily-tappable actions like +1 and comment

You can get full coverage of the event on 9to5Google. expand full story

Asus Stories June 24, 2012

RIM to be split into handset and services, sold off piecemeal?

TheVerge reads behind the Sunday Times’ firewall:

The Sunday Times reports today that RIM is considering a plan to split its handset division and messaging network into two separate companies, and will sell off the struggling BlackBerry hardware business. The British paper doesn’t cite any sources in the report, but it says that Facebook and Amazon are both “potential buyers.” As part of this plan, RIM could keep its enterprise-friendly messaging and data network (including BBM and BIS) in-house and license them out.

BBM and BES only run on Blackberry now, and that platform will have a market share heading toward zero by the time RIM gets all of this organizational structure sorted. So keeping that a separate business makes little sense.

The other option is selling out piecemeal to Microsoft for parts and people. I imagine that by then, the price of RIM will get so low, even Apple and Google would be interested in picking up the parts (patents, people, and tech). Microsoft is probably already lining up some cash to buy the remnants of Nokia as well, so it is less likely to pick up RIM (although it made several attempts to pick up RIM in the past).

Moreover, RIM’s QNX/Blackberry 10 might have some value for companies like Dell, HP (which recently fumbled WebOS), Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, or ASUS due to Microsoft now building its own tablets and scaring OEMs.

That split could also see Cisco or Oracle taking the backend stuff.

Any way you look at it, on the fifth anniversary of iPhone, Blackberry —as we knew it— is almost over.

Asus Stories March 26, 2012

There are two interesting pieces of information this morning on the new iPad.

If used solely as an LTE MiFi, AnandTech got a mind-numbing 25.3 hours of Verizon LTE hotspotting out of the new iPad. That is equal to about five to seven MiFis.

Now for the killer. If you have an iPad on Verizon’s LTE network and use it as a personal hotspot (not currently possible on the AT&T version), it will last you roughly 25.3 hours on a single charge. Obviously that’s with the display turned off, but with a 42.5Wh battery driving Qualcomm’s MDM9600 you get tons of life out of the new iPad as a personal hotspot.

By my calculations, that means you could download 182GB of data at 2MB/sec on LTE through a single charge or over 18 times Verizon’s highest data plan in a single day.

In addition, PCWorld tested the heat on the new iPad and compared it to the ASUS Eee Transformer Prime and Samsung Galaxy Tab under the same conditions. Without the charger plugged in, the new iPad was actually cooler than the Samsung Galaxy Tab—even with a bigger battery after playing a game for an hour.

The point is that the new iPad runs only slightly hotter than high-end Android tablets and only when charging. The cool champion is still the iPad 2 when playing graphic intensive games.

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Asus Stories September 8, 2011

Somewhere in China there are stacks of millions of completed iPhone 5s.

Digitimes is reporting that iPhone 5 production is at full swing with 150,000 of the devices being produced per day. That isn’t quite the “volume” production level that Apple expects as it gets ready to release its phone for the holiday shopping season, however.

Lens maker Largan Precision, touch panel maker TPK Holding, reinforced glass supplier G-Tech Optoelectronics and battery vendors Simplo and Dynapack are all operating at full swing currently, the sources indicated.

We’ve also heard recently that these iPhones aren’t being boxed up just yet as Apple is finalizing the iOS 5 build that will eventually go on these iPhones.

Shipments of iPhone 5 from the supply chain are expected to reach 5-6 million in September but will then ramp up to over 22 million units in the fourth quarter as suppliers will ship fewer iPhone 4 and CDMA-version iPhones during the final quarter of the year, noted the sources.

Apple’s other manufacturing partner, Pegatron, is said to be holding off on production until 2012 and is expected to only build 15% of the devices overall. expand full story

Asus Stories July 6, 2011

.

The WSJ reports on the next generation iPhone due this fall:

According to some suppliers of components to Apple, the new version of the iPhone is expected to be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4 and sport an 8-megapixel camera. One person said the new iPhone will operate on Qualcomm Inc.’s wireless baseband chips. The current iPhone 4 uses memory chips made by Samsung Electronics Co. and baseband chips from German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG, according to a report by market-research firm iSuppli Corp.

Verizon execs have already said the next iPhone will be a GSM/CDMA world phone – which means it is likely that it will use Qualcomm’s Gobi chips (As the current Verizon iPhone and iPad currently do).  Numerous reports have also said it will contain a 8megapixel camera – from Sony and other manufacturers.

There is some question about whether or not these devices will meet production deadlines, however…

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