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Asus launches a ton of Android hybrids at Computex
We’ve already talked about the crazy 5-in-1 Windows-Android hybrid Transformer Book V, but Asus had a whole lot more to show the world in the opening of Computex 2014 Taipei.
Here’s a bullet list (because we do need a bullet list to keep everything organized this time):
- Transformer Book V: a Windows/Android convertible (covered here)
- PadFone S: a new, global, version of the PadFone X
- Fonepad 7 and Fonepad 8: 7-inch and 8-inch 3G tablets with voice call capability
- MeMO Pad 7 and MeMO Pad 8: 7-inch and 8-inch LTE tablets
- Transformer Pad TF303CL and TF103C: Android tablets with keyboard docks
Confused, yet? Now let’s try to explain what each device does.
Asus launched the PadFone X phone-tablet hybrid at CES in January, as the first PadFone to be officially carried by a US operator, AT&T. Now Asus revealed that a global version of the PadFone X, helpfully renamed PadFone S, will be released in late Q3 2014 in “select markets”.
The PadFone X and PadFone S are almost identical, save for different LTE bands and a different wireless charging standard (Qi on the PadFone S, as opposed to PMA on the US-bound X). The PadFone’s S specs are quite attractive, starting with the Full HD screens of both the 5-inch smartphone and the 8.9-inch tablet dock, and continuing with the Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 13MP rear camera (on the phone.)
Fonepad 7 and Fonepad 8
The Fonepad 7 (FE375CG) and eight (FE380CG) are 3G-enabled tablets with their respective screen sizes indicated by their names. Both devices are powered by Intel’s new 64-bit 1.8GHz Atom Z3560 processor, which, Asus promises, will soundly beat competitors in performance. Both Fonepads feature 1,280 x 800 IPS LCD displays, which is a bit low, dual front speakers with Asus’ SonicMaster tech, 5MP rear facing cameras, and 2MP front facing ones.
Available in black, white, gold, and red, the Fonepad 7 and Fonepad 8 are slimmer and better looking compared to the Fonepad 7 from 2013, and Asus claims the new 8-inch model is almost the same width with the old 7-inch model. Progress!
These being Fonepads, you get two SIM slots and 3G connectivity, so the devices can act as your phone, if that’s what you want.
Both models will be available from mid-June 2014.
MeMO Pad 7 and MeMO Pad 8
Asus also refreshed the MeMO series, with the new MeMO Pad 7 (ME176C) and two versions of the MeMO Pad 8 (ME181C – 1.86GHz Atom Z3745 processor, ME581CL – 2.3GHz Atom Z3580 processor).
Beside the screen size difference, the smaller model is HD, while the larger one is a more eye pleasing Full HD.
All models are LTE, and Asus claims the title of world’s lightest LTE tablet for the MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL), which weighs just 299 grams. The MeMO Pad 7 will come in turquoise, red, white and yellow, while the more premium MeMO Pad 8 will get the slightly more dignified pink, white, and royal blue.
Transformer Pad TF303CL and TF103C
Finally, Asus also had some surprises for fans of the series that started the whole hybrid craze, the Transformer line. The Taiwanese manufacturer introduce today the Transformer Pad TF303CL, which comes with a 10.1-inch Full HD IPS LCD display, a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3745 processor clocked at up to 1.86GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16/32GB of expandable storage, and a 25Wh battery. This LTE tablet docks into a keyboard, but unlike earlier generations, there’s no battery inside the keyboard dock, which is probably a cost cutting measure. The TF303CL is expected in Q3, at an unspecified price.
Moving on to the TF103C, this is clearly an entry-level model, that keeps the 64-bit Intel processor, but is otherwise generally inferior to the TF303CL. The screen is just HD (same 10.1-inch size), there’s one gig of RAM, and 8/16GB of expandable storage. This is WiFi only, but Asus will follow up with a 3G version later this summer. The TF103C will become available in the following weeks.
Computex, Taipei, Taiwan (2nd June, 2014) — ASUS today announced an innovative tablet lineup that provides users with a selection of tablets for a wide range of computing needs. These include the new-generation ASUS MeMO Pad, the ASUS Fonepad and the ASUS Transformer Pad Series. All models feature the intuitive ASUS ZenUI, a 64-bit Intel® Atom™ quad-core CPU and Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.
The ASUS MeMO Pad 7 and 8 (ME176C and ME181C) will be available from mid-June. These affordable, industry-leading 7- and 8-inch, 64-bit Android tablets feature the 64-bit Intel Atom Z3745 processor (up to 1.86GHz, quad-core) and HD 1280 x 800 IPS displays. The 8-inch ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL) is the world’s lightest 8-inch LTE tablet, weighing just 299g. It features the 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 2.3GHz quad-core processor, and ultra-fast connectivity with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and wireless Near-Field Communications (NFC).
The ASUS Fonepad 7 and 8 (FE375CG and FE380CG) deliver powerful mobility with the latest 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 1.8GHz quad-core processor and 3G phone functions. The 8-inch ASUS Fonepad 8 (FE380CG) has the largest viewing area of any 8-inch phablet on the market thanks to a super-narrow bezel measuring just 5.06mm and a 72.2% screen-to-body ratio. It features a HD1280 x 800 IPS display.
ASUS Transformer Pad (TF103C/TF303CL) provides on-the-go productivity and entertainment with its 64-bit Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core processor (up to 1.86GHz). It features the classic mobile keyboard dock with a new hidden hinge design.
ASUS MeMO Pad Series (ME176C/ ME181C/ ME581CL)
The new ASUS MeMO Pad Series (ME176C/ME181C) features the advanced 64-bit Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core processor (up to 1.86GHz) that provides powerful, efficient performance for smooth web surfing and fast app loading.
Featuring 7- or 8-inch 1280 x 800 HD IPS displays, MeMO Pad ME176C and ME181C provide highly detailed, crystal-clear images. They are also portable wireless entertainment hubs, with Miracast support allowing users to stream multimedia content to compatible external displays, plus CSR’s aptX® audio coding for wireless CD-quality audio streaming to optional Bluetooth headsets. Users can also take excellent images with the tablets’ 2-megapixel front-facing and 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras.
ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (ME176C) is available in white, black, blue, red and yellow; while ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME181C) is available in white, black, gold and purple. Both models will be available in mid-June 2014*.
ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL) provides users with extreme performance and ultra-fast connectivity thanks to its 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, LTE and NFC. It features a lightweight, ultra-thin 7.45mm design that weighs just 299g, making it portable enough to be easily held in your palm.
ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL) features an 8-inch, 178-degree wide-view angle, Full HD 1920 x 1200 IPS display and ASUS Splendid and TrueVivid color enhancement technologies to deliver stunning visuals. The use of Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 provides the toughness and durability to withstand everyday bumps and knocks.
ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME581CL) has a premium multi-layer coating and its construction employs Non-Conductive Vacuum Metallization (NCVM) technology. It is available in white, pink and blue.
*launch date may vary
ASUS Fonepad Series (FE375CG/FE380CG)
The latest ASUS Fonepad Series (FE375CG/FE380CG) features the 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 1.8GHz quad-core processor which provides powerful efficient performance to give users a 7 or 8-inch tablet coupled with 3G phone functionality.
The ASUS Fonepad Series has a narrow bezel design for easy one-handed use, with the 7-inch ASUS Fonepad 7 (FE375CG) being just 10.9cm wide and the ASUS Fonepad 8(FE380CG) measuring 12cm across. The latter, with its 8-inch display, features a 72.2% screen-to-body ratio for a larger display area. Despite its larger display, it has almost the same width as the previous generation 7-inch Fonepad.
Both models feature 1280 x 800 IPS displays and ASUS SonicMaster audio with dual front speakers for immersive multimedia. They also have 5-megapixel rear-facing and 2-megapixel front-facing cameras that take high-quality images and video.
The ASUS Fonepad Series features 3G connectivity and comes with dual SIM card slots. They are available in black, white, gold and red.
ASUS Transformer Pad (TF103C/ TF303CL)
New ASUS Transformer Pad models (TF103C/TF303CL) feature a new mobile keyboard dock with a hidden hinge design, and are powered by the latest 64-bit Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core processor (up to 1.86GHz). The tablets themselves measure just 257.4 x 178.4 x 9.9mm, and are slightly thicker at 19.8mm when docked. The new keyboard dock has ergonomic chiclet keys with 1.9mm of key travel, and includes intuitive one-touch function keys for common tasks like Delete or Screen Grab. The ASUS Transformer Pad TF103C is available in black or white, and the ASUS Transformer Pad TF303CL comes in blue or gold.
The Transformer Pad TF103C has an HD 1280 x 800 display with IPS technology for 170-degree wide viewing angles. This improves on color accuracy for more vibrant hues, with minimal color shift even when viewed from extreme angles.
It also has dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi giving fast, reliable connections for a smoother online experience, while integrated GPS and GLONASS receivers provide fast, location services with pinpoint accuracy.
The Transformer Pad TF303CL has a Full HD 1920 x 1200 IPS display with 178-degree wide viewing angles with ASUS Splendid color enhancement technology for truly vivid, bright visuals; while powerful dual front speakers with SonicMaster audio and MaxxAudio software combine to provide rich, immersive sound.
LTE Cat 4 connectivity provides download speeds in excess of 150Mbit/s, making the Transformer Pad TF303CL ideal for downloading large files, high-quality video streaming, or online gaming. HDMI output and Miracast support also provide users with a means to view content on a larger display either through a wired HDMI connection or online streaming.