Asus ZenFone 4 Series Tipped to Launch With Five Phones in July; ZenFone 4 Selfie Specifications Leaked

Asus is known for its confusing lineup of smartphones, and by the latest leak, this year is going to be no different. Asus has been tipped to launch the successors to the ZenFone 3 family in July, and as many as five smartphones are incoming. The ZenFone 4 family will be divided into five variants at least – ZenFone 4 Pro, Zenfone 4 Selfie, ZenFone 4 Max, two ZenFone 4 variants, and a Asus ZenFone 4V.

The five Asus smartphones have been listed on the Google Play Store support sheet (shared on ZenTalk forum), and the phones are named – Asus ZenFone 4 (ZE554KL), Asus ZenFone 4 Max (ZC554KL), Asus ZenFone 4 Pro (Z01GD), Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie (Z01M), and Asus ZenFone 4V (V520KL/A006).

The Asus ZenFone 4 model has been listed in two variants and it may be because the company looks to offer it in two RAM/ storage variants. The Asus ZenFone 4 Pro model is a new variant in the mix, and it could be the most premium of all. The Asus ZenFone 4V is thought to be a Verizon exclusive variant.

Asus ZenFone 4 Series Tipped to Launch With Five Phones in July; ZenFone 4 Selfie Specifications Leaked

The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie was spotted on GFXBench as well, tipping specifications. The device is listed as Z01M and it expected to run on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, and be powered by a Snapdragon 625 SoC with Adreno 506 GPU, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. The selfie-focused smartphone will sport a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 12-megapixel front sensor – both with 4K support.

Lastly, the Asus ZenFone 4 Max model will be the direct successor of the Asus ZenFone 3 Max, and previous leaks indicate that the smartphone will support 4G, have a 5.5-inch (720×1280 pixels) display, and be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The processor could be either the Snapdragon 625 SoC or the Snapdragon 660 SoC. The smartphone is expected to run on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, the Qualcomm octa-core processor will be clocked at 1.4GHz paired with 3GB RAM and Adreno 505 GPU. The device is expected to offer 32GB of inbuilt storage. Lastly, the Asus ZenFone 4 Max is expected to sport a dual camera setup – one 12-megapixel sensor and another 5-megapixel sensor – at the rear. There is an 8-megapixel sensor at the front for selfies and video chats.

All of these smartphones were first expected to launch in May, but now they are rumoured to launch sometime in July.

Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 coming to the US soon

From smartphones to laptops, 2016 is proving to be a busy year for Asus. Now, a press render of a new Asus ZenPad tablet has surfaced online. Popular leakster Evan Blass has released the picture on his Twitter account.

He has also revealed that it will be launched in the US soon with Verizon. While the official confirmation is still pending, the tablet is none other the recently announced ZenPad Z8 2017. While none of the features and specs of the device has been revealed, we already know what will kit offer. If you remember, Asus announced the ZenPad Z8 2017 last month at Computex 2017.

On the specs angle, the Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 is driven by an Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor running at 1.8Ghz and topped with Adreno 510 GPU. There are two different memory variants available for the device; one with 3GB RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage and another with 4GB RAM and 64GB of default storage. Moreover, the storage space can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card.

Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 coming to the US soon

Display-wise, the tablet flaunts a 7.9-inch IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen with the resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. Powering the device is a non-removable 4680mAh battery unit.

On the optics front, the Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 features a 13MP rear-facing camera with autofocus as well as a 5MP front-camera for selfies. As for software, it runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS.

Connectivity suite of the tablet offers Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, Type-C USB port etc. It is likely that the Verizon’s will ZenPad Z8 2017 differ a bit from the International version in terms of specs.

Asus Vivobook S With 15.6-Inch NanoEdge Display, Windows 10 Launched

Asus has launched its new Vivobook S laptop with up to seventh-generation Intel Core processor at a starting price of $699 in the US. The highlight feature of the new Asus laptop is thin bezels on the display, described as NanoEdge by the company.

NanoEdge bezel provides the laptop with an impressive 80-percent screen-to-body ratio. With the use of this display, the Asus Vivobook S is able to fit a full-size 15.6-inch display into a 14-inch laptop frame, the company says on its website.

The new portable from Asus Vivobook series runs on Windows 10, features a 15.6-inch Wideview colour rich display with full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution and viewing angle of up to 178-degrees. The laptop is available with up to Intel Core i7-7500U processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. The laptop is available with up to 1TB of HDD storage and a combo option of 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD as well.

Asus Vivobook S With 15.6-Inch NanoEdge Display, Windows 10 Launched

The connectivity options on the new Asus Vivobook S include a fingerprint sensor, USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and HDMI. The new Vivobook S is just 0.7-inch thick and weighs around 1.6kg. It measures 14.2×9.6×0.7-inches and comes with a 42WHrs rated 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion battery. Asus claims that the battery on the laptop can be charged up to 60 percent of its capacity in just 49 minutes.

The Asus Vivobook S laptop is already available for purchase and can be bought either from Asus’ own online store or through third-party retailers like Newegg in the US.

 

Asus Vivobook S With 15.6-Inch NanoEdge Display, Windows 10 Launched

Asus has launched its new Vivobook S laptop with up to seventh-generation Intel Core processor at a starting price of $699 in the US. The highlight feature of the new Asus laptop is thin bezels on the display, described as NanoEdge by the company.

NanoEdge bezel provides the laptop with an impressive 80-percent screen-to-body ratio. With the use of this display, the Asus Vivobook S is able to fit a full-size 15.6-inch display into a 14-inch laptop frame, the company says on its website.

The new portable from Asus Vivobook series runs on Windows 10, features a 15.6-inch Wideview colour rich display with full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution and viewing angle of up to 178-degrees. The laptop is available with up to Intel Core i7-7500U processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. The laptop is available with up to 1TB of HDD storage and a combo option of 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD as well.

Asus Vivobook S With 15.6-Inch NanoEdge Display, Windows 10 Launched

The connectivity options on the new Asus Vivobook S include a fingerprint sensor, USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and HDMI. The new Vivobook S is just 0.7-inch thick and weighs around 1.6kg. It measures 14.2×9.6×0.7-inches and comes with a 42WHrs rated 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion battery. Asus claims that the battery on the laptop can be charged up to 60 percent of its capacity in just 49 minutes.

The Asus Vivobook S laptop is already available for purchase and can be bought either from Asus’ own online store or through third-party retailers like Newegg in the US.

Google for India event: Asus Chromebit to launch

Google for India, Asus Chromebit, Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, Asus Chromebit in India, Asus Chromebit launch, Asus Chromebit price, Asus Chromebit specs, Asus Chromebit features, technology, technology news

Google CEO Sundar Pichai during the ‘Google For India’ announced that Asus Chromebit will be launched in India in January at Rs 7,999. The Chromebit is a candybar-sized PC-on-stick and lets users upgrade their old PCs get a faster, Chromebook like experience.

The Asus Chromebit runs on Google’s Chrome OS. It is a plug and play device that connects via HDMI port and users can connect an external keyboard and mouse.

Chromebit is powered by a quad-core Rockchip processor with Mali-T624 taking care of graphics duty. It comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage and since its Google, users get free 100 gigabytes of free Google Drive storage.

The Chromebit has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, one HDMI out port and one USB 2.0 port. Asus claims that Chromebit boots fast and can easily playback 1080p videos on a big screen.

Sentri review

Kronosight, a startup composed of Asus, Acer and HTC alums, launched a Kickstarter campaignin June of 2014 for Sentri, a $299 DIY home security system with a distinct Apple vibe. By the end of its funding period, the tablet-security system hybrid had nearly doubled its original $200,000 goal. A year and a half later and we finally have a Sentri in-house to test out.

It’s clear what Sentri is trying to achieve here — it’s a DIY Wi-Fi-enabled home security system and an at-a-glance access point to the indoor temperature, humidity and air quality, as well as local weather. The touchscreen doesn’t have full tablet functionality — you can’t browse the internet or download your favorite app — but it does present basic security and environmental details in an entirely new way. No app required (although yes, it has one).

The problem is that even though Sentri boasts a unique design, the pricey touchscreen tablet display doesn’t actually add much value. Security systems like Icontrol’s Piper Classic and Piper NV are also equipped with environmental sensors and other advanced features, but their sleek aesthetics err on the side of discretion, rather than Sentri’s comparatively clunky tablet touchscreen; it’s the kind of device that could be more of a beacon for potential intruders than a true deterrent.

Yes, Sentri looks neat and it works fairly well, but I’d stick with something a bit more streamlined for home security.

Design and features

Sentri doesn’t look like a security system, but it has a lot of the same features as Icontrol’s Piper Classicand Piper NV, two highly rated all-in-one home security cameras and Canary, a less effective Piper-competitor. The main difference between them and Sentri lies in design execution.

Where Piper and Canary are controlled entirely on their related apps, Sentri adds a home screen interface where you can access details directly, like the current temperature, humidity, weather and air quality. Each Sentri also has a built-in 720p HD camera, siren, motion detector, microphone and speaker, as well as night-vision capabilities, but you can access even more from the Sentri Android or iOS app, including live streaming. Sentri is also compatible with the Nest Learning Thermostat, Philips Hue LEDs and Belkin WeMo products.

Specifically, Sentri is a 10-inch tall by 10-inch wide tabletesque device with a 120-degree camera at the top and a smaller, banner-style touchscreen display in the middle (think older-gen iPhones that had a lot of “dead space” above and below the display). It’s made of white and gray plastic and has a built-in stand for sticking your Sentri on a flat surface — and slots for mounting it to a wall.

It would look a little weird to mount this thing to a wall, though, since it has to be connected to its power adapter to function properly. To avoid having a cord hanging down the wall, I relied on the included stand and simply stuck Sentri on a table.

Setup and usability

“Installing” Sentri is as simple as connecting the power adapter, entering your Wi-Fi details and registering your device with your email address and a password. You’ll receive a verification email to confirm your set up. After that, you can download the Sentri app on your Android or iOS device and use the same email and password you used to register the device as your log-in.

Sentri’s tablet offers roughly the same features and functionality as the app and both are easy to navigate — the main difference is that you can only access live streaming from the app.

sentri-product-photos-1.jpg

From the Sentri device you can swipe left or right to scroll between the “home screen” and other settings. In particular, you can manually opt-in or -out of Away (alerts enabled) and Home modes (alerts disabled), make general adjustments to the brightness of the screen, choose whether you want to view temperature readings in Fahrenheit or Celsius, change the background wallpaper, connect to a different Wi-Fi network and switch to a different cloud storage plan. Sentri users have free access to cloud-stored photos, videos and alert logs for one month. After that, you have the option to upgrade to a “premium plan.”

There are four premium options — 7 days of storage for $10 per month; 30 days for $20 per month; one year for $100 per month; and $300 per month to keep your photos, videos and alert logs forever. (Icontrol offers free cloud storage.)

The main “home screen” provides the current time, indoor temperature, humidity and air quality (in parts per million) and the current forecast. And, two shortcuts in the top right corner direct you to settings or to the activity log. The activity log shows a rundown of the activity Sentri has detected, including time-stamped alerts, saved video clips and more.

A final screen in the app lets you add a new device, including Nest, Belkin WeMo and Philips Hueproducts.

Asus RT-AC88U router review

The RT-AC88U is Asus’ latest true dual-band router, not to mention the best router the company has had to offer so far.

It’s the first home router with eight Gigabit LAN ports with additional support for Dual-WAN (one of the LAN ports can be converted into a WAN port) and port aggregation (two of the LAN ports can be combined into a single superfast connection.)

On top of that, it has a robust and fun-to-use Web interface, a slew of excellent network-monitoring features, a built-in VPN server, and the ability protect your home network from malware and intruders. What’s more, the router supports MU-MIMO, and includes unique features for gamers. In all, I’ve never seen a router with more to offer than the RT-AC88U.

Performance-wise, the router excelled in my tests, delivering top Wi-Fi data rates, long range and a stable wireless signal. If you’re in the market for a top-notch home router with little compromise, you can’t go wrong with the RT-AC88U. But at $280, it’s not cheap. If you have the money, though, it’s worth the investment — especially for users with lofty needs. (Pricing for the UK and Australia have not been announced, but the US price works out to around £185 and AU$390 at current exchange rates.) It’s also a better buy than other, more expensive routers such as the Netgear X8 AC5300 or even the Asus’ own AC5300 router, the RT-AC5300. Each of these has have a high price tag, but doesn’t offer nearly as much.

If you just need a modest home network, however, check out the other options that might fit your need and budget better on this list of top 802.11ac routers.

asusrt-ac88u-10.jpg

AC3100 vs. Ac5300

The naming conventions of Wi-Fi routers has always been confusing. Since the introduction of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, there have been many Wi-Fi designations, such as AC1750, AC1900, AC3200, AC5300… and now we have ourselves the new AC3100, which — to make matters worse — D-Link actually calls AC3150.

The numbers following “AC ” refers to the total Wi-Fi bandwidth a router has. Companies calculate this number by adding the top speed for each band of the router. For example, an AC1900 router, such as the Asus RT-AC68U, has a top speed of 1,300Mbps on the 5Ghz band and 600Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band. Add those two numbers and you get 1,900. Though most routers are dual-band (meaning they have two bands, one on the 5Ghz frequency and the other on the 2.4Ghz frequency), some routers come with an additional band on the 5Ghz frequency and are aptly named “tri-band” routers. No matter how many bands a router might have, your device connects to only one band at a time. This is one of the reasons why the AC designation number can be misleading, because it doesn’t show how fast a single client can connect to a router.

Wi-Fi designation Router type Total Wi-Fi bandwidth 5Ghz speed (theoretical) 2.4Ghz speed (theoretical)
AC5300 Tri-band 5,334Mbps 2,167Mbps x 2 bands 1,000Mbps
AC3200 Tri-band 3,200Mbps 1,300Mbps x 2 bands 600Mbps
AC3100 / AC3150 Dual-band 3,167Mbps 2,167Mbps 1,000Mbps
AC2500 / AC2400 / AC2350 Dual-band 2,333Mbps 1,733Mbps 600Mbps
AC1900 Dual-band 1,900Mbps 1,300Mbps 600Mbps
AC1750 Dual-band 1,750Mbps 1,300Mbps 450Mbps

So how fast is AC3100? As shown on the charts above, an AC3100 router is as fast as an AC5300 router, both sharing the same top speed on the 5Ghz band of 2,167Mbps and 1,000Mbps on the 2.4Ghz. Note that these are just the top speeds on paper. In real-world usage, the actual sustained speed of a Wi-Fi connection is always much lower than the theoretical speed.

The RT-AC88U uses the Broadcom NitroQAM chipset, which is the same chipset used in current AC5300 routers such as the RT-AC5300, or the Netgear R8500. The only difference is the RT-AC88U doesn’t have the additional 5Ghz band. That said, the only time when you’ll find the difference between an AC3100 router and an AC5300 router, in terms of Wi-Fi speeds, is when you have 10 more or concurrent active 5Ghz clients on the same network. In this case, an AC5300 router, thanks to its two 5Ghz bands, can support more concurrent clients without slowing them down.

On the inside, the RT-AC88U is powered by a 1.4Ghz dual-core processor, 512MB of DDR 3 system memory and 128MB of flash storage. In all, it’s one of the most powerful routers on the market.

ASUS RT-AC88U ROUTER SPECS

Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MU-MIMO
Wi-Fi bandwidth 2,167 Mbps (5Ghz) and 1,000Mbps (2.4Ghz)
Chipset Broadcom BCM47094, BCM4366 and BCM4366
Flash memory 128 MB of NAND
System memory (RAM) 512MB of DDR3
WAN 1 Gigabit WAN (Internet) port
LAN 8 Gigabit LAN ports
Antenna Four detachable dual-band antennas
USB 01 USB 3.0 port and 01 USB 2.0 port
Features ASUS WRT firmware, AiCloud, AiProtection, High-power mode, Download master application, Dual-WAN, Port Aggregation, VPN server, Guest network, DLNA server, Automatic IP, Static IP, PPPoE (MPPE support), PPTP, L2TP, IPv4, IPv6.

MU-MIMO supported

The RT-AC88U supports Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology, which is designed to handle Wi-Fi bandwidth efficiently. MU-MIMO was first introduced with the Qualcomm MU/EFX 802.11AC Wi-Fi chip. The RT-AC88U, however, uses the first Broadcom Wi-Fi chip that supports this technology.

Prior to MU-MIMO, all 802.11ac routers treat all Wi-Fi clients the same, regardless of their Wi-Fi power. Since a router typically has more Wi-Fi power than a client, in a particular wireless connection, the router is hardly used at full capacity. For this reason, most Wi-Fi connections are not efficient, where the router wastes its power for lower-tier clients and hence doesn’t have enough power to maintain connection quality for multiple clients.

With MU-MIMO, multiple simultaneous transmissions of different Wi-Fi tiers are sent to multiple devices at the same time, enabling them to connect at the speed each client needs. In other words, having a MU-MIMO Wi-Fi network is like having multiple wireless routers of different Wi-Fi tiers. Each of these “routers” is dedicated to each tier of devices in the network, so that multiple devices can connect at the same time without slowing one another down.

MU-MIMO has been quickly adopted by both routers and clients, and it’s predicted that by the end of next year, most, if not all, new Wi-Fi devices will support this technology.

asusrt-ac88u-3.jpg

Familiar design, eight versatile Gigabit LAN ports

The new RT-AC88U looks almost exactly the same as the RT-AC87U, with four detachable antennas and two USB ports. And like its older brother, the RT-AC88U has its USB 2.0 port on the back and the USB 3.0 port on the front, which is not an ideal place. This is because, due to its much faster speed, the USB 3.0 port is preferred for hosting a permanent storage device. So, having this port on the front will translate into clutter when you want to the router to also serve as a network storage server.

The RT-AC88U has one big difference, however. It now has eight Gigabit LAN ports (as opposed to four found in most other routers). In fact, it is the first home router with this number of LAN ports. This is a huge improvement, considering it has the same physical size as the RT-AC87U. More LAN ports means more wired clients, such as a server or a printer, that you can connect to the router before having to resort to using a switch.

And there’s more to the RT-AC88U’s LAN ports. You can aggregate the first two ports to deliver a superfast 2Gbps connection — a bonus for those with a high-end NAS server — and use any of the first four ports as a second WAN (Internet) port. This means if you have two broadband connection (such as one Cable and one DSL connection) you can use them both with the router to make sure your network is always online. On top of that, the router’s USB ports can also be used to host a USB cellular dongle for those wanting to share a cellular broadband connection with the rest of the network.

screen-shot-2015-12-14-at-9-29-44-am.png

Excellent Web interface

The RT-AC88U has a typical setup process for a router with a Web interface. All you have to do is plug the router in and point a browser from a connected computer to the router’s default IP address (192.168.1.1). The first time, the interface will greet you with a Web-based wizard, which walks you through a few steps, including creating a password for the interface itself and the Wi-Fi networks.