LIKE JASON CHEN at the Acer press conference on the same day, Eric Chen of Asus was keen to talk about the company's partnerships with Microsoft and Intel - and brought the same guests on-stage to repeat messages that were, let's say, lacking in originality.
Peter Han of Microsoft talked about the success of Windows 10 and what can be expected from this quarter's Creators' Update, as well as mentioning the Asus Mixed Reality headset - which is coming this year. Asus is working with Microsoft to certify the ROG Strix GL503 and GX703 laptops for Mixed Reality now. Microsoft published a blog about upcoming content for the Mixed Reality platform this week.
With eighth-gen the big news of IFA, and only the mobile processors released, guess what Asus had to talk about? Hint: it wasn't desktops.
Senior product director Shawn Yen introduced three Zenbook Flip models: the Flip S (already seen at Computex, although Asus was tight-lipped on details), Flip 14 and Flip 15; all using quad-core eighth-gen processors. Asus' claim that the Flip S is the 'world's thinnest' convertible, at 10.9mm (remember that Acer's new Swift 7 is a dedicated laptop); it's also a very portable 1.1kg.
The 13.3 in Flip S uses a Core i7 processor, a 1TB SSD and USB-C port for power and video. Users can fold the 4k display 360° to enter tablet mode. A fingerprint sensor is also built in. The laptop supports Windows Hello, and will cost $1,100.
Asus' Flip 14 is, if not the first, then certainly one of the first convertibles to feature a discrete GPU: the Nvidia MX150. It is 13.9mm thick and weighs 1.4kg, with the same 360° flipping screen and suppport for Asus' own stylus. The quad-core i7 processor and GPU means that this model can be used for video work. As we saw at Intel's event, users can edit videos about four times faster than currently possible on a laptop.
The Flip 14 has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. The thin bezels of the display mean that Asus has been able to fit the 14 in screen into a chassis similar in size to a 13.3 in unit. The company promises 13 hours of battery life, and two hours of HD video playback from 15 minutes of charge. The Flip 14 will start at €800.
The Flip 15 is the most powerful model in the family. The 15.6 in display, in either 3840 x 2160 or 1920 x 1080, has a higher-than-normal 1,500:1 contrast ratio, powered by a GTX1050 GPU. Asus has also built in a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, for connection to external displays, graphics docks or other peripherals. Storage is up to 2TB (HDD) and 512GB (SSD). Prices will start at €900.
If you want thin and light, with decent specs, but don't want to pay more than your first car, have a look at the Vivobook S14. Boasting the same specs as the Zenbook Flip 14 (MX150, quad-core i7 eighth-gen processor), it is quite a bit thicker (18.8mm), but a little lighter (1.3kg), and will start at €400.
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