TORONTO – At its Holiday Preview Event, Asus Canada officials said it plans to blitz the market with a whole crew of new devices. The Zen line was heavily featured with the ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe, ZenFone Laser, Zenbook 3, ZenWatch 3, and ZenPad 3S 10 leading the Asus lineup. Also showcased was the new Transformer 3 Pro and Mini 2-in-1 device, which launched yesterday.
The ZenFone 3, Deluxe 5.7”, and Laser
Asus’ new smartphone enters the North American market as a mid-tier option, competing with the likes of Google’s new Pixel more so than the heavy hitting Samsung Galaxy S7.
The standard ZenFone 3 option comes in at $429. It has a 5.5-inch HD 1080p display covered in scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, and a 16MP PixelMaster rear camera and a 8MP PixelMaster front-facing camera with an 85-degree wide-angle lens. The ZenFone 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, and comes equipped with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
At $669, the Deluxe 5.7-inch is the heavy hitting ZenFone option. It is slightly bigger than the standard model with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, but still with a 1080p resolution. The Deluxe 5.7-inch is powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor and 6GB of RAM, and features an improved camera with a 23MP PixelMaster rear camera that uses a Sony Exmor IMX318 sensor with image stabilization.
As the budget option, the ZenFone Laser, falls at $279. Powered by a Snapdragon 430 processor and featuring 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 13MP PixelMaster rear camera with dual LED flash, and a 8MP PixelMaster front-facing camera, the Laser sacrifices power to compete at this price point.
The entire ZenFone 3 lineup additionally features fingerprint scanners, dual SIM cards, and micro SD card support.
All three ZenFones are available now at leading retailers.
The Asus ZenBook 3 ultrabook weighs in at 2lbs and features a 11.9-mm thin profile, making it the slimmest ZenBook in Asus history. Powered by 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7500U processors, the ZenBook 3 supports up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, the only ultrabook to do so, and 512GB of internal storage.
An entirely new cooling system was designed by Asus for the ZenBook , utilizing a fan just 3 mm thick. It is topped off with a 12.5-inch LED backlit HD 1080p anti-glare display and an Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics card.
Like a MacBook, it has just one USB-C port, but ASUS thought ahead and bundled the ZenBook 3 with an Asus Mini Dock, allowing charging, data transfer, and display output simultaneously.
The ZenBook 3 is available now at major retailers for $1999.
At $349 CAD, the ZenWatch 3 is the first Asus smartwatch to have a round display featuring a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen, 400×400 resolution, and 287-ppi pixel density. The body of the watch uses 316L stainless steel, and is 9.95 mm thick, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and is equipped with hypercharge technology for a quick recharge.
The ZenWatch 3 will be available in early November.
ZenPad 3S 10
Comparable with the iPad Mini 4, the ZenPad 3S 10 boasts a 5.8mm thin aluminum chassis and a 9.7-inch high-res display. It is powered by a hexa-core MediaTek 8176 processor and 4GB of RAM, and supports up to 64GB of onboard memory and a micro SD card reader that can support up to 128GB SD cards.
Additionally, this Asus android-tablet includes the Asus True2Life video-enhancement technology and an audio system with 7.1-channel surround-sound support. A fingerprint sensor is also included.
The ZenPad 3S 10 is available in early November for $449.
Transformer 3 Pro and Mini
Launched yesterday, the Transformer 3, Asus is taking a direct shot at the Microsoft Surface Pro. While not the first time Asus 2-in-1 device, with the Transformer 3, Asus can directly compete with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro for the mindshare of the market this holiday season.
The Transformer 3 Pro boasts a 6th generation Intel Core i7 6500U processor and up to 16GB RAM, and an internal storage of 512GB. The Pro uses a 12.6-inch 3K anti-glare touchscreen, and supports the option Asus Universal Dock, which can be plugged into the single USB 3.1 Thunderbolt Type-C port. Using Windows 10, the Pro’s front camera supports Windows 10’s Hello facial recognition login.
What may make the Pro appealing to consumers this holiday season is the added support by the soon to be released Asus XG Station II, which provides external graphics card support. This allows the Pro to function as a full-featured gaming machine and video editing device.
The Transformer 3 Mini comes in as the cheaper, less powerful option. This version is smaller at a 10.1-inch screen. It is powered by an Intel Core x5-8350 processor alongside 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Like the Pro, it supports additional 512GB of storage.
Both the Pro and the Mini come with cover keyboard and Asus Pen stylus included.
The Transformer 3 Pro is available now starting at $1,599.
The Transformer 3 Mini starts at $549, and will be available in late October.