By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – Asus was not intimidated by what its competition was unveiling at the exact same moment on the West Coast today as the company rolled out its tablet and Ultrabook heavy Windows 8 computer line up.
Asus Chairman Johnney Shih described the new products as part of Asus’ Ubiquitous Cloud Computing Era where users can have constant access to all their content anywhere.
Shih’s most unique introduction was the Taichi Ultrabook/tablet. The Taichi has dual touch displays, one front and one rear facing. Shih said having the displays positioned like this enabled new possibilities for gaming and giving presentations.
It also enables the Ultrabook to be used as a table with the consumer accessing the content on the back facing display. The screens can simultaneously show the same or different content.
Three versions of the Taichi will ship next month. All feature 11.6-inch dual screens and 4GB of RAM. The $1,299 model has an Intel Core i5-3317U processor and a 128 solid state drive, the $1,499 version adds a larger 256GB SSD and the top end $1,599 model is powered by a Core i7-3517U processor.
Asus also introduced a new line of products with the Vivo tag, the VivoBook and VivoTab.
The VivoBook S200 and S400, shipping on Oct. 26, feature a slim and light design borrowing the same basic tapered chassis design used in the company’s Zenbook series.
Shih said the company spent extra time redesigning the keyboard and also the touchpad making it more compatible with Windows 8.
The 11.6-inch S200 will be available with three different processors, an Intel Core i3, an ultra-low voltage (ULV) Pentium 987 or a ULV Celeron 847. It also has 4GB of memory and a 320GB or 500GB hard drive. :Pricing starts at $499.
The $599, 14-inch S400 runs either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, can be configured with a Core i7, ULV Celeron 987 or ULV Celeron 847 processor. It has 8GB of memory and an option to add 32GB of SSD cache to the hard drive options.
The VivoTab RT tablet takes a different tack from the other introductions and uses the new Windows RT operating system. Windows RT launches on Oct. 23, but is different in many aspects. Primarily, many Windows 8 apps will not run on RT. Instead RT apps have to be downloaded directly from the Microsoft app store.
Pricing for the Wi-Fi version starts at $599 and it will be available on Oct. 23. A 4G LTE version will also be available at a later date, pricing is not yet available.
The VivoTab runs on an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, has 2GB or RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of memory.
Asus has also updated its Zenbook Ulrabook series adding 14- and 15-inch models that sport an ISP display. They are available in several configurations starting at about $700 and ranging to close to $1,800.
The 15-inch Zenbooks can be configured with Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 10GB of RAM, discrete graphics, the 14-inch model has adds a Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM or up to a 1TB hard drive.
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