Asus Puts Spotlight On Design

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Las Vegas - Asus

put the onus on design at its unofficial kickoff to the International CES press conference schedule on Tuesday afternoon.

Chairman Jonney Shih introduced several new product lines to the press, touting the efforts of the company's design teams in delivering feature-rich PCs with "forms and lines inspired by nature, by art, by fashion."

First up was the Asus UL series of high-performance notebook PCs.

The flagship, the UX50, boasts many of the advanced ergonomic design touches introduced at last year's show in the company's concept Airo line, including a 5-degree angled and backlit keyboard.

It has Intel's latest Core i7 processor and USB 3.0 outputs.

Next up was the Asus ROG G73Jh gaming notebook.

It also has an Intel Core i7 and adds DirectX 11 capable ATI Radeon HD5870 graphics, up to 8GB of DDR3 system memory, eight-channel HD audio with EAX 4.0 compatibility, on-the-fly over-clocking, ambient lighting and 1TB of storage space, as well as the ergonomic Airo features and a dual-fan cooling system.

Also new is the company's Eee PC Seashell netbook collection by noted designer Karim Rashid, whom Shih said "lives and breathes the zeitgeist of design and fashion."

The ultra-slim Seashell features a wavy, tactile exterior resembling a leather business portfolio and soft-to-touch materials on the keyboard. It will be available in hot pink and coffee brown.

Shih also showed the company's new U53 notebook; it has an exterior made of bamboo, which he called "the most recyclable plant on the planet."

Finally, Shih unveiled the new NX90 Bang & Olufsen ICEpower notebook, designed by award-winning B&O chief designer David Lewis.

It features a polished anodized aluminum exterior, matte-black keyboard with dual touch pads, and an integrated B&O Sonic Focus surround-sound audio system highlighted by two sound bar speakers flanking the perimeter of a widescreen 1080p display.

Shih then turned to the future, unveiling Asus' new Waveface technology concept, the company's context-based vision rooted in mobility, with cloud computing at its heart. "By embedding multiple sensors in products, virtually every element in the user's environment - and, indeed, even the user's own physiology and emotional state - can be sources of rich data that can be leveraged to deliver the right information and services, at the right time," he said.

Three Waveface concept products will be on display at CES: the Waveface Casa, a large widescreen display that acts as a home's entertainment center and Internet portal; the Waveface Light, a soft, flexible interface to the cloud that can be used in a conventional screen/keyboard configuration or as a flat, single-screen tablet; and the Waveface Ultra, essentially a smartphone that can be strapped to one's wrist and provide anywhere, anytime access to information and services. Its display can be snapped flat to enlarge the viewing area.

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