It’s been rumored for a while that Google (GOOG) and ASUS (2357) are working on a $99 Nexus tablet. Although benchmarks can easily be faked, a new GLBenchmark for a tablet identified as only “ME172V” and reportedly built by ASUS has popped up with specs well below those of the Nexus 7. According to the GLBenchmark, the entry-level Nexus 7 could have a 7-inch display with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution display, 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a 4270mAh battery and Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Interestingly enough, the purported low-end Nexus 7 also has a micro SD card slot, which the original Nexus 7 does not. It’s possible that the entry-level tablet could be an entirely new Nexus product, or even not a Nexus-branded tablet at all. In September, ASUS denied it was working on an entry-level Nexus 7 for Google.
Microsoft (MSFT) may have sold an impressive 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far, but that doesn’t mean OEMs are seeing the same strong demand for new computers and tablets. The Wall Street Journal reports that Asus CFO David Chang is less than pleased with how Windows 8 devices have sold so far and says that overall “demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.” This doesn’t mean that Windows 8 is doomed, however: Daiwa analyst Christine Wang tells the Journal that she expected early demand for Windows 8 to be sluggish since early component costs have resulted in higher-than-optimal prices. Once OEMs get these costs under control in 2013, she says, demand for Windows 8 machines should ramp up.
Google (GOOG) announced last month that it was discontinuing the 8GB model of its popular Nexus 7 tablet and reducing the price of the 16GB model by $50 to make room for a larger 32GB model. The Internet giant’s announcement didn’t sit well with early adopters who essentially felt duped. ASUS (2357), the tablet’s manufacturer, has now stepped in to make things right, at least for European buyers. For those who bought a Nexus 7 directly from ASUS or Google before the October 29th price drop, the Taiwanese manufacturer is offering customers a €25 voucher after they give a proof of purchase. The offer is available for all of Europe and runs through November 30th, while the voucher, according to The Verge, is valid through December 31st.
ASUS (2357) made its Padfone 2 official on Tuesday. As the leaks suggested, the Padfone 2 is an all-around spec boost that includes a 4.7-inch Super IPS+ display (1280 x 720 resolution), quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.4 aperture capable of 100 continuous full-resolution shots at six frames per second, 1.2-megapixel front camera, NFC, LTE connectivity and a 2140mAh battery. On the software side, the Padfone 2 feels a bit outdated running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but ASUS says it’ll be updated to Jelly Bean very soon.
ASUS (2353) isn’t giving up on the smartphone/tablet hybrid dream just yet. Ahead of its official October 16th announcement in Italy and Taiwan, the reliable Evleaks has dumped several images of ASUS’s Padfone 2 on its Twitter account. From the looks of it, the Padfone 2’s tablet portion exchanges previous models’ rear door flap for a easy slide-in dock mechanism. The tablet dock also sports a tapered wedge design. Rumored specs for the Padfone 2 smartphone include a 4.7-inch display (1280x 720), 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 13-megapixel camera with LED flash, 2GB of RAM, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and LTE connectivity. Evleaks’ Padfone 2 images follow below. More →
ASUS’s (2357) Padfone was an interesting hybrid that tried to bridge smartphones and tablets, but it failed to catch on due to an expensive price tag. Newly leaked specs from EEEPC.it suggest ASUS’s successor, the Padfone 2, will sport a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution, 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 2,140mAh battery. Other rumored specs include GSM 1900/850 MHz, WCDMA 2100 MHz and NFC. ASUS sent out invitations to the media indicating it will announce the Padfone 2 on October 16th in Milan, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan. For ASUS’s sake, we hope it has managed to lower the price. More →
AT&T (T) on Thursday announced the future availability of two Windows 8 tablets from ASUS (2357) and Samsung (005930). The nation’s second largest wireless carrier will offer the VivoTab RT and ATIV Smart PC to customers this holiday season. The VivoTab RT from ASUS is equipped with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, Windows RT, 4G LTE connectivity, 32GB of internal storage and features a 10.1-inch Super IPS display with ASUS TruVivid technology for a better viewing experience. Samsung’s 11.6-inch HD ATIV Smart PC includes a dual-core Intel Clover Trail processor clocked at 1.5GHz, Windows 8, 64GB of internal storage and can be connected to a detachable keyboard dock. As an added bonus, the VivoTab RT comes preloaded with Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview Edition, while the ATIV Smart PC includes a trial of Office 2013. Pricing information was not disclosed. AT&T’s press release follows below. More →
ASUS (2357) has finally made good on its promise to update its Transformer Prime tablet to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The only downside, however, is that Jelly Bean needs to be side-loaded into the Transformer Prime. To update the Transformer Prime to Jelly Bean, users can visit ASUS’s download website and search for “TF201” and select “Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201.” On the “Download” tab, change the OS in the drop-down menu to “Android.” Select “Firmware”and download “Version V10.1.2.15” to get Jelly Bean rolling. Jelly Bean is also rolling out to ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity tablets as well. To update, search for “TF700T” instead of “TF201.” Both ASUS tablets should run significantly faster thanks to Jelly Bean’s “Project Butter” speed enhancements. More →
Earlier this week, Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer announced the first pricing details for the company’s Windows 8 tablet. The Surface tablet will sell for between $300 and $700-$800 depending on the features and operating system — Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro. Ballmer noted that Microsoft wasn’t looking to compete with Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN) in the low-price market, although other manufacturers may. According to an alleged product roadmap obtained by ZDNet, ASUS’ (2357) tablets will be even more expensive than Microsoft’s devices. The Taiwanese manufacturer is planning to launch three new Windows 8 tablets this holiday season for $599, $799 and $1,299, respectively. More →
It was only a matter of time before tablets replaced the underpowered netbooks that were all the rage back in 2007. And after five years of badging every one of its Intel Atom-powered PCs with the Eee moniker, ASUS (2357) is calling it quits on the netbook category that it pioneered. Digitimes reports that ASUS has ceased production of all Eee PC netbooks and will transition to marketing its family of Transformer tablets to fill the 10.1-inch netbook void.
An upcoming tablet from ASUS (2357) recently passed through the Federal Communications Commission’s testing facility equipped with the model number TF500T. Few details are revealed in the resulting documentation, however the model number suggests the tablet could fall between the budget-friendly Transformer Pad TF300 and the high-end Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. The Taiwanese manufacturer’s upcoming tablet will be Wi-Fi only and will feature an HDMI port and a microphone. We can also safely assume that the TF500T will have the ability to transform into a laptop with the help of ASUS’s keyboard dock. More →
Earlier this year, Sony (SNE) revealed that its PlayStation Suite for mobile devices had been renamed to PlayStation Mobile. The gaming service, which launched in 2011, initially allowed owners of PlayStation certified devices, such as the Xperia Play, to play older PlayStation games on their Android smartphones and tablets. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, Sony announced that it was bringing Playstation Mobile to HTC’s (2498) devices, making the Taiwanese smartphone vendor the first non-Sony company to earn the certification. More →
Shortly after HTC (2498) confirmed that its smartphones would receive an update to Jelly Bean, ASUS (2357) announced that an Android 4.1 update will be coming to its various tablets. The company’s Transformer Pad, Transformer Prime and Transformer Pad Infinity tablets are all scheduled to receive an update to Jelly Bean “in the coming months.” Owners of the original Transformer and Transformer Slide will not have access to the new OS at that time. ASUS does note, however, that it’s “still investigating Jelly Bean updates for other devices, but we are not in a position to confirm whether any other products will be eligible for an update at the moment.” ASUS’s press release follows below. More →