Asustek introduces new product line

WINDOWS 8 GOODIES::The company held dual press conferences in Taipei and New York City to highlight its new line of notebooks, tablets and all-in-one PCs

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 - Page 13

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday introduced a complete Windows 8 product lineup in New York and Taipei, as the world’s No. 5 PC brand aims to wow consumers ahead of tomorrow’s launch of Microsoft Corp’s new operating system.

During two press conferences hosted by Asustek chairman Johnny Shih (施崇棠) in New York and chief executive officer Jerry Shen (沈振來) in Taipei, the company showcased its latest products as well as the much-awaited Windows 8 operating system running on its notebooks, tablets and all-in-one PCs.

The new products are all supported by optional docks and feature high-speed processors, multi-touch in-plane-switching (IPS) displays, wide viewing angle panels and powerful battery performance, the Taipei-based company said.

Asustek joined Dell Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), Samsung Electronics Co, Sony Corp and Toshiba Corp in debuting Windows 8 tablet-notebook hybrids earlier this year at the annual IFA consumer electronics show in Germany.

The company has also teamed up with Microsoft to launch Windows RT products, along with Dell, Samsung and Lenovo, hoping the touch-enabled version of Windows software can help it diversify into tablet market dominated by Google Inc and Apple Inc.

“We think our products greatly differentiate from Win8 models made by other PC vendors. We have confidence that we can take over the market once the products go on sale,” Asustek’s chief finance officer David Chang (張偉明) said by telephone yesterday.

“Our products’ specifications and most importantly, their prices, make them stand out and will provide consumers great satisfaction,” he said.

Asustek set prices for its Vivobook S200 at US$499 apiece, US$599 for the S400 and US$649 for S500, for instance.

However, it did not set sale goals for the company’s Windows 8 products.

“Sales performance will be reflected by the market,” Chang said.

Acer Inc (宏碁) founder Stan Shih (施振榮) on Tuesday said he was cautious about the market response to Microsoft’s new software compared with Apple’s dominant iOS operating system.

Shih, who said he had not yet used any device supported by Windows 8, said Apple did not invent new technologies.

“However, the reason why Apple’s products can win a majority of the market is because they know how to utilize existing technologies, integrate them and make products that greatly satisfy consumer demands,” he told reporters after the launch of a Chinese Consumer Center in Taiwan that aims to give local firms a better understanding of the purchasing behavior of Chinese-speaking customers.

“It is important to have a deeper understanding of consumers before exploring new markets,” Shih said. “Their products [Windows 8] may grab major shares of the market if buyers feel comfortable using the device. It takes time to examine whether it [Microsoft] will take over the market or not.”

Asustek and Acer shares dropped 0.82 percent and 2.31 percent to NT$303 and NT$25.4 respectively yesterday. The TAIEX lost 0.31 percent.