Asustek unveils ZenFone Zoom at CES

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 13

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) wowed shutterbugs with its new ZenFone Zoom at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday, equipping an Android smartphone with an optical zoom camera.

The ZenFone Zoom is the world’s thinnest smartphone to feature a 13-megapixel camera with a 3X optical zoom, which packs a 10-element lens design with up to a 12X digital zoom for even finer close-up detail, Asustek said in a press release.

The 5.5-inch ZenFone Zoom also has an optical image stabilizer (OIS) for taking shake-free photos, combined with a revolutionary laser auto-focus for incredibly sharp images every time, Asustek said.

Also at the trade show, Asustek unveiled the second-generation low-cost ZenFone range, dubbed the ZenFone 2, which will go on sale in March at US$199, while the ZenFone Zoom will be available in the second quarter at US$399, the company said.

Another new Asustek product that drew the spotlight was the Transformer Book Chi series — razor-thin 2-in-1 Windows laptops that can transform into Windows tablets via a magnetic hinge.

The Transformer Book Chi will be available in three sizes — 12.5-inch, 10.1-inch and 8.9-inch — priced at US$699, US$399 and US$299, respectively, the company said.

Asustek chairman Johnny Shih (施崇棠) praised Intel Corp at a press conference.

“We appreciate the support of our long-time friend and strategic partner Intel on this journey ‘In Search of Incredible,’” Shih said.

Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s senior vice president and general manager of the client computing group, joined Shih on stage and said Intel and Asustek shared a common passion for technology.

He touted some of the products the two companies have collaborated on, including the ZenFone 2 powered by the 22-nanometer Intel Atom processor, and the Transformer Book T300 Chi powered by the 14-nanometer Intel Core M processor, he said.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Asustek to develop the next generation of inspiring mobile devices,” Skaugen said.

Separately, chipmaker MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday showcased the industry’s first connected audio chip that supports Google Inc’s newly announced audio streaming technology Google Cast.

The firm was demonstrating the new system-on-chip processor MT8507 and related applications at the show, adding that the new chip has entered mass production.

Global consumer brands are working with Google and MediaTek to bring the Google Cast-ready speakers and sound bars to market by March, a statement said.

MediaTek said the chip will enable consumers to connect with Google Cast-ready speakers and sound bars from their iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets, Macbooks and Windows PCs using Google Cast apps.

Additional reporting by Lisa Wang