For Asus, at least. Ahead of Computex 2017, the computing giant has shown off three new laptops that push the envelope in performance and design — and that means if you’re in the market for a new machine, there’s a good chance it might be one from Asus.
The highlight of Asus’s mini-show was the ZenBook Flip S (UX370), which it says is the world’s thinnest convertible laptop. It’s a proper laptop, too, running Windows 10 and powered by a new Core i7-7500U processor from Intel and with up to a 1TB PCIe SSD under the hood, but it’s less than 11mm thick. No price for it yet, but the $US1099 starting price translates into circa-$1500 in Australia.
Its 13.3-inch screen can also be specced up to 4K resolution, and it’s of course also a touchscreen — which makes sense since its hinges rotate a full 360 degrees. That display is nearly borderless, too, which reduces the ZenBook Flip S’ overall size massively. If you don’t need dedicated graphics, the Flip S looks like it’ll be pretty tempting as an everyday, multipurpose laptop-tablet hybrid.
In its performance-focused Pro line, Asus has bumped up specs significantly with the latest ZenBook Pro (UX550) — most notably by including Nvidia’s desktop-equaling laptops graphics cards alongside equally gutsy quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPUs. I’m an unabashed fan of the price-performance ratio of Nvidia’s entry-level GeForce 10-series chips and to see them in such a skinny laptop is an impressive feat.
If you like the sound of that, here’s the better part — the 15.6-inch ZenBook Pro is just 18.9mm thick and weighs 1.8kg, putting it well into the fighting class of competitors like Razer and Aorus. That display is a 4K one, of course, and the graphics come courtesy of Nvidia’s not-too-shabby GTX 1050Ti — which won’t have the power to run that 4K display at native resolution during gaming, but should handle lesser titles like Dota 2 or League of Legends with no sweat.
Sitting in between the two is the ZenBook 3 Deluxe, a 1.1kg and 12.9mm thick Apple MacBook competitor built around a 14-inch display and with all the power that you could ask for from such a skinny device — fast SSD, fast Intel Core i7 CPU, dual Thunderbolt 3 support over USB-C and the like. Those specs make it the world’s thinnest 14-inch laptop, apparently.
Asus also took the opportunity to introduce something it calls the Blue Cave — a Wi-Fi router with dual-band 2600Mbps 802.11ac support, but without any obvious spiky antennas sticking out of the top. Rather than looking like a computing appliance, the Blue Cave is an odd-looking monolith of sorts — almost like a miniaturised washing machine without the door — that Asus thinks will look more appropriate in your living room.
Gizmodo traveled to Computex as a guest of Dell.