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Asus announces four new ZenFone smartphones

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Asus has announced a lot of products at CES 2014. Here we run down all the smartphones announced so far. Brace yourselves; the Taiwanese company went all out in Las Vegas this year.

Asus ZenFone family

First up is a brand new line-up of handsets including “high-value” smartphones called the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5 and the ZenFone 6. All these handsets will ship with Android 4.3 but will all be updated to KitKat in the future. Sadly there’s no information regarindg availability as yet, but we do know prices.

Asus ZenFone 6

We’re starting off high, the number refers to the 6-inch IPS touch screen. There’s an Intel Atom Z2580 processor doing all the hard work inside which runs at 2GHz. The resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels HD. There’s a 12MP camera on the back and a 2MP front facing secondary. You can pick up the handset in Charcoal Black, Pearl White, Cherry Red and Champagne Gold.

Onboard is 1GB of RAM, a microSD card slot and a 3230mAh battery.

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A couple of interesting features include the the PenTouch and GloveTouch technologies built into the Zenfone 6. These allow use of the touch screen with any stylus or even a gloved finger. A smart move as it can be a real pain having to remove your gloves to use your phones keyboard.

Price: $199

Asus ZenFone 5

The ZenFone 5 is very similar to its larger sibiling but has a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720p. It runs on the same 2GHz Intel Atom  Z2580  chip and sports an impressive 8MP main camera with image stabilization. There’s also a 2MP front facing snapper and 1GB of RAM once again.

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The handset also includes the same PenTouch and GloveTouch technology as the Zenfone 6. Colour choices are the same as its larger sibling.

Price: $149

Asus ZenFone 4

You’ve guessed it, the ZenFone 4 has a 4-inch display. There’s an Intel Atom Z2520 processor with Quad-Thread Hyper-Threading Technology oand the chip is clocked at 1.2GHz. You get a 5MP camera on the back but we’re not clear on the quality of the front facing camera. The ZenFone 4 is a slim-line handset only weighing in at 115g and is available in five colours including Charcoal Black, Pearl White, Cherry Red, Sky Blue and Solar Yellow.

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There’s 1GB of RAM and a worryingly low-rated 1170mAh battery. Asus claims the Zenfone 4 is “the great-value handset for young people who demand the perfect companion for their mobile lifestyles.” What is clear is the ZenFone 4 is the most budget of this “high-value” range.

Price: $99

Each of the ZenFone handsets also includes the so-called ZenUI which is a custom interface designed by Asus, a free messaging app called Omlet Chat and a Smart Reader Mode has been implemented on the display.

Asus PadFone Mini

Asus has announced the latest PadFone product at CES 2014. The PadFone Mini is a 4-inch smartphone which can be transformed into a 7-inch tablet. There’s a 1280 x 800p display and its powered by an Intel Atom Z2560 processor which runs at 1.6GHz.

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Android 4.3 is ready to go out of the box and Asus promises to update to KitKat in the future. It also runs the new ZenUI.

Also onboard the latest PadFone is 8GB of internal storage with microSD support for cards up to 64GB. Camera wise there’s an 8MP main camera and a 2MP front facing secondary. The whole product is reasonably light, the smartphone itself is 6.3mm thick and weighs just 116g. With the tablet dock in use the device weighs 376g, very light for a tablet computer.

It’ll be available in five colours including black, white, red, blue and yellow but there’s no word on price. Availability may not be good news for US customers, the PadFone in 2013 is only available in Europe and Asia.

Asus VivoTab Note 8

First up in the tablets is the new VivoTab Note 8, an 8-inch tablet with a Wacom digitzer stylus to use on the screen. The display is 1280 x 800 pixels and the tablet is designed to be slim and optimized for one handed use. It’s only 1cm thick and weighs 380g, a great achievement for a tablet this powerful.

The VivoTab Note 8 runs on Intel’s Atom Z3740 proccessor, has 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage plus microSD support and an eight hour battery life. There’s also a free year of Asus WebStorage thrown in.

Imaging comes from a 5MP rear camera alongside an HD front facing one for selfies and video calls. Other features included Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 4.0 and micro USB connectivity.

The Wacom digitizer stylus pen offers over a thousand levels of pressure sensitivity to give a better drawing and writing experience. The tablet arrives with Microsoft Office Home and Student so it’s clearly meant for essay writing and productivity. No word on a release date or availability right now but it will be $299 for a 32GB version, not bad!

Transformer Book Duet TD300

Arguably not a tablet but bare with us. Asus just announced the Transformer Book Duet TD300, it’s an impressive piece of kit. Asus describe it as the “world’s first quad-mode, dual-OS laptop and tablet convertible.” It allows, with the switch of a button, the user to alternate between Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.

The screen detaches from the laptop to offer a 13.3-inch full HD tablet with an Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB DDR3L 1600RAM and 128GB of storage. The dock features all the ports you need including USB 3.0 and you can even add up to 1TB of storage. The tablet only has a microSD slot, headphone jack and DC jack, while the estistmated battery life is six hours in Android 4.2 and five in Windows 8.1.

It’s going to be a heavy tablet but it is a great idea. Release date is currently uncertain but the price is known and it’ll be $599. 

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