ASUS announces the Zenfone 2 smartphone, with 4GB of RAM, just $199

UPDATE: We have reached out to ASUS and asked if the $199 price was on a two-year contract, which it is. The Zenfone 2 will start from $399, which is still a very, very competitive price. It positions ASUS right up against Samsung and Apple, and beats them in terms of specs, features and most of all: price.

CES 2015 - One of the most exciting things unveiled at ASUS' CES 2015 press conference has to be the new Zenfone 2.

The new Zenfone 2 from ASUS continues the company's 'iconic Zen design' with a 'concentric-circle texture' and 'sleek, brushed metal finish'.

Continue reading: ASUS announces the Zenfone 2 smartphone, with 4GB of RAM, just $199 (full post)

The new ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi features up to 8GB of RAM

CES 2015 - ASUS started CES 2015 with a bang today, announcing not one, but three new Transformer Book Chi devices. The flagship model, the T300 Chi, has a great spec sheet, with up to 8GB of RAM on offer.

The flagship Chi sports a 12.5-inch display with an option of either a Full HD or WQHD (1920x1080 and 2560x1440, respectively), but it is just 7.6mm thin and weighs only 720g. We have an Intel Core M processor inside, and the option of 4GB or 8GB of RAM which is just crazy in a tablet. We're getting close to Ultrabook specs here, people. On top of that, we have a desktop-class SSD inside.

Speaking of SSDs, the new Transformer Book T300 Chi's SSD is more than capable. When compared to the latest MacBook Air, it is up to 5X faster than Apple's thin laptop. We have sequential write speeds of up to 276MB/sec while reads are at a blistering 436MB/sec.

Continue reading: The new ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi features up to 8GB of RAM (full post)

Thermaltake launch new 80 PLUS Platinum modular power supply series

Chris Smith | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jan 5, 2015 6:03 PM CST

CES 2015 - Expanding on their already existing Toughpower line, Thermaltake have just announced the addition of an 80 PLUS Platinum range of power supplies, featuring a sleek black and red finish and giving users the ability to save on their power bill through better efficiency.

Available in a wide range of models including 650W, 750W 850W, 1050W and 1200W, this new line of products are being released with a fully modular design. Thanks to the 80 PLUS platinum certification, they're being marketed as the best solution for gamers and tech enthusiasts to assist in powering high-end computers - containing multi-core processors and multi-GPU setups.

There isn't a quoted initial price on Thermaltake's issued press release, nor a release date. However given that these power supplies are already listed on their website, you can expect them to hit the shelves within 30 days time.

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Trackimo personal-tracking platform launches in North America

CES 2015 - Tracking device company Trackimo officially launched in North America during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with the company promoting its small, affordable and feature-rich tracking devices in Las Vegas.

The company is showing off the Trackimo Universal, a compact, lightweight device that measures just 45mm x 18mm x 40mm. The device can be quickly attached to backpacks, bikes, luggage, and similar products - and can be hardwired directly into a vehicle.

"We're very excited to be part of the Trackimo Worldwide team and to be launching Trackimo into the North American market," said Jim Prandine, VP of sales of Trackimo North America. "Trackimo Universal covers dozens of applications in various channels, and our new upcoming products will broaden consumer demand even further."

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ASUS unveil three new Transformer Book Chi 2-in-1 detatchable devices

CES 2015 - At the ASUS CES 2015 press conference today, the company unveiled a slew of interesting new products, starting with the Transformer Book Chi range of 2-in-1 detachable devices.

The three models include the T100 Chi, T300 Chi and T90 Chi.

ASUS was quick to point out that the new Transformer Book Chi range of devices were "Thinner than Air," comparing them to Apple's popular MacBook Air range. The new Chi's are just 1.65cm thick, compared to 1.7cm on the MBA.

Continue reading: ASUS unveil three new Transformer Book Chi 2-in-1 detatchable devices (full post)

Mad Catz launches F.R.E.Q gaming headset for Mac, Windows gamers

Michael Hatamoto | Gaming | Jan 5, 2015 5:43 PM CST

CES 2015 - Gaming peripheral company Mad Catz launched its F.R.E.Q. Stereo Gaming Headset, designed for Microsoft Windows PCs and Mac OS X. As part of the company's Tournament Edition range of gaming products, F.R.E.Q. was created with help from professional e-sports gamers.

The padded ear cups support precision 50mm speakers and the microphone is a uni-directional Boom Mic. The headset doesn't require any drivers or complicated software, a welcome decision as many gaming peripherals ship with occasionally complicated software.

"Our Tournament Edition range appeals to the passionate gamer who plays at a professional level," said Darren Richardson, President and CEO of Mad Catz, in a press statement. "By focusing on quality and only the features needed to win at a competitive level, we believe the F.R.E.Q. will prove a common fixture at LAN tournaments and allow us to grow our share in the rapidly growing e-sports arena."

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20th Century Fox betting on virtual reality films

With Oculus Rift and PlayStation's Project Morpheus virtual reality gaming systems looking to hit retail by the end of the year, movie studios such as 20th Century Fox are keen to get a piece of the action too. Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter ahead of Samsung's CES presentation, 20th Century Fox Fox Home Entertainment worldwide president Mike Dunn is looking to embrace the Gear VR platform to release interactive movie experiences that can act both as "a promotional, marketing medium and a product category", complimenting the release of an upcoming film, but also act as a standalone product for sale.

"The movie is no longer just the movie. If we are going to tap into young audiences, we need to make immersive, complementary experiences... This takes you into the movie rather than just to the movie. What's exciting to me is it will be different, not a 'normal' VR experience, meaning gaming."

Fox and Samsung will be demonstrating a three minute narrative VR experience based on an upcoming film 'Wild' starring Reese Witherspoon, which will place the viewer in 360-degree environment, utilising the Samsung Gear VR and Galaxy Note 4.

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Panasonic show next gen Blu-ray technology at CES

Ben Gourlay | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Jan 5, 2015 4:16 PM CST

It's been kicking around in limbo for a number of years, but to the surprise of many industry pundits Panasonic have today shown a prototype of the next generation Blu-ray format, dubbed 'Ultra HD Blu-ray' at CES and released key specifications. The full press release has been picked up by Blu-ray.com and confirms that the format will embrace 4K at up to 60 frames per second, the more efficient H.265 codec with bit rates up to 100 mbps, 10-bit gradation, High Dynamic Range and wider colour gamut.

Whilst the press releases does note that 'standards are being formulated by the Blu-ray Disc Association and have not yet been finalised', the company did not shed light on disc capacity or laser and pit groove technology will be employed. Panasonic did show a prototype of the player, but clearly it's in very early shape with the absence of a disc drive. With packaged media on the decline, it remains to be seen how the world will react to another disc based technology, but we might know a little more about the tech later this year.

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Escort Radar announces Passport Max2, all-digital radar detector

Michael Hatamoto | Electric Vehicles & Cars | Jan 5, 2015 2:52 PM CST

CES 2015 - Escort Radar introduced the Passport Max2 radar detector and rolled out Escort Live mobile app updates during the 2015 Consumer Electronics show. The new detectors feature English and Spanish language voice alerts, and utilizes a multi-color graphics display that is easier to read.

The Escort Live app now includes Air Patrol alert features so drivers are alerted if they begin traveling through a stretch of roadway that is monitored by air. Also, the "Intelligent Speed Trap" feature automatically provides drivers about user reports of other Escort Radar owners in the area - and can support manually entering data.

"We're thrilled that we can offer known areas of enforcement that have been verified by millions of data points," said Tim Coomer, VP of product development at Escort Radar, in a press statement. "Advanced notification in these high-risk areas can be extremely useful in defending against instant-on radar and the use of laser guns."

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SteelSeries shows off Apex M800, a next-gen mechanical keyboard

Michael Hatamoto | Gaming | Jan 5, 2015 2:35 PM CST

CES 2015 - Gaming peripheral company SteelSeries has introduced the Apex M800, a product that the company says is the world's fastest, most customizable mechanical gaming keyboard.

SteelSeries says the keyboard has 25 percent faster actuation than current mechanical gaming keyboards, able to respond to every keystroke from PC gamers. Each key has a surface-mounted LED, and colors can be customized based on each gamer's particular needs.

The SteelSeries Apex M800 has a $199.99 MSRP.

Continue reading: SteelSeries shows off Apex M800, a next-gen mechanical keyboard (full post)