Asus Chases Nirvana With ZenFone 2, Book Chi Series

2-in-1 tablet and new ZenFone lead Asus's charge in the new year


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While most of the spotlight at today's CES press conferences was cast on TVs, Taiwanese manufacturer Asus held court in both the laptop and smartphone departments, announcing a lineup of brand new 2-in-1 detachable notebooks and Android smartphones.

Here's how the announcements break down:

Transformer Book Chi Series

Every model in the Chi lineup is fanless and features either a quad-core Intel Atom or Intel Core M processor. The latter is a quiet, energy-efficient chip designed specifically to power ultra-thin devices.

Transformer Book T300 Chi

ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi
Credit: ASUS

The T300 is the flagship model of the Transformer Book Chi Series.

The flagship Transformer Book Chi is the T300, a 12.5-inch tablet with your choice of WQHD or full-HD screen. Like other Transformer tablets, it transforms into a laptop thanks to a clever neodymium hinge that connects it to a paired Bluetooth keyboard.

The T300's display packs a very respectable pixel density of 235ppi with the WQHD screen option. For those keeping score at home, Apple's current MacBook Air tops out at 135ppi.

Here's the spec list:

Display: 12.5-inch screen, WQHD (2560x1440) / Full HD (1920x1080) IPS
Storage: 128GB iSSD
Processor: Intel Core M 5Y10/5Y71
Operating System: Windows 8.1 32-bit
Weight: 0.72kg as a tablet, 1.42kg when docked with keyboard
Dimensions: 265mm x 174.5mm x 7.2mm / 13.2mm (as a tablet / when docked)

The WQHD version of the Book Chi T300 starts at $799, while the full-HD version starts at $699.

Transformer Book T100 Chi

ASUS Transformer Book T100 Chi
Credit: ASUS

At 7.2mm, the T100 is the world's thinnest Window's tablet.

The Book T100 Chi is even thinner than the T300. In fact, at 7.2mm, it's the world's thinnest Windows tablet.

This is what the T100 looks like at a glance:

Display: 10.1-inch screen, WUXGA (1920x1200) IPS
Storage: 32/64GB eMMC
Processor: Quad-core Intel Atom Z3775
Operating System: Windows 8.1 32-bit
Weight: 0.57kg as a tablet, 1.06kg when docked with keyboard
Dimensions: 265mm x 174.5mm x 7.2mm / 13.2mm (as a tablet / when docked)

The T100 will start at $399.

Tranformer Book T90 Chi

ASUS Transformer Book T90 Chi
Credit: ASUS

The 8.9-inch Book T90 Chi is only 7.5mm thin.

Lastly is the Transformer Book T90 Chi, the lowest-end model in the Book Chi series.

This 8.9-inch tablet is only 7.5mm thin, and like the T100, runs on an Intel Atom processor.

Display: 8.9-inch screen, WXGA (1280x800) IPS
Storage: 32/64GB eMMC
Processor: Quad-core Intel Atom Z3775
Operating System: Windows 8.1 32-bit
Weight: 0.40kg as a tablet, 0.75kg when docked with keyboard
Dimensions: 241mm x 137.5mm x 7.5mm / 16.5mm (as a tablet / when docked)

Pricing for the T90 starts at $299.

ZenFone 2

The ZenFone 2 is the next flagship smartphone from Asus. It runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and features a brand new iteration of ZenUI. Other highlights include a 5.5-inch, full-HD IPS display, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 64-bit Intel Atom processor.

ASUS ZenFone 2
Credit: ASUS

The ZenFone 2

Here's a rundown of the specs:

Display: 5.5-inch, full-HD (1920x1080) IPS screen
Operating System: Asus ZenUI over Android 5.0 Lollipop
Processor: 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Z3560/Z3580 (at 1.8GHz or 2.3GHz)
Camera: 13-megapixel, 5-element lens (rear), 5-megapixel (front-facing)
Memory & Storage: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB ROM, LPDDR3 2GB/4GB RAM
Additional Storage: Micro SD card support (up to 64GB)
Battery: 300mAh lithium-polymer
Weight: 170g

The ZenFone 2 will be available in black, gold, gray, red, and white. It starts at $199.

ZenFone Zoom

ASUS ZenFone Zoom
Credit: ASUS

The ZenFone Zoom features a 13-megapixel camera with a 3X optical zoom.

Also introduced today was the ZenFone Zoom. According to Asus, it's the world's thinnest smartphone featuring a 13-megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom. That's not too surprising, since it's also the only one fitting that description.

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The rear camera on the ZenFone Zoom features a 10-element lens, and the camera also includes manual controls for ISO settings and shutter speed—a rarity in a smartphone.

Stick with for continued coverage of CES 2015, including all the latest news and product announcements.

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