We personally love this time of the year, not because of the proximity of Durga Puja and Diwali meaning you could, technically, get twice the number of gifts but because this is the time of the year ASUS holds their Power User and OC meet. The guys over at ASUS did this over the course of a day the last time the meet was held in 2014. This time however they decided to split the meet into two days: One day for the power user meet and the other for the OC meet. We were also honored to be sharing a room with “Hazzan”, perhaps one of the best overclockers the world has seen.
The day kicked off rather inconspicuously with tons of familiar faces and loads of new ones. After greeting Bikey and chatting with Sumon for a while I was ushered into the Wisdom room and was asked a series of questions for the video of the day. This was a marked departure from last years “file-into-a-room-and-introduce-yourself” routine and was a refreshing breath of air into an otherwise awkward situation especially for those of us not socially gifted. Soon enough more members of the Power user community began showing up and after donning our ASUS ROG T-shirts it was off to the conference room for the products on display today.
The presentation kicked off and the products on display were mind boggling. It wasn’t just the sheer genius of some of these products but the variety of fields these products belonged to. We were shown the Pico S1 Projector and then shown the tiny ASUS Chrome bit. The theme of the presentation today definitely seemed like miniaturization of hardware. We were shown a plethora of products ranging from MiniPCs to gaming hardware. Since my interest primarily lay with the gaming part of the presentation I shall be focusing on that aspect chiefly.
A few bullet points of what transpired:
- The ASUS Tactic Pro which I reviewed here is coming this December, ASUS is currently in talks with a distributor.
- The ASUS Claw which had one of the more ergonomically comfortable shapes I’ve used and the spare Omron D2F-01F switches will be also be following suit. The one change however is that it will be the Dark Edition of the Claw and not the one I reviewed. This however is nothing but an aesthetic change and should not impact the performance of the mouse.
- Considering the relative popularity of the CM Devastator combo, ASUS has decided to release a new line-up called Cereberus targeted at budget gamers. This Mouse and keyboard combo will be coming in at a price similar to the Devastator. The mouse is rated at 2500DPI and was pretty responsive when I tried it. Interestingly enough the DPI of the mouse corresponds to a different colour with the colours being Purple, Green and Red. The keyboard itself is membrane based as a mechanical with backlighting at this price range would be pretty impossible. It also has a backlighting system with a pulse and breathing mode along with the regular back light. We can’t wait for it to get to our lab so we can start throwing some numbers on this thing.
- Also no pictures of the same but they did reveal that ASUS has a couple of mechanical RGB keyboards in the works, one of them being Tenkeyless. Somewhat of a letdown was hearing the fact that the TKL one will come equipped with Kailh switches but I suppose if the luck of the draw is good we get near MX level performance out of them. The other full size RGB keyboard is said to be coming with MX Reds equipped although a petition was made to include Browns and Blacks as well.
- The Strix Pro with 7.1 was on display again although the lack of an adjustable headband meant it was quite a tight fit.
The range of sound cards on display
- The Strix range of sound cards are set to make an appearance in the market along with the Tactic Pro. Interestingly enough the focus on this meet was more towards the Strix line up of products and not the Essence line-up although we were promised that next year’s meet would hold those cards as well.
That was pretty much it from the gaming side of things but we barely scratched the surface with the sheer variety of products being presented.
Something that caught my eye was the ASUS VivoWatch, ASUS’ foray into wearable tech is set to launch “soon” and it has an inbuilt Heart Rate monitor and boasts a battery life of a week to 10 days without regular usage of the HR monitor and 4 days with the HR monitor enabled. Currently the only wearables with Heart Rate monitor inbuilt are the ones from Fitbit which are available through Amazon so I’d love to see how this gadget trades blows with what could only be described as a veritable giant of the wearable tech industry.
The products on display ranged from Monitors, Prebuilt PCs, Computing stick, Projectors, a car camera, Routers and obviously the pieces des resistances: Motherboard and GPUs. The entire presentation however was designed to bring awareness of the other products ASUS as a company manufactures. We know them as the company which sells motherboards and GPUs but that’s not all. I shall try and summarize what other things of note happened during the conference:
- The Pico S1 Projector was a little marvel, while admittedly I am not very well versed with the technical aspects such as luminosity etc. of a projector the portability of such a device was enough to impress me.
- The Chromebit, ASUS’ take on the PC-on-a-stick was impressive but the idea of including a bendable HDMI cable to ensure that it doesn’t hit the wall behind your TV seemed nice. Perhaps it’s these subtle things that set it apart from competitors.
- There was a conference (granted between two rooms in the same building) but the Chromebox for Meetings along with the Video conferencing apparatus was impressive to say the least.
- The creation of the STRIX brand was explained. This might not seem like such a big deal but I found it important. Basically, STRIX as a brand was created to cater to the gamers and enthusiasts who cannot afford Republic of Gamers hardware.
- The roadmap for the motherboards coming in the near future was revealed with special mention to the B150 Trooper motherboard.
- The GR8 recently got a cousin called the GR6 which comes equipped with the GTX960M and is aimed at the casual gamer. Interestingly enough the keyboard they are including with this Pre built comes equipped with Kailh Red switches.
This is just the hardware side of things.
Something that is dearer to our hearts was just the fact that it wasn’t a corporate get together or rather feel like one. Our inputs and feedback were entertained with a charming level of enthusiasm. It was great seeing some familiar faces and meeting new budding enthusiasts. The ASUS crew was fun to interact with and the entire experience was a definite success in my book. Keep your eyes peeled for Day 2’s antics right here at TechArx.