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Asus VivoBooks, Zenbooks and All-in-One primed for Windows 8 announcement

Asus VivoBooks, Zenbooks and All-in-One primed for Windows 8 announcement

Asus busted out all the stops at a Windows 8-themed event in New York City Tuesday.

Not only did the company reveal pricing and availability for the Taichi and Vivo Tab RT, it threw some new devices into the mix as well.

First up was the Asus VivoBook S200, S400 and S500, a crackling combo made up of 11.6-, 14- and 15-inch laptops with touch-capacitive screens.

The models incorporate the same tapered design found in products like the Zenbook (more on that series later) but with a Vivo feel, including availability in "vibrant colors."

Viva VivoBooks

The compact S200 runs an Intel Core i3 processor while the S400 can carry the same or an i5 or i7 variant.

Asus also let the S200 get bigger than its britches: though it's only 11.6-inches, yet it packs speakers intended for a 14- or 15-inch device plus runs a touchpad sized for 14-inch models.

Pre-orders start Tuesday with release expected near the end of October.

Asus is releasing the S200 for $499 (UK£312, AU$484), the S400 for $599 (UK£375, AU$581) and the S500 for $649 (UK£406, AU$630).

All come with 32GB of WebStorage for three years, though it's worth noting that upgrades beyond the standard configurations will up the cost.

ET, phone home

Also up for Asus Tuesday was the ET2300 All-in-One PC Series, a 23-inch multi-touch displayed desktop.

Running Intel's i7 processors, the ET2300 incorporates "lifelike audio and user ergonomics" in a sleek design.

What's really extraordinary about the ET is a double-hinge feature that lets users switch it from a traditional desktop display to a "digital canvas" mode that folds flat and parallel to a table top.

The 178 degree wide-view IPS display provides crystal clear imagery that all can view.

Asus said this is the first All-in-One PC to feature a built-in array speaker and subwoofer, external subwoofer and Asus' own SonicMaster Technology.

The tech gives the ET2300 "incredible acoustic fidelity unheard from in other PCs."

Two Intel Thunderbolt, Intel Wireless Display and four USB 3.0 are also part of the ET2300 package, as is HDMI input.

Throw in a third-generation Intel Core i7 processor with discrete Nvidia GT630M (1GB/2GB) or Intel HD 2500.4000 graphics, and the ET2300 is ready to perform.

Asus is staying mum, however, and when and for how much consumers can pick up ET2300 and take it home.

Feeling so Zen

The company also broke out two additions to its Zenbook Ultrabook line: the 14-inch UX42Vs and the 15-inch UX52VS and U500VZ.

The books go on sale next month and should price between $600 (UK£376, AU$582) and $2,000 (UK£1,253, AU$1,942) depending on the model specs.

Weighing 4.19 pounds, the UX42VS has a thin, tapered chassis that's 6 millimeters at its thinnest. It has an optical drive, Nvidia GT645M graphics and 1GB of dedicated video memory.

Asus is offering it with either Core i3, i5 or i7 processors with up to 6GB of ran and a top out of 1TB hybrid hard drive capacity.

The UX525VS comes with either a Core i5 or i7 Ultrabook-grade CPU and can handle up to 10GB of memory.

Hybrid hard drive storage can hit 1TB, though it shares the same 645M graphics card as the 14-inch version.

Finally, the U500VZ comes with quad-core Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory and a 1080p display.

It's filled up with a GT650M GPU and 2GB of video memory and despite the hefty innards, weighs only 4.4 pounds and measures 6 millimeters thick.

One last note: Asus also plans to sell touchscreen versions of its Zenbook Prime Ultrabooks, which come in either 11- or 13-inch flavors, but there's still no word on availability for those devices.

Sony launches new range of installation projectors

Sony launches new range of installation projectors

Sony launches a new range of projectors aimed at the fixed installation market and for use in auditoriums, lecture theatres, large meeting rooms or conference rooms.

The new VPL-CW275 and VPL-FH31, VPL-FH36 models come with Sony's BrightEra 3LCD Inorganic Panel technology, energy efficient features, installation flexibility and a low total cost of ownership.

The new Sony VPL-CW275

The new VPL-CW275 model extends Sony's existing CW255 installation projector line-up, and features light output levels of up to 5,100 lm (on high lamp mode), making it one of the brightest WXGA (1280x800) models in its class.

The new model features a contrast ratio of 3,000:1, and variety of inputs/outputs such as RGB video and audio, HDMI, RJ45 or RS232C connectors, and LAN connectivity.

The projector includes an 'ECO MODE' which enables the projector to be operated with a customisable combination of energy efficiency settings including an auto lamp dimming function. Sony claims this can reduce lamp power consumption by approximately 15% and a 'Power Saving Mode' automatic switch-off after a set time period.

The projector also includes a new 'Picture Muting' feature which can turn the picture off when necessary by a single button-press on the remote control. Lamp power consumption is reduced down to approximately 30% (in blank image muting mode), and there is no need to power completely off and turn back on, saving precious time, costs and lamp hours.

Edge Blending allows multiple projectors to create one large image

VPL-FH31 and VPL-FH36

The new VPL-FH31 and VPL-FH36 projectors are enhanced replacements for Sony's existing VPL-FH30 and VPL-FH35 models. Both projectors are capable of extreme lens shift of vertical +60% and horizontal ±32%, plus an Image Warping function allows adjustment of the corners and sides of the projected image to any convex or concave surfaces for dynamic signage displays.

The VPL-FH31 also includes a new Portrait Mode capability, where the installation position can be flipped counter clock-wise. And Edge Blending enables the installation of multiple projectors to create one large image.

Both projectors are capable of 1920x1200 and have Full HD compatibility with manual zoom of approximately 1.6x that allows for high magnification of up to 40" to 600" screen size. The VPL-FH31 has a light output of 4,300 lm (in high lamp mode), while the VPL-FH36 has a light output of 5,200 lm (in high lamp mode).

A powerful AV asset management software tool also lets users monitor and control their projectors across different rooms, and displays system and projector power status, lamp replacement time, alerts and other vital statistics.

The VPL-CW275 model will be available in Europe from the end of November 2012 onwards. The VPL-FH31 and VPL-FH36 models will be available in January 2013.

UK's digital switchover is complete, Ofcom confirms

UK's digital switchover is complete, Ofcom confirms

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in the future: the UK's digital switchover is now complete.

Northern Ireland was the last area to make the switch from analogue to digital television and when its analogue broadcast signal was turned off today, it ended over 70 years of digital-less broadcasting and eight years of switch-over action.

Everyone in the UK should now have access to digital terrestrial television like Freeview or Freesat.

Cee-you fax

Unfortunately it also means we've had to bid a fond farewell to unique Britishisms like Ceefax and fuzzy television reception when it's a bit drizzly and the wind is blowing at exactly 16.8 miles per hour in a north-westerly direction.

However! It's not all doom and hipster gloom; the spectrum freed-up by the switchover is to be put to good use delivering 4G mobile networks.

Ofcom is all set to auction this spare spectrum off at the end of 2012, in a controversial auction that has Vodafone, O2, Three and EE in a bit of a tizz and should already have taken place earlier this year.


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