In addition to the major system and graphics card announcements ASUS made at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the company was showing off a number of other interesting products as well. We just spent some time with representatives from ASUS at a suite in the Trump Hotel and got to check out some new monitors, motherboards, notebooks, mobile devices, and networking products first hand.
One of the most interesting products on display was a new wide-screen monitor dubbed the MX299Q. This 29” display sports a 21:9 ultra-wide aspect ratio and a high-quality IPS panel with a native resolution of 2560x1080. The design language is similar to the MX series monitor we showed you yesterday, with its slim profile and edge-to-edge screen, and the MX299Q is outfitted with built-in speakers with Band & Olufsen ICEpower technology as well. ASUS expected the MX299Q to retail for about $599.
A newly revamped ASUS Sabertooth 990FX / GEN 3 R2.0 motherboard also caught our eye. This mobo is for socket AM3+ AMD processors and is built around the 990FX chipset, but unlike earlier products it has PCI Express 3.0 connectivity. To this point all 990FX motherboards have had only PCIe 2.0 support. ASUS also had an array of 802.11ac networking gear on display, including updated routers, USB dongles, and the high-end PCE-AC66 PCI Express adapter you see pictured here. With this card set up in a demo machine connected to an ASUS RT-AC66U router, despite a ton of Wi-Fi networks in the vicinity, the system connected at over 400Mb/s. The card is capable of up to 1.3Gb.s connections under ideal conditions according to ASUS. Also shown was a new USB 3.0 connected 15.6” monitor, which draws its power right from the USB port. The MB168B, as it is known, uses DisplayLink controller technology and features a resolution of 1366x768. Expected pricing is under $200.
ASUS’ first 14” RoG notebook was on display as well. The G46VW will be offered in a couple of configurations using Intel third-gen Core i5 or i7 processors and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M graphics. Various SSD and HDD configurations will be offered as well.
One of the more exciting products tucked away in ASUS’ suite, however, was the upcoming RAIDR Express, PCI Express SSD. ASUS is not disclosing any specifics just yet, but did say that the card has been in development for many months and since it is a member of the RoG family of product, it will address the specific needs / wants of hardcore enthusiasts and gamers. The RAIDR Express will be bootable and can be configured in a number of different setups, but no specific details were given just yet. We expect to hear more about the RAIDR Express in Q2.
Are these ultra-wide displays actually catching on, or are companies still just testing the waters? And for that matter, who are they even targeted at? I'm half-intrigued, but I am not sure I'd actually prefer one over a normal-ratio display.
Kind of funny that ASUS is also getting into the SSD market. Not a major surprise though.
That ultra-wide display is definitely what caught my eye. Hopefully that product will make it to the shelves and considering it's an IPS panel at 1440p, plus edge to edge screen and speakers that might not sound like crap with Bang and Olufsen behind them for $600 that would be one heck of a monitor.
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