We're here at our very first liveblog of this year's CES, and who better to start it off than the always imaginative ASUS? We're expecting a number of highly unrealistic concepts, if prior years are any indication, and of course we're sure ASUS will have something to say on its favorite subject: netbooks. Stay tuned, we're due to get underway any moment!
5:46PM And we just met a merciful end in the post-roll music. It's over! Time for some hands-on, thanks for joining us.
5:45PM How does that price line up with your statement of bringing something previously available to a privileged few to a mass market? It just got very awkward in here. Comparing the NX90 to a $10,000 stereo sound system. That sounds like a bit of a stretch.
5:42PM We just heard the word "megatrend" twice in one sentence, walking on thin ice here! One more question left: how do the dual touchpads work on conjunction? "People can adapt very easily." And the cost? $2499.
5:35PM "Maybe five years away."
5:34PM Says for the timing, the concepts "always keep evolving." Like the AIRO.
5:33PM "No one will argue that the megatrend isn't the mobile user interface." It's about how you sort the information.
5:32PM We encourage the whole company to think as the user and look for what's not satisfactory and what can be improved. "The wave is to describe the information flow, the 'face' is part of the 'interface. We have to grab the megatrend of the mobile life..." And we're starting to lose him.
5:31PM "In the past few years we've learned from this so-called design thinking... everything should start from the user's need / experience, and then you seek any possibility or technology to fulfill that."
5:30PM "What makes Waveface Waveface? What technology is still missing? How far away are we from commercialization?"
5:29PM "For the new digital era you can see things converge." But you don't know where it will end up. Certainly not jumping behind the Waveface as something that might actually ever exist.
5:28PM Another question about the large screen: are you taking on Samsung and LG?
5:28PM Question about the recyclability of the plastic-infused bamboo. "Can still save a lot of the plastics, can't re-use them all, but still very good for environmental care."
5:26PM Worried about being leapfrogged for staying with Intel? "To address the smartbook with a lower cost maybe it's worth a price, but that is not to mean that the Atom or the Moorestown could not attain that kind of price." Have to maintain alternatives, "that's always our strategy."
5:25PM Question about smartbook: "that segment is still a very interesting segment. Always try to be ready from an R&D standpoint for other alternatives."
5:24PM We didn't get a very straight answer on our question about Waveface material use. Still banking on flexible OLED for the watch and laptop, but the television seemed something quite different.
5:24PM "We're looking forward to leading the PC industry into a new era of thought behind computer design." And the main talk is over! Time for Q&A.
5:21PM Waveface Casa is a home information center, which morphs from a simple clock into something resembling TV. ASUS is really banking on some futuristic materials technology here!
5:19PM There's a video playing, spelling out the evils of information overload. They're showing off a conceptual wrist-based phone. It's all screen, naturally, and operates via touch-free gestures. There's also a laptop dubbed the Waveface Smart Organizer, which can lay flat or bend into a quasi-laptop shape.
5:18PM It's conceptual design time! This year it's called "Waveface."
5:17PM "Let's turn our attention to the future." Talking Mobile Life + Natural User Interface. "It's the megatrend of the new digital era."
5:16PM The whole main trackpad area is flush, and we've gotta say: this thing looks pretty sexy.
5:14PM The tag line is "Breaking Silence," which seems oddly fitting. And a bit odd.
5:13PM "Combines audio aesthetics with high technology." Was inspired by a grand piano.
5:13PM The back is made of polished aluminum, and there's a second touchpad to the right of the keyboard.
5:13PM It seems like the antithesis of Dell's Adamo XPS, with a keyboard that folds up into the screen and large speakers that surround the display.
5:09PM Alright, now he's talking up the last shrouded table. The NX90 series. They're peeling the plastic wrap off, an emotional moment for us all!
5:08PM These are just a few examples of what ASUS has been busy with. "Design is what can connect these things that have an intrinsic part of our life with something that we connect with emotionally."
5:07PM "It's the perfect notebook for those who seek the latest blend of green technology and mobility" ... "Trendy yet responsible."
5:06PM The U53 runs Core i5, USB 3.0 and switchable discrete graphics.
5:05PM Introducing the U-series bamboo collection. He's holding up the U53, which features a dark bamboo finish and adds in some chrome and aluminum for a rather classy look -- though it looks a bit better in the press shots than in person. "Bamboo not only feels warmer, but feels more natural."
5:03PM "The most recyclable plants on this planet." Taking the skill of the craftsman into something mass market, ASUS has spent the last few years working on its ability to work with bamboo. The thermal expansion properties are a particular issue, and parasites don't help either.
5:02PM "Let's look at nature and look at what material minimizes our impact on the world." Reusable, renewable... we know where this is going: bamboo!
5:01PM Nobody seems to blown away, and now we're moving on to "responsible design." He's talking up ASUS's green credentials.
2:00PM (Just a note -- we had to go to our backup camera here, so that's why our pictures are a tick dark. Thanks for bearing with us!)
5:00PM "Not something to hid in the carry case, but something that can be held in hand, like a fashionable organizer while having direct access to your entire life, anytime, anywhere."
4:59PM "Taking the PC out of world of need to want." There are pink and black models on display that both look vaguely like crocodile-skinned handbags. Lucky for us, the interior is much more tame.
4:58PM Introducing the EeePC Seashell Karim Rashid Collection. Looks like we're taking a page out of the Viv Tam book!
4:57PM "Karim lives and breathes the zeitgeist of design and fashion."
4:57PM Now on to the rest of the market and "affordable luxury." Collaborating with designer Karim Rashid whose work is featured in the MoMA and elsewhere. And we're stuck on a slide... awkward silence!
4:55PM We gotta say, this looks pretty sexy and thin for a gamer laptop, but we miss the AIRO inspiration and that fold-up keyboard.
4:54PM A P7,260 3DMARK score running 8GB of RAM and a Radeon HD5870 card with 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM. There's also a subwoofer, just for good measure.
4:54PM This "megalaptop" will have new Intel Core i7 processors with downclocking capabilities, and new DirectX 11 graphics from ATI.
4:53PM Heat generating sources are moved to the back, and dual fans pull air in from the front to expel air out the raised back.
4:52PM The G73 notebook supposedly maintains the lines and form of the AIRO, but we're seeing much more of the "stealth bomber" influence here. The backlit keyboard is at a 5 degree angle, which at least smacks of AIRO.
4:51PM "We've continued to extend the concept." Aiming it at the gamer now, with a "stealth" and "airflow" emphasis. And now unveiling...
4:50PM "Last year we showed you our AIRO concept," inspired by origami with a fold-up keyboard.
4:49PM And now into the future: "more and more people in the world are computing on the go." They're collaborating to produce media, such as video editing, photo editing and making music. "The average consumer is doing more on their PCs than ever before."
4:48PM The mission is to "bring real innovations to real people." Our favorite kind.
4:48PM "Quite an improvement in media coverage, compared to before." Has already garnered a bunch of CES awards for 2010, including its Matrix video card,, AiGuru Sv1T videophone, the Disney Netpal, MS246H LCD Monitor. ASUS plans to be a top three portable PC vendor by 2011. "We're already well on our way."
4:45PM Over the past year ASUS scored over 3200 awards for innovation or design.
4:45PM ASUS chairman Jonny Shih just hit the stage. He's already talking numbers: the market grew an average of 25% in Q3, while ASUS did 56% of growth.
4:42PM The kind announcer voice man says the event is about to get started, and asked us to please turn off all electronic devices. Big laughs!