ASUS 15inch Zenbook U500 handson Ivy Bridge, optional NVIDIA graphics and a full numpad

ASUS is expanding its Zenbook lineup to include a larger 15-inch model. The company just announced the Zenbook U500, an Ultrabook packing some pretty robust internals. There's an Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor under the hood, along with an optional NVIDIA GT650M graphics chip and up to 512GB of storage. No word on weight yet, but the package measures 0.78 inches at its widest. The U500 also keeps in line with other Zenbooks' aluminum design, complete with the famous spun-metal lid.

The 15-inch form factor gives the U500 room for a separate numpad on the keyboard (there's backlighting here, too). For storage options, you get either dual SSDs with up to 512GB capacity or the combination of a 128GB solid-state drive and a 500GB hard drive. And, like ASUS' other latest Zenbooks, this machine will sport a full HD, anti-glare display with IPS technology. The company has yet to announce pricing and availability -- that info will come at the company's Windows 8 press event.


Brian Heater contributed to this report.


ASUS Announces the ZENBOOK™ U500 Ultra-performance Ultra-portable at IFA

With a 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 standard-voltage quad-core processor, the new ZENBOOK U500 indisputably proves that a high-performance ultraportable is possible without sacrificing style.

IFA, Berlin, Germany (August 29, 2012) - ASUS, a global leader in the new digital era, today announces the incredible ultra-slim, ultra-powerful ZENBOOK U500VZ, and displays the updated ZENBOOK Prime UX21A Touch, TAICHI and Transformer Book.

ASUS ZENBOOK U500VZ
The ASUS ZENBOOK U500VZ indisputably proves that a high-performance ultraportable is possible without sacrificing slimline style. Wrapped in a sleek aluminium shell with unique 'spun' hairline finish, the ZENBOOK U500VZ packs an incredibly powerful 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 quad-core processor. Combined with optional NVIDIA® GT650M graphics and up to 512GB SSD storage, the result is a blisteringly fast ultraportable that dramatically outperforms the competition.

Despite measuring a mere 19.7mm at its thickest point, the ZENBOOK U500VZ has a 15" Full HD display that works brilliantly for both productivity and entertainment purposes alike. IPS technology gives vivid colours and a crisp image that can be seen from almost any angle, while the anti-glare coating eliminates distracting reflections. Comfort is a key feature with ZENBOOK U500VZ - literally. The full-size keyboard has a separate numeric keypad and the automatic backlight makes minute adjustments to its brightness according to ambient lighting for fuss-free typing at all times.

Flexible storage choices mean the ZENBOOK U500VZ can meet a variety of application needs. Dual SSD drives deliver outstanding performance with up to 512GB capacity, while the combination of a 128GB SSD and 500GB hard drive offer the perfect balance between high-performance and high-capacity storage. Battery life is equally impressive and ASUS Super Hybrid Engine II technology delivers up to 25% longer mains-free use when it's needed most.

ZENBOOK Prime UX21A Touch

The new ASUS ZENBOOK Prime UX21A Touch is the first ZENBOOK with a multi-touch display. Powered by a 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ processor with up to 256GB SSD storage, the ZENBOOK Prime UX21A Touch is a razor-thin Ultrabook that gives a great Microsoft® Windows 8 experience.

The Full HD Super IPS+ screen gives a bright, vibrant image with an ultra-wide 178° viewing angle and capacitive 10-point multi-touch provides extremely accurate touch input. It may be lean and mean, but the ZENBOOK Prime UX21A Touch doesn't skimp on the rest of its specifications. USB 3.0 delivers rapid USB device recharging and 10 times the data transfer rate of USB 2.0, while dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi exploits the faster wireless speeds offered by the latest 5GHz routers.

Despite its extreme performance, the ZENBOOK Prime UX21A Touch still offers outstanding battery life. ASUS Super Hybrid Engine II not only extends mains-free use by up to 25% with its sophisticated power-management technology, but also provides instant-on functionality and a standby time of up to two weeks. ASUS renowned SonicMaster technology delivers superlative sound quality too, thanks to a combination of professional-grade audio processing and high-quality audio hardware.

ASUS TAICHI

The ASUS TAICHI is a slim and stylish ultraportable with an astonishing feature - a brilliant double-sided display. With the lid open, the TAICHI is used like a standard Ultrabook and comes complete with a full-size backlit QWERTY keyboard and trackpad. With the lid closed, however, the TAICHI instantly becomes a multi-touch tablet computer with stylus support, bringing a degree of flexibility that has never before been experienced with an ordinary Ultrabook. Better still, both screens can operate independently and simultaneously, which means the TAICHI can be shared with two users for a host of innovative new applications. The TAICHI is as light and thin as the ASUS ZENBOOK and delivers uncompromised mobile performance, with 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors, fast SSD storage and dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi.

ASUS Transformer Book

The ASUS Transformer Book is the world's first convertible notebook and can switch instantly between traditional laptop and tablet modes simply by detaching the screen. Aimed at users who prefer the portability of a multi-touch tablet computer for leisure, but who still want full functionality for productivity use, the Transformer Book features the latest 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, plus a choice of SSD and HDD storage. The Transformer Book also features ASUS SonicMaster technology, developed by the ASUS Golden Ear team to deliver crystal-clear sound with deep rich bass through its integrated speakers.

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ASUS 15-inch Zenbook U500: Ivy Bridge, optional NVIDIA graphics and a full numpad (update: hands-on)