Asustek ZenFone Zoom comes with 3X optical zoom feature


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. (�غ�) wowed shutterbugs with its new ZenFone Zoom at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, equipping an Android smartphone with an optical zoom camera.

The ZenFone Zoom is the world’s thinnest smartphone to feature a 13-megapixel camera with a 3X optical zoom, which packs a 10-element lens design with up to a 12X digital zoom for even finer close-up detail, Asustek said in a press release.

Samsung and Nokia had previously launched smartphones with an optical zoom camera feature, but those handsets failed to gain traction because of their bulky bodies and poor battery life.

The 5.5-inch ZenFone Zoom also has an optical image stabilizer (OIS) for taking shake-free photos, combined with a revolutionary laser auto-focus for incredibly-sharp images every time, according to Asustek.

Also at the International trade show, Asustek unveiled the second-generation low-cost ZenFone range, dubbed the ZenFone 2, which features a 5.5-inch full-HD touchscreen, a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 3,000mAh battery and 4G LTE connectivity.

The ZenFone 2 will go on sale in March at US$199 and the ZenFone Zoom will be available in the second quarter at US$399, Asustek said.

Another new Asustek product that drew the spotlight was the Transformer Book Chi series �X razor-thin 2-in-1 Windows laptops that can transform into Windows tablets via a magnetic hinge.

The Transformer Book Chi will be available in three sizes of 12.5, 10.1 and 8.9 inches priced at US$699, US$399 and US$299, respectively, according to the company.

��The ASUS Transformer Book Chi is the ultimate dream machine that wraps mobility, entertainment and productivity all into one beautiful device,�� said Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih (�I�R��).

Shih also offered praise of Intel at a press conference. ��We appreciate the support of our longtime friend and strategic partner Intel on this journey ‘In Search of Incredible,’�� he said.

Asustek told investors last year that it had teamed up with Intel to market the ZenFone range in different regions, while Intel has hoped to promote its Atom chips through the partnership to expand its foothold in the mobile device segment.

Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s senior vice president and general manager of the client computing group, joined Shih on stage and said Intel and Asustek shared a common passion for technology.

He touted some of the products the two companies have collaborated on, including the ZenFone 2 powered by the 22-nanometer Intel Atom processor, and the Transformer Book T300 Chi powered by the 14-nanometer Intel Core M processor, he said.

��We look forward to continuing our partnership with ASUS to develop the next generation of inspiring mobile devices,�� Skaugen said. HTC Desire 826 Takes Aim at Selfie Craze