Asus has seen some success with the budget-oriented unlocked Zenfone 2, and now a less expensive variant of the device is coming to AT&T as a prepaid GoPhone. The Zenfone 2E keeps many of the design cues from the Zenfone 2, but pulls back on the spec sheet a bit.
Asus announced a new ZenWatch several weeks ago, and now the original ZenWatch is getting a price drop, presumably to pave the way for the new version. It used to sell for $199.99, but now you can have the first-gen ZenWatch for just $129.99.
Asus has a history of making inexpensive Android tablets. While it doesn't make Nexus tablets anymore, the Taiwanese OEM is still chugging along in the tablet market. The latest tablet from Asus is the ZenPad S 8.0, and it's now available at Best Buy in the US. It doesn't appear to be for sale through any other channel yet.
Windows Phone, eat your heart out. Android is now capable of virtualizing a full and up-to-date Windows desktop operating system. Well, one phone is at least, and it's probably not one you would have guessed: the ASUS ZenFone 2. XDA-Developers forum member ycavan managed to get Windows 7 running on his phone using a variety of custom tools, some impressive technical skill, and quite a lot of patience. Check it out in the video below:
To be clear, this is Windows 7, virtualized, running on a local virtual machine client accessed via the aSPICE KVM client for control. Windows is not being emulated (it's been done with older versions).
Compared to other "premium" Android Wear watches, the ASUS ZenWatch is kind of square. No, I mean it's literally a square. Okay, technically it's a rectangle, but you know what I'm getting at here. When manufacturers decide they're going to fancy up their Android Wear devices, they tend to make them circular, as was the case with the Moto 360 or the LG Watch Urbane. Not so with this one.
The ASUS Zenfone 2 has proven a popular device in its first few weeks on the market. It's reasonably priced and has good specs. As David pointed out in our review, the software is its biggest issue, so you know there are tons of users anxious to mod the crap out of it. Good news on that front—there's now a bootloader unlock method, and it's not terribly messy.
When you think smartphones, ASUS probably rarely comes to mind. While the company has been building Android phones for several years now, their market penetration outside of Asia has been relatively low, and so they rarely get much attention in American or European markets. But the ZenFone 2, when it launched at CES six months ago, definitely raised eyebrows.
At a starting price of just $199, ASUS is offering up a phone with extremely impressive specifications for a do-a-double-take MSRP - it almost sounds too good to be true. Thankfully, I don't think it is - the ZenFone 2 is a solid phone that works pretty much like any Android 5.0+ device you'll encounter while simultaneously blowing the doors off pretty much any competitor at this price point for raw spec sheet power.