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The most prime ultrabook of them all

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The Definition of Entertainment

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Transformer, Quad-Core, Affordable and Plastic

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MX279H Borderless Monitor

Some say that the 27 is the new 24-inch for monitors. While some may argue otherwise, they might think twice after seeing a beautiful monitor like the ASUS MX279H that we will be looking at today.

 This lovely piece of technology features a frameless design that helps to maximize the AH-IPS panel. Do take note that a ‘frameless design’ does not mean full edge-to-edge picture view. For this monitor, it simply means that the traditional bezel (frame) that you see in most monitors is smoothed is smoothed out (and for this monitor, cut down to a slim 1cm) under a single pane of glass-like material to create the illusion of a flat seamless panel. 

The MX279H utilizes an AH-IPS panel where AH stands for ‘Advanced High Performance’. It is the latest development in IPS display technology that consumes even less power and provides enhanced color reproduction. Out of the box, colors are definitely vibrant and well saturated. However, we noticed that the display was banked slightly on the red spectrum as evidenced by the reddish complexion of skin tone when we played a 1080p HD copy of The Avengers movie. Lowering Saturation from 50 to 30 achieved a more natural color mix.

As for the monitor’s performance in the entertainment portion, it was a joy to watch an HD copy of The Avengers on its beautiful panel. The colors were vibrant and the panel was able to reproduce action scenes nicely with little to no clipping at all. The ‘borderless’ design also helped to enhance the experience as it made us feel more immersed into the movie that simply watching it through a ‘window’ like what some may feel on an LCD display with the traditional prominent frame.

A number of other features also come packaged with the MX279H which help to define the target usage of this particular monitor. Aside from its sleek and minimalistic design philosophy that makes it perfect as an add-on to beautify your living space, it includes functions that are normally found on the more professional ProArt Series like the Quick Fit Virtual Scale. This feature, when activated, overlays a grid line that corresponds to the actual measurements of different paper sizes. For professionals who work with photo editing and page lay-outing this is a very useful feature as it gives the artist a preview of how the finished product will look when printed on paper.

Overall, the MX279H is a very nice product. It’s sleek design and beautiful panel goes hand-in-hand to add a certain flair to the modern living space, as well as feed the multimedia needs of the modern consumer.

Monitor controls are touch-based through a set of pseudo-buttons underneathe the bottom frame.

 The default display cable is an HDMI-DVI connector with a DVI-HDMI adapter.

Ports available are 2x HDMI, VGA, audio in for the speakers and audio out for headphones.

Side ports for the onboard speakers.

Possible extra ports for the speakers which are found underneathe the panel.

While not perfectly flat, the back side has a curved design. Unfortunately, it has no provision for wall mounting.

The base is inspired by a sundial design with the stand being the arrow of the sun dial.

Friday, September 21, 2012


For AMD fans heads up because today we'll be taking a quick look at one of the latest AMD-based motherboards from ASUS, the ASUS F2A85-V PRO.

The F2A85-V PRO is designed to accommodate the AMD A85X platform and support the new and upcoming line of Socket FM2 A-Series APUs. For a little background, the new AMD A85X FCH (Hudson D4) is designed to support up to 5GT/s interface speed and PCI Express™ 2.0 x 16 graphics. It natively supports 8 x SATA6Gb/s ports and 4 x USB 3.0 Ports. As for the board, its feature set includes Dual Intelligent Processors 3, Direct Key, USB BIOS Flashback, USB 3.0 Boost, and Network iControl. It is also completely Windows 8 ready.

The board is a full ATX board with mix of black, blue, and white for its color scheme, typical of a mainstream motherboard from ASUS. Around the middle we noticed the long heatpipe running from the main cooling block to the chipset.

The rear panel plays host to four connectivity options which includes VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. We also spot four USB3.0 ports and an eSATA port.

The chipset heatsink has a metal plate on top etched with the Dual Intelligent Processors III logo. Just beside it are the 7 SATA 6Gb/s ports.

A nifty feature, the Direct Key button allows users to easily access the BIOS interface without having to repeatedly press the DEL key as how it has been traditionally done. Below that is the TPU switch which enables the overclocking function for the motherboard. Toggling it will switch the board to sub-power mode.

The USB BIOS Flashback, which allows users to update or restore the BIOS even without a CPU or memory installed using ATX standby power.

Finally, we have the included accessories. The contents are fairly basic with just two SATA cables, the rear panel, a manual, a quickstart guide, and the driver disk.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[REVIEW] : ASUS ROG Maximus V Formula

Teaser photos from the recently concluded Computex 2012 held in Taiwan, have whet our appetites for the latest ROG products that ASUS plans to release before the year ends. And guess what? We now have in our possession one of the aforementioned show stoppers from Computex 2012, the ASUS ROG Maximus V Formula.

The ROG Maximus V Formula supports socket LGA1155, making it compatible with Intel 3rd and 2nd Generation Core processors, as well as with the latest Pentium and Celeron Processors supporting the same socket.
The ROG Maximus V Formula (M5F), is a board built specifically to cater to the needs of the hardcore gamer. It is based on Intel's new Z77 chipset and supports the latest 3rd Generation Intel Core processors. It can also support multi-GPU configurations for either NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFireX and includes the new Virtu MVP GPU Virtualization technology. However, if you would notice, there are only three PCIe slots but, despite this configuration the board can still support Quad-SLI and Quad CrossFireX through two dual-GPU graphics cards.

If you would recall, Virtu technology allowed users to utilize both a discrete GPU and the integrated GPU inside 2nd Generation Intel Core processors to boost graphics performance and ultimately maximize their hardware. VirtuMVP does the same thing except now it can boost graphics performance up to 60% compared to just utilizing the discrete graphics card without the integrated Intel GPU.

With liquid cooling having become so popular among hardcore gamers and enthusiasts, it only made sense for ASUS to include a liquid-cooling solution built into their latest ROG gaming motherboard.
Upon inspection, one will notice two plugged up cylindrical ports on either end of the one-piece L-shaped VRM cooling block. These are in fact ports for funneling liquid coolant should the user opt for a liquid cooling system. The heatsink, referred to by ASUS as the ROG Fusion Thermo, is no ordinary VRM cooler as it is coated with a ceramic finish similar to what can be found on the VRM coolers of the TUF series of motherboards to increase heat dissipation.

While in its 'Off' state, the division between the SupremeFX portion and the rest of the motherboard is barely noticeable save for the sudden difference in capacitors. When switched 'On', a red line lit by LEDs will become clearly visible.

Moving on to a different part of the M5F, one can spot a familiar SupremeFX chip off to one corner of the board beside the PCIe slots. ASUS in fact implemented the same Red Line separation found on the Maximus V Gene to show the division between the components for the SupremeFX audio system and the rest of the motherboard. But more than a fancy looking design, this division helps mitigate the EM interference from the rest of the motherboard components to deliver a smoother and cleaner audio output.

From the rear, the M5F has just enough I/O ports which includes 4 USB 3.0, 3 USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, DisplayPort, and SPDIF.
Catered for the hardcore gamer, the M5F also features some considerable overclocking capabilities. If the liquid-cooling block wasn't hint enough, then perhaps this extra 4-pin power connector could give you a better clue.
Further down the board is another 4-pin power connector, this time as added power support for a multi-GPU configuration as it is found beside the lowest PCIe slot.
As a board that was made for hardcore gaming, ASUS made sure to include ample overclocking support. A quick look at the board showed two extra 4-pin power connectors for when running a heavily overclocked system with multiple GPUs. It can also support memory frequencies up to 2800MHz and comes equipped with the new USB BIOS Flashback.

The monitoring corner of the board, this piece of PCB real estate features the GO Button, Slow Mode switch, an LED post monitor, and the Probelt.
This mPCIE combo card can support a Bluetooth and and WiFi module.
Another of the M5F's stand-out features is a detachable mPCIe combo card that comes with a Wi-Fi module, again similar to the M5Gene and to the more mainstream P8Z77-V Deluxe. With this add-on, M5F users can enjoy the benefits of wireless connectivity for their desktop PC and ASUS Wi-Fi GO! technology, which allows users to manage the internet bandwidth for their PC. Additionally, the M5F also comes with GamerFirst II for maximizing bandwidth for online gaming use.

The other side of the the mPCIe card can support either a Bluetooth module or mSATA SSD.
The mPCIe slots in as such and is secured by a single screw beside the ROG Connect button.

Packaged with the mPCIe combo card Wi-Fi module is a pair of folding antanae.