CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement | How we test computers

Asus overflows with Windows gear at IFA 2017 event

New gaming and two-in-one PCs as well as a Microsoft Mixed Reality headset were the highlights.

Joshua Goldman
Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice

Josh Goldman helps people find the best laptop at the best price -- from simple Chromebooks to high-end gaming laptops. He's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software for more than two decades.

3 min read

Shop for Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UN

See all prices

Well, no one could accuse Asus of holding back at its IFA 2017 press event after it announced dozens of new or updated PCs, components and peripherals. 

Many of the announced updates to its laptops were simply a matter of upgrading current models to Intel's new eighth-gen Core i-series processors (Kaby Lake R), including the ZenBook Flip S, the world's thinnest and one of the lightest two-in-one laptops. That was joined by the entirely new ZenBook Flip 14 (UX461) that Asus said is the world's thinnest two-in-one laptop with discrete graphics. It's only 13.9mm thick (0.55 inches) and weighing just 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs), but has an eighth-gen Core i7 quad-core CPU, 16GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics and a 512GB PCIe x4 solid-state drive. 


The Asus ZenBook Flip 14.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The ZenBook Flip 15 (UX561) takes that performance a step further by including an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU and up to a 2TB HDD and 512GB SSD. Both the ZenBook Flip 14 and 15 have NanoEdge displays, which is Asus' way of letting you know the frame around the screens is supersmall. The Flip 14 is available with a full HD touchscreen, while the 15 will have a choice of full HD or 4K UHD resolutions. No pricing or availability was announced, but you can read more details about them and siqn up for updates on Asus' site


The new Asus Mixed Reality headset.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If you're not immediately impressed by processor upgrades, it's worth noting that Intel's says the eighth-gen Core i-series CPUs get up to 40 percent faster performance than their seventh-gen counterparts. The performance jump is enough to allow for some virtual reality experiences. 

To that end, Asus also debuted its contribution to the Windows Mixed Reality headset market. Like its competition, the design is lightweight at about 14.1 ounces (400 g) and balanced to take pressure off the nose and cheeks. It also uses inside-out tracking with two built-in front-facing tracking cameras with six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) position tracking, which basically means you don't have to set up any wall or desk sensors before you can start using it. Again, no US pricing or availability was announced, but the European price is €449, which converts to $535, £415 and AU$675. That's pricey, but includes controllers. 

Of course, the gaming fun didn't begin and end with the WMR headset. Asus showed off its current gaming laptop, desktop, motherboard and display lineups, but also threw in a couple new options for good measure: The ROG Chimera laptop and ROG Strix XG35VQ 35-inch curved monitor. 


The ROG Chimera gaming laptop is a beast. 


 Asus claims the Chimera is the world's first gaming laptop with an ultra-responsive 144Hz wide-view display and a 7ms gray-to-gray response time, "delivering smooth and seamless visuals never seen before on a laptop." And naturally it has the components inside to make having such a screen worthwhile such as an unlocked Intel Core i7-7820HK processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics.

The laptop also supports Xbox Play Anywhere and Xbox Wireless, so you can hook up Xbox accessories to the PC without adapters or the need to switch controllers when moving from console to PC or vice versa.

And if you're wondering "why would I want to play games on a 17-inch laptop display?", Asus also announced the new ROG Strix XG35VQ, a curved 35-inch UWQHD (3,440×1,440 pixel) curved monitor with a 100Hz refresh rate, Adaptive-Sync technology and a 21:9 aspect ratio. The display also has Aura Sync lighting that can be synced with in-game audio as well as with Aura Sync-enabled PC components, keyboards and mice. 

Pricing and availability was not announced. 

Shopping laptop image
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping