Asus reveals Zenbo, a small talking robot companion

The US$599 (S$828) Asus Zenbo robot is targeted at seniors and children. PHOTO: ASUS
The ZenBook 3 is not only thinner and lighter than the Apple MacBook, it is also more powerful with an Intel Core i7 processor. PHOTO: ASUS
The Transformer 3 Pro is Asus' take on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with its detachable keyboard, integrated kickstand and stylus. PHOTO: ASUS

Meet Zenbo, a small robot from PC maker Asus that can sing, dance and talk.

Asus chairman Jonney Shih introduced the robot, which he described as the company's attempt to "enable robotic computing for every household" near the end of a press event at the annual Computex IT trade show, which starts tomorrow till June 4, in Taipei.

The cute-looking Asus Zenbo is aimed at seniors and children. To get its attention, users have to say "Hey Zenbo" before giving it a voice command. The robot can perform a variety of tasks, from monitoring the home for emergencies before notifying users on their smartphones to telling stories to children. Asus also sees the robot as a hands-free household helper that can control other smart gadgets in the home.

The robot is priced at US$599 (S$828), though Asus did not say when it will be available.

New smartphones and PC devices

In addition, Asus announced its latest smartphones and PC devices. The flagship 5.7-inch Zenfone 3 Deluxe has a full-metal design, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 6GB of RAM. Other notable features include a Super Amoled display and a 23-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation and 4K recording capability. Prices start at US$499.

The company also introduced a mid-range Zenfone 3 (US$249) and a 6.8-inch phablet called the Zenfone 3 Ultra (US$479.)

For the PC segment, Asus has refreshed its ZenBook ultra-portable series with the new ZenBook 3. Weighing just 910g and 11.9mm, the ZenBook 3 is lighter and thinner than the Apple MacBook. The highest-end US$1,999 model will have an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB solid-state drive.

For those who prefer a hybrid computer, the Asus Transformer 3 Pro is a tablet-laptop device similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Like its rival, the Transformer 3 Pro has an adjustable kickstand, a detachable keyboard cover and a stylus pen. But it also has a Thunderbolt 3 port that is faster than the USB port on the Surface Pro 4. Prices start at US$999 for a model with a 256GB solid-state drive.

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