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Asus unveils Android Wear-powered ZenWatch and new Memo Pad 7 at IFA 2014

Aside from a laptop it claims is ‘lighter than air’ Asus has just unveiled its first Android Wear device – the ZenWatch and a new 7-inch Memo Pad tablet at IFA 2014.

The heavily leaked Asus wearable has finally seen the light of day in Berlin at the company’s press conference currently taking place at IFA in Berlin, alongside a new iteration of the company’s Memo Pad tablet. Let’s work up to the big one.

Asus Memo Pad 7 (2014/2015)

Asus Memo Pad 7 2014/2015

Google’s Nexus 7 was an incredibly successful product when it launched in 2012, so much so that the search giant granted Asus repeat business for its successor the following year. Whilst a 7-inch Nexus tablet hasn’t yet been confirmed for 2014, Asus has instead poured its efforts into making an in-house offering with serious specs and an enticing price point too.

The new Memo Pad 7 boasts a 7-inch Full HD IPS TruVivid display, a reworked design comprised of a two-tone fibreglass and duralumin construction, 9-hours of battery life and a 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM that Asus says beats down the competitions in areas like web browsing speeds.

The 269 gram, 8.3mm thin tablet also offers up 16GB or 32GB storage options with expandability via microSD by an additional 64GB as well as 16GB of Asus’ own cloud storage out-the-box. Imaging falls to a 2-megapixel front-facer and a 5-megapixel rear camera too.

As with the recently released ZenFones, the new Memo Pad also sports the latest Android 4.4 KitKat dressed in the company’s rather attractive ZenUI. Interested? Burgundy Red, Champagne Gold and Gentle Black versions of the tablet will retail from €199 in Europe and £179 in the UK, with word of a pricier 4G LTE model on the way too.

Asus ZenWatch

Asus ZenWatch

Continuing the naming trend set by its Android smartphones, Asus also finally made its Android Wear-based smartwatch official. The new Asus ZenWatch looks to be a premium Android Wear device, boasting a tan leather clasped strap and a polished stainless steel body with rose gold-coloured accents. If it wasn’t clear that Asus was gunning for luxury, each ZenWatch is also assembled by hand, like many high-end traditional watches.

As we’ve seen from the likes of LG’s G Watch, one of the first Android Wear products to already hit the market, there’s a wealth of functionality built into the base user experience, giving detailed notifications for texts, emails and social apps as well as caller ID and weather information. Asus has built on the Android Wear foundations with ‘enhanced versions of exclusive Asus ZenUI apps’ too.

Asus ZenWatch 2

The integrated heart rate and 9-axis sensors work together with the wellness tracker to keep tabs on your activity, calorie intake and even relaxation level. There are exclusive watch faces from a separate ZenWatch app that you can manage from your Android smartphone and like Sony’s SmartWatch 2, Remote Camera lets you take snaps from your phone’s snapper, whilst using the ZenWatch itself as a viewfinder.

If you want Asus’ take on luxury Android Wear, it’ll set you back €199 and be available before the year is out. In the UK, Asus is hoping to get the price under the £199 mark. Check out our full ZenWatch hands-on review for more info.

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