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Asus at CeBIT - slow progression
Companies having established a foothold on the PC market enter new fields, particularly, manufacturing mobile phones, rather unsuccessfully. Understanding this fact, Asus prepared to entry for very long, and the first widely available model is Asus J101. This is a functionally middling device with some disadvantages but quite competitive against a background of similar solutions by the third echelon manufacturers. Having a high manufacturing culture the company doesn't make technological mistakes but its software part basing on a hardware platform really lets down. To tell the truth, we do not publish the J101 review for it will be too negative. Even half a year after the start of the sales the software situation has not changed considerably, so, the review will appear that way we wrote it in October.
The first J model line widened with several models at once. Then the J102/J103 are completely full copies of the J101. As for the J102 the similarity is too striking since all the functions are the same. And the J103 comes provided with interchangeable panels varying the appearance of the phone. Also the external screen changed now having a higher resolution; the device now supports 64-tones polyphony (in contrast to the 40-tones one in the elder models). Unfortunately, the company considers a VGA-camera appropriate for today phones, and thus almost all the models are equipped with it. Their quality is not bad but looks absurd against a background of rival solutions.
The J105 is a complete copy of the J103 in its turn only lacking interchangeable panels. They are made of aluminum giving some glow to the device.
An FM-tuner, bluetooth and a megapixel camera equipped J121 raises above the middle class. Mp3 files serve as call signals. The capacity of the integrated memory is unclear judging by the specs. The device is expected in the middle of the summer, the price remains uncertain.
Asus V606 is a mode of another level. It's different in an integrated radio and mp3 player. This is an acceptable middle-class model for those who need no business functions. Here are its characteristics:
The V55 is a copy of the J102 in a classic form factor with some only differences. In fact, its specs may be seen in a table below. The M303 being a multimedia offer is also interesting. It comes equipped with a memory card and a corresponding mp3 player. The internal memory forms 4 MB. In the spirit of the time, there are player control buttons on the external panel. In general that is quite a good middle-class solution. And finally, we'd like to mention the P505 recently reviewed on our site. That is a Windows-smartphone designed like Sony Ericsson P900.
Comparison characteristics of the last three devices are brought in a table:
The head tells about a slow moving forward. For Asus that means the company gains experience on a new for it market. It products can't be considered unique in these or those characteristics; the models are average functionally, corresponding with the third echelon. The number of the models, the quality and possibilities get increase annually. In three or four years the company will certainly be able to pretend to manufacture modern qualitative devices with the maximum functionality. The road is quite long and the company now takes the first steps. Accounting the potential of the Asus mobile department we can hope, the phones by the company will get as good as the notebooks in few years. Now the interest to its models is quite theoretical.
Published 17 March 2005
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