With HP’s touchscreen laptop looming on the horizon, out come the leaks of an ASUS touchscreen lappie scheduled for launch in the first half of 2009. Touchscreen Eee PCs too (finally, right?) if DigiTimes‘ sources at panel makers are correct (which they tend to be with regard to ASUS). According to the Taiwanese industry rag, ASUS will likely use either a 12.1-inch or 11.6-inch touchscreen panel developed by AU Optronics (AUO) or Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO). What’s odd here is the claim by sources that the touch-panel notebooks “are expected to take advantage of Windows 7″ and presumably the new Microsoft OS’s multi-touch capabilities. Strange, since Windows 7 isn’t officially expected until sometime in early 2010 — a date looking more and more like a publicly padded goal to avoid the bashing Microsoft received for its Vista delays. The whispers certainly add a bit more credence to rumors of a 2009 release as expressed by Bill Gates himself, or more specifically June 3rd, 2009 as allegedly marked in the internal Microsoft calendar.
ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 unveiled at Computex 2008
ASUS made another interesting product announcement at Computex 2008 today. The company gave a preview of its upcoming Xonar HDAV1.3 HDMI-ready sound card. The card is HDMI 1.3a compliant and offloads audio processing from high-definition video.
The Xonar HDAV1.3 can decode lossless audio formats from Blu-ray films including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio at 24-bit, 96-192 Khz. The card runs on a PCI Express x1 slot and can deliver up to 7.1 surround sound.
To reduce noise Asus uses analog audio with 120db signal-to-noise ratio with distortion as low as 0.0004% on all 7.1 channels. To handle the video portion of Blu-ray discs ASUS integrates a Splendid HD video processor that provides a clear image form Blu-ray titles without having to rely on the CPU of a computer.
This means that users of desktop systems that don’t have a discrete graphics card or a high-end CPU can enjoy Blu-ray movies and high definition sound by installing one card into their computers. The brain of the Xonar is the ASUS AV200 codec chip that features digital to analog convertors. This card is the first in the Xonar family to use opamp sockets to allow for solder-less modifications to customize sound to the individual’s liking.
A deluxe version of the HDAV1.3 offers all the same features as the standard card plus adds a HDAV H6 surround channel expansion card. ASUS declined to comment on pricing and availability for the HDAV1.3. With ASUS’ low end Xonar card—the Xonar DX 5.0—retailing for $89 it’s a safe bet the HDAV1.3 will go for well over $100.