ASUS has redesigned their Matrix series of cards, as you know we reviewed the ENGTX260 Matrix card a while back. The new Matrix card they had on display was the GTX285, but ASUS tells us there will be Matrix cards for NVIDIA’s new lineup. So what makes this card different from any other? Well first ASUS outfit’s this card with a custom PCB. On top of that you have dual voltage control, both on the GPU and on the memory. You can also adjust the timing on the memory; this is the only card that offers this right now! Finally the card has a dual BIOS that can be easily updated and if you need to reset it there is a button on the card that will reset the BIOS not only to default, but to a set custom BIOS of yours. ASUS has outfitted the new cards with a very sleek cooler shroud that provides 46.5% larger heatpipe coverage compared to the generic design of the card. Also the new design comes with a very cool LED Matrix logo that will show through the side panel window on your case. We can’t wait to get our hands on one of these!
Moving over to HTPC graphics ASUS will be releasing a new Bravo series card. If you have not heard of the Bravo card it is really cool. It comes with a light sensor that you put in front of your TV or display and you it reads the light conditions in the room and automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast of the display. This of course is perfect for HTPC situations. The card even comes with a riser card for 1U applications. The new version of the card should be available around Q2 or Q3 of this year.
If you did not know ASUS makes really great networking products, some of the best routers we have reviewed here have been made by ASUS. The RT-N55U has one of the best looking designs for a wireless router that I’ve seen, this is one router you wouldn’t mind having sitting on your desk. Besides its good looks the RT-N55U is a dual band wireless router so you have both 2.4GHz and 5GHz simultaneous dual band going on. Also this router has multiple USB support for a printer, 3.5G dongle or a USB hard drive.
The RT-N16 has been out for a little while, but it still packs a punch providing maximum data speeds of 300Mbps. Another interesting thing about this router is that it has 128MB of DDR2 video memory that makes sure there are no system lags during multitasking. There are also 2 USB ports for printer support and FTP file sharing. Right now you can find the RT-N16 for under $100 online.
One really cool networking product on display at the ASUS booth was the AP-N13M portable access point. This little device enables you to have an access point pretty much anywhere you want. There is a small Ethernet port on it so you can plug it into say a hotel room’s connection and share it rather than connecting each laptop to the wireless and having to pay more. Also it has USB 3G card support so you can share an internet connection pretty much anywhere. The AP-N13M is extremely small too at only 40mm thin! It will retail at around $40, definitely something a constant traveler should pick up.