Some have suggested that Asus could be the next company to 'do-a-Samsung' by releasing high quality products in virtually every consumer electronics sector and while this may still be a way off (TVs and MP3 players, in particular) its latest expansion is going well...
The 'R600' is its newest and best featured GPS system to date with a large 4.3in widescreen touchscreen display to keep it up with the Joneses and it is backed up by a light sensor which automatically adjusts screen brightness to maintain optimum readability (delivering a swift kick to the tender parts of the Joneses).
On top of this the R600 has Bluetooth 2.0 for handsfree calling through a mobile phone and a surprisingly fast 400MHz CPU (ironically from Samsung) has been chosen which should keep performance racing along. Sensibly, Asus has decided to license the GPS defacto SiRFStar III chipset meaning its tracking should be up there with the best of them while the 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM can be augmented via an SD expansion slot (no word on what size it will ship with).
At 142 x 83 x 18mm and weighing in at 260g, the R600 is one of the more portable dedicated GPS units on the market too while a six hour battery life makes it one of the longest running. MP3, photo and video playback (formats unspecified) make it onboard as well and help it amount to a very creditable offering.
Sadly, there are no pricing details but with Asus determined to muscle in on a number of new international markets this year expect the RRP to be highly competitive.
The R600 will launch in the US in early September with a European release unlikely to be far behind. TomTom, Garmin, Navman, et al consider this a warning shot...