Tag Archives: Panasonic

Panasonic : Two Factories Closed With 116 COVID-19 Cases!

Panasonic : Two Factories Closed With 116 COVID-19 Cases!

Panasonic closed both their factories in Shah Alam after 116 workers there tested positive for COVID-19.

Find out what happened, and if you need to be concerned!


Panasonic : Two Factories Closed With 116 COVID-19 Cases!

Panasonic Malaysia issued a notice to Bursa Malaysia earlier today, announcing that they closed both their factories in Shah Alam after 116 COVID-19 cases were detected there.

After a recent screening operation of their 2,137 employees revealed those 116 cases, the Petaling District Health Office advised them to cease operations.

Panasonic decided to shut down both Shah Alam factories for 3 days – from 21 December until 23 December 2020, to allow for disinfection and deep cleaning of both manufacturing facilities.

They maintain that there is regular disinfection of both their manufacturing facilities and workers’ accommodation, and all necessary precautions were strictly enforced.


Panasonic : Official Statement On COVID-19 Cases

Here is the official Panasonic announcement on the COVID-19 positive case at their Shah Alam factories :

The Company wishes to inform that some of the staff at both its manufacturing facilities in Shah Alam has been confirmed COVID-19 positive after the Company conducted a recent screening. The Petaling District Health office has advised to cease operations for the time being until further notices. The Company has decided to close its facilities from 21 to 23 December 2020 to allow the disinfection specialist to carry out their work.

The Company had completed full screening of about 2,137 workers and employees and only 116 were found to be affected.The safety and well-being of our workers and employees as well as our community is of our utmost priority towards containing the situation. The Company has and will continue to adhere to the COVID-19 preventive standard operating procedures (SOPs) on a stringent basis. Disinfection exercises at our manufacturing premises and workers’ accommodation have been conducted regularly, with all the necessary precautionary measures strictly in place.


Panasonic COVID-19 Cases : Should You Be Concerned?

There is no need to be concerned, unless you supply goods to either Panasonic factories in Shah Alam, or are in close contact with their employees.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through fomites – contaminated objects. So there is NO NEED to worry that you can get infected through Panasonic products.

Panasonic Malaysia and the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) are definitely conducting contact tracing of the affected employees. Those identified as close contacts will be asked to self-quarantine, and get tested for COVID-19.


COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :

Recommended : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts


Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Business | Home Tech | Home


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

The Microsoft Secured-core PC Initiative Explained!

Microsoft and their hardware partners just announced the Secured-core PC initiative to combat threats that target the PC’s firmware and operating system.

With help from David Weston, Partner Director of Microsoft OS Security, here is everything you need to know about the Secured-core PC initiative!


What Is The Secured-core PC Initiative?

Secured-core PC is a new Microsoft initiative that they just announced. In partnership with their hardware partners, they aim to create a specific set of requirements for devices that are meant for secure use.

These requirements will apply the best practices in data security – isolation and minimal trust in the firmware layer and the device core that underpins the Windows operating system.

Secured-core PC devices will be targeted at industries like financial services, government and healthcare, and anyone who work with valuable IP, customer or personal data. They would also be useful for persons of interest, who would be high-value targets for hackers and nation-state attackers.


Is There A Need For Secured-core PC?

As more protection is built into the operating system and connected services, attackers are exploring other methods with firmware emerging as a top target.

The NIST’s National Vulnerability Database shows a near 5X increase in the number of firmware vulnerabilities in the last 3 years :

In late 2018, security researchers discovered that the hacking group Strontium targeted systems in the wild with malware that made use of firmware vulnerabilities.

Because it targeted firmware, the malicious code was hard to detect, and difficult to remove. It even persists after the operating system is reinstalled, or the storage drive replaced!


Why Is Firmware The New Target?

Firmware is used to initialise the hardware and software when a device is started up. It therefore has a higher level of access and privileges than the hypervisor and operating system kernel.

This means firmware attacks that succeed can undermine protective mechanisms like Secure Boot that the hypervisor or operating system use to protect against malware.

Firmware attacks can more easily evade endpoint protection and detection solutions, because the latter run under the operating system layer, and therefore have limited visibility of the firmware layer.


What Is A Secured-core PC Made Up Of?

Secured-core PCs will combine multiple layers of protection – identity, virtualisation, operating system, hardware and firmware – to prevent attacks, rather than simply detecting them.

They all ensure that the device will boot securely and is protected against firmware vulnerabilities, shielding the operating system from attacks and preventing unauthorised access to the device and data.

Recommended : How AMD CPUs Work In A Secured-core PC Device

System Guard Secure Launch

Microsoft is now implementing System Guard Secure Launch in Windows 10 as a key Secured-core PC requirement.

System Guard uses the Dynamic Root of Trust for Measurement (DRTM) capabilities built into the latest processors from AMD, Intel and Qualcomm, to protect the boot process from firmware attacks.

The firmware is used to start the hardware, and then shortly after, re-initialise the system into a trusted state. This helps to limit the trust assigned to the firmware, greatly mitigating against firmware attacks.

This method also helps protect the integrity of the Virtualisation-Based Security (VBS) feature in the hypervisor against firmware vulnerabilities. This is critical because VBS is used for important OS security functions like Windows Defender Credential Guard and Hypervisor-protected Code Integrity (HVCI).

Trusted Platform Module 2.0

Microsoft is also implementing Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM) as a device requirement for Secured-core PCs.

It is used to measure the components that are used during the secure launch process, allowing for zero trust networks using System Guard runtime attestation.


Secured-core PC Availability

Secured-core PC devices are available from Dell, Dynabook, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Microsoft’s own Surface brand.


Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Cybersecurity | ComputerHome


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Six Short Films Shot Entirely On Panasonic LUMIX GH5

To commemorate Malaysia’s 60th National Day, Panasonic Malaysia partnered with the HATCH YouTube channel to present HACTION! Shot on Lumix GH5” – a short film competition that brings together six Malaysian filmmakers to relive the journey of Malaysia’s achievements and national pride over the last six decades.


6 Decades, 6 Stories, 6 Filmmakers

With over 60 years of achievements, Malaysia has grown to be a worldwide example that showcases ethnic diversity, multiculturalism, and home to varied cuisines, culture and languages. To celebrate Malaysia’s 60thIndependence, HACTION! brings together six Malaysian filmmakers to capture Malaysia’s best moments through the lenses of their cameras.

Mr. Muto shared, “The digital camera has revolutionized photography, making it accessible to more people and creating more talents. As the industry reinvents progressively, mirrorless cameras is now a growing trend in Malaysia, with video production gaining its popularity and the standard for cinematography is getting higher as well. We saw this partnership as a good platform to nurture our local filmmakers in creating visually and engaging stories, while showcasing the capabilities of the LUMIX GH5 (Lowest Price).”

HACTION! shortlisted filmmakers representing different styles and genres where most of the works produced have been recognised from local and international industry leaders.

The panel of judges were made up of well-known industry thought leaders, like Ahmad Izham Omar, CEO of Primeworks Studios, Mr. Hiroyuki Muto, Deputy Managing Director of Panasonic Malaysia, and Low Ngai Yuen, renowned film director and actress as the guest judge.

Each short film was judged based on 70% of judges’ vote including storytelling, editing and post production, and cinematography. The remaining 30% were contributed by public voting which was opened from 1-21 August 2017.

[adrotate group=”1″]


Shot Entirely On LUMIX GH5

Each filmmaker were tasked to produce a maximum of 5-minutes video that highlights the beauty of Malaysia and the six decades of unity, peace and harmony. All six filmmakers were equipped with a Panasonic LUMIX GH5 (Lowest Price) for audio and visual recording, a fund of RM4,000 for production and 30-days to complete the filming and submission of their short film.

Mr. Hiroyuki Muto, Deputy Managing Director of Panasonic Malaysia said, “With over 40 years of local presence in Malaysia, Panasonic is committed to the development of innovative digital cameras to provide a new photo culture in the digital era. Our partnership with Media Prima is a significant platform to be part of the journey in celebrating Malaysia’s 60th National Day by helping to develop local filmmakers and content creators, providing them with the opportunity to showcase the quality of Malaysian original content, powered by LUMIX GH5”.

Through this partnership, Panasonic is confident it will help to strengthen the brand’s presence in the digital single lens mirrorless cameras (DSLM) market and appeal to the wider millennial audiences.

Go Back To > Photography + Videography | Home


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) Review Rev. 2.0

When we covered the launch of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom, everyone clamoured to review it. It was literally the ultimate ZenFone smartphone – with its powerful Intel Atom processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage and a 13 MP camera with 3X optical zoom, laser auto-focus and optical image stabilisation!

Unfortunately, initial stocks were limited so ASUS sent us the 5.5″ smartphone model (ZE550KL) and the 6″ phablet model (ZE601KL) of their  ZenFone 2 Laser series instead. We are ecstatic to report that ASUS recently passed us a special edition of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML). So we present to you our definitive review of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) smartphone!

Updated @ 2016-05-09 : Added additional information to various sections, and expanding in particular, the section on its photographic capabilities.


ASUS ZenFone Zoom Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML)
Operating SystemAndroid 5.0 (Lollipop) with ASUS ZenUI 2.0
Display5.5" IPS touchscreen
1080 x 1920 pixels (403 ppi pixel density)
Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
ProcessorQuad-core Intel Atom Z3590 (2.5 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorPowerVR Rogue G6430 (640 MHz)
Storage128 GB eMCP flash memory
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
5 GB lifetime ASUS WebStorage
Front Camera5 MP sensor with f/2.0 wide-angle lens
Rear Camera13 MP Panasonic SmartFSI MN34130 sensor
Hoya 28-84 mm f/2.7-4.8 lens (10-element periscope design)
3X optical zoom + 4X digital zoom
4 stops Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
Dual-LED, dual-tone flash
Laser auto-focus system (0.03 seconds focusing, up to 50 cm)
Network Speed4G LTE Cat4+ : 50 / 250 Mbps
3G HSPA+ : 5.76 / 42 Mbps
SIM SupportSingle micro SIM card
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth v4.0 + EDR
NFC, micro-USB 2.0
Battery3000 mAh lithium polymer (non-removable)
Fingerprint SensorNo
Other SensorsAccelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, Hall sensor
Dimensions78.8 mm wide x 158.9 mm tall x 11.95 mm thick
3.10" wide x 6.26" tall x 0.47" thick
Weight185 g / 6.53 oz (with battery)
Available ColoursPure Black / Ceramic White


Unboxing The ZenFone Zoom

Our ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] came in a special edition box set, so it’s much larger than what you would see in a retail store. When you open up the box, you will find a welcome note printed on heavy cardboard. Very classy. Underneath, you will find the actual ASUS ZenFone Zoom box, a box of Zencredible Photocards and a Zenny figurine nestled in foam cutouts.

[adrotate banner=”4″]When you unpack everything, you should find the following items :
  • One ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) smartphone wrapped in plastic
  • One ASUS ZenFone Zoom leather strap
  • One 18W ASUS fast charger with power plug adapter and micro-USB cable
  • One set of Zencredible Photocards – the ASUS’ version of Cards Against Humanity (Special Edition box set only)
  • One Zenny figurine (Special Edition box set only)
  • One pair of ASUS ZenEar earphones with four spare earbuds
  • One set of User Manual, Warranty Card and strip of 3 IMEI stickers

Note that the Special Edition box only come with two extra items – the Zenny figurine and the Zencredible Photocards.

In the next page, we are going to take a close look at the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Amazon] and set it up!

Next Page > The ZenFone Zoom, Premium Finish, Fast Charger


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML)

In this video, we will show you how to quickly unwrap the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] – just slide it out! And we will give you a quick tour of its key features :

The ASUS ZenFone 2 series is notable for their ambidextrous design. However, the ZenFone Zoom abandons it due to the periscopic lens arrangement, and its focus on photography. Instead of a central alignment, all of the ZenFone Zoom’s physical buttons are on the right side. There are not buttons on the left side.

First, you have the Volume rocker switch, which doubles as Zoom buttons. To zoom in, press the T (Telescopic) button. To zoom out, press the W (Wide) button. Right next to them is Power button. On the far end, you will find the Record Video button (small circular button with a red dot) and a dedicated Shutter button. Like on a digital camera, you can half-press the Shutter button to focus on an object before taking the shot.

The earphone port is located at the top, together with a microphone port. There is a second microphone port located at the bottom, next to the micro-USB port. Note the groove which allows you to remove the back cover, and the single speaker grille next to it.

At the lower left corner is a strap hole. It allows you to attach the leather strap, so you can loop it around your wrist. This will prevent the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] from hitting the ground should it slip out of your hand.

[adrotate banner=”5″]


Premium Finish

At first sight, you can tell that the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is a bespoke device. It has a certain heft that imparts confidence in its build, with a beautiful anodised aluminium frame that terminates in a brilliant ring around the Gorilla Glass-protected display.

The frame is carved from a single block of aerospace-grade aluminium alloy and then polished, sand-blasted and anodised – in an elaborate 201-step process. ASUS certainly spared no expense in this model.

To give it the ultimate feel of luxury, the back cover uses the finest (literally) ox leather. Only 38% of the hide with the thinnest and toughest cut is used. It is then finished with traditional Italian tailoring. The leather cover not only feels great, it gives you a better grip.


Fast Charger

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with a fast charger that delivers up to 18 W of power (2 amps of current at 9 V). You can recharge the ZenFone Zoom with any other charger, even use a micro-USB connected to a computer’s USB port. However, you won’t be able to charge as fast as you would with this fast charger (see our test results).

It is made up of two parts – the AC/DC converter, and a power plug that varies according to region. This modular design allows ASUS to manufacture the same fast charger for the entire world, and adapt them to local requirements using the modular plug heads.

Next Page > Inside The ZenFone Zoom, Mono Speaker & ZenEar, Setting Up The ZenFone Zoom


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Inside The ZenFone Zoom

Now, let’s take a look INSIDE the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price]. We will show you how to carefully remove the premium leather back cover to gain access to the SIM slot and the microSD card slot. Unlike other ZenFone 2 models, the 3,000 mAh battery is not user-removable.

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] uses the Intel XMM 7262 modem which has dual SIM, dual standby capability. However, ASUS only chose to include a single micro SIM card slot, so if you must have dual SIM capability, you are out of luck.

There is also a microSD card slot which allows for an additional 128 GB of storage. It may seem superfluous since the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage. But if you are going on an extended trip, 256 GB of storage can buy you peace of mind.


Mono Speaker & ZenEar

Interestingly, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with a single speaker. However, ASUS appears to have put in quite a lot of work into this speaker.

ASUS engineers used a 5-magnet construction with a metal voice coil, which delivers a much higher volume with lower bass distortion. They also added a dedicated sound chamber for maximum audio expansion.

For the best audio experience, ASUS even threw in a pair of ASUS ZenEar earphones. They have a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz with a maximum power output of 107 dB/mW. They also come with four spare earbuds.

[adrotate banner=”5″]


Setting Up The ZenFone Zoom

This video will show you the initial setup process. It will take you no more than 5 minutes to set up the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] as a new device.

Once you finish setting it up and it loads the home screen, you will be amazed at how bright and sharp the IPS display is. The display is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This makes it twice as hard to break in a drop, compared to Gorilla Glass 3 used in the flagship ZenFone 2 model. Gorilla Glass 4 has, so far, been limited to higher-end smartphones and phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note5.

Next Page > Available Memory &  Storage, Camera Capabilities & Options


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Available Memory & Storage

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with 4 GB of LPDDR3 memory, which is fantastic because it has quite a bit more bloat than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) we reviewed earlier. Even so, you have at least 2.2 GB of free memory to use – more than what many smartphones (like the honor 5X) come with!

Out of the box, the ZenFone Zoom comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage. Once you deduct about 16.5 GB for the Android 5.0 operating system and 1.1 GB for the ASUS apps, you still have a whooping 111 GB of free space left to use!

That’s more than enough to store 30,000 pictures or 670 minutes of 1080p video. It is unlikely you will find the need to add additional storage space using a microSD card.


Camera Capabilities

The raison d’etre for the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is its special 13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera, which boasts a 3X optical zoom capability. While optical zoom is not a new capability in smartphones, it is exceedingly rare… especially without a telescopic mechanism.

In this regard, ASUS has achieved an amazing feat – delivering optical zoom capability without a protruding or telescoping lens. The ZenFone Zoom looks, works and feels like a smartphone. And they did this using an ingenious periscopic lens design created by HOYA.

The 10-element periscopic lens arrangement with dual high-precision stepper motors allow the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] to deliver a focal length range of 28 mm to 84 mm. This 3X optical zoom can be further extended digitally for a total zoom length of 12X. This design has some drawbacks though.

Even at its widest, it isn’t very fast with an aperture of just f/2.7. Top smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge sport much larger apertures of f/1.9 to f/1.7. When you zoom out all the way to 84 mm, the lens stops down to f/4.8. To compensate for the lower light input, the 13 MP camera is optically-stabilised for up to 4 stops.

Fortunately, ASUS chose to use the Panasonic SmartFSI MN34130 sensor in the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price]. Now, this is hardly the best 13 MP sensor they could have used (say, the Sony IMX214 or IMX 258), but it is way better than the dismal Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the other ZenFone 2 models.

To round up the rear camera’s photographic capability, ASUS also threw in a laser auto-focusing system and a dual-tone LED flash. The laser focusing system is designed to accurately measure distance for close-up photography, while the dual-tone LED flash produces flash photographs with more realistic skin tones.

If you are into selfies though, the ZenFone Zoom only offers a 5 MP sensor with no flash, but the wide-angle lens is fast at f/2.0.

[adrotate banner=”5″]


Camera Options

Both the front and rear cameras use a 4:3 ratio for maximum resolution, with small crop sizes available in the settings menu. The main camera can record videos in full 1080p resolution, albeit only with electronic video stabilisation turned off.

The main camera also comes with a bunch of built-in software features like a HDR mode and a low light option that extends the camera’s ability to capture poorly-lit scenes by combining light from multiple pixels. You can also apply some filters or convert your pictures into GIF animation.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Image Quality & Laser Focusing


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Camera Performance – Image Quality

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] uses the Panasonic SmartFSI MN34130 sensor, instead of the Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the rest of the ASUS ZenFone 2 series. The pictures were distinctly superior all around.

Take the example of the elevator and the signboards. If you blow them up to 100%, the edges are no longer blurred with noise, with only some noticeable noise in the darker areas. Even those are greatly improved over the photos taken by the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) we reviewed earlier.

The following photos of the bubblegum balls and assorted fruits show how much better the ZenFone Zoom is at taking photos. The photos are not just much sharper (when blown up to 100%), they show a much better control of the exposure.

Generally, this camera performs best in well-lit scenes. Its zoom lens is not the very fast when wide (f/2.7 at 28 mm) and quite slow (f/4.8) when fully zoomed to 84 mm. In dim or pooly-lit scenes, you need to rely on its 4-stop OIS to reduce handshake.

[adrotate banner=”5″]


Laser Focusing Performance

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] borrows the laser auto-focusing system from the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) smartphone and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) phablet.

It uses a laser diode to shoot laser beams at near objects to instantly determine their distances. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing than can be achieved using contrast detection or phase detection auto-focusing techniques. We tested its laser focusing capabilities using a neat little app that ships with the ZenFone Zoom – a laser ruler.

The laser focusing system is especially useful in low or poor lighting conditions. However, the laser diode has a low power output, for safety reasons.  You can only use it to measure distances of up to 50 cm. Anything beyond that won’t return a reading.

As you can surmise by now, 50 cm is also the range for the ZenFone Zoom’s laser auto-focusing feature. If it fails to detect any object in range, it will fall back to the original contrast detection auto-focus method. Even with the range limitation, it’s very useful if your subject is in range… especially if there are subjects nearby that may interfere with the auto-focus.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Zoom & Video Recording


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Camera Performance – Zoom

You might be wondering – just how useful is the 3X optical zoom? Take a look at these comparison photos we took of various sceneries :

The 3X optical zoom really makes A LOT of difference. It allows you to reach out and take photos from a distance, even past the shoulders of people standing in front of you.

Of course, you can do digital zoom on all smartphones, but optical zoom offers the best image quality. The optical zoom also extends the total zoom capability of the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] to a whooping 12X – 3 times further than what you can accomplish with only digital zoom.

You may also be wondering if the 3X optical zoom will allow you to deliver better bokeh in portrait shorts. Sadly, at maximum zoom, the aperture is only f/4.8. So there is a significant depth of field and poor background separation.

While portraits and indoor shots may not be its cup of tea, the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] works great with scenery and architectural shots, where there is plenty of light and the depth of field is useful.

[adrotate banner=”5″]


Camera Performance – Video Recording

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is capable of recording 1080p videos, albeit without any electronic image stabilisation. The good news is it supports optical image stabilisation, which works better than electronic image stabilisation.

The ZenFone Zoom’s optical zoom also comes in handy, giving you much greater flexibility and creativity when you record videos. Check out these three examples. The first is of chickens at a pet farm, the second of a gamelan (traditional Malay music) band, and finally, a piano performance by Mr. Yang I-Deun.

Thanks to the Panasonic SmartFSI sensor, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is much better at controlling the exposure of the bright areas. They were only a little overexposed.

In the piano scene, it seemed to have some trouble focusing on Mr. Yang as we zoomed in. This was not seen in the first two videos which were brightly lit outdoor scenes, so it is probably a problem only in dim conditions. We hope ASUS will look into correcting this in the next firmware update.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life, Battery Recharging Speed


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Work Performance : PCMark

We tested the ZenFone Zoom’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.


ASUS ZenFone Zoom honor 5X Samsung Galaxy S6
Work Performance Score
5829 3898 5078
Web Browsing 5751 3756 6788
Video Playback 4536 4325 3091
Writing 5270 4085 5918
Photo Editing 8400 2614 5357

The honor 5X (Lowest Price) may use the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, but it is clearly no match for the quad-core Intel Atom Z3590 processor. The Snapdragon 616 has four A53 cores running at 1.65 GHz, with another four A53 cores running at 1.11 GHz. The Intel Atom Z3590, on the other hand, has four cores running at 2.5 GHz.

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] also beat the Samsung Galaxy S6, which is itself a very fast smartphone. It was particularly fast in photo editing and video playback.


Battery Life : PCMark

We then tested the ZenFone Zoom’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Now we can see the Intel Atom Z3590’s processing power comes at the expense of battery life. The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] uses the same 3,000 mAh lithium polymer battery as all other ASUS ZenFone 2 models, but only lasts just over 6.5 hours.

In comparison, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) lasted just under 8 hours, while the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) lasted over 12 hours on the same test. The honor 5X (Lowest Price), which uses a similar 3,000 mAh battery, lasted 8.5 hours. With such a short battery life, you will want to pack a power bank if you are going on a long trip.

[adrotate banner=”5″]


Battery Recharging Speed

Like the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL), the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with Fast Charging capability, and a corresponding 18 W fast charger. Then we tested to see how fast it recharges from 20% to 100%.

As the chart shows, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] recharged from 20% to 100% in just 86 minutes (1 hour 26 minutes). It actually hit 90% in just 61 minutes (1 hour 1 minute). In other words, the ZenFone Zoom recharges its battery about 32% faster than the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Lowest Price] and 2.4X faster than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL).

This is really amazing performance. From our logs, we can see that it recharged the first 20% in just 9 minutes. So if you are short on power, even a short recharge can give you a significant boost in battery life.

Next Page > Overall Performance, Gaming Performance, Our Verdict & Award


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Overall Performance : AnTuTu Benchmark

AnTuTu is a nice benchmark for testing various performance aspects of Android devices.

ZenFone Zoom
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
TOTAL SCORE 65914 36983 75222
3D SCORE 16839 2446 20579
– 3D (Garden) 6976 1492 8104
– 3D (Marooned) 9863 954 12475
UX SCORE 21371 16269 24065
– UX Data Secure 5896 4673 5507
– UX Data Process 4353 2438 4392
– UX Strategy Games 4118 2698 6948
– UX Image Process 2926 2599 3413
– UX I/O Performance 4078 3861 3805
CPU SCORE 23110 14031 25402
– CPU Mathematics 5196 2968 7823
– CPU Common Use 8699 4696 7585
– CPU Multi-Core 9215 6367 9994
RAM 4594 4237 5176

The Intel Atom Z3590 with its PowerVR G6430 graphics processor is definitely very fast. It was faster than the honor 5X (Lowest Price) in all aspects of this benchmark, even though the honor 5X was powered by an octa-core Snapdragon processor. The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is just a little slower than the Samsung Galaxy S6.


Gaming Performance : 3DMark

We tested the ZenFone Zoom’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

ZenFone Zoom
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
Gaming Score 21372 7879 21166
Graphics 21748 7695 23298
Physics 20152 8597 16031
Graphics Test 1 112.6 fps 39.6 fps 120.6 fps
Graphics Test 2 81.5 fps 28.9 fps 87.3 fps
Physics Test 64.0 fps 27.3 fps 50.9 fps

The Intel Atom Z3590 really showed its mettle in this test. While the PowerVR G6430 graphics processor held up well against the Galaxy S6’s Mali-T760 graphics processor, the Intel Atom Z3590 delivered much better physics processing capability than the Galaxy S6’s octa-core Exynos 7420 processor.


Our Verdict

When we first saw the ASUS ZenFone Zoom, we knew we had to review it. It is a remarkable combination of innovation and art. With its ox leather back, it looks like an ultra-premium version of the ASUS ZenFone 2 smartphones that came out in the past year or so.

Its killer feature is, no doubt, its 13 MP main camera with its unique and innovative periscopic lens design. This allows the ZenFone Zoom to deliver 3X optical zoom without a protruding or telescopic lens. It is capable of optical focal lengths of 28-84 mm while remaining a svelte smartphone no thicker than 12 mm. Amazing!

ASUS also threw in every photographic technology they had in their bag – laser auto-focus, dual-tone LED flash, and 4-stop optical image stabilisation (OIS). They even swapped out the dismal Toshiba T4K37 sensor for a much better Panasonic SmartFSI sensor. The result – the best photographic experience in the entire ASUS ZenFone 2 family.

The ZenFone Zoom’s image quality is significantly better than its ZenFone 2 brethren. Even its videos were much better – less grainy with better exposure control. The 3X optical zoom was very helpful in many situations, giving us greater reach and creative options. You will also appreciate the ZenFone Zoom’s 4-stop optical image stabilisation. It effectively cancels out your hand tremors, helping to deliver sharper images and videos.

While the Panasonic SmartFSI is a superior sensor, it is hardly the best sensor ASUS could have used. In a way, the ZenFone Zoom could have been better. It could have been the best camera smartphone in the market if ASUS paired it with top-of-the-line image sensor like the Sony IMX260 used in the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

Intel may be languishing in the smartphone market but there is no doubt that their Atom processors are fast. The Intel Atom Z3590 used in the ZenFone Zoom is a quad-core processor. But backed by the PowerVR Rogue G6430 graphics processor, it trashed the octa-core Snapdragon 616 processor used in the honor 5X (Lowest Price) while coming close in performance to, or even beating in some aspects, the octa-core Exynos 7420 processor used in the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Of course, all that processing power comes at a price – battery life. The ZenFone Zoom could only lasted 6.5 hours in our battery stress test (from 100% down to 20%). The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) and the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL), in comparison, lasted just under 8 hours and over 12 hours respectively.

[adrotate banner=”5″]

The good news is the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with fast charging capability. How fast? It recharges from 20% to 100% in under 1.5 hours! Even a quick 9 minute charge will give you a 20% boost in battery capacity. This is the best fast charging performance we have seen in the ZenFone 2 family.

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is the ultimate smartphone of the ZenFone 2 family. It has the most powerful Intel Atom processor ever used in a smartphone, backed with 4 GB of RAM and a whooping 128 GB of internal storage. And it comes with a 13 MP camera with a 3X optical zoom, 4-stop image stabilisation, dual-tone LED flash and laser auto-focus. All in a sleek 5.5 smartphone form factor, wrapped in posh leather.

From what we understand, this is likely to be the last Intel Atom-powered smartphone to come out of the Intel-ASUS partnership. Of course, we hope that is just a rumour and the partnership will continue. But if it doesn’t, and you must have the best Intel Atom-powered smartphone ever made, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom is it.

We like it so much, we think the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] deserves nothing less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Congratulations, ASUS!

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Panasonic Eclipse Live Broadcast By Solar Power

Ternate, Indonesia – February 24, 2016 – As Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi plunge into darkness during a rare total solar eclipse on the morning of March 9, 2016, Panasonic delivered a live broadcast of the approximately 4-minute-long phenomenon from Ternate, an island in eastern Indonesia, using its Power Supply Container, a stand-alone photovoltaic power package.


Watch The Broadcast New!


How Did It Work?

[adrotate banner=”4″]To enable live filming and broadcast from the island, the Power Supply Container will be transported from Jakarta to Dodoku Ali of Ternate. 12 Panasonic HIT solar modules with high conversion efficiency will generate approximately 3kW of electricity by tapping renewable energy from the top of the container, and store the power in 24 built-in lead-acid storage batteries.

The stored energy will be supplied to a Panasonic LUMIX GH4 camera attached to a telescope to capture the spectacular moment. Mobile computers, production and editing equipment, internet connection and other supporting technology will also be powered by solar energy.

The live broadcast of the solar eclipse will begin at 05:00 AM, March 9 in Ternate (08:00 PM, March 8 UTC) and can be viewed on platforms including Ustream, YouTube Live and Periscope.


Third Time Is The Charm

This was the third time Panasonic is broadcasting a solar eclipse live. Unlike previous occasions where time and effort had to be spent setting up HIT solar modules on the ground, the process is significantly more convenient this time round due to the portability of the Power Supply Container and its capability to be assembled quickly and easily with minimal construction work.

Prior to this live broadcast project in Ternate, Panasonic has developed and introduced the Power Supply Container to other parts of Indonesia. The first container was installed in July 2014 at the National Elementary School Karimunjawa 01 located on a remote island of Indonesia to improve the educational environment for students and teachers. Following its success, a second container was introduced in July 2015 at another elementary school in the mountainous region of West Java Provinceto enhance both study and water supply conditions.

Panasonic strives to extend this technology to other areas without electricity to provide stable power supply and mitigate social challenges towards a better life and a better world.


Eclipse Live Broadcast Times

Live Broadcast Begins (Tentative) 20:00 Mar 8 (UTC)
Partial Eclipse Begins 23:36 Mar 8 (UTC)
Total Eclipse Begins 00:50 Mar 9 (UTC)
Maximum Eclipse 00:53 Mar 9 (UTC)
Total Eclipse Ends 00:56 Mar 9 (UTC)
Partial Eclipse Ends 02:20 Mar 9 (UTC)
Live Broadcast Ends (Tentative) 03:00 Mar 9 (UTC)

Live Broadcast Channel : Panasonic Live Stream / UStream / YouTube Live / Periscope

Go Back To > News | Home


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

ASUS ZenFone Zoom Offers 3X Optical Zoom & OIS

We were invited to the ASUS Zensation event on the 13th of January 2016 for the official launch and first look of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom smartphone. Thanks to a unique periscope arrangement of the 10-element Hoya lens array, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom is the world’s thinnest smartphone to feature an actual optical zoom lens! Join us as we take a look at this exciting new smartphone from ASUS.


Launching The ASUS ZenFone Zoom

ASUS held the exclusive media launch event at the swanky Pan-Asian restaurant, Ruyi & Lyn in Bangsar.

In this video, Li Huai Pin, Country Product Manager (Smartphone) from ASUS Malaysia gives us a technical briefing of the new ASUS ZenFone Zoom smartphone. He also revealed that the new ASUS ZenFone Zoom smartphone will be priced at RM 2,099 (~US$ 489) and available for sale by the end of January 2016.

Then Peter Tan, an award-winning photographer and photography judge, shared his experience trying out the ASUS ZenFone Zoom‘s photographic capability for the previous 4 days. He also showed off the various photos he took with the ZenFone Zoom, to demonstrate its photographic prowess.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the new ASUS ZenFone Zoom smartphone in the next page!

ASUS ZenFone Zoom Key Features

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom was definitely designed to offer the ultimate photographic capabilities in a compact smartphone. The emphasis on its photographic features is obvious in its list of key features :

See the world up close: 3X optical zoom and OIS, 10-element lens, Real Tone flash and laser focus

ZenFone Zoom is the world’s thinnest smartphone optical-zoom smartphone, with a 13MP PixelMaster rear camera and 3X lens in a body that measures just 5mm at the edges. The innovative 10-element digital eye was created by the optics experts at Hoya. Glass, synthetic and prismatic lenses are meticulously configured in a dual-prism periscope arrangement to maximize incoming light and capture the best possible photo quality. Built-in optical image stabilization (OIS) ensures sharper, steadier shots every time — even at maximum 3X optical magnification.

The rear camera benefits from dual-LED Real Tone flash to create the most natural illumination for indoor portraits, generating the perfect combination of yellow and white to capture lifelike colors and skin tones. ZenFone Zoom’s rear lens also has laser auto-focus to point and shoot with total clarity in just 0.03 second.

Pocket-sized DSLR experience: Periscopic design, pro results and premium finish

Designing the word’s thinnest optical-zoom smartphone required innovative thinking, with ASUS engineers rotating ZenFone Zoom’s lens mechanism to create a compact, intricately-calibrated periscope-style layout. Coupled with a Panasonic SmartFSI® image sensor, ZenFone Zoom captures more light and more color — revealing detail and beauty in both natural and low-light compositions that other smartphone cameras will never see.

ZenFone Zoom’s design takes its cue from the look and feel of professional DSLR cameras, with dedicated buttons for shooting, recording and telephoto operations. Its strong unibody frame is precision-crafted to a metallic finish that’s cool and smooth to the touch, with a choice of premium Pure Black or sleek Ceramic White on the rear — and diamond-cut to create four stunning patterns across the back and sides. ZenFone Zoom even has an integrated a safety loop and many stylish strap options, for confident shooting from any angle.

The intuitive ZenUI Camera app makes it a cinch to capture professional-quality photographs. ASUS-exclusive Super Resolution mode applies multi-frame-fusion technology to create incredibly-detailed photos. Four high-resolution 13MP shots are fused to create a single image of with clarity that’s four times (4X) greater than a single shot. Night or day, ZenFone Zoom captures more detail and less noise — and Super Resolution shots of up to 52MP.

ZenFone Zoom excels at macro photography, enabling extreme close-ups as near as 5cm (2-inch) to reveal new and unseen worlds of detail, and is ready to turn pro with one tap — with Manual mode allowing instant adjustment of shutter speed, exposure value, white balance, ISO and a host of other professional-grade settings.

PC grade performance: 64-bit quad-core power, 4GB RAM, 250Mbit/s LTE and Full HD IPS display

ZenFone Zoom’s 64-bit quad-core Intel® Atom processor carefully balances brilliant performance and superb power efficiency, empowered by Intel’s sophisticated 22nm Silvermont architecture. Intel’s new Tri-Gate transistors have three times (3x) more surface area than planar transistors, enabling the flow of more electrons to increase computing performance and reduce power leakage. ZenFone Zoom also has a huge 4GB of fast dual-channel DDR3 RAM, and up to 128GB of storage as an option.

Featuring LTE Category 4+ for download speeds up to 250Mbit/s, and a 60ms touch-response time, ZenFone Zoom delivers fast, fluid experience anywhere; and with a high-capacity 3000mAh battery, users are able to work and play from dawn to dusk. ZenFone Zoom also benefits from exclusive ASUS BoostMaster[1] technology for turbo-speed charging taking the battery from 0% to 60% in just 39 minutes.

[adrotate banner=”4″]ZenFone Zoom’s expansive 5.5-inch 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display offers wide 178-degree viewing angles, and a fantastic 403ppi pixel density to render every image in eye-popping detail. The display includes exclusive ASUS TruVivid technology, which seamlessly transforms the conventional four-layer design into an innovative two-layer construction with full lamination. Fusing the cover-glass and touch-panel layers eliminates the air gap, bringing everything closer to the user’s touch.

The Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 display offers twice (2x) the drop-damage resistance of its predecessor, a 2.5X increase in retained strength and is 85% less likely to break in daily use — making it safer and stronger than ever before.”

[1] The 18W BoostMaster adapter is included only with the 2.3GHz/4GB ZenFone Zoom model.

Now, let’s take a look at its full specifications, price and availability!

ASUS ZenFone Zoom Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Zoom
Processor2.5 GHz Intel Atom Z3590 (quad-core)
Graphics ProcessorPowerVR G6430 GPU
Operating SystemAndroid 5.0 Lollipop with ASUS ZenUI
Display5.5" Full HD IPS display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution
- 403 ppi pixel density
- 400 cd/m2 maximum brightness
- full-screen lamination
Display ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4 with oleophobic coating
Main Camera- 13 MP Panasonic SmartFSI sensor
- Hoya f/2.7-4.8 lens
- 10-element lens array in periscope arrangement
- 3X optical zoom
- Optical image stabilization (OIS)
- Laser auto-focus
- Real-toen dual LED flash
Front Selfie Camera- 5 MP sensor
- f/2.0 aperture
Network Standards- GSM / GPRS / EDGE
- Single micro SIM
Wireless Connectivity- 802.11ac
- WiFi Direct
- Bluetooth 4.0
Memory4 GB mDDR3 SDRAM
Storage- 128 GB internal flash storage
- microSD card slot (supports up to 64 GB)
Location SensorsGPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Other SensorsAccelerometer, proximity, ambient light, gyro, digital compass and Hall-effect sensors
Connectors- 3.5mm audio jack
- microUSB 2.0 port
Battery3,000 mAh non-removable lithium-ion polymer battery
Dimensions78.84 mm wide
158.9 mm tall
5 mm to 11.95 mm thick
Weight185 g
Available ColoursPure Black, Ceramic White


ASUS ZenFone Zoom Price & Availability

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom has been priced at RM 2,099 (~US$ 489) and will be available for sale by the end of January 2016. If you are overseas, check out these ASUS ZenFone Zoom offers :