Asustek Computer, the world’s largest maker of computer components that is trying to break and enter the market of various electronic gadgets, on Thursday unveiled the world’s first Skype videophone that was officially certified by Skype. While the device impresses, it weighs too much and works for a very short time, which is likely to limit its popularity.
“The AiGuru SV1 is Skype’s first foray with a partner into the videophone category. With more than 25% of Skype-to-Skype calls including video, we know that video is fast becoming a mainstream way for people to communicate. The videophone offers the benefits of video calling to a much wider audience, allowing friends and families to share their worlds face-to-face without being tied to a computer,” said Jonathan Cristensen, Skype’s general manager, mobile and hardware devices.
Asus AiGuru SV1 features 7” display with 800x480 resolution, integrated webcam with 640x480 resolution, integrated microphone and speaker as well as support for wired and wireless local area networks. In addition, the device features icon-based interface and intuitive button layout making it easy for anyone to make and receive Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls as well as use SkypeOut and SkypeIn services.
Unfortunately, Asustek’s videophone for Skype weighs 1.6 kilograms, which means that it should it is hardly mobile and should be mounted somewhere. Moreover, the device sports 20 minutes talking time and 30 minutes standby time, which makes the product even more unsuitable for usage outside the room where it is stationed. Such limitations will definitely influence market success of the AiGuru SV1.
The Asus AiGuru SV1 will initially be available for pre-order on September 18, 2008 in Europe and North America from Skype’s online shop. It will be on sale at the beginning of October 2008 priced $299.95/€249.95/£199.95. The videophone will be available in retail outlets in the Asia Pacific region later this year.