It’s been one month since Computex – so how good was this year’s show and what learnings can we take from it?
From now components to cases and software (plus a bit of drama thrown in for good measure), Computex 2015 certainly didn’t disappoint.
Microsoft highlighted a host of new PCs ready for Windows 10, from the Acer Z3-710 all-in-one to the Dell XPS 15 and HP x2 two-in-one, while AMD lifted the lid on its sixth generation A-Series processor for notebooks, which were previously codenamed Carrizo.
Intel showed off some of the latest tech including Thunderbolt USB-C and wireless charging solutions, but while it didn’t reveal its latest core processor – dubbed Skylake – it was powering a number of ASUS mini-PCs at the show and is coming later this year. Motherboard manufacturers like ASRock also presented Skylake-compatible boards at the show.
Nvidia debuted its high-end GeForce GTX 980Ti graphics card at the event, as well as confirming its stutter-free G-Sync display technology would be built into a new line of laptops from late June.
However, these announcements were to be expected. Looking beyond the usual stories, there were a couple of real surprises which really caught the attention of the trade.
The most talked about product was the ASUS ROG In Win H-Tower (pictured). Almost every system builder PCR spoke to complimented it – and for good reason. The hydraulic system automatically opens up like a transformer to reveal its interior, giving the user access to its components, before making it close by itself at the push of a button.
“It has to be the best thing I saw at the show,” Ebuyer senior product manager Paul Nolan tells PCR. “It’s a work of art. This is probably the ultimate show off case I’ve seen and In Win have always lifted the bar with their high-end cases in the past, but this is another level. The price tag on this case will be hefty – I was told around £1,500 at the time – but worth it for the ultimate case on the market.”
However, CK, MD of YoYoTech, is not so sure. “It caught the eye, but the market for that kind of case is so limited that bringing in even one container could be seen as quite a risk,” he says.
Regardless, ASUS stole the show this year. It presented the slim, sleek, almost handbag-like ZenPad 8 tablet, which it described as ‘the perfect fusion of fashion and technology’, as well as the ZenFone Selfie and Zen all-in-one series to name a few. It also showed off a curved G-Sync monitor, as did Acer.
New form factors were also on display. The FoxConn Kangaroo is a portable desktop PC that turns your TV into a Windows PC, including a fingerprint reader to support Windows Hello and up to six hours of battery life, and the Quanta Compute Plug is a mini-PC in a power adapter.
Other notable products include the Corsair Bulldog DIY gaming PC, the MasterCase custom chassis from Cooler Master (which impressed the likes of Chillblast and Utopia), SanDisk’s external SSDs and MSI’s laptops featuring Tobii eye-tracking tech (turn to page 59 for PCR’s pick of products from Computex).
Then there were the awards. The five D&I Gold Awards went to the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, Alienware 51 gaming desktop (boasting a hexagonal chassis), TPV’s AOC LX series curved TV and digital sign and Smanos’ K1 SmartHome DIY kit. The Best Choice Awards went to Acer’s Revo One mini PC, MSI’s X99A Gaming 9 ACK motherboard, Synology’s RT1900ac router and more.
Synology certainly had a memorable show. The vendor marked its move into the router market, plus its Surveillance Station CCTV system caught a thief trying to steal a laptop from the Synology booth.
Furthermore, Lenovo announced a slew of new devices at its own Tech World event, and let’s not forget the post-Computex announcements. Oculus and Microsoft are partnering to bring the Rift virtual reality headset to the Xbox One, available in early 2016.
CK adds: “Computex was, as ever, the bright spot in our channel’s calendar; there was plenty of new kit to see with lots of innovation.”