Computex Highlights: New hardware, new demos

June 4-8, 2013 at Computex Taipei proved to be a pretty exciting week, and visitors from all over the world were able to check out amazing technology that is pushing the boundaries of how computers and humans interact. Attendance hit record numbers:

“This year, COMPUTEX TAIPEI attracted 38,300 international buyers from 173 countries, a 6% growth. The top 10 nations ranked are Japan, USA, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Germany. There were notable increases in visitors from Indonesia (46.4% growth from last year) and UAE (36.5% growth). It is estimated the total visitor count for all five days will reach over 130,000.” – “Visitors packed the floors of Computex Taipei!” ComputexTaipai.com

Computex is where many companies debut brand new hardware and form factors, and this year was no different. Plenty of new hardware was debuted at Computex 2013; space doesn’t allow for a total overview of everything that was displayed, but here are a few highlights:

image courtesy PCWorld.com

The above is the first small Windows*8 tablet from Acer, the Iconia W3. More from PCWorld:

“Rather than wait for Windows 8.1 and Intel’s Bay Trail processors, Acer packed an Intel Clover Trail chip into a handheld tablet with an 8-inch, 1280-by-800-resolution display. Other specs include 2GB of RAM, a minimum 32GB of storage, front and rear cameras, MicroSD, Micro-USB, and Micro HDMI.” – “Highlights from the laptop and tablet extravaganza”, PCWorld.com

Another hardware standout was in the Ultrabook™ category from ASUS – the Zenbook Infinity:

image courtesy PCWorld.com

More from Anandtech about this machine:

“I think I just saw the most beautiful notebook at Computex this year…….Internally, the Zenbook Infinity is also pretty cool. Unlike all other Haswell Ultrabooks we've seen, the ZBI is home to a 28W Haswell ULT: the Core i7-4558U. The dual-core part features Intel's Iris 5100 graphics (GT3 without Crystalwell) as well as a higher base CPU clock frequency. The result should be a very interesting combination of power efficiency and GPU performance on tap.” – “ASUS Zenbook Infinity: Hands On with the Most Beautiful Notebook at Computex”, Anandtech.com

New form factors in the Ultrabook and tablet category were standouts at Computex, and PC and tablet sales are set to increase accordingly industry-wide. For example, a report released from Forrester Research on tablet use predicts that tablet ownership is set to skyrocket in the next few years, with the percentage of adults owning a tablet or tablet hybrid device set to increase from a mere 14% in 2012 to a whopping 55% by 2017. Forrester interviewed close to 10,000 “information workers” (defined as those who spend one or more hours a day using a computer to complete tasks) from all over the globe, finding that productivity, flexibility, and mobility were on the rise with today’s users: those surveyed used three or more different tablet, PC, or smartphone devices, worked from several different locations, and used many different apps to complete their tasks.

Typically, while a tablet is used for content consumption and a PC for content creation, PCs are still the primary device of choice for any computing activity:

“All that being said, the PC isn’t dead. Internet browsing is still highest among PC owners at 75 percent, smartphones at 61 percent, and tablets at 53 percent, while Facebook interaction follows the same rank with PC owners at 63 percent, 55 percent for smartphone owners, and 39 percent among tablet owners.” – The Next Web

 Bay Trail demo

Intel demonstrated the abilities of its Bay Trail-based quad-core Atom SoC at the Computex keynote event. You can watch the video below:

According to the Intel pressroom, this is based on the new Silvermont microarchitecture. The next generation 22nm Intel technology for tablets and ultra-mobile devices will enable sleek designs with 8 or more hours of battery life and weeks of standby, as well as support Android* and Windows 8.1*:

"The mobile category is undergoing a tremendous amount of innovation and constant change," said Eul. "As we look at growing it, we continue to invest in and accelerate our efforts across all aspects of mobility with a focus on smartphones, tablets and wireless communications. Intel's unique assets will enable more compelling and differentiated products and experiences, while at the same time helping to shape and lead markets in the future." - Hermann Eul, general manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group

2-in-1 and Haswell demo

The new 4th generation Intel® Core™ Processor family got some airtime at Computex as well:

"Today we deliver on the vision set forth 2 years ago to reinvent the laptop with the introduction of our 4th generation Intel Core processors that were designed from the ground up for the Ultrabook and serve as the foundation for a new era of 2-in-1 computing," said Kilroy. "We made one of the most seismic changes to our roadmap ever to build these new Core processors that deliver the stunning performance of the PC and the mobility of a tablet in one device. The new processors power the most exciting 2-in-1 designs to-date." - Executive Vice President Tom Kilroy

You can watch a video of this demo below:

Again, according to the Intel pressroom, this processor family is designed first and foremost with the Ultrabook in mind and based on the company's flagship 22nm Haswell microarchitecture. The 4th generation Intel Core processors deliver a 50 percent increase in battery life in active workloads over the previous generation. This is the largest generation-over-generation gain in the company's history, equating to over 9 hours of battery life in active workloads for some Ultrabooks based on the new processors.

Exciting times we live in

There’s not enough space here to dedicate to all the innovative technology debuted and demoed at Computex Taipei 2013. If you were lucky enough to attend this conference, what was your favorite product or demo? Share with us in the comments below.

 

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