Stuff Picks – Best of Computex 2015

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This year’s Computex, held as usual in Taipei in Taiwan, was again the scene of a bewildering array of products, gadgets and upcoming items of a technological nature. With companies from Taiwan, like Acer, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI, as well as international exhibitors like HiSense, Intel, Microsoft and Nvidia in attendance, it’s quite the demonstration.

Alas, there’s never time for us to pore over each and every product that pops out of the world’s second-largest ICT trade show but that doesn’t mean that we can’t bring you the highlights of the past week.

What follows are Stuff‘s picks from Computex 2015, in alphabetical order. Because we feel like doing it that way.

Acer Predator 8

Acer PredatorFollowing an initial announcement at a New York event, Acer brought their Predator 8 gaming tablet to Computex. With the Predator, the company is betting on Android gaming getting bigger and better and they’re outfitting the gaming tab with a Cherry Trail Intel x7 Atom processor and their own Quad-Audio sound system (with a speaker on each corner of the tablet). Intel’s taking care of graphics processing as well, though we’re not sure yet just what solution will be under the angular metal hood. The Predator 8 is set for release later this year. Unfortunately we don’t yet know where it will land or what it will cost but just look at it… this is what a gaming tablet would look like, right?

ASUS RoG G20CB

ASUS RoG G20CBIf you prefer your gaming a bit more fully-fledged, then the Republic of Gamers G20CB power setup might be more your line. ASUS is fitting the G20CB with Intel Skylake processors, Nvidia Titan X graphics and enough space for up to four SSDs but that’s not why you’re going to be looking for this chassis. The 8-million colour front LED panel, which can be customised and which will beat in time to your music, is one reason to have your eye on this little ASUS. The gameplay-recording Aegis II software, so you can upload your skilled fraggin, is another.

ASUS ZenWatch 2

Zenwatch 2We’ve already taken a peek at ASUS’ upcoming ZenWatch 2, which has taken a few cues from Apple when it comes to overall design. Coming later this year in Silver, Gunmetal and Rose Gold colour options with both 49mm and 45mm casing options showing themselves, ASUS have made improvements to their first ZenWatch effort. A better magnetic charger, an enhanced Remote Camera function and activity tracker functions are on the cards. Specs should be revealed in Berlin in September this year.

Corsair Bulldog

Corsair BulldogIf you’re going to game with a PC, it might as well work on a 4K TV, right? Corsair’s Bulldog, with its squat chassis that definitely deserves the moniker, aims to be a Steam Machine without the actual branding by squashing a full 4K-capable PC into a small frame, with a branded, couch-friendly keyboard and mouse setup (called Lapdog – a bit crappy for lefties though) in tow. A range of upgrade options are going to be available for the $400 (R5,000) base setup of chassis, motherboard, processor fans and PSU which extend up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, liquid cooling and Nvidia’s Titan X GPU, as well as your choice of Intel’s new silicon. If you’ve already splashed on a 4K TV, you might want to get a Bulldog to sit next to it.

MSI GT72 w/Tobii Tech

MSI GT72We’ve seen MSI’s GT72, heck we’ve reviewed it already. So why be impressed that it was at Computex this year? Apart from an updated roster of hardware, MSI showed off prototypes of the Dominator Pro notebook running eye-tracking tech from a company called Tobii. MSI promises “…deeper game immersion and [the]most realistic experience available” but that does sort of hinge on game developers actually implementing the tech. At the moment Assassin’s Creed: Rogue does feature support, perhaps more will follow. Nonetheless, eye-tracking gaming features are futuristically cool.

Nvidia SHIELD Android TV

Nvidia Shield Android TVHow sad that we can’t get the Nvidia SHIELD Android TV, the updated version of Nvidia’s SHIELD portable gaming setup, this side of the world yet. But since it was at Computex for a public appearance, that’s reason enough to include it. Nvidia’s Tegra X1 SoC is reason enough to want this portable gaming setup, which will handle anything that the Play Store can throw at it. It’s not restricted to Android gaming though, Nvidia’s GRID service will get you running cloud-based PC titles to a TV screen – if you have the internet connection for it. Then there’s the media streaming, from either Netflix or YouTube, with 4K video and 7.1 audio being supported by Nvidia’s little update. It comes in the stock 16GB storage or 500GB Pro versions.

Quanta Compute Plug

Quanta ComputeWait, we’ve gone from all this shiny Computex tech to this? We did say it was based on alphabetical order, after all, and that’s just how it worked out this time. Quanta’s Compute Plug gives you just what is says on the tin, a computer crammed into a unit the size of a household electrical plug. A Windows 10-capable computer, actually. Everything lives in the little plastic housing and it’s designed to plug into your wall, connect to a TV and turn it into a smart TV. Control is achieved by “…using Cortana via a Bluetooth remote or headset”, according to Microsoft. They’ve kept silent in internal specifics but the concept of a super-mini PC is an intriguing one in itself. Do we want to see more details of Quanta’s Compute Plug? Yes, we do.

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