Greetings from Taiwan and the Computex Taipei pre-show press event.
Computex is held in early June and is one of the largest consumer technology expos in the world, rivaling CES in terms of attendance. It serves as a showcase for some of Asia’s biggest technology companies, including Acer, Asus and MSI.
Why Taiwan? It has the geographical distinction of being in the virtual center between the major cities in Japan (home to Sony, Panasonic and others), South Korea (home to Samsung, LG and others), and China (technology manufacturing hub), enabling the small island to realize its goal in becoming a technology headquarters.
This year, Computex promises to be larger than ever as the show expands from four to five venues, and according to the event’s official hostess, Ms. Computex Taipei, in remarks made at the pre-show press conference, Computex continues on pace to become the world’s largest technology tradeshow.
Tablets the Talk at Computex
Computex organizers pride themselves on the region’s product innovation, which is why tablets and other technologies poised for sufficient growth were the focus of prepared remarks made by keynote speaker, Mr. Stephen Su, the General Director of Industrial Economics & Knowledge Center at the Industrial Technology Research Institute.
“We see a surge in trends for tablet PCs,” he said. “In 2010, the amount [of tablets shipped] is small, 12.3 million. But we believe the future trend will be strong coming from that sector.”
Tablets were also a focus of Computex 2010, with the Asus Eee Pad tablets and the MSI WindPad 100 generating buzz. However, neither device has hit store shelves. Asus promises to finally unveil the Eee Pad at CES in January, and the MSI WindPad 100 was delayed indefinitely as MSI waits on the next-generation Intel Oak Trail Atom Platform.
A Three-in-One Notebook and Deskotp Furniture
TPCR did sneak a peak at one tablet, the Gigabyte Booktop 1125, an extremely innovative convertible laptop, desktop and tablet PC in one. The Booktop looks like a traditional convertible form-factor tablet PC, but it ships with a docking station that converts into a desktop, complete with a removable optical disk drive that connects via USB, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, D-sub monitor connection, Ethernet jack, headphone jack, external mic input, and an optional DC jack.
Booktop Convertible Notebook
Booktop Desktop Mode
The Booktop runs either Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional, depending on the model, powered by an Intel Dual Core, Core I3 or Core I5 processor. The 11.6-inch WXGA LED display is a capacitive touchscreen that supports up to two contact points. To keep the cost affordable, Gigabyte decline to include a digitizer. The Booktop supports b/g/n Wi-Fi and can ship with an optional 3.5G card.
One cool feature is that while docked vertically in the stand in desktop mode, the convertible tablet can be flipped with the display exposed. Users can then run a dual screen setup with both the touchscreen and external display.
The Booktop is expected to ship in the coming months with a price point approaching $1,300 depending on the configuration. Gigabyte will also be at CES, and you can bet TabletPCReview will swing by for a closer look at the three-in-one device.
And finally, the most “out there” concept design had to be Gigabyte’s desktop furniture, which is exactly as it named. Driven by the fact that desktop units stick out like a sore thumb in living spaces, Gigabyte is developing desktop design that mold the PC tower into a desk, as seen in this slide.
While Gigabyte had no physical hardware to display, they promised desktop furniture would make an appearance at Computex 2011 in June, giving TabletPCReview one more reason to attend.