Best of Computex 2013

Asus-Transformer

Running until June 8, Taiwan’s largest consumer electronics show Computex is taking place this week with over 1,700 exhibitors showing off their wares – here’s what caught our eye.

Asus unveiled yet more post-pc devices, with their newly announced Transformer Book Trio. It’s the world’s first three-in-one mobile device. The device has a detachable 11.6-inch display and comes with dual operating systems. The device can switch from Windows 8 notebook to Android tablet to Windows 8 desktop – a world first for a hybrid tablet/notebook.

The Transformer Book Trio switches easily between operating systems to give users access to over 700,000 Android apps on Google’s Play Store and access to 50,000 Windows apps from Microsoft’s app store.

Despite running two different operating systems, ASUS has spent a lot time making switching between the two systems a pain-free as possible, allowing users to sync data or continue to surf the web when moving from notebook to tablet mode.

The PC station comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, full QWERTY keyboard, 750GB of internal storage and, when the tablet is detached it can be connected to an external display for us as a full desktop PC. The PC dock serves as a charger for the tablet so to extend its battery life, whilst, the tablet-side of the device features a 2.0 GHz Intel Atom processor, 16:9 full HD 1920 x 1080 screen and up to 64GB internal flash storage.

Sonotar-Smart-Watch

Sonostar e-ink watches

Wearable technology is likely to be big growth industry in the coming years, with everyone from Apple and Google looking into the burgeoning technology. E Ink, the company behind the screen technology for a variety of e-readers including Amazon’s Kindle, announced a brand-new e-ink display and collaboration with Sonostar for a second-screen watch that connects to your smartphone or tablet.

E ink’s new 1.73-inch touchscreen display comes with resolution of 320 x 240 and is capable of producing 16 levels of greyscale. Obviously e-ink screens aren’t colour screens. And while this might seem like a massive oversight, e-ink technology actually has several benefits over colour screens. The technology is incredibly frugal when it comes to power consumption compared to coloured screens, and they’re a lot easier to read in direct sunlight compared to normal colour screens.

The Sonostar Smart Watch connects to either your iPhone or Android device using Bluetooth, and displays information on calls, messages, social networking updates, and emails. Also, the screen is flexible which means the watch face doesn’t have to be flat, allowing Sonostar to craft a watch that better matches the curve of your arm.

The Sonostar Smart Watch is set to be released sometime after the summer, and has been priced at £100 for either the black or white models.

Nvidia-Project-Shield

Project Shield, Nvidia

Chipset maker Nvidia were at Computex, too, showing off their new handheld Android-powered games console: Shield (yes, they’re dropping the “project” part from the name). Shield consists of a console game controller with a flip-up display housing a pin sharp 5-inch, 720p, multi-touch display.

Powering Shield is Nvidia’s Tegra 4 mobile processor with a quad-core CPU, 72 GPU cores, and 2GB of RAM. The handheld also carries 16GB of onboard storage and features GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, a mini-HDMI output, micro-USB 2.0, a microSD storage slot for memory expansion, and an 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack. Shield runs Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean and can play both Tegra-optimised and regular Android games – as well as having access to Android’s 700,000 non-gaming apps. Nvidia has said it’s working on streaming your favorite PC games to Shield, too, including titles from Steam in the near future.

Asus-Monitor

ASUS Ultra HD PC screen

At Computex ASUS showcased the world’s first Ultra HD PC monitors. The new 31.5-inch monitor costs a not unreasonable £2,500 and comes with a staggering resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 – four times as many pixels as a standard 1080p PC monitor. The company is also going to be prepping a 39-inch version too. ASUS expects to begin shipping the 31.5-inch model in June, with its big brother will follow sometime in Q3.

Acer-Phone

Acer Iconia W3

Acer were at Computex and are the first company to unveil a smaller form factor Windows 8 tablet. The 8-inch Iconia W3 comes with a 1280 x 800 display. On the tablet-side of things there’s front- and rear-facing two-megapixel cameras, plus connectivity through Bluetooth 4.0 and micro-USB.

The Iconia is packing impressive specs considering its size; there’s an Intel dual-core 1.8GHz Atom Z2760 processor, and the choice of either 32 or 64GB of internal storage, which can supplemented via the tablet’s microSD expansion slot. There’s also a built-in micro-HDMI for outputting the screen onto larger screens.

ASUS tablet goes 3D; smartphone and tablet come together with PadPhone

ASUS revealed a whole bunch of products at Computex 2011, including a new Padfone (which isn’t, apparently, a mobile phone for dogs), a 3D tablet, an all-in-one desktop and some Eee PC.

Padphone

So, where to start? Well, let’s go with the technology of the moment – 3D and tablet all combined into one product, it’s got to be worth a look. The Eee Pad MeMO 3D features glasses-free 3D entertainment, which offers the chance to enjoy 3D games and movies when you’re on the move. Whether it suffers from the same issues as the Nintendo’s 3D DS remains to be seen, as no samples are yet available. Apart from its 3D capabilities, this tablet has the latest Android OS (Honeycomb, which has been optimised for use on tablets) and a 7in multi-touch screen, which can be used in the usual way, or with a stylus to act as a digital note-taker.

The Padfone, meanwhile, aims to offer the best of both worlds – smartphone and tablet – in one device. Transferring data is always a bit of a hassle, and that’s where ASUS has come up with a neat idea. The smartphone docks inside the 101in tablet, integrating seamlessly to share data and 3G internet access, as well as charging from the battery.

It’s a clever idea, as many people have been dithering about whether they should stick with a pocket-size phone or enjoy the benefits of a larger screen, and the Padphone means they don’t have to make a choice. Keep an ear out later in the year for pricing and availability.

ASUS also claims to have come up with the world’s thinnest 27in all-in-one PC, in the shape of the ET2700XVT. The PC has a 10-point multi-touch screen, integrated digital TV tuner, Blu-ray and an ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle, so not only is it a desktop replacement, it’s a TV replacement too – perfect for a student at university, or for a bedroom, where you don’t want to take up oodles of space with gadgetry.

Finally, AUS has added three new models to its Eee PC range, this time focusing on computing on the go. The 10.1in Eee PC X101 is an ultraportable computer with a QWERTY keyboard, wireless and social networking support as well as the latest Intel Aton 435 processor. Its big brother is the X101H, which can include either Intel MeeGo or Windows & and either an HD or SSD drive. It is also available in a number of colours. Finally, Asus has reinvented the Seashell in the form of the Eee PC 1025 series, which crams an Intel Dual Core tom processor and 14 hours of battery life into its tiny chassis. Entertainment is key, with HDMI output and a 4x zoom webcam.

None of the products are available yet, but we will keep you updated on launch dates and prices.

More on all of the new ASUS products mentioned here, plus a few more, at http://www.techinstyle.tv