Skip to main content

Filed under:

The best of Computex Taipei 2012

Computex 2012 is the biggest computer expo of the year for companies like Acer and Asus, and we're bringing it to you live from Taipei. You'll find all of the biggest heavy-hitters from the show, including Windows 8 ultrabooks, convertible tablets and more right here, but if you're looking for the full firehose of news straight from the show be sure to check out our complete Computex 2012 StoryStream here.

  • Sean Hollister

    Jun 13, 2012

    Sean Hollister

    AMD's mountain: how the second-place PC chipmaker hopes to build cheaper, better laptops

    john taylor amd mountain stock 1024
    john taylor amd mountain stock 1024

    "Think about the mountain," says AMD's John Taylor. He's talking about ultrabooks. "As you get up to $799, $899, $999, you've got 50 SKUs sitting up here, at this place. They're going to fall off." He shapes his fingers into a pyramid, so I can visualize the metaphor.

    The fact that Intel has over 110 design wins for its proprietary laptop platform doesn't seem to phase AMD's director of product marketing very much. In his estimation, Intel's ultrabook initiative isn't just driving quality, it's forcing a homogenization of the laptop market that might leave their manufacturers out in the cold. "There's not room on the shelf to differentiate 50 Intel ultrabooks, particularly if they're called Intel ultrabooks," he says, and I start to wonder if he might have a point.

    Read Article >
  • Jun 7, 2012

    Vlad Savov

    Watch this in 1080p: the Asus Computex 2012 keynote

    jonney shih, asus
    jonney shih, asus

    Computex might not be a trade show quite on par with January's gargantuan CES, but for the Taiwanese companies exhibiting their latest wares, it's arguably the most important week on the calendar. Asus didn't disappoint this year, bringing out a wide range of innovative new designs, highlighted by the eyebrow-raising Taichi, a dual-screened Windows 8 laptop that can also serve as a tablet. In the words of the always entertaining Jonney Shih, "the ultimate transformation is no transformation" at all. You'll find more such gems of wisdom from the Asus Chairman below, along with the first sightings of the company's Transformer AiO and Tablet 600.

    Read Article >
  • Jun 6, 2012

    Vlad Savov

    An Ivy Bridge too far? AMD may have finally lost the battle against Intel's juggernaut

    AMD_1020
    AMD_1020

    Welcome to Computex 2012, the coming-out party for Intel's Ivy Bridge CPU refresh and Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. The two halves of an irresistible hardware-software combination that has dominated the PC world for so long that it has its own nickname — Wintel — came together in Taipei this week to once again reaffirm their supremacy. And AMD just stood on the sidelines, watching and scratching its head.

    Think about all the marquee devices launched by the likes of Acer and Asus at this show — were any of them AMD-based? The day-zero media blitz from the local Taiwanese vendors and their international competitors was almost exclusively Intel-powered, and where it wasn't, it was because ARM-based processors were starting to encroach upon traditional x86 markets. AMD was a total absentee.

    Read Article >
  • Sean Hollister

    Jun 6, 2012

    Sean Hollister

    NEC LaVie Z hands-on: an unbelievably light 13.3-inch ultrabook

    NEC LaVie Z stock 1024
    NEC LaVie Z stock 1024

    The NEC LaVie Z isn't the lightest laptop ever made, but it's hard to believe that when you pick it up: the 2.2-pound notebook has a lithium-magnesium alloy frame that you'd swear was filled with air rather than the latest Intel Ivy Bridge silicon. We got our hands on the ultrabook at an Intel showcase at Computex Taipei this week, and we weren't just impressed by the lack of weight. The LaVie Z is also so thin that it can just barely house its full-size HDMI and USB ports, handsome, nicely rigid, and looks like it might come with a decent (and decently high-res) 1600 x 900 resolution screen. Things aren't completely rosy, though: the prototype we tried had an exceptionally shallow keyboard and a rather unresponsive touchpad. NEC announced today that it will be configurable with either a 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U or a 1.9GHz Core i7-3517U processor. It's just a shame we may never see it again outside its native Japan, when it ships this summer for an unspecified amount of yen.

    Read Article >
  • Sam Byford

    Jun 6, 2012

    Sam Byford

    Acer reveals sub-$200 7-inch quad-core Iconia Tab A110

    acer iconia tab a110
    acer iconia tab a110

    Android's had a quiet showing here at Computex Taipei, but Acer just snuck out a new product that could well represent a breakthrough for the platform at large. The Iconia Tab A110 is at the company's booth without much fanfare, and on the face of it isn't particularly interesting — a 7-inch tablet with Android 4.0 that's powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. However, we spoke to an Acer representative who said that the A110 would be positioned as the company's main low-end device when it's released in the third quarter of the year, and that it will cost less than $200. If true, the aggressive pricing means it could well be the first beneficiary of Nvidia's $199 Kai program, though the representative wasn't able to comment on this.

    We've heard a lot of rumors about inexpensive Tegra 3 tablets since first laying eyes on Asus's Eee pad MeMO ME370T at CES, not least the one about a Google Nexus device in the same price and specification range as this new Acer slate. After using the A110 for a while, we'd say that you'd certainly get value for your money — its Ice Cream Sandwich skin is almost free of customization besides the green shortcuts dot next to the on-screen buttons, and it performed pretty well in a Quadrant benchmark with a score just short of the Asus Transformer Prime. It's a little thick at 11.4mm, and the screen's viewing angles aren't so impressive, but next to a Kindle Fire at the same price point we know which one we'd choose.

    Read Article >
  • Sam Byford

    Jun 6, 2012

    Sam Byford

    A closer look at the Asus Tablet 600 and Windows RT (video)

    Gallery Photo:
    Gallery Photo:

    We just met with Nvidia here at Computex Taipei to take a more in-depth look at the Asus Tablet 600, the first Windows RT device to be announced. While no other OEMs have announced RT machines so far, Nvidia says its Tegra 3 system-on-chip will be powering each one at launch, and the company expects Microsoft's ARM-powered OS to be made available at the same time as Windows 8.

    Nvidia wanted to emphasize the early state of the Tablet 600, but it looked about ready for primetime to us — it's an attractive device either by itself or when paired with the keyboard dock. Its plastic build doesn't feel quite as premium as something like the Transformer Prime or the company's Zenbooks, but it seems well-constructed nonetheless.

    Read Article >
  • Sean Hollister

    Jun 6, 2012

    Sean Hollister

    Acer Timeline Ultra M5 hands-on: game-savvy ultrabook gets sturdier construction

    Gallery Photo: Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 hands-on pictures
    Gallery Photo: Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 hands-on pictures

    Two months ago, we reviewed the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG, a 0.78-inch thick laptop that (properly configured) could play Battlefield 3. If you went out and tried to buy one, though, you were probably out of luck, because Acer decided never to launch the laptop outside of its native Asia. Why? The company was waiting to introduce the Ultra M5. It's the spitting image of its 15.6-inch predecessor, to the point where you'd swear it sprung from the same mold, but this 15.6-inch laptop has far more solid construction.

    Read Article >
  • Sam Byford

    Jun 5, 2012

    Sam Byford

    Computex, day two: know your ultrabooks

    intel ultrabooks
    intel ultrabooks

    While day one of Computex saw us buried under an avalanche of shapeshifting Windows 8 devices, day two was more grounded in the here and now. Intel was predictably keen to let us know that it sees the ultrabook as the future of traditional computing, showing off a huge number of models of which many are using its new third-generation Ivy Bridge processor design.

    If you're wondering what on earth could set these machines apart from one another, we don't blame you — more than a few ultrabooks until now have followed Apple's MacBook Air blueprints a little too closely. Today, however, we saw quite a few new machines with standout features, and we'd like to highlight a few here for you. It wasn't quite a comprehensive lineup, as some of the most unusual concepts (like the MSI Slider S20) didn't make it onto the stage at Intel's event, but it's as clear a look as we'll get at the company's vision for the ultrabook.

    Read Article >
  • Evan Rodgers

    Jun 5, 2012

    Evan Rodgers

    Toshiba unveils first 21:9 ultrabook with 14-inch Satellite U845W

    Toshiba U840W
    Toshiba U840W

    Today, Toshiba is announcing the Satellite U845W ultrabook with a surprising 21:9, 1792 x 768 display. The U845W's LCD is 14 inches when measured diagonally, and its wide and shallow dimensions give it a compact footprint. Toshiba is touting this unusual screen as being the first laptop display to play widescreen movies without black bars, plus that extra-wide aspect ratio should make fine use of Windows 8's ability to run apps side by side.

    The U845W — known outside the US as the U840W — is an ultrabook, which means that it's supposed to be thin, fast, light, and have better-than-average battery life. At just under four pounds and 0.81 inches thick, the U845W is a tad chunkier than other laptops in the ultrabook category, but that might be forgivable if Toshiba's claims of an "all day battery" are accurate. It will be powered by an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, can support up to 10GB of RAM, and comes with an interesting combination of a 500GB hard drive and a 32GB SSD for caching frequently accessed files. There are a few other nice touches to the U845W as well, like a textured metal body, USB 3.0 ports, WiDi support, and a backlit keyboard. The Satellite U845W will be released on July 15th for $999.99, and will be available in the UK sometime in Q3 for £899 (just under $1,400).

    Read Article >
  • Sam Byford

    Jun 4, 2012

    Sam Byford

    Computex, day one: the search for the perfect Windows 8 form factor

    asus taichi
    asus taichi

    Day one of Computex Taipei is over, and the biggest news has been the extensive lineup of Windows 8 machines from local heroes Asus and Acer. It's a dizzying array of devices that we don't mind admitting has been more than a little tough to keep track of, and while several of them are impressive a glaring question remains — just what will be the best way to experience Windows 8?

    Microsoft's latest OS leads a double life. The sleek, touch-friendly design of Metro is perfect for tablets, but untested for productivity — the classic desktop remains bubbling under the surface, ready to crank out a spreadsheet at the drop of a hat. A touch-only tablet might not cut it, then, with a physical interface likely to prove more comfortable for many. How about traditional laptops with touchscreens? Intel certainly likes the idea, though we have doubts over how natural constantly reaching out towards the display might feel, especially for extended sessions. So, could the solution be Asus Transformer-style detachable keyboard docks? Maybe, but keeping the keyboard as an optional extra isn't likely to drive adoption of the form factor. From what we've seen today, it seems that Acer and Asus are pondering the exact same issue.

    Read Article >
  • Tom Warren

    Jun 4, 2012

    Tom Warren

    Asus unveils Transformer Book Windows 8 convertible notebook (update: hands-on video)

    asus transformer book
    asus transformer book

    Asus has revealed a number of new Windows 8 hardware offerings today, but it also has a convertible notebook planned for later this year. The Transformer Book is powered by Intel's 3rd generation Core i7, i5, and i3 processors alongside 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and Nvidia graphics. Asus is shipping the Transformer Book with a full HD IPS display in 11.6, 13, and 14-inch options.

    A detachable full-size keyboard is available on the Transformer Book, allowing it to switch into a Windows 8 tablet for mobility.

    Read Article >
  • Aaron Souppouris

    Jun 4, 2012

    Aaron Souppouris

    Asus Taichi: a dual-display Windows 8 laptop / tablet hybrid (hands-on video)

    Gallery Photo: Asus TAICHI pictures
    Gallery Photo: Asus TAICHI pictures

    Asus has just announced the Taichi laptop / tablet hybrid at Computex 2012 in Taipei. Essentially a laptop with a display on both sides of its lid, the Taichi features either dual 13.3-inch or 11.6-inch IPS HD displays, an Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, SSD storage, two USB 3.0 ports, Micro HDMI, mini DisplayPort, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and "HD" front-facing camera.

    Read Article >
  • Laura June

    Jun 4, 2012

    Laura June

    Acer unveils 10.1-inch Iconia W510 Windows 8 convertible tablet (update: hands-on video)

    Gallery Photo: Acer Iconia W510 photos
    Gallery Photo: Acer Iconia W510 photos

    Acer has just unveiled its Windows 8 lineup at Computex, among them the seriously attractive 10.1-inch Iconia W510 tablet. We're a bit light on details as of now but here's what we do know. The W510 is a convertible, full HD touchscreen, IPS display tablet with three different use "modes," including standard tablet style, docked with its detachable keyboard, and rotated 295 degrees from the dock in "presentation mode" which Acer showed off with a PowerPoint presentation on stage. With the keyboard docked Acer says the tablet can see up to 18 hours of battery life.

    From a chart shown at Acer's press conference, it looks like the Acer Iconia W510 will run from $599 to $799 when it becomes available.

    Read Article >
  • Laura June

    Jun 4, 2012

    Laura June

    Acer announces 11.6-inch Iconia W700 Windows 8 tablet (update: hands-on video)

    Gallery Photo: Acer Iconia W700 hands-on pictures
    Gallery Photo: Acer Iconia W700 hands-on pictures

    It looks like the Acer Iconia W700 will run from $799 to $999 and will also have an optional keyboard when it hits shelves. We'll update with more information as it becomes available.

    Update: See our hands-on pictures and video below! Acer isn't really discussing specs yet, but this isn't an ARM slate. There's an Intel Ivy Bridge processor under the hood, and there's a Thunderbolt port on the left side, right above the miniature HDMI jack.

    Read Article >