After three years, Computex is finally back and in person, in all its glory. The biggest companies in the laptop and PC space, from Taiwan and elsewhere gathered in Taipei for a week to showcase products they’re releasing this summer and throughout the rest of 2023.
We’ve seen a whole bunch of refreshes to popular laptop lines, updated desktop components, and even a CPU or two. Software services and artificial intelligence were a major focus of CES earlier this year, and that trend already got a massive boost from Nvidia’s keynote presentation.
If you’re interested in following the latest laptop news but couldn’t make it out to Taiwan yourself, never fear.
We’ve been on the ground in Taipei all week, catching keynotes, interviewing the big players, and getting our hands on some of the most exciting gadgets that you’ll see in 2023. Come along for the ride.
So, look. I understand that Apple just put out some fancy ski goggles, and now everybody and their mother is proclaiming the end of the physical screen as we know it. But like that one guy at the back of your college seminar, I would like to offer a quick counterpoint. It’s called MicroLED. Specifically, I would like to discuss the Asus ProArt Cinema PQ07, a gadget that I spent far too long staring at in Asus’ show floor booth at Computex 2023.Read Article >
What is the ProArt Cinema PQ07, you may ask? Thank you for asking. It’s a 135-inch MicroLED display. MicroLED is not to be confused with Mini LED — wherein LEDs are arranged into local dimming zones — which is very common on modern televisions. MicroLEDs, by contrast, try to beat OLED at its own game. They are microscopic in size, and each pixel is formed from a cluster of them. The result is a panel with significantly better brightness and contrast than you see from even the fanciest OLED screens today. (There’s also, crucially, less risk of burn-in.)
Jun 4The Cooler Master Orb X is a $25,000 gaming chair.
The Verge’s Monica Chin sat in it at Computex, and says the Orb X is ideal if you love gaming and hate other people. It’s covered in the requisite RGB lights, while a reclining chair, 34-inch curved gaming monitor and “freaking dope” sound system rounds it out.
I haven’t asked, but I’m guessing she means that sci-fi villain. Would try.
Amid all the excitement over generative AI, valuations, and such, consumer PC news was a bit of an afterthought at Computex 2023. That’s why I was so excited to discover this gem buried in the middle of MSI’s very loud and crowded show floor booth: the Prestige 16 Studio Evo. This is coming in the second half of this year, with pricing still to be announced, and I am very eagerly waiting.Read Article >
First things first: This device has received Intel’s coveted “Evo” certification. The reason this is exciting is that, to my knowledge, no device with a GeForce RTX GPU has received the Evo certification since the program’s inception in 2020. (It’s possible there’s one out there somewhere I don’t know about, but even if so, it’s still a very rare phenomenon.)
Jun 2What if your charging pad just did everything?
This is the ThinkBook Wireless Dock, which you’ll be able to buy later this summer. If you happen to own a Lenovo ThinkBook, you can stick it on this pad, and not only does it charge the laptop, but it connects it to up to two 4K displays as well. The panel on the left side is a universal charger for mobile devices. I tried this out at Computex 2023, and it works impressively well.
I have a very vested interest in this kind of gadget, as someone whose deskside cable management is...you know what, let’s not talk about it.
Jun 1I have never been so convinced that a router was going to come alive and murder me.
This is the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 on display at Computex, and it’s the world’s first quad-band Wi-Fi 7 gaming router, boosting speeds of up to 25,000Mbps. It is also the largest and scariest-looking router I have ever seen in my life.
(Asus representatives confirmed to me that there is no technical reason it needs to look like a giant RGB spider. That was just a design choice.)
- MSI is hopping on the generative AI train.
Or at least, it’s trying to. The company is working on a program called AI Artist, which it hopes to preload onto future MSI devices. You select a style (manga and realism are currently available), you select a size, and you type what you want to be drawn into a text box. Watch the wheel spin for a while, and AI Artist spits out an image.
I’m calling it now: We’re going to see more of this. It’s clear from walking around Computex 2023 that AI, and what it can do for consumers, is at the center of the conversation.
When Asus seeded the first units of its handheld ROG Ally gaming PC to reviewers back in May, it’s fair to say that the results were... not overwhelmingly positive. Some reviewers loved the product, while others were broadly unhappy. But across the gamut, there was one thing that pretty much everyone agreed on: the battery life sucked.Read Article >
The Verge’s Sean Hollister saw a maximum of four hours from the device, whereas his ceiling on the competing Steam Deck (which has a battery of the same size) is closer to seven.
I am willing to bet that, at some point in your life, you have attempted to learn a new language and given up. Perhaps you took a few classes in high school but never continued. Maybe you downloaded the Duolingo app to your phone but never touched it. Maybe you started Rosetta Stone but lost interest. Discord and the language-learning platform Memrise have a possible solution for you: the Memrise Discord app, a new GPT-3-trained chatbot that can teach you new tongues from the comfort of your Discord server.Read Article >
The problem with many of today’s language-learning methods, in the experience of Memrise co-founder Ben Whately, is that they don’t force students into real-world situations. “If we spoke about cooking like we speak about language learning, people would say ‘Can you cook yet?’ and you’d say, ‘No, I’m learning about the principles of cooking and temperature control,’” Whately says in an interview with The Verge. “It’s like, let’s just do the dish.”
- Panoramas, now in 3D.
Acer has been making glasses-free 3D laptop displays for a few years now, but has apparently decided that those displays weren’t wide enough. I just tried out SpatialLabs Panoramic View, which mushes three 15-inch 3D displays together to make one giant 3D image.
Standing in the middle of this is a very cool and trippy experience (provided that you don’t move away from the center — that throws it all off). I actually flinched as a virtual boulder came barreling my way, and the entire Computex show floor laughed at me. Look, I promise you that it seemed very real at the time.
Nvidia temporarily became a $1 trillion company on Tuesday morning, with its rising valuation fueled by tech companies big and small racing to add generative artificial intelligence tools to their products. AI tools made up the vast bulk of recent Google I/O and Microsoft Build presentations, and Nvidia’s chips make it a key supplier for companies trying to build something with AI.Read Article >
Its valuation pushed past the trillion-dollar benchmark as trading opened today at just over $405 per share, putting it in the rarified air previously occupied by only a few large companies such as Apple and Microsoft after they surpassed the significant mark in August 2018 and August 2019, respectively. Amazon and Google are the other tech stocks in the club, and Meta is a former member.
Nvidia is updating its Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) technology, which could make gaming even smoother on high-end monitors. In an announcement on Sunday, Nvidia says its upgraded ULMB 2 feature is capable of providing over 1,000Hz of effective motion clarity with “practically zero” crosstalk — but only on 1440p 360Hz G-Sync monitors for now.Read Article >
This means you no longer have to choose between having a more responsive refresh rate or reducing motion blur, both of which affect gameplay. Now Nvidia says the effective motion rate for a 360Hz monitor with ULMB 2 enabled is 1440Hz. “That means in order to obtain the same level of motion clarity without ULMB 2, gamers would need a classic panel capable of 1440 Hz,” Nvidia notes. You still can’t use it with variable refresh rate, though.
- A Mercedes computer?
If you’ve ever wished you could own a luxury car without paying luxury car money, you might consider, instead, an RGB gaming laptop. MSI has partnered with Mercedes to create the new Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, and it looks like about what you’d get if you put a racecar into laptop form.
The new SMAM (that’s not its name, but it’s what I’m going to be calling it) features the Mercedes logo on the lid, an AMG rhombus pattern on the spacebar, and a power button that looks like an engine ignition. Oh, and it’s full of RGB. Because, of course. Obviously.
MSI — a brand traditionally known for gaming hardware — has announced a bunch of laptops at Computex 2023, and there’s an interesting lack of gamery among them. Instead, the company appears to be focusing hard on the premium lifestyle space with its mid-2023 offerings.Read Article >
Notable among these releases is the new Commercial 14 series, a line of business laptops intended to compete with high-end enterprise PCs — the likes of the ThinkPad. I conclude this from the fact that MSI’s press release highlights its “tailor-made solutions to enterprises through a series of optional security measures, NFC (near-field communication) and built-in Smart Card Reader.” If that’s not a word-for-word ThinkPad pitch, I don’t know what is.
May 29Asus has a proprietary new GPU power connector.
As the Computex 2023 show gets rolling, WCCF Tech highlights this “Megalodon” Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU and motherboard combo. It ditches the troublesome power cables found on today’s massive GPUs for a new slot that sits next to the standard PCIe Gen 4.0 x16 connection and delivers up to 600W of power, similar to the MPX Module in Apple’s Mac Pro.
Asus plans to release this tech globally later this year, and said devices with it will cost slightly more than the regular SKUs.
- This is what a 144TB Nvidia GPU looks like.
Nvidia just announced its DGX GH200 at Computex. It’s got 256 of its new “Grace Hopper Superchips” for an exaflop of AI performance — and contains 150 miles of optical fiber and over 2,000 fans. Google, Meta, and Microsoft will be “evaluating” it, though not necessarily purchasing kits: they tend to build their own compute clouds, even if they contain loads of Nvidia GPUs.
Nvidia says it’s 2.2x faster than a last-gen DGX H100 cluster at GPT3 training, as one example.
- Arm Cortex Immortalis 2023.
Say it with me: Arm doesn’t sell chips. But it does design CPU and GPU cores its licensees can optionally use. What’s new?
Cortex-X4 (big CPU): 15% more perf, 40% less power
Cortex-A720 and A520: 20% and 22% more efficient, respectively
Immortalis-G720 (the GPU): 15% more perf, 40% lighter on memory bandwidth
Last time, they only came together in the MediaTek Dimensity 9200, which arrived in the Vivo X90, X90 Pro and Oppo Find X6.
At Computex 2023 in Taipei, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang just gave the world a glimpse of what it might be like when gaming and AI collide — with a graphically breathtaking rendering of a cyberpunk ramen shop where you can actually talk to the proprietor.Read Article >
Seriously, instead of clicking on dialogue options, it imagines you could hold down a button, just say something with your own voice, and get an answer from a video game character. Nvidia’s calling it a “peek at the future of games.”
Computex, one of the biggest trade shows of the year for the laptop and PC space, begins in a couple of days. A number of companies will have big announcements, but the most anticipated event of the week is Nvidia’s keynote, which will open the show on Monday morning.Read Article >
The keynote speaker will be Nvidia’s founder and CEO Jensen Huang, who — in case you missed it — added $7 billion to his net worth a few days ago following the company’s massive Q1 earnings report.
May 25Computex is almost here.
The Taipei International Information Technology Show opens in just five days, and we’ve already got announcements rolling in. Acer’s getting the ball rolling this morning with the launch of a refreshed Swift Edge 16 (it’s high-end, AMD-powered, ultralight, OLED workstation) and Predator Triton 16 (a QHD AAA gaming rig).
Expanded tools for SpatialLabs, its glasses-free 3D technology, are also in the works. Whether these will be enough to make people actually want glasses-free 3D laptops, of course, remains to be seen.
We’ll be on the ground in Taipei next week bringing you news from all the biggest Taiwanese laptop companies (and maybe some others too).