Computex 2014: What to expect from Taiwan

Like the rest of the world, Computex is shifting inexorably toward a more mobile take on the PC world. So how does that shape what we'll see out of Taipei this week?

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Computex is Asia's biggest IT trade show, a show traditionally focused on desktops, laptops, and the many devices and accessories that revolve around those ecosystems. But with sweeping changes in user interests and behaviours moving well beyond a short-term blip, can Computex -- and the Taiwanese manufacturers that take centre stage here -- change to stay relevant to the modern tech marketplace?

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All set for another year in Taiwan for Computex Seamus Byrne/CNET

We've been asking similar questions for years, and vendors at Computex keep trying to reignite the PC fires. Some are also shifting significantly toward mobile as a focus and so the shape of the show itself is changing. This year we'll see a greater focus than ever on mobile chipsets, mobile form factors, laptops, hybrids, and tablets. Acer has already announced a slate of new smartphones instead of its usual PC hardware and they should also give us more on their wearable Liquid Leap. There'll be no surprises if some other big names from the region also add wearables to their mix of products on show this year too.

While the big splash is expected in some of the above areas, the PC will still be here in force. Most users around the globe are still contending with less-than-stellar broadband, keeping the cloud out of reach as a core storage destination. Whether the answer for those users is a traditional PC, or an All-in-One, or a Network Attached Storage box, each year we see these machines battling to be considered the "perfect" home hub device for the widest range of users.

What is unique about Computex compared to other trade shows is a less scripted, more honest approach to revealing ideas -- many that still are not ready for market. Many big Asian companies are willing to open up and look for feedback on crazy ideas at Computex, and by doing so we get a real peek behind the curtain of various possible futures before some are sent to the scrap heap. It can be confusing and a little chaotic, but a pleasure to watch. Which concepts will make the cut?

Computex officially begins Tuesday here in Taipei, with press conferences starting Monday. Asus, Gigabyte and Dell will hold the first press events, followed by the annual Intel keynote on Tuesday, a second "mobility" event from Intel on Wednesday, and AMD and Microsoft holding court on Wednesday.

We have members of our Australia & Asia team -- Nic Healey (@dr_nic), Aloysius Low (@longadin) and myself (@seamus) -- on the ground in Taipei covering all the news as it happens at Computex. Stay tuned!

 

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