Computex is a show of big ideas hoping to make it to market. It’s one of Asia’s most important shows because it’s the industry comes together and debates what’s going to end up inside the hardware we end up buying. Not everything we see here will end up in a shop, but covering Computex means that you can get a sense of what’s possible and what’s about to trend.
5G is closer to being useful
Computex has embraced the industries hottest buzzwords so 5G, IoT and AI were everywhere. But, because this is a show where fundamental technology is released all of the chip makers had a 5G announcement. MediaTek’s new processor that supports 5G will save battery life and space and Qualcomm showed off a Lenovo notebook running the 8CX which will support 5G.
Though we saw this chip announcement back in December we are now seeing a notebook running the processor. What’s cooler is, that Qualcomm even partnered with Lenovo so we’re seeing it a device that could be on the market. Seeing a 5G notebook means that we are one step closer to a world where 5G can start to affect the way that products are designed. 5G’s speeds could enable our data to just live in the cloud and we could drop storage completely. Processors won’t need to be as powerful because you can do your compute in the cloud.
We are nowhere near a reality where we see a fundamental design shift and a change in the way that we access and handle our information. However, seeing this notebook is a solid first step in this direction.
Taiwanese Company’s embrace their IoT roots
Taiwan is an island full of component manufacturers, one of their strengths has been manufacturing the infrastructure for smart city and IoT. We love that companies like Gigabyte have embraced this part of their manufacturing. Historically, they’ve been known for motherboards and gaming components. They dabbled in notebook which they’re still pushing, but now under the brand name Aorus.
Your notebook is getting a second screen
Last year ASUS debuted the ScreenPad in their Zenbook Pro and now their entire notebook line is getting this upgrade. We’re not convinced it’s the most intuitive setup, but we love that they’ve pushed the innovation down to their entire lineup of notebooks. Even the budget VivoBook is getting the ScreenPad 2.0 putting a display in its trackpad.
ASUS also announced the ScreenPad+ which is a display under the display and above the keyboard. We found this to be very useful. Far more useful than the screen in your trackpad. It was good to break up the windows of heavy programs like Adobe Premiere.
ASUS has a legacy of trying new things. It doesn’t always work out, but we love their experimentation with this concept and think that they’re really on to something with the ScreenPad concept.
Notebooks are going to have “Real World All day battery life”
We’ve heard this a lot over the last few years, battery benchmarks aren’t based on having your wifi on, your screen brightness up or having multiple programs up and running! Intel and Qualcomm are both promoting that their next generation of notebook is going to deliver all-day battery life under real-world circumstances.
Intel’s pitch to deliver this new class of laptop, Project Athena. To get the Athena stamp of approval, notebook makers like Dell need to make laptops that hit certain criteria. These include the ability to wake up within a second, achieve 9 hours of “real-world battery life” and more. Project Athena laptops will hit the market by the end of the year, Intel says.
Qualcomm made a similar pitch. Just as its parts power 5G phones and they want to fuel the 5G laptop revolution. It says we’ll soon have laptops that are internet connected at all times and location-aware — in addition to the usual promises of svelter designs and longer battery lives.
AI is an accepted technology
One of Taiwan’s strengths is AI, Taiwan’s universities graduate a total of 10,000 computer scientists and information systems management people per year.
Many businesses lack the skills to interact with AI, but AI is all about fitting the gap between machines and humans to allow us to work together at scale. It’s been a buzzword long enough that we have use cases for how it’s applied in real-world use. We’ve seen a lot of AI products that offer narrow use cases to solve specific problems.
We love Computex for how it gives us a glimpse at the future! What do you guys think?