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The best and worst of Computex 2013

A roundup of what delighted and dismayed at the Taipei computer trade show
Fri Jun 07 2013, 12:56

OVER 130,000 VISTORS descended upon Taipei this year for Computex, Asia's biggest computer trade show and the world's second largest behind CEBIT in Germany.

the show floor was vast

Having enjoyed the delights of Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics show and then Barcelona for Mobile World Congress earlier this year, Asian hardware vendors find the Computex show in Taiwan a chance to flex their muscles, and it is a chance for European attendees to experience the diversity and cultural highlights of Southeast Asia.

As predicted, there were stacks of announcements from most of the world's biggest names in computer technology at the show, such as Acer and Asus, and a few from vendors that we'd never heard of before.

Inpressive surroundings at Computex

Here are The INQUIRER's picks of the best and worst things we saw at the Computex show in Taiwan this year, in no particular order.

The Best:

Chip innovations
Both AMD and Intel used Computex as a platform to launch their latest chips, the Richland and Haswell processors, respectively.

This is the AMD Kaveri chip

AMD's press event, where it launched the third generation APU codenamed Richland, showed off the firm's fourth generation Kaveri APU chip for the first time. Touted as "a game changer" for the PC industry, Kaveri is said to offer increased performance and power efficiency.

Intel's Haswell processor line, however, was by far the buzzword of Computex this year and the show acted as a significant launchpad due to the increased power efficiency of devices using the chip, promising to save up to 25 percent battery life improvement over the firm's Ivy Bridge processor line launched last year.

Given Haswell's focus on mobile PCs, it could be the beginning of a new era of computing that kicked off at Computex.

Taipei's MRT
No technology trade show is possible without transport to get journalists from one press launch to the next, and luckily for industry hacks at Computex, no mode of transport was more pleasurable than Taipei's Mass Rapid transit (MRT) system.

MRT used amazing little coins that dont waste paper

Not only reliable, laid back and easy to navigate around, the MRT was efficient, environmentally friendly and unique compared to any subway system that we've used before, mainly through its use of plastic coins instead of gate tickets.

For 40p, you can get to the other side of the city by purchasing a metro coin that looks a little like a Connect Four piece. Scanning it in on the way through the gates to get on the platform and inserting it in to a slot in the gates to get out of the station, we found that the paperless coin system proved an environmentally friendly and simply fun way to speed between the Computex exhibition halls.

After-show events
Computex's biggest exhibitors ensured they thanked us all for coming and viewing their products at the show this year by throwing some after-show parties, some even with high profile celebrities.

Acer threw a compyutex party and invited DJ Tiesto to come play

Acer, for example, held an exclusive event for Computex guests on the top of the Kelti tower for a Skyline concert featuring DJ Tiesto, with dancers, booze and exploding cannons of confetti, which annoyingly ended up in our drinks. AMD, on the other hand, kept it slightly more low key and invited attendees to participate in a game of Star Craft between two online gamers, but fuelled with some beef noodles with dim sum. "Don't mind if I do."

Ubiquitous birds
Another highlight was the inescapable presence of Angry Birds paraphernalia. Whether in the form of giant balloons, masks, clothes, toys or even food, Taipei was overflowing with our feathery friends. It might have been everywhere we went, but we couldn't get enough, and as a result we wasted a few bob on the arcade machines trying to win an Angry Birds watch.

Angry birds featured very highly in Taipei

Show floor entertainment
Although Computex 2013 will remain in our memories as the time when we sweated out darting from press conference to company booths in 32 degree heat, we won't forget the entertainment on the show floor, which never failed to lift our spirits.

Superman packing a powerful punch at Computex

Whether it was Superman flashing powerful GPUs, or scantily clad dancers in PVC showing off the latest in motherboards, we were always able to rely on the friendly entertainers to put a smile on our faces, especially the show girls holding the production model of Nvidia's Project Shield handheld games console.


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