IN PICTURES: The gizmos of Computex 2011
You can find all manner of gizmos on the Computex Show floor in Taipei, some novel and highly useful and other are gimicky and utterly useless. Here are 15 that caught our eye, passed on without judgment. Which ones would you spring for?
Tablets got all the attention at Computex but there were still a few netbooks on the show floor. Acer's Aspire One Happy netbooks, which went on sale last month for $199, run both Windows and Android so that users can choose which one they boot up. Some Happy models also also have these fancy colored touchpads.
This is a wireless mouse that you wear on your finger and operate with your thumb on a tiny touch-pad, complete with left and right mouse buttons. The Ring Mouse operates on a 2.4Ghz frequency, is sensitive up to 1000 dpi and works up to 10 meters away from the PC, according to Genius. The Taiwan company says its useful for presentations and people who just want to sit back from the screen. It's on sale now at Amazon in the US for $69.99.
Nvidia and a few other companies put out real honeycomb for press and analysts to munch on at their product launch events, presumably in a nod to Android's latest mobile OS release of the same name. This particular sample was at Microsoft's Windows 8 demo. We're not quite sure why it was at a Windows event but it was jolly tasty nonetheless.
Think of this as a digital Post-It note. The Video Memo is really a fancy fridge magnet with a 1.8-inch LCD that lets you record a video telling someone they need to buy more milk or that their dinner is in the oven. It has an SD card slot and is charged via a mini-USB cable. It will be sold for about $30, though we're not sure when.
The iSPOS all-in-one point-of-sale computer from Senor runs an embedded Windows OS and can be put just about anywhere because it's completely waterproof and dustproof, according to its maker. We don't have too many details about the product but we liked the idea of being able to order hotel room-service in the shower.
You can find all manner of gimicky products on the Computex Show floor, some novel and highly useful and some less so. Here, without judgment, are a few that caught our eye. Would you buy them? The Solar Bookcover from SolarFocus Technology goes on sale in China this month, with plans to offer a US version for the Kindle in the future. SolarFocus says it can recharge 10 per cent of an e-reader battery for each hour in sunlight. No pricing was announced.
Most of the gizmos at Computex are for consumers but a company called Chenbro was selling fancy, custom bezels for manufacturers who want to pimp out their servers. They're apparently on sale now.
The G-shot 1500 time-lapse nature camera is waterproof and comes with a plastic telescopic stand, allowing you to stick it in the garden and record a flower blooming, a spider spinning a web or whatever else you don't have the patience to sit and watch. It will shoot 1.3 megapixel images at any interval you choose until the 8GB USB stick is full, according to Genius, the Taiwan company that makes it. There was no word on price or shipping details.
This fetching Bluetooth bracelet is for women, who "usually keep their phone in their handbag so they don't hear it ring," according to the rep at vendor Gajah International who told us about it. It can vibrate or flash when the phone rings so you don't miss a call. It also acts up when it gets more than 10 meters from your phone, so you don't leave your phone somewhere. There was no word on pricing or a ship date.
Acer's G53 glasses-free 3D gaming laptop was one of the stars of the show. A tiny camera atop the 15-inch display locks onto your eyes, allowing the screen to deliver a separate image to each eye and creating an impressive 3D effect. It's due on sale in the US and Europe by year's end, priced at about 1400 Euros ($US2048), an Acer rep at the booth told us. It's powererd by a high-end Core i7 processor, a GTX 560 MX graphics card and 2GB of GDDR5 memory.
You've heard of Intel's low-cost Classmate PC, designed for school children in developing countries. This is the Classmate Tablet, to be manufactured by EliteGroup starting in October and poweerd by an Intel Cedar Trail processor, according to two reps at EliteGroup booth. It will run Windows 7 Starter Edition. No pricing was announced.
There were gadgets - and people - everywhere at COmputex 2011
MSI's robot vaccuum cleaner runs for 80 minutes on a full battery charge, and when its running out of juice it docks itself automatically for a top-up. The current model, on sale in Taiwan for about US$120, navigates by bouncing off walls. This new model, due out by around Christmas, has sensors that allow it to turn before it hits anything, and a more powerful vacuum. There was no word on pricing or plans to sell outside of Taiwan.
MSI commissioned Jeremy Scott to design this cover for one of its WindPad tablets. We're told Jeremy is a very fashionable designer. You be the judge.
Acer's Padfone got a lot of attention at Computex, but the Trinity design from Taiwan's ICE Computer goes a step further. Stick a smartphone into this dumb touch-screen and it acts like a giant smartphone. Or slide in a compact PC module with processor, memory and OS, so you can pair the screen with a wireless keyboard and turn it into a PC. This was a non-working prorotype on display. ICE hopes to partner with Apple or RIM to bring the product to market.