IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO cover everything from a trade show like Computex, but in this article we thought we’d try to put together some of the interesting things we saw at the show. We’ve covered most of the big companies on their own, so here we’re going to try to cover some of the companies that aren’t so familiar. Read on for some useful gadgets, interesting pieces of hardware and some more unusual bits of kit.
Let’s start with Ongen ae’s prototype case, it’s targeting those that want to build their own AV PC, just like the company’s other cases. However, this is Ongen ae’s first tower case and it’s without a doubt a one of a kind design. As you can see from the picture it has a V-shape at the bottom and the case stands on a slab of acrylic. The V-shape allows for a large 200mm fan to be fitted to the bottom of the case and provide cooling for the hard drives. The motherboard is mounted up-side-down with the PSU in the bottom of the case. There’s space for six hard drives, but only one 5.25-inch drive.
The case also has a front mounted VFD and behind the flap that hides the optical drive is also a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, a pair of audio jacks and a pair of card readers for all of the commonly used memory card formats. Ongen ae hasn’t decided if it’s going to put this case into mass production yet or not, but hopefully the company will tweak it a little bit and get it into mass production ASAP, as this is one case we wouldn’t be ashamed to call our own.
While on the subject of larger things, a company called Koegler Electronics was showing off its take on all-in-one PCs. This is a small start-up company and the designs might still need some work, but the concept is interesting. Rather than giving you a static stand, the systems from Koegler can not only be adjusted in height, but the entire thing will also pivot. The systems will be available with various mini-ITX motherboards with AMD or Intel Atom processors. The screen size is a massive 26-inch and the panels used have 1920×1200 resolution.
As far as large computers go, FIC had one of the biggest notebooks at the show with its 18.5-inch Mustang. Oddly enough for such a huge notebook, it only comes with a Core 2 processor and a GeForce GT130M graphics card.
FIC had a rather more interesting product at its booth as well, the Tycoon tablet which Microsoft was apparently showing off and promoting at its keynote which we sadly were unable to attend. The Tycoon has an Atom N455 processor and the NM10 chipset at its heart and it’s also the first tablet we’re aware of that features the Broadcom HD decoder card. This means that you can watch HD video on it, although you’d most likely want to connect it to an external display via HDMI, as the screen only offers 1024×600 resolution.
If you’re looking for some new input devices then Adomax might just have what you’re after, as the company was not only showing off an Apple Mighty mouse contender with its iTouch mouse which, just like Apple’s new mouse, has a touch sensitive surface. It also uses blue LED technology and comes with a really tiny USB receiver.
Adomax also had a prototype of its nifty HTPC keyboard on display. The entire keyboard can work as a touch surface, or when it’s in keyboard mode, the small round surface is your touch pad. It has a pair of mouse buttons located at the top, much like the trigger buttons on a joypad. Another neat product was the iTouch touchpad which is a multi-touch touch pad that also doubles up as a numerical keypad for your notebook.
For those that constantly run out of power, a company called Xpal offers a wide range of portable chargers in all shapes and sizes from pocket friendly chargers for cell phones to power bricks that charge your notebook. However, what was new at Computex was its Nintendo DS protective case combined with an extended battery that plugs into the charger port in the back of the handheld gaming device. Admittedly it adds a bit of bulk, but the entire thing felt very well made and we haven’t seen anything like it. It should launch in August, although we don’t know what the retail price will be.
You do always spot some rather bizarre concoctions at trade shows and the iPod dock tool box has to be one of the odder items on show. It has a built in amplifier and a pair of speakers as well as a clock in the lid. Plug in your iPod or iPhone and you’re ready to rock the construction site. The company will also be offering tool belts with speakers and an iPod dock and we were told this was requested by Japanese builders.
A company called Kyohaya was showing off a wide range of wall sockets with USB ports. This is a product that should become a big seller, especially as more and more mobile devices are charged via USB these days. We’re not sure you’d want a USB port next to your light switch though.
Finally we have what has to be the smallest USB 3.0 card on the show, as it’s a mini PCI Express card. We’re not sure how useful it’d be for most people, as it’s not as if you could really use it with your notebook without doing some serious surgery to it. On the other hand, there are some motherboards out there with mini PCI Express slots, so it’s not an entirely useless product.S|A
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