Taipei: Electronics firms will showcase their latest whizz-bang gadgets, many in some of the smallest computers ever, as they try to push recovery into higher gear this week at Taiwan’s Computex, the world’s No 2 computer fair.
As the line separating PCs and consumer gadgets continues to blur, Computex has come to look less like a computer show and increasingly reflect the PC industry’s diversification into consumer electronics.
The focus this year will be on ultra-portablity and wireless connectivity, as consumers demand more mobility from their computing devices.
Portability is nothing new, but has driven developers to make PCs smaller, smarter and more powerful. Next-generation gadgets try to be a jacks-of-all-trades, with features allowing users to do everything from navigating on the road with global positioning systems to surfing the Web over wireless connections.
“One of the biggest selling points this year should be all-in-one and that means media integration and ultra mobility,” said Macqarie Securities analyst Daniel Chang.
At its glitzy booth at Computex, Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. will display a line of smaller PCs, with shock-proof resistance and a camera fixed on the top of a 7-inch touch-screen.
“Our focus at Computex is on easy-to-use laptops,” said an official at the world’s biggest motherboard maker, which is also selling laptops, mobile phones and networking products under its name to win its own share of the fast-growing consumer pie.
Another theme will be “digital home” and “media centres” that link PCs, printers, set-top-boxes and flat-screen TVs in the living room, bedroom and study through a network.
Acer Inc. Taiwan’s most recognisable tech brand and the world’s No.3 PC maker, has been putting its muscle into the multimedia entertainment market. Besides LCD monitors and TVs, it will launch new laptops, featuring Dolby surround sound at the show.
Some 1,333 local and foreign companies will be crowding the halls of Taipei’s exhibition centre for the June 5-9 show, up slightly from 2006, according to organizers.
They are arriving at a time when the global technology industry is recovering slowly from last year’s slump, caused by high stockpiles due to weaker sales of computers and cellphones.