After nearly four years, the time has finally come again: we were allowed to set foot on the fairgrounds at Computex. Like everyone else, we’ve had to skip this ingredient fair for three years, but on Tuesday we once again set our foot on the “sacred grounds” of the Nangang Exibition Center for ingredient enthusiasts. And we can reassure anyone, us first, who feared the pandemic might have shrunk the stock market after such a long hiatus: Computex has just returned in its full glory this year.
We’ve already posted a helpful overview of all our news items, previews and videos. However, we can’t show everything especially the little things that snow easily. But even the biggest trends can be hard to tell apart, which is why we’re writing a largely personal review in this article.
One of the things that stands out during this show is that all the manufacturers look very closely at what they’re doing. This is reflected in what you could easily dismiss as copying behavior: nearly every manufacturer comes out with similar products. Think of the double-glazed panels that Lian Li PC-O11 caused a stir a few years ago: there is now almost no housing manufacturer that does not have a cabinet in its collection with two almost seamlessly connected glass panels. Lian Li has upped the ante this year by producing its own O11 Vision case with three glass panels, so I think we’ll see more of that in the near future.
Another example is “wireless” connected fans. This year, many manufacturers have come up with such fans that everyone seems to be copying each other’s trick. There was, of course, a pirate with iCUE LINK, but I’ve also met fans at Hyte Suites and Phanteks Hotel, among others, who are all strung together with pogo pins.
The pogo pins that many fans attach to are brass pins with feathers behind them. They are pressed against brass pads by springs for an easy and quick connection. For example, it is often used in machine printed circuit board testing.
On the last day the French company entered Wanted Along, there were also fans that could be connected together without cables. However, Mred’s CEO bragged that their fans have a unique way of connecting with each other. Where other manufacturers use “generic tools” (read: pogo pins), Mred developed his own method. They consist of using brass combs that slide into slots, somewhat similar to the way some batteries in cams or cordless drills are attached. This would provide a more robust connection and is less likely to break due to user error. Now a slightly different way of connecting those fans is interesting, but the story about the generic tools other makers apparently use, I thought gave a nicer insight into why all of these makers are now suddenly coming up with similar solutions and products.
Everything is a screen
Another development is placing displays on nearly every flat surface in a PC. Every manufacturer that manufactures all-in-one water coolers has now put information screens on those coolers, or even on the fans. Where RGB lighting used to be the norm, now it’s a display. We are also increasingly encountering small displays elsewhere: on some motherboards they are integrated into the heatsinks, and simply detaching them is an option of course. For example, Hyte had a screen on a movable arm that could be attached to the water pump. The 5 inch screen has a full soc and can display all kinds of content as widgets on the screen. The monitor is also part of Hyte’s new water cooler and Hyte’s first research assistant, the Thicc Q60). Fans: The extra thick radiator should give the cooler similar performance as the 360.
We’ll stay on Hyte for a moment, because we also have to mention the Nexus software. Like Corsair’s iCUE, the Nexus not only has to control your computer’s RGB, but you can control any third-party smart home or light with it. It’s kind of a protocol reverse engineering, since it doesn’t just follow an open standard, etc., you can control your own AliExpress LED strip with a Nexus. Of course, the Nexus also works with Hyte’s new pogo pin fans, and with RGB LED strips that you can hook between.
As we wrote in the cabinet overview, Hyte also plans to integrate a laptop screen into the Hyte 70. It will be the same screen The depositors had already hacked Y60, with some 3D printing and the necessary do-it-yourself creativity. Hyte will make a slimmer version of that, perhaps using the same 12.6-inch screen found in the ASUS ZenBook Duos. Screens 1920 x 1515 pixels It fits perfectly into the casing’s slanted piece of glass and is simply controlled via HDMI. So you can show whatever you want on this second screen.
Phanteks also showed an additional monitor for your computer, but it is still in the development stage. Unlike fixed screens from Hyte or others, you can place the screen from Phanteks anywhere. The 5-inch 1440p screen is housed in a separate housing, which you can attach anywhere using neodymium magnets. Inside your computer, but also outside. There is also an option to mount the monitor or mount it to your computer with some sort of kickstand. Pricing is not yet known but is due to be announced sometime in October.
big and small
All major companies depend on Computex. ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI booths in particular are vying to see who has the biggest, and pretty much every Taiwanese manufacturer you’ve ever heard of can be found there. But also a huge number of companies you’ve never heard of, and probably never will, can be found on Computex. Although there is no large Chinese delegation, China has apparently not been keen to provide companies with visas to travel to Taiwan, you can still marvel at the small, crazy and flashy niche manufacturers.
This is how I came across companies focused entirely on the production of cooling elements for computers, from heat pads to heating tubes and cooling pads. Or what about companies that make lipo batteries in all shapes and sizes? This way you can see how small the headphone batteries are. There are even companies that specialize in rubber: from silicone keyboards to mouse scroll wheel covers. One such company is aptly named Great Rubber. You’ll also come across manufacturers of just about every type of connector you can think of, or companies that only make membrane switches. I also came across Risun, a manufacturer that seemed to specialize in producing small fans for SSD coolers, among other things.
Two manufacturers caught my eye: one made cases and power supplies, among other things, and the power supply was shown nicely in the components as a kind of “exploded display”. But it was the mITX box from DarkFlashTech that interested me: It looked a bit like a coffee maker, but very stylish. The whole front of it Slath Minnie It’s made of glass, but it’s bent in a circular shape to cover the sides as well. The top and bottom edges follow the curves of the glass and the grille on top neatly covers the I/O ports. With curved glass and sturdy aluminum, this housing isn’t cheap, around 300 euros, but it’s beautiful.
The second notable company on this list is Well Buying Industrial. This makes buttons of all shapes and sizes, but specializes in buttons with lights or screens behind them. For example, Well Buying has some sort of streaming kit or similar abbreviated desk gadgets, but also large rotary encoders with a circular display in the handle. There was also a sort of stream with a 15-button LCD and rotary encoder for display, with a Raspberry Pi to control everything. It looked like a prototype or rather kind of Frankenstein’s version of “Hotkey Module”, type MD005along with Rotary push switch RS009A.
It has also been shown that Computex is gradually becoming more sustainable. Of course, the plastic is collected separately, but I mean the companies that are making their packaging more sustainable. For example, there was a company making new PET packaging, like plastic soft drink bottles, with various proportions of recycled plastic, like bubble wrap. The more recycled plastic is used, the less transparent plastic. But the use of PET can also be made more sustainable; After all, this plastic is completely reusable.
another plant, VikroundAcoustic damping panels are made from recycled plastic that is ground and processed into a type of cardboard or felt-like material. This material is reminiscent of Dutch PET hair Answer: poetry, which also manufactures acoustic panels and rockets. VicRound’s paintings are said to be for sale in various forms such as “Acoustic Chamber” and “Acoustic Wall Puzzle”.
We have already partially discussed another trend in terms of sustainability with housing. Cooler Master and InWin’s “flat pack” saves an enormous amount of packaging materials and transportation costs. The latter may not necessarily look green, but more product in a sea container or in a truck naturally means fewer emissions per product. However, many cabinets are still sold assembled, especially the glass-panel variants. I have spoken to several manufacturers about using Styrofoam for such cabinets, and several manufacturers have indicated that they are looking at whether Styrofoam can be substituted for pressed cardboard for cheaper and less fragile cabinets. For more expensive cabinets with a lot of glass, this won’t provide enough protection, but open cell foam can be a slightly more environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene foam.
Computex is back as usual, but with a new look, not least because so many robots were roaming the hall. They had to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection by constantly sterilizing the air with ultraviolet light. This robot was developed by MSI and listens to the nickname AMR-AI-PJ-UVGI Robot. Other robots, including this one from MSI, have shown how soon you won’t have to put the plug in your car yourself, but that doesn’t seem very relevant to the consumer. Perhaps we will be greeted by robots at Computex in the future and there will be more advanced models walking around. Until then, all the hardware on display and interesting conversations with manufacturers are enough for me. In other words: See you next year, Computex!
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