Edge of Innovation

Computex 2016 round-up: Home robots, WiGig and a VR-ready backpack PC

Dean Evans Technology Writer Twitter

Computex 2016 was a technology show of several ‘firsts’. Held in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, this year’s event attracted 1,602 exhibitors from 30 countries, showcasing everything from new Windows 2 in 1 devices to next-gen graphics cards, customisable RGB keyboards to me-too virtual reality headsets.

For example, the show saw Dell launch the world’s first 17-inch 2-in-1 device.

The daddy of the new Inspiron 7000 series is the roomy Inspiron 17 7000. Equipped with a 6th generation Intel Core processor, the 17-inch screen has a 360-degree hinge allowing you to work in laptop, tent, stand or tablet modes. While Windows Hello support will let you log in securely with just a password-less look.

Dell Inspiron 17 7000 - Computex 2016 round-up
The Dell Inspiron 17 7000 is the world’s first 17-inch 2 in 1 device.

Computex 2016 also saw Intel unveil its first 10-core CPU — the Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition. Designed for high-end gaming and content creation tasks, the new chip can deliver up to 20 threads of computing performance, allowing you to go beyond ‘multi-tasking’ to embrace ‘mega-tasking’.

ASUS, meanwhile, revealed its first home robot. Dubbed Zenbo, this Intel-powered droid can trundle around the house, recognise faces, take photos, tell your children stories, remind you of tasks or events, play music and even control smart home devices. Part Amazon Echo, part Jibo, part home security guard, the multi-talented Zenbo will cost $599 later this year.

ASUS Zenbo - Computex 2016 round-up
The ASUS Zenbo is part Jibo, part Amazon Echo, with a little Intel inside.

Remember WiGig (aka Wireless Gigabit)? Toronto-based Peraso showed off the world’s first WiGig USB Dongle at Computex 2016, which uses the 60GHz spectrum to wirelessly network at speeds up to 50 times faster than Wi-Fi. You might not know much about it now, but ABI Research Inc. estimates that over 600 million WiGig chips will be sold annually by 2018, appearing in access points, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

PCs these days come in all shapes and sizes, from lightweight laptops like the new ASUS ZenBook 3 to hulking desktops like the MSI Aegis Series Gaming PC. Zip a ZOTAC ZBOX Mini PC into a rucksack and you have ZOTAC Mobile VR, a wearable VR-ready PC. It might well be the first of its kind, although competing backpack PC systems from MSI and HP aim to provide a similar, tether-free VR experience.

Finally, Computex 2016 also hosted the HWBOT World Tour overclocking competition, the first time it has done so. HWBOT events on the World Tour feature extreme and amateur overclocking competitions, plus overclocking workshops to help enthusiasts safely improve their PC’s performance.

In another first, overclockers had the chance to get hands-on with Intel’s new 10-core, 20-thread Core i7 6950X, which sets new levels of performance with the new Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 and quad-channel memory support. Their challenge? Push the unlocked Extreme Edition processor to its limits with the help of some liquid nitrogen. The competition is ongoing.

Computex 2016 runs from May 31 to June 4.

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