Best of Computex Awards 2014
As Asia's answer to CES, this year's Computex technology showcase in Taipei was all about high-resolution, high performance and high innovation. ASUS launched two laptops that offer 4K displays while Gigabyte and MSI both showed off lightweight gaming rigs with 3200 x 1800 screens. Chip giant Intel took the wraps off its powerful new Core M processor, while tiny Taiwanese companies displayed innovative wearable devices. Of the hundreds of products introduced, these were the best in their categories.
Best Gaming Laptop: Gigabyte Aorus X3 Plus
At a show where many vendors showed systems that were thinner or lighter than previous models, Gigabyte's 13.9-inch Aorus X3 Plus stood out by providing a high-end gaming experience and a sharp 3K (3200 x 1800) display. At just 4.12 pounds, the X3 Plus weighs less than any other serious gaming notebook, but packs a heavy punch with a 2.5-GHz Core i7 processor, Nvidia GTX 870M graphics and dual SSDs that provide a transfer rate of 1,500 MBps. Throw in a set of programmable macro keys and a sleek stealth fighter-inspired chassis and you have a laptop that's light enough to carry everywhere and powerful enough that you'll want to.
Best Hybrid: ASUS Transformer Book V
The world's first 5-in-1 computer, ASUS's Transformer Book V comes with a 5-inch Android handset that docks with a Windows tablet and keyboard to serve as either an Android phone, a Windows tablet, an Android slate, or a Windows or Android laptop. Though ASUS's prior attempt at a dual-OS device ran afoul of the licensing restrictions at Google and Microsoft, the Transformer Book V ingeniously solves the problem by having the entire Android environment live on the phone, and appear in a window or full screen when docked to the tablet. With this combination of functions and environments you can fulfill all your mobile needs with just one system.
Best Laptop: ASUS ZenBook NX500
A 4K display in a thin-and-light frame? Check. A powerful Core i7 processor? Check. Good gaming performance with Nvidia GeForce 870M graphics? Check. In addition to checking all the right boxes for a mighty multimedia laptop, the ASUS ZenBook NX500 features VisualMaster technology that lets its screen display 100 percent of the NTSC color gamut. This means you'll get stunningly accurate and vibrant colors, making this one of the best notebooks all around.
Best Enabling Technology: Intel Core M
Your next tablet could be thinner than an iPad and as powerful as a desktop PC, thanks to Intel's Core M processor. Unveiled at Computex, Core M is based on the chipmaker's new 14nm production process, which provides higher performance at lower power and cooler temperatures. Because Core M works at a 60 percent lower TDP (Thermal Design Point) than previous-generation Intel chips, systems equipped with it can offer up to 40 percent longer performance without the need for a fan.
Best Tablet: Acer Iconia Tab 8
When we first saw the Acer Iconia Tab 8 on display, we thought its Zero Air Gap and IPS display was a sticker meant to look like the Android desktop, because it looks more like a vibrant painting than a tablet screen. However, the 8-inch tablet has more going for it than just a gorgeous Full HD display. The slate's quad-core, 1.86-GHz Intel Atom Z3745 provides plenty of pop, and its 0.79-pound aluminum body is extremely light and attractive.
Best Accessory: View Phone Technology PhoneStation
Forget the PlayStation. This Project Morpheus lookalike could give you the immersive multimedia experience you never expected, using just your smartphone and a $35 headset. By using a side-by-side video player or converter app that splits your device's screen into two windows showing the same image, the PhoneStation turns 2D content on your smartphone into 3D.