Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Its that time of year...when thousands of IT buyers and tech journalists descend on Taipei for Computex - the island's annual tech fest.

This year's show is bigger than ever - with more exhibition space (at the newly opened Nankang exhibition venue) and buyers. Even so, many would-be exhibitors couldnt get venue space. Its quite spread out now, despite the frequent shuttle buses - and a bit of a nightmare for journalists to get to all the launch and company events, often held at very different venues across town.
The main focus this year is on WiMAX applications - wireless broadband internet - eco-friendly products and the big buzz is on small form or mini pc's ...which Intel has dubbed netbooks. (and come out with a new processor, the Atom for these smaller designs).

AsusTek created a sensation with its 7 inch Eee pc last year - at less than a kilo, and costing around $300. This year, its come out with 9 and 10 inch models, featuring more applications. The big thing they are stressing is a battery that can last up to 8 hours..though it does add weight to the very nicely designed notebook. Another big Taiwan and global brand, Acer, have brought out their own small form nine inch notebook - the Acer Aspire; weighing less than a kilo; it can be fitted with the Linpus Linux Lite operating system - so that users can almost instantaneously boot up and close down their notebooks. Company chairman, JT Wang, says the new sub-sized notebooks are likely to power a new growth in the pc industry. The lighter, smaller notebooks, he says could account for 20% of the total industry growth; and are appealing both for first time buyers, who want to get on the internet easily while they are travelling, and more sophisticated users who might buy it as a 2nd or 3rd computer.

Almost every notebook maker is now about to launch or in the process of launching these now small mobile devices. Which is good news for customers - as a more crowded market usually means lower prices.