Computex 2009: First day highlights from Asia's largest tech show

Computex Taipei is in full swing, and PC World has you covered for all the big tech news coming from the show.

  • ECS T800: A Vaio P Series Terminator?

    Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) showed off its first netbook with Google's Android operating system. The T800 has an 8.9-inch screen, Texas Instruments OMAP 3 CPU (with ARM processing cores), a small keypad and weighs less than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) despite its metallic casing.

    ECS is a contract manufacturer and will likely market it to mobile phone network operators and big PC vendors. An ECS representative said the device will likely be available in the fourth quarter for less than US$500. [[xref:|More details| ECS Android Netbook Due out in Q4 for Under $500]].

    -- Dan Nystedt

    Pic credit: [[xref:|Eee PC News|Eee PC News]] / [[xref:|Flickr|ECS T800]]
  • Bye-bye Kindle, E-Reader Screens Coming For Netbooks

    Netbook makers will soon play a larger role in the e-reader market if start-up Pixel Qi has anything to say about it. The company, founded by former One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) CTO Mary Lou Jepsen, has presented engineering samples of its first screen product at Computex.

    The first Pixel Qi product, called 3qi, is a 10.1-inch netbook screen designed to work in three modes: a black-and-white e-ink mode for reading text documents and e-books, and two color modes, designed for use indoors or in bright sunlight, that are more suitable for Web surfing and video playback.

    The screens should be in netbooks and on store shelves by the end of this year. [[xref:|Full details.|Bye-bye Kindle, E-reader Screens Coming for Netbooks]]

    -- Dan Nystedt and Martyn Williams
  • Nvidia Ion and Tegra Graphics Showcased

    Nvidia has launched a full scale assault on Intel's generally lacklustre integrated graphics. Around 20 [[xref:|Nvidia Ion|Nvidia Ion Turbocharges Intel Atom]]-based netbooks, all-in-one PCs, nettops and motherboards have been unveiled here in Taipei. Additionally, the company is also showing a handful of partner-built 'Mobile Internet Devices' that use its Tegra 'computer-on-a-chip' platform. With carrier subsidies, [[xref:|Tegra-based laptops could start as low as $99|Tegra-based Laptops Coming Later This Year]] when launched later this year. They'll face competition from similar 'Smartbooks' using Qualcomm's rival, and also ARM-based, [[xref:|Snapdragon platform|Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon-based Netbooks Today]].

    [[xref:|Full details and images.|Computex: Nvidia-based Netbooks, Desktops and MIDs Take Center Stage]]
    -- Danny Allen
  • Acer May Be First with Android Netbook

    Acer plans to launch a version of its Aspire One netbook with Google's Android mobile operating system in the third quarter of this year. The device carries the same Intel Atom microprocessor as on any Aspire One, and it sports a 10-inch screen. A similar Aspire One is currently available from Acer but it comes with Microsoft Windows XP. [[xref:|Full details.|Acer May Be First With Android Netbook]]

    -- Dan Nystedt
  • Ultra-low Voltage Laptops Draw Interest

    Intel displayed laptops powered by the CULV (consumer ultra-low voltage) chips from a half dozen PC makers on the same day it announced the Pentium SU2700, a new addition to the chip line.

    The Intel microprocessors are meant for a new class of ultra-thin laptops that are as light as a netbook but pack bigger screens and stronger computing power. Examples include Gigabyte's new CULV and Windows 7-powered [[xref:|Booktop M1305|Giga-byte Shows CULV Laptop, Netbooks With Windows 7]], pictured. Such machines could fill the gap for buyers between standard laptops, which usually cost over US$1,000, and netbooks that sell for as little as $250 but do not run complex applications well. [[xref:|Full details.|Ultra-low Voltage Laptops Draw Interest at Show]]

    -- Owen Fletcher
  • Qualcomm Shows Android Eee PC, but Asus Puts Project on Ice

    On Monday, Qualcomm showed an [[xref:|Eee PC running Android|Qualcomm Shows Eee PC Running Android OS]] as part of the company's display of new products with its Snapdragon chips inside. The 'smartbook' (as Qualcomm likes to call them) had a 10-inch display, but was thinner and lighter than current Atom/Windows XP-based Eee PCs because Snapdragon chips don't require any fans for cooling. Sounds great, right? Well, a day later, top executives from Asus have put the project on the backburner.

    The Eee PC with Android is not ready yet because the technology is "not mature," said Jonathan Tsang, vice chairman of Asustek, on the sidelines of a press conference at the show Tuesday. [[xref:|Full details.|Asustek Puts Android Netbook on Ice for Now]]

    -- Sumner Lemon
  • First Garmin-Asus Android Smartphone Due Next Year

    The Garmin-Asus joint venture plans to launch their first smartphone based on Google's Android mobile operating system no later than the first quarter of next year, executives said Tuesday in Taipei. The pairing hopes their location services make an Android smartphone even more compelling. Although it will pit Garmin GPS capabilities against Google Maps, there are different ways to use the two technologies, an Asustek representative said. Garmin GPS technology will be used in the geotagging feature for photographs made using the handset, and will provide other location-based services, he said. [[xref:|Full details.|Garmin-Asus' First Android Smartphone Due Next Year]]

    -- Dan Nystedt
  • Windows 7, Android, and New Laptop Chips from Intel, AMD and Nvidia

    Computex is Asia's premier tech tradeshow and is regarded as the second largest in the world, behind CeBIT Germany. This year was supposed to be a tad subdued thanks to a global economic slump and fears surrounding the H1N1 virus (or swine flu). Nevertheless, 100,000 attendees are browsing 4600 booths in the mammoth Taipei World Trade Center and Nangang Exhibition Hall (pictured).

    Developments surrounding Windows 7, laptop processors, and Google Android dominate news on the first day of the conference, which runs from June 2 to June 6. Read on for the latest.
  • AMD Challenges Intel with Dual-Core Neo Chip

    AMD has started shipping its dual-core Athlon Neo processors--its competition to Intel's CULV (consumer ultra-low voltage) processors. The updated Neo chip is also part of AMD's upcoming Congo platform for ultrathin laptops, which will include integrated graphics based on the Radeon 3200 graphics core.

    HP already ships a [[xref:|Pavilion dv2|Pavilion dv2]] laptop with a single-core Neo and will refresh the laptop with the new chip. The laptop will become available on Monday, while other Neo-based laptops will become available in September. [[xref:|Full details.|AMD Challenges Intel With Dual-core Neo Chip]]

    -- Agam Shah
  • Windows 7: Close Enough to Touch

    On Tuesday, Microsoft announced it will ship Windows 7 to customers worldwide on October 22. At the same time it will offer an upgrade service called the Windows Upgrade Option to current Windows users. More details about that program will be revealed during a keynote by Microsoft Corporate Vice President Steve Guggenheimer at Computex in Taipei Wednesday. A slew of touchscreen computers running beta versions of Windows 7 are on display at Computex, including MSI's AE2201 all-in-one PC (pictured). Visit our [[xref:,56/today_pc_world.html|news blog|PCW news blog]] for more details as they emerge.

    -- Elizabeth Montalbano
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