I was hired by TechRadar a little more than a week ago, and one of the first things I had to do was fly out to Taiwan to cover Computex – a big ask, but one I felt I was 100% ready to tackle head on. Computing has been a hobby of mine for pretty much my whole life, so the chance to see the future of computing in person sounded great.
And, for the most part it was even better than I imagined. If you’re a PC hardware enthusiast, Computex should absolutely be on your bucket list. The amount of bizarre hardware, unique PC builds and “woah” moments is mind-blowing. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Taipei is a beautiful city.
Jet lag is real, y’all
This was the first time I had ever left the country, and I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories about how jet lag would hit me like a brick. So, when we landed in Taipei and I didn’t immediately pass out when I got off the plane, I felt invincible.
But, then a couple hours passed by and it hit me like a brick. I went from eagerly anticipating AMD’s new processors to having an insatiable need to get to my hotel room to sleep. When I was finally able to check into that hotel room I fell asleep within minutes.
A few hours later, the folks from Tom’s Hardware woke me up, and we went to one of the night markets. I felt dead when I first got there, but after eating a ton of food of questionable nutritional value, I fell in love with everything I was seeing.
Then, the next morning, Computex kicked off in earnest.
Meetings on meetings on meetings
I started Computex off by visiting MSI, and while it had some awesome gaming laptops like the GT76 Titan and GE65 Raider, the best part was the giant Lego version of its mascot, Lucky the dragon.
This thing was absolutely massive, taking up an entire corner of the lobby. We were told that MSI employees not only built it by hand at Computex, but disassembled it, transported it back to the office, and reassembled it in the lobby. It was impressive stuff, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I want one.
Then, I went to an Asus event, where it showed off the beautiful Asus ZenBook Pro Duo and the bizarre ROG Strix XG17. But, by the time that event ended, I was ready to pass out – the jet lag was still hitting me hard.
That AMD press conference
One thing you have to realize is that the rumors leading up to Computex 2019 were basically all pointing to a huge AMD showing, and it provided. AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors are here, bringing up to 12-cores and 24-threads to a mainstream audience for the first time.
Sure, they’re not the 16-core processors that the AdoredTV leaks were suggesting, but still impressive, given that Intel’s Computex desktop CPU offering is basically an overclocked Core i9-9900K.
I was a little bit disappointed that AMD Navi’s reveal was light – we’ll be waiting until E3 for more details – but at least we know its coming soon.
Nvidia and Intel had keynotes that followed, and while it’s good to know that 10nm processors are actually real, it’s not hard to see that AMD kind of won Computex. Well, AMD and that new SteelSeries Apex Pro keyboard.
The show floor(s)
After all the big press conferences were out of the way, the show floor opened up, and the weird and wonderful world of PC hardware was there for me to experience. Whether it was a treasure chest-shaped gaming PC dubbed “The Time Traveler” or RGB SSDs, there were so many amazing things at Computex.
Although, I have to admit that at first I had no idea how to navigate the show floor. Computex 2019 took place in four different buildings, and it wasn’t immediately clear which ones were worth visiting. Press registration was in one building, press conferences were in another and there were two separate buildings, each with two show floors.
It was confusing, but oddly, most of the really cool stuff was in the Nangang Exhibition Center, so after some adjustment it was easy to just browse and look at all the pretty RGB lights.
One of the things that really stuck out to me was the weird gaming chairs that Cooler Master and XPG were showing off. Cooler Master is selling its “Gaming Hub Chair” for around $5,000 (about £3,950, AU$7,270), while XPG’s offering was just for show. If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure who these chairs are marketed toward, but it’s cool to see that the Acer Predator Thronos made an impact – even if it’s still not available for purchase.
Then, there was that Asus Prime Utopia. I’ve seen hundreds of motherboards in my life, but none of them were as bizarre as this one. It’s a touchscreen equipped motherboard! I tweak my PC as much as the next person, but I never feel the need to like reach in there when it’s running to poke around at settings. But, it’s Asus’ 30th anniversary, so some futuristic prototypes are to be expected.
There are honestly so many awesome things about Computex that it’s impossible to cover all of it. And, now that I’m sitting at the airport waiting to head back to New York, I can’t wait to come back to Taipei for Computex next year.
- Check out all of TechRadar’s Computex 2019 coverage. We’re live in Taipei to bring you all the breaking computing news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from fresh laptops and desktops to powerful new components and wild overclocking demonstrations.