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The technology of Computex 2014

From wearables, to 3D printers, slim 2-in-1 laptops, and proper old-school over-powered computers, Computex 2014 held in Taiwan last week offered something for everyone.

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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Wearables

The talking point of this year's Computex was wearables. It seemed like everyone either wanted them, is armed with plans to produce them in the future, or had them available as wrist-mounted objects.

Above is the Acer Liquid Leap, which has the same functionality of many wearables at the moment: Email alerts, physical activity tracking, and music controls.

If you were looking for the next stage in wearables, maybe a smart shirt or cloud-enabled onesie, then I can only suggest you postpone your hope until next year.

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2 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Cheaper wearables

As with most items at Computex, there is always the "cheaper alternative" from China.

This wearable, which claims to tracking activity and sleep patterns, had a screen and responsiveness that could only be described as difficult.

A gentleman on the booth told ZDNet that the issues with the screen was something that was being ironed out — it clearly hasn't stopped them trying to flog version 1 to conference goers.

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3 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Intel RealSense

What a holographic display that uses a 3D camera for input control? Then Intel's RealSense camera could be just the ticket.

Despite several unsuccessful attempts to capture a 3D image on a 2D image-producing camera, the best we can offer is to inform you that it does work, has a very narrow viewing angle which would make it great for preventing others from snooping on what is open on your screen, and using the interface can make you look silly.

It's probably not going to feature the desktop of 2024, but it is an eye-catching prototype/toy implementation.

Disclosure: Chris Duckett travelled to Computex as a guest of Intel.

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4 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Asus Transformer Book Chi

Packing a 2560x1440 display, and the new chip, Asus' Transformer Book Chi is toted as the future in mobile computing.

Thinner than an iPad Air and containing more grunt, the Chi is one of the better 2-in-1 laptops available.

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5 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

When four graphics cards are barely enough

Despite the charge into mobile computing, it's nice to be able to see some proper old-school systems. This beauty contains four MSI R9 290X Lightning cards, and a completely bonkers cooling tower that reminds you why PC-based performance seeking can still be fun.

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6 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Bitcoin mining with a Core i3

Nothing reminds one quicker of where all the processing is conducted in bitcoin mining than looking at this system.

Despite packing four graphics cards, the central processing unit is a relatively puny Intel Core i3.

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7 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Underwater computing

Computing in a hazardous area, or one that has a tendency to fill with water? Then it's nice to know that even in those situations, that certain systems can carry on regardless. It also looks like it could appeal to the scuba-diving executives that demand to be servicing their email at all times.

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8 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Blast from the enterprise past

Even amongst all the consumer-focussed hardware found throughout Computex, there are certain enterprise products that look the same many, many years after they were first introduced.

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9 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

3D printing

Many booths were armed with 3D printers, no doubt for sale, but also to produce items to lure in punters.

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10 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Tiny TV tuner

This absolutely tiny TV tuner, dubbed the Pad TV Tuner, plugs into an Android device's mini-USB port and claims to support live rewinding, program guides, channel searching capabilities.

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11 of 11 Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Android TV box

If an Android-powered Apple TV look-a-like is more your thing, this system containing a quad-core chip with 1GB RAM, and using Android KitKat could service your needs.

Importantly for in countries such as Australia, VPN support was the second-highest feature noted, and supports UHD and H.265 playback.

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