Best of Computex 2016
Computex Taipei is one of the most exciting technology trade shows we attend every year, not only because of all the big announcements, but because it takes place in a country (Taiwan) that's home to many of the world's biggest tech innovators. At this year's show, we saw a number of important product launches, from Intel's new 10-core Boradwell E processor and a VR gaming backpack to a groundbreaking robotic companion.
We also saw a number of very promising products that took an existing idea and improved upon it. For instance, the Asus ZenBook 3 offers an interesting riff on the superthin MacBook, while the company's Zenfone 3 Deluxe provides more bang for the buck than other flagship smartphones.
Here are the five best devices we saw at Computex 2016.
Best Laptop: Asus ZenBook 3
Asus' answer to the MacBook one-ups Apple's superthin laptop by packing a speedy Core i7 CPU and giant 1TB SSD into its 2-pound, 0.47-inch thick body. The ZenBook 3 also features a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello, a much deeper and snappier keyboard than the Mac, and comes in an eye-catching Royal Blue model (in addition to the Rose Gold and Quartz Gray models). Just make sure you bring an adapter for its single USB Type-C port.
Best 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 17 7000
There's no law that says a 2-in-1 needs to be 15 inches or smaller, so props to Dell for pushing boundaries with the world's first 17-inch convertible, the Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1. With its big, sturdy hinge, you get a multipurpose machine that can be a supersize tablet for family entertainment, or a big internet appliance for looking up recipes in the kitchen. And since it comes standard with all-aluminum body and vibrant full HD screen, the Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 will look good whether you are admiring its curves or watching a movie. Starting at just $899, or $999 with discrete Nvidia graphics, its price is pretty flexible, too.
Best Phone: Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe
With a Snapdragon 820 CPU, a 5.7-inch full-HD Super AMOLED, 64GB of flash storage and a whopping 6GB of RAM, the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe can go toe-to-toe with any high-end smartphone, for hundreds less. The $499 handset also features a fingerprint reader and a sharp 23-megapixel rear camera with tri-focus technology that switches among phase detection focus, laser focus and continuous focus to suit your needs. This affordable flagship looks good, too, featuring a premium all-metal body that knows how to keep its antennas hidden.
Best Gaming: MSI VR Backpack
By shoving beefy PC parts into an 11-pound backpack, MSI has created a way to experience VR the way it was meant to be — untethered. There's no wires to trip you up or get caught in your arms, it's just you, a headset and the infinite possibilities of virtual reality. And while some people may think that its 90-minute battery life is a little on the short side, I dare you to give it try, so you can see who calls it quits first: you or the backpack. If we could choose only one thing to take to back home from Computex 2016, MSI's VR backpack would be it.
Best Innovation: Asus Zenbo Robot
The closest thing to Rosie the robotic maid on the Jetsons, Asus' Zenbo is the futuristic family companion we've all been waiting for. Zenbo rolls around the house telling stories to your kids, reminding you of appointments, giving you recipe advice, taking photos for you or controlling your smartphone, all via natural language voice commands. Asus' robot really shines as a companion for elderly users, reminding them to take their medicine, helping them conduct video calls with the grandkids and alerting their families if they fall.