10 of the coolest and weirdest things we saw at Computex 2019
Computex 2019 is a mecca for PC gaming enthusiasts. There are cheesy custom cases, experimental keyboards, and RGB everything everywhere, and I’ve never experienced anything like it. Held in Taipei City, it’s one of the largest computer trade shows in the world, where people from all over the world come together to celebrate the beloved tech pastime.
However, with a lot of Computex taking place off-site this year, I wasn’t able to get to the show floor until the last two days. While there are three multi-story showrooms, only one deserves a damn for PC lovers: that’s because it’s all offbeat, custom PC builds, internal components that have OLED displays for some reason, and – most importantly – gorgeous probably forever Gaming chairs that won’t hit the market. After overcoming the initial culture shock, I buckled up, fastened my seatbelt, and made an active effort not to log off again.
Well, at least until my flight back to New York takes off later tonight. Until then, it’s time to reflect on the good, bad and truly weird products I saw at the Southport Exhibition Centre during Computex 2019. Whether it’s designed for commercial use or to draw your attention to a less interesting product from the same brand, I saw a wide variety of PC gaming products this week.
1. Cooler Master $5,000 Massage Chair
At this year’s show, Cooler Master showed off a plethora of coolers and cases. Damn, it even has a lightweight FinalMouse Air58-style punch-hole gaming mouse, available in RGB and non-RGB flavors. But I’m more interested in this $5,000 massage pod for gamers, presumably the same one Notch keeps in a guest room of his $1 billion mansion. It has cup holders, armrests and leather seats and was developed in conjunction with an unspecified luxury car seat manufacturer.
2. Team Group and its liquid-cooled M.2 SSD
Computex 2019: Team Group T-Force Cardea Liquid M.2 SSD
Was naive as a kid and joked about seeing the liquid-cooled M.2 SSD trade show at Computex 2019. Teamgroup claims that its Cardea Liquid M.2 PCIe SSD is packaged in an acrylic case, which can maintain a cooler-than-air temperature. This should help maximize its PCIe 3.0 NVMe speeds.
3. PC case with Heineken beer logo
Computex 2019: Custom Heineken Gaming PCs
Before Computex 2019, I had never had a beer from a gaming PC case. I used to be a sweet summer kid, but I’ve since evolved into a higher level kid thanks to this custom Heineken-themed gaming rig that doubles as a faucet. Hats off to one of the worst imported beers, and I have to respect the enormous effort put into this intoxicating display, as the end result was an unpleasant taste in my mouth.
4. SteelSeries Apex Pro Keyboard
Computex 2019: SteelSeries Apex Pro Gaming Keyboard
Given its lucrative success in producing the best gaming headsets year after year, it’s no surprise that SteelSeries decided to go the extra mile with gaming keyboards, too. That includes the Apex Pro, a mechanical keyboard with a twist. That said, you can adjust the actuation point using its intuitive SteelSeries Engine 3 software. Since it has the same OLED display as its Rival 710 gaming mouse, you can rest easy knowing that it supports GIFs.
5. Asus’ Prime Utopia motherboards fit the bill
Computex 2019: ASUS Prime Utopia motherboards
Asus Prime Utopia is more of an idea than an actual product, with an ambitious look at the possible future of desktop motherboards. Moving away from the ATX standard we’ve been chasing for the past two decades, it moves the PCIe slots to the back and employs proprietary “Hydra Cortex” fan headers to regulate the performance of individual fans. But more importantly, it has a 7-inch OLED touchscreen on the front, just in case you want to check your temperature without a monitor attached.
6. This Coral Pink Punisher Gaming Chair
Computex 2019: Angioutron OT-81
Frank Castle would be proud. While undoubtedly a licensing nightmare, this one is sure to feature in our roundup of the best gaming chairs. It’s called OT-R81, and it was manufactured and designed by Anji Ochuang Furniture Company in Anji, Zhejiang, China. I doubt we’ll ever see it in the US, but damn it looks great next to my chibi venom wall roll.
7. 240Hz ASUS ROG XG17 Portable Monitor
Computex 2019: Asus ROG XG17 portable gaming monitor
As a colleague of mine said, “I’ll probably have to overclock my eyes for this.” Running at 240Hz, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between the Asus ROG XG17 and a 144Hz monitor of the same size, resolution, and panel type. Still, the 17.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) matte screen does look crisp and vibrant, and its 3-hour battery life makes it the perfect companion for short flights. If only I could hear its 1-watt speakers through all the Computex noise.
8. Noctua’s NF-A12x25 Powered Desk Fan
Computex 2019: Owl NF-A12x25 Desk Fan
Noctua, the maker of some of the best PC fans on the market, is known for its near-silent fans. The Noctua NH-D15 approaches the low-noise noise volume of the top liquid coolers we’ve tested and is ideal for keeping your desk space cool and cool. So this enthusiast from Austria is testing the waters to do just that. The built-in 120mm air cooler in question is kept below 40dB for a cooling experience that doesn’t distract.
9. Dual-screen Intel gaming laptop
Computex 2019: Intel Honeycomb Glacier gaming laptop
In order not to be overtaken by Asus, Intel also showed off a dual-screen laptop at Computex 2019. That said, this is a proof-of-concept for a later line of third-party gaming notebooks. In addition to the 15.6-inch Full HD screen, there is a 12.3-inch, 1920×720 resolution secondary panel that simulates the experience of a multi-monitor setup on a laptop. Once it inevitably takes on more tasteful form, it’ll likely contain most of our best gaming laptop recommendations.
10. Lian-Li vertical desk to PC case
Computex 2019: Lian Li DK-05 Chassis
This might look like an air hockey table, but I assure you it’s a table. It’s a gaming computer. The DK-05, as Lian-Li says, is positioned as a PC case that doubles as a standing desk. Or a motorized standing desk that doubles as a chassis. whichever you prefer. At $2,000, it’s more than enough to be shared between two people, and it offers a handy port selection on the side. What’s more, it has onboard lighting to expose its guts to your friends.
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