One of the more fascinating things about stalking the show floor at Computex is picking up on the large scale trends happening in the industry.
Two years ago everyone had 80 plus rated power supplies, last year it was SSDs, this year smartphone and tablet accesories are all the rage.
It was one thing that kept coming up today as we met with manufacturers. Thermaltake, Coolermaster, XFX and Antec were all showing off various cases, stands and chargers for portable devices.
Some have been doing it a while, Thermaltake with its Luxe brand and Coolermaster with its now defunct Choixx brand, but the others are new players in the market.
There are some innovative designs on show, as well as some so outlandish that we doubt they'll ever actually reach production. But there were some easily identifiably trends as well - such as portable chargers.
These devices pack a battery and USB ports and are designed to allow smartphone or tablet charge while away from power. These aren't the first products of their type, but the sheer number of new products make us wonder just how many of these manufacturers will see success.
iPhone and iPad stands present a serious dilemma. We saw some really innovative options, like Thermaltake's inductive charging case, which not only adds an expanded battery but enables charging when placed on a flat dock.
But there were also a lot of cases with small stands - a lot of competition in what could already be considered a niche area.
There were also some very different moves being made as part of this push towards accessories. Antec's portable travel router for example, which is designed to take a cable based internet connection in a hotel and generate a wireless network to attach the plethora of other devices in one's arsenal.
This may sound redundant but given the often poor wireless performance in hotels having one's own network makes a lot of sense.
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Issue: 324 | February 2014
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