From Duplo Dragons to Giant Chassis
We saw plenty of award-worthy products here in Taipei and filed dozens of news posts from the show floor. But just like at any big trade show, there were several eye-catching, sometimes quirky things that fall outside the bounds of our usual coverage, because maybe they aren’t quite brand-new, they aren’t strictly products you will be able to buy, or they fall a bit outside of our usual coverage areas.
They're still well worth highlighting, so we’re recognizing them here where we’ve picked the 21 coolest things we saw (and didn't give awards to) at Computex 2018.
Tesoro Gram XS
If Dave Bowman from 2001 was shopping for a mechanical keyboard, he'd get Tesoro's futuristic Gram XS. The keyboard has a great stark-white aesthetic with flat keys and a super-slim profile that make it look like it belongs on Discovery One. Vibrant, customizable RGB lights shine through the flat, chiclet-style keys.
Despite its slim dimensions, the keyboard felt pretty good when I ran briefly tried typing on a model with the company's own clicky blue switches. If you like a quieter keyboard, you can get it with red switches. You can even buy it in black -- the same boring color as most keyboards -- but I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that. The Gram XS already on the market and available for $119. -- Avram Piltch
Case maker InWin is known for showing off crazy concept chassis at trade shows—and often bringing them to market. Recently, they’ve been high-tech and motorized, looking like something from a Sci-Fi effects shop. But the company’s latest, the Z-Tower, is more akin to a work of modern art.
Made of nearly 90 pounds of cast aluminum in a sweeping, almost organic-looking spiral and standing several feet tall, it was the one case at Computex 2018 that was impossible to ignore. If you think you’d like to build your next PC inside the Z-Tower, be prepared to make lots of room—in your home and your bank account. The company says the Z-Tower will likely sell for several thousand dollars. -- Matt Safford
Lian Li Desk PC (with Dual Computers)
Meet the ultimate piece of geek furniture. Lian Li has been making desks that double as PC cases for a few years, but this year's show was the first time I got to see them up close. The company showed off two upcoming models, one that holds a single computer and another with dual chambers so you can have one PC that plays games and another that streams (or a server) in the same desk. Both models have hydraulic lifts that you can adjust to turn this into a standing (or kneeling on the floor) desk.
There are USB ports and a power button on front lip. A clear glass surface lets you see all the glory of your components at all times. Most importantly, the entire top is free for your monitors, keyboard, mouse and other stuff, with no space devoted to a tower case. -- Avram Piltch
Cougar Minos One
Any time you add a screen to a device that doesn't normally have one, that's a win. Cougar's Minos One is one of two mice with color displays that I saw at Computex, with the other being Coolermaster's MM830.While the Coolermaster's pointing device has a great feel, the Minos One has a much larger panel on board.
When I saw the Minos One on the show floor, its screen was showing an animated Cougar logo, but a Cougar rep told us that, when this product launches later this year, it will be able to show real-time information like the DPI setting or in-game statistics. This wired mouse also has two custom RGB lighting zones and the ability to run at up to 4,000 dpi. -- Avram Piltch
Corsair Obsidian 1000D Case
In 2018, the hot question is no longer "how many Cores does your computer have" but "how many computers does your computer have?" There are other chassis on the market that hold two discrete systems inside, but Corsair's Obsidian 1000D is one of the biggest.
At 27 inches tall, 27 inches deep and a full 12 inches thick, the Obsidian 1000D is large enough to make your enemies quake with your fear and your frenemies light their RGBs green with envy. Ideal for gaming on one motherboard while streaming on the other, the case has room for 18 different fans and four 480mm radiators. It also provides space for up to five 3.5-inch hard drives and up to six 2.5-inch SSDs.
You can buy the Obsidian 1000D now for $499. -- Avram Piltch
Lian Li Strim RGB Cable
If your fans have RGB lights, your power supply has RGB lights, your RAM has RGB lights and even your power supply has RGB lights, why not your cables? Lian Li's upcoming Strim is a customizable RGB cable that runs from your power supply to your motherboard.
There's also a version that goes from your PSU to your graphics card. If you're going to bling out your system, you've gotta go all the way. -- Avram Piltch
Gamdias Hades P1 RGB and Nyx P2 RGB
Despite the inconvenience, most hardcore gamers prefer the accuracy and low-latency of a wired mouse to a wireless one. However, with Gamdias's Hades P1 RGB, you get the best of both worlds; a 12,000 dpi wireless mouse when you want it and, if you plug in its USB cable, a direct wired connection to your PC. More importantly, this attractive pointing device has customizable RGB lighting and a choice of side panels you can pop on or off to change your grip.
The Hades charges wirelessly using Qi technology and that's where Gamdias's other really-cool upcoming product fits in. The Nyx P2 RGB mouse pad not only has a Qi charging pad built into its upper left corner but also features an attractive ring of customizable RGB lights. Both products are due out later this year. -- Avram Piltch
Thermaltake H200 RGB Headset
We didn't have a headset award category on Tom's Hardware this year, but based on my brief experience with Thermaltake's H200, I'd award the company $40, the MSRP, of my own money to buy one. On the outside of the over-the-ear pieces, you'll find customizable 3D RGB lights that really pop.
Meanwhile, the padded ear cans felt extremely comfortable when pressing against my ears. They seemed to be just the right size: not so small they have to go in your ear and not so large that they smush your lobes. I didn't get to listen to the output, but my colleague, Sherri Smith heard some rich sound coming from the device. For me, the comfort, looks and reasonable price puts this device on my personal wish list -- Avram Piltch.
Patriot Viper V765 Keyboard
Gamers want switches that go up and down quickly so they can shoot or move faster, but many typists, including yours truly, can't live without clicky keys. Patriot's upcoming Viper V765 is one of the first keyboards to use Kaihl Box White switches, which have a lower actuation point than blue switches, but still have that snappy feel and pleasant click sound.
When I tapped the keys on the Viper V765, they felt like they could offer the perfect balance between speed and tactile feel. Typing comfort matters most, but this keyboard also has great looks, thanks to its aluminum chassis and fully-customizable RGB backlighting. It even comes with a comfy wrist rest that attaches or detaches magnetically. -- Avram Piltch
Corsair iCue Software
Every company that makes RGB peripherals or components has its own control software. However, Corsair's new iCue application takes lighting customization to the next level. iCue gives you incredibly fine grain control over each LED in your system;it lets you create different effects for every key on your keyboard or even every single light inside every single one of your case fans.
Better still, iCue can change the light show based on what happens in the game you're playing. It was really cool to see the demo system's case, keyboard and mouse all flash yellow when the main character caught fire in Far Cry 5. So far, Far Cry 5 is the only game that works with iCue, but hopefully more are coming. You can also set your lights to react to your system temperature, so they show that your CPU is "red hot." -- Avram Piltch