Computex 2018: Laptop innovators follow Razer’s lead

This year’s Computex convention in Taipei gave us a a glance into a successive year in PCs. We got a good cube of surprises, not a slightest of that was Asus’ unconventional dual-screen judgment laptop.

But when we explained many of a engaging new products to friends behind home, we constantly found myself creation comparisons to Razer. The gaming association wasn’t seen many during Computex — a participation singular to a tiny counter displaying a keyboards — yet a change was everywhere.

Coming usually as Razer is releasing a brand-new, sexier-than-ever Blade laptop, this in some ways cements a association as an innovator. But it’s also something of a problem, as Asus, ROG, MSI and some-more follow a lead, Razer is during risk of losing a innovative edge.

The many deleterious box of this came on Monday, pleasantness of a Asus-owned Republic of Gamers (ROG). It announced a ROG Phone, a handset for mobile gamers. Razer, we might recall, released a phone wise that outline late final year.

The Razer Phone’s star underline was a 120Hz modernise rate: Its shade rested roughly twice as many times per second as your Galaxy S9 or iPhone X. This creates browsing, examination and gaming smoother, such that CNET editor Sean Hollister called it a unpleasant underline to remove once you’ve had it.


But as a gaming device, it looks outclassed by a ROG Phone. It’s too early to contend definitively, yet a ROG Phone appears to be built from a belligerent adult to be a gaming device, rather than a phone that’s been tweaked for gaming.

Not usually does it have a faster processor than any Android before it, it has practical sensors on a side that radically give we shoulder buttons while personification mobile games. That creates sharpened in Fortnite significantly easier, for instance. Its apartment of accessories is also insane, like a TwinView box that turns a phone into a dual-screen device that lets we play and tide during a same time.

Razer judgment incited Asus reality

A day after it was Asus’ turn. The many headline-worthy mechanism announced was positively Project Recog, a dual-screen laptop powered by AI. But my favourite proclamation was a new ZenBook Pro line.

Asus says a ZenBook Pro’s touchpad is intelligent, a line I’d routinely hurl my eyes at. But a laptop’s touchpad indeed doubles as a 5.5-inch, 1,920×1,080-pixel display, that a association calls a ScreenPad. Imagine a shade a distance of an iPhone 8 Plus during a bottom of your laptop.

The uses of this vary. You can watch YouTube or crop amicable media on that second screen, yet a application of this is controversial since, y’know, there’s a many bigger shade above a keyboard. But Asus has a possess apartment of apps for a ScreenPad, including ones that spin it into a song actor or a numkey section, and it’ll come with support for Microsoft Office programs, where it functions like a Touch Bar in newer MacBook Pros.

asus-zenbook-pro-thumbEnlarge Image

Aloysius Low/CNET

Razer Blade gaming notebook

Here’s Razer’s try during a same underline behind in 2012.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s fun and different, yet not wholly new. Razer’s initial Blade laptop had a touchpad that also doubled as a screen, solely it was smaller and roughly all of a applications were designed around gaming. This was 6 years ago. It wasn’t quite renouned though, and was cut from successive designs.

Then, progressing this year, Razer showed a judgment pattern during CES. Called Project Linda, it was a Blade Stealth laptop with no touchpad. The thought is for we to container a Razer Phone in there, that afterwards acts as a touchpad and a second screen. Despite a impracticality of locking people down to a Razer ecosystem, a arrange of pierce usually Apple can unequivocally get divided with, it looked unequivocally cool.

We haven’t listened about any skeleton to make Project Linda real. But unfortunately for Razer, we don’t unequivocally need to, since a ZenBook Pro is fundamentally that.

Slim, slight, Stealth

The final association to take Razer’s rumble was MSI, a code famous for brutal gaming rigs. Its Computex standout? The Prestige PS42, a 14-inch ultrabook to contest with a Dell XPS laptops of a world. 

It’s thinner and lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Pro and has an 8th-gen i7 CPU and Nvidia MX150 graphics. It’s attack store shelves in Q3 of this year. We don’t know pricing, yet it’s fun to see a gaming association try a palm during an ultraslim laptop. 

The usually other gaming association to do this was of march Razer, that in 2016 launched a Blade Stealth. That operation is still alive and rocking today.


Razer’s newest Blade facilities hardly there bezels and a 120Hz display.

Sarah Tew/CNET

All these announcements follow a biggest one of final year’s Computex: Nvidia’s Max-Q design that let companies squeeze hugely absolute GPUs into Ultrabook-sized laptops. Previously, this was a explain usually a Razer Blade could make, yet Computex this year was everywhere with laptops a distance of a MacBook Pro, from a likes of MSI, Samsung and even Xiaomi, make-up GeForce graphics cards.

It’s not like Razer is out of a game. Its new Blade looks like a plain upgrade, featuring a pleasing edge-to-edge, 144Hz display. But all of a sudden, it no longer feels like it’s in a joining of a possess when it comes to innovation.

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