Wed, May 25, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Computex to offer the ‘best choices’

TOP OF THE LINE:Thirty-four winning entries, chosen for their functionality, market potential and innovation, will be showcased at the high-tech fair starting on May 31

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Models display some of the products that won Computex Best Choice Awards at a promotion for the high-tech trade show in Taipei yesterday. Computex will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center from May 31 to June 4.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

You have only gotten halfway into the latest best-seller, but your electronic reader is running out of power?

Fret not, just flip open the protective cover and the built-in solar module will give your e-reader a quick energy boost.

That’s the latest invention from Atomtech Energy Group (亞通能源科技), which says its solar e-reader cover can provide a battery recharge that is sufficient for 800 pages of reading after exposure to sunlight for 60 minutes.

The company, which specializes in portable solar chargers, has customized its first e-reader cover for China’s largest e-publisher, Shanda Literature Group (盛大文學).

Shanda joined the crowded e-reader market in the third quarter of last year by launching its first “Bambook” e-book, which carries a price tag of about 1,000 yuan (US$154).

The second Bambook model will hit Chinese retail stores next month, and Shanda will promote Atomtech’s solar cover as a “must-have” accessory, Atomtech sales manager Amy Chueh (闕素霞) said.

The solar cover doesn’t come cheap, though. The cost of an ordinary cover is only about 5 percent that of an e-reader, but those from Atomtech will amount to 15 to 20 percent, she said.

Atomtech is also devising solar covers for Apple Inc’s iPad 2 and Amazon.com’s Kindle. These accessories are expected to be in stores in North America during the second half of the year, she said.

The solar e-book cover from Atomtech is one of the 34 winning entries that stood out from 446 products submitted by about 170 Taiwanese and international exhibitors for the Best Choice Awards at Computex Taipei.

Now in their 10th year, the awards are presented by the Taipei Computer Association (TCA, 台北市電腦公會), a co-organizer of the Computex.

National Taiwan University is entrusted with the task of forming a panel of judges composed of academics, researchers, local and foreign media and industry experts to pick the best products based on three criteria: functionality, innovation and market potential.

In addition to the 34 winning products, a “Best Choice of the Year” product will be announced during Computex’s opening ceremony on Tuesday next week.

“Participating exhibitors at Computex introduce more than 10,000 products during the exhibition every year,” TCA secretary-general Enoch Du (杜全昌) said in a statement.

“The award aims to help overseas buyers find the most outstanding ICT [information and communications technology] products fast in a one-stop platform,” Du said.

Other winning entries include the Eee Pad Transformer TF101, a tablet PC from Asustek Computer Inc (華碩); the 2U 18-Blade Green Server for cloud computing from VIA Technologies Inc (威盛電子); the Video Memo, a card-sized voice recorder, from Gajah Technology Co (佳也科技); as well as the ZigBee Home Automation System from Netvox Technology Co (鉅康科技).

The 31st Computex Taipei, the world’s second-largest ICT trade show after Germany’s CeBIT, is setting a new record this year in scale, with booth numbers expanding 8 percent from last year to 5,200.

For the first time, all five Taipei World Trade Center exhibition halls will be used to house 1,800-plus local and foreign firms.

The trade fair is expected to attract 36,000 foreign buyers to source tech products and components from Taiwan, with an increasing number coming from emerging markets such as China, Russia, Indonesia and India.

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