Tom's Computex 2008 Design Awards
The Tom’s Hardware Innovation Awards were chosen by us and we decieded we wanted to do something similar with regard to design.
However, we’re well aware that while we might think something looks really, really slick, you might think it looks like trash. This is why we decided that we’d leave the Design Awards up to you, the readers. You guys spent the week voting on a selection of products the lads picked from everything on show at Computex and here are the US and worldwide results.
1st Place (US)
The Zotac NForce 610I-ITX took first place in the US voting. The MiniITX motherboard is a fully featured Core 2 Duo platform based on the Nvidia nForce 610i with a GeForce 7050 graphics unit. Despite the fact that it’s small, it is Vista Premium ready and has all interfaces you need for an ultra-compact PC such as two SATA/300 ports and UltraATA, one x1 PCIe slot, two DDR2 DIMM sockets , four USB 2.0 ports and a soundsystem. Unfortunately, the Zotac NForce ranked in at just eight worldwide.
2nd Place (US)
In second place you have the Cannon PC EX Series HTPC. With no association to Canon, the company famous for making world-class SLR cameras, Cannon makes a name for itself with a functional yet very stylish HTPC that shies away from the traditional form of your typical run of the mill HTCP. The PC EX HTPC from Cannon offers a flush mounted 12-inch LCD that slides down (very cool, we thought) but comes CableCARD ready. It can also be equipped with a quad-core processor, up to 8GB of system memory and can be ordered with up to 6TB of storage space. The Cannon PC EC Series HTCP crossed the finish line in fifth place when it came to worldwide voting.
3rd place (US)/1st Place (Worldwide)
Ranked at number three is the Drobo Storage Robot. The Drobo is a large storage array that has a number of intelligent features that keep your data safe, and operating. Users can replace, swap and upgrade drives on the fly, even while the system is in use. And the device will allow up to two drive failures with hot swapping while there is data playback. Best of all, you’re not required to use same capacity drives. The unit will automatically ask you to upgrade the smallest drive in the system to something with higher capacity when and if it requires. Drobo comes with USB and Ethernet options and it’s probably the easiest to use and manage NAS system you can get. Drobo also took first place worldwide votes.
2nd Place (Worldwide)
While it only scored fourth place in the US, Gigabytes UMPC, the M528 came second (next to the aforementioned Drobo) worldwide. The M528 was a little different than what we’re used to when it comes to a MID. It sports a decent sized display with a slide out QWERTY keypad, which makes the whole thing more compact but just as easy to use compared to a larger device. It’s also got an Intel Atom processor (800MHz), 1 standard USB, a mini-USB client, a 3.5mm earphone-mic, a GPS RF switching connector, DC-in, a SIM card slot and a micro SD. Add to that Bluetooth via USB I/F and a 300k pixel webcam and it’s a pretty sweet deal.
3rd Place (Worldwide)
The Asus XG Station only made it to number seven in the US rankings but managed to nab third place worldwide. The XG Station was something that was originally showcased at CES 2007 so, with an official launch of May 2008 ; we’d been waiting a while for this puppy to hit the market. It houses a single or double-slot PCI-Express x16 graphics card, using a notebook’s Express Card interface to provide x1 bandwidth, which according to Asus, allows an included mainstream graphics card to exceed Intel’s 965GM performance by over 6.7 times.
So now that you have 1st 2nd and 3rd in both the US and worldwide here’s a quick review of which products you liked best :
1. ZOTAC NFORCE 610I-ITX
2. CANNON PC EX SERIES HTPC
3. DROBO STORAGE ROBOT
4. GIGABYTE UMPC M-528
5. A-DATA NOBILITY N702 USB FLASH DRIVE
6. ASUS EEE BOX
7. ASUS XG STATION
8. ABIT FUNFAB P80
9. BRANDO USB TUMBLER SPEAKER
10. PATRIOT VORTEX MEMORY COOLER
1. DROBO STORAGE ROBOT
2. GIGABYTE UMPC M 528
3. ASUS XG STATION
4. A-DATA NOBILITY N702 FLASH DRIVE
5. CANNON PC EX SERIES HTCP
6. ASUS EEE BOX
7. PATRIOT VORTEX MEMORY COOLER
8. ZOTAC NFORCE 610I-ITX
9. ABIT FUNFAB P80
10. BRANDO USB TUMBLER SPEAKER