Laptops are becoming interesting for Arm again, admits its president Tudor Brown, despite the bevy of increasingly powerful Arm-based tablet models shown at this year’s Computex. Read more

Intel’s vision of a new category of ‘Ultrabooks’ that would revolutionise the consumer PC industry has won over at least one important convert.

Speaking at a separate press conference just minutes after Intel’s keynote speech, Ray Chen, president of Taiwan’s Compal, the world’s second-biggest contract PC maker, praised the idea of Ultrabooks and said it would “ignite the next wave of laptop replacements” next year when those new models come onto the market. Read more

The new Chromebooks by Acer and Samsung may look like regular notebooks on the surface, but Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Chrome, said that the parameters for every last detail, down to the individual components, were set by Google. Read more

Critics like to say that PC makers were slow to recognise the threat from tablets and to respond with their own versions to rival Apple’s iPad.

This narrative may be the popular one, but it underestimates the challenges faced by traditional PC makers in coming up with a competitive and profitable tablet, Henry Lu, senior vice president of Micro-Star International, told the Financial Times. Read more

If consumers like iPad-like devices, and they also like smartphones, what could be even better than a Padfone?

That was the thinking at Asus, which on Monday unveiled its latest invention ahead of the Computex trade show. Read more

Last year, 23m flat-screen television sets were sold in Japan. This year, according to AU Optronics, the third biggest flat panel maker in the world, there may only be 12m unit sold.

Impact from the earthquake and tsunami? The spirit of jishuku, or self-restraint, sweeping through Japanese consumers? Neither, says Paul Peng, executive vice-president of AUO. Rather, it is the end of the Y290bn ‘eco-point‘ stimulus programme that is threatening TV demand in Japan. Read more

Well, that didn’t take long. JT Wang, Acer chairman who is now running the world’s second biggest PC company after its board ousted Gianfranco Lanci, has taken his first step in transforming the company.

Less than a week after the boardroom shakeup, Acer has a new image – literally. The company on Monday unveiled a new logo, replacing the previous version that had been in use for the past decade. Read more

Gianfranco Lanci’s departure from Acer was as harsh as it was abrupt. The (now former) chief executive was effectively told to leave after two bad quarters. Prior to that, he delivered stellar growth for six years as president and three as chief executive.

There is already talk that Mr Lanci was being made a scapegoat. Read more

If there was still any doubt that events have taken a definite turn for the worse for PC makers since the end of last year, February revenue numbers from the world’s biggest contract manufacturers should put them to rest.

Hon Hai, maker of Apple products (and also desktops for Dell), saw revenues fall by 18 per cent month-on-month. Taiwan’s Compal and Quanta, the top two contract notebook makers, saw revenues decline by 18 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, compared to January. All came in well below analysts’ expectations. Read more

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC clearly did not take Chinese New Year off. On the first day after public holidays ended, HTC announced it had made two investments that could expand its online offerings.

The first is buying a US$40m stake in OnLive, the company offering console-style games over the internet. The second is a GBP30m acquisition of Saffron Digital, a London-based mobile video specialist. Read more

Powerchip, Taiwan’s biggest D-Ram company, said on Monday it was exiting the commodity PC D-Ram market in favour of making more specialised chips used in mobile computing devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Frank Huang, chairman, said his company would wind down its business of selling PC D-Ram chips under the Powerchip brand. Instead, Powership would become a contract manufacturer of PC D-Ram chips for long-time partner Elpida of Japan, the world’s third biggest D-Ram company. Read more

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has for the first time laid out its roadmap for moving to bigger silicon discs to drive down chip manufacturing costs.

The world’s biggest chipmaker said on Thursday that it plans to have a trial production line using 18-inch wafers ready by 2013 or 2014. Full production would begin in 2015 or 2016. Read more

 Taiwan’s Asus, whose Eee PC introduced the concept of netbooks to the world, has been closely watched over the past year for any signs that tablets were hurting netbook sales.

Asus, however, has said it remain dedicated to netbooks (while also introducing its own tablets and e-readers this year) and vice-president Samson Hu on Wednesday offered a cautiously upbeat prognosis on the future of the mini-notebooks. Read more

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, and Nvidia, the graphics chipmaker, on Thursday announced they have together produced 1 billion GeForce graphics processors. An impressive milestone, but it comes at a time when winds of change are blowing through both the contract chipmaking and the graphics card industry. Read more

For a sign of how quickly touchscreens are gaining in popularity on devices ranging from smartphones and tablets to all-in-one PCs, one need look no further than the recent fortunes of Taiwan’s Wintek, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of touchscreen modules. Read more

Every time a new category of mobile device emerges, network operators have sought to grab a bigger slice of the pie by cutting out branded manufacturers and selling their own-branded gadgets. The first Android-based smartphone, for example, was manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC but was better known as the T-Mobile G1.

It was therefore only a matter of time before this dynamic was extended to tablets. Taiwan’s Vibo Telecom, a 3G operator with 1.8 million subscribers, was among the first to take that step when it launched its 7-inch, Android-based Vibo Vpad this month. Read more

Given how much consumers seem to resent donning a pair of glasses to enjoy 3D content on televisions screens, manufacturers around the world are working hard towards the day when special eyewear is no longer needed.

That day just got closer with Taiwan’s AU Optronics, one of the world’s biggest flat-panel producers, announcing on Wednesday a glasses-less, all-angle viewing 3D panels. Read more

What Acer’s clear.fi does is, unfortunately for their marketing people, not easy to explain clearly. We took a shot at doing so when Acer first announced it in May, and on Friday it was JT Wang, Acer chairman’s turn at the world’s number two PC maker’s third quarter results conference.

Clear.fi, which automatically sets up a local area network between Acer devices, is intended to make it easy for users to access their photos and videos across different Acer products. It is such a big part of Acer’s new push to add software and services to their core hardware offerings that it will be installed on every single device Acer ships starting next year. Read more

Six phone models and 20 months after they joined forces, the smartphone alliance between Asus, the Taiwanese computer maker, and Garmin, the US global positioning device company, is over – at least in its original form.

The two companies on Tuesday announced a new mode of cooperation. Instead of jointly developing Garmin Asus branded phones, Garmin will now only provide its navigation software to Asus, on an exclusive basis for the Android platform. Phones from the Taiwanese company, the world’s fifth-biggest PC maker, will from now on be Asus-branded in front, with a “Garmin Navigation” logo on the back. Read more

By Jane Rickards in Taipei

Samsung Electronics foresees an oversupply of dynamic random access memory (D-Ram) chips in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year if the PC market continues to slow, marking the latest twist in a tortuous saga of gluts and shortages. Read more