The world of computing and video gaming has already taken off to a whole new level in 2016 with the array of incredible developments and companies featuring at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. The likes of Samsung, Oculus Rift and Sony will no doubt create shockwaves, but who are the lesser-known companies disrupting the market? The PHA Group’s Technology & Innovation team give their top ten computing & gaming companies to keep an eye out for.
CES has been creating news headlines across the world this week with thousands of new inventions, products and plans being announced by the minute. The world’s attention has been on Las Vegas and no sector more than computing and video gaming. With all the drones, wearables and robot butlers that come out, it’s still the hardware that is turning the most heads. Some global players, as well as new startups, have this week launched an incredible collection of the very latest and greatest.
In this blog, our fifth in the CES 2016 series, we take a look at our favourite ten companies in this space:
- A top ten wouldn’t be complete with the infamous Oculus Rift. The biggest name in VR is a step closer to reality after the event as it’s final price has been announced for its release in March, $599 (£ version not confirmed as of writing). The demand around the Rift is already intense, pre-orders have begun and they predict to shift one million units this calendar year. In short, Oculus Rift is the first mover in the head-mounted VR, allowing users to fully immerse themselves in any game or activity.
- ASUS was previously seen as an inferior manufacturer, behind the 8-ball compared to the IBM and Toshiba’s of the world, but in the past few years, they’ve considerably stepped up their game. At CES they announced numerous products which make them a serious player and one to watch. Three new motherboards are due out, as well as series of laptops, desktops and variety of gaming peripherals. Our personal favourite is the ROG G752 laptop which features a 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M discrete graphics chip and G-SYNC technology.
- Lenovo, known worldwide as a producer of quality hardware, are next in the list with their imminent arrival of the Yoga 900S. This will be the headline of their launches in 2016 and boasts a pencil-thin 12.8mm build, weighing less than a kilo. It comes with a 12-inch QHD display and 10+ hour battery life. Flexibility of all products is vital and the Yoga is no different with a 360-degree hinge allowing you to flip the screen over as a Windows 10
- Razer have long been known as one of the go-to computers for true gamers and their new Blade is no different. Usually being heavy and cumbersome, they’ve changed tact to try and appeal to the wider market with their first ultrabook. Unsurprisingly, the Blade has been equipped with plenty of ammo – Intel’s latest Core i7 processors, either a 12.5-inch QHD or UHD touchscreen display and is customizable through individually backlit RGB keys, allowing the owner to change the colours and effects as they wish. Launched with a high-end price of $1,599, it might not attract the mass market but it certainly has given Razer the potential to spread their wings.
- Gaming computers are always one of the most competitive spaces and this blog is no different. Maingear’s Alpha 34, with a huge 34-inch display, is making a lot of gamers think twice on what to buy next. Previously they would shy away from all-in-ones due to a lack of power and inability to upgrade, but with their use of Nvidia for their Titan X graphics card they might not want to. With 8 GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive and its price tag of $1,999, it could well change public perceptions.
- Acer is another that was never the most glamourous tech brand but is make footprints in the Vegas sand this year. Their Aspire Switch 12 S is a fantastic new product. In short, it’s a laptop with a detachable 4K (the best available resolution currently available) tablet. It runs on Windows 10, has Intel’s RealSense 3D camera and is certainly making a play for the likes of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Apple’s iPad Pro as best in class.
- Time for another contender in the VR winner of CES, but this time from a company known a lot more for their mobile phones. HTC Vive has received high praise across the tech sector in the past few days, already being called the ‘VR you’ve always been promised’ by Digital Trends. The spec between Vive & Rift isn’t too dissimilar, both have 2160 x 1200 resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate and look frankly cumbersome, but Vive uses laser-emitting “Base Stations” to create up to a 15 x 15-foot VR world, which makes you feel like you’re anywhere but your bedroom. Reviews state that the user believes everything is real, which is obviously the dream of all VR manufacturers. The jury is still out on which will prove to be the better of the two, or could Playstation’s VR make a play? Either way, we won’t know until Vive’s launch in Q2 of 2016.
- Already mentioned in the blog but certainly worthy of their own spot is Nvidia. The creators of some of the leading visual computing technology seem to be the golden child in Sin City with some of the biggest players in tech. Not content with just being involved with video games, they’ve successfully branched out into televisions and now self-driving cars. Their insight and comments have almost created as much impact as their products. They’ve stated that the PX 2 is “150 times faster than a MacBook Pro” (which has been seriously questioned) and that, this year, only 13 million computers will be powerful enough to run VR, a huge call to action if I’ve ever heard one. Their importance in the industry will only grow and are certainly a company to keep a close eye on.
- Dell are certainly not newcomers to the computer market. Always been featured as a trusted and reliable company, but now they’re seen as a lot more. Offering exciting, cutting-edge, quality tech. Last year’s XPS 13 received great reviews from most outlets, so much so that both many consumers and business users made it their first choice. And in response to demand, at CES they announced the Latitude 7370, designed for corporate and professional use. It’s got a 13-in screen, is lightweight, fantastic battery life and all full HD – perfect for the person on the go. It might not have the bells and whistles of some of the competition but what it does, it does very
- The final company is one of the world’s leading companies, known for their incredible innovations and cutting-edge tech, and our top ten wouldn’t be right without them. Intel have long been creating the path for others to follow but this year they have launched one of their most exciting products ever. Their Real Sense technology has already been called ‘one of the most exciting things at CES’ by ABC News and it’s no surprise why. Their technology allows computers to map their entire environment in real time and react accordingly. It’s already been used by Segway for their Advanced Personal Robots to act as a “butler” and the Yuneec Typhoon H drone to avoid collisions, as well as our client XYZprinting in their Handheld 3D Scanner. This development is game-changing and although we’re not surprised by Intel leading the charge, they certainly deserve the recognition for remaining ahead of the curve in the most competitive sector out there.
Enjoyed this post? Read more of our series on CES 2016 companies to watch: