AX:GS - The Final Picture
Posted on 18th Dec 2009 at 11:15 by Ben Hardwidge with 5 comments
It looks like you’ve had a lot of fun getting in touch with your inner journo and putting your thoughts into writing on the blogs, and we’ve also found them rewarding to read. It’s always good to be able to step outside the realms of predictability in the tech industry and get some fresh, innovative ideas, and that’s exactly what we got from you guys.
We’ll soon be able to reveal the name of the overall winner who gets to jet off to Taiwan to meet Asus’ R&D chaps, but in the meantime we’d like to share the final winning blog with you. In the fourth and final round of blogs, Skiddywinks discussed how the AX:GS experience had shown him that Asus’ staff have a genuine passion for enthusiast hardware, while also looking at what the future could hold for tech companies such as Asus.
AX:GS - The Final Picture
It’s been a long time since this whole saga started. Back when I first heard that I was going to London, I never thought for a second that the whole event would make me think as much as I have. I just thought that I’d bagged an awesome day and some hardware!
But it didn't take long for the brain to start firing up, as it was very shortly after the initial presentation started that I began thinking about things differently. At the time, it was hearing about Asus' new feature on its i7 line of motherboards; RoG Connect. This involves plugging your laptop or Eee PC into your desktop computer, equipped with the correct motherboard, and using it to overclock your rig in real-time. "Madness!" I thought. But in hindsight, while it does have a definite overkill feel to it (which I very much like), it’s not truly a new feature of the motherboard. Asus is just bringing in a greater layer of interaction between its products.
A similar feeling hit me regarding my graphics card that I was lucky to enough to receive; it’s basically perfect. Nothing more (minus a few niggles) could be done to improve on it without Asus allowing you to overclock it with your mobile phone. You might think that’s mad, but it’s officially been announced; you can use your phone's Bluetooth connection to monitor and overclock your PC. Of course, to be fair, there are more features to it than that. You can use Skype and play music, as well as sync your phone.
It’s all well and good being so committed to pushing as many features and uses as you can (one of the key ideologies that makes Asus my favourite), but surely the people who do these kinds of things will already have programs to do that sort of thing. Syncing phones and Bluetoothing music from a PC (which likely has better speakers anyway) is nothing new or revolutionary.
It’s a somewhat troubling thought; the idea that the whole industry will stagnate, and the signs are here already. But there is hope; it’s not as if this kind of cycle isn't to be expected. When rasterisation becomes obsolete, we’ll have a brand new type of graphics card, potentially with dozens of possible third party custom designs and features. As for motherboards, who knows when the next big change could come, hopefully (and probably) with Asus leading the charge. Maybe some consumer input will be the key to a new paradigm.
There is one key factor that makes me think that Asus will be a major driving force in these new innovations. Why so much blind faith, you ask? Well, this also has to do with the presentation; the engineers that did the presentation very much gave the impression that they treated enthusiast hardware as a hobby and passion, as well as a career.
At heart, they are just like you or me, so their ideas are very much in line with what the consumer wants. Not only that, but really listening to the people that keep them in business allows them to look at things in a different way from their usual perspective. This was demonstrated in the presentation, where they showed us younger overclockers how it used to be done, when overclocking involved shorting pins and messing with jumpers. I can't imagine what it must have been like.
Not only that, but they also showed us what the original designs for the OC Station from several years ago looked like. Even when I first heard about it more recently, I thought it was a neat idea that someone should have thought of sooner. Obviously, someone had. It makes me wonder what else they are planning. After all, no one knew anything about the stealth fighter F-117 until the information was released ten years afterwards.
Speaking of the OC Station, the latest version that’s been released is actually appearing to be a lot better than I was expecting. Not only does it serve the function for RoG Connect and the new Bluetooth possibilities, but it also looks cool and can become a part of your case. Be honest - the thing looks cool, no?
Put these observations together with the reputation for quality enthusiast hardware, packed full of features and bursting with power, and you can construct an image of what I see; intelligent, innovative people putting their knowledge in to what they love. Sure, nothing is perfect, and you can’t satisfy every need of every person, but Asus clearly has a lot of insight in to what people need.
So, is it too over-optimistic to have great hope for the future, or is Asus' approach not going to cut it in the future? Time will tell, I guess, but it will be interesting getting there, however it turns out.
Thank you all to anyone who has read any of my blogs, it has been a truly great experience. The event, the prize, the blogging and the new way of looking at things. It has been amazing. I may well blog more in the future, depending on the reward for completing these blogs. Who knows, if we keep our accounts I might even do the occasional article whenever I get some new Asus gear.
Until then, thank you all and I’ll hopefully be back here soon.