PAX East 2022 |  New Gadgets 2022

PAX East 2022 | New Gadgets 2022

To say there was a lot of tech debuting at PAX East earlier this month would be putting it very lightly. Some of the largest computing hardware companies like AMD, ASUS, and Intel made up a huge portion of the floor as theyd their latest advancements in devices like computers, tablets, showcase and components. These gadgets are some of the most powerful coming to market in their categories. This strength makes them ideal for 3D rendering, video editing, and coding beyond just the gaming and streaming workloads shown off at the event. From the world’s strongest tablet to the first 3D V-Cache CPU chip, here’s what stood out from the crowd.

Intel Dragon Canyon Nuc

Intel’s compact NUC Mini PC is a highly modular computer that offers performance enough to rips through high-fidelity gaming and content creation. With this box, you can unplug your setup and move it around as you would a standard game console. Its 12th-generation i9 16-core (eight for performance and eight for efficiency) desktop processor and full-size RTX graphics card is perfect for running all types of media renders at high resolution with buttery smooth frame rates. Even while multitasking, the demo rig we saw ran surprisingly cool and silent despite minimal space between components. By doing away with the intimidating tower that can scare people toward smaller consoles, Intel has poised the Dragon Canyon Nuc to be a portable desktop workstation that travels effortlessly.

aim controller interview lead

Hunter Fenolol

You can easily slide off the case to swap out the latest PCIe generation graphics and memory components using just a handful of screws, so its lifespan is longer than that of a gaming laptop or tablet since its internals can be expanded over time. While mini, the case allows for a full-size eGPU like a 3080 and 12-series CPU. This is a best-of-both-worlds approach that blends the power and expandability of a massive dedicated desktop rig with a slim body. All RGB lighting is customizable, and the PC can fit into most entertainment centers and desk setups without standing out—perfect for swapping it between your desk and living room. The Intel NUC 12 Extreme Dragon Canyon will be available starting in May, with more configurations rolling out through the year. Pricing will range from $1,150 to $1,450 for the Intel Core i7 and up to $1,950 for the Intel Core i9.


Asus ROG Flow Z13 + ROG XG Mobile Tablet PC with eGPU

Asus’s ROG Flow Z13 is a beastly gaming rig inside the body of a lightweight tablet. As a tablet, its power is unmatched since it’s configurable up to a 14-core 12th-gen i9 CPU, 3050 Ti discrete built-in GPU, and 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM—put plainly, those are desktop-like specs packed behind a thin 13.4-inch screen. The display is in a 16:10 format that pushes 120 hertz in full HD or 4K 60-Hz at 4K. While the tablet stands up on its own, Asus includes a detachable keyboard for a two-in-one laptop experience. Think of the ROG Flow as a Microsoft Surface Pro but with way more power that grants it the ability to run the latest video games at high settings.

asus rog flow 2022

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While you can play games at decently high speeds directly, connecting it to the mobile XG external graphics card (up to a RTX 3080 or Radeon RX 6850M XT) with the proprietary Thunderbolt cable grants eight PCI lanes for 4K high-fidelity gaming with faster frames and details like ray tracing. This improved performance when docked at home and built-in 120-Hz screen make it the ultimate portable gaming solution. For the money, I would rather take the funds saved for a handheld Steam Deck and put them toward this. While obviously more expensive than Valve’s handheld, this is more versatile since it doubles as a laptop that easily slides into any backpack for work or school.

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AMD Ryzen 75800X3D

amd computer 2022

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AMD’s booth at PAX highlighted the new Ryzen 75800X3D CPU. While the glowing red lighting on the pre-build itself stood out visually, internally this CPU is the world’s first processor with a 3D V-Cache layout. By stacking the L3 cache on the CPU vertically, AMD got more space on the innovative chip, jumping from 32 MB to 96 for gains in graphical output. Frames see a boost of up to 15 percent with this technology as well as a boost to overall performance. Paired with a 6900XT, this build was one of the fastest CPUs and GPUs on the show floor with plenty of potential for future upgrades. To make use of the new CPU, however, you will need a new AM5 motherboard that houses a socket to connect the CPU. 3D V-cache can be the beginning of something huge for the computing industry if AMD plays its cards right.

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xpg ddr5 2022

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DDR5 Memory is the latest RAM standard, providing twice the bandwidth of DDR4. It’s capable of reaching up to 7,000 MHz on some 16 GB kits, with the extra speed making for faster processing. That’s especially helpful in memory-intensive flows. Since it runs on lower power and is rated at 1.1 volts versus the average 1.6 volts of DDR4, it’s less of a drain on resources in overclocked setups. DDR5 is faster, bigger, and uses less power. XPG adds some flair to this next generation of speedy RAM with RGB lighting that surrounds each card.

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BenQ Zowie XL2649K

zowie pax east 2022

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BenQ’s 240-Hz Zowie XL2649K monitors showed off ultra-smooth refresh rates to the point where we could see individual bullets leave the barrel of our video game guns. What’s normally a spray of a muzzle flash helped me lineup shots and gave us a noticeable edge on multiplayer opponents. This competitive monitor is extremely adjustable with height, free tilt, and rotation so it’s ergonomic for gaming or office tasks. It trims the fat of traditional computer monitor stands, so while its base is smaller, it remains stable and leaves plenty of room on your desk for your mouse and keyboard movements. Console owners will be happy to know that the display not only works with PC but can output 120-Hz on both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

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Modular Controllers AIM

aim controller interview

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PlayStation fans can finally stop being envious of the Xbox Elite Controller. While AIM creates custom controllers for all systems, its PlayStation 5 DualSense lineup is the most exciting thing we went hands-on with at PAX. AIM modifies the original Sony buttons, triggers, and bumpers of factory DualSense controllers with smart mechanical inputs while adding on mappable back paddles (which used to be an optional extra for PS4) for an extra layer of control. Beyond the satisfying mouse click, these buttons are much more responsive. That’s in addition to swappable analog stick lengths and grip textures. This truly custom build allows for unrivaled gameplay and ups control of character and aim movement. Even better: You can fully customize most aspects from design to features, configuring things like grip texture, button and thumb stick color, and graphic overlays.

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Gunnar Optiks

gunnar blue light test 2022

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Working or playing on screens all day strains your eyes and impacts your retinas. Gunnar Optiks eyewear fits like a glove and blocks out blue light to protect your peepers. While the yellow lenses may look a bit silly, the lineup works well at blocking 70 percent of blue light. We had the company fit us with the latest glasses in addition to their classic silhouette. They feel a lot like a pair of Ray-Ban or Oakley glasses, which means the material doesn’t apply pressure or sweat. If you need to totally block out light before bed, the 98 percent Amber Max light-blocking lens does the trick. In the image above, the blue light makes a mark on the photochromic film, while the lens prevents it from breaking through. This gear can save you from headaches.

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