Return of the king: highlights of COMEX 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: not Christmas, not your birthday, but better than those two rolled into one. That’s right: COMEX 2016 is just around the corner. Starting this week, you’ll be able to get your mitts on the hottest tech deals of the year, all in one place at the Suntec City Convention Centre. 

But what if you’re not just looking for tech deals? Rest assured -- there are plenty of other things at COMEX to pique your interest. And by that, we don’t just mean Pokestops, though there are plenty of those too. Here’s a list of things to look forward to at COMEX 2016.

Ring in the new

Pictured: something that will probably not get you very much for trade-in. Image: MacWorld AU

A large draw of COMEX every year is the ability to trade in your old tech for new, thanks to tech specialists PC Dreams. The process remains unchanged: using the handy form on PC Dreams’ page (accessible here at, fill out the specifications of your device as far as you know them, as well as any defects that you might be aware of. What’s the battery life like? Any external damage? The more info you can give them, the more accurate the quote you’ll get back. 

Once you’ve sent it in, wait for PC Dreams to get back to you.  If you’re satisfied with the quote that they give you, then charge up your device, back up your data, and drop it off at COMEX 2016 -- Suntec Convention Centre, Halls 603 and 604!

But what’s new this year is the ability to trade in not just your old laptops, tablets and desktop computers, but also monitors and television sets! Note that PC Dreams means specifically LED/LCD monitors and television sets, so those old cathode-ray tubes aren’t quite going to cut it, no matter how impressive the screen size is. 

There are catches, though: screens will only be accepted if they happen to be 18.5 inches and larger. Furthermore, PC Dreams warns that devices more than three years old will depreciate significantly -- don’t expect to get much for those. Also, if you’ve built your computer yourself, or modified it significantly, it won’t be accepted. 

Still, if your device falls outside those parameters, and you’re satisfied with PC Dreams’ quote, trade it in! You’ll receive vouchers to spend at COMEX, exclusive deals on Samsung products as well as a free 1-year subscription to Kaspersky internet security. What’s more, the first 100 customers will receive $200 off selected Lenovo laptop models. 

Give your device a new lease on life

The Samsung 750 Evo solid-state drive -- just what your old laptop needs to give it some juice. Image: Eteknix

But what if you’re still attached to that old laptop of yours, even though it may take an eternity to start up, and its cooling fans sound like a hurricane? You don’t have to trade it in. Better yet, you can take the opportunity to give it new life at COMEX 2016!

This can happen in one of two ways: you can upgrade its RAM, for a charge of $10, making multi-tasking on your device much easier. Or, better yet, you can upgrade your storage disk from a hard disk drive (HDD) to a solid-state drive (SSD) for $40, which will give you incredible performance gains in all areas of operation, from running intensive applications to retrieving files. But the most tangible benefit will be a significantly decreased boot-up time. HDDs take anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes to start up -- with an SSD, it can be as little as five seconds. It’s like getting an entirely new computer.

Of course, these prices are for the services alone -- you’ll still have to buy your own RAM or SSD. The usual prices are $80 and $30 respectively. But if you’re looking to upgrade from an HDD, PC Dreams is offering a promotion: if you purchase a Samsung 750 Evo 120GB from them for $59, your SSD installation comes free. If you’re still too attached to your old laptop to give it up, it’s definitely worth considering.

Assert your gaming dominance

Enter the GAMEX Overwatch tournament, and you too could be like Hanzo: brooding, handsome, and the winner of a shiny new Asus ROG laptop. Image: PushSquare

There’s plenty of gorgeous gaming gear on offer at COMEX 2016 -- with manufacturers like Logitech, Asus and SteelSeries putting their merchandise on offer, there’s no better time to upgrade your gaming arsenal. But what if, even at such awesome prices, you’re still unwilling to cough up the coin to pay for new gear? Then let your skills do the talking here at GAMEX -- the top teams in each tournament stand to win some seriously awesome gaming peripherals. 

The games on offer this year are among the most popular in the e-sports scene. It wouldn’t be a proper e-sports event without the inclusion of Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), two of the most-played games in the world today, and the second- and third-most-streamed game respectively on streaming service Twitch. But this year’s lineup includes a rising star in the scene -- Blizzard’s latest IP, team-based shooter Overwatch. 

Regardless of which game you play, there’s some incredible stuff up for grabs. For instance, the top team in the CS:GO tournament stands to win a SteelSeries Rival 300 mouse in the Fade colour scheme, a SteelSeries 7G mechanical keyboard, SteelSeries QcK mousepad, and a Fnatic gaming jersey. But the real star of the show this GAMEX is Overwatch. Due to this GAMEX coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) gaming peripheral line, each member of the winning Overwatch team will receive an Asus ROG GL552 gaming laptop, worth $2,298 apiece. 

So what are you waiting for? Assemble a team, get your game faces on, and make some sweet justice rain from above. 

Game on the go

The MSI GT72VR Dominator Pro, one of the laptops at COMEX 2016 to feature a desktop-caliber Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. Image: B&H Photo Video

While this may not be a promotion in itself, it’s definitely worth noting. COMEX 2016 marks the first major consumer electronics show where laptops with the new 1000-series Nvidia graphics cards will be sold. Typically, laptops have been forced to play second fiddle to full-sized desktop computers when it comes to graphical prowess. At most, one could expect 70 to 75 percent of the performance of the equivalent desktop card -- say, from a GTX 970M to a GTX 970. 

Yet, through some form of technological sorcery, Nvidia has managed to insert desktop graphics cards into laptop chassis. While this trend took off last generation, with some flagship gaming laptops boasting a full-sized GeForce GTX 980, these laptops tended to be large and bulky -- at least 17 inches. The new GTX 1060 and 1070 cards, while slightly underclocked compared to their desktop counterparts, can be fit into 14- and 15-inch frames, making for truly portable powerhouses.

Laptop manufacturers have been quick to adopt the new 1000-series cards. Local manufacturer Aftershock was among the first to feature them in their S-series, W-series, and flagship Titan laptops, the last of which can house not just one, but two GTX 1080 cards in SLI configuration. Hot on their heels are gaming giants Asus and MSI, the latter of which manages to pack a GTX 1060 in their tiny 14-inch GS43VR laptop. If you’re a gamer who absolutely needs the maximum of both power and performance, there’s no time like the present to upgrade. 

Smile for the camera

Will any of these gorgeous gals be making a return this year? Only one way to find out!... and by that we mean actually going down to COMEX 2016, in case we weren't being clear enough.

Finally, if you’re tired of hunting down deals and weaving your way through the crowd, find one of the many friendly booth babes scattered around the COMEX showroom floor. Take a selfie with them and post it on the designated Facebook post on the COMEX 2016 page, and you’ll stand to win $1000 in cash! That’s an awful lot of money for a simple button press. 

Singapore's Largest IT EXHIBITION is back this 8-11 Sep @Suntec Singapore! Trade-In, Redeem, Buy, Save, Win, Play, See, Touch, Capture & many more!!! 

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