What I learnt from my first international tech conference

I’m in New York City for the Acer Connect conference, and besides enjoying super-fast wifi, sipping Starbucks, spending my savings at Sephora and Nike, and simply walking the city, I’ve loved my first international tech event.

The event, aptly hashtagged #AcerConnected, hosted more than 200 “techies” from around the world. I was just one of two representatives for Africa. I was rather excited to hear what Acer had up their sleeve for 2014 (for more details about the new products Acer launched, see the bottom of this post).

Despite my excitement, #AcerConnected didn’t exactly start off on the right foot. While getting dressed for the event in the prescribed “casual business” wear, I was mortified to see that I had packed two similar yet very different black boots.  I had no other shoes aside from sneakers, so I tried to put my best foot forward and walk tall in uneven shoes.

If there is anything I picked up from my first international event, aside from packing the right shoes, it’s the following:

  •  If you’re a bit nervous about “fitting in”, best you arrive loaded with devices and make sure you aren’t working from a cellphone. The tech journos looking for the illustrious “first to publish” piece will have cameras and be posting in real-time from their laptops.
  •  Are journos shy? Everyone tends to stick to themselves here with very little social activity after the work is done.
  •  The wifi in New York, even for a large event with people on multiple connected devices, is unbelievably quick.
  •  Despite the dress code of “casual business”, for some this means jeans, sneakers and T-shirts. The Asian journos tend to wear suits.
  •  Tech journalism is, unsurprisingly, a field dominated by men. While there were women I’m guessing the man-woman ratio was about 4:1.
  •  Always BYO – bring your own charging cables, pen and notebook.
  •  It seems no one notices when you wear the wrong shoes

And now for the juicy stuff – here’s a sneak peek at the products Acer launched at the event. Keep in mind that launch dates and prices for South Africa haven’t been announced yet.

Aspire Switch 10 tabletAcer Aspire Switch 10

 Aspire Switch 10 tablet

The Switch 10 is primarily a 10.1-inch tablet, but can magnetically latch onto a keyboard base to become a laptop. The Switch supports a few different viewing/use modes and runs on Windows 8.1.

 Acer Aspire U5Acer Aspire U5 1

Aspire U5 all-in-one
This 23-inch folds down into a tablet mode.

Acer Aspire E-Series Capture

Aspire E series
The Aspire E range comes in 15-inch, 14-inch, and 11-inch versions. They have seven hours of battery life.

Acer C720 chromebook

Acer Chromebook (Intel Core i3)
A bold Chromebook, this potentially powerful system includes an Intel Core i3 CPU.

Acer Aspire E11 Acer Aspire V 11_pink

V11 touchscreen laptop

This is a small notebook with four colour choices, and with seven hours of battery life.

 Acer Iconia One 7

Iconia One 7

This is a lightweight tab (only 331g), and has seven hours of battery life. It comes in 10 colours too.

Acer Iconia Tab 7

Iconia Tab 7

A 7-inch tablet with a quad-core processor.


No doubt we’re big fans of the V11 – which is your favourite new Acer offering?  


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