CES 2011: What's New in PC Components

CES 2011: Whats New in PC Components - PCWorld

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) isn't just all tablet, cameras, and laptops; there's plenty of news for the PC component geek, too, ranging from tiny flash drives that pack a lot of heat to the hand-held gaming console. If you're a speed fiend, CES has something for you too, like the World's first DDR4 RAM. There are a ton of other components at CES 2011 that could make your life and home seem more like the future, so sit back and try to resist the urge to get out that credit card.


The Razer Switchblade is a 7-inch capacitative multitouch computer of sorts that is a littler smaller than a netbook but a lot more powerful. It features a programmable keyboard. It also features an as-yet unreleased Intel Atom processor, and runs Windows 7 with a custom Razer user interface overlay. It also comes with a 128GB SSD, Wi-Fi, 3G, and more. The Switchblade is still a prototype but they hinted that it may be priced in the netbook range.


Microsoft announced that it plans to support System-on-a-Chip architectures in its next version of Windows, hinting a the tablet market. Although this doesn't mean a lot right now, it could mean some changes to future versions of Windows. SoC architecture can allow a small system--like a tablet--run faster and more efficiently than other architectures because there is typically less lag time between components. Microsoft is working with NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm on this project.

Another popular item at CES this year are the Intel's new Sandy Bridge CPUs. Our exclusive testing shows that, well, they're fast. Asus has revealed that it has updated motherboards and laptops that fully support the new Intel chips. Asus says that their P8P67 and P8H67 series motherboards, and the laptops in the G, K, N, and VX7 series will be able to support the Sandy Bridge CPUs. According to Asus, the new processors will allow laptops to handle eight-way multitasking.

Also new at CES are AMD's Fusion processors, which are finally shipping after years of demonstrations. These processors include an on-board graphics chipsets, and are geared toward low-end laptops and netbooks, and small desktops.


CES is booming this year with new sorts of speedy memory and storage devices to fill your needs. This year Samsung introduced the World's first DDR4 RAM. Many people are still stuck using DDR2, so this is quite the achievement. Samsung's DDR4 memory modules feature 30-nanometer chips that run at more than twice the speed of current DDR3 modules, and also use less power. The DDR4 module can achieve a data throughput of 2.133Gbps, and the company says that it could eventually reach speeds of 4Gbps.


If you're looking for a lot of punch for a little bowl, then Lexar has the package for you: The Echo MX, about the size of a standard flash drive, and the ZX, so tiny that you might lose it, both feature up to 128GB memory. The MC offers read speeds between 28MB/s and 32MB/s and write speeds ranging from 10MB/s to 17MB/s. The ZX features 28MB/s read and between 10MB/s and 15MB/s write.

If 128GB flash isn't enough for you, then you can pick up a Victorinox Secure SSD 256GB USB flash drive. It comes in the form of a Swiss Army knife and features what the company calls the World's smallest solid-state drive. It supports double the read speed and triple the write speed of other fast USB drives, and secure data encryption.

And if 256GB storage still isn't enough for you, you might need Rocstor's 750GB HDD 3.0 hard drive. Rocstor's new USB 3.0 hard drives feature either a 64GB SSD or up to 750GB of storage using a traditional hard drive.


Meanwhile, Bigfoot Networks announced its new Killer E2100 networking card. Designed with gamers in mind, Bigfoot Networks says its new card will let you control bandwidth on a per-applications basis, among other features. Expect more information on the Killer E2100 later this year.


We also saw some PC cases at CES. One of the most notable was massive Zalmann GS 1200, which looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie--only with cooler LEDs. This bad boy features four fans, seven (!) hard drive bays, four easy-to-access USB ports at the top, eSATA support, and support for liquid cooling. Look for it in the first half of this year.

CES 2011 offered a lot of new materials for you to finger through. GeekTech hopes that you've found a new device or component to compliment your computer or entertainment needs.

The Geekiest Gadgets of CES 2011 - PCWorld

CES 2011 saw the announcement of lots of Android tablets, gobs of 3D HDTVs, cameras galore, and smartphones coming out the wazoo. All that stuff is great, but that's not really what GeekTech is all about. No. We want the Geek. We want the weird tech, the awesome tech, the stuff that pushes the limits. And luckily for us, there was plenty on show this year in Vegas. Submitted for your approval and enjoyment, here are some of the geekiest finds from CES 2011.

Lexar's Ridiculously Tiny Flash Drive

These little guys may be small in stature, but they are huge in storage. With capacities as high as 128GB, the new Lexar flash drives are both adorable and functional. For the paranoid out there, the drives also support 128-bit AES, so your super secret files won't be out in the wild should you lose the drive.

The Ice-Cold PC Puts Its Competition on Ice

Winner of Lenovo's "What's Your Idea Of Fun?" campaign, this chilling case mod makes your PC look cool. The case is liquid acyclic, giving the illusion that the machine was left in the freezer a bit too long. Coupled with a few LEDs and presto, the PC was ready for the spotlight at CES.

Erebus Lets Overclockers Fantasize

On show at CES 2011 was iBuyPower's ridiculously awesome (or awesomely ridiculous--take your pick) Erebus desktop PC. This monster comes overclocked at 4.4GHz, and thanks to a slightly ridiculous cooling system, it can be overclocked further still. It's enough to excite any geek. We expect to get our paws on the Erebus sometime in February so look for our review of it then.

Tablet Joystick Brings Retro Gaming to Your iPad

ThinkGeek has done it again--their new Joystick-IT Arcade Stick will hopefully help iPad gamers everywhere in racking up high(er) scores. Just stick it on your iPad and play the your favorite game (though I don't think it'd be much help in Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja). Joystick not hardcore enough for you?

The Razer switchblade is an attempt to bring handheld PC gaming to the masses. It features a 7-inch screen, an as-yet-unreleased Intel Atom processor, capacitive multitouch screen, a 128GB SSD, 3G and Wi-Fi networking, and USB 3.0. That's a lot of stuff packed into such a small package. It's hard to tell if the Switchblade will catch on, but you can't fault Razer for trying.

The Keg PC. Enough Said

It's a computer that serves up beer. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

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Microsoft Debuts Avatar Kinect At CES 2011, Shows Virtual Chatrooms & More!

Well, Microsoft’s Keynote at CES 2011 brought tons of exciting news this year for us. Among other things that Steve Ballmer and his colleagues talked about at CES, the Avatar Xbox Kinect is seemingly the most interesting bit of news for us all.

Microsoft just unveiled its Avatar Kinect – an Xbox 360 feature that allows users to enact themselves as their digital avatars on the screen using the Kinect for Xbox. The technology makes use of Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect sensors to read the gestures and finer moments and replicate them on the screen.

Basically, the Avatar for Xbox Kinect allows users to hang up with friends on Avatar, join the virtual chatroom with other Kinect users over internet and do much more. It’s some awesome piece of innovation from Microsoft. Check out the description and the video after the break.

According to Microsoft :

With Avatar Kinect, a player can invite up to seven friends to join them in one of 15 imaginative virtual environments to reflect their mood and inspire their conversations or performances. Arrive or leave sessions in style with unique animations like flying in with a jet pack, or snapping fingers to vanish. Players can also add cool animated and visual effects to creatively express their thought.

The Avatar Kinect will be able to detect facial expressions, body tracking and even the raise of your eyebrows to make things even finer. Users can log into their Xbox Live account and chat with other Avatar Kinect users in a virtual chat room, from the comfort of their couch.

You can chat with others live and discuss some cool things in virtual Kinect chat rooms with variable ambience modes and live the union even if other users are in the different parts of the world. Users can also record these chatroom videos and share them over social networking sites like Facebook.

The Avatar Kinect for Xbox will be available for free to all Xbox LIVE Gold members when it’s released this Spring. So, get prepared for controller-free world of entertainment and super-duper controller-free convenience to hit your home.

This means, your Kinect will now transform your living room into something that we didn’t think would happen so soon. Perhaps, we should think that technology is growing at a faster pace that we think it is and it’s growing up to be even more cool by the day.

The Xbox has evolved from a gaming accessory to a versatile entertainment console. With Kinect for Xbox sensors, it even gets better and the world is already buying it. You see, Microsoft has sold over 50 million Xbox units worldwide since its launch and about 8 million Kinect sensors globally in just 60 days.

As of CES 2011 announcement, there are 30. million Xbox live users with new users getting added every 2 seconds. Now, that’s another bit of interesting news. Interestingly, Nefilx and Hulu Plus will also support controller-free operating using Microsoft Kinect when Microsoft pushes the a dashboard update in Spring 2011.

That’s all for now. Meanwhile, watch the following video to see Avatar Kinect in action!


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