Anyone who's been to enough LAN parties can tell you that PC gaming and beer go together like Mr. Pibb and Red Vines--as long as you don't actually get any beer in your computer. Except, that's exactly what NVIDIA has done, with the first (we assume) ever Kegputer.
In addition to a Sandy Bridge proc and dual EVGA 580's, the Kegputer is packing an Asus motherboard and ice cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Check out our video first look at the Kegputer below:
“We have a lab in Korea that is currently working on developing a laptop with partially-transparent screen,” Samsung Electronics America's Reid Sullivan told PlusPlasticElectronics. “Soon, I imagine that all Samsung's audio-visual products will feature this technology. We want to be the first in this market.”
It appears as though transparent AMOLED displays have infatuated Samsung. It also plans to launch a see-through MP3 player christened IceTouch, which according to the report will be available in the early half of 2010. The IceTouch is likely to cost around $330. The real challenge for the consumer will be to think of a practical use for such gadgets once they cease to be a novelty.
No need to rub your eyes--it's true. The No BS Podcast has finally come back after a long Winter hiatus. The first podcast episode of 2010 is also a bittersweet one, as it marks Will's last as host of the show (though he may return occasionally as a special guest). But life goes on, and we'll be bringing other familiar staff voices to join the podcast, including Nathan and Alex. In this episode, however, we discuss CES, Google butting heads with China, and our thoughts on this year's new technology trends.
And don't worry, we haven't forgotten about Gordon's annual year-end Rant-a-thon show. We'll be posting that in the coming week!
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Maybe the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) was just being pessimistic, but whatever the reason, the organization behind CES was expecting a drop in attendance this year. They were wrong.
In 2009, 113,085 people flocked to CES. This year, that number jumped by about 7,000 attendees.
"At show close, preliminary registration figures indicate more than 120,000 industry professionals attended the 2010 International CES," the CEA said in an email.
Other stats include more than 2,500 companies showing off their wares, which is actually a decline of 2,700 from 2009, or more than half. If there's a bright spot, however, it's that there were "a record 330 new exhibitors," the CEA said.
The wired Xbox 360 controller has long been the de-facto PC gamepad, but Razer's recently announced Onza gamepad may soon replace it. We got to play with one of four prototypes at this year's CES, which was connected to an Xbox 360 running Halo 3. But Razer's first console peripheral will also work as a programmable PC gamepad. At an expected MSRP of $50, it's a little more expensive than the wired 360 controller (which is listed at $40 but sells for $30 on Amazon).
But as the following photos show, the Onza has two unique features that justifies its price.
Consumer electronics used to be simple. TV sizes would increase every few years, and image quality underwent slight improvements. Every decade or so, you’d have a new technology emerge that offered genuine improvements. VCRs emerged in the 1970s, CDs in the late 70s, DVDs in the 1990s. People had time to absorb the new technologies over years, and prices would trend downward in a predictable and steady way.
Contrast that with how the PC emerged. From the beginning, the PC industry constantly came up with new ideas and innovations. Over three decades, we witnessed huge discontinuities in the industry, driving two year upgrade cycles. From the original Commodores and Ataris, through Apple and CP/M and into the IBM PC era, the pace of change accelerated, driven by Moore’s law. Faster processor, GUIs, the Internet, audio, 3D graphics and a host of new innovations drove a rapid, seemingly nonstop upgrade cycle.
Having just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show, I’m convinced that the consumer electronics industry has taken to heart the constant upgrade cycle that’s driven the PC business – to the detriment of customers.
High-end laptops are lucky to squeeze 3 hours of run time out of a single charge, and if you're looking for ultra long battery life, your best bet is a netbook. Or is it?
Asus had on display at CES a performance-oriented laptop the company hopes will redefine the high-end genre. The UL80JT, as it's currently called, can switch back and forth between a high-end Nvidia GeForce 310 and Intel's lowly GMA graphics. Combined with a Core i7 CPU capable of re-clocking itself on a second-by-second basis and other micromanagement tricks, Asus claims users can expect up to 12 hours of run time.
Even cooler, the whole process is transparent to the user, meaning you don't have to fiddle with power settings. The laptop decides for itself when to clock the dual-core Core i7 chip up or down and when to switch between graphic chips, and while we're skeptical we'd actually see 12 hours of run time, we would expect the UL80JT to run a lot longer than a typical high end notebook.
Quick, what color comes to mind when you think of LEDs? If you said blue, you're in the majority, and there's a good reason for that. Blue LEDs happen to be the most energy efficient of the bunch, which might explain why there's not a ton of color variation in the LED world. Jason Hartlove, CEO of Nanosys, thinks that's about to change.
Hartlove was on hand at CES to talk about a type of nanotechnology that could ultimately lead to LEDs with more vivid colors and a wider range of hues, all without sacrificing energy efficiency. So how does it work?
As Hartlove explains it, the technology involves taking a blue LED and adding a phosphor material built out of nanomaterials to create warm white lights. This special coating would allow LED makers to choose from a spectrum of colors.
"We use the same process nature has to architect nanomaterials that provide greater wavelength range," Hartlove explained.
The best part about this approach is that it should be relatively cheap to implement. Companies can easily add the material to their existing process line, Hartlove says, negating the need for costly new factories or significant hardware upgrades.
Look for products using Nanosys' technology to debut this year.
Talk about a tight fit. Silverstone was at CES to show off their new line of cases (including the highly-anticipated Fortress 2 mid-tower case), but what caught our eye was their Sugo SG07 mini-ITX case. Last year's SG06 was a respectable gaming chassis, but didn't account for the massive videocards that came out in the second half of the year. The new model is built with those cards in mind, and as you can see from the photo below, snuggly houses a 12.6-inch Radeon 5970 videocard!
The SG07 also comes bundled with a Silverstone custom single-rail 600W power supply to provide ample power to a single-GPU system, and has a beefy 180mm fan on top. There's also a specially-designed ventilation area that's sectioned off on the base of the machine to funnel hot air away from the videocard without heating up the entire chassis.
But does it make sense to put the world's fastest videocard into a mini-ITX system?
One of the coolest gadgets we saw at CES was Parrot's AR.Drone. This quadricoptor (four spinning blades) can lift off and stabilize itself in the air. But its best feature is the onboard wifi antennae and two cameras that let you control it with your iPhone! A front-mounted 640x480 camera feeds live video to an iPhone app, which you can use to steer the copter, while a downward-looking 176x144 camera assists with stabilization during outdoor use.
The AR.Drone is also programmable to recognize colors and objects for auto-piloting and potential augmented reality games. Parrot didn't announce a release date or price for the AR.Drone, but we want this NOW.
We also saw another flying toy on the show floor that made us drool with envy...