Sadly, today is the second to last day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. While we wish it didn't have to end so soon, it's been a wild and hectic week filled with product announcements too numerous for any one site to cover by itself. In light of this, we've been posting roundups of some of the highlights covered by our sister site, TechRadar, which focuses more on the consumer electronics side of the equation (think tablets and TVs rather than graphics cards and liquid cooling). The folks at TechRadar are every bit as passionate about electronics and technology as we are, so show them some love, and tell 'em Maximum PC sent you.
Windows 8 on a non-touchscreen device makes for a far-from-ideal experience, but if that is what you are stuck with then you are likely to be interested in the special touch pen accessories being showcased at the ongoing CES 2013 event by E Fun and Targus. Since we have already covered the prosaically named Targus Touch Pen, we are going to focus on the E Fun APEN in this article.
Surprise, surprise -- PCIe 3.0 was baked into AMD's 990FX chipset all along.
Our CES video coverage continues with a tour of Asus' booth, where Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung captured on camera the company's E2KM1-L Deluxe mini-ITX motherboard (shown in thumbnail image). It's a replacement for the old E45 Brazos 2.0 boards, the big difference being a soldered on dual-core Trinity CPU. But the real surprise was still to come.
Plextor's M5M SSD is one-eighth the size of a standard 2.5-inch drive.
It's been a long, long time since Plextor's bread and butter was high-quality optical drives. It's perhaps a little bit ironic that Plextor's newest product is intended for Ultrabooks, a form factor that largely shuns optical drives (only a handful of Ultrabook models ship with a CD/DVD or Blu-ray drive). Plextor finds itself focused on solid state drives (SSDs) these days, and the company's new M5M mSATA Series drives are intended to give Ultrabook owners some upgrade options.
Thinner motherboards translate into slimmer all-in-one desktops.
Sultan of Star Trek knowledge and Maximum PC Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung had an opportunity to see a pair of thin motherboards at Gigabyte's suite at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Gigabyte's GA-H77TN and GA-B75TN are built around Intel's new thin mini-ITX form factor, and as you'll see in the video, they're much slimmer than standard motherboards.
Just how good is Intel's integrated graphics on Haswell (codenamed GT3), the successor to Ivy Bridge? In due time, we'll answer that question with some numbers and a hands-on evaluation, but in the meantime, we've put together a little challenge for our readers. Maximum PC Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung captured on video a pair of systems running DiRT Showdown. One was equipped with a Haswell part running integrated GT3 graphics, and the other was rocking an Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor paired with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU. Let's see if you can tell the difference.
A Touch Pen accessory from Targus allows for touch input on non-touch panels.
Microsoft can squawk all it wants about Windows 8 being equally well suited for non-touch desktops as it is for touch-capable notebooks and tablets, but we know better. The user interface is clearly intended for users to poke and swipe, and that's great if you own a Windows 8 tablet or a fancy new touch-capable laptop PC, but it's not so groovy for existing systems. Should you scrap your system and buy a new laptop? Well, that's certainly an option, though it's not a very cost effective one. Targus demonstrated for us another solution using its Touch Pen device, which transforms ordinary laptops into touch-sensitive devices.
NZXT's monstrous Phantom 630 enclosure holds up to nine drives.
To quote Clash of the Titans, "Release the Kraken!" Actually, NZXT already did that back in October, the Kraken being a self-contained liquid cooling system and not a giant squid-like monster that eats sailors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. NZXT had its Kraken on display in its suite at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), along with its new Phantom 630 computer case. The Phantom 630 is the kind of case that will make a cable management guru froth at the mouth, and we captured it on video so that you can, too.
The Targus Touch Pen transforms your laptop into a touchscreen device.
Windows 8 begs to be touched, and though that's problematic on non-touch notebooks, you don't necessarily need a new laptop to take full advantage of Microsoft's newest operating system as it was re-imagined. Yes, you can get by just fine with a keyboard and mouse, but an intriguing compromise is a new Touch Pen device from Targus. Designed for Windows 8, the Touch Pen turns virtually any laptop into a touchscreen PC.
Lenovo shares with us its varied Windows 8 product lineup.
What a year it's been for Lenovo, the world's largest or second largest PC maker, depending on which market research firm is tallying up the numbers. Either way, Lenovo's been able to not only weather the global storm of a downed economy and slumping PC sales, but thrive it in, earning the CEO a $3 million performance bonus (which he carved up and handed out to employees). The introduction of Windows 8 allows Lenovo to start thinking outside of the box of traditional PC design, and several of those products were on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Let's take a look.