If you've never tried smoked salmon cooked to perfection on a cedar plank, you should, it's delicious (Protip: use only untreated cedar if buying your own planks from the local hardware store). But would the same hold true for a juicy burger grilled on Rude Gameware's new Fierce Teflon & Steel Mouse Surface?
We don't know, but from the looks of things, it can be done. While strangely intriguing, the whole point of the Teflon surface isn't so you can cook up your steaks and burgers on a scratch resistant mousepad, but to show how easily "your mouse will glide like a hot knife through butter!"
Rude Gameware claims their latest pad is the smoothest mousing surface ever, which comes mounted on a non-slip rubberized base. And for $30, the company throws in "some extra Teflon material so you can make your own mouse skates, completely free! Aren't we just the best?"
Microsoft hasn't said anything official as of yet, but it looks like the company is planning to release a version of the Arc mouse with multitouch input. The evidence is extensive and fairly convincing. First, Microsoft has registered the domain "arctouchmouse.com", which currently redirects to Bing. Several European retailers have started listing a "Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse" on their sites. The Redmond mostly software company was also known to be working on multitouch mouse concepts in their research division in 2009.
If this product does exist, what can we expect from it? Windows 7 does have multitouch functionality built right in, but most consumers don't have the hardware to take advantage of it. Even if the Arc Touch is just a PC clone of the Apple Magic Mouse, it will allow PC users a new set of experiences without buying an expensive multitouch PC.
The listings we mentioned earlier are showing the Arc Mouse as selling for about $70. Assuming that is a PC Magic Mouse, would you take a chance at that price point?
Art Lebedev Studio's design team introduced the world to the Optimus Maximus, an OLED keyboard that suffered through nearly as many delays as Duke Nukem: Forever, and for a long while looked as though it was going to suffer the same never-ending fate. But give them credit for finally bringing the Maximus to market when everyone -- including us -- had written the eventual $2,400 plank off as vaporware.
The design team is back at it again, this time drumming up hype for their upcoming Optimus Popularis keyboard. Like the Maximus, this new version replaces standard keys with display-equipped ones, only not OLED this time around. Even still, Art Lebedev Studio says the keys will be full color.
They'll also sport larger displays than the Maximus, measuring 64x64 pixels compared to 48x48 pixels. The plank itself is more compact than the Maximus and doesn't come with a Numpad, but does have a special Fn key in the lower left corner that transforms the right portion of the keyboard into a virtual Numpad when needed.
In a blog post, the developers say the Popularis will ship "at the end of this year / beginning of next year for less than $1,000." Such open-ended release dates make us a bit leery, but without OLED keys, this one has a legitimate shot at shipping on time.
Good news for secret agents and anyone else who has a need to keep their data both portable and secure - Corsair has gone and doubled up the capacity of its Flash Padlock 2 USB thumb drive to 16GB.
Previously only available in 8GB, the Flash Padlock 2 sports a couple of security safeguards, including a user-defined PIN. A user's PIN can range from four to ten digits, while the data inside remains scrambled with 256-bit AES encryption. It should also be noted that the PIN is hardwired to the drive, so there's no special software to install, allowing you to unlock the drive on any USB-equipped PC, be it Windows, OS X, Linux, and even game consoles.
Corsair didn't say when the 16GB version would be available or for how much, though we'd guess it to command around $100. For reference, the 8GB version sells for around $55 street.
When StarCraft II releases to a rabid fan base who have helped make the original one of the most popular games of all time, Razer will be ready and waiting with a handful of StarCraft II themed peripherals, including a mouse (Spectre), keyboard (Marauder), and headset (Banshee).
"We are all huge StarCraft players here at Razer, so we are really excited to give gamers a first glimpse at the StarCraft II gaming peripherals," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "The peripherals were created with our newly developed APM (Actions-Per-Minute) Lighting System™ and feature a gaming-optimized design inspired by the StarCraft universe to complement the on-screen action."
Hit the jump to see what each one brings to the StarCraft universe.
Intel hasn't been in any real hurry to promote the USB 3.0 standard, instead leaving it up to hardware makers to come up with their own solutions. EVGA, perhaps best known for the company's line of graphics cards, is one of those companies ready to usher in faster USB data transfers
To help do that, EVGA today launched its EU30 PCI-E host card, which adds an additional two USB 3.0 ports to your system. It works with any available PCI-E slot, including x1, x4, x8, and x16, and once plugged in will facilitate data transfers up to 5Gbps.
The low-profile design means it will slip in nicely to your HTPC or mATX LAN box, and of course it's backwards compatible too.
The new Polaroid bears little resemblance to the clunky Polaroid cameras of days gone by, but it does look strikingly similar to a more modern model, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 7. It's not hard to figure out that there's a bit of rebranding shenanigans going on, but nevertheless, Polaroid is touting its newest camera as the beginning of the "Polaroid Movement."
"We are thrilled that today marks the return of instant. It's bigger -- and better -- than ever. The Polaroid Movement is one of that we heartfully embrace and intend to build upon by reaching the creative community and global Polaroid fans alike," said Giovanni Tomasell, Managing Director of the Summit Global Group, the exclusive worldwide licensee for Polaroid branded imaging products.
The "Movement" doesn't come cheap, however. Polaroid has priced the 300 at $90 for the camera itself, and ten-packs of instant film run $10 each.
Barnes and Noble had grand visions for its Nook ebook reader when the device first launch at the tail end of 2009, but other than an initial flurry of sales, the ebook reader hasn't been able to pluck the crown off of Amazon's market-leading Kindle. Maybe things are starting to turn around.
According to DigiTimes Research, ebook reader shipments to Barnes and Noble jumped ahead of shipment numbers to Amazon for the first time in March, indicating that demand for the Nook might finally be starting to pick up. Looking at figures from upstream suppliers, the Nook accounted for some 53 percent of ebook readers shipped to US vendors last month.
The Nook's future now looks a little brighter than it has been. B&N just recently released another firmware update -- version 1.3 -- which, among other things, purports to kick performance up a notch yet again. In addition, B&N recently struck a deal with Best Buy to carry the company's ebook reader both in the electronic chain's brick and mortar stores and website.
Intel is taking a hard-nosed approach to USB 3.0, and as a result, widespread adoption isn't expected until the very end of 2011. In Intel's absence, companies are stepping to the plate with SuperSpeed solutions of their own. One of those companies is Patriot Memory, which on Wednesday announced a family of USB 3.0 products.
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI-E Adapter (PCUSB3PCIE)
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Express Card Adapter (PCUSB3EXP)
Gauntlet 2.5-Inch SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Enclosure (PCGT25S)
Patriot's trying to cover all the bases here, and that's just fine by us. Both the desktop and notebook adapters come equipped with two USB 3.0 ports and can already be found online for around $40 shipped (Newegg). Both also include supplemental power input jacks. The Gauntlet enclosure isn't yet available, but will be soon, Patriot says.
We don't know what kind of black magic PC Treasures and Digital Works Australia are into, but whatever it is, the two companies have conjured up a battery charger that's capable of re-juicing disposable batteries. That's wicked.
It's called the ReZap Battery Engineer and it works with both rechargeable and standard batteries. In the case of the latter, the ReZap "utilizes intelligent microprocessors and software that regulate the charging process" to keep your throwaways alive for up to 10 recharges.
"Most people are surprised to learn that they can recharge standard alkaline batteries. With the ReZap Battery Engineer, not only can you recharge them, but you can do so in an entirely safe manner. The Battery Engineer is a great way to help the environment and save a great deal of money on reduced battery purchases."
The "foolproof" charger works with up to four multiple-sized batteries (AAAA, AAA, AA, C, D, 9V, and lantern batteries), so you can mix and max and not worry about the kids filling it up incorrectly.
According to PC Treasures, the ReZap is destined for the U.S. market next month and will carry an MSRP of $60.