Perhaps no other country takes gaming as seriously as China, and no other company pushes gaming peripherals as hard as Razer, who arguably drove the once niche market into the mainstream sector with the introduction of its Boomslang mouse back in 2000. It seems only natural for the two to court each other, no matter what Paula Abdul sang about back before she, well, never mind.
For its part, Razer's making its interests known and will play suitor to Chinese gamers with the announcement of the Aurantia keyboard. Built exclusively for Chinese gamers and co-developed with XioFeng "Sky" Li from China's Team World Elite, the entry-level keyboard offers a bevy of customizable options, including:
104 programmable keys with macro capabilities
Three additional keys for 'gaming mode,' 'profile switching,' and 'mute' functions
10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
A detachable non-slip wrist rest and backlit keys round out the feature-set. Sound familiar? It should, because glossing over the spec sheet and available pics, the Aurantia bears more than a just a striking resemblance to the Razer Lycosa; save for what appears to be a slightly lowered keyset on the Lycosa, the two keyboards seem to share much of the same DNA and could pass as peripheral twins. Quick, what's the Chinese term for déjà vu?
Buying an OEM computer used to mean being tied down to proprietary parts, paying too much for too little, and having to find a place to hide an unsightly beige box so as not to offend guests. Or scare the cat. And while proprietary restrictions are still the norm rather than the exception, OEM systems continue to drop in price and look good doing it. We can now add Lenovo to the list of system builders following this trend of affordable sex appeal.
Lenovo, who feels comfortable concentrating on the Chinese market, first began having global inspirations with its IdeaPad series of notebooks released earlier this year. Sensing the grass might very well be greener on the other side, or at least pull in more green, the once sheltered OEM now looks to march into the global consumer desktop market with its newly announced IdeaCentre K210. And the timing couldn't be better. As Lenovo points out in its press release, demand for worldwide consumer PCs is up, and according to the IDC, will show a 10 percent increase from 2007 to 2011. Even still, the global market remains crowded, and Lenovo hopes a few key technologies will separate itself from the pack.
To see what interesting twists Lenovo brings to the table, including one that will have hyperchondriacs jumping for joy, you'll first have to click through the jump.
Goodbye, next-generation systems: Thermaltake’s M9 chassis is a step up from the bottom rung of simplicity, but it’s nowhere near a top-of-the-line design.
The case is structured as if Thermaltake took a plain-Jane chassis, improved a few features—like making the PCI and 5.25-inch bay holders screwless—stuck in a front-panel blue LED fan to appease gaming audiences, and called it a day. That might not sound so bad, but in actuality, the screwless PCI holders become this case’s Achilles’ heel. And the arrow?
The specs on the power-efficient desktop remain similar to the Wind laptop: a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, up to 2 GB DRAM, 160 GB hard disk storage, and WiFi 802.11b/g to keep you connected. It comes with Microsoft Windows XP. Unlike the Wind mini-laptop it has an in-built DVD drive. But just like its portable cognate from the MSI stable, it is highly power-efficient and consumes 7 times less power than other desktops.
The top-end version is priced $299 and the base model has a $199 price tag.The commercial launch of the small desktop will not happen until August and only business users will be able to lay their hands on this slender desktop in July, as MSI expects them to be set its cash registers ringing.
According to a DigiTimes report, Asus plans to expand its Eee PC line with a pair of new models, the 904 and 905. Like the current 901 ultraportable, the new models will reportedly feature the same 8.9" panel and continue to use Intel's Atom processor. But in a nod towards the 'bigger is better' axiom, look for a larger keyboard and chassis similar to the dimensions found on the Eee PC 1000, with pricing expected to stay competitive with the current crop of 900 and 901 models. DigiTimes also claims Asus is still on the fence over making changes to battery and storage capacity.
Perhaps taking a cue from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, memory maker OCZ hopes its newly announced 3GB SO-DIMM kit will prove just the right amount for notebook users looking for a cost effective upgrade. The PC2-5400 part targets Vista 32-bit users and is meant to occupy the sweet spot between not having enough memory, and overpaying for too much RAM.
Click through the jump for detailed specs, and to find out if you're better offer investing in a 4GB kit.
Are you ready? Every year, Maximum PC builds the de-facto, pants-shattering, best-system-ever. We crown this stunning achievement of manufacturing gusto the Dream Machine. This is its eleventh incarnation, and perhaps its most controversial: the equipment, the enclosure, the build--not a single part of this year's rig was without debate.
In this epic three-part series, we're going to give you a first-look at exactly what's going in this holiest of rigs. And we're also going to walk you through its actual construction--coolant leaks and all--in one of the most demanding chassis we've ever slapped a machine into.
Start your grand journey into the heart of Maximum PC lab by clicking that tiny "Read More" link, and enjoy.
Asus has laid claim to launching the world's most intelligent graphics card with the release of their ROG (Republic of Gamers) EN9600GT MATRIX/HTDI/512M. Asus goes on to say, “Much like a sci-fi movie where the protagonists can do just about anything, the ROG MATRIX Series will allow gamers to unleash the true power of graphics cards.” Can you smell the hype? I love the smell of hype in the morning.
Make the jump to hear more about the MATRIX EN9600GT video card including specs!
Nvidia is preparing to roll out full support for hardware accelerated physics on its high end graphics cards including the 9800 & 200 series. New beta drivers which enable this functionality can now be found using the advanced driver search tool. Version 177.39 installs PhysX drivers that will enable the graphics card to emulate Ageia hardware. Physics acceleration is part of Nvidia’s new CUDA initiative aimed at convincing gamers that graphics hardware is more capable and valuable then CPU’s. Games of note that currently support PhysX include Gears of War, Mass Effect, Rainbow Six Vegas, and Unreal Tournament 3. The list of supported titles is expected to grow exponentially as Nvidia rolls this feature out to older hardware in the coming months.
Hit the jump to learn how to really put PhysX to the test.
USB flash drives have registered a huge surge in popularity with their constantly plummeting prices and sundry uses. Imation has launched its new small-as-a-paperclip Atom flash drive, which the company proudly identifies as its smallest yet. But the forgetful and clumsy types are advised against purchasing the Atom which weighs less than an ounce, and only 1.5 in length and 0.5 inch in width.
Imation’s Atom flash drive comes in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB sizes with prices beginning at $18 and going up till $100. It is Vista ReadyBoost compliant.