If you ask a gun enthusiast why he needs that M4 SOPMOD to hunt squirrel, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s not that the average squirrel in the Adirondacks is on PCP and likely to require two magazines to put down; it’s that the M4 SOPMOD is a fine and uniquely crafted weapon regardless of whether it ever sees action worthy of its true potential. So, please, don’t ask us why you’d want to spend $200 on a keyboard with up to 36 macros available across 12 programmable macro keys (recordable on the fly from the keyboard itself), customizable keyboard backlighting, and even a 320x240 color display. If you’re a gamer, understand that you’re buying more power than you may ever need, but absolutely should have.
The key action is cush and quiet (preferred by most gamers and characteristic of Logitech’s boards), and the plastic is smooth yet never slippery beneath sweaty digits. The keyboard itself includes a hardware switch to disable the Windows key, and both macro and function keys are slightly elevated for easier nailing. We appreciate the slightly larger than usual Mute button below the media control keys to the upper right, and love the barrel-style volume control (if only it were reprogrammable for use as a scrubber or dial).
First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last January, Asus has finally committed to a launch date for its upcoming Eee Keyboard. Or at least a launch month. Barring any last minute delays, expect to see the Eee Keyboard on sale in Europe and the U.S. sometime in October, the company confirmed.
Asus wasn't so forthcoming about a projected price point, though the board's specifications appear set in stone this close to launch. The Eee Keyboard will ship with a 5-inch touchscreen powered by an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, and choice between a 16GB or 32GB solid state drive (SSD). Connectivity options will include 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth, and Ultra Wideband HDMI.
While Asus isn't yet talking price, news and rumor site DigiTimes -- the same site that correctly predicted an October launch -- said earlier it would probably sell for around $400 to $500.
Despite the deluge of solid state drives (SSDs) that have inundated the market place this past year, desktop consumers still remain hesitant to adopt the pricey technology when mechanical hard drives offer more storage space for less scratch. But what about on the enterprise side?
Silicon Valley startup Pliant Technology says it can save businesses big bucks with its Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs) when combined with traditional HDDs. To prove its point, Pliant points to a typical enterprise application performing 640,000 transactions a minute on an 18-terabyte database. According to Pliant, that would normally require about 1,000 small-capacity disk drives to achieve faster access and higher performance, which would take up 40 rack-mount shelves. All told, the final bill would come to $450,000, plus 16,000 watts to run and cool the setup.
But by combing Pliant's EFDs for "hot" current data with regular hard drives for less frequently accessed data, the company says such a hybrid setup would require just six rack-mount shelves and cut costs in half. In addition, such a setup would only require roughly 2,000 watts.
Score another win for open-source fans, and Google's Android platform in particular. While earlier this year LG seemingly committed to only releasing Windows Mobile-based smartphones, the handset maker today announced its first Android device, which the company hopes will give it "a broader and more dominant position in the market."
The new LG-GW620 comes with a 3-inch full touchscreen display, along with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard to mash out those Twitter updates and emails on the go.
"The LG-GW620 will appeal to first-time smartphone customers by offering a new and different kind of user experience," said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "Our objective is to provide a wide selection of smartphones to satisfy the diverse preferences of today's consumers."
Perhaps looking to smooth things over with Microsoft, LG was also quick to point out that it will be introducing at least 13 other smartphones over the next 16 months, each one based on Windows Mobile.
As for the LG-GW620, it will be available in the fourth quarter in "select European markets." No word yet on price or U.S. availability.
Taiwan based manufacturer of network solutions, D-Link, saw its highest revenues of the year last month. In August, the firm saw consolidated revenues of $80.43 million. This is particularly good news for D-Link, as the first eight months of the year showed a 16% decrease from 2008 numbers.
The monthly figures were also 7.8% higher than August of last year. D-Link also expects revenue to continue climbing for the rest of the year. Things are also looking up for 2010. "There's a lot of space for growth, especially in the emerging markets. Brazil and China appear to be climbing out of a slowdown, and that's going to drive some of our growth," said D-Link CEO, Tony Tsao.
iBuyPower on Wednesday announced its new Paladin E-series Gaming PC built around Intel's "Lynnfield" processors and new P55 chipset. Three rigs in all -- Paladin E720, E780, and E870 -- come equipped with one of Intel's new socket 1156-based Core i7 800 series or Core i5 processors, but what iBuyPower really hopes will give it an edge over the competition is an optional "Power Drive" overclocking service.
iBuyPower will overclock your processor up to 10 percent for free (Power Drive Level 1), up to 20 percent for $49 (Level 2), and up to 30 percent for a dollar shy of a C-note (Level 3). Depending on which level you choose, you'll also need to configure compatible components iBuyPower says are certified for a particular OC (Gigabyte's GA-P55-UD6 is certified for a level 3 OC, whereas the GA-P55-UD3R is certified for level 1, for example).
Holy smoke, somebody was ready for Intel to launch its socket 1156-based Core i5/i7 platform. EVGA, best known for its videocards but who has also churned out a handful of high-end motherboards, today announced not one, not two, but SEVEN P55-based mobos.
Taking up the flagship position is EVGA's P55 Classified 200. Sporting a sexy red and black color scheme, the P55 Classified is aimed at the "ultra enthusiast" and includes mounting holes for both LGA 775- and LGA 1156-based heatsinks. It also brings to the table a 10 phase digital PWM, Vdroop control, EVGA's E-LEET overclocking utility, onboard Clear CMOS, Power, and Reset buttons, 300 percent more socket gold (bling!), an onboard CPU temp monitor, lower inductance capacitors, and several other marketing bullets that will hit hardcore overclockers squarely between the eyes.
Way on the other side of the spectrum sits EVGA's P55 Micro LE, an entry-level board that still manages to pack a 6+1 phase PWM, Vdroop control, one-touch overclocking (EVGA Dummy OC), several dedicated read points to measure voltages with your voltmeter, and more.
Other boards -- specs of which you can check out here -- include the P55 Micro, P55 LE, P55 SLI, P55 FTW, and P55 FTW 200.
Everyone in the motherboard business seems to be having a tough run to end the summer, and that includes Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), who announced consolidated revenues of just under $186 million for August, down 2.8 percent sequentially. That also represents a drop of 10.4 percent on year.
ECS has had a rough time maintaining the kind of motherboard shipment numbers it had grown accustomed to before the economy took a dump. The mobo maker shipped just 1.43 million units in August, which is down 9 percent on month and a significant 20.3 percent on year. Notebooks, on the other hand, climbed to 200,000 units, ECS reports.
Despite the continued struggle to push more motherboards into the marketplace, ECS says it is retaining a positive outlook towards the second half of 2009 and expects revenues to turn back around. Part of the optimism is no doubt related to Intel's recently released Core i5 platform and the resulting demand for P55 chipset products.
LG has chosen CEDIA as the venue to show off its new N2R1 NAS box. The product’s aim, according to the press release, is to protect digital media files. The unit is capable of up to 2TB of RAID storage, and has a built-in DVD burner. Other specs include DLNA, Ethernet, and WiFi. Unfortunately, the wireless networking is limited to 802.11g. With 2TB of storage, you might want to wire this one in via Ethernet.
The system has remote access support, allowing consumers to access their files from any internet connection. The N2R1 is fully compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. LG’s new NAS will be available sometime this fall with a price of $299 for the 1TB version, or $399 for 2TB.