One thing we simply won't argue is that typing on a mechanical keyboard is a superior experience than pecking away on a membrane-based plank -- there's just no contest. One of the most popular makers of mechanical key switches is Cherry MX, and together with Corsair, the two companies announced the "MX RGB Project" gaming keyboard at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Fanning the flames of Valve's Steam Machine initiative with a Spark
Valve isn't having any trouble lining up hardware partners to build Steam Machine systems of varying power and shapes at different price points. One of those companies is Maingear, a boutique builder out of New Jersey that decided to go with an AMD foundation inside a small form factor (SFF) chassis for its take on a Steam Machine. The aptly named Spark measures only 4.5 inches wide by 4.23 inches deep by 2.34 inches high and weighs less than a pound.
A Steam Machine that would look right at home in an A/V rack
One of the reasons why Valve is pushing its Steam Machine platform is to get PC gamers into their living rooms, hence the prep work that went into Big Picture mode and the wireless Steam Controller. Going along with that theme, boutique builder Origin PC announced plans to launch a pair of Steam Machine "Chronos" systems built in a small form factor (SFF) chassis that will have no trouble blending into a typical home theater setup.
Steam Machine announcements are coming in pretty fast and furious, though not all systems are created the same. Enter Zotac, a specialist in mini PC configurations best known for its Zbox line, which is previewing a Zbox Steam Machine slated to arrive in the second half of this year. Details are few and far between, though Zotac says its Steam Machine will ship in an all-black 3rd generation Zbox chassis with orange lighting intended to give it an aggressive and sporty aesthetic.
Ever heard of Xidax? The custom PC company made headlines last year when it debuted onto the scene as the first in the industry to offer a lifetime parts and labor guarantee on all desktop systems. Further proof that Xidax isn't afraid to be a pioneer in the PC building space is today's announcement that the company is the first enthusiast boutique builder to accept Bitcoins.
Sylish Steam Machine configurations are slated for the second half of 2014
Let's kick off the week with some good news, shall we? CyberPowerPC just flipped us a note announcing a pair of Steam Machine configurations that come complete with a Steam Controller and Steam OS, and the cost of entry starts at just $499, the same MSRP as Microsoft's Xbox One console. Pretty snazzy, right? Well, the bad news is that you'll have to wait until the second half of the 2014 before you can buy one - drats!
Just when you thought virtual reality might be dead, here came the Oculus Rift, a VR headset that raised nearly $2.5 million on Kickstarter. The Oculus Rift has sparked excitement among gamers and developers alike, prompting other device makers to jump on board the little bandwagon that could (virtual reality). At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, ace reporter and Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang spent a few minutes viewing a demo of the PrioVR suit, a motion control system that doesn't use any cameras.
Belkin has big plans for its Linksys acquisition, and it includes positioning the brand as an enthusiast name. More than just lip service, Linksys announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that it's bringing back one of the best selling routers of all time, the WRT54G, and giving it a makeover for the modern day Internet. Now known as the WRT1900AC, this dual-band wireless router wields a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM-based processor inside its familiar blue and black stackable chassis.
This is the second of two posts outlining PC-related products Lenovo intends to show off at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week (if you haven't already, check out Part 1). Lenovo is headed to the convention with guns-a-blazing, and in addition to everything that's been unveiled so far, the OEM will demo a new X1 Carbon ultrabook, a ThinkPad 8 tablet for professionals, some new laptops, and more.
As evidenced by a few early product announcements, this will be the year manufactures find out if there's a market for all-in-one systems running Android instead of Windows. Acer will be one of the first PC makers to find out, having just introduced its DA223 HQL, a 21.5-inch portable AIO running Android Jelly Bean and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz. In addition, Acer unveiled its TA272 HUL, another all-in-one, but with a 27-inch display and a WQHD (2560x1440) resolution.