Asus is here in full force at CES, showing off their vast selection of netbooks and notebooks. We darted straight to the systems that featured the most updates to existing lineups, including the 1000HE, S121, and 101H tablet. We also got our hands on Asus's newly announced W90Vp gigantic gaming laptop. 18.4 inches comes close to Dell and HP's record of 20.1 inches in their previous lap crushers, and is still too unwieldy, in our opinion. Still, we admire the effort and can't help but be awed by the alleged 15000+ 3DMark 2006 score in this "portable" beast.
Falling in line between the Mini 9 and Mini 12, Dell has unveiled the aptly named Inspiron Mini 10 netbook with an "edge-to-edge" 720p 10-inch display. Taking space-saving design seriously, Dell's new Mini 10 also sports an "edge-to-edge" keyboard.
Internal components are largely what you'd expect to find in a modern netbook -- Intel Atom Z530 processor, for example -- but not everything is strictly cookie cutter. The Inspiron Mini 10 also packs a built-in TV tuner, adding another functionality to a market segment thriving on basic tasks. A built-in GPS also comes standard, as well as a gesture sensing touchpad and expanded design studio choices.
Have you been anticipating the public launch of Windows 7 beta? You're far from alone. At the Microsoft CES keynote two days ago, Steve Ballmer announced the upcoming OS would be made available in beta form to the general populace today, but the high demand temporarily knocked out both the Windows 7 download page and Microsoft's homepage, TGDaily reports.
Windows 7, which many are hoping will atone for Vista's sins, has gotten off to a rocky start in its pre-release form. MSDN and TechNet subscribers got first crack at the Windows 7 beta build 7000 yesterday, but some downloaders reported receiving errors when attempting to request product keys for the OS. But if the final product -- which Microsoft won't commit to a 2009 launch -- makes common complaints with Vista a thing of the past, most enthusiasts would agree it will be well worth the wait.
Protip: It might be in your best interest to snag a copy of Windows 7 beta and actively test the OS, even if beta testing really isn't your bag. Official beta testers who downloaded Vista back when it was in beta form and submitted at least one bug report ended up being rewarded with a free copy of Vista Business or Ultimate. That doesn't guarantee Microsoft will do the same with Windows 7, so decide for yourself is the risk is worth the potential worth reward.
Justin Kerr has posted an awesome mini-tutorial on how and where to get the Windows 7 beta up and running with a valid key. Check it out here.
News site Engadget has posted a pic it claims was sent to Engadget Chinese talking about the high level of interest Asus is receiving at CES. But what makes the pic particularly mysterious is that it shows an as-yet unnanounced Eee D200 PC in what the news site surmises is a booth not open to the public.
Despite the intrigue surrounding the new box, a spec sheet visible in the pic reveals most of the details. The D200 appears to come configured with Intel's Atom N270 processor, 2GB of DDR2-533 RAM, 512MB Flash ROM, two 3.5-inch SATA II hard drives for up to 2TB of storage space in a RAID 0, 1, or JBOD array, 802.11n, and the typical assortment of ports.
Also shown on the sleek D200 is a 3.5-inch LCD touch panel. Combined with the vast amount of storage options and 802.11n, could this be a media server? We don't know, but you can bet we'll post an update just as soon as we find out.
With competition from Gateway and HP, affordable gaming boxes are becoming all the rage and Dell has every intention of participating. The OEM has just launched the XPS 625, a sub-$1000 desktop with a modest spec sheet.
Dell, a longtime lover of Intel, turns to AMD this time around. The affair breathes hot and heavy with AMD's Dragon platform, including configuration options of the fresh out of the oven Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition processor (3.0GHz), dual ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards, up to 8GB of memory, a10K RMP hard drive (interestingly this can only be added as an "additional hard drive"), and Windows Vista 64-bit. Dell says the entire system is overclockable through AMD's performance tuning software, and as just configured, it's all going to cost a shade over $2000.
To keep things under a grand, the XPS 625's base configuration consists of an AMD Athlon X2 5600+ Black Edition processor (2.9GHz), 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM, 500GB hard drive, ATI Radeon 4670 videocard, DVD burner, and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit.
After the thrashing Intel doled out with its Core 2 and now Core i7 platforms, one might accuse AMD of having its head in the clouds for the past couple of years. Now AMD really is looking to the cloud, but not the way you probably imagined. The struggling chip maker announced at CES a plan to shake up the "deployment, development, and delivery of HD content" by building a massively-parallel supercomputer that will give home to the "AMD Fusion Render Cloud."
"Seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest machines, including the fastest two computers on the planet, are powered by AMD hardware,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD President and CEO. "Today, AMD is pleased to announce a new kind of supercomputer unlike any other ever built. It is being designed to break the one petaFLOPS barrier, and to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors. We anticipate it to be the fastest graphics supercomputer ever."
AMD says its scalable graphics supercomputer will make it possible for content providers to deliver videogames, computer apps, and any other graphically intensive application through the Cloud to mobile devices with a web browser, and without sucking the battery life out of the units since both the movie and gaming chores will be rendered server-side.
Looking at the hardware, AMD says its Fusion Render Cloud will include AMD parts (duh) like the newly minted Phenom II processors, AMD 790 chipsets, and ATI Radeon 4870 GPUs.
Do you see this as being a game changer for AMD, or game over for a company with enough on its plate already? Hit the jump and sound off!
Need more proof that the netbook market is the most popular kid on the block? Try this on for size - ViewSonic is getting in on the action! That's right, the company best known for its monitors, digital picture frames, and other types of displays plans to offer a computing line based on the stupid popular netbook and nettop segments.
The VieBook, as ViewSonic's calling it, will check in at 2.6 pounds and pack an Intel Atom (what else?) 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, a webcam, WiFi, and all the other doodads you'd expect on a modern netbook. A 10.2-inch screen and Windows XP Home round out the package.
On the nettop front, ViewSonic will also release the VPC100 ViePC, an all-in-one unit with an 18.5-inch display. This too will boast the same internals of the VieBook, except the ViePC drops down from a 4-in-1 media card reader to a 3-in-1 and adds a DVD burner.
Last on the list of ViewSonic's venture into low power computing is the LinkPC, an attachable box that the company says will hook up to the back of any VESA compatible monitor. Once again, look for an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of memory, and a 160GB hard drive as the main components.
ViewSonic says the VieBook and ViePC will be available in February 2009 for $430 and $550 respectively, with the LinkPC showing up in March 2009 for $400.
The wait’s nearly over, but it’s not going down without a fight. Today, developer Relic confirmed that Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II, its long-awaited RTS sequel, will take back the tabletop on February 23. However, should your need to… er, what were we saying? Sorry, we got distracted by some wicked-awesome Dawn of War II screenshots and realized that we’d really like to play the game before its relea...
On January 28, Relic will finally let its armor-clad, gun-toting progeny wander outside its baby-pen for a quick open beta. Even better, those who purchased the final Dawn of War expansion, Soulstorm, can expect beta access on January 21.
The beta will give players a chance to poke and prod all four of the game’s races across five multiplayer maps. Steam and Games for Windows Live are teaming up to put on this peep show, with Steam providing the downloads and GFW the matchmaking.
So then, we’re just going to sleep for the next 456 hours, because we’re not into the whole waiting thing. You, er, probably won’t even notice.
Two terabytes of storage on a single memory stick might have been unheard of just a short while ago, but now it appears it will be a race to see who can reach the capacity milestone first. Taking a tag-team approach, SanDisk and Sony are working together to create two expanded formats in the Memory Stick series, the Memory Stick format for Extended High Capacity and the Memory Stick HG Micro format.
It's the Extended High Capacity format that boosts recording capacity up to 2TB, or 60 times more storage than the Memory Stick PRO format's 32GB ceiling. Meanwhile, the HG Micro format sports some technical enhancements, including an enhanced 8-bit parallel interface and 60MHz interface clock frequency, to make a 60MBps (480MBps in theoretical value) data transfer speed possible. By comparison, the Memory Stick Micro format uses a 4-bit parallel interface and a 40MHz interface clock frequency.
No release date has yet been given, but SanDisk and Sony have to be feeling the pressure from the SD Association, who recently announced a new card spec called SDXC, which also promises up to 2TB of memory and read/write speeds of 104MB/s. As our own Andy Salisbury points out, that's enough to accommodate 100 high-definition movies, 60 hours of HD recording, or up to 17,000 high-res photos. Wicked.
Microsoft is not too keen on rolling out an underdone Windows 7 and will only proceed with its launch when it is sure that the OS is ready. This is the reason it is not committing to a 2009 launch date. Microsoft’s Bill Veghte told Cnet that the OS will be shipped when the quality is up to scratch.
However, Microsoft hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a 2009 launch. Veghte also said that investors expect the company to spend judiciously on advertising and there is a need to make the most of the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on the marketing of Windows 7.