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CES 2010 Highlight Wrap-Up In Pictures and Video
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Date: Jan 16, 2010
Section:Misc
Author: Mathew Miranda
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Introduction and Intel

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas gets the year going in the right direction for everyone in the high tech industry. It allows manufacturers to showcase their current products to thousands of media outlets, as well as give a sneak peak at impending launches all the while creating buzz and excitement among consumers.  And yeah, It's not bad for a few thousand press folks like us as well.

Although we already showed you several noteworthy products in our various CES Showcase, there's still a bit more to cover. Companies tend to go all-in during CES and show us more exciting hardware than we can analyze in just one or two articles. Here's a wrap up to our CES 2010 coverage that includes spotlights on Intel, Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, MSI, Dell, OCZ, CyberPower, Toshiba, Sony and more.   

First we'll tee up a little video reel for you, then you can browse the still shots and color commentary at your leisure...



Intel's super-cool Internet content visualizer in 3D, or something like that anyway. 


Intel's Booth featuring Light Peak and petite Clarkdale Core i5 goodness

Back in September, we wondered out loud if Intel would productize expansion boards that featured their Light Peak technology or if we would have to wait a bit longer to actually see it in the flesh. We apparently found our answer during our meeting with Intel. They showed us a prototype PCIe board that featured USB-like ports  (mechanically only and not actually wired over USB of course) on each side. For the uninformed, Light Peak is an optical, high speed interconnect technology announced at IDF '09 and provides data rates of 10 Gigabits and beyond. It allows the use of multiple protocols on a single fiber-optic cable, provides higher bandwidth than current technologies, and integrates smaller connectors with longer cable lengths possible versus standard copper.  Intel claims, though it is very early, that it could very well replace every peripheral connection port on the PC, consolidating all IO communications over a single cable.

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Asus

Asus used to be known only for their motherboards, but now the company seems to make just about everything tech-related, reaching even beyond notebook, netbooks and components. We got a chance to stop by the booth and checked out a few products that were on display. Here's the scoop...



  
Asus Rampage III Extreme X58 Motherboard

A refresh to the Republic of Gamer's line up is coming soon. The Rampage III Extreme will be the new flagship X58 motherboard from Asus and caters directly to extreme enthusiasts. Besides looking remarkably sexy and having the ability to house four dual slot video cards, we were told that it was designed for LN2 overclocking and no holds barred benchmarking. We definitely like what we see and can't wait to get this baby on our test bench. 



 
Asus Eee Keyboard

The Eee Keyboard has been making the rounds since CES '09 and we saw it once again this year. With a 5 inch touchscreen, 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, 1GB memory, and either a 16GB or 32GB SSD, the Eee Keyboard gives us a glimpse of the future and looks to be ready for prime time, finally.  It was also transmitting its video signal to a high def TV next to it over UWB (ultra-wideband wireless HDMI).  Expect to see the keyboard available as early as February 2010.

 
Asus WiCast EW2000

We've been raving about Intel's WiDi technology lately but Asus has its own similar technology coming in the form of the WiCast EW2000 (also UWB technology). On paper, this product seems to be the superior choice in that it has very little latency (<1ms) and will be capable of transmitting in full HD 1080p (the demo unit could only do 720p), whereas Intel's WiDi revealed detectable latency and supported a maximum of 720p. To Intel's credit, we witnessed WiDi demos in the flesh along with several laptops with it installed and ready to go, while we have yet to see the EW2000 in action. Of course, we're anxious to put WiCast and WiDi to the test to see how they stack up against one another in the real world. 


Asus AT3IONT-I Deluxe and M4A89GTD Pro Motherboards

For HTPC enthusiasts, Asus displayed its new AT3IONT-I Deluxe motherboard. This Intel dual-core Atom based product features the NVIDIA MCP7A ION chipset and rather large passive cooling solution that covers most of the board. AMD users also have a new board to look forward to. The M4A89GTD Pro motherboard features the upcoming 890FX chipset, USB 3.0, and SATA 6G capability. Besides sporting 128MB of Sideport memory, details were very limited on the board.      

  
Asus Notebooks

Asus proudly displayed their upcoming notebook line up at their booth as well. We covered these laptops in detail with our CES Showcase coverage of Asus' launched event last week. Check it out for more information on these hot new machines.
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Gigabyte, EVGA, MSI

As you probably know, Gigabyte is best known for its motherboards, but the company also makes numerous graphics cards, laptops, heatsinks, and other peripherals. The Taiwan based manufacturer invited us to their suite to check out their new products for 2010.



 
Gigabyte Videocards, Motherboards, and Peripherals

Gigabyte was showcasing a number of new products that are sure to be popular amongst enthusiasts. The company had their second wave of Radeon HD 5800 series cards on had, complete with custom cooling and factory overclocks. Visible in the pics were a Radeon HD 5850 and 5870. While you can see the design of the new coolers in the shots, Gigabyte hasn't settled on final overclocked speeds for the cards. Also on display was a leather-wrapped luxury mouse, adorned with jewels, along with a number of motherboards and current-gen graphics cards. Gigabyte's big push, however, had to do with USB 3.0 and SATA 6G. In the suite, the company had a number of demos on hand that showed the high performance offered by USB 3.0 hard drives / SSD in comparison to more common USB 2.0 technology. Gigabyte has a whole line-up of motherboards on hand, featuring virtually all of today's popular chipsets from AMD and Intel, that were outfitted with USB 3.0 and SATA 6G controllers. One some of the boards, the USB 3.0 and SATA 6G controllers were hung directly off the PCIe lanes connected to the chipset or CPU (i.e. in Lynnfield), while one some other boards a PLX PCIe 2.0 switch was used. Gigabyte's message was that of a company committed to pushing the envelope, which is why they plan to release motherboards at virtually every price point, outfitted with USB 3.0 and SATA 6G.


  
EVGA
's Dual Socket 5520 Chipset Monstrosity

Extreme enthusiasts make up only a fraction of the consumer market, but that fact hasn't stopped companies from catering to this niche crowd. Leading the way in the push for insane performance, EVGA showed us its next generation motherboard that left us in awe. This creation supports two 45nm Xeon 5500 series processors, features Intel's 5520 chipset, includes 12 DIMM slots, and has 7 PCIe sockets. Wow. EVGA hasn't settled on a name for the board quite yet but expect it to fall within the Classified product line up.



  
MSI's Motherboards, GPU's Laptops, and Nettops

There was a lot going on at the Micro Star International--MSI--booth on the show floor. MSI makes motherboards, graphics cards, and notebooks among other things. But one of the products that caught our eye was the Big Bang Fuzion motherboard which features Lucid's Hydra chip and supports the combination of ATI and NVIDIA videocards.  

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Dell and CyberPower

Dell had one of the more impressive suites we visited at CES this year. Once we got through several check points and quickly devoured our made-to-order omelets, we got down to business. Check out what the tech giant had to show.


  
Dell's Multi-touch Studio 17 Notebook

Continuing our coverage of Dell / Alienware, we saw the Studio 17 featuring Intel's Core i7 processor and touch screen interface. Dell integrated a multi-touch function that creates a unique experience for users and a sure way to impress friends and family. Also, we got to check out the new 16:9 UltraSharp U2711 monitor that comes with an IPS panel, 2560x1440 resolution, and a ton of connection options. The monitor will start at a price of $1049.     


CyberPower's Custom Built Systems
 

CyberPower is a custom system builder that provides its customers with the latest computer gear at relatively affordable prices in comparison to some other boutique builders. During CES, we got a sneak peak at their product line up which was located in a suite in the Palazzo Hotel. Eddie Vong showed off systems priced for the mainstream gamer to the extreme enthusiast. On hand was a red themed, watercooled AMD Dragon rig as well as their top of the line Black Mamba machine. Keep an eye out for more CyberPower systems to hit our lab for review in 2010, while a lucky forum member will be able to win one of these beasts very soon. All we can say is keep posting!   
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Toshiba and Sony

We took a few minutes early Friday morning to sit down the folks at Toshiba and it was time well spent.  Toshiba stepped us through their entire notebook and netbook product line-up and they have a bevy of new offerings either out the door or coming in the weeks ahead.

 
The New Toshiba Qosmio - Big, bad, more stylish and decidely less red...

The new Qosmio is now blacked out thankfully but nicely styled with red trimmings only instead of the over-the-top redness we were subject to on the previous model.  It's also now sporting a full 18.4" of love but kept its fighting weight of a little over 10lbs like the previous gen machine.  This is no traditional notebook boys and girls.  This is a full-on desktop replacement machine and with either a Core i5 or Core i7 under the hood and up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M for your gaming pleasure.  That ought to get the job done, whether work or play.  The starting price is now $1499 as well, which doesn't hurt, versus the $2700 price tag we chewed on with last year's model.

In the midrange were new models in the U and A series of machines from Toshiba.  The 13.3-inch U500 series(left) weighs in at a moderate 4.5 lbs and comes with a slot load DVD player.  Right is the A500 series machine that Toshiba demo Intel WiDi technology for us on.  It's also comes with USB sleep-and-charge (as do many of Toshiba's new notebooks and netbooks), which is nice for when you'd like to power down the machine but keep your MP3 player or smartphone tethered and drawing a bit of juice.


Toshiba Notebooks

And or course Toshiba had their mini N300 series out for display, claiming up to 11 hours of battery life with Intel's new Pinetrail Atom N450 at the helm.  In the shot on the right is Toshiba's Bulletin Board applet that allows you to organize your desktop with important items you want quick access to, like documents, pictures, sticky notes etc.  You can move, resize, rotate and organize them into an area on the board the way you'd like to see them.  It's a natural app for the multi-touch/gesture trackpad on these machines as well.

  

Sony Notebooks

Sony had a number of new notebooks on display, including ultra thing-and-light netbooks to high-powered Core i5 "Arrandale" based machines. The machine in the middle-top picture is based on the Intel Atom platform and features an extremely thin bezel and enclosure. It is flanked by a number of Core i5 based machines ranging from a 15.6" mainstream machine to a more powerful 17" model that's large enough to house a full number pad. The unit at the bottom, however, was quite interesting. Sony had an Intel WiDi demo setup in this display. One touch of the WiDi button at the upper-left of the keyboard and whatever was being displayed on the notebook's screen was broadcast immediately to an HD TV nearby.

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LG, Panasonic, Sharp

Life is good for LG nowadays. The South Korean conglomerate produces all sorts of stuff that geeks love, including HDTVs, cell phones, monitors, NAS devices, optical drives, and netbooks. Here's what we saw on the show floor.


 
LG's Thin Bezeled Infinia Displays - Stunning

We didn't spend much time with LG, but we did take a few seconds to capture some shots of their awe-inspiring Infinia showcase. With at least 100 screens spanning the entire wall while showing a single scene, LG definitely turned a lot of heads at CES. 


Panasonic's 3D Full HD

If you don't mind sitting in your living room while wearing 3D glasses all night long, we have great news for you. The combination of high definition and 3D technology was everywhere at CES and companies are doing their best to make it mainstream for 2010. Panasonic's booth featured the TC-PVT25 series, a new 3D compatible HDTV due out this spring with super cool 3D glasses included.  


Sharp's Solar Powered Car

To demonstrate their commitment to unique and innovative and environmentally friendly technology, Sharp had the Tokai Solar Car on hand that featured triple junction solar cells. Not limited to just calculators, Sharp solar products can be found in residential products as well as commercial applications.  
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Conclusion

As much as we would like to provide complete coverage from all of the companies demoing products at CES, the event is simply too large. We would need an army of journalists and a double wide trailer parked in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center in order to provide that kind of analysis (just a small hint for those looking to invest). The general consensus among HotHardware editors in attendance concedes that this year's show was bigger and better than the previous year with noticeably more people on hand and more exciting new products on display. For the Las Vegas and US economy in general, that's great news. Unfortunately for us, this situation created a hectic environment that resulted in a few headaches along the way.  Regardless, we prevailed, rolled with the punches as they came and finished the week off strong.   



Although this is our official wrap up of CES 2010 coverage, we still have a few topics to cover in the upcoming weeks that we are presently unable to share. Yes, we really dug a lot of the products we saw at the show, but take it from us, the best is yet to come. Do yourself a favor and keep checking back in the weeks ahead as we get some serious hands-on time with the products that were previewed at this year's CES.  We'll be here to give you more insight on the hottest technologies on the market that are waiting in the wings.


A nice plate of Sushi made everything right - Team HH members, Marco, Mat and Dave (left to right)



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