HP, EVGA, and Creative
There was a lot to see in HP's booth at CES. In addition to a multitude of current HP and Voodoo branded systems being on display, HP was showing off a number of new and conceptual products and designs.
The large laptop pictured at the top is the HP Firefly concept. Aside from its obviously large size, the Firefly has a few other interesting features including a secondary monitor, situated just below its main 17" screen. The smaller 4.3" screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 and can be configured at a secondary display, just like having two screens connected to a desktop PC. This particular Firefly laptop was powered by an Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor, Mobility Radeon HD 3870 CrossFire graphics, Creative X-Fi audio, 4GB of memory, and a 250GB, 7200rpm HD.
The Firefly is equipped with four speakers in addition to a subwoofer that resides under the wrist rest. To the right of the keyboard, is a multitouch-capable trackpad with a customizable backlight. At this point in time, HP has no plans to release the Firefly, but you never know. We did see Rahul Sood using one on his desk during a Skype conversation we had with him in the booth.
HP was also demoing their latest Touchsmart PC and talking about how the product has penetrated into new markets, like McDonalds for example, where customers can use a Touchsmart PC to customize their coffee order. A new HP Tablet PC was on display as well, as was the recently released Firebird--the follow up to the excellent Blackbird 002. The Firebird sports a miniaturized version of the Blackbird enclosure, but the system is based on NVIDIA's Hybrid-SLI technology to balance performance and power consumption. As you can see, the system is relatively small, and it's liquid cooled by a customized version of Asetec's LCLC cooling system. Notice that the Firebird's power supply is external, which helps keep noise down. HP had a number of Mini-Notes on display too, as well as a couple of their DreamColor monitors, that are capable of much more realistic color reproduction, which is vital for graphics professionals.
EVGA had their display set up in a gorgeous suite at the posh Wynn resort. In addition to showing off their new GeForce GTX 295 and GTX 285 cards, EVGA also had a new X58-based motherboards on display that had some interesting features. As you can see, the board's slot configurations gives users the ability to run three-way SLI, and still have room for an additional two expansion cards--in this case a fourth graphics card and an X-Fi. The board also has a unique cooling solution with a pulsating "E". Also notice it has a pair of 8-pin power connectors. EVGA also had some power supplies on display, but the specs weren't finalized and EVGA didn't specify a launch date. Reps did say EVGA plans to enter the enthusiast PSU segment, with competitively priced, high-performance offerings, however. We're just not sure exactly when that'll be.
Creative Labs made some noise at the show by announcing their new Zii ZMS-05 Stemcell Computing processor. The Zii is essentially a system on a chip. The processor will be used in everything from portable media players to render farms according to Creative. What you see pictured above is a 64 Zii processor array designed for 3D rendering (although the demo was running a video due to an unforeseen technical glitch) and the Zii development platform that used to test various software, interfaces, etc.