At CES 2007, AMD announced a plan to standardize the motherboard, chassis and basic components for those popular "small-form-factor" PCs. The goal of its new DTX standard is to help component and system makers focus on common layouts for motherboard inputs, mounting holes and other design elements to encourage more companies to carry Shuttle-style and even smaller PCs. Motherboard manufacturers Asus and MSI have already committed to producing DTX hardware, and AMD expects to send a reference design to system builders some time this quarter.
Putting Ohio State's poor showing last night in the BCS Championship game behind them, Ohio-based Micro Center had a few Vista desktop and laptop prototypes on display at CES. The big news on its PowerSpec desktop line is the addition of a Lian Li chassis for its high-end gaming PCs. The Lian Li chassis is an all-aluminum, tool-free unit that will be used on two highest-end models, the G450 and the G430. Lian Li makes some of the best PC enclosures around, and it should help the PowerSpec name garner some respect among gamers.
Likewise, Micro Center's WinBook … Read more
I met with HP this morning to hear how its new MediaSmart TVs work with your Media Center PC ecosystem. (Takeaway: the TVs will play your PC-stored digital media, but you have to use Windows Media Player 11, and FairPlay-protected media from the iTunes Store won't work. Also, the built-in 802.11n wireless networking is a much-needed high-bandwidth touch.) The highlight of the meeting, though, was when a member of HP's PR team stepped in to hand the PR manager giving the presentation a write-up of the just-announced Apple TV device.
In a heretofore-unseen display of marketing agility, … Read more
Gateway is holding back most of the details on its new, Vistafied eMachines and Gateway DX430 desktops, but we did get to take a look at two engineering samples today. Highlights include tweaks to both brands' already strong visual appeal, as well as removable faceplates on the bottom half of each desktop, which could open the door for some customizable image options in the future.
You can expect that Gateway will continue to offer AMD and Intel dual-core chips in both systems, as well as Celeron on the lower-end eMachines. Gateway has also added a USB 2.0 media card … Read more
The Dell XPS 710 H2C, to be officially announced at CES tomorrow, isn't fundamentally that different from the old, vanilla XPS 710, but two important factors make it stand out. Thanks in part to an internally developed, hybrid liquid-cooling rig, the XPS 710 H2C will be the first desktop ever from Dell to ship with a factory-overclocked, fully warrantied CPU. The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700's stock 2.6GHz will ship to customers at 3.2GHz.
The XPS 710 H2C is also notable for its price. At $5,200 for the core configuration, it's roughly $1,500 … Read more
We know that Velocity Micro has been cooking up this CineMagix Grand Theater long before CES. We remember speaking to one of its product managers about his very vague home theater PC plans many months ago over the course of a previous review. The result is not dissimilar to the Sony VAIO XLR3 Digital Living System, which also made its debut at CES, except that Velocity Micro's system will start about $1,000 cheaper.
Core specs will include a fast Intel Core 2 Duo 6700 processor; aggressive, sound-sensitive cooling; and standard-def or Blu-ray optical at launch. The date is … Read more
We've already reviewed HP's new, Vista-equipped TouchSmart PC, announced here at CES 2007, but what we didn't talk much about was the new custom support application that HP sent with it, and which will come in all new HP laptops and desktops. We sat down with HP this morning to talk about it, and we came away more than a little impressed.
Total Care Advisor is an HP-made suite of support tools designed to help you stay proactive in maintaining the health of your HP system. The software clearly breaks down the various areas of your system … Read more
The very first CES-related thing we saw when we got to Vegas was a banner advertising Windows Vista at Las Vegas International. Since then, it's been pretty much nonstop. Vista is everywhere at the show. It's dominated the conversations we've had with nearly every major desktop, laptop, peripheral, and software vendor we've met with.
The ubiquity of Vista at CES mirrors how it's going to affect the PC market. Mass adoption won't happen right away, but as you'll find Windows XP on the majority of computers today, in a few years we anticipate … Read more
We first saw Alienware's Hangar 18 HTPC at Digital Life in October 2006. Then it was called the A Series, and, as now, it was built on an AMD Live!-certified platform (the meaning of which we're still fuzzy on). The only real news at CES is it has a new name, the Hangar 18, and Alienware is pegging the release date sometime in Q2 2007. Specs remain subject to change, but figure that it will have a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 chip in it. You can also make out a slot-loading optical drive bay on the front … Read more