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Seen at CES 2007

General Article By Carolyn Koh on January 09, 2007

Carolyn Koh reports from this year's CES in Las Vegas

Carolyn Koh is currently attending CES in Las Vegas. While she's down there, she will be taking a look at games like Gods & Heroes, Vanguard and EverQuest II. Today, she kicks off her coverage with her coverage of a pair of hardware media events.

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Media Event: Pepcom’s Digital Experience – Sunday, Jan 7th, 2007

It never hurts to check out the media events to see what the latest and greatest is being shown at the CES. Since it’s a Consumer Electronic Show, most were geared toward, and showing their new Media Center Hardware.

Apart from Vista, Microsoft is working on a Home Server software designed for families with several computers that wish to share their media files but like their current Windows Media Center, is planned to be sold as a hardware and software “solution” i.e. you can’t buy the software and install it yourself. Boooo!

Three PC makers were there, all showing off their new hardware. Velocity Micro showed their gaming rig claiming that they make the big boys across the aisle cry, then opened up their media box, their Cinemagix Grand Theater System to show me their liquid cooled innards, appeasing my inner geek.

When I asked Dell about their gaming rigs – the XPS line they were showing – and if their acquisition of Alienware had moved them towards doing the type of customizing that Alienware did for their game boxes, I was promised “Gaming Initiatives” in Michael Dell’s keynote to be delivered Tuesday.

Alienware had their top of the line notebook, PC and their new HD entertainment center with built in amplifier on display, but I was more interested in their yet to be released gaming notebook, their Area-51 m9750 17” notebook. It is pure drool-worthiness. 17” screen, dual core processors, 2 gig DDR2 RAM, dual NVIDIA graphics cards sporting SLI technology and dual SATA hard drives. Throw in just for kicks – integrated TV tuner and weighing in at only 10.5 lbs. A pity they did not have that particular one loaded with games. I wanted to see it scream and hear it scream as it heats up. We talked about heat dissipation and noise but would have liked hands-on experience.

Also spotted – Crucial Technology’s latest Crossfire certified Ballistix & Ballistix Tracer High-Performance Memory.

Media Event: Showstoppers – Monday, Jan 8th, 2007

What other cool stuff could I find for our readers? I was on the hunt. A pure indulgence was found in Matrox Graphics http://www.matrox.com and their latest offering – their TripleHead2Go external box which allows 3 monitors to be connected to your gaming rig. No, not 3-boxing here, but spreading your viewing pane across three screens. Yes, they have a 2 monitor version but we’re talking indulgence here.

Extreme gamer geeks rejoice. Your choice in high-performance memory is growing. As more manufacturers jump onto the high-performance memory market, we can expect price and performance competition. No more waiting for weeks to obtain the RAM with the fast timing we want. Kingston, and PNY were there and when asked, were happy to show and tell when asked, as was Buffalo Technology http://www.buffalotech.com who unfortunately had no “show” of their FireStix.

Ultra products had new energy efficient PSUs to show off, with large, quiet 135mm and larger fans and Headplay http://www.headplay.com showed off a Personal Cinema System which I will be getting a closer look at – I’m blind as a bat and was wearing my multi-focals (read “Granny glasses”) when I have my contacts in.

I kept my eye out for some good gaming headsets – headphones with mikes, but although I spoke to several companies, none had any to show, although all agreed that “there must be someone that makes them!”

Stay tuned. I visit with SoE and over the next three days of CES 2007, will explore the Sands Convention Center with it’s Tech and Gaming Zone, and will brave the “Zoo” (the main Convention Center) *shudder* for our readers.

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