There are a dozen reasons not to visit CeBIT, the ridiculously crowded walk ways, loud music, presentations and general chatter, or the fact that there is almost no where to sit. But despite all that hundreds of thousands of people still go. Why? It’s the world’s largest tech-fair, the latest gadgets, components, and software and countless other new technologies from nearly every major manufacturer are on display and you can be one of the first to try them out.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances in my home country (Japan) I couldn’t bring you everything I wanted to but here are a few highlights from the show from Asus, OCZ and Tt eSPORTS.
Asus Republic of Gamers and Lambroghini Gaming Laptops Infiltrate CeBIT 2011
With Dell unable to get their latest Alienware M17X R3 to CeBIT 2011 on time, Asus was the big name in portable gaming. They brought along their latest Lambroghini notebook the VX7, the G74SX 3D gaming notebook, and they demoed a glasses-free 3D G53 gaming laptop as well.
It was back in 2001 when Asus began producing Lamborghini licensed notebooks with release of the VX1. Up until now I have felt that the VX series simply did not deserve to the Lamborghini badge as they simply didn’t meet the styling, the poise and elegance and raw power of a Lamborghini.
The new VX7 sports a body that resembles that of a Lamborghini Murcielago. Back at its release I was skeptical about whether or not it has the right curves but seeing it first hand at CeBIT 2011 took away many doubts. The rear part of the notebook is a clear interpretation of the rear of a Murcielago with similar grooves and tail lights. The sad part is they don’t light up at all on the VX7. Though, as a premium if not elite notebook that will probably cost you dearly, it is expected that such features would work. The rest of the body takes accents from the now retired supercar while keeping in theme with the Asus gaming line.
At CES 2011 the glossy black model of the VX7 notebook was shown off, but joining it at CeBIT was the orange model which features a sparkling finish rather than simple gloss. Inside, the palm rest features the same leather used on the interior of an unnamed Lamborghini vehicle. As for power, there is no lack of it, with an Intel i7 2630QM processor and a single Nvidia GTX 460M (GDDR5 3GB VRAM) it should be good enough to play games at decent settings for a couple years.
As for the Republic of Gamers (ROG) notebooks, Asus announced their G74SX 3D 17.3″ 3D gaming laptop. It gets a full 1080p panel (1920 x 1080 px) and the same Sandy Bridge quad core i7 2630QM as the VX7 but it will reportedly get an Nvidia GTX 560M graphics card. Pre-CeBIT 2011 reports indicated the GTX 560M will be the card in the notebook, but by the time I got there, Asus apologized stating Nvidia does not want the card displayed. Therefore, the model number was hidden and I cannot confirm for sure which graphics card will be used.
Finally, let’s turn to the most exciting product announcement by ASUS, the ROG G53 glasses-free 3D gaming laptop. It uses an built in eye tracking system that detects your location in relation to the screen and then combines it with 3D lenticular lens technology to render full 3D images. If you step away from the screen it will switch back to regular mode but once you’re back it will turn the 3D back on. Note that the Asus staff was persistent in insisting this model will not be for release at this time as the technology is still being developed but we may see it in the near future.
OCZ Vertex 3 and the Unattainable IBIS XL At CeBIT 2011
Although SSDs don’t technically raise frame rates or graphic quality, it has become more and more common to see them end up in gaming rigs. Gamers want the best out of their rigs and SSDs do that in terms of boot time, application launch and game load times.
OCZ, a brand recognized by many gamers, is at the forefront of SSDs and they released their third generation Vertex 3 line already back at CES 2011. The Vertex 3 2.5″ model has the latest SandForce SF-2281 procecssor which is hooked up to 120GB and 240GB of 25nm NAND flash memory and a SATA III interface. This combination allows for the drive to reach 550MB/s maximum read speeds, 525MB/s maximum write speeds and 60K IOPS (4K random write). That is 10K IOPS higher than the previous generation Vertex 2. Below you will see the latest benchmarks of the Vertex 3 from OCZ’s CeBIT 2011 benchmarking rig.
At CeBIT 2011 OCZ was not the only ones to bring SSDs with the SandForce 2000 series processors and SATA III. Patriot, Corsair, and GSkill all brought theirs’ along as well. So what makes OCZ’s drives special? OCZ is ambitious enough to be the first manufacturer to release the Vertex 3 to the public, and it should be landing on store shelves any day now. Also available are 1.8″ and 3.5″ models of the Vertex 3 to cater the drive to any user, for example the 3.5″ form factor drive is designed to make things cleaner for desktop users as it does not require the 2.5″ to 3.5″ that comes with the 2.5″ version of the drive.
There is also the Vertex 3 Pro drive which is oriented at IT infrastructures and which gets the premium SF-2500 series controller that is currently limited to enterprise solutions such as the Pro and OCZ Deneva line.
OCZ also unleashed IBIS XL 5.24″ Sized SSD. Starting at 4TB and going up to 8TB for the time being, the drive reaches 1800MB/s read and 1700MB/s write while putting up 200K IOPS (4K random write), enough to keep you speechless. Now think about the fact that four of these can be set up in RAID to pump out 32TB of storage and somewhere between 700K and 800K IOPS! The sad part is even if you could afford one of these let alone four, the IBIS XL is and will not be for sale.
Tt eSPORTS Continues to “Blaze” at CeBIT 2011
Back at CeBIT 2010 Thermaltake launched its sub brand TT eSPORTS. It’s been a whole year and I was able to stop in at the Tt eSPORTS booth at CeBIT 2011 to check out the latest Black Element gaming mouse, Azurues Mini, MEKA and more.
Tt eSPORTS recently launched their dragon logo, a secondary logo aimed to be more aggressive and attractive to gamers. The Azurues Mini will be the first product to bear this emblem. Freshly launched at CeBIT 2011, the Azurues Mini is a compact version of the Azurues. It shares the same 1600 DPI optical engine, weight management system and pretty much every other feature. Though it is not just a shrunken clone of the Azures, the Mini has a smoother complexion and a rounder body than the Azures.
Also launched at CeBIT 2011 were the MEKA and the MEKA G1 Unit which join the MEKA G1 in the Tt eSPORTS mechanical keyboard collection. The MEKA is a compact keyboard removing the width where the arrow keys normally sit. Instead they have pulled over the ten-keys and moved the arrow keys underneath the enter key. What’s unique about this is that they have opted to keep the ten-keys and the arrow keys. Why? Tt eSPORTS wants to reach every gamer and some games require either the arrow keys or the numpad (10-keys) while some require both. Rather than missing an opportunity or forcing in game re-mapping of keys, it is all there. The keyboard also has two USB 2.0 ports for easy access, anti ghosting ability, and it features Cherry Black mechanical key switches. For those unfamiliar with mechanical switches “Cherry Blacks” are considered to be the most silent offering from cherry and they got a good push back effect. That is why it is the most common choice for gamers.
The other keyboard launched, the MEKA G1 Unit, also uses the Cherry Black switches, onboard audio ports, illuminated keys frequented by gamers (WASD, Space bar, Arrow keys etc), as well as dedicated media control keys and 20 macro keys (12 fixed and 8 unfixed) per profile (3 profile limit). Ironically this one is practically the opposite in terms of size to the MEKA: it is a full size keyboard with two extra columns of keys on the right and additional media buttons on top with a rather generous palm rest on the bottom.
Tt eSPORTS also brought along what can be considered their flagship mouse, the Black Element gaming mouse. The Black Element was released almost a month before CeBIT 2011 but hasn’t reached consumers or reviewers just quite yet. As the new flagship mouse for the brand, the Black Element gets a 6500 DPI laser that allows multi-level resolution anywhere between 100 DPI to the full 6500 DPI. It also features the ability to store up to 45 macro keys in five gaming profiles. As for its shape it continues with the smooth contours and aggressive curves but has almost a dragonesque sense to it. Besides, it comes with five color lighting option, custom weight system and braided cable expected from Tt eSPORTS.