CES didn't officially start until today, but members of the press caught a glimpse of some of the latest advances in hardware courtesy of CES Unveiled and Pepcom's Digital Experience. OCIA.net was on hand for both events as we met with several companies showcasing what they have in store for 2010.
Logitech was our first stop at CES Unveiled where we saw their only new product launch for the show, the Speaker Lapdesk N700. The N700 is aimed at consumers who use their notebooks around the house and is designed with comfort and entertainment in mind. A quick demo of the Lapdesk verified the comfort claims. Two 2” speakers are provided with volume controls so audio is sure to be louder than your notebook can output by itself. A single cooling fan is in charge of keeping your system from overheating which is fully adjustable. The cooling fan will throttle back power when your notebook is low on juice. Logitech claims the fan can output at least 6 CFM with a maximum noise output of 31 dBA. Only a single USB connection is needed to power the speakers and fan although Logitech could not provide us with battery usage specs. The Lapdesk N700 comes with a 3-year warranty and a price tag of $79.99. Look for it to launch sometime next month.
DisplayLink had a few USB devices on display at their Unveiled booth. These peripherals take advantage of the easily accessible USB 2 interface, rather than relying on the speed of the USB 3 interface found on most devices at the show this year.
First up, we have a USB to DVI video converter box, which maxes out at a huge 2048x1152 resolution. On display was live video playback at full 1080p, which is pretty impressive data throughput for a USB 2 device. These converters currently run between $50 and $80 depending on manufacturer (HP and Diamond were the examples given).
Also on display was a fully equipped notebook docking station that ran on a single USB port. This docking station included a USB hub, DVI port, sound ports, and even an ethernet jack. Video playback maxes out at 1680x1050 or 1600x1200 depending on the display ratio. We noticed that video playback run through the docking station pulled a high 50% CPU usage on a 2.2GHz Core2 Duo laptop. At idle, the docking station still used about 10% of the CPU. The single USB port docking station is available for anywhere between $100 and $150.
Update: While we didn't catch an exact model number for the display at Unveiled, from the photos, it appears to be the same unit that our very own Zahn Funk took a look at here back in September.
Over at the MSI booth, we took a look at their Wind Top desktop systems. These are small form-factor computers built into the back of the monitor (sort of like an iMac).
First, we had a look at the Wind Top AE2220, a dual-core system outfitted with a 22” multitouch tablet screen and a BluRay drive. The Top features 1080p video playback with an nVidia Ion alongside Windows 7. This system is currently available at a price range of $749 - $899. There is also an optional internal TV tuner to finish off the system.
Also on display was an unreleased 24” version of the Top. This re-vamped model also featured a fully multi-touch display, but had a focus on high-quality sound, with a 10W internal sub-woofer. MSI was unclear about the hardware specifics or price range for this model, but suggested a release date around March. We should have more information on this when we meet with MSI a little later on in the week.