We dropped by the Digital Experience show at the Mirage to take a peek at some booths before they hit the convention floor. This safari themed conference featured everything from body-painted ushers to blow up rhinos. Somehow, we made it through the thickness of the rainforest for you with reports on a couple of booths.
At the Western Digital booth, we found much in the way of the expected USB 3.0 external drives. WD was sure to stress their USB 3 IF certification. 1TB external drives currently sell for $179 without a USB 3 card, and $199 with a card, while 2TB drives run for $279 without card and $299 with.
A main focus of the booth was their Western Digital TV. This HD media device has been on the market for a little more than a year now, offering 1080p video playback over RCA or HDMI. Just recently, however, the WD TV Live was released, which accepts a wired network connection, allowing for Netflix, YouTube, and NAS media playback. The Live sells for $149, and the regular high-definition WD TV sells for $129. Western Digital also had some NAS drives on display, as well as their newly renovated My Passport line. The My Passport essential is available up to 1TB, while the other lines (including Mac friendly and Elite) are only available in sizes up to 640GB.
We stopped for a quick chat at the nVidia booth to have a look at their new Fermi card. The system on display showcased an ultra smooth run through the Unigine benchmark using the currently in development GF100 (F is for Fermi) and DX11. It seems nVidia felt obligated to show some proof of development for the GF100 after lots of press speculation about its existence. We tried probing for a few more details, but the spokesman kept reiterating that it was only a proof of existence and he could only assure us that it was “better than the competition.” More Fermi demos should be available at the convention center on the show floor.