Date: January 7th, 2011
Writers on the CES Floor: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor) / Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
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Seagate had a lot of products to show us, and we expect 2011 to be an exciting year for them. Portable storage remains very popular and their GoFlex Thin series drives look promising. With a thickness of only 9mm, it is possible to carry up to 320GB of data in your pocket without taking up any more space than a mobile phone. You won't be sacrificing performance either, as this drive uses the USB 3.0 interface coupled with 7200 RPM speeds.
Next up was a demo that compared the performance of Seagate's Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive versus a standard 5400 RPM laptop HDD. Two identical laptops with identical configurations were used; the only difference was that one laptop was sporting the hybrid drive. As the test results show, the combination of solid state memory and traditional HDD platters give an impressive boost in performance without the high cost and reduced capacity that's associated with full-on SSD's. Windows 7 boot times were nearly cut in half by using the Momentus XT.
Antec had some cases on display at their booth on the CES show floor. One of Antec's most popular series of cases has been the Sonata, and the new Sonata IV mid-tower builds on the features that made previous versions so popular. The new Sonata has been redesigned to include a front USB 3.0 port, 3-speed 120mm exhaust fan, washable air filter, silicone grommets to absorb HDD vibration, and also includes a 620W PSU that is 80 Plus certified. MSRP on this case is $199.95 and it is available now.
Soundscience, a subsidiary of Antec, gave us a demo of the Rockus 2.1 speaker system. Most people (including myself) don't consider a 2.1 system suitable for a home theater environment, but after a listen to this set I've changed my mind. Highs and mids sounded crystal clear with exceptional balance and just the right amount of bass. It's hard to believe a 2.1 system is able to provide an immersive listening experience, but the Rockus managed to pull it off. Various styles of music were played for us ranging from the Black Eyed Peas to a classical tune and they all sounded vibrant. A clip from an action movie was also played and it was hard to believe the sound was coming from a 2.1 system.
The total output from this set is 150 watts and it carries a premium price tag of $249.95, but the sound that comes out of these speakers is premium as well.