Of the new netbook models ASUS unveiled at CeBIT last month, the most interesting has to be the Eee PC 1018P. Toting not only Intel's latest Pine Trail Atom N455 and N475 processors, the netbook has Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 3.0 connectivity along with the promise of 10hrs runtime. TechInStyle.tv have got their hands on the 1018P, and the brushed aluminum chassis certainly doesn't let down the high-spec guts.
ASUS has been on a roll with its high-end motherboards lately, and the new Republic of Gamers Crosshair IV Formula doesn't look to break that pattern. Designed for AMD's processors - including the new Phenom II X6 hexacores - the 'board is the first in the world to pair them with support for dual-channel DDR3 2,000MHz memory; there are also two USB 3.0 ports, six SATA 6GB/s and three SATA 3GB/s connectors.
USB 2.0 ports are a pretty common denominator when it comes to your PC or Mac, and so it becomes obvious that we should already be talking about the next logical step in the technology, right? Actually, in this case, we're looking beyond even that, and talking about what Intel sees as the successor to USB 3.0: Light Peak. The upcoming Intel standard was originally meant to bridge other upcoming standards, but according to Kevin Kahn --an Intel senior company fellow--, all of that could change with the implementation of the Light Peak standard.
ASUS haven't been holding back from USB 3.0 adoption - we've already seen the next-gen high speed connector show up on their motherboards, Eee Box nettops, digital media players, netbooks and more - and now they're throwing in some fighting words along with it. The company has basically said that not all USB 3.0 implementations are created equal, suggesting their motherboard chip can make data transmission almost 75-percent faster than rivals can manage.
If the early preview shots of ASUS' Rampage III Extreme motherboard got your juices flowing, then the full information about the Intel X58-based 'board should be enough to knock you off your feet. The Rampage III Extreme is the latest in ASUS' Republic of Gamers range, and supports the newest hexacore Intel Core i7 CPUs - such as the Core i7-980X Extreme - along with straightforward overclocking, NVIDIA 3-way SLI and ATI CrossFireX support, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports.
Coming off of CES 2010 in January the amount of USB 3.0 gear that was at the show and the number of computers that were coming with USB 3.0 ports was a clear sign that the industry was going to adopt the new faster standard in force. NEC has announced that it is set to double the number of USB 3.0 host controllers that it produces each month to meet industry demand.
We'll admit, it took us a short while to figure out the difference between ASUS' new Eee Box EB1501U and Eee Box EB1012U nettops compared to their outwardly-identical predecessors - each uses Intel's dual-core Atom 330 processor paired with NVIDIA Ion graphics - but the key is in the connectivity. That "U" suffix stands for USB 3.0, with the EB1501U getting two front-mounted USB 3.0 ports and the EB1012U getting three spread across the front and side panels.
Didn't get enough of ASUS' O!Play HD2 mediaplayer, complete with its segment-leading USB 3.0 connectivity? ARM-loving Charbax has offered up a demo video of the O!Play HD2 in action from CeBIT 2010, and while the UI may not be the most inspiring we've ever seen, you can't really knock the ports ASUS have squeezed in.
Video demo after the cut
USB 3.0 is starting to come to the market in force with new notebooks, netbooks, and motherboards that offer USB 3.0 ports. A number of add-in cards for laptops and desktops have also been unveiled to add USB 3.0 to existing computers. Along with the USB 3.0 ports, a lot of USB 3.0 storage products are coming to market and the latest is from Super Talent and is called the SuperCrypt drive.
ASUS have quietly added a third model to their O!Play mediaplayer range, the ASUS O!Play HD2. With no information beyond a name in the CeBIT 2010 press release they've sent us, however, and nothing on the company site, we're left guessing to its complete specifications, though the single photo does reveal USB, eSATA and various forms of memory card reader.
Update: The O!Play HD2 is confirmed to have not only USB 2.0 but USB 3.0 connectivity.
AMD have officially announced their latest chipset, the AMD 890GX, which incorporates integrated ATI Radeon HD 4290 graphics as well as paving the way for the company's upcoming AMD Phenom II X6 hexacore processor. Out of the box the 890GX chipset will support 1080p HD Blu-ray playback, including picture-in-picture support, in addition to SATA 3.0 6Gbps interface and USB 3.0 support.