Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Game-Changing PCs of Tomorrow: Today!

Time to trade in your Gateway 2000 for one of these machines that could change the way we make our compu-time.

Google Chrome OS Laptop

This summer, we should be getting our hands on retail versions of the first computers to run on Google’s Chrome operating system. The first batch will be made by Acer and Samsung and feature 12.1 inch display screens, standard full-sized keyboards, and—wait—no hard drive. Could this machine totally change the way we compute? Maybe not, but weirder things have happened. Look, millions of people bought those fruit-flavored iMacs.
Razer Switchblade

The Razer Switchblade could be the hardware to reach the unicorn: portable World of Warcraft. Besides boasting the toughest PC name ever, the Razer Switchblade is a portable gaming device with a dynamic tactile keyboard whose keys change based on different game control schemes. You don’t have to do any fanciful programming, either: it automatically recognizes the specific game’s icons and control schemes and transfers their visuals directly to the keys.
Clover Systems Sunbook, $795

There are situations, granted very few of them, when I get to computing outside without an accessible parasol. Clover Systems’ Sunbook could rectify this with a quickness. Its specs are nothing to write home about, but if you’re not sun-averse, you can use it outside without the damn glare getting in your business. I can see this being incredibly useful in outdoor situations you are forced into but don’t want to participate in, such as mediocre high school football games, you can just dial up some Netflix and get lost in Nicolas Cage’s eyes.

Dreamplug PC, $150

The inventor of the Dreamplug PC had a dream. A dream that one day the PC and the electrical plug would be fully integrated. For no apparent reason, the Dreamplug is a four-inch PC shoved inside of an electric plug without a GPU. It’s only $150 (as it should be, with its skimpy specs), but what I am excited about is that it supposedly reduces electrical costs by up to 96%.

Toshiba Dynobook Color-Changing Qosmio T750

The only thing unique about this PC is the cover, which changes colors with a shimmer effect. Yes, this is a game-changer. Anything that moves this industry in an aesthetic direction that matches John Travolta’s TVR Tuscan in Swordfish is a revelation. Although you should’ve been sold at “Swordfish”, specs include an LED backlit display, 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, and four gigs of memory.

MSI Butterfly

With days spent primarily gaming and typing, I have developed the snarling, wizened hands of a 90 year-old finger puppeteer. My carpal tunnel stings practically every time I use a touchscreen, so I’m grateful to see MSI’s Butterfly PC. The Butterfly all-in-one PC has a repositionable display that slides up and down like an architect’s desk, reducing touchscreen fatigue.
PlayStation Tablet

Word on the street (well, Engadget) is that Sony will be releasing a PlayStation Tablet in September. I don’t know if the already-crowded tablet market can accommodate another one, or if Sony will just have a PSPGo-style hardware burnout. I am curious about this curvy prototype design, though, as well as playing classic PS1 games on a tablet. I am more optimistic about the former.

Fujitsu Esprimo FH99/CM

The Fujitsu Esprimo is being touted as the world’s first glasses-free 3D computer. It’ll launch at a staggering $3100, which, when you think about it, is a small price to pay for not having to don shutter shades alone.  Besides the 23-inch full HD 3D display, the PC boasts a 2Ghz Core i7 processor, four gigs of memory, and a 2TB hard drive.

CompuLab Trim-Slice

Israel’s CompuLab has a tiny new PC that it claims can give you the full-size PC experience with at least eighty times the adorability. It’s extremely energy efficient and runs on NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor. It also boasts HDMI and 5.1 digital audio outputs, meaning it could be quite lovely as an alternative multimedia device. I look forward to checking it out when it hits retail in April.

Motorola Xoom

It’s got more features than the iPad and will run on the newest Android OS.  Word though is that it’s going to cost about $800. It sounds like a lot, but the comparable iPad is fewer than a hundred bucks cheaper.  It’s got a bigger screen and better resolution, too, along with stereo speakers and a front and back camera (all of which the iPad lacks). Whether or not the iPad 2 comes out of the gate looking so sexy will ultimately determine the unpronounceable Xoom’s success.

Eurocom Racer

The Eurocom Racer is being touted as the world’s most powerful 15” notebook. I can neither confirm nor deny, but I can tell you that it is a beast. It can support Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, up to the Intel Core i7 2920XM Extreme Edition with 8 GB of L3 cache. It’s only a matter of time before the line between desktops and laptops is erased completely.
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