Pre E3 – Adam Aragon Hits eFocus

At the E-Focus pre-E3 event, numerous hardware manufacturers were strutting their stuff and showing off the best of their new lineups. One of the more prominent companies displayed at the conference was Alienware. Newly purchased by Dell, and probably eager to retain their street cred for the best of the best hardware, they presented their shiny new 19 inch screen laptop,the mALX. With a high gloss finish and a truly massive viewing area, this will give screen envy to even the most hardcore desktop surfer. Using a Clevo-designed chassis, which was quite sleek and comfortable, the two Voodoo Envy laptops use the exact same chassis – the only difference between the two is internal hardware configurations.While the Voodoo Envy,s cherry apple red finish starts at a slightly more extreme $4500.00 Alienware,s custom black painted cover (with Geiger-esque edge graphics) netted a bit more reasonable $4100.00 starting point. Both included dual SLI and RAID configurations with sub 60-90 minute battery life, so with these beasts, you,d better be plugged in.

Also showing was Linksys with their super high-throughput “Wireless N” routers. While not specifically gaming related, they offered a game console adaptor for Xbox/360/PS2 connectivity. They are also offering laptop PCMCIA and ExpressCard versions as well as a gaming and VOIP optimizer. These actually boost the throughput for the specific channels used in multi-player gaming and VOIP conversations to better utilize the massive 270 megabit link rate (this is opposed to 802.11g routers that offer 54mbps). This sexy router now offers MIMO (multiple input multiple output) technology as well as Afterburner (speed-boosting) and Channel Agility (faster channel switching for less interference) built into the hardware. Formerly, these technologies were aftermarket add-ons that suffered from some glitches which have now been addressed.

Rounding up some of the highlights was Emagine,s head-tracking virtual display headgear. This sleek, lightweight unit mounts on your head like VR goggles and uses standard video card technology to turn your head into a mouse. The running demos of Blazing Angels and UT2005 used your head movements to direct your character with fast responses. (Although there wasa small bit of lag on the Blazing angels game, we were nevertheless impressed by the responses on simple mid-grade Dell laptops). With a real gaming rig, this technology could quickly catch on and add a whole new layer of depth. The screen size appears huge, crisp, clear and readable, thanks to it,s OLED technology. These headsets are a firm step in the realm of VR gaming and deserve a lookup if you get the chance.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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