Now that Intel’s let the cat out of the bag (and into the Ivy), it’s high time we took a look at what manufacturers are going to do with those fancy new processors. Behold: The MSI GT70 gaming laptop, one of the first gaming beasts out of the door with Intel’s next generation architecture. Living up to its next-gen CES promises, this 17.3-inch behemoth falls squarely in the desktop replacement category, at 8.6 pounds, and packs a new 2.3GHz Core i7-3610QM processor, NVIDIA’s latest GeForce GTX 670M chip with 3GB of video memory, 16GB of DDR3 RAM and a fancy RAID 0 dual SSD setup — all wrapped in one hefty, formidable package. So how powerful a combination do Ivy Bridge and NVIDIA make? Let’s find out.
Sure, six terabytes of storage might seem like hot stuff, but Western Digital’s stackable MyBook Thunderbolt Duo drives aren’t exactly portable. Lucky for you and your massive photo, music and film collections, WD’s My Passport drive just crossed the 2TB border. At $250, this USB 3.0 storage sanctum claims to be the first — and so far, only — portable hard drive to break the two terabyte mark. “It’s the perfect blend of monstrous capacity, reliability and user-friendly technology in a sleek form factor,” said WD executive vice president and general manager Jim Welsh, “now in five colors.” Count ‘em, five. You didn’t think the lizards were after your data, did you? Read on for WD’s official press release.
Breaking new ground in the nearly nonexistent market of “hardcore gaming tablets” with renders is interesting, but there’s nothing quite grasping something tangible. Razer’s project Fiona, for example, is something to grasp — sporting twin joystick handles on either side, it begs to be held. We couldn’t help but oblige, and dropped by Razer’s CES booth for a few minutes with the bold Windows 8 slab. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan gave us the skinny — read on get it yourself.
How do you weigh yourself when there’s no gravity keeping you down? Well, you can calculate your mass by sitting on an oscillating spring and comparing its standing frequency to your riding frequency (NASA’s current method), or you could rig up a Kinect sensor to tell you when you’re getting fat. Carmelo Velardo, a Eurocom computer scientist in Alphes-Maritimes, France, is developing the latter option. Working with colleagues at the Italian Institute of Technology’s Center for Human Space Robotics, Velardo paired the Kinect sensor’s 3D modeling digs with a database of weight to body measurements of 28,000 people — the resulting system can guess your weight with a 97 percent accuracy.
NASA scientist John Charles notes that while the rig works well on the ground, it might hit some snags in space. Microgravity can shift water around in an astronaut’s body, changing their density and potentially throwing off the Kinect setup’s readings. Still, Charles says the technique “appears feasible,” and suggests pairing it with the existing weight measurement tools might “provide insights into changes in body density that might be illuminating.” Velardo hopes to test the system in parabolic flight soon. If he succeeds, not even outer space will protect us from the shameful judgment of video game peripherals.Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some squat-thrusts to get to.
Have a tendency to get stuck in games? Keep your laptop handy, the PlayStation Vita isn’t going to make getting tips any easier — an interview from AV Watch has revealed that Sony’s next generation handheld is a little stingy when multitasking. The console’s friends list, music and Twitter clients are in, but web browsing is out, blocked to ensure the Vita has more resources available for running games. This limitation could be off-putting to gamers who are used to mid-game internet FAQ checks to guide them through difficult bits of gameplay, a trick Nintendo’s 3DS handles smoothly. Family members hoping to share a console might run into a roadblock as well, as the Vita appears to be fairly conservative about its relationships — allowing only one PSN account per console. Sony’s Brad Douglas recently mentioned on Twitter that swapping accounts was possible, but that switching required a factory reset. Potential deal breaker? For some, maybe. For others? Just another item to the growinglist of things we hope to see in a future update.
We’ve had the opportunity to ride some crazy contraptions over the years here at Engadget, like the skateboard-cum-tank Shredder and the self-balancing two-seater from GM called the EN-V. Today we carry on that tradition with another thing that can keep itself — and its occupant — perched upright. It’s called the Ryno, an all-electric single-wheeled scooter that looks like something Judge Dredd would throw a leg over before bringing justice to some nefarious evil-doers. It’s the pet product of mechanical engineer Chris Hoffmann and, after five years of tinkering and development, it could be finally making its way into peoples’ garages by next year. Join us for a wobbly first ride.
It’s summer, which means the usual deluge of Android handsets is upon us. The Motorola Photon 4G is Sprint’s latest specimen, and follows hot on the heels of HTC’s somewhat disappointing EVO 3D. Like its stablemate, it’s a proper superphone with a dual-core processor, large qHD display, and of course, WiMAX. Instead of trying to wow us with a gimmicky 3D camera, it differentiates itself by being Sprint’s first global phone with WiMAX, and as such supports CDMA / EV-DO for North America along with GSM / HSPA for the rest of the world. Motorola further spices things up with a dash of WebTop functionality, something it first introduced on the Atrix 4G. So, is the Photon just the smartphone flavor du jour, or does it stand out from the seasonal crowd? How does it compare to the EVO 3D and the other Android flagships? Hit the break for our full review.