Logitech diNovo Mini Keyboard

Designed for people who have connected their PC to their TV, the compact and stylish Logitech diNovo Mini keyboard makes it easy to control the PC from the sofa.

The mini-keyboard uses Bluetooth 2.0 wireless technology for unfettered use from the sofa or anywhere in the living room.

The Logitech diNovo Mini features a keypad with dedicated hotkeys for media players and web browsers, as well as prominent Page Up and Page Down buttons, which allow users to scroll when surfing the Web as well as zoom in and out of documents and images.

The keyboard even offers a ­dedicated button that launches Windows Media Centre, as well as a row of media controls that allow users to adjust volume and easily play, pause, stop, fast forward and rewind.

For easy navigation, the Logitech diNovo Mini features backlighting and a ClickPad, which can be used as a touchpad to point, scroll and click or as a directional pad to navigate menus and make ­selections.

The ClickPad features two ­backlight modes. When in touchpad mode, the ClickPad is backlighted in orange.

When in media-remote mode, the ClickPad’s directional buttons are backlighted in green.

Because Bluetooth technology provides long-range wireless control from up to 10m from the PC, users can chat online, enter URLs and search-text queries, as well as navigate Windows Media Center from across the room.

The keyboard runs on rechargeable lithium ion batteries, and lasts up to a month on a single charge.

ASUS ENGTX280 TOP Graphic Card Preview

A graphics card can never be fast enough, which is why Asus has released an overclocked version of nVidia’s latest high-end graphics processor.

Asus claims the ENGTX280 TOP is 12% faster than nVidia’s reference design, and when tested with 3DMark Vantage Extreme, the card bumped up the score from 4,877 to 5,440 points.

The specification of the ENGTX280 TOP has been greatly improved as its engine clock speed has been increased from 600MHz to 670MHz, the shader clock from 1,300MHz to 1,460MHz, and memory clock from 1,100MHz to 1,215MHz.

Also, the card offers up to 50% performance boost over the last generation of graphics cards, according to Asus.

The card is not just for playing games as it can also seamlessly shift video intensive tasks from the CPU to the GPU, say, when playing Blu-ray movies or running graphics intensive applications.

Asus also claims that transcoding videos can now be accomplished up to 7x faster than before.

The card will be bundled with
Alone in the Dark
horror-survival game.

The ENGTX280 TOP is only expected to be available in the middle of this month and the price has yet to be announced.

Linksys Wireless Router

Linksys has launched three ­routers, namely the Wireless-G broadband router (WRT54G2), Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N broadband router (WRT160N) and Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N Gigabit router (WRT310N).

The wireless routers are the first to use internal antennas so there are no ugly protruding antennas to mar the stylish design of the devices.

The routers will come with improved usability features such as the Linksys Easylink Advisor (LELA) that helps simplify network setup and checks that all devices and connections are stable and secure.

Also, LELA will automatically check for updates for all Linksys products on the network.

Users can also use LELA to scan the network for issues, ­troubleshoot ­problems and attempt to resolve any conflicts with other devices.

Also, the routers feature a simple, one-button security feature called WiFi Protected Set up that helps secure the wireless connection.

The WRT54G2 only supports wireless G standard but the WRT160N and WRT310N routers will support the latest draft ­wireless N.

Also, the WRT310N is a ­gigabit router and computers connected via the local area network can transfer data at a faster speed.

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU Review

While we all get excited with the latest and greatest hardware, the 45nm Extreme Edition QX9650 was firmly targeted and priced for the extreme enthusiast. For the rest of us, Intel has finally released a series of 45nm dual-core CPUs targeted at the mainstream user. The E8xxx-series uses the highly anticipated Wolfdale core and benefits from all of Intel’s latest technological breakthroughs. The E8500 we have for review is the fastest of the lot, running at 3.16GHz.

With the smaller fab process, Intel has managed to place a generous 6MB of L2 cache in this CPU. As promised by Intel, the 45nm process also means lower power consumption and heat dissipation. The E8500 has a TDP of 65W, compared to 75W in the previous generation. While based on new technology, the E8500 still fits on any LGA775 socket and runs with chipsets that support a FSB of 1333MHz, such at the P35 and upwards.

Now let’s take a look at how well the E8500 performs. In our standard POV-Ray benchmark, the E8500 rendered at a total of 967 pixels per second. Our QX9650 scored 1830 points in this test, but that was with all four cores. Looking at the single-core results, the E8500 scored 486 pps over the QX9650’s 461 pps. Naturally, you could attribute this to the slightly higher clock-speed of the E8500. But compared to an older QX6850 running at the same speed as the QX9650, the E8500 showed even higher gains per core, but running at lower power levels. Cinebench basically gave us the same conclusions with the E8500 scoring 579 points per core compared to the QX9650’s 548 points per core.

How does the E8500 stand up in a gaming environment? We fired up Intel’s Ice Storm Fighters demo and found it performing at an average of about 45 frames per second; that’s more than enough for all but the most demanding games today and the foreseeable future.

Lenovo ThinkVision L200p Monitor

The Lenovo 20” ThinkVision L200p monitor runs on a native 1680 x 1050 (WXSGA+) resolution panel, with a 5ms response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio and has a maximum brightness of 300cd/m2.

As part of the performance range, it has both VGA and DVI interfaces with HDCP support as well as a performance stand which allows the monitor to be tilted, swivelled, pivoted and for the height to be adjusted by 110mm.

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