The easy one is the 6990, at this point, it is a reference board like all the others. There is not much more to say for now, it just is. Think, red, stripe-y, and full of gaming goodness, and you won’t be far off the mark, especially if you have a PSU big enough to handle it. As usual, expect higher end variants to follow in short order once AMD takes the handcuffs off.
Arcpad, gaming on the edge
The other thing that falls under the category of ‘damn that is useful’ is the Arcpad mousepad. Arcpad is a pad that clamps on the edge of the table to provide wrist wrests and to cushion sharp edges that dig in after a long gaming session. Given the tables in the CeBIT press office, I could use one now. They roll up into a tube, weight nothing, and will cost about $39.99 when they go on sale soon. This is the first mousepad in a long time that I think I would buy.
That brings us to the new brand from XFX, Aviiq. Like ThermalTake’s Luxa2 brand and Coolermaster’s Choix, it is a ‘lifestyle’ brand, basically accessories. Aviiq is making ultra-thin ultra-light laptop stands, and they ooze style and industrial design.
Much cooler in person, really
These pads are made from an aluminum composite material, large words for a sandwich of two thin aluminum sheets with a chewy polypropylene center. This combo is called Hylite, and like most composite materials, it works pretty damn well in practice. The joints are flexible, the weight is essentially zero, and it folds almost perfectly flat.
The larger one on the bottom is cunningly named the Portable Laptop Stand, and it is currently on sale for about $80. When the smaller and as yet unnamed variant goes on sale in the near future for $40 or so, the bigger brother will drop a bit in price. Both come in really elegant packaging with spare parts and carrying cases, about what you would expect from things in this price range.
There were some other products shown off, some in prototype form, others closer to release. The prototype was a device carrying case with a USB charger built in. You put your phone in this padded case, and it recharges off the built in battery. While not a unique concept, it could make a nice gadget carry bag with some added power backup.S|A