Release roundup: Laptops, keyboards, and graphics

This week in our roundup of miscellaneous release announcements, we've got news from HP, Mionix, and MSI.

  • HP unveils mobile workstation portfolio for ultimate performance, design and durability. HP's new professional notebook lineup includes the 17.3" EliteBook 8760w, the 15.6" EliteBook 8560w, and the 14" EliteBook 8460w (pictured below), which start at $1,899, $1,349, and $1,299, respectively. The three machines feature Intel Sandy Bridge processors, up to 32GB of system memory, and AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro professional discrete graphics (the 8460w is only available with a FirePro GPU). HP also boasts about the systems' "precision aluminum-alloy hinges and cast titanium-alloy display latches."

  • Mionix unveils Zibal 60 keyboard. The Zibal 60 belongs to a now well-established breed of gaming keyboards based on Cherry's MX Black key switches, which are mechanical but lack tactile or auditory feedback. This bad boy piles on extra features, like a detachable wrist rest, USB and audio pass-through ports, green backlighting with adjustable brightness levels, and options to enable backlighting only for the WASD keys or disable it altogether. The Zibal 60 is coming in June with a $149.99 asking price.

  • MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk features exclusive Propeller Blade technology. MSI's latest take on the GeForce GTX 560 Ti features the company's Twin Frozr III dual-fan cooler, which purportedly delivers 20% more airflow and reduces temperatures by up to 17°C compared to traditional designs. The cooler can be configured to run in either "performance" or "silent" modes. MSI also touts a souped-up power delivery system meant to enhance the card's overclocking potential, which probably helped in achieving the card's out-of-the-box clock speeds of 950MHz for the GPU and 1050MHz for the memory—that's up from 822/1000MHz on the vanilla GTX 560 Ti.

  • MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III Power Edition also has Propeller Blade technology. I guess that Propeller Blade tech isn't so exclusive, because MSI has announced a GeForce GTX 570 variant that features it, as well. This card doesn't have higher-than-normal clock speeds, but MSI says it runs up to 18°C cooler and 7.7-dB quieter with 22% greater overclocking potential than vanilla offerings.

As a fan of mechanical keyboards, I can't help but find that Mionix keyboard interesting. I do quite a bit more typing than gaming, however, and MX Black key switches aren't well suited for that purpose—they tend to require a fair amount of pressure to actuate, and bottoming out is the only surefire way to know you've depressed a key properly.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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