OCZ, USB 3.0 and Lenovo
We met OCZ at the recently inaugurated Aria Hotel for a one on one meeting where we got to see some of their newest and upcoming products. While the company is well known for their system memory solutions, looking into the future it seems their focus is almost exclusively on SSDs, unveiling a new generation of Vertex solid-state drives based on controllers from newcomer SandForce.
For enthusiasts, the MLC-based Vertex 2 will come in 50, 100, 200, and 400GB capacities and use the SandForce SF-1200 controller. The drive is capable of read and write speeds of 270 and 260MB/s, respectively, and 9,500 4KB random write IOPS. OCZ will also have a Vertex 2 Pro that pairs the enterprise-grade SF-1500 controller with MLC memory for up to 280MB/s reads and 270MB/s writes, and an impressive 19,000 IOPS rating at 4K random writes.
Finally, offering capacities up to 200GB, the SLC-based Vertex Pro EX boasts the same read and write speed ratings as its MLC-based counterpart, but it should perform better with random writes at 25,000 IOPS. Pricing wasn't disclosed for the Vertex 2 drives, but OCZ says they'll be a little more expensive than existing Indilinx-based products when they arrive in March.
As you might have caught on our news coverage, the company also showed a couple of power supply units, as well as their anticipated USB 3.0 external SSD, capable of 188MB/s read and 130MB/s write speeds, and the all-new Z-Drive p88, which uses an PCI x8 interface, replaceable MLC NAND flash modules, up to eight Indilinx Barefoot controllers, and peak massive read and write speeds of 1.3 and 1.2GB/s.
As expected, USB 3.0 was a hot topic at this year's show, with several products certified for the new standard being launched -- including host controllers, adapter cards, motherboards, and hard drives. Although we couldn't stop to see each and every one of them first-hand, we did catch a glimpse of Super Talent's USB 3.0 RAIDDrive and an USB 3.0-equipped laptop from Asus -- in addition to their motherboard lineup we already knew about.
The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Notebook/Tablet drew a considerable amount of attention at Pepcom's Digital Experience sideshow. The device starts out as a standard laptop running Windows 7 on a Core 2 Duo CULV processor, but removing the 11.6-inch display lets you use it as a stand-alone Skylight Linux tablet PC, powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon ARM processor with 16GB of flash memory.
The company's Hybrid Switch software handles the move between the main processor and the tablet processor, allowing users to start browsing a website in laptop mode and continue where they left off after they detach the screen -- the whole process takes roughly 3 seconds. There were still some quirks here and there, most notably with the responsiveness of the touch screen, but it still performed quite well for a prototype.
Lenovo also showed a 3D demonstration of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on its new IdeaPad Y560 using ATI's Radeon HD 5730 mobile graphics. Other products on display included the Skylight smartbook, a couple of new netbooks in the IdeaPad S10 series, the IdeaCentre A300 all-in-one PC, and several new ThinkPad models.
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