CES 2011: MSI Throws Behind Sandy Bridge

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CES 2011

At the MSI press conference this week in Las Vegas, MSI showed off that when it comes to keeping up with new technology, they’re no slouch.  In this case, that means Intel’s new Sandy Bridge class of CPUs, with the new chips finding homes in notebooks, motherboards, and even a couple of surprisingly stylish all-in-ones.

MSI CES 2011 MSI CES 2011

It’s clear that MSI is putting a fair amount of effort behind their new touchscreen all-in-ones, joining only a few manufacturers in trying to pretty up the Microsoft Windows interface with more finger-friendly bits of software. The new interface is surprisingly responsive, centering on letting users multi-task with web browsers and music players, all via touch.

MSI CES 2011 MSI CES 2011

The AE2210, at 21.5 inches and the AE2410, at 24 inches diagonally, will run $799.99 and $899.99 respectively, with availability starting in Q1 of this year.  Each model is a 1920 x 1080 screen with two-finger multi-touch capability; they’re also built with what MSI calls its “Super Charger Technology”.  

SCT is connected to one of the machine’s two USB 3.0 ports; it allows users to charge devices like a smartphone or tablet even when the machine is turned off or asleep. They also offer up to 40% faster recharge times thanks to USB’s higher power output.

MSI CES 2011MSI is well known for being a gamer-friendly motherboard maker, and it shows in the new motherboard lineups. The king of the new boards is clearly the P67A-Marshall. 

It supports the latest and greatest Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors, a whopping eight PCI Express x16 slots, instant real-time overclocking (OC’ers were mentioned several times in the press talk), 12 USB ports – all USB 3.0 – the Super Charger Technology mentioned earlier, and the ability to store multiple BIOSes in case overclocking messes it up.

MSI also took the opportunity to switch to a graphical Unified EFI interface instead of more traditional BIOS software.  

MSI CES 2011 MSI CES 2011

Other boards shown off use the less enthusiast-oriented H67 chipset, and are planned for use in smaller desktops, HTPCs and more mainstream units. The boards are all scheduled for release early this year, but prices weren’t being mentioned. 

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