Creative had a very strong showing this year, once again featuring Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendell in frag matches throughout the day. They showed off a new video recorder, new speakers, a new sound card, new OEM partners, and a kick-ass new processor architecture, too. Let’s take a look!
[ad]Creative unveiled this year the Vado HD, a direct competitor to the wildly popular Flip Mino HD. It’s a handheld 1080i/720p video camera which saves recorded video to its on-board 8 GB Flash storage. It’s capable of recording up to two hours of HD content to this storage. Unfortunately, it’s not expandable.
Unlike the Flip Mino HD, the Vado HD does however have a user serviceable battery, it’s considerably lighter, and it has a flexible connector. Awesomely, the Vado HD has an on-board HDMI port for playing back content directly on a monitor or TV.
A downside of the Vado HD is that its zoom is a mere 2x. This may be a good thing, however, since video recorded from handheld video cameras is known for inducing seasickness from the constant bouncing a moving which doesn’t affect larger, heavier devices.
The Vado HD is available now for $229 MSRP, $199 street.
Sound Blaster for iTunes
Sound Blaster for iTunes (herein SB4iT) has perhaps the worst name possible for its actual function. Really, the SB4iT is a USB X-Fi sound card which can not only pump out audio to a headset or 2.1 system, but also wirelessly to an included receiver. This receiver can then be connected to a HiFi or any other output source. It works on both Mac OS X and Windows (I tried it on Ubuntu: it shows as a named USB audio-class device, but I couldn’t coax playback). The audio is streamed DRM’d via a proprietary digital protocol, eliminating the need for any other kind of content protection.
Price and availabilty were not available.
Creative establish several new OEM partners this year, and maintained its existing relationships quite well. On display where sound cards from Auzentech and CasaTunes, a motherboard from ASUS’s new Republic of Gamers brand, a motherboard from Foxconn, and a car radio head unit from Runz.
Hardcore Computer with on-board X-Fi
This watercooled rig from Hardcore Computer showed off an on-board Creative X-Fi 7.1 sound card with ports embedded into the lid of the case. It’s a very neat rig, but it will set you back at least $3,700.