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Round-up: PCs and laptops at CES

2006 promises to be a landmark year for new PC and laptop technology, so check out some of the highlights from this year's CES to see which products will set your pulses racing

The 2006 CES served as the first opportunity to get solid information on tantalising hardware glimpsed over the course of 2005. Among the biggest news was Intel's move to reveal the exact specifications for PCs using its new Viiv (rhymes with 'jive') system, but not to be outdone, AMD launched its own rival (and rhyming) platform, known as Live.

We didn't see any Live kit, but there were a few vendors showing off Viiv systems. Alienware announced the fairly standard-looking Area-51 3550, and the more unorthodox Area-51 5400, the company's first all-in-one PC. According to Matthew Elliot, it uses the dual-core Centrino Duo CPU, has an integrated camera, and should set you back around $2,000 (£1,130).

There's plenty of movement in the world of laptops, too. Justin Jaffe saw Sony debut two new dual-core notebooks, the high-end VAIO FE series, and the thin-and-light SZ series. The former features a 15.4-inch Xbrite widescreen display, an integrated Webcam, and an optional TV tuner. The latter is set to replace the Vaio S series, and has a 13.3-inch screen, biometric security, hard-drive protection and Bluetooth.

Gamers will have plenty to celebrate in 2006, not least because of Dell's forthcoming XPS 600 Renegade (pictured). According to Rich Brown, this PC comes with an Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 processor clocked at 4.26GHz, but more interestingly this system marks the introduction of Nvidia's GeForce Quad SLI technology, which also made its debut at the show.

This tech allows four graphics cards to run simultaneously, and means you should now be able to play any 3D game at full detail settings at mammoth resolutions. For example, you could indulge in games running at 2,560x1,600 pixels, as supported by the new Dell 3007WFP 30-inch LCD, without any performance drops.

Visit our CES 2006 Special Report for more coverage. -RR