15 Hot PCs From CES 2011

Laptops, Mods And More

CES 2011 was full of tablets and smartphones, but let's not forget about those PCs. Las Vegas was full of new notebooks and desktops, from outrageous and colorful mods to incredible, performance-packed laptops.

Here's a look at 15 of the hottest PCs from CES 2011.

Nvidia 'Kegputer'

Yes! It's a keg and a computer! Nvidia's alluring case mod features a fully functional PC gaming rig that also holds 40 servings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The system features Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards, a solid state hard drive and a whopping 12 GB of RAM. And of course, the case has a liquid cooling system, too.

Lenovo Mod 1: The Arcade Dock

Lenovo recently introduced a new mod campaign titled "What's Your Idea Of Fun?" that invited various modders to take Lenovo products and put their own spin on them. Dean Liou designed this arcade-style dock, based on the Street Fighter series, for an IdeaPad Y560, which allows users to pop the laptop inside the case and play PC games like an old-school arcade cabinet.

Toshiba Qosmio X505

Toshiba's Qosmio X505 is a true desktop replacement laptop that packs a major performance punch, thanks to Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i7 platform and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460M graphics card. The Qosmio X505 comes with an enormous 18.4-inch HD wide-screen display, a Blu-ray player, and a whopping 1-TB hard drive, making it one of Toshiba's most potent notebooks ever.

Lenovo Mod 2: Lenovo Ice

This Lenovo mod may look like it's encased in a block of ice, but looks can be deceiving. The mod, titled Lenovo Ice, was designed by James Fislar and features an IdeaCentre K320 desktop inside a custom acrylic mold with special lighting and a custom water cooling system and accompanying reservoir. So while the case isn't real ice, it still keeps the system running cool.

Samsung 9 Series

Samsung's 9 Series laptop is thin -- very thin. Measuring just 0.64 inches and weighing less than 3 pounds, the 9 series is a premium ultrathin laptop that rivals Apple's MacBook Air. The sleek case is composed of Duralumin, which Samsung says is twice as durable as aluminum. The 13.3-inch 9 Series also comes with Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i5 processor. And while performance certainly matters, looks are important too. The Series 9 is one of the best-looking notebooks around today.

Toshiba Mini NB305 Netbook

Netbook sales may be slowing down, but Toshiba says its netbook business is actually growing. And the mini NB305 netbook is a good reason why; it comes with Intel's next-generation Atom processor, more than 8 hours of battery life, a light and attractive aluminum frame, and full-size touch pad with multitouch control, not to mention a 10.1-inch display and a 250-GB hard drive.

Lenovo Mod 3: Level 12

This Lenovo mod was designed to make computers look compatible with living room furniture. Instead of metal and plastic, this case, built by Jeffrey Stephenson, uses maple and teak wood around a performance-upgraded Lenovo H320 system. The H320 chassis was modified for better cooling and the case comes equipped with additional fans and vents, so the Level 12 stays cool even inside a wooden box.

Supermicro C7P67

Supermicro introduced its C7P67 premium desktop motherboard in Las Vegas and showed off a new high-performance system based on it. This Supermicro desktop, designed for high-end PC gaming, features Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor and comes with SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 support. The motherboard also supports solid state drives and hybrid drives and comes with two PCI slots for dual graphics cards. Supermicro said the C7P67 also comes with 4 DIMM sockets that can hold up to 32 GB of memory.

Toshiba Satellite e305

There's a new Toshiba Satellite model on the block. The E305 has plenty of hot new specifications such as Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i5 processor and a hybrid hard drive. There's also USB 3.0 support, built-in 4G WiMax and Intel's Wireless Display 2.0 technology. And for fans of HD video, there's a Blu-ray player, too.

Lenovo Mod 4: Lenovo Sensei

This mod was designed with education in mind. Brian Cater developed the Lenovo Sensei as a teaching aid, combining an A700 all-in-one touch-screen PC with an integrated HD DLP projector with 1,280 x 800 resolution, hybrid laser technology, and an HDMI port. The modified case has additional ventilation to keep both the A700 and the projector running cool.

HP Envy 17

HP's Envy 17 gaming laptop got a major refresh in Las Vegas, thanks to new technology from both Intel and AMD. The new Envy 17 comes with Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU platform (either the Core i5 or Core i7 models) and AMD's new Mobility Radeon HD 6000 series graphics. The high-powered laptop includes up to 6 GB of RAM and 2 TB of hard drive storage. And let’s not forget the 17.3-inch Brightview HD display for vivid gaming visuals.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s/E420s

Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge was designed as a business-class notebook for SMB clients, and now two new Edge models -- the E220s (12.5 inches) and E420s (14 inches) -- include enterprise-level computing computer. The new E220s and E420s come with Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, up to 8 GB of RAM and a 320-GB hard drive. The new laptops also come with full HD video support and an HDMI port.

Toshiba Satellite Kids PC L635

Every group seems to have its own style of laptop, from gamers and students to SMBs and enterprises. So why not kids, too? This Satellite model comes with a "wipeable keyboard" that will keep out any food or liquids, plus pre-installed Net Nanny software as well as games like Lego Batman and The Princess and the Frog. The L635 is also built to withstand a few drops and bumps, thanks to its sturdy case and Toshiba's hard-drive impact sensor.

Lenovo Mod 5: The MD-5

This Lenovo mod was inspired the "Johnny 5" character from the 1986 science fiction movie "Short Circuit." Chris Blarsky integrated a Lenovo A700 all-in-one PC with a robotic mount, complete with wheels and a mechanical arm. The MD-5 (short for "mobile desktop") has a battery pack so it can operate as a true mobile system. Plus, the mod's arm can bend and lie the A700 flat so users can operate the touch-screen system as a "surface" computer.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid

We can't have a hot PC list without including Lenovo's slick notebook-tablet combination, which turned heads in Las Vegas for the second year in a row. While the IdeaPad U1 Hyrbid is currently scheduled for release in China only, we're hoping to see more of it in North America.