Microsoft smart TV, ECS and Asus motherboards, Corsair RAM

Microsoft is to enter the smart TV market with a stripped-down version of Windows in a new set-top box, according to Tom’s Hardware. It will join Apple, Google and the as yet to be officially announced addition of Cisco to the mix, and will use a Windows Media Centre interface. A price tag of $200 is expected.

Yesterday we covered the Micron C400 SSD, a fast high-capacity storage option for laptops. HotHardware got some hands on time with Micron, where the twelve different models were revealed, along with their read and write times, size, voltage and capacities.

HardwareHeaven reviewed the AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition processor and ECS A890GXM-A2 motherboard. The processor earned 9 out of 10 marks and a Silver Award, commended for its build quality, but its major drawback was performance. The ECS motherboard did well, bar minor faults, but the lack of pricing information made it difficult to judge its value.

The Corsair Vengeance Series PC3-12800 8GB RAM Kit was reviewed at TweakTown. It received a rating of 97 percent and, not surprisingly, an Editor’s Choice Award. Performance and price, at $130, were hailed as the major appeals, while no real cons were found.

The ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution motherboard was reviewed at HardOCP, where it received a Gold Award. It received brownie points for its multitude of features, including plenty of PICe slots, full support for Quad CrossFireX and 2-way and 3-way SLI and an improved BIOS chip, while the price and overclocking performance were also praised. There was a problem with recognising function keys on wireless keyboards and failure to post after altered configurations.

ArsTechnica gave an indepth review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which was deemed “impressive” but also a “rough draft”. It was recommended that people wait ’til later in 2011 for a more complete Android tablet experience, which will come with the Honeycomb update and dozens of new Android models, many of which are seeing their debut at CES. With the hefty price tag of the Galaxy Tab, we also recommend waiting.