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Sapphire branches out into small things

Graphics card specialist Sapphire is branching out. Some might say that’s because there are too few graphics chips in the channel. Others perhaps will view this as wise diversification.

Whatever, it’s happening. And the latest fruits of the strategy are on show here at CeBIT 2010 for the first time.

First up is the firm's mini-ITX mainboard. Sapphire reckons it is the first company in Europe to introduce a fully-featured AMD 785G-based mainboard in the mini-ITX format.

The wee board accommodates low-power AMD socket AM3 processors up to 2.6GHz and has dual DDR3 memory slots. The 785 chipset integrates DirectX 10.1 graphics and UVD for on-board decoding of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray video.

The board, nattily entitled the Sapphire IPC-AM3DD785G ITX, boasts impressive connectivity, along with a PCI-Express 16-lane slot for expansion. It has up to 10 USB, 4 SATA and IDE, Gigabit LAN, 6-channel audio and SPDIF as well as VGA and HDMI video outputs.

Sticking with the tiddly theme, Sapphire is also showing off its first netbook in the Hanover Halle.

The N450 features a 10.1-inch "wide"screen along with a 1.66GHz Atom processor and 1GB of system RAM, along with a hardisk up to 250GB in capacity.

Rounding of the new range is the Mini Projector 101 which displays images up to 65 inches (1.65m) across from a variety of sources, including VGA input from a PC as well as video input from digital cameras, iPods and other devices.

It automatically caters for TV input in PAL or NTSC format as well as other digital standards. Sapphire says the bright LED lamps have an long life of 20,000 hours, in contrast to the short bulb life of conventional projectors. Its small size makes for easy portability, yet battery operation can last up to 140 minutes. It'll cost between $250-300. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.