Introduction and Specifications
The Corsair VOID Surround Gaming Headset is a hybrid product of sorts, combining a traditional stereo gaming headset with a Dolby Headphone-enabled USB dongle to unlock virtual 7.1 surround sound. We’ll have a look, and listen, in this review.
The market for gaming headsets being what it is, one of the most important factors with each new product inevitably becomes price. There are different tiers of products out there from many companies, and Corsair themselves offer a few different choices and various price-points. With the VOID Surround we have a pretty affordable option at $79.99, which is about half the price of the previous wired pair of gaming headphones I looked it, Logitech’s G633.
One of the advantages Corsair offers with this VOID headset is a pair of 50mm drivers, which theoretically offer better bass than 40mm options (though of course size alone is not a guarantee). The 7.1 surround effect is via Dolby Headphone, which is a virtual effect that is commonly found with single-driver options such as this. If the effect is convincing, a headset like the VOID can save the user a lot of money over the pricey discrete multi-driver options on the market.
Introduction and Unboxing
A few years ago, Ryan reviewed the Couchmaster. It was a simple keyboard and mouse holder that suspended those parts above your lap, much like a computer chair, but at your couch. It was a cool concept, but at the time, living room PC gaming hadn't gained much popularity. While we don't all suddenly have living room PCs, the concept has gained some steam. We've seen recent launches of devices like the Corsair Bulldog - a rather beefy DIY living room PC meant to handle enough hardware to support living room gaming at up to 4K resolutions. This left a bit of a gap in Corsair's lineup. They make keyboards, mice, and now a living room PC, but where do you put those peripherals while sitting on your couch? Enter the Corsair Lapdog:
Above is the setup process staged with the keyboard and mouse plugged into the integrated 4-port USB 3.0 hub. Note that we did not need to plug in both keyboard connectors as there is no need to use the USB pass-through feature of these keyboards as the mouse gets its own dedicated port. Owners of the older K70 RGBs might note that even though the early models did not come with a pass-through port, they still had an additional connector for additional USB current. Fear not, as the second plug of those keyboards is also not needed here since the Lapdog uses a powered USB 3.0 hub that can provide sufficient current to light up those models over that single connector.
The cable that combines both power and USB connection from the Lapdog to the wall/PC is 16 feet long, which should provide plenty of space to stretch between just about any TV + couch combination. It was a great idea by Corsair to combine the USB cable and power cable in this way, minimizing the mess and cable clutter that reaches across the floor. You get another 5 feet or so of length for the 12V power adapater as well, so install should be a breeze for users.
Here we see the removable block-off plate. This comes pre-installed in case the user intends to use a K65 (short-body) keyboard. For those cases, the plate keeps the surface flush while covering the area normally used by the number pad. We are installing a K70 model and will be removing the plate for our configuration.
In case you're wondering how to remove the various cover plates and mouse pad in order to complete the installation, there is a mini hex driver built-in to the back of the foam lap pad.
Looking at the bottom of the Lapdog keyboard/mouse housing, we see six magnets that mate with the appropriate places on the bottom of the foam lap pad. The pad is made of cloth covered polyurethane foam. It does not appear to be memory foam and is fairly rigid, which is desirable as we need to keep the keyboard and mouse on a reasonably firm surface when using it on a lap.
On the right edge of the Lapdog we have rear ports for power and USB 3.0 back to the PC, and on the side, we have another pair of USB 3.0 ports off of the internal powered hub. This lets you do other cool stuff like plugging in portable USB storage or even connecting and charging your phone.
With the build complete, I'd just like to comment on how seamlessly the corsair keyboards blend with the rest of the Lapdog. The anodized brushed aluminum is a perfect match, though it does add some weight to the completed product. There is a slight lip at the bottom and right edges of the mouse pad which keep it from sliding off when not in use.
After setup, I spent some quality time with the Lapdog. In gaming, it definitely works as advertised. With the device on your lap, WASD + mouse gaming is essentially where your hands naturally rest with the default positioning, making gaming just about the same as doing so on a desktop. The lap pad design helps to keep it from sliding around on your lap while in use, and the overall bulk and heft of the unit keep it firmly planted on your lap. It is not overly heavy, and I feel that going any lighter would negatively impact stability.
I also tried some actual writing on the Lapdog (I used it to write this article). While the typical gaming position is natural when centered, the left offset of the keyboard means that any serious typing requires you to scoot everything over to the right. The keyboard side is heavier than the mousing side, so there are no tipping issues when doing so. Even if you were to place the center of the Lapdog over your right leg, centering the keyboard on your lap, its weight will still keep the Lapdog planted on your left, so no issues there. Long periods of typing may put a strain on your back if you tend to lean forward off of the front edge of your couch, but the Lapdog is really meant to be a 'lay back' experience, and extended typing is certainly doable in that position with a bit of practice.
The Corsair Lapdog is available for $119.99, which I feel is a fair price given the high-grade components and solid build quality. If you're into PC gaming from the comfort of your couch, the Corsair Lapdog looks to be the best solution your you!
Subject: Storage | June 6, 2016 - 03:40 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ssd, corsair, neutron, neutron xti, Neutron XT
Corsair announced a new line of SSDs at Computex. We didn't have boots on the ground there this year, and it's not yet on Corsair's website, so we needed to go with Tom's coverage of the product. The Corsair Neutron XTI uses Toshiba's 15nm MLC flash and the Phison S10 controller “with expanded cache”. This added cache addresses some “performance consistency” issues that Corsair identified, but they didn't seem to elaborate on what that is. It is rated at up to 100,000 IOPS Read and 90,000 IOPS Write, but that obviously needs to be tested to specify when, how, and how often.
Image Credit: Tom's Hardware
Speaking of tested Corsair Neutron SSDs, Allyn reviewed the previous model, the Corsair Neutron XT, all the way back in November, 2014. He was impressed with the drive at the time, although, while it was super fast at low queue depths of about ~1-4 items, it slowed down above that. Since that time, he has been developing some interesting testing methods to figure out whether slowdowns could be related to individual hitches that would be lost in benchmarks that aggregate results and implicitly average them out. He didn't have those methods back then, though, so it's unclear whether the queue depth issue was a symptom of a latency problem, and whether the “expanded cache” will help that.
We'll see when it's launched. It will be available in 240, 480, and 960 GB varieties.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 4, 2016 - 01:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, msi, hydro gfx, GTX 1080, corsair
Last week, we wrote about the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 SEA HAWK. This design took their AERO cooler and integrated a Corsair self-contained water cooler into it. In response, Corsair, not to be outdone by MSI's Corsair partnership, partnered with MSI to release their own graphics card, the GeForce GTX 1080 version of the Corsair Hydro GFX.
The MSI SEA HAWK
Basically, like we saw with their previous Hydro GFX card, Corsair and MSI are each selling basically the same graphics card, just with their own branding. It sounds like the two cards, MSI's SEA HAWK and Corsair's Hydro GFX, differ slightly in terms of LED lighting, but it might just be a mismatch between Tom's Hardware's Computex coverage and MSI's product page. Otherwise, I would guess that the choice between these SKUs comes down to the company that you trust most for support, which I believe both Corsair and MSI hold a good reputation for, and the current price at the specific retailer you choose. Maybe some slight variation in clock rate?
The Corsair Hydro GFX at Computex
(Image Credit: Tom's Hardware)
For the record, both cards use a single, eight-pin PCIe power connector, rather than an eight-pin and a six-pin as we've seen a few, high-end boards opt for.
No idea about pricing or availability. Corsair's page still refers to the GTX 980 Ti model.
Subject: Cases and Cooling, Memory, Shows and Expos | May 30, 2016 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Vengeance LED, Dominator Platinum SE, ML PRO, ML PRO LED, 400C, bulldog, laptop
As the specifications are sparse as of yet, we will let Corsair tell you about their products in their own words. Start off looking at this fancy setup and carry on through new fans, DIMMs and SFF systems built with VR in mind.
Build it Brighter - Faster, Brighter, Better DRAM
The heart of the CORSAIR Product range, Computex 2016 sees the first showing of two new ranges of high-performance DDR4 memory – CORSAIR Vengeance LED and CORSAIR Dominator Platinum Special Edition. Vengeance LED brings integrated lighting and an aggressively styled new heat-spreader design to the award-winning CORSAIR Vengeance range of XMP 2.0 certified DDR4, allowing enthusiasts to light up their system with vibrant LED lighting in either red or white. Vengeance LED will also be the fastest CORSAIR DDR4 memory kit ever, with specially selected Samsung ICs driving kits to 4,333MHz and beyond.
Dominator Platinum Special Edition takes premium DDR4 to the next level, adding two unique finishes to CORSAIR Dominator Platinum’s unmistakable industrial design and aluminum finish. Shown in both Blackout brushed aluminum and dazzling Chrome finishes, Dominator Platinum Special Edition is built using top bin Samsung ICs, rigorously tested to ensure ample overclocking headroom on X99 and 100 Series platforms. The result is stunning memory that offers both premium looks and premium DDR4 performance.
Vengeance LED and Dominator Platinum Special Edition will launch in Q3.
Build it Cooler - A Revolutionary New Range of Magnetic Levitation Technology Fans
CORSAIR’s range of cooling fans have long been favourites of enthusiasts, matching performance with low noise and a wide choice of customisation options. The new CORSAIR ML PRO and ML PRO LED are much more than just a new range of fans – they include an entirely different kind of bearing that will change what enthusiasts expect from a high-performance cooling fan.
Harnessing patented Magnetic Levitation bearing technology and custom rotor designs, CORSAIR ML PRO fans offer both high static pressure and high air flow, with an ultra-low friction magnetic bearing that simultaneously generates lower noise and provides higher performance. Offered exclusively with PWM speed control over a huge 2,000 RPM range, CORSAIR ML PRO fans mean users don’t have to choose between low-noise and high airflow; one fan can deliver both silence and absolute performance. Customisable with swappable, color co-ordinated corners and available in both 120mm and 140mm models, the ML PRO series is also available in ML PRO LED versions, adding integrated lighting into the fan’s hub, radiating light out through the frosted translucent blades for a vivid, striking look.
The CORSAIR ML PRO and ML PRO LED range of fans will launch in Q3.
Build it Faster – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 comes to CORSAIR with MSI
A modern gaming PC is nothing without a powerhouse of a graphics card, and CORSAIR is proud to once again partner with MSI in the development of its Hydro GFX GeForce GTX 1080. Featuring an integrated closed-loop CORSAIR liquid cooler and PCB design by MSI, the Hydro GFX pushes the GTX 1080 to the limit thanks to its greatly increased GPU core cooling capacity, allowing the GPU to reach higher boost clock frequencies for longer. The result is a quieter, cooler, faster GeForce GTX 1080 right out of the box, ready to conquer even the most demanding of modern games and settings with ease.
The Hydro GFX GeForce GTX 1080 will launch in Q3.
Build it Your Way - 400C Gets a Clean New Look
Building a high-end PC is all about building it your way – your style, your choice of parts, your color. That’s why CORSAIR is bringing a new look to the multi-award winning Carbide 400C Case, the Carbide 400C White. Retaining everything that made the 400C a huge hit with enthusiasts when launched in January 2016, including a stunning full size windowed side panel, minimalist, drive-bay-free front panel and integrated PSU cover, the 400C White swaps ends of the color spectrum for a clean, cool new look.
The CORSAIR Carbide 400C White will launch in June 2016
Build it in the Living Room – BULLDOG and LAPDOG go VR
Celebrating the launch of the CORSAIR BULLDOG and LAPDOG last week, CORSAIR will also be showing the latest application for its living room gaming system and control center, Virtual Reality. By combining the performance of the liquid-cooled, living room friendly BULLDOG system, couch-comfortable LAPDOG and the latest in VR technology from Oculus and HTC, Gamers can experience all that VR has to offer, right from the comfort of their chair.
Here is the Laptop in action.
Followed up by the Bulldog
Subject: General Tech | May 27, 2016 - 01:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, lapdog
You may remember the Nerdytec COUCHMASTER Ryan tested back in 2013? Kitguru received a similar device recently, the Corsair Lapdog for use with K70 and K65 keyboards and with enough space on the side for mousing. Unfortunately the setup is only comfortable for right handed users, lefties will have to hope a sinister model comes out. It has a built in 4-powered port USB 3.0 hub, not just for your peripherals as it supports quick charging for your portable devices. Check out their video review to see if you might want to upgrade from what you currently use when sitting on your couch.
"The Corsair Lapdog is grandly described as a ‘Gaming Control Centre’, however that doesn’t explain things very well as Lapdog is unlike anything we have seen before."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- From ATI to AMD back to ATI? A Journey in Futility @ [H]ard|OCP
- Facebook starts tracking non-users to shove ads in their face @ The Inquirer
- HP Inc-eption: Our new 3D printers print themselves, says CEO @ The Register
- Foxconn to obtain 66.67% stake in Canada-based Smart Technologies @ DigiTimes
- Dropbox wants access to PC and Mac kernels despite developer outrage @ The Inquirer
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 3, 2016 - 03:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: watercooler, AIO, corsair, H80i v2 High Performance
It is funny to think that just a few short years ago AIO watercoolers were rare as hen's teeth when you look at the number of models on the market today. Manufacturers now offer multiple product lines and many are starting to refresh their products with new models. Corsair has created a second version of their popular H80i cooler, which [H]ard|OCP has tested to see if it improves upon the original's performance. They also delve into the rather impressive software which accompanies this cooler, there are a lot more features on the H80i v2 than on the competition which could influence you when you are deciding which cooler to purchase.
"Corsair's original All-In-One H80i was a great CPU cooling unit, so we have high hopes for the H80i version 2. Push / Pull two-speed PWM fans come stock with this kit's newly designed water block and tubing configuration. We also have a new 49mm radiator and Corsair has some cosmetic updates as well that make this AIO very good looking."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Noctua NH-C14S Review @ OCC
- Thermalright Macho 120 SBM CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Silverstone Argon AR06 CPU Cooler Review: Prioritizing Silence @ Modders-Inc
- InWin 909 E-ATX Aluminium & Tempered Glass Chassis @ eTeknix
- Phanteks Evolv ATX Tempered Glass Edition @ Kitguru
- Riotoro CR1280 Prism Full Tower Case Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2016 - 05:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RapidFire, K70 RGB, K70, K65 RGB, corsair, Cherry MX Speed, cherry
Corsair announced three new keyboards, the K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE, K65 RGB RAPIDFIRE and K70 RAPIDFIRE all of which use Cherry's new MX Speed switches which have an actuation distance of 1.2 millimeters and and activation force of 45 cN(centinewtons, or 45.887229584 gram force).
All three keyboards have a brushed aluminium shell, the two RGB models are capable of producing almost any colour on the spectrum with the remaining model featuring red backlighting. All three are compatible with CUE LINK, you can synchronize the LEDs of your Corsair keyboard, mouse and headset to compliment each other and perhaps as a distraction tactic during LAN parties. 100% Anti-ghosting and full key rollover over USB mean even in the heat of battle your death will not be caused by a keypress not registering. Touch typists should also enjoy benefits when using the new keyboards, a light touch is all that is required for the keyboard to register a character, though the tiny amount of travel required may take some getting used to. Many will be please to note that these keyboards do ship with a wrist rest.
They are available as of today, MSRPs are $169.99 for the K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE, $139.99 for the K65 RGB RAPIDFIRE and $129.99 for the K70 RAPIDFIRE.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2016 - 03:09 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mid-tower, enclosure, corsair, case, Carbide SPEC-ALPHA, atx case
Corsair has officially released the Carbide SPEC-ALPHA case they were showing off at CES 2016, and this mid-tower is a striking design that offers an alternative to more traditional look of the company's recent Carbide offerings.
The White/Red SPEC-ALPHA at CES
"With its modern, angular appearance, the SPEC-ALPHA really stands out in a crowd. But its looks aren’t all that are modern – the SPEC-ALPHA features native USB 3.0 support, room for up to four SSDs, and a three-speed fan controller for the three included 120mm fans. A large window shows off internal components and the Direct Airflow Path layout, which provides superior cooling by getting rid of unnecessary drive bays."
The inclusion of a 3-speed fan control is definately welcome at this price, which is an attractive $79.99 MSRP. We'll have to wait until we get one in to test to see how it performs, but at first glance it looks promising. Doubtless the look won't be for everyone, but if you look at a lot of enclosures (like someone I know) unusual designs are always welcome!
Inside the Black/Red version
Technical specifications from Corsair:
- Expansion Slots: 7
- 5.25” Drive bays: N/A
- 3.5” Hard Drive Bays: 3
- 2.5” Drive Bays: 4
- Cooling Layout:
- Front: 2 x 120mm (2 x 120mm LED included)
- Top: 2 x 120mm
- Rear: 1 x 120mm (included)
- Radiator Compatibility:
- 240mm: Front only
- 120mm: Front, or Rear
- Integrated dust filters for front and bottom intakes
- Front I/O Panel includes:
- USB 3.0 port (x2)
- Three-Speed Fan Controller
- Headphone and Microphone jacks
- Power on and Reset buttons
- Dimensions (LxWxH) 518 x 220 x 474 mm (20.39 x 8.66 x 18.66 inches)
- Maximum GPU Length: 380 mm
- Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 156 mm
- Maximum PSU Length: 190 mm
- 2 Year Warranty
(Image credit: Corsair)
As stated above the Carbide SPEC-ALPHA retails for $79.99 and is available now.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2016 - 02:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Warranty, PSU, corsair
If you are using a Corsair AXi, HXi, RMi Series or RMx Series PSU they have some great news for you today. The 7 year warranty that you used to have has now been increased to a full decade of protection against product defects the in materials or workmanship. It still won't help you if a snake decides to make a home in your PSU but for any failures caused because of design problems will be covered. You can see the full details of the warranty over at Corsair's site.