Tickle the keys on Cooler Master's new gaming board

Subject: General Tech | September 22, 2014 - 11:02 AM |
Tagged: input, cooler master, NovaTouch TKL, gaming keyboard, topre

Cooler Master’s NovaTouch TKL using something called Hybrid Capacitive switches, which you can see illustrated below.  These Topre keys use electric capacitance changes to register a keystroke as opposed to the mechanical actuation on Cherry MX switches but retain a similar feeling thanks to the spring used to return the key to it's initial position as opposed to relying on the rubber dome.  TechGage compared this keyboard favourably to the Logitech G710+ with CHERRY MX brown switches which they had used previously, a lack of clicking noises and motion that felt better to them overall garnered this keyboard a recommendation.  However as the keyboard will be released at $200, you should probably try it yourself before investing in it.

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"Cooler Master’s no stranger to peripherals; when mechanical switches became the hottest thing overnight, it wasted no time getting into the lab to make sure it created products people yearned for. The company’s just-released NovaTouch TKL highlights that goal, with its “Hybrid Capacitive” switch – one that really, really surprised us."

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Source: Techgage

What is your favourite summer rodent?

Subject: General Tech | August 26, 2014 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: usb, peripherals, input, gaming mouse, gaming keyboard, controller

The Tech Report delves into their favourite peripherals available on the market in this article, covering displays, keyboards, mice and all the other goodies you can attach to your PC.  The brand new G-SYNC 1440p monitor from ASUS of course makes an appearance but there is much more covered than just your display.  A half dozen wired keyboards and three wireless ones made the grade along with a similar number of mice and even controllers are ranked to give you an informed choice about the current market.  They even delve into external audio and storage options so if you have a few unused USB ports head on over and see if you can't find something to fill them

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"In this second edition of the peripheral staff picks, we've reworked the display section with the latest 4K and G-Sync monitors in mind. We've also updated the other sections to account for price fluctuations, changes in product availability, and findings from our latest round of reviews. The result should be, we hope, a more informative and up-to-date resource for your back-to-school shopping needs."

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The schwag was cool; the keyboard not so much

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 02:08 PM |
Tagged: sentey, gaming keyboard, Phoenix Extreme Gamer Series, input

Overclockers Club offers an alternative look at the extreme gaming keyboard market which most seem to have accepted as a reasonable product now.  There are many who will pay a high price for a mechanical keyboard with good switches as they do make a difference for frequent typers though arguably not as much for gamers.  Then there are the $50 gaming keyboard with common gel switches but a fancy exterior, eye catching colours and backlighting which generally come with bottle openers and fridge magnets.  The Sentey Phoenix Extreme Gamer is one such keyboard and if you consider it reasonable to spend $50 on a pretty keyboard you probably don't want to read this review.  Those who agree with the author and would rather kill 5 generic keyboards over time will probably crack at least one smile while they read.

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"The keyboard ultimately is a joke to my hands and for the $50 asking price, I'd rather burn through five generic builder series keyboards instead. This keyboard has no home on my desk and shouldn't on yours either. I'm happy to be done with the review, simply for the sake of never using it again. Fortunately, the carry bag will prevent me from picking up shattered keys in my driveway later; good thinking Sentey."

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Computex 2014: Cooler Master Announces NovaTouch TKL Hybrid Switch Keyboard and 1200W Titanium PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2014 - 04:01 PM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, gaming keyboard, cooler master, computex 2014, computex, cherry mx red, 80 Plus Titanium, 1200W PSU

Cooler Master has been showing off a number of new products at Computex this year, and among the new announcments are a hybrid-switch keyboard and ultra-efficient (and ultra powerful) power supply.

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NovaTouch TKL Hybrid Switch Keyboard

First up is the NovaTouch TKL mechanical keyboard, which Cooler Master has outfitted with their exclusive Hybrid Capacitive switches. Cooler Master claims these are "exceptionally quiet and suitable for heavy-duty typing or gaming," and the NovaTouch TKL offers support for Cherry MX switches (though it was not clear if they will be offering it with that option upon release). Another area of interest: the NovaTouch TKL has both a standard USB and microUSB connector!

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Hmm... microUSB connector, eh?

Next we have a 1200W PSU with 80 PLUS Titanium certification (which you might remember calls for 90%+ efficiency at only 10% load!).

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Titanium certification makes power supplies look super awesome

The power supply is Cooler Master's first "foray into digital" PSU design, and there is even a companion app with bluetooth control and monitoring functions. Finally! Now you can while away the afternoon checking and re-checking the efficiency of your PSU from your phone...

Not surprisingly, pricing and availablity are not yet available for these new products.

Corsair Launches New PC Gaming Peripherals

Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2013 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: corsair, raptor gaming, gaming keyboard, mm200, mm400, pax prime

In addition to new headsets, Corsair launched a new Raptor K30 gaming keyboard and two new mouse pads: the MM200 and MM400. The new peripherals will be available in September.

The Raptor K30 is a RED LED backlit gaming keyboard with rubber dome keys and anti-ghosting circuitry. The keyboard has six programmable macro keys, multimedia playback controls, and a full QWERTY with separate number pad layout. The K30 further has a Windows lock key to prevent accidental key presses which would take you out of a full screen game.

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Corsair's Raptor K30 will be available in September for $59.99.

The Corsair MM200 and MM400 are two new mouse mats for enthusiasts running either optical or laser gaming mice. The MM200 is the larger of the two, at 930mm x 300mm (approximately 37” x 12”). It reportedly has a microtexture surface optimized to allow mice to easily glide across the mat. It has a non-slip rubber base to keep the mat in place.

Corsair MM200 Extended Mouse Mat.png

The MM200 mouse mat has an MSRP of $34.99 and will be available in September.

The Corsair MM400 is a 310mm x 235mm (~12" x 9") mouse mat with a low friction polymer surface and rubber base. Corsair stated in a press release that the reflective surface has been tweaked to work well with gaming mice.

Corsair MM400 Compact Mouse Mat.png

User will be able to purchase the MM400 in September for around $19.99 (MSRP).

PAX Prime attendees can check out the new gaming gear at the Corsair booth #1246 at the show in Seattle, WA.

Source: Corsair

Knucker Plunger Keyboard, really Thermaltake?

Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2013 - 01:06 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming keyboard, thermaltake, knucker plunger

The unfortunately named Thermaltake Knucker Plunger Keyboard gets its name from the Plunger switches that were used for the keys on this board.  They are not quite mechanical switches but do offer more feedback, both tactile and audible, when a key is depressed so that you get a feel similar to a mechanical switch but without the accompanying price tag.  With LED backlighting and easily removable keys it does offer the same benefits as high end gaming keyboards but at $40 it will not cost you as much as other models.  Benchmark Reviews tried out the newest member of the Tt eSPORTS lineup finding it more than acceptable for the price point.

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"In today's throw away culture it seems that nothing is sacred anymore, spending ~$100 on a keyboard seems like nothing to some folks with seamlessly disposable income, but not all of us have that luxury. To this end Thermaltake's Tt eSPORTS division have created the Knucker Plunger Gaming Keyboard (model: KB-KNK008). The Knucker Gaming Keyboard was designed and priced to sit part way between a regular rubber dome keyboard and a mechanical switch keyboard. The end result is what Thermaltake call 'Plunger switch technology', a semi-mechanical rubber dome setup that gives tactile feel of mechanical switches at a much lower cost. Here at Benchmark Reviews we aim to give you the information you want without all the hype, so you can make an educated decision for yourself. Read on to find out if the Knucker Keyboard is all that it promises to be."

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AZiO's moddable keyboard and ambidextrous mouse

Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2013 - 01:06 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming keyboard, gaming mouse, AiZO, L3VETRON GM2000, L3VETRON Mech5, L3VETRON

At a glance, AiZO's L3VETRON Mech5 keyboard has a lot of extras for gamers, with a keypad that can be relocated to the left side of the keyboard as well as a 6 key macro pad which can be attached almost anywhere and be assigned up to 12 functions.  There is also a volume knob and a switch to disable the Windows key for those games which just don't like losing focus.  Unfortunately, while these extras did function reasonably well Overclockers Club thought the overall design felt rather cheap and not what they expected from a keyboard that costs over $100. 

The GM2000 mouse came out a bit better, in part because it costs around $40, but also thanks to the light weight and DPI features.  On the other hand they ran into problems with button response and from other reviews of this mouse they are not the only ones who did.  Still, it is reasonably priced and will get you in the game quickly.

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"Mechanical switches are becoming the typical switch in most gaming or enthusiast builds – at this point just having the mechanical switch isn't enough to warrant such high dollar signs. That is where I feel the L3VETRON Mech5 was a major let down. It reminded me of the toy that looked super in the box until you saved up your money to buy it and find out what crap it actually was. The features of a movable number pad as well as the little Macro keypad do deserve some merit in the overall review. Although I'm not big on using macros the ability to choose to have them is nice while not massively increasing the standard layout of the keyboard. The removable ability and varied placement of the number pad was by far my favorite part of all of the AZiO products today. Just the ability to customize my layout in a LEGO sort of manner was like being a kid all over again – loved it."

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Analog Movement on a Keyboard? Start Your Soldering Irons!

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Systems | November 25, 2012 - 11:44 PM |
Tagged: gaming keyboard

I was patrolling around Revision3 upon news of their Adam Sessler acquisition and came across the Ben Heck Show. Long-time readers of my content know that I tend to be very picky with input devices which landed me reviewing several keyboards over the last year-and-a-bit. User interface is a complicated problem and testing their limitations often unearths interesting subjects.

The Revision3 show’s most recent episode took apart a keyboard, which if I had to guess was based on Cherry MX Black although membrane-dome is possible, and gave its WSAD keys analog control.

The underlying principle of the build relies upon support for analog sticks in the software. It is not unheard-of for an input device to register in the computer as multiple devices in order to increase functionality. Several keyboards report to Windows as three separate keyboards to get around USB input limitations. In this case, the hacked keyboard will report as a keyboard and as an Xbox360-compliant gamepad.

The build uses hall sensors and magnets to detect how far the keystem is depressed and transmit that data as left-stick movement.

I could see a company such as Razer or Steelseries, in a bid to further differentiate their mechanical keyboards, creating a product with this idea. It should be simple for an established peripheral company to design a pressure sensitive keyboard especially given the existence of other pressure-sensitive buttons on gaming devices. Perhaps the implementation could have a toggle to switch between typing and gaming modes?

That would interest me.

Source: Revision3