Computex 2015: Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2015 - 08:07 AM |
Tagged: STRAFE, mechanical keyboard, gaming keyboard, corsair, computex 2015, computex, Cherry MX

Corsair has announced the STRAFE mechanical gaming keyboard featuring Cherry MX switches, and the company is calling it the “most advanced mono-backlit mechanical gaming keyboard available”.


From Corsair:

“The STRAFE mechanical gaming keyboard’s brilliant red backlighting can be customized to a virtually unlimited number of lighting configurations and effects. Each key can be programmed with automated macros using CUE (Corsair Utility Engine) software. Users can choose from six unique lighting effects or craft their own custom profiles and share them on”

The STRAFE features:

  • German-made Cherry MX red switches with gold contacts for fast, precise key presses
  • Fully programmable brilliant red LED backlighting for unrivaled personalization
  • USB pass-through port for easy connections
  • Textured and contoured FPS/MOBA keycaps
  • 100% anti-ghosting technology with 104-key rollover
  • Enhanced, easy-access multimedia controls


The Corsair STRAFE has an MSRP of $109.99 and will be available in June.

Source: Corsair

Logitech G Intelligent Illumination Shown Using Battlefield Hardline

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2015 - 08:28 PM |
Tagged: logitech g, logitech, gaming keyboard, gaming, battlefield hardline

Logitech has created an SDK to bring a new concept to PC gaming: in-game illumination integration with G series gaming peripherals. Logitech is calling this "Intelligent Illumination", and they have created a video to show off the new tech from their work with EA on Battlefield Hardline.

Switching sides in the game alternates the keyboard color, and the lights blink when taking damage. It's certainly a novel concept, and in this instance adds additional user feedback by taking advantage of the RGB color capabilities of a modern gaming keyboard (this is the G910 Orion Spark). The possibilities seem endless, but a simple idea like context-specific keyboard mapping through custom illumination would make the controls for some games much easier to learn.

Source: Logitech

CES 2015: ASUS Strix Tactic Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and Strix Claw Mouse

Subject: General Tech | January 5, 2015 - 02:30 PM |
Tagged: Strix Tactic Pro, Strix Claw, strix, mechnical keyboard, gaming mouse, gaming keyboard, Cherry MX, ces 2015, CES, asus

The new Strix Tactic Pro is a mechanical gaming keyboard designed for durability, and it looks the part.


Since switches obviously matter the Tactic pro will be available with a choice of black, blue, brown, or red Cherry MX switches. ASUS states that the keyboard “employs the highest-specification N-Key Rollover (NKRO) technology over USB and has 13 dedicated, easy-to-reach macro keys for fast and hassle-free command customization”. The F1 - F8 keys can also be reprogrammed for a total of 21 macro keys if you need them.


ASUS is also showing their Strix Claw gaming mouse, which features “right-handed ergonomics” (sorry, lefties), Japanese-made Omron D2F-01F switches, a “gaming-tuned” 5000 DPI high-precision optical sensor (adjustable), true 1:1 movement with angle-snap-free capability, and 3 independently programmable buttons.

The Strix Claw is already up on Amazon but no word yet on availability/pricing of the Tactic Pro keyboard, though it is listed on the ASUS site.

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Source: ASUS

Cooler Master Introduces Octane Keyboard And Mouse Combo

Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2014 - 12:45 AM |
Tagged: Octane, gaming mouse, gaming keyboard, cooler master

Building upon the Devastator combo, Cooler Master has unleashed a new and improved keyboard and mouse combo dubbed Octane. The Octane keyboard and mouse are aimed at PC gamers with customizable LED backlighting, anti ghosting, high DPI mouse sensors and other gaming friendly features. It is available now with a MSRP of $59.99.

Sold as a set, the Octane gaming bundle includes a USB keyboard with custom membrane keys and USB optical mouse. As is customary with gaming gear, the kit features lots of sharp edges and angles. The keyboard in particular is heavily stylized. Both devices can be independently assigned colored backlighting with seven colors to choose from (blue, red, green, purple, yellow, cyan, or white). The backighting can be further set to one of several modes including full backlight, pulse, or a breathing mode that gradually cycles through all available color options.

Cooler Master Octane Gaming Combo.jpg

The keyboard is mainly constructed of ABS plastic and uses custom membrane keyswitches. It is a full QWERTY keyboard with a number pad on the right side, a Windows button lock switch, backlight control key, and six dedicated media playback keys along the top. The space bar is a unique triangle/wedge shape (wider on the right side) that differs from a standard keyboard, however. There is a short palm rest with a Cooler Master logo sitting in the center below the space bar. Cooler Master claims that the Octane keyboard supports 19-key anti-ghosting technology along with adjustable repeat rates.

Cooler Master Octane Keyboard and Mouse Gaming Combo.jpg

The mouse included in the Octane set uses a AVAGO 3050 optical sensor that supports DPI settings from 500 to 3500. Users can adjust the DPI on the fly to one of four adjustable DPI levels. It is allegedly rated for 10 million clicks over its lifespan. Aside from the two main mouse buttons and the scroll wheel, the gaming mouse has two DPI buttons beneath the scroll wheel and two thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse.

The Octane bundle is an improvement over the Devastator series, at least on paper, though at increased cost. The hardware is shipping now, so reviews should be forthcoming from the usual suspects. The Octane mouse and keyboard bundle is available now with a 2 year warranty for $60 USD.

Tickle the keys on Cooler Master's new gaming board

Subject: General Tech | September 22, 2014 - 02:02 PM |
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.


"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 - 05:22 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


"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 - 05:08 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.


"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 - 07:01 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.


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!


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!).


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 - 09:12 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.

Corsair Raptop K30 Gaming Keyboard.png

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 - 04:06 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.


"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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