Recommendations from outside the case

Subject: General Tech | April 7, 2014 - 05:23 PM |
Tagged: input, peripherals

The PC Perspective HWLB and The Tech Report's System Guide focus on the best internal components for your computer with the goal of guiding you to the best value for your dollar when you are constructing a new PC.  Keyboards, mice and other peripherals are left out of our recommendations as for most people it is a personal decision as to whether they prefer expensive ergonomic devices or just a basic model.  The Tech Report have changed that with their recent article which features their Staff Picks for the best peripherals of 2014.  If you are having difficulty deciding which peripherals to attach to that new PC, why not drop by and check out their favourites?

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"When we introduced our new System Guide format in February, we cut out peripherals in order to focus more closely on internal PC components. Our plan was to revisit keyboards, mice, displays, and such things in a separate guide, which we would be free to flesh out a little more and update as needed, independently of the already lengthy System Guide."

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For when you need a keyboard that stands out

Subject: General Tech | March 24, 2014 - 01:22 PM |
Tagged: input, ducky, Cherry MX

If you are not satisfied with a plain keyboard that doesn't stand out in a crowd and also care about the quality of the board then the Ducky Shine 3 is a keyboard you should be aware of.  Your choice of Cherry MX switches to ensure a proper mechanical feel to your key presses and an array of LED lights will make this keyboard stand out from across the room.  As you can see from the picture, this isn't just backlit keys, a glowing snake on the space bar and lights on every key make this board rather unique.  If flashy keyboards are your thing, check out Benchmark Reviews article here.

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"The Ducky Shine Series, arguably one of the best mechanical keyboards on the market, has released the Ducky Shine 3 DK9008S3. Often referred to as the YOTS or “Year of the Snake”, the 2013 Shine 3 is the offshoot descendant of the 2012 Year of the Dragon Shine 2 DK9087 (a tenkeyless version in the shine series). This model, like it’s predecessor, comes with a wide array of switch options including Cherry MX Black, Blue, Brown, and Red, and a wide array of LED color options including: Blue, Red, Green, White, Magenta, and Orange."

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It would seem tenkeyless is now a word thanks to the CM QuickFire Stealth

Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2014 - 04:48 PM |
Tagged: input, cooler master, CM Storm QuickFire Stealth, mechanical keyboard

As you can see in the picture the word refers to the lack of a numpad, which trims down the size of the QuickFire Stealth, though the 2.1lbs weight may surprise you.  You can choose the Cherry switch colour of your choice, a nice touch for the typing purist and it comes with the standard Vengeance key removal tool for customizing your keyboard layout.  The USB cord is completely detachable making this a relatively portable device and it even has a USB to PS/2 adapter if you are that type of person.  Check out The Tech Report's full review here.

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"With a tenkeyless design and "covert" lettering on the key caps, Cooler Master's QuickFire Stealth isn't your average mechanical keyboard. We take a closer look at how it differs from the masses."

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He ain't heavy; he's my keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2014 - 04:28 PM |
Tagged: QuickFire Ultimate, mechanical keyboard, input, cooler master

The Cooler Master Quickfire Ultimate has an unexpected claim to fame, at 3lbs it is probably one of the heaviest modern keyboards on the market.  You can choose your preferred type of Cherry MX switches and there is even a Canadian model with a colour scheme perfect for Habs fans.  The LED backlight can perform a number of tricks, from only lighting certain keys to having the lights pulse.  Check out The Tech Report's full review here.

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"With an embedded steel plate and a beefy body, Cooler Master's QuickFire Ultimate may be one of the sturdiest mechanical keyboards around. We take a closer look at this affordable backlit model to see how it holds up."

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CoolerMaster's triple update to the Storm line of peripherals

Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2013 - 05:18 PM |
Tagged: input, CM Storm, aluminium, Pulse-R, headset, mech, mechanical keyboard, Reaper, mouse

CoolerMaster have released a set of aluminium highlighted peripherals; the Pulse-R headset, Mech keyboard and Reaper gaming mouse. The headset is compatible with both 3.5mm jack and USB connections, offering both over the ear audio and a detachable microphone and was rated quite highly.  The Mech keyboard uses Cherry MX Blue switches which are common place now, more unique is the look of the board and the features which include 64 N key rollover, LED back lighting, dual USB 3.0 ports and a charging port along with 128k of on board memory for macros.  Wrapping up the package is the Reaper mouse, 8 buttons and an impressive looking scroll wheel with DPI capability as high as 8200. 

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"A few weeks ago we brought you three reviews from the aluminium loving peripheral range from CM Storm, this includes their Pulse-R headset, Mech keyboard and the Reaper mouse. All three of these products are designed to look great, not only on their own, but also when they’re put next to each other. CM Storm do not sell these three items as a complete set, but today we want to find out what it would be like to live with the trilogy together."

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Source: eTeknix

Is there such a thing as keyboard Heaven?

Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2013 - 05:34 PM |
Tagged: topre, Type Heaven, input, electrostatic capacitive switches

Keyboards bring to mind data entry, review writing and possibly gaming if you have the time but not usually transcendental bliss, unless you are Topre.  In that case you release a high end mechanical keyboard called the Type Heaven.  The Tech Report got their hands on this keyboard, one of the least expensive models from Topre and let their fingers experience heaven.  This is not a mechanical keyboard such as we have become used to, instead it is a conical spring covered with a rubber dome and when you depress the key the spring is pushed down onto an electrode which builds capacitance until a critical threshold is reached at which point the keystroke is sent and the rubber dome collapses giving a snappy ending to that keystroke.  Learn more about electrostatic capacitive switches in the full review.

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"Once marginalized by their extravagant pricing, Topre mechanical keyboards have now entered (somewhat) more affordable territory. How does the $150 Topre Type Heaven stack up against other mechanical keyboards based on the more popular Cherry MX switches? We investigate."

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Gigabyte's premium wireless mouse

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2013 - 06:09 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, Aivia Uranium, gigabyte

Gigabyte's Aivia Uranium is more than just a wireless gaming mouse, you also get a receiver with a receiver that sports an OLED and displays what your current settings are.  The report rate can be set from 125Hz to 1kHz and the DPI from 100 to 6500 on the fly.  Counting the mouse wheel there are 10 programmable buttons which can handle macros as well as single push actions.  At $120 it is quite expensive but HiTech Legion felt there were enough included functions to actually make it worth it for someone who needs more than just a mundane mouse.

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"The Gigabyte Aivia Uranium is a one of a kind gaming mouse that comes with an OLED wireless receiver. The receiver's display enables the Aivia Uranium to control macros, program buttons, change sensitivity and polling rates without having to use software on the computer. There are 10 programmable buttons and a no-slip rubberized surface so that even the most intense gaming session won't go out of control."

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A pair of gaming peripherals from CoolerMaster

Subject: General Tech | September 26, 2013 - 05:46 PM |
Tagged: input, coolermaster, CM Storm, Havok, quickfire xt, gaming mouse, mechanical keyboard

Up for review at Overclockers Club is a pair of CM Storm peripherals, the Havok gaming mouse and the Quckfire XT mechanical keyboard.  Their review unit had Cherry Blue switches but you can choose your favourite Cherry switch when you order the keyboard.  For those who prefer a minimalistic looking keyboard with a lot of hidden features this is a great choice.  The Havoc gaming mouse is also fairly plain looking and also hides a variety of features. This model is definitely a right handed mouse and best avoided by those with tiny hands but for right handed folks who like to have a hand full of mouse the Havoc could be the peripheral you are looking for.

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"Overall I really enjoyed the CM Havoc gaming mouse. I usually don't go for the fat mice, but this is one you can definitely be a chubby chaser for and still be thought of as okay. It is definitely set to fancy those with a palm grip and despite having small hands there's not too much there. It is built nice and sturdy and even some rage smashes of the mouse have not shown any instant signs of loss. The little bit of lighting really adds to the mouse in my opinion; for some reason I fall into the category of loving a little bit of customization through a little bit of lighting on my peripherals. The lighting is subtle enough and you can turn it off completely without it looking like it is broken. I didn’t like that I couldn’t have my full RGB spectrum, but I can settle with the standard options provided. The mouse glides quite well even on the cheapest of mouse pads and is great for many hours of game play, work, and whatever else you use your mouse for. It's just a nice simple connection between you and your machine."

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At $50 the Tesoro Shrike is a lot of mouse

Subject: General Tech | September 5, 2013 - 05:31 PM |
Tagged: Tesoro, gaming mouse, input, shrike

Tesoro is certainly not as well established a mouse maker as Razer and others but they seem to be aiming for the high end crowd.  Their Shrike Gaming Mouse comes with three 10g weights and a single 5g to allow you to choose the most comfortable weight for your hands.  There are eight buttons including the DPI switcher, which you can actually reprogram if you wish and the plastic exterior resembles brushed aluminium which is rather unique; the LEDs are not so uncommon.  It can store up to 40 programmed macros on its 128KB onboard memory and is configurable up to 5600 dpi at a 1000Hz polling rate. Check out R&B Mods for more.

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"Today we are taking a look at another gaming mouse from Tesoro. Up for testing is the Shrike which seems to be a tad sharper than the previous Tesoro we looked at so lets take a closer look."

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Cooler Master's new mechanical keyboard, the QuickFire XT

Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2013 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: input, cooler master, quickfire xt, Cherry MX

The Cooler Master QuickFire XT comes in four different flavours of Cherry, Blue, Red, Brown and Green.  You can pick your preferred type of mechanical switch, from low resistance to strong as well as a click or a non-click feedback for a keypress.  It can also function either as USB or PS/2 for those who like to push more than a half dozen buttons at once and looks very familiar, lacking the sometimes ridiculous amount of extra media buttons.  You can easily swap keys around for those who prefer bright red WSAD or who want to incorporate the two unique CM buttons.  Legit Reviews has the full story here.

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"As expected with mechanical keyboards, typing on the QuickFire XT was an overwhelmingly positive experience as a result of Cherry’s switch mechanism. Individuals have their own preferences and so it’s not fair to rate or rank the switch types. Cooler Master avoids the issue of forced switch selection by making the QuickFire XT available in four Cherry MX switches..."

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