The return of the ergonomic keyboard, this time it is mechanical

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2013 - 04:27 PM |
Tagged: cherry mx brown, Truly Ergonomic, mechanical keyboard, Model 207, input

Ergonomic keyboards go in and out of style, with some adherents sticking to a particular model but for the rest of us we seem to prefer the clumsy QWERTY layout above all others.  The Model 207 from Truly Ergonomic is a mechanical keyboard, so if your fingers can find the keys you will be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that key did depress.  On the other hand as you can see from the picture below finding those keys will take some practice.  You can also take a look at the back of the keyboard at the review on LanOC which shows off the customization possible thanks to the inclusion of dip switches that change the function of some keys.

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"When it comes to ergonomic keyboards there are only a few to pick from and, for the most part, all of those are rubber dome keyboards. Ergonomic mechanical keyboards are really limited to two different models, one being the Truly Ergonomic. Today we are going to take a look to see how it compares to everything I have tested to date. I expect an adjustment period just to its shape alone, but as a writer by trade I am very curious how it will affect me day to day. The gamer in me is just as curious on how it will perform in game as well. Let’s take a closer look."

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Source: LanOC

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.

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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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Can you go too far with a gaming mouse? The Shogun Bros Ballista MK-1 Pro

Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2013 - 06:48 PM |
Tagged: Shogun Brothers Ballista MK-1 Pro, input, gaming mouse

Gaming mice continue to evolve as the market has become saturated, with companies striving to stand out in the crowd but Shogun Brothers may have taken this a bit far.  While having 8200 DPI and 12000 FPS is impressive, being able to set the X and Y sensitivity separately seems excessive.  The ability to save five different profiles for button programming is impressive but when the mouse is capable of displaying the name of that profile you have perhaps reached a new level altogether.  Perhaps the most telling is that the mouse is clearly labelled with a warning not to even attempt to use the mouse without reading the instructions first.  However, if this sounds like the mouse of your dreams, head to eTeknix to see this mouse in action.

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"For the last couple of days I have been spending my evening gaming and putting the Ballista MK-1 gaming mouse from Shogun Bros through its paces. Until a few weeks ago I had never even heard of Shogun Bros and give that the gaming peripheral is somewhat dominated by a few big brands it can be hard for another name to squeeze through. Yet a quick look online has shown that products like the Ballista and other products from Shogun Bros have been getting a lot of attention and a lot of love from both review media and the gaming community, so what is all the fuss about?"

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Source: eTeknix

ROCCAT's feature filled keyboard, the Isku FX

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2013 - 07:21 PM |
Tagged: roccat, input, Isku FX

There is a new keyboard from the company that Ryan loves to try to pronounce; ROCCAT's new Isku FX is more than just a gaming keyboard with multimedia buttons and LED backlighting.  With the configuration software installed you can change the Caps Lock key to modify the macro and thumb keys to give you a total of 16 macro keys, remap the multimedia keys or even change up what ROCCAT refers to as the Easy Zone.  For aesthetic purposes you can choose from 16.8 million distinct colours in the backlighting.  There are also apparently achievements you can unlock with this keyboard if you have become addicted to those thanks to Steam.  If this sounds like something you might like you should check out the full review at Techgage.

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"At the time of writing, the Isku FX is ROCCAT’s range-topping keyboard. Appropriately it’s packed to the gills with features and capabilities lesser keyboards tend to eschew. No, it’s not a mechanical keyboard, but despite this is it still worth your hard-earned dollars? Read on and find out!"

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Source: Techgage

Make your own macros with the Gigabyte Aivia Osmium keyboard

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 06:37 PM |
Tagged: input, mechanical keyboard, gigabyte, Aivia Osmium, cherry mx red

Gigabyte has added another mechanical keyboard to their family, the Aivia Osmium which uses the quiet Cherry MX Red switches preferred by gamers who don't want a click to slow down their button mashing.  It is definitely aimed at gamers with backlighting, audio in and about and a USB 3.0 port on the side along with sound and brightness wheels at the top.  The Tech Report was very impressed with the macro capability of this keyboard, not bound by a certain set of dedicated keys but instead a full program which allows up to 25 programmed macros which can include both mouse and keyboard input.  Head on over and check out the full review.

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"Most high-end keyboards combine mechanical switches with LED backlighting and programmable macro keys. Gigabyte's Aivia Osmium adds a new twist: USB 3.0 connectivity. We take a closer look at this unique keyboard to see what's what."

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Bungie jump for your mouse from ROCCAT

Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2013 - 06:25 PM |
Tagged: input, roccat, apuri hybrid, gadget

The Apuri Hybrid USB Hub & Mouse Bungie looks a little familiar, though it does have more functionality that the Cooler Master version as it is also a 4 port powered USB 2.0 hub with an LED.  Not only will your mouse tail look snazzy hanging from a scorpion like device but you can also keep a variety of USB devices close to hand.  Neoseeker was a little disappointed at the $40 price tag, rather high for a non-USB 3.0 hub, but if you are looking to get your cords out of the way the added functionality is a nice feature.

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"If you have a very particular need for a USB hub that also serves to reduce mouse cable clutter and keep your work area in order, ROCCAT just might have you covered with the Apuri. This unique peripheral is both mouse cable bungie and 4-port USB 2.0 hub in one scorpion-shaped package, so hit our review to see whether the Apuri delivers good value for its proposed convenience."

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Source: Neoseeker

AZiO's moddable keyboard and ambidextrous mouse

Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2013 - 04:06 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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A4Tech might have trouble with mouse aesthetics but not with functionality

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2013 - 07:29 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, A4Tech, Ultracore3 V7 Gun3, HoleLESS engine

While the name and the bloody hand motif of the A4Tech Ultracore3 V7 Gun3 gaming mouse might be a little questionable there is one thing on this mouse which makes it stand above the competition, the so called HoleLESS engine.  Instead of an open area on the bottom of the mouse for the sensor and laser, there is a tinted covering protecting those components which means you will no longer have to pick hair or gunge out of your mouse.  Benchmark Reviews had no problems whatsoever with interference from the lack of an open hole during their testing and they had a bit of fun bumping mice together during the Q-Shoot tool in the driver.  This mouse comes with an impressive bundle, functions well and costs less than $30 ... not a bad deal at all.

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"Being an enthusiast doesn't necessarily mean pouring an incredible amount of money into a hobby. While going to a web site that sells computer components, sorting by "Highest Price" and just adding everything at the top of the list to your cart will probably result in a fast computer (probably...) I'm not sure if that is what defines an "enthusiast." Sometimes finding those products that ride that price/performance line, getting the absolute most for the money spent - that's where enthusiasm can be found. A4Tech, a company with 25 years of experience with mice and other peripherals, has just released a new line of gaming mice that Benchmark Reviews is going to take a look at today. First up, the A4Tech Ultracore3 V7 Gun3 wired gaming mouse - let's see what A4Tech has in store for gaming enthusiasts..."

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A gauche new mouse for the sinister among us

Subject: General Tech | February 5, 2013 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: input, zowie, AM Mouse, ambidextrous, gaming mouse

As you can see from the picture the Zowie AM gaming mouse has a simple design, one which allows it to be used by righties and lefties without an issue.  There is a thumb button located on both sides of the mouse, so even with the simple design you don't lose out on the extra functionality you expect from a gaming mouse.  DPI and USB report rates are both modifiable but without bundled software you won't get the same level of control as with other mice. Drop by Red & Blackness Mods for a closer look.

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"We have not reviewed so much from Zowie but today we take a look at the Zowie AM gaming mouse. This reminds me of the Steelseries Sensei and can be used by both left and right handed people since it has no special shapes at all. Enough talk, lets get on with this review!"

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Razer's Ultimate keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2013 - 06:18 PM |
Tagged: input, mechanical keyboard, gaming, razer, blackwidow ultimate

With a name like Razer Blackwidow Ultimate, this new mechanical keyboard has a lot to live up to.  It comes with the Razer Synapse software familiar to many, which allows you to program the LED lights behind the keyboard for mood typing as well as programming up to 10 profiles with different keys and macro key settings.  It has headset and microphone jacks for those not using a USB headset and USB-Passthrough for those that do.  R&B Mods like the overall performance and look of the keyboard but were a bit taken aback by the $135 asking price.  It also seems strange that Razer does not advertise the type of mechanical switch this keyboard uses.

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"Mechanical keyboards are high demand these days as more and more people have realized how nice they are to game on with their quick response time and keys. Today we are going to review the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate mechanical keyboard, it will be tested in various situations and also see if it is better than the competition that we have tested in the past."

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