Got moss growing on your keyboard? Logitech can fix that!

Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2012 - 04:19 PM |
Tagged: input, logitech, keyboard, washable, K310

Some of you may remember keyboard covers, similar to the plastic covers that batty old relatives place on their couches and chairs and every bit as attractive.  They've gone out of style which is part of the reason why there are keyboards out there growing moss and with enough crumbs inside for a decent emergency snack during a MMORPG raid if you flip it upside down.  Logitech realized that not everyone wants goop, crud and worse hiding below their keys and so they've released a washable keyboard called the K310. Legit Reviews tried it out and liked it, as far as they could like a membrane keyboard with just the basics but they are hoping for a model targeted at gamers in the near future.

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"Most of us spend many hours every week typing at a computer, but when was the last time you cleaned it? How dirty and nasty is your keyboard that you are using right now? Last month, Logitech unveiled the Washable Keyboard K310 that grabbed our attention as you could easily was it and the keyboard costs just $39.99 shipped. Using disinfectant wipes gets expensive over the years, so a washable keyboard like the Logitech K310 could make life easier for germaphobes or anyone that hates dirty keyboards..."

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Punchable laptops? The Synaptics ForcePad

Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2012 - 04:01 PM |
Tagged: input, trackpad, synaptics, forcepad

We've been hearing about Synaptics ForcePad, a new type of touchpad which can register the amount force used when pushing down on trackpad and using that for alternate functions depending on how hard you push.  The Tech Report actually had a chance to try out the ForcePad on a demonstration model at Synaptics.  They report that while initially a little odd to get used to, as the ForcePad does not feel different when pressed harder, once they became accustomed to it they really liked its functionality.  As well this technology will do away with the phantom clicks caused if the chassis warps a little because you are holding onto a corner and may also help with those times an arm hair brushes against the touchpad while you are typing causing your cursor to go a-wandering.  As far as The Tech Report are concerned, the ForcePad, ThinTouch keyboard, and Series 4 ClearPad are all worth looking forward to.

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"Next year, Synaptics' ForcePad will bring pressure sensitivity to touchpads. It can track five fingers independently, each with up to a kilogram of effective force in precise 15-gram increments. We got our hands on the ForcePad, among the company's other new input tech. We also fingered the ultra-slim ThinTouch keyboard, recently acquired through the purchase of Pacinian. It combines secretive switches with a side order of capacitive touch, and the keys feel as good as those of the MacBook Pro. For an encore, we've captured the latest in low-latency touchscreen tech on our high-speed camera."

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Checking the breadth of Corsair's Vengeance

Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2012 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: input, corsair, gaming mouse, keyboard, vengeance, cherry mx red, k60, k90, m60, m90

LAN OC have been busily working their way through Corsair's Vengeance series of gaming peripherals, both the line of keyboards and mice.  They start off with the K60 and K90, both mechanical keyboards using Cherry MX Red switches and sporting customizable red rubber WASD buttons with a slant on them to make your fingers more comfortable for long nights of FPS action.  Only the K90 sports a three rows of six programmable buttons on the left hand side for use in MMOs, the K60 is more regularly sized.

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From there they move to the gaming mice, specifically the Vengeance M60 and M90 which bear many similarities.  The software suite which accompanies both mice gives you impressive control over the button programming and sensitivity of the mice and goes further with tools such as one that lets you rate the performance of the surface you are mousing on. Read on to see the physical differences between these two mice.

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"Every once in a while you find a company that is able to take a normal product that everyone has and change it in a way that makes everyone wonder why it was never done before. As much as it pains me to say this, Apple was one of those companies. In the pc components business there are a few as well, but the company that stands out the most to me would be Corsair. Every time corsair enters a new market, I find myself impressed with what they have to offer. Even though it seems like they are always jumping into random markets, they take their time and research what everyone has to offer and what people would really want to see. This week we are going to take a look at their new Vengeance lineup of mice and keyboards to see if they have done the same in these new markets. Today we are going to start with their new keyboards, let’s dig in and see what they are all about."

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Source: LAN OC

Truly get behind the wheel in DiRT with SteelSeries

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2012 - 04:46 PM |
Tagged: Simraceway S1 Steering Wheel, steelseries, input

With the release of the newest addition to the DiRT series it seems appropriate to take a look at one of the steering wheels currently on the market, the SteelSeries Simraceway S1 Steering Wheel.  As you can see this device has little in common with the wheel foudn in your car and more resembles a steering wheel which swallowed several gamepads.  This is on purpose as  SteelSeries intends for you to be able to play using only their wheel.  MadShrimps liked it for its novelty value and did indeed successfully use it in a number of games but they would have liked to see better software to give more functionality to this device.

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"The Simraceway S1 Steering Wheel from SteelSeries is a unique peripheral made for people that do not have enough space in their gaming room to keep a full racing setup. The wheel comes with shift, throttle and brake paddles in the back and enough programmable buttons on the front for delivering a much better experience than using a regular Xbox360 controller. A nice addition is the RPM LEDs, but these will function only if the games also support it (F1 2011, Simraceway). The S1 also supports an optional wheel stand, which hopefully will become available in the near future."

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Source: Mad Shrimps

A capacitor powered mouse from Genius

Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2012 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: input, mouse, Genius DX-ECO

Why would you want a wireless mouse which has abandoned batteries and instead uses a large capacitor?  Apart from the obvious environmental benefit of never tossing out drained batteries, how does a charging time of 3 minutes for an 4 hour charge sound?  Bjorn3D also reports that the capacitor will have an expected lifespan of 100,000 charges which ought to last you until we have a new way of interfacing with our PCs.  It uses BlueEye technology to ensure that your cursor will properly track across any surface.  Bjorn3D was a little disappointed that there was only 2 DPI modes but that will not matter to the mobile office user.

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"Have you ever considered the environmental waste from all of the disposable batteries you throw away from your wireless mouse? The DX-ECO from Genius has an ingenious solution to this problem. The DX-ECO uses capacitors as opposed to conventional batteries to store a charge. This makes the mouse extremely light and have a recharging time of only 4 minutes."

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Source: Bjorn3D

G-Cube Big Red Wireless Gesture Mouse

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 28, 2012 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: input, wireless mouse, gestures, G-Cube, V-Track 310

The G-Cube V-Track 310 will get you noticed, not just because of the brilliant red colour of the body but also because the mouse can handle gesture input.  Some of its features seem more at home on a gaming mouse, with five DPI settings from 800 to 2000 as well as a modifiable report rate make this more than just a mobile mouse.  That is not to imply G-Cube skimped on the wireless connectivity, the transmitter is good up to 30' so even in a large room this would function perfectly with an HTPC.  Benchmark Reviews had mixed results from the gestures, some functions worked, some didn't and some just seemed useless but overall they rated it highly for someone who wants more options from a wireless mouse.

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"Wireless mice are also becoming the de facto standard along with macro software that further enhances productivity, while at the same time, decreasing repetitive clicking. In the continuing spirit of bringing you the latest and sometimes the greatest, Benchmark Reviews will analyze the new G-Cube V-Track 310 2.4Hz Wireless Mouse. The G-Cube V-Track 310 boasts sixteen macro "Gestures" for the right button, with a multitude of actions per gesture, two options for vertical and horizontal scrolling, four DPI settings, three report rates, and it's wireless. It also comes in four colors, Red, Blue, Green, and Black. "

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A baker's dozen of mice, all still in possession of their tails

Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2012 - 03:43 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, logitech, saitek, razer, roccat, corsair, epicgear

A sampler of gaming mice from a wide variety of companies is now available at Hardware.Info, which can be a handy tool for those looking for a new mouse.  No longer is it  choice between Logitech and Microsoft, the list of companies supplying the mice includes A4 Tech, Corsair, Epicgear, Razer, Saitek and more.  If you want a large heavy mouse, one designed for macro button programming or a mouse you can adjust into a variety of shapes to ensure the most comfortable fit for your hand then this roundup has you covered.  There is no winner, as everyone wants a little something different from their own mouse but if you'd like an idea of what is out there then they have you covered.

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"To many computer users the mouse is just a necessary little tool for operating their computer. As long as it has two buttons and a wheel and the cursor goes where it's supposed to, most people are satisfied. Gamers are more demanding, however, in terms of comfort, performance, and features. We reviewed 13 gaming mice to find out what's currently out there.

A decent mouse is crucial for the serious gamer, that is why we are in the habit of regularly doing a round-up of the latest gaming mice. The 13 mice in this comparison test vary quite a bit in price, from £45 to £69. It’s a pretty big difference, which should mean that the performance and features should differ significantly as well. The only way of finding this out for sure is by a thorough test. And that’s exactly what we did."

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How many mechanical switches before a mouse starts becoming a keybaord?

Subject: General Tech | April 23, 2012 - 04:20 PM |
Tagged: input, mouse, gaming mouse, razer, Naga Hex Expert, mechanical keyboard

Not content with simply having 11 programmable buttons, the 6 removable thumb buttons on the Razer Naga Hex Expert gaming mouse use mechanical switches.  That is not just a marketing ploy however, this will allow very quick response from the buttons as well as giving them a longer life than less rugged choices.  Also included with this mouse is support for Synapse 2.0, the updated Razer mouse driver which Mad Shrimps found quite easy to use

If you prefer your mechanical keys on a keyboard then check out what Scott has been up to.

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"The new mouse from the Naga family is Hex and Razer has built it for MOBA and Action RPGs; it comes with 6 extra buttons on the thumb side and 3 different rubber thumb rests are also provided, to suit our needs. The customization of the mouse functions can be realized by using the powerful Razer Synapse 2.0 software, which can be downloaded freely from the manufacturers’ website."

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Source: Mad Shrimps

We are going to need a word describing people obsessed with mechanical keyboards and switches

Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2012 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Vengeance K60, Vengeance K90, mechanical keyboard, cherry mx red, input

If you haven't mastered the ability to identify the difference between mechanical keyboard switches then you should check out Scott's primer on the four main flavours of Cherry.  Then you can cheek out a review of Corsair's Vengeance K60 and K90 keyboards at The Tech Report which both utilize the Cherry MX Red variety and are considered a great choice for gamers.  The big difference between the two models is the array of programmable macro keys which exist on the left hand side of the K90 as well as the rubber dampers which are added.  The Tech Report were not impressed with the dampers, they felt it muddied the keystroke and made it feel more like a membrane type keyboard.  Check them both out in the full review.

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"Join us as we rattle away on the lovely mechanical keyswitches of Corsair's aluminum-clad Vengeance K60 and K90 keyboards."

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Optical or laser, EpicGear's Meduza can do one or both at once

Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2012 - 02:31 PM |
Tagged: meduza, input, gaming mouse, epicgear

If you can't decide if you prefer an optical sensor or a laser sensor better then EpicGear's new mouse is a great find.  It sports laser, optical and the blended HDST mode which combines them both and offers better sensitivity than the optical sensor though not quite as much as in laser only mode.  They also offer a hybrid mouse pad designed to be used with the mouse, which OC3D also tried out.  The software for programming macros is also worth a mention, not only does it properly record pauses between button presses but is easily editable after you've recorded them, just in case you didn't time it perfectly.

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"Epic Gear are willing to throw their hat into the gaming mouse ring with the innovative Meduza mouse."

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Source: Overclock3D