Can't wait for Diablo III? You can get a D3 mouse to tide you over.

Subject: General Tech | March 23, 2012 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: input, diablo iii, steelseries, gaming mouse

SteelSeries has released a Diablo III branded mouse for those who are anticipating the upcoming launch of the third instalment of the most popular click-fest on the planet.  That explains the Omron switches under the buttons which are rated for a 10 million click lifespan.  You do have to pay a little more, but if you really want to get into the spirit of Diablo III then check out the review at XSReviews.

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"Diablo III is one of the most hotly anticipated titles of 2012, so it’s no surprise that bigger peripheral makers are jumping on board with their branded products. Today I’m taking a look at the Diablo III gaming mouse. It’s sleek, has a massive sensitivity and should mean I get to spend a few days “testing” it by playing a load of games."

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Source: XSReviews

Cooler Master slims down the mechanical keyboard; check out the Quickfire

Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2012 - 11:57 AM |
Tagged: input, mechanical keyboard, cherry mx blue

The recent move to mechanical keys has really opened up the keyboard market and choosing one is now about more than just a few backlights or media buttons.  Scott has done a great job in showing what is meant by a mechanical keyboard as well as the differences between the main types in a recent article.  One drawback to the mechanical keyboards is their size, they tend to be on the large side and are not the most easy portable of keyboards.  Benchmark Reviews found a keyboard that might offer the best of both worlds, Cherry MX Blue switches on a trimmed down shell.

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"Although mechanical keyboards have been making a comeback in recent years many of the design are quite bulky in comparison to their rubber dome counter parts. Looking to fill this area of the market Cooler Master designed the Storm QuickFire Rapid mechanical keyboard using the venerable Cherry MX Blue switches, fit into a comfortable 14" x 5" design. This makes the QuickFire Rapid perfect for LAN parties or mobile workers who may want a better typing experience than their laptops are able to offer. Benchmark Reviews will evaluate if the Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid is the perfect pint size keyboard or if corners were cut in order to meet size and price goals."

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Show off your mousing skills in the boardroom with the Genius Ring Mouse

Subject: General Tech | February 28, 2012 - 10:49 AM |
Tagged: Genius Ring Mouse, input, wireless mouse

The Genius Ring Mouse will not win you any CounterStrike tournaments but it will get you noticed in the conference room.  It is not quite the size of a ring but certainly fits well into your hand and the 2.4GHz wireless signal should not run in to any interference.  It operates in two special modes, Presentation Mode and Media Center Mode as well as functioning as a regular mouse.  Techware Labs like the easy control over PowerPoint slides as well as playing and pausing video in Media Center Mode but they did not do so well when they tried StarCraft.

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"Ever wanted a reliable wireless mouse for presentations? The Ring Mouse brought to you by Genius does that and more. The Ring Mouse is an award-winning device for its ingenious design and works as well for the business person as it does someone who simply wants an easy way to thumb through multimedia on their home machine."

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You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say ...

Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2012 - 11:15 AM |
Tagged: DIY, model m, input, frank zappa, blue alps sliders

Sometimes hacks and mods are done to save you time and money or possibly both but other times you find yourself stuck in the position of Frak Zappa and cannot find a giraffe filled with whipped cream and have to make it yourself.  Such is the case with this completely made custom keyboard described at Hack a Day, in which every part was either custom ordered or made by the designer themselves.  None of the keys seem to be in their accustomed places and your thumbs will get a workout from all of those keys mounted in the centre of the board but for a programmer this could be the perfect design.  It has taken over a year to build and likely cost more than a mass produced designed keyboard but if you want something done right ...

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"[dmw] posted a pseudo-build log over at the geekhack keyboard forums. Every single part of this keyboard is custom-made. The key caps were made by Signature Plastics, the case was made by Shapeways, and the custom PCB for the key switches came directly from Express PCB. The key switches are blue Alps sliders (one of the best key switches available) with a few white Alps switches taken from an old Apple keyboard."

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Source: Hack a Day

Cooler Master's expanding Storm now features the Xornet gaming mouse

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2012 - 11:35 AM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, cooler master, CMStorm, xornet

The CMStorm Xornet attempts to give you the performance of a full sized gaming mouse in a form small enough to be easily portable.  It still features the 2000 DPI Storm Tactical Optical Sensor that its bigger relatives sport as well as programmable buttons.  Red & Blackness Mods had some trouble getting used to the shape of the mouse, it is smaller lengthwise but much taller than other mice in the CMStorm lineup.  If you find yourself on the road and in need of a gaming mouse, for $30 CoolerMaster might have the perfect solution.

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"Corsair has recently entered the mouse/keyboard gaming peripherals market and decided to make a good impression. The M90 mouse features multiple programmable buttons for RTS/MMO gamers, contains an aluminum chassis for increased durability and comes with the Avago Technologies ADNS-9500 LaserStream Gaming Sensor."

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There is an elegance in simplicity; Cooler Master's QuickFire Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2012 - 10:31 AM |
Tagged: quickfire rapid, mechanical keyboard, input, gaming, cooler master

If you prefer keyboards with built in fans, sirens, LEDs and a key count somewhere north of 200 then you might as well skip this review.  Cooler Master not only eschews extra function keys on the QuickFire Rapid gaming keyboard, they've also dropped the numpad.  The keyboard features CHERRY MX blue switches which are intended more for typists, with the red and black varieties more for usage by gamers.  Sporting a quick response time in USB mode and true n-key rollover in PS/2 mode, you won't find yourself dying because the game didn't register a keystroke.  If you are interested in a mechanical gaming keyboard and don't mind paying $80 then check out the review at Techgage.  If you want to shop around then check Scott's reivews on out front page.

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"CM's QuickFire Rapid gaming keyboard is unlike any other. It's not flashy, it doesn't have a bunch of bright LEDs, it has no macro support and... it has no numpad. So what is it that sets it apart? Its sturdy design and use of CHERRY MX blue mechanical key switches. Let's see if those features make up for what's lacking."

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Source: Techgage

Is Corsair Cherry picking the switches on their keyboard in the name of Vengeance?

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2012 - 03:49 PM |
Tagged: keyboard, input, cherry mx red, Vengeance K90, corsair

Corsair's Vengeance K90 has a refreshingly minimilistic and industrial design to it for a current high end keyboard.  A plain aluminium facing with a mix of mechanical and rubber dome switches, though they did include LEDs which can be activated for those who desire such things or perhaps prefer typing in utter darkness.  The lesser used keys like the function keys and ALT key are the lesser rubber dome switches while the common keys and the 18 macro keys all have mechanical switches.  Check out the full review at XSReviews.

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"This keyboard, the Vengeance K90, is being marketed as being ideal for RTS and MMO gamers. With a heavy complement of macro keys and Cherry MX Red switches they’ve already made a good start, but will Corsair’s debut keyboard stand up to the competition? With Razer’s BlackWidow and numerous other mechanical keyboards beginning to flow from Western peripheral makers it’ll be a hard fight."

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Source: XSReviews

You call that a steering wheel SteelSeries?

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2012 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: input, steering wheel, steelseries, Simraceway SRW-S1

One tends to think of a steering wheel as a fairly simplistic device, with perhaps a few controls on it that do not directly relate to steering a vehicle, but for the most part it simply allows you to steer.  SteelSeries obviously thinks differently as you can see on their Simraceway SRW-S1 below.  It seems to possess more buttons than a gamepad, with speakers and a camera built in and accelerometres to allow you to use it in mid air.  Legit Reviews had fun reviewing the wheel and driving around tracks and their shoulders are much broader after a few hours of gameplay as well.

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"I have a been a real-world racing fan for all of my life, growing up in earshot distance from a famous dirt racetrack in Southern California. I’ve always enjoyed NASCAR and more recently have come to love Formula 1 and World Rally Championships so when SteelSeries announced a new peripheral – their first ever racing wheel – I was more than a little skeptical. A racing controller without pedals for less than $120?!? What does SteelSeries, a manufacturer who is best known for headsets and professional mice know about racing? At this point I was thinking that a good comparison for the SRW-S1 might be my kid’s Mario Kart Wii wheel..."

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Are all USB 3.0 hubs made the same?

Subject: General Tech | January 4, 2012 - 12:54 PM |
Tagged: input, usb 3.0, usb hub, Rosewill RHB-610, SYBA SY-HUB20090

With USB 3.0 finally becoming commonplace on motherboards and mobile devices as well as peripherals, it was inevitable for USB 3.0 hubs to start to arrive on the market.  That raises two immediate questions; is it as fast as a plug located on a motherboard and is there a difference in performance between manufacturers.  RealWorldLabs looks to answer those questions by using two 4-port hubs, Rosewill's RHB-610 and SYBA's SY-HUB20090 along with a Gigabyte G1 Assassin motherboard.  It seems that with one device connected via the hub, the performance is about 90% of the direct connection to the motherboard which seems a small price to pay to not have to crawl behind your PC to swap USB 3.0 devices, unfortunately the short cables on these hubs still will have you bending over a bit to deal with them.

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"If you're looking to buy a USB 3.0 compatible hub and you're worried about performance and quality issues then this comparison between two of the most famous 4-port USB 3.0 hubs currently in the market should easily answer some if not all your questions."

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Put a Kaiburr crystal in your mouse and the Force will be with you

Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2011 - 11:34 AM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, SWTOR, gaming headset, razer

We saw a BF3 branded gaming peripheral kit not long after the arrival of the game and you can get your hands on a Diablo 3 branded kit already, even though we are still awaiting the release of that game.  Now Razer offers some love to fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic with a new mousepad, mouse and headset kit all bearing a familiar logo.  The mouse is based on the Naga and has a 5600dpi sensor, 17 programmable buttons and both wired and wireless capabilities.  Most important the LEDs can switch between red or blue (well, 16 million colours total) as well as changing the logo to properly advertise the side you have chosen.  The headset uses 50mm drivers and also sports changeable logos and LED colours, though the mousepad lacks that ability.  Along with the pack, Hardware Heaven points out that you get a colour change crystal for use in game to change the colour of your blaster bolts and lightsaber blade.

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"Every big game release can be enhanced by a set of quality devices which tie in with the overall feel of the franchise and that is exactly what Razer aim to deliver with their The Old Republic gaming gear. We have the mouse, headset and mouse mat on our test bench today for a detailed look at what they offer for The Old Republic gamer."

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