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

Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2012 - 01:31 PM |
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 - 06:49 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 - 04:16 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 - 03:54 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 - 02:34 PM |
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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Go ahead, be a D-Pad on Battlefield 3

Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2011 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: input, battlefield 3, gamepad, razer

As strongly as many feel about the keyboard and mouse interface others have been raised on the gamepad and have a strong preference to use them.  Razer is looking to attract that crowd with their Battlefield 3 branded D-Pad.  Red & Blackness Mods gave the USB gamepad a whirl on both the PC and XBox 360 and were quite happy with the performance offered on both.  So for those of you who do prefer PC gaming with a console style game pad, Razer has you covered.

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"Battlefield 3 is one of those killer titles which draws a lot of interest and aiming to offer those consumers something a little more interesting than the average peripheral is Razers BF3 Collectors Edition products. We have the BlackWidows Ultimate keyboard, Onza Tournament Edition controller, Imperator 2012 mouse and Scarab pad on our test bench today."

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The game isn't even out but you can already grab Diablo III branded gear

Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2011 - 11:49 AM |
Tagged: steelseries, input, gaming mouse, diablo iii

When SteelSeries went about creating the Diablo 3 themed mouse, they decided not to just slap a paint job on an existing mouse, they actually added a bit to the design.  A soft coating over the top of the mouse should help cushion your fingers so you can get a few extra thousand clicks out of them for your long Diablo III sessions.  A 5700DPI sensor will see you through not only Diablo but any other game you might want and as the software supports macros you can string together a variety of commands for your avatar.  Also included in Hardware Heavens review is the Diablo III branded Siberia V2 headset; are they just a common drop or are we looking at gold items?  Read on to find out.

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"Continuing their great working relationship with Blizzard SteelSeries are back with a new set of gaming peripherals based on the upcoming Diablo 3. We have the Diablo 3 Headset and Mouse on our test bench today and have been taking them through a few dungeon runs to find out how they perform."

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A tiny little wireless keyboard and trackpad for your Bluetooth devices

Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2011 - 12:57 PM |
Tagged: input, keyboard, mobile, touchpad, chill innovation

The tiny Chill Innovation KB-1BT Bluetooth Micro Keyboard is 155mm x 61mm x 12mm (6.1" x 2.4" x 0.5") so you obviously can't expect full sized keys especially with the 31mm2 (1.2"2) trackpad on the side.  What you can expect is to hook up the keyboard wirelessly to any device that can manage Bluetooth, the USB connection is to recharge the keyboard. MektuMods enjoyed using the device but question its value, the model they reviewed was 70 Euros (~$100USD) to purchase.

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"There are several keyboard/mouse bundles available these days. The new KB-1BT combines these two items into a single package. This is something that one could imagine using while watching movies via HTPC or writing a document with an iPad. So, is it worth your money? Let us find out..."

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Source: MektuMods

Somebody bleached the R.A.T. 7 mouse!

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2011 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: input, Mad Catz, Cyborg R.A.T.7 Albino, gaming mouse

The Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T.7 gaming mouse is already the strangest looking mouse on the market.  The amount of customization possible just for the physical layout of the mouse is incredible, this goes far beyond just adjusting weight and DPI, the entire mouse can be reshaped for your hand.  Not content with having only one type of these oddball devices, Mad Catz have created an albino version which will certainly stand out on any desk.  RealWorldLabs needs more than just a colour change before they recommend a mouse, they need to game with it as well.

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"With an lightning fast next gen 6400DPI twin-eye laser sensor, a more elegant white color (Apple fans) and the same impressive set of features as the original R.A.T.7 the latest Albino version is very close to being the ultimate gaming mouse to date aimed at the most hardcore of gamers."

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Sensei, what is the secret to being one with your mouse?

Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2011 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: mouse, input, steelseries, SteelSeries Sensei, shiny

The new SteelSeries Sensei mouse sports what OC3D refers to as looking "molten it's so smooth and rounded".  Aesthetics wer important in the design of this mouse; while it only has 2 DPI settings it houses an array of LED lights which can glow through the logo and mouse wheel in just about any colour you could want.   As well it sports a small LCD screen on the bottom if the mouse which can display which of your programmed profiles are currently active.  The two DPI settings can be adjusted, but you can only switch between the two settings you programmed into the mouse using the very well designed driver software.  The onboard ARM processor will let you crank it up to 11,400 DPI though, if you want to play by just staring hard at the mouse.

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"Today we take a look at very latest gaming mouse from SteelSeries, the Sensei. Defeat does not exist in this Dojo, does it?"

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Source: Overclock3D