Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

Meet the M320

Logitech is brand synonymous with mice, joysticks and other peripherals, providing a handy way to interact with your computer for over 20 years.  Anyone who has used a computer for any amount of time knows Logitech and have used a variety of their products.  Their peripheral lineup has come a long way from the beginnings, with washable keyboards, webcams and mice with over two dozen programmable buttons. 

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In this case we are looking at the M320 Wireless Mouse with three buttons and scroll wheel, a rubberized grip shaped for the right hand and an offset optical sensor with 1000 dpi resolution.

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The Logitech M320 comes in a user friendly clamshell package with cut out flap on the back which is actually effective in opening the packaging without the need of a utility knife or a couple of stitches on your hand.  Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that it ships with a battery included; not the rechargeable kind but certainly a nice touch for those of us who remember receiving toys that were unusable until someone made a trip to the store to pick up the required mix of AAA's, D's or 9V's.  The documentation claims the battery will last for two years and while there was obviously no way to put that to the test the automatic sleep mode and physical power switch will ensure that your battery life will not be inconveniently short. 

Continue reading our review of the Logitech M320 Wireless mouse!!

Manufacturer: Multiple

Finding Your Clique

One of the difficulties with purchasing a mechanical keyboard is that they are quite expensive and vary greatly in subtle, but important ways. First and foremost, we have the different types of keyswitches. These are the components that are responsible for making each button behave, and thus varying them will lead to variations in how those buttons react and feel.

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Until recently, the Cherry MX line of switches were the basis of just about every major gaming mechanical keyboard, although we will discuss recent competitors later on. Its manufacturer, Cherry Corp / ZF Electronics, maintained a strict color code to denote the physical properties of each switch. These attributes range from the stiffness of the spring to the bumps and clicks felt (or heard) as the key travels toward its bottom and returns back up again.

  Linear Tactile Clicky
45 cN Cherry MX Red
Cherry MX Brown
Razer Orange
Omron/Logitech Romer-G
 
50 cN    
Cherry MX Blue
Cherry MX White (old B)
Razer Green
55 cN   Cherry MX Clear  
60 cN Cherry MX Black    
80 cN Cherry MX Linear Grey (SB) Cherry MX Tactile Grey (SB)
Cherry MX Green (SB)
Cherry MX White (old A)
Cherry MX White (2007+)
90 cN     IBM Model M (not mechanical)
105 cN     Cherry MX Click Grey (SB)
150+ cN Cherry MX Super Black    

(SB) Denotes switches with stronger springs that are primarily for, or only for, Spacebars. The Click Grey is intended for spacebars on Cherry MX White, Green, and Blue keyboards. The MX Green is intended for spacebars on Cherry MX Blue keyboards (but a few rare keyboards use these for regular keys). The MX Linear Grey is intended for spacebars on Cherry MX Black keyboards.

The four main Cherry MX switches are: Blue, Brown, Black, and Red. Other switches are available, such as the Cherry MX Green, Clear, three types of Grey, and so forth. You can separate (I believe) all of these switches into three categories: Linear, Tactile, and Clicky. From there, the only difference is the force curve, usually from the strength of the spring but also possibly from the slider features (you'll see what I mean in the diagrams below).

Read on to see a theoretical comparison of various mechanical keyswitches.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Keyboard Announced for November at $179.99

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | September 17, 2014 - 04:04 AM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, logitech, g910 orion spark rgb, g910

The newly announced Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB mechanical keyboard is based on their own mechanical switch, developed in partnership with Omron, dubbed "Romer-G". It supports 16.8 million colors in the backlight under each individual key. Logitech will provide software to control this lighting and an SDK for developers to integrate custom functionality into their game. It includes nine macro buttons with three profiles.

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The Romer-G switch is (at least currently) exclusive to this keyboard. It is designed with a very small actuation point, 1.5mm from the top of the key. This means that you finger will need to travel less distance, and thus take less time, before the action is registered. From a feeling standpoint, they have a soft spring and a tactile bump at the point of actuation, but no click. Logitech did not comment on whether the G910 contains o-rings to further dampen the sound.

The switches are designed for high durability as well, with an expected lifespan of 70 million keystrokes (compared to 50 million advertised by Cherry and 60 million for Razer). That said, mechanical switches are designed to be put in industrial and medical devices and left unmaintained for decades, so I am not sure how practical that advantage will be.

Their partner, Omron, also collaborates with Logitech on mechanical switches for mice.

The Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB in planned to be released this November for $179.99.

Source: Logitech G

A half dozen pairing suggestions; does your mouse match your keyboard?

Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2014 - 03:10 PM |
Tagged: input, corsair, logitech, Mad Catz, razer, roccat, steelseries, gaming mouse, keyboard, round up

The end of summer brings more than just pretty coloured leaves, you can also expect to see round ups of products released this year.  The Register has put together an article looking at the best mice and keyboards for gamers which are currently available.  In most cases they pair a keyboard and mouse from the same company so that your desk will look impressive with matching peripherals.  It is not just about the aesthetics though, they also provide you with an overview of what features make each pairing unique and the features that should intrigue you.  Check it out right here.

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"In the case of the keyboards and mice I’m reviewing, it might be difficult to put forward a convincing argument that they are to blame, as they are all developed to make the very best of my gaming talents, but often this comes at a preposterous price."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Logitech G Announces Arx Control (+SDK) for iOS and Android

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 10, 2014 - 03:59 PM |
Tagged: sdk, logitech g, logitech, arx control

The Arx platform is created by Logitech G to deliver "second screen experience" to PC gamers through their iOS or Android devices. Arx Control will have the ability to adjust your mouse DPI, rebind macros, and see the status of their gaming machine. Logitech did not specify the system information that would be given by app, but it does not matter in the end because they are releasing an SDK for it.

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The Arx Control SDK, along with the LED Illumination SDK and the G-Key Macro SDK, will allow game and application developers to interact with "Logitech G" devices and the Arx Control app. This could range from providing ammo meters and timers, to offers of in-app purchases. That last point is clearly aimed more at developers than customers because that sounds really scary to me. Then again, it can be done correctly -- such as Team Fortress 2, in my opinion.

What could be cool is if a friend, watching you play, could contribute to the gameplay in some way. Then again, if a developer wanted to put that much effort, they could probably create a mobile web app. This is probably more useful for small things, like the aforementioned ammo and health status indicators, that would otherwise not be worth a developer's effort, without Logitech's platform.

The Logitech G Arx Control SDK is available now for free and the Arx Control App will be available soon on the iOS App Store and Google Play.

Source: Logitech
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech G

Optical + Accelerometer

When I met with Logitech while setting up for our Hardware Workshop at Quakecon this year, they wanted to show me a new mouse they were coming out with. Of course I was interested, but to be honest, mice have seemingly gone to a point where I could very rarely tell them apart in terms of performance. Logitech promised me this would be different. The catch? The G402 Hyperion Fury includes not just an optical sensor but an accelerometer and gyro combo.

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Pretty much all mice today use optical sensors to generate data. The sensors are, basically, taking hundreds or thousands of photos of the surface of your desk or mouse and compare them to each other to measure how far and how fast you have moved your mouse. Your PC then takes that data from the mouse at a USB polling rate, up to 1000 Hz with this mouse, and translates it into mouse movement on your desktop and in games.

There is an issue though - at very high speeds of mouse movement, the optical sensor can fail. It essentially loses track of where it is on the surface and can no longer provide accurate data back to the system. At this point, depending on the design of the mouse and driver, the mouse may just stop sending data all together or just attempt to "guess" for a short period of time. Clearly that's not ideal and means that gamers (or any user for that matter) is getting inaccurate measurements. Boo.

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To be quite honest though, that doesn't happen with modern mice at your standard speeds, or even standard "fast" gaming motions. According to Logitech, the optical sensor will start to lose tracking somewhere in the 150-180 IPS, or inches per second. That's quite a lot. More precisely that is 3.8 meters per second or 8.5 miles per hour. 

Continue reading our overview of the Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury Gaming Mouse!!

Logitech Announces First Quarter Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Results

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2013 - 12:12 AM |
Tagged: logitech, gaming, financial results

Logitech recently posted its financial results for its first quarter of fiscal year 2014. The company announced that sales went up 2% YoY to $478 million. It had a net income of $1 million and an slight operating profit. Both numbers are a step up compared to the $51 million net loss and $59 million operating loss in the same quarter last year. Q1 FY2014 saw gross margin reach 35.2% compared to 31% in Q1 FY2013.

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While Logitech saw OEM sales drop by 6% and sales of its LifeSize division drop by 18%, overall sales increased by 5% thanks to a 12% and 4% sales increase in the Americas and Asia markets respectively. Additionally, sales fell by 3% in the Europe, Middle East, and African markets.

  Q1 FY2014 Q1 FY2013
Sales $478 million (+2%) $469 million
Net Income $1 million ($51 million)
Gross Margin 35.2% 31.1%
Retail Sales (Total) +5% -base line-
OEM Sales -6% -base line-
LifeSize Division Sales -18% -base line-

Logitech experienced the most growth in sales of its tablet accessories, PC gaming peripherals, and wireless speaker products which amounted to a 90% increase versus last year.

According to Logitech, the company expects $2 billion in sales and a $50 million operating income through the entire fiscal 2014 year. It expects to see a gross margin of 39%.

The full Logitech press release can be found over at Market Watch.

Source: Market Watch

Share your personal audio device with UE Boom from Logitech

Subject: General Tech | June 14, 2013 - 07:24 PM |
Tagged: audio, speakers, logitech, UE Boom

Ignoring the unfortunate PR image accompanying the product, a wireless speaker which can connect to your MP3 player allows a group of people to listen to music in a much more social way than earbuds.  Standing 7.25" tall with a 3" diameter the speaker is big enough that you won't lose it but small enough to be easily portable.  According to the review from TechGage it is also large enough to provide quality sound, even at high volume.  The next time you are out and want to share your music you won't need to blast your car stereo as it seems this device will handle the duty commendably; pity it will sell for $200.

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"The UE Boom from Logitech boasts an impressively hip advertising campaign and a promise to make music more "social" again. But past all of the buzzwords and pretty packaging, is this cylindrical speaker worth all of the hype? We take a close look... and can't help but be blown away."

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Audio Corner

Source: Techgage

At the G Institute, PC Gaming is Logitech's Pursuit

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | March 21, 2013 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: PAX East 2013, PAX East, PAX, logitech

Despite recent incidents with a genetic lifeform and disk operating system, we PC gamers love our science. Yesterday, Logitech claims they renewed their commitment to both PC gaming and science just in time for PAX East 2013.

Let us just hope the pi's not a lie. Hehehe, that rhymes.

While the commercial looks and sounds like the "G" stands for "Gatorade", it really beckons the launch of eight new accessory products: four new mice, two new keyboards, and two new headsets.

  • Logitech G700s Rechargeable Gaming Mouse
    • Wireless
    • 13 programmable controls
  • Logitech G500s Laser Gaming Mouse
    • Weight/balance adjustments
    • Dual-mode scroll wheel
  • Logitech G400s Optical Gaming Mouse
    • "Delta Zero" sensor technology
    • 8 programmable controls
  • Logitech G100s Optical Gaming Mouse
    • "Delta Zero" sensor technology
  • Logitech G19s Gaming Keyboard
    • Full-Color LCD
    • Custom backlighting
    • 12 programmable "G-keys"
  • Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard
    • Standard LCD
    • Custom backlighting
    • 18 programmable "G-keys"
  • Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
    • 7.1 surround sound
  • Logitech G230 Stereo Gaming Headset
    • 40mm drivers
    • 3.5mm stereo audio and mic

Check in after the break for the official press blast.

Source: Logitech

2012; the year of the mouse?

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2013 - 07:03 PM |
Tagged: gaming mouse, CMStorm, steelseries, roccat, logitech, razer, madcatz

Gaming peripherals were a very large market in 2012, with Cherry switches suddenly becoming a household name and with gamers actually arguing over the best type of switch for keyboards.  That was not the only big change for gaming peripherals as this year has seen many companies make a serious effort to make a name as a provider of gaming mice and established companies adding new features to their existing products.  If you have had trouble deciding which mouse best fits your needs, this roundup at MadShrimps might be of help.  They've included the CMStorm Sentinel Advance II, the Cyborg R.A.T. 7, SteelSeries' Sensei RAW, the Roccat Kone XTD, Razer's Imperator 2012 and the Logitech G300; one of which should suit your gaming needs.

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"In this group test I will focus on a specific feature and gaming goal to reduce the variables as we go on a quest to find some of the best First-Person-Shooter wired mouse out there. To properly gauge the performance of my new gaming rodents I spend several weeks with each to get to know the ins and outs, their features and deliver a good dose of my personal opinions on these mice."

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Source: MadShrimps