Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 4, 2014 - 06:59 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vortex, mechanical keyboard
Carl Nelson of hardCOREware published a review of the Vortex KBT Race II mechanical keyboard. The quick summary is that he was impressed by several of its features but found that it was not as pleasant to type on, compared to other keyboards that he used - even with the same switch. It is a compact keyboard, slightly smaller than a Tenkeyless layout. The keycaps are laser-etched (which should give decent durability) with the same font as Windows 8. It is also backlit, the black model glows white and the white model glows green.
H...C...W... how subtle, Carl.
They keyboard itself is about $130 USD and comes in Cherry MX Red, Brown, or Blue. It supports 6-key rollover but he does not mention whether there are any other limitations. For instance, does the interface allow for 6 buttons to be pressed, but you are screwed if press shift, up, and right together? This was the case with my old Logitech G15v1 and it made for an impossible task to play The Scout with the arrow keys in TF2. On the other hand, if it was based on an NKRO keyboard with the limitations of the USB interface, that is not so bad. I just do not know.
To see a little more, check out the review at HCW.
Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2014 - 09:49 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: quickfire rapid, NKRO, mechanical keyboard, gaming, cooler master
Cooler Master has introduced a new mechanical keyboard to the QuickFire Rapid family. The upcoming QuckFire Rapid-i is a fully backlit mechanical keybard that offers up gaming-friendly features.
Cooler Master is keeping many of the detailed specifications under wraps, but we do know that it supports both PS/2 and USB, uses laser etched matte keycaps along with mechanical switches, and uses a 32-bit ARM processor to drive the various back-lighting profiles (a technology Cooler Master calls ActivLite).
The keyboard supports 1ms response times in USB mode along with NKRO (N Key Roll Over) which allows simultaneous pressing of multiple keys which can come in handy when using the keyboard for gaming. The ActivLite technology supports five key backlighting modes with an additional five brightness levels in each mode. Cooler Master demonstrates one mode on their website where the keys being pressed light up and slowly fade in a trailing lighting effect as you continue typing. The keyboard has on board memory capable of storing four saved lighting profiles (users can program the backlighting of individual keys).
Unfortunately, Cooler Master has not stated which mechanical switches it is using in this keyboard beyond saying that they are both "tactile" and "quiet." Considering its predecessor used Cherry MX switches, those are a good bet though.
If you are interested in Cooler Master's latest mechanical keyboard, keep an eye on the product page the company set up for further information as it gets closer to a physical launch date.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 11, 2014 - 02:16 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: corsair, cherry, Cherry MX, mechanical keyboard
A lot of diverse topics arose from the Corsair blogs, lately. This time, they compiled fan questions and enlisted mechanical switch and keyboard manufacturer, Cherry Corporation, to provide answers. Coming in at over two-thousand words, it is quite lengthy.
Many of the questions seemed to come from long-term fans of their mechanical keyboards. One person asked whether a specific ergonomic keyboard (G80-5000) would make a return, while another inquired about Cherry-branded Hall Effect switches (presumably for analog controls). In all, if you are interested in mechanical keyboards, it is worth a read. They kept a little secret sauce, secret, but otherwise seemed pretty open in their responses.
Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2014 - 04:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, cooler master, CM Storm QuickFire Stealth, mechanical keyboard
As you can see in the picture the word refers to the lack of a numpad, which trims down the size of the QuickFire Stealth, though the 2.1lbs weight may surprise you. You can choose the Cherry switch colour of your choice, a nice touch for the typing purist and it comes with the standard Vengeance key removal tool for customizing your keyboard layout. The USB cord is completely detachable making this a relatively portable device and it even has a USB to PS/2 adapter if you are that type of person. Check out The Tech Report's full review here.
"With a tenkeyless design and "covert" lettering on the key caps, Cooler Master's QuickFire Stealth isn't your average mechanical keyboard. We take a closer look at how it differs from the masses."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- GAMDIAS HERMES Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @HiTech Legion
- Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS POSEIDON Illuminated Keyboard w/ Cherry MX Brown Review @ TechwareLabs
- Mionix NAOS 7000 Optical Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- Mionix Naos 7000 Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Mionix Naos 7000 Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Razer DeathAdder 4G (2013) Ergonomic Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- SteelSeries Rival Gaming Mouse Review @ Legit Reviews
- CM Storm Reaper Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- GAMDIAS APOLLO Extension Optical Gaming Mouse Review @HiTech Legion
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 6, 2014 - 10:22 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, Cherry MX, cherry, mechanical keyboard
So Razer has a history of doing the unexpected. The peripheral manufacturer has branched out into other segments, including laptops, tablets, software, exercise equipment, and so forth. Their April Fools announcements are often hilarious but their real products sometimes feel as far-fetched, except that they release and apparently find an audience. If Project Christine comes out then it would be the best example, but Project Fiona and the Razer Blade seemed just as unlikely - and I've seen multiple Blades in the wild.
And yet it is their keyboard announcement which surprises me, today.
It turns out that Razer decided to design their own key switch modules, instead of ordering them off-the-shelf from ZF Electronics (Cherry). Razer will not manufacture these key modules, and they look enough like Cherry MX switches that I could guess who their third party manufacturer is, but they did push their own specifications. Razer claims that the main advantage is a higher actuation point, leading to less latency between when your finger starts moving, and when it has moved enough to activate the button.
Razer has developed two switches: "Green", which is their analogy of the Cherry MX Blue, and "Orange", which is analogous to the Cherry MX Brown. The former is clicky while the latter has a relatively silent bump.
The Green switches are available in the BlackWidow, BlackWidow Tournament, and BlackWidow (with the Orange switches in each Stealth variant). Some models will ship in late March with the rest shipping in April.
Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2014 - 04:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: QuickFire Ultimate, mechanical keyboard, input, cooler master
The Cooler Master Quickfire Ultimate has an unexpected claim to fame, at 3lbs it is probably one of the heaviest modern keyboards on the market. You can choose your preferred type of Cherry MX switches and there is even a Canadian model with a colour scheme perfect for Habs fans. The LED backlight can perform a number of tricks, from only lighting certain keys to having the lights pulse. Check out The Tech Report's full review here.
"With an embedded steel plate and a beefy body, Cooler Master's QuickFire Ultimate may be one of the sturdiest mechanical keyboards around. We take a closer look at this affordable backlit model to see how it holds up."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Logitech's K400 wireless keyboard and touchpad @ The Tech Report
- Tesoro Colada Mechanical keyboard @ Rbmods
- Attitude One Sturmovik Gaming Keyboard @ NikKTech
- CM Storm MECH Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Zowie P-TF Rough mousepad @ DVHardware
- 12-Way Gaming Mouse Roundup @ Legion Hardware
- Logitech M560 Wireless Mouse @ Kitguru
- Mionix Naos 7000 gaming mouse @ Rbmods
- Feenix Nascita Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | December 4, 2013 - 03:52 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, corsair, Cherry MX, cherry, CES 2014
The three little letters that instill fear in tech journalists (and vendors) right around the holiday season: CES. This will be the first of many news posts coming out of that event -- it is still a month away! Companies are already preparing for what will come after the holidays. Brace yourselves!
Corsair and Cherry have just released a preview of their upcoming CES announcement. Mechanical keyboards (at least those based on Cherry MX switches) were only rarely backlit. Pretty much every model of Cherry MX-based keyboard with per-key LED lighting was, at one point, developed by iOne (they produced the XArmor line of backlit keyboards and collaborated with Razer on the BlackWidow). I am not particularly sure what the difficulty was from an engineering standpoint but I do know it was rare.
Cherry, themselves, are assisting the next evolution of this technology. The company has developed a special version of their MX Red-class switch with built-in RGB illumination. The mixture of these three colors allows for a key to be lit by any color in the visible spectrum (up to the precision allowed by hardware and software). Their press release suggests 8-bit per channel control (~16.7 million colors). Their exclusive launch partner for this 2014 debut will be Corsair.
Clearly their K-series keyboards sold well.
If you want to learn more about the Cherry MX switches, be sure to check out our overview from 2012. Also, check out the Cherry website for a ridiculously informative breakdown of the switch all each of its components. Seriously, this puts my animation to shame; it is kind of depressing.
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2013 - 05:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, CM Storm, aluminium, Pulse-R, headset, mech, mechanical keyboard, Reaper, mouse
CoolerMaster have released a set of aluminium highlighted peripherals; the Pulse-R headset, Mech keyboard and Reaper gaming mouse. The headset is compatible with both 3.5mm jack and USB connections, offering both over the ear audio and a detachable microphone and was rated quite highly. The Mech keyboard uses Cherry MX Blue switches which are common place now, more unique is the look of the board and the features which include 64 N key rollover, LED back lighting, dual USB 3.0 ports and a charging port along with 128k of on board memory for macros. Wrapping up the package is the Reaper mouse, 8 buttons and an impressive looking scroll wheel with DPI capability as high as 8200.
"A few weeks ago we brought you three reviews from the aluminium loving peripheral range from CM Storm, this includes their Pulse-R headset, Mech keyboard and the Reaper mouse. All three of these products are designed to look great, not only on their own, but also when they’re put next to each other. CM Storm do not sell these three items as a complete set, but today we want to find out what it would be like to live with the trilogy together."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Max Keyboard Blackbird Tenkeyless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Custom PC Review
- Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC
- Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 3 Gaming Keyboard @ NikKTech
- ROCCAT Raivo Gaming Mousepad Review @ Neoseeker
- How to use the PS4 Controller in Windows with XBOX Controller XInput Games @ HardCOREware
- Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse @ LanOC Reviews
- Tt eSPORTS VOLOS MMORPG Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic @ LanOC Reviews
Subject: General Tech | September 26, 2013 - 05:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, coolermaster, CM Storm, Havok, quickfire xt, gaming mouse, mechanical keyboard
Up for review at Overclockers Club is a pair of CM Storm peripherals, the Havok gaming mouse and the Quckfire XT mechanical keyboard. Their review unit had Cherry Blue switches but you can choose your favourite Cherry switch when you order the keyboard. For those who prefer a minimalistic looking keyboard with a lot of hidden features this is a great choice. The Havoc gaming mouse is also fairly plain looking and also hides a variety of features. This model is definitely a right handed mouse and best avoided by those with tiny hands but for right handed folks who like to have a hand full of mouse the Havoc could be the peripheral you are looking for.
"Overall I really enjoyed the CM Havoc gaming mouse. I usually don't go for the fat mice, but this is one you can definitely be a chubby chaser for and still be thought of as okay. It is definitely set to fancy those with a palm grip and despite having small hands there's not too much there. It is built nice and sturdy and even some rage smashes of the mouse have not shown any instant signs of loss. The little bit of lighting really adds to the mouse in my opinion; for some reason I fall into the category of loving a little bit of customization through a little bit of lighting on my peripherals. The lighting is subtle enough and you can turn it off completely without it looking like it is broken. I didn’t like that I couldn’t have my full RGB spectrum, but I can settle with the standard options provided. The mouse glides quite well even on the cheapest of mouse pads and is great for many hours of game play, work, and whatever else you use your mouse for. It's just a nice simple connection between you and your machine."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Gigabyte Force K7 Stealth Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- CM Storm Mech Gaming Keyboard @ Kitguru
- eSPORTS MEKA G-Unit Gaming Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- GAMDIAS HERMES GKB2010 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
- CM Storm QuickFire XT (Cherry MX Blue) Gaming Keyboard Review @HiTech Legion
- Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- Tesoro Colada Mechanical Keyboard @ Rbmods
- Roccat Ryos MK Pro Keyboard @ Kitguru
- Mionix Avior 8200 Laser Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- CM Storm Quickfire XT Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooler Master CM Storm Havoc Gaming Mouse Review @ Legit Reviews
- TteSports Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Mionix AVIOR 8200 @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 2, 2013 - 02:12 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: WASD Keyboards, mechanical keyboard, keyboard, CODE
... But if you read the blog post, you would think it is the one keyboard to rule them all.
The CODE is the product, literally, of a collaboration between Stack Overflow co-founder Jeff Atwood and Weyman Kwong of WASD Keyboards. I recognize the tongue-in-cheek humor and I acknowledge that the team are clearly (that was not a Cherry MX switch pun... that I would admit to) well suited to the challenge of designing a keyboard for programmers.
Before we run through the opinion, its key touted perks are:
Cherry MX Clear switches
- Similar to Cherry MX Brown with much more resistance. Hard to bottom out.
- DIP switches to customize functionality without software.
- White LED backlighting
- Very stable rubberized ergonomic flaps and angled pads.
- Detachable Micro USB cable
The thing is, WASD Keyboards already allows users to purchase customized keyboards. As far as I can tell, the CODE is just a variant of the existing WASD V2 104-key Custom Mechanical Keyboard with white backlighting. Both Keyboards are priced at $149.99. The CODE limits your choice but provides you with the illuminated keys and the MX Clear switches, normally a $10 upgrade, in exchange for just taking what you are offered without question. Okay, you can ask for a 104-Key or an 87-Key version, so one question is allowed. Still, the CODE is a good value; as I mentioned, you basically get free key lighting and a free upgrade to Cherry MX Clear.
But it is still not an epiphany for mechanical keyboard lovers.
At one point, I hoped to take some time for a hobby and modify a mechanical keyboard to fit my specifications. I envisioned an aluminum body enclosing solidly built buckle-spring keys. I did not know about Cherry MX Green switches at the time. For keycaps, I imagined two pieces of glass sandwiching a translucent white plastic sheet masked with a black symbol for each letter. I figure the feel of glass would be more pleasing to the fingers than warm plastic. Each key would, of course, be let from underneath with a soft white (blue-doped-white) LED. Each translucent sheet would softly diffuse the light except for the shadow of whatever characters the key represents.
That would be a revolution... for me. I think I would like the feel of cool glass under my fingers.
So I guess I leave the post with a question for the viewers: What would your "perfect" keyboard be?
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