CoolerMaster's triple update to the Storm line of peripherals

Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2013 - 05:18 PM |
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. 

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"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."

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Source: eTeknix

A pair of gaming peripherals from CoolerMaster

Subject: General Tech | September 26, 2013 - 05:46 PM |
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.

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"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."

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CODE Keyboard Is Probably Pretty Good

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 2, 2013 - 02:12 AM |
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.

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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.

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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?

Source: CODE

Cooler Master Launches CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | July 3, 2013 - 09:01 AM |
Tagged: quickfire xt, mechanical keyboard, gaming, cooler master, cherry mx red, cherry mx green, cherry mx brown, cherry mx blue

Cooler Master has launched its new CM Storm QuickFire XT mechanical keyboard that joins the existing QuickFire Rapid under the company's CM Storm branding.

The QuickFire XT is a full-sized 104-key mechanical desktop keyboard measuring 17.3" x 5.2" x 1.1" (440 x 132 x 29mm) and weighs 2.43 lbs. The keyboard features a slim design with a matte black finish. More importantly, the keyboard uses Cherry MX switches with laser-etched key caps and an embedded steel plate in the keyboard body for added durability.

Cooler Master QuickFire Storm XT Mechanical Keyboard.jpg

Cooler Master bundles six alternative key caps, a key removal tool, and a detachable USB cable with the QuckFire XT.

Other features of the QuickFire XT include NKRO (N-Key Roll Over) in PS/2 mode as well as 1ms rated response times when used in USB mode. Media functions are handled by the dual-function, well, function keys, and the Windows key can be disabled when in "GAME mode."

Cooler Master QuickFire Storm XT Mechanical Keyboard Close Up.jpg

The mechanical keyboard uses Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Green, or Red keys. It appears as though only the Blue and Red switches are available right now, however. The following chart details the switch options and corresponding Cooler Master model numbers.

Cherry MX Switches Used Storm QuckFire XT Keyboard Model Number
Cherry MX Blue SGK-4030-GKCL1-US
Cherry MX Brown SGK-4030-GKCM1-US
Cherry MX Green SGK-4030-GKCG1-US
Cherry MX Red SGK-4030-GKCR1-US

The Cooler Master Storm QuickFire XT mechanical keyboard comes with a 2 year warranty and is available now with a MSRP of $89.99. More information can be found on this Cooler Master product page.

Also read: CMStorm QuickFire Rapid Review: Everything You Need

The return of the ergonomic keyboard, this time it is mechanical

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2013 - 04:27 PM |
Tagged: cherry mx brown, Truly Ergonomic, mechanical keyboard, Model 207, input

Ergonomic keyboards go in and out of style, with some adherents sticking to a particular model but for the rest of us we seem to prefer the clumsy QWERTY layout above all others.  The Model 207 from Truly Ergonomic is a mechanical keyboard, so if your fingers can find the keys you will be rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that key did depress.  On the other hand as you can see from the picture below finding those keys will take some practice.  You can also take a look at the back of the keyboard at the review on LanOC which shows off the customization possible thanks to the inclusion of dip switches that change the function of some keys.

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"When it comes to ergonomic keyboards there are only a few to pick from and, for the most part, all of those are rubber dome keyboards. Ergonomic mechanical keyboards are really limited to two different models, one being the Truly Ergonomic. Today we are going to take a look to see how it compares to everything I have tested to date. I expect an adjustment period just to its shape alone, but as a writer by trade I am very curious how it will affect me day to day. The gamer in me is just as curious on how it will perform in game as well. Let’s take a closer look."

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Source: LanOC

Make your own macros with the Gigabyte Aivia Osmium keyboard

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 06:37 PM |
Tagged: input, mechanical keyboard, gigabyte, Aivia Osmium, cherry mx red

Gigabyte has added another mechanical keyboard to their family, the Aivia Osmium which uses the quiet Cherry MX Red switches preferred by gamers who don't want a click to slow down their button mashing.  It is definitely aimed at gamers with backlighting, audio in and about and a USB 3.0 port on the side along with sound and brightness wheels at the top.  The Tech Report was very impressed with the macro capability of this keyboard, not bound by a certain set of dedicated keys but instead a full program which allows up to 25 programmed macros which can include both mouse and keyboard input.  Head on over and check out the full review.

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"Most high-end keyboards combine mechanical switches with LED backlighting and programmable macro keys. Gigabyte's Aivia Osmium adds a new twist: USB 3.0 connectivity. We take a closer look at this unique keyboard to see what's what."

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Would you touch a Green Cherry?

Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2013 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: cherry mx green, mechanical keyboard, model m, coolermaster, CM Storm Trigger

The Tech Report got their hands on a keyboard using a new type of Cherry MX switch, the CM Storm Trigger.  This is a keyboard for the heavy handed, both the force required to actuate a key and the bottom out is significantly higher than any other Cherry switch as well as the venerable IBM Model M, especially the larger sized keys.  That might be well received by those who find other keyboards to be spongy, or gamers who want the feel of a buckling spring on a better looking keyboard than the old IBM one.  Check out the review to hear the keyboard in action.

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"Cooler Master has released a keyboard based on a little-known mechanical key switch: the Cherry MX greens. We've compared this offering to an IBM Model M and another keyboard based on Cherry's more popular blue switches."

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Razer's Ultimate keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2013 - 06:18 PM |
Tagged: input, mechanical keyboard, gaming, razer, blackwidow ultimate

With a name like Razer Blackwidow Ultimate, this new mechanical keyboard has a lot to live up to.  It comes with the Razer Synapse software familiar to many, which allows you to program the LED lights behind the keyboard for mood typing as well as programming up to 10 profiles with different keys and macro key settings.  It has headset and microphone jacks for those not using a USB headset and USB-Passthrough for those that do.  R&B Mods like the overall performance and look of the keyboard but were a bit taken aback by the $135 asking price.  It also seems strange that Razer does not advertise the type of mechanical switch this keyboard uses.

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"Mechanical keyboards are high demand these days as more and more people have realized how nice they are to game on with their quick response time and keys. Today we are going to review the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate mechanical keyboard, it will be tested in various situations and also see if it is better than the competition that we have tested in the past."

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A pair of Corsair mouse and keyboard combos

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2012 - 06:20 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, mechanical keyboard, corsair, m60, k60, m90, k90, Corsair Vengeance

Pairing your mouse and keyboard will not unlock special powers like a full outfit will in many games however there is something satisfying about having matched peripherals, especially when they are effective tools.  The Corsair Vengeance K90 and M90 as well as the M60 and K60 are up for review at Neoseeker.  The Vengeance 90 series is the more customizable, and expensive of the two, perfect for those who need to be able to program a wide variety of macros to launch at the press of a single button while the 60 series is more for those who play FPS games and really don't need the same level of programability.  Check out the full review to see which of the two combos most attracts you.

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"Corsair tests the waters of the keyboard and mouse market with their first input device peripherals that use Cherry MX Red switches and dedicated gaming features. We test out the Vegeance K90/M90 and K60/M60 keyboard/mouse combos in our latest review."

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Source: Neoseeker

Logitech Breaks in to Mechanical Keyboard with the G710+

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Systems | October 9, 2012 - 06:02 PM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, logitech

Earlier in the year I was in a discussion with a friend of mine about mechanical keyboards. His friend was certain that he owned a mechanical gaming keyboard and so I asked him which one. I stopped him the second he said, “Logitech”. They make several high quality keyboards but not one of them mechanical.

That will soon change when they introduce their mechanical G710+ gaming keyboard to the market.

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The Scarecrow went to the Wizard of Oz to ask for a brain.

Logitech asked to remove their membrane-domes. Heels weren't the only things which clicked.

The G710+ keyboard contains Cherry MX Brown switches along with a full set of media keys, a handful of macro keys, and a number pad. While the brown switches tend to be fairly quiet on their own Logitech has also included damping O-rings under each keycap to make it even more silent than most large mechanical keyboard competitors.

The G710+ is also a white LED backlit keyboard with the option to customize brightness such that your movement keys are lit differently than the rest. This is designed to be a visual cue to lead your fingers back to the movement keys in a dark room.

Macro functionality on the G-keys can be programmed using Logitech drivers in the Lua scripting language. This driver is available for Windows Vista through Windows 8 - sorry to the Windows XP holdouts of the world.

The G710+ is expected to retail for $149.99 in the U.S. (and Canada I believe) this month with Europe expected to ship in December.

Check in after the break for the press release.

Source: Logitech