Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | August 19, 2014 - 01:17 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, mechanical keyboard
Earlier in the year, we reported on Corsair's exclusivity over Cherry MX RGB-based mechanical keyboards. The thing is, Razer develops their own switches and is not reliant on ZF Electronics (Cherry Corporation). The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma mechanical keyboard uses their own switches, not Cherry's, and is not subject to Corsair's exclusivity. The keyboard can be ordered now for $179.99 USD and will be available in September.
I contacted Razer and asked them about their technology. They could not provide any direct comparison between their design and the Cherry MX RGB, but they were able to add a few details to their offering. The BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma was designed with its LEDs positioned away from moving parts and lined up with the keycap imprint. The LEDs are pointed upward for brightness.
Razer will be providing developers with Chroma SDK, allowing games and applications to control the Chroma-enabled device lighting to assist or immerse their users. I say "Chroma-enabled device" rather than "Chroma keyboards", because they already have plans for mice and headsets with the same technology. At the very least, they expect that users will appreciate coordinated colors across their gaming peripherals.
The Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma is available to order, for $179.99 USD ($199.99 CDN), and ships in September. A Chroma-enabled mouse, based on the DeathAdder design, and a Chroma-enabled headset, based on the Kraken model, are announced but do not yet have pricing or availability information.
Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2014 - 07:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, Nixeus, MODA, mechanical keyboard, Kailh, brown
Nixeus is not a household name by any means but they could heat up competition in the mechanical keyboard market as a new player using relatively new Kailh Brown switches. Like many ten-keyless gaming boards it has extra blue key caps to make your board more interesting, gold plated USB connectors, a 1000Hz Poll Rate and 6 Key Roll-over. The Kailh Brown switches are clones of Cherry MX Brown switches and felt almost the same when Legit Reviews tested them. The keyboard is similar to many already on the market but should appeal to those who prefer simplicity over media buttons and LEDs.
"Founded in California of 2009, Nixeus is still a bit of a newcomer to the PC hardware industry looking to build up a bigger name in the world of monitors and peripherals. Their aggressively priced 1440p monitors which carry the same LG panels found in the iMac displays have been their mainstay for much of that time, but recently Nixeus is expanding to the PC gaming market including the Moda mechanical keyboard being reviewed here on Legit Reviews. Read on to see how this keyboard performs!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- GAMDIAS HERMES Ultimate Black Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Tt eSports Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard @ TechwareLabs
- Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid-i Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
- Logitech Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 Review @ Techgage
- Gamdias Hermes Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- GAMDIAS HERMES Essential GKB2000 Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gamdias Aegis gaming set @ Kitguru
- XTracGear Carbonic Mouse Pad @ Benchmark Reviews
- Aorus Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse and Thunder P3 Gaming Pad Overview + Review @HiTech Legion
Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2014 - 09:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, rosewill, RGB80, mechanical keyboard, Kailh
The Rosewill RGB80 is very much a gaming keyboard, the extras like USB pass through have been eliminated as has the numpad. It also features N-key rollover which can be toggled with a key combo if your computer has difficulty detecting the keyboard. One unique feature are the switches which are made by Kailh as opposed to Cherry, the switches are similar to Cherry MX Blue with a bump and click when you depress a key, perhaps not the best for typing but perfect for gaming. In addition to the PC mode there are five available gaming profiles which you can use to store macros and LED colour settings as this keyboard currently supports 228 colour choices with updated software due in the future to vastly increase that spectrum. Head over to The Tech Report to see more on this brilliant mechanical keyboard.
"Rosewill's RGB80 is one of the first mechanical keyboards with RGB LED backlighting, which can produce a dizzying array of colors. We've taken it through its paces."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- SteelSeries Apex Illuminated Gaming Keyboard Review @ Techgage
- Cherry MX-Board 3.0 MX Blue, Red, Brown & Black Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Tesoro Lobera Supreme Mechanical Keyboard Review @HiTech Legion
- Rosewill BK-500 Bluetooth Keyboard Review @ TechwareLabs
- Deck 108 Hassium Pro Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Armaggeddon Alien Craft IV G17 Mouse Review @ TechwareLabs
- Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable @ Legion Hardware
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2014 - 11:01 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, gaming keyboard, cooler master, computex 2014, computex, cherry mx red, 80 Plus Titanium, 1200W PSU
Cooler Master has been showing off a number of new products at Computex this year, and among the new announcments are a hybrid-switch keyboard and ultra-efficient (and ultra powerful) power supply.
NovaTouch TKL Hybrid Switch Keyboard
First up is the NovaTouch TKL mechanical keyboard, which Cooler Master has outfitted with their exclusive Hybrid Capacitive switches. Cooler Master claims these are "exceptionally quiet and suitable for heavy-duty typing or gaming," and the NovaTouch TKL offers support for Cherry MX switches (though it was not clear if they will be offering it with that option upon release). Another area of interest: the NovaTouch TKL has both a standard USB and microUSB connector!
Hmm... microUSB connector, eh?
Next we have a 1200W PSU with 80 PLUS Titanium certification (which you might remember calls for 90%+ efficiency at only 10% load!).
Titanium certification makes power supplies look super awesome
The power supply is Cooler Master's first "foray into digital" PSU design, and there is even a companion app with bluetooth control and monitoring functions. Finally! Now you can while away the afternoon checking and re-checking the efficiency of your PSU from your phone...
Not surprisingly, pricing and availablity are not yet available for these new products.
Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2014 - 02:09 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mechanical keyboard
Carl Nelson of HCW reviewed the Deck Hassium Pro and the Deck Francium Pro mechanical keyboards. These keyboards are named after the element with the same Atomic Number as its number of keys. The Hassium has 108 keys and the tenkeyless Francium has 87 keys.
Because Breaking Bad is popular?
Apparently the font used for the keycaps stood out to Carl. It has similar design characteristics as Papyrus and Comic Sans. Hear that? It's the sound of a UX designer crying (you might be able to hear it over the Cherry MX Brown switches -- but maybe not the MX Red).
If you look at anything in the review, make sure it is the second page where he shows the various key lighting modes. There are a few unique modes, such as slowly fading keys after they are pressed and a few animations. It is definitely interesting to watch for a few minutes. He does not really like the quality of the backlight, which he questions the choice of PBT plastic as the cause, but the keyboard still lets light through.
In short, he enjoys how well it is made but is timid about the price.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 4, 2014 - 10:59 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 3, 2014 - 01:49 AM | 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 - 06:16 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 - 09:48 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 7, 2014 - 03:22 AM | 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.