HyperX types again, the Alloy Elite

Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2017 - 02:31 PM |
Tagged: input, hyperx, Alloy Elite, cherry mx red, cherry mx brown, cherry mx blue, mechanical keyboard

As with the previous model, HyperX has chosen a metal body for the Alloy Elite.  This one is larger than that model, at 17.5" x 6.6" which leaves space for a light bar containing 18 red LEDs as well as media keys.  HyperX offers you the choice between MX Blue, Brown, or Red switches, optional silvery WASD keycaps and a removable wrist rest.  The Tech Report had a good experience with the keyboard, however if you consider custom macros, profiles, and lighting features to be critical then perhaps this board is not for you.

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"HyperX has made a name for itself with gaming gear that forgoes frills in favor of function. Its Alloy Elite mechanical gaming keyboard takes a different tack by adding flourishes and dedicated controls to the formula. We got the Alloy Elite under our fingers to see whether HyperX struck the right balance."

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We need a longer name! Creative's Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2017 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08, Creative, mechanical keyboard, Omron, input

It seems almost a pity that the only noise this Sound BlasterX device can make is the clicking of its Omron switches, but the Aurora Reactive Lighting offers a 16.8 million shades of RGB to provide a light show.  TechPowerUp were disappointed by the immature status of the driver, macro functionality was added long after launch and they saw lag when switching between lighting modes which other keyboards do not display. This is Creative's first go at an RGB mechanical keyboard and there are some good features to it, especially if you are a fan of Omron switches so take a look if you find your interest peaked.

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"The Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 is the first keyboard from Creative and features OMRON mechanical switches, full 16.8M RGB backlighting, dedicated media and macro buttons, and a USB pass-through port. The hardware is supported by their Sound Blaster Connect software driver for lighting customization and performance tweaking."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Polybutylene terephthalate is in, the Cooler Master MasterKeys L PBT

Subject: General Tech | July 4, 2017 - 01:58 PM |
Tagged: input, cooler master, MasterKeys L PBT, Cherry MX, mechanical keyboard

The MasterKeys L PBT keyboard offers typists a lot of choice, there are models featuring Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Green, or Silver so you can choose the type of switches you prefer.  The PBT portion of the name refers to the keycaps, which are thicker than the more common ABS keycaps you find on most keyboards, a feature which Techpowerup were quite taken by.  The price is also uncommon for a mechanical keyboard as both the full sized model and the TKL model are priced under $100.  Drop by for a look.

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"Cooler Master have listened to consumer feedback and with their MasterKeys PBT series they have thick PBT plastic keycaps out of the box on all the switches. The keyboard also includes onboard support for multiple OS and typing layouts, macro recording and an option for the rare Cherry MX Green switches; all for less than $100."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Behold the Palette

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2017 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: input, Palette, blame canada, MIDI

As you can see, the Palette is not your normal keyboard nor mouse. Instead is is a collection of buttons, dials and sliders which communicate via the MIDI standard and is intended to help you with programs like Adobe Premier Pro, Photoshop, or Capture One.  The Palette can be rearranged however you like, magnets hold it together to ensure that signal can travel between the blocks in whatever arrangement you prefer.  The core module, with the LCD screen, houses the USB connector to plug it into your system as well as the Atmel AT90USB1286 8-bit brains of the device.  You can connect up to 18 modules due to the power delivery limitations of USB, or 32 if you can provide additional power.  TechPowerUp found numerous uses for the device, drop to check it our and perhaps to be inspired.

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"Palette is a startup that aims to elevate the current standard of human-computer interaction. Their modular controllers based off the MIDI standard use a combination of buttons, dials, and sliders to lower workflow time for content creators. The PaletteApp driver helps with built-in support for over 15 popular programs from Adobe and others, and profile support enables quick changes in functionality for individual modules."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Roccat's newest Kone, the EMP gaming mouse

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2017 - 03:57 PM |
Tagged: input, roccat, Kone EMP, gaming mouse

Roccat;s new Kone EMP shares some attributes with earlier members of the Kone lineup, specifically the Owl-Eye optical sensor based on PixArt’s PWM 3361DM, which can be set at up to 12000dpi and the SWARM software suite to program the mouse.  The onboard ARM Cortex-M0 and 512kB of memory allows the mouse to keep that programming, even on another machine which does not have SWARM installed.  Modders-Inc tested the mouse out, see what they thought of it here.

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"The Roccat Kone EMP is the next mouse in the Kone line up and the successor to the Kone XTD. The Kone EMP features Roccat's OWL-Eye optical sensor and four RGB LEDs for custom lighting."

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Source: Modders Inc

IBM Model M? Pah, get an Underwood based keyboard if you want to impress!

Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2017 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: input, AiZO, MK Retro

Who needs a mechanical keyboard that is inspired by something a mere three decades ago when you can purchase one that looks like a manual typewriter you would see in a museum exhibit?  The AZiO MK Retro sports those raised circular keys use AZiO's own OARMY Olive switches, which NikKTech postulates were source from Kailh.  If you are desperate for a unique looking keyboard without any sign of RGB-itis, then feast your eyes below and follow that link to the review.

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"With the MK Retro typewriter mechanical keyboard AZiO takes us for a trip down memory lane and although it leaves us asking for me we do feel they're on the right track."

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Source: NikKTech

A keyboard for the accident prone, Zalman's Z-Machine K650WP

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2017 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: input, waterproof, zalman, aluminium, Z-Machine K650WP, keyboard

The K650WP is a membrane keyboard with a PS/2 plug and USB adapter so for those who need to click while they type you may want to skip this review.  For everyone else, the membrane design allowed Zalman to waterproof the keyboard by adding holes to allow spilled liquids to quickly drain away from the keys, as well as coating the aluminium stiffener inside with hydrophobic film and some strategically placed insulation.  TechPowerUp dumped the contents of a 250 mL water bottle into the keyboard to test this feature out and it worked a charm, they only wiped off the keys as the remainder of the liquid drained through the bottom and the keyboard continued to work.  At $27, even if you do manage to damage the keyboard you are not out a lot of money.  Check it out here.

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"The Z-Machine K650WP from Zalman is a membrane keyboard that comes in at a price point where there is really no competition from branded mechanical keyboards. At the same time, it offers a waterproof design, dedicated volume-control buttons, and an internal aluminum plate for structural rigidity, making it great value for the money."

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Source: TechPowerUp

HyperX's Pulsefire, KISS in action

Subject: General Tech | April 27, 2017 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: input, hyperx, pulsefire, gaming mouse, pixart, PMW3310

HyperX's Pulsefire is a mouse, plain and simple.  It does not glow, nor can you remove or add peices to it, it is just a large, functional $50 gaming mouse with a Pixart PMW3310 optical sensor. The Tech Report tested it out, contrasting it to the Logitech G302 which the reviewer uses on a regular basis.  Take a look if you are shopping for a mouse, and only a mouse, not programmable macro, weight enhanced and sensor swapping input device of doom.

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"HyperX is making a foray into yet-unexplored gaming peripheral territory today with its Pulsefire gaming mouse, a simple and software-free rodent. We put this mouse to the mat to see whether HyperX's keep-it-simple approach plays well with gaming mice."

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Modulate all the things! EpicGear's Defiant modular gaming keyboard

Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2017 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged: modular, mms, mechanical keyboard, input, epicgear, defiant

Move over modular PSUs and mice, the Epicgear Defiant is a modular keyboard.  What that actually means is that you can swap the actual switches on the keyboard, as long as they are Modular Matrix Structure switches.  The MMS switches as described as analogous to Cherry MX switches, though the colours do not translate directly and The Tech Report found them to be of equivalent quality.  In their testing they found that gaming with mismatched switches was somewhat unpleasant, so make sure to get a full set of the ones you plan to use.  The full review can be found here.

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"Some gaming keyboards offer customizable backlighting and key caps to change up the feel of the keys underneath one's fingers. EpicGear's Defiant keyboard goes one better and lets gamers change out its key switches themselves for a different tactile experience. We switched around the Defiant's clickers to see if the feature upped our game."

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EpicGear's Morpha X gaming mouse, you can swap the sensors and switches as well as the weight

Subject: General Tech | April 10, 2017 - 04:47 PM |
Tagged: epicgear, Morpha X, gaming mouse, input, ADNS-9800, PMW3360, pixart

Modular gaming mice with changeable weights and shells have become common; ones that allow you to switch the sensor on the other hand are rather rare.  EpicGear's Morpha X lets you do exactly that, it comes with two PixArt sensors, a PMW3360 optical sensor and an ADNS-9800 laser sensor.  The Tech Report strongly suggests disconnecting the mouse when swapping sensors to avoid any possibility to need to reset the mouse.  It is not just the sensors you can swap, the mouse ships with several Omron D2F switches of varying colours as well as a tool to help swap them.  The mouse is a little pricey but for those with a strong opinion as to which sensors and swiches are the best, this mouse is worth a look.

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"EpicGear's Morpha X gaming mouse offers a wealth of customization options, from its shell to its sensor to its RGB LED accent lighting. We swapped out every component and tested every setting to see whether the Morpha X delivers a spot in the gaming-peripheral hall of fame."

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