The Scope of CTRL, the new ASUS ROG Strix gaming keyboard with a boss button

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2019 - 03:05 PM |
Tagged: asus, rog strix scope, gaming keyboard, mechanical keyboard, RGB, input, aura sync

The ROG Strix Scope keyboard, originally announced as the CTRL at CES, has arrived and is ready to be picked up for those who have been waiting.  Enthusiasts can choose between Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver or Silent Red switches, all of which are fully RGB'd with 10 Aura Sync patterns already programmed in.

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The CTRL key is double wide for easy access and the WASD keycaps have a striking silver colour, which compliments the aluminium body as well as making them easy to spot. The board does come with a keycap puller if you have a burning desire to upgrade or swap them.   It is the Stealth function bound to the F12 key that is far more important for some however, as it functions as a boss button.  With one click it will hide all your running apps and mute all audio, so it looks like you were about to be productive and most definitely not playing a game.  Check out the full PR below.

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Fremont, California (April 15, 2019) — ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced ROG Strix Scope, the mechanical gaming keyboard with Xccurate Design – an extra-wide Ctrl key for enhanced precision on FPS battlefields.

The Control (Ctrl) key is crucial to success in modern first-person-shooter games. With this in mind the ROG R&D team carefully examined the play style of FPS gamers, applying their findings to create a Ctrl key that’s more than 2X wider than traditional Ctrl keys and a shortened left Windows key that’s designed to be less of a target.

For gamers wanting to switch things up a bit, the all-black look of Strix Scope can be punctuated by four silver-colored caps for the vital WASD key group. Included with Strix Scope, these alternative caps create a striking contrast to the rest of the keys – a standout look that benefits both form and function. A special keycap-puller tool is also bundled for easy removal and customization of the most-used keys.

Strix Scope’s F12 key has its own unique secondary function, doubling as Stealth. This is a one-touch shortcut that hides all running apps and mutes all audio for instant privacy or peace.

All keycaps are designed to take full advantage of the ASUS Aura RGB backlighting that’s built in to Strix Scope, with secondary legends that are carefully placed to also be easily visible. The F5-F12 keys even have front-side illumination, so both media controls and F-key legends are clearly lit. The Quick Toggle Switch allows gamers to flip quickly between these two control modes.

An aluminum faceplate lends Strix Scope everyday resilience and is finished with a striking slash aesthetic for a little touch of style. The keyboard also includes Armoury II, enhanced driver-based software that offers more extensive controls while using less system resources. An intuitive UI makes it easy for gamers to tune Strix Scope to suit the game or gameplay style – enabling them to create profiles, customize colors and lighting effects, map keys, record macros and more. It’s even possible to track hardware stats during gameplay for data analysis. The outstanding design and innovation that went into the creation of Strix Scope has already been recognized and awarded, with the product winning the prestigious 2019 iF Product Design Award in the Computer Accessory category. The iF Product Design Awards spans multiple disciplines and attracts many thousands of entries from dozens of nations every year – so Strix Scope fought off strong international competition to secure its victory.

Cherry MX RGB switches for gamer-delighting feel and response
Strix Scope is constructed with Cherry MX RGB switches to deliver the precise mechanical feel preferred by gamers and enthusiasts alike. These premium-quality switches are manufactured in Germany and are renowned for delivering optimal actuation and responsiveness with every keystroke. The keyboard is fully compatible with Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Silent Red and Speed Silver switches¹, offering gamers the freedom to configure Strix Scope to play exactly the way they like – from smooth, quiet, linear actuation to tactile clicks.

“Gamers have come to love the feel, optimal actuation and responsiveness of mechanical keystrokes”, said Michael Schmid, Head of MX Technology Marketing at Cherry GmbH. “Cherry MX switches are the obvious trusted choice to use in the new high-end ROG Strix Scope keyboard, with a choice of six different switch types. ROG has always gamers in mind and develops products accordingly. For Strix Scope, innovative features like the enlarged Xccurate Design Ctrl key were made with FPS players in mind. This is the kind of attention to detail that Cherry loves – and why we’re excited to celebrate the arrival of Strix Scope."

Aura RGB illumination on every key for infinite lighting possibilities No modern gaming keyboard is complete without eye-catching lighting, so Strix Scope features per-key ASUS Aura RGB LEDs, plus an illuminated ROG logo. Compatibility with the Aura Sync ecosystem makes it easy for gamers to harmonize Strix Scope’s light shows with other Aura Sync-enabled components, both from ASUS and partner manufacturers.

The keyboard also has a built-in memory to store up to six custom illumination profiles, which can be configured to correspond to different applications – providing custom layouts and lighting effects that are tailored for a particular game or activity.

The evolution of ROG Strix Scope
Avid ROG followers may have noted that Strix Scope was previously revealed as Strix CTRL during CES 2019. This product-development codename was subsequently changed and finalized as Strix Scope to clearly express a key battlefield benefit of the extended Xccurate Design Ctrl key.

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Source: ASUS

It's Cherries all the way down on this mechanical TKL keyboard

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2019 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: input, Cherry MX, Cherry MX Board 1.0, TKL, mechanical keyboard

The Cherry MX Board 1.0 TKL keyboard is Cherry from start to finish, not just the switches themselves but also the layout of the board including the extra controls available on the Function keys.  Keycap aficionados are going to be somewhat disappointed however, though the keys do have a nice concave surface to draw your fingers into the middle of the keys, the caps themselves are made from ABS plastic.  RGB fanatics may disapprove of the backlighting, which only offers white light and with the deprecation of Keyman you have limited software control.

There are those Cherry fanatics who will still be interested in their new keyboard, which you can see in action over at TechPowerUp.

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"The Cherry MX Board 1.0 comes in a variety of offerings: TKL vs. full size, backlit or not. We take a look at the recently announced MX Board 1.0 TKL using genuine Cherry MX mechanical switches and the rarely used Cherry keycap profile. It is a keyboard designed with writing in mind, and this first-party offering is sure to interest the market accordingly."

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Source: TechPowerUp

A Cooler Master MasterMouse to attach your your MasterCase, young master

Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2019 - 07:20 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, mastermouse, MM830, RGB, PixArt PMW3360, input

If you have fallen in love with the various types of MasterCase which have appeared on the market over the past couple of years, then why not plug in a new MasterMouse to it?  The MM830 was announced some time ago but hadn't made it to the NA market until recently and TechPowerUp grabbed one for review.  That funky design you can see on the side functions somewhat like a D-Pad, with each of those points being a programmable button.  The Cooler Master Portal app allows you to program them as well as one Tactix button, essentially a shift key which allows you to bind a second set of commands to your buttons.

Drop by for a look at how well that works, and a peek at the light show that OLED on the top can produce.

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"Cooler Master revealed the MM830 about a year ago at CES 2018, and it just became available for purchase. It features a top-of-the-line optical sensor, PBT main buttons, an OLED display, a unique D-pad, and many more interesting features—and it of course has RGB lighting as well."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Analogue supplies the truest input on Cooler Master's MK850

Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2019 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: MK850, analogue, cooler master, gaming keyboard, aimpad, input

We've seem Aimpad's analogue input in action before, on other Cooler Master products as well as a Wooting one.  Cooler Master has released the MK850 which utilizes this technology, along with providing RGBs for you to gaze longingly at.  You might have noticed that there are more than a few keys on this board, the extras allow you to toggle analogue input off and on as well as modifying the sensitivity of the keys which do have analogue capability, the Q, W, E, R, A, S, D, and F specifically.  M1 through M5 allow you different profiles for different games.

Take a gander at the full review The Tech Report posted if you are interested.

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"Forget, for a moment, what the Cooler Master MK850 looks like. Forget about its RGB lighting, its brushed metal top, its many keys and buttons, and the software that comes with it, because none of those things make it a keyboard of consequence. The only thing we really care about is whether or not the MK850 can deliver on the tantalizing promise of analog keyboard input for gaming."

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MSI has a new Cherry ride for your fingers, the Vigor GK6

Subject: General Tech | March 4, 2019 - 06:28 PM |
Tagged: cherry mx red, msi, gaming keyboard, Vigor GK60, input, RGB

MSI's new Vigor GK60 keyboard sports Cherry MX Red switches and has an MSRP of $109.99, but is available for $99.99 for a limited time if you feel the need right now.   As this is 2019 the keyboard is legally required to meet a minimum of RGBs, which the GK60 easily surpasses and for those who are using MSI's Mystic Light for other components, you will see your new keyboard listed in that software.

Click over to TechPowerUp for a closer look at the outsides and insides of this keyboard, the caps and the switches.

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"2019 brings with it our first MSI keyboard review in the form of the recently announced Vigor GK60. It is a full-size keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches for a solid base for gamers and does not break the bank. The addition of some MSI-specific features and software and hardware control over function and form means this is a keyboard you would want to know more about!"

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Source: TechPowerUp

The Return of the IntelliMouse, now playing at a theatre far far away

Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2019 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: Pro IntelliMouse, PAW3389PRO-MS, microsoft, input

Logitech's MX518 isn't the only classic mouse which was beloved by many users, Microsoft's IntelliMouse was a standard for a long time and just like the MX518 it is coming back on the market.  The new mouse uses a custom PixArt sensor called the PAW3389PRO-MS which TechPowerUp found to be identical in performance to the more common PMW3389.  It also has shiny RGB buttocks for those that are into that sort of thing. 

There is one small problem however, it will only be released overseas so if you want one you might want to contact Microsoft!

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"Behold! The one true heir to the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 has arrived: the Pro IntelliMouse. It has the exact same shape as its predecessor, which is great news for many people who loved the original. It features a top optical sensor, Omron switches rated for 20 million clicks, and an RGB tail light."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Skilled mouse with own tools, willing to work for cheap ... contact Talon Elite Gaming Gear Combo

Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2019 - 02:57 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, thermaltake esports, Talon Elite RGB Gaming Gear Combo, PMW3325, input, gaming mouse

Thermaltake has a impressive offer for anyone who needs a new or back up rodent and doesn't want to spend a lot of money.  The Talon Elite RGB Gaming Gear Combo is a mere $30 and offers a mouse with a PMW3325 sensor, Omron switches, RGBs and a half dozen buttons, plus they've included a mouse mat. 

It isn't the best mouse that TechPowerUp has used, but you can't complain too much about a few imperfections at that price. Check it out here.

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"When it comes to mice, Tt eSPORTS is mostly known for their great prices. The Talon Elite RGB Gaming Gear Combo is no different as it offers mouse and mouse pad for below $30. The mouse features a PMW3325 optical sensor, main switches rated for 20 million clicks, and, of course, a lot of great-looking RGB effects."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Crossing a Viper with a mechanical Patriot

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2019 - 04:30 PM |
Tagged: input, Viper V765 RGB, patriot, mechanical keyboard, Kailh

If you are rough on your keyboards but aren't willing to simply keep replacing cheap models then take a look at the Patriot Viper V765 RGB keyboard.  It has an IP56 rating which means it is protected well against Cheez-it dust getting in as well as being able to handle any spills short of full immersion.  The Kailh white box switches will feel similar to Cherry MX Blue, if you are familiar with them, and feature RGB backlighting as you probably guessed. 

Modders-Inc were impressed by both the physical keyboard as well as the software to control it; which you can see for yourself here.

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"It seems I end up starting every peripheral review the same way. By saying that peripherals are the most subjective thing that we review and how what I may like, you may not. That’s statement is especially true when it comes to keyboards. Everyone has their preference when it comes to typing and or gaming."

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Source: Modders-Inc

Cooler Master Releases New Tenkeyless Keyboards, the MK730 and CK530

Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2019 - 01:29 PM |
Tagged: MK730, CK530, tenkeyless, Gateron, cherry, mechanical keyboard, cooler master, input, RGB

Cooler Master have released two new mechanical TKL keyboards, the CK530 featuring Gateron Red, Blue or Brown switches and the MK730 with Cherry switches of the same flavours. 

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The CK530 features an aluminium body and is designed to fit into a bag so you can take it with you on the road.  The RGBs behind the keys can be programmed on the fly, with each separately programmable to show your choice of the 16.7 million available colours.  You can switch between 6KRO and NKRO in case you are using legacy applications, and macros can be quickly and easily programmed, as well as letting you switch between profiles to enhance your experience.  Those with a fetish for keycaps will be pleased to know CM used standard sizes so you can easily swap out the originals for your preferred type. 

You should be able to find it for sale on Amazon for $70.

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The MK730 looks similar but offers additional features to the ones mentioned above, such as a magnetically attached soft PU leather wrist rest for easing those aching wrists.  It connects with a removable USB-C cord, to ensure it isn't bashed when you are moving it around.  The Cherry switches on this model are hidden behind double-shot PBT keycaps, with the same uniform design to make replacing them with your preferred variety simple. 

The MK730 will set you back a bit more, $120 on Amazon.

Source: Coolermaster

That's the first rule of Input Club, Kira!

Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2019 - 05:31 PM |
Tagged: input, NovelKey, mechanical keyboard, kira, Kailh, input club, Hako, cherry

Input Club Inc, which should be called InC Inc, successfully kickstarted the "ultimate full size mechanical keyboard" which they named Kira.  The designers obviously have strong feelings about keyboards as TechPowerUp alludes to some interesting behind the scenes drama involving the design team's past.  If you also share a passion for specific keyboard designs then you might want to check out their review.  The Kira offers you a lot of choice in addition to a compact design, you can choose from a variety of Cherry, Kailh, Hako, and NovelKey switches and you can easily reprogram every single key via their software if you prefer Dvorak, Colemak or other layouts than the default QWERTY. 

It is rather expensive, $169–$259 to pre-order and is thoroughly infested with RGBs, but there is a price to pay for loving keyboards this much.

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"The Input Club Kira keyboard arose as a design with lofty goals and even higher expectations from the community that helped crowdfund it. Now as a retail product, it is available in a variety of switches, case frames, colors, and even as a kit. No matter the choice, the final product does justice to light, its name, in more ways than one."

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Source: TechPowerUp