Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

Built Like a Tank

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston, entered the mechanical keyboard market in 2016 with the Alloy FPS - which this reviewer found to be well constructed and a great value relative to the market when I reviewed both versions last year. Enter the Alloy Elite, an impressive-looking keyboard that boasts a high level of build quality and the option of full RGB lighting (a single color variant is also available). Does the Elite live up to its name in everyday use? I will share my findings with the RGB version reviewed here.

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Features (from HyperX):

  • Unique light bar and dynamic lighting effects
  • Solid steel frame
  • CHERRY® MX mechanical keyswitches
  • Dedicated media buttons and large volume wheel
  • Quick access buttons for brightness, lighting effects and Game Mode
  • Conveniently connect devices via USB 2.0 pass-through
  • 100% Anti-ghosting and N-Key Rollover functionality
  • Comfortable, detachable wrist rest with soft-touch coating
  • Additional titanium-colored textured keycaps and HyperX keycap removal tool

Pricing and Availability:

First a quick look at packaging and included accessories:

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Continue reading our review of the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB mechanical keyboard!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

A New Kind of Romer-G

Logitech isn’t a company afraid of taking risks. In 2014, they shook up the mechanical keyboard market with their new Romer-G switches, a custom challenger to the popular Cherry MX. The Romer-Gs were nothing if not divisive, however. While some users loved the higher tactile bump offered by the original, others found them to be too soft compared to their MX counterparts.

Today, Logitech presents us with a new take on their Romer-G in the form of a brand new linear switch, found exclusively in the new G513 Carbon Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. The G513 is a refined and upgraded take on last year’s G413. Can this pair of refreshes combine to create something all their own?

Let’s find out.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $149.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Key Switches: Romer-G (Linear or Tactile)
  • Key Durability: 70 million keypresses
  • Actuation distance: 1.5mm
  • Actuation force: 45g
  • Total travel distance: 3.2mm
  • Connection Type: USB 2.0
  • Indicator Lights (LED): 2
  • USB Ports (Built-in): x1, USB 2.0
  • Backlighting: Yes, RGB per key lighting
  • Special Keys
    • Lighting Controls: FN+F5/F6/F7
    • Game Mode: FN+F8
    • Media Controls: FN+F9/F10/F11/F12
    • Volume Controls: FN+ PRTSC/SCRLK/PAUSE
  • Keyboard Dimensions: 132mm (H) x 455mm (W) x 34mm (D)
  • Palm rest Dimensions: 88mm (H) x 445mm (W) x 21.5mm (D)
  • Weight: (w/o cable): 1020g
  • Warranty: 2-year Limited Hardware Warranty

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The G513 comes in both linear and tactile varieties, indicated with a small graphic on the front of the box. The keyboards are otherwise identical, including in the packaging and presentation. We see the usual “beauty shot” on the front of the box, as well as the feature highlights on the back which we’ll go in depth on soon.

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Unpacking it, we see that the keyboard is actually quite simple. There are no extra macro keys or dedicated media buttons, making for a layout that is fairly standard. In fact, the main change comes in the indicator lights, which have been pared down just Caps Lock and Game Mode (Windows Lock) and are also RGB enabled. This space is instead used to highlight the brushed aluminum top plate and glossy “G” branding. 

Continue reading our review of the Logitech G513 Carbon Mechanical Keyboard!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Bringing PC Gaming to the Couch

PC gaming lives at the cutting edge, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to kick back on the couch to enjoy a game. Not long ago, we were stuck with controllers or draping long wires across our floors, but as technology has advanced, those compromises are becoming a thing of the past. Today, we’re looking at the latest combo from Corsair with the K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and their custom-fit Lapboard.

Are the days of balancing keyboards on our legs and mousing from couch cushions finally behind us? Let’s find out.

Specifications

Lapboard:

  • Keyboard Compatibility: Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
  • Cushion: Full length memory foam
  • Mouse Pad: Soft surface, replaceable
  • Dimensions (Mouse Pad): 10.44” (L) x 8.26” (W) x 0.05” (H)
  • Dimensions (Lapboard): 26.4” (L) x 10.9” (W) x 2.1” (H)
  • Accessories: x2 spare retention clips, x2 spare retention hooks
  • Weight: 4.07lbs (without keyboard)
  • Warranty: Two years

K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard:

  • Key Switches: Cherry MX Red
  • Key Lifespan: 50 Million Actuations
  • Layout: Tenkeyless, 87 Keys
  • Wired Connectivity: USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Type-A
  • Wireless Connectivity: Ultra-fast 1ms 2.4GHz or Bluetooth® 4.2 + LE
  • Battery: Lithium Ion (Battery Charging Charges via USB to computer)
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 hours at normal brightness, 25 hours (low brightness), 75 hours no backlighting
  • Report Rate: 1000Hz
  • Keyboard Rollover: Full Key (NKRO) with 100% Anti-Ghosting
  • Illumination: Ice Blue LED
  • Media Controls: Yes, Dedicated
  • Macro Keys: No
  • USB Pass-through: No
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Weight: 2.4lbs (1.09kg)
  • Warranty: Two years

Corsair Gaming K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Starting with the keyboard, the K63 comes in the traditional black and yellow packaging of Corsair products. The highlight here is definitely the wireless connectivity with rapid 1ms response time. We also see the usual callout to Cherry MX style keys, which are well known for their high quality standard. Interestingly, the K63 Wireless is only available in linear-style Cherry MX Red at this time.

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Taking it out of the box, it’s clear that Corsair hasn’t skimped on materials compared to their other keyboards. The K63 is remarkably similar to the larger, wired K68 we reviewed here, minus the RGB backlighting, dust, and spill resistance. Apart from being wireless, this variant is also tenkeyless, which means it lacks the full number pad. As a result, we also find some of our media controls shifted to the left side of the board. It’s heavy, coming in at just under two-and-a-half pounds and offers very little flex thanks to the steel mounting plate under the keys.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair K63 Wireless Keyboard and Lapboard!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

The Creative Craft

The Logitech Craft is an object lesson in not judging a book by its cover. By all appearances, it’s seems to be a standard chiclet keyboard with a volume wheel. Nothing impressive, though, sure, it looks sleek. For those willing to look just as little bit closer, you’ll find one of the most versatile keyboards on the market today. That “volume wheel” is more than meets the eye and has the potential to provide a more efficient workflow for creatives and business professionals alike.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $199.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 32 mm x 430 mm x 149 mm
  • Connectivity: Logitech Unifying 2.4GHz wireless technology, USB 2.0, Bluetooth Low Energy technology
  • Program Compatibility:
    • Microsoft Word®, Microsoft PowerPoint®, Microsoft Excel® 2010, 2013 and 2016 - Windows only
    • Adobe® Photoshop® CC, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® Classic CC, Adobe® Illustrator®CC, Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC 2017 and above – Windows and Mac, Adobe Reader DC
    • VLC Media Player - Windows
  • Preview, Quicktime, Safari® - Mac
  • Spotify™ - Windows and Mac
  • Additional Features:
    • 10m wireless range
  • Wireless encryption
  • On/Off power switch
  • 3 connection indicator lights
  • Caps lock indicator light
  • Battery indicator light
  • Rechargeable with USB type C
  • Compatible with Logitech Flow enabled mice
  • Weight: 960g
  • Warranty: 1-Year Limited Hardware Warranty

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Beginning with packaging, the Craft ships in a nice black box with a nice render of the keyboard on the front. It’s simple and elegant, matching the keyboard itself. Inside you’ll find the keyboard is wrapped in an adhesive dust-protective film. Underneath, we have the USB Type-C cable, 2.4GHz wireless USB insert, and our documentation.

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Taking it out of the box, we find what appears to be a standard 104-key chiclet keyboard with a large metal bar on the top. The Craft is slightly more compact than a traditional keyboard coming in at just under 17-inches wide. The keyboard is thin but surprisingly heavy with a solid 2.1 pounds to keep it stationary on your desk. Much of this seems due to the bar on the top; however, the chassis is also fairly rigid and angled to diminish any flex in normal use.

Continue reading our review of the Logitech CRAFT keyboard!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Takes a lickin' and keeps on clickin'

Over the years, Corsair has developed a name for itself as one of the premiere manufacturers of mechanical gaming keyboards in the market. One could argue that their K70 series is the leading inspiration for gaming keyboard design to today. Their dominance isn’t just limited to physical design, however. RGB illumination and powerful software programming have also defined their keyboards and set them apart from the competition.

Today, we’re looking at a newer entry in the mechanical keys catalog with the K68 RGB. The K68 is more of a budget-entry, but still packs a suite of premium features to please gaming fans. It’s also water and dust resistant with an IP32 rating. We put that to the test. Without further ado, let’s take a close look.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $119.99
  • Keyboard Size: Standard
  • Key Switches: Cherry MX Red
  • Keyboard Backlighting: RGB
  • Switch Lifespan: 50-million actuations
  • Report Rate: 1000Hz
  • Matrix: Full Key (NKRO), 100% anti-ghosting
  • Water/Dust Resistance: IP32
  • Media Keys: Dedicated
  • Wrist Rest: Yes
  • Cable Type: Tangle-free rubber
  • WIN Lock: Yes
  • Software: CUE Enabled
  • Dimensions: 455mm x 170mm x 39mm
  • Weight: 1.41kg
  • Warranty: Two years

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The K68 arrives in standard Corsair keyboard packaging. The box is rich with feature-highlights and definitely plays up the RGB illumination. This is 2018 and a Corsair product, so that should come as no surprise.

Everything is well packed inside the box. The keyboard ships with the usual plastic dust-sleeves on both the keyboard, cable, and plastic wrist-rest. We also get a pair of small documentation inserts that describe the warranty and unlabeled hotkeys.

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Taking it out of the box, it’s here we get the first indicators of how Corsair managed to cut $50 off the price of the K70 RGB. The cable, rather than coming braided, is standard rubber. Likewise, the included wrist-rest is a more lightweight plastic, felt especially in the more flexible arms attaching it to the keyboard’s body. Neither of these are bad, especially when many gaming keyboards don’t include a wrist-rest at all.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair K68 keyboard!

Logitech Announces G560 Speakers and G513 Keyboard with LIGHTSYNC

Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2018 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: speakers, romer-g, mechanical, logitech, keyboard, key switches

Logitech has announced a pair of devices featuring the company’s “LIGHTSYNC” technology,  with the new G560 gaming speaker and G513 gaming keyboard. What is LIGHTSYNC? According to Logitech, the technology synchronizes audio and RGB lighting with gameplay, to create a more immersive experience. We have seen a similar concept with the Philips Ambilight TVs, which project lighting onto a rear wall, synchronized with on-screen content to enhance immersion.

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How is this new lighting tech implemented with gaming peripherals, exactly? We begin with the G560, which offers plenty of power with a 120W (240W peak) amplifier, and 3D audio effects courtesy of DTS:X Ultra 1.0. As to the LIGHTSYNC implementation, Logitech explains:

“Powered by advanced LIGHTSYNC technology, the Logitech G560 synchronizes brilliant RGB lighting and powerful audio in real time to match on-screen gameplay action. Light and animation effects can be customized across approximately 16.8 million colors, with four lighting zones.”

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The G560 offers USB and 3.5mm connectivity, as well as Bluetooth, and Logitech's "Easy-Switch" technology allows for switching between any four connected devices. The included LIGHTSYNC technology works with both video and music.

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Next we have the G513 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which combines Romer-G switches (your choice of either Romer-G Tactile or Linear), and support for LIGHTSYNC. The Logitech G513 offers a brushed aluminum top case and USB passthrough port, and includes an optional palm rest.

As to pricing, the Logitech G560 PC Gaming Speaker will carry an MSRP of $199.99, with a $149.99 MSRP for the G513 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Availability is set for April 2018.

Source: Logitech
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Cherry

Overview

Cherry is one of the most well-known brands in the mechanical keyboard industry. The company, based in Germany, is best known for their MX key switches, which have become the gold standard in the premium keyboard market. As a result of their high standards, tight quality control, and even the occasional scarcity, “genuine Cherry key switches” has become a veritable marketing point on more than a few features lists.

Since they make their own switches, it should come as no surprise that Cherry also produces their own keyboards. Today, we’re looking at the G80-3494, a new entry in the G80-3000 line and one of the few keyboards in the United States to feature Cherry MX Silent Black key switches. Do their full-fledged boards live up to the lofty standards of their switches?

Specifications

  • MSRP: $149.99 (currently sale price: $111.56)
  • Layout: ANSI, 104-key
  • Key Switch: Cherry MX Silent Black (linear)
  • Key Lifespan: 50M keystroke
  • Actuation Force: 60cN
  • N-Key Rollover: 14-key simultaneous
  • Cable: 1.75m, non-detachable, PVC coated
  • Dimensions: 470 x 195 x 44 mm
  • Weight: 935g

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Continue reading our review of the Cherry G80 MX Board Silent keyboard!

CES 2018: Corsair Introduces New Wireless Gaming Peripherals

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2018 - 07:19 PM |
Tagged: MX Red, mechanical, keyboard, key switches, K63, gaming, corsair, Cherry MX, bluetooth, 2.4GHz, CES 2018, CES, wireless

Corsair continues the expansion of their peripheral portfolio at CES, and the focus here is wireless. The new products include a new wireless keyboard and mouse (Corsair's first wireless mouse) along with a Qi wireless charging mousepad and new lap board.

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K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

First up is the K63 keyboard, a wireless TKL design with a trio of connection options. In addition to Corsair's 2.4 GHz connection which offers 1 ms latency, there is also the option of connecting via Bluetooth 4.2 (with a latency of 7.5 ms) or use a standard wired connection via USB (which also charges the keyboard).

The K63 keyboard has Cherry MX Red key switches (no option for other colors, currently), individual backlighting, and battery life that ranges from 15 hours of continuous use with default backlighting (default brightness is 66%), up to a whopping 75 hours of continuous use without backlight. AES 128-bit encryption is also supported, and for gamers who do not want the additional latency this adds (total of 1.08 ms), encryption can be toggled on and off via software.

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DARK CORE RGB Wireless Mouse

Corsair's first wireless mouse offers the same three connectivity options as the K63 keyboard, with 2.4 GHz or BT 4.2 wireless in addition to USB, and there is an SE version of the mouse that also supports the Qi wireless standard with its integrated charging coil, and that is complimented by the MM1000 Qi wireless charging mousepad.

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Not only did Corsair announce the new keyboard and mouse, but also the K63 Lapboard for your slick new wireless peripherals. It's a lightweight design that features memory foam padding and a built-in wrist rest, and the mouse pad is removable for cleaning/replacement.

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All of these new wireless peripherals and accessories are available now, with pricing as follows:

  • Dark Core RGB Mouse: $79.99
  • Dark Core RGB SE Mouse: $89.99
  • MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mousepad: $79.99
  • K63 Wireless Keyboard: $109.99
  • K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard: $59.99
  • K63 Wireless Gaming Keyboard/Lapboard Combo: $159.99
Source: Corsair

CES 2018: The ASUS ROG Strix Flare is a Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard With Ergonomic Touches

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: ROG Strix, mechanical keyboard, keyboard, gaming keyboard, Cherry MX, CES 2018, CES, ASUS ROG, asus

ASUS today announced the ROG Strix Flare, an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard.

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Featuring Cherry MX switches, dedicated media keys, a USB passthrough port, and a detachable wrist rest, the ROG Strix Flare aims to combine "top-notch performance with ergonomic comfort." Oh, and those dedicated media keys? They're all located on the upper-left side of the keyboard, enabling gamers to adjust volume and control their tunes without needing to take their hands off the mouse (sorry, southpaws...).

ROG Strix Flare is an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard that combines top-notch performance with ergonomic comfort, and brings customizable style to a whole new level. Constructed with world-renowned Cherry MX RGB switches — the preferred choice of professional and amateur gamers alike — every press of the ROG Strix Flare is of optimal actuation to deliver satisfying and reliable keystrokes. Dedicated media keys, including a convenient volume wheel, are located on the upper left of the keyboard for instant access, so the gamer’s right hand can remain on the mouse at all times. A USB pass-through port lets gamers connect a mouse or other device, and a detachable wrist rest provides extra comfort during extended gaming sessions.

The ROG Strix Flare will be available in the first half of this year, with pricing information to be announced at launch.

Source:

Roundup at the keyboard corral

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2017 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: input, keyboard, gaming keyboard, mechanical keyboard, wireless keyboard

Techspot have posted a comprehensive keyboard roundup, encompassing a wide variety of usage including, work, gaming, wireless, HTPC and budget categories.  The brands include Das Keyboard and Corsair but the majority of the categories are ruled by a veteran brand.  Logitech takes top spot in numerous categories, including the budget choice but also the wireless categories.  The review also offers runner ups, so drop by if you or someone on your list is in the market for a new keyboard.

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"Whether you are focused on productivity, or are looking for a gaming-centric keyboard, or something that can connect to multiple devices over Bluetooth, here are our favorite keyboards on every category."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Techspot