The age of Ultor, Speedlink's new mechanical keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2017 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: Speedlink, ultor, mechanical keyboard, RGB, Kailh

Speedlink's Ultor mechanical keyboard has a minimalist look thanks to the lack of a frame but they did include LEDs, blue under all but the WASD keys which are white.  They also chose to include macro keys which is uncommon on a board without a numpad by adding them as a secondary function to the Home, End, Insert, Delete, Page Up and Down keys. The mechanical switches under the keys are Kailh Red, the colour of gamers as opposed to typists.  They are currently quite expensive here in North America, in the UK Kitguru spotted it for sale at £79.91.

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"While many peripheral makers are currently chasing down the RGB trend, there is still plenty of room in the market for a standard mechanical keyboard. Today, we are taking a look at the Speedlink Ultor, a mechanical keyboard offering up red switches, macro support and more, all wrapped up in a frameless, 10-keyless design."

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Source: Kitguru

CES 2017: Cherry Launches MX Board Silent Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2017 - 03:36 AM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, Cherry MX Silent, Cherry MX, cherry, CES 2017, CES

Cherry, the company behind the ever popular Cherry MX line of mechanical keyboard switches, has announced an update to its popular G80-3000 keyboard called the Cherry MX Board Silent. The refreshed keyboard comes in black and gray and uses the International / EU layout.

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The major feature of the Cherry MX Board Silent is the inclusion of new MX Silent switches that purportedly keep noise to a minimum by using a shaped rubber pad and "2-component stem" that reduces noise at the bottom out and top out points of a key press. The switches come in two flavors: the MX Red Silent and the MX Black Silent which feature release force of 45 centinewtons and 60 centinewtons respectively.

The keyboard further features 14 key N-key rollover which allows the user to hold down up to 14 keys simultaneously without phantom key presses becoming an issue.

We will have to wait for reviews to see how the new keyboard holds up build quality wise and, more importantly, just how silent the MX Board Silent is. The keyboard will be available soon with an MSRP of $149.

Also read: Mechanical Keyboard Switches Explained and Compared

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Source: Cherry

CORSAIR Launches New Flagship K95 RGB Platinum

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2017 - 05:19 PM |
Tagged: corsair, K95 RGB Platinum, mechanical keyboard, CES, CES 2017, Cherry MX

Corsair's new K95 RGB Platinum mechanical keyboard should not be thrown in a fit of frustration, the aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminium body will not be what breaks upon impact.  Then again it is not the body most are interested in, most prefer to focus on the Cherry nubbins and this keyboard has them!  You can choose either the CHERRY MX Speed with a mere 1.2mm of travel or Cherry MX RGB Brown if you prefer to bottom out with authority. 

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For those who need to be brought into the light this keyboard offers more than just lighting underneath the keys, it also has a 19-zone light bar called the LightEdge at the top.  All of these lighting effects are programmable through the Corsair Utility Engine, as is the functionality of the six programmable macro keys on the keyboard.  For those with a more utilitarian mindset, the detachable dual-sided soft-touch wrist rest and USB pass-through port are beneficial inclusions. 

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You should see them available online in the very near future, with an MSRP of $199.

K95 RGB Platinum Specifications

  • Aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame: Built to withstand a lifetime of gaming.
  • Lightweight and rugged durability, necessary for a keyboard that’s going to see a lot of action.
  • 8MB profile storage with hardware macro and lighting playback: Allow access for up to three stored profiles on the go, independent of external software.
  • Dynamic multicolor per key backlighting with LightEdge: Adjust each key’s color and illumination level in addition to 19-zones on the LightEdge light bar for sophisticated and dramatic animations and effects.
  • 100% CHERRY RGB mechanical key switches: Unleash blistering speed with the 1.2mm actuation of CHERRY MX Speed mechanical keyswitches, or feel the tactile feedback of Cherry MX RGB Brown keyswitches.
  • Six programmable G-keys keys for in-game macros: Assign single keystrokes or complex multi-key combos to any of the six dedicated macro keys.
  • USB 2.0 pass-through port: Provides convenient access to an additional USB port for your mouse or headset.
  • Black or Gunmetal: Available in two distinctive anodized finishes, Black or Gunmetal. (Gunmetal initially only available in North America with Cherry MX Speed switch.)
  • Detachable, dual-sided soft-touch wrist rest: The comfort to enhance your gameplay during marathon gaming sessions. Choose between two different surfaces for optimal comfort.
  • Dedicated volume and multimedia controls: Control to adjust audio on the fly, without interrupting your game.
  • 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover: No matter how fast your in-game actions are, every keypress registers correctly.
  • Fully programmable with CUE: Intuitive and powerful Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) enables sophisticated macro programming and fast, fluid dynamic multicolor illumination.
  • Windows key lock mode: Stay focused and prevent accidental Windows and Context Menu key presses.
  • FPS and MOBA keycap sets: Textured and contoured keycaps provide maximum grip and enhanced feel.

 

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Corsair

Roccat's Suora mechanical keyboard, dressed up for a rave

Subject: General Tech | December 20, 2016 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: input, suora fx, mechanical keyboard, roccat, RGB, cherry mx blue

The Suora FX matches the original Roccat Suora design, only thoroughly infected with RGB disease.  The keyboard sent to Benchmark Reviews sported Cherry MX Blue switches, with the obvious addition of LED lights underneath the keys.  They found the Swarm Gaming software which comes with the keyboard to let you program lighting effects and macros to be somewhat simpler in design that the competitions.  This could be a good thing if you are not looking to program intricate lighting effects, but might disappoint those that plan to.  Drop by for the full review here.

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"Without sacrificing functionality, the Suora FX maintains the same frameless design seen on its predecessor, the original Suora. This keyboard does not have any of the extra gimmicky bells and whistles seen on other mechanical gaming keyboards. Instead, the Suora FX gets directly down to the point to provide the user with functionality without compromising gaming performance."

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Zalman's ZM-K900M mechanical keyboard can be taught to do more than change colours

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2016 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: zalman, ZM-K900M, input, mechanical keyboard, Kailh Blue RGB

Not only does Zalman's ZM-K900M suffer from RGB disease underneath it's Kailh switches, it also has a split personality.  When you look at the closeups of the keys over at The Tech Report you will see odd symbols and messages under the usual lettering, things like ZM2 or Speed Meter.  Those are for programming macros, simply hitting Fn + ZM# starts the recording and it will capture every click, including buttons which emulate mouse buttons and stop once you press Fn + ZM# again.   These will play back exactly as recorded and the somewhat misspelled Speed Meter allows you to increase or decrease the speed which it plays back.  If you find this intriguing, pop by The Tech Report for a closer look.

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"Zalman's ZM-K900M keyboard hides a huge range of hardware-controlled backlight and macro modes underneath an unassuming exterior. We took it for a spin to see whether this RGB LED-backlit mechanical marvel stands out in an increasingly jam-packed keyboard market."

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Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: AUKEY

Introduction and First Impressions

Aukey, a prominent seller of mobile accessories on Amazon, has an interesting product for PC enthusiasts: an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard for $59.99. The price is definitely right, but is it any good? We’ll take a look!

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“The AUKEY KM-G3 mechanical keyboard takes the gaming experience to a new level. Tactile, responsive mechanical keys put you in control for an outstanding typing or gaming experience. The KM-G3 offers preloaded multi-color RGB backlit lighting effects and patterns. Ideal for FPS, CF, COD, LOL and Racing games - Just use the Function key to easily switch between gaming presets.”

The KM-G3 keyboard is a standard 104-key design, using blue switches (presumably a generic switch as no brand is listed), and there is RGB lighting which can be cycled between various colors and patterns, or switched off if desired. Aukey is also offering a 2-year warranty on the keyboard, which should help allay any fear about a purchase.

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Continue reading our review of the AUKEY KM-G3 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard!

An analogue mechanical keyboard?!? The Aimpad R5

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2016 - 05:11 PM |
Tagged: Aimpad R5, mechanical keyboard, analog

The Tech Report took a look at a prototype device which seems completely nonsensical at first glance, but by the end of the review may just capture your interest.  The Aimpad R5 analogue keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical switches just the same as you would find in most mechanical keyboards but it also has something unique under the keycaps, an IR LED and sensor.  This means that the travel distance of your keypress can be measured and used as input, similar to a joystick or gamepad.  This seemingly useless feature is quickly shown to be useful in their first game test, DayZ.  A light press on the W key moves you forward at a walking pace, pressing slightly harder changes that to a run and bottoming the key out switches you to sprint; no other keypresses required.  This can also be useful if flying, in a game such as ARMA which emulates control surfaces properly or in games like Battlefield which offer a more arcade like flying experience.  Check out the full reivew to see what you think of the idea.

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"Aimpad offered us a first look at the analog input technology it hopes will become commonplace in future mechanical keyboards. We've spent a lot of hands-on time with its analog secret sauce, and we're ready to say whether this technology is something every keyboard should have."

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HyperX Now Shipping ALLOY FPS Gaming Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2016 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: cherry mx blue, kingston, HyperX ALLOY FPS, mechanical keyboard, input

The PR below the picture has the full details but we will cover the highlights in brief.  The Kingston HyperX ALLOY FPS uses Cherry MX Blue switches with red LEDs underneath the keys that can be set to a variety of brightness and responses.  It has a small footprint, 442x129x36mm and ships with a travel bag to make it easier to transport, which makes sense considering the eSports focus of the keyboard.  You should be able to find it for sale at around $100 online if you are in the market.

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Fountain Valley, CA – Oct. 24, 2016 – HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the HyperX ALLOY FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is now shipping in the U.S. and Canada. The full-size mechanical gaming keyboard has a space-saving layout allowing gamers to maximize desktop real estate for FPS mouse movement. The HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry MX Blue Mechanical switches to provide the tactile feedback and performance to support extreme gameplay and enable players to be the best gamers possible.

Built with a solid steel alloy frame, the HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry MX Blue Mechanical switches, HyperX red LED backlighting and six preset LED modes – including a custom mode. The keyboard also offers Game Mode to easily disable the Windows key to prevent game play interruptions, along with 100 percent anti-ghosting and full N-Key rollover functionality. For added flexibility and performance, HyperX ALLOY FPS features an easy access USB charging port located on the back of the keyboard, additional HyperX red-colored WASD/1234 keys, a detachable braided cord, and mesh travel pouch for protection and storage on the move.

“After extensive research and hundreds of hours of gameplay testing, HyperX developed a mechanical keyboard from the ground up to withstand the most intense gameplay, featuring a small footprint that is vital for FPS gamers. With its solid steel alloy frame and Cherry MX Blue switches, this keyboard is designed for over 50 million keystrokes per key,” said Marcus Hermann, senior business manager, HyperX. “Gamers who play FPS classics like CS:GO or Overwatch will appreciate its compact yet sturdy design. The HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard design gives gamers more space to setup their desktop surface to execute intricate mouse actions.”

One of the eSports teams HyperX works with is Echo Fox, owned by Rick Fox, who previously played professional basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. CS:GO player Sean “sG@res” Gares, Echo Fox, tested the new keyboard and said: “The HyperX Alloy is the perfect keyboard for me due to the excellent feedback of the Cherry MX Blue switches, it's compact size, and the extremely durable steel alloy frame. I also love the unique detachable cord for easy portability and the USB charging dock for my phone!”

Source: Kingston

Razer Announces BlackWidow X Tournament Edition

Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2016 - 05:45 PM |
Tagged: razer, mechanical keyboard, Cherry MX

Well this is interesting. Razer has announced the BlackWidow X Tournament Edition, which is a new tenkeyless mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX Blue switches. This is interesting, because it does not use Razer's own switches -- not even as a customization (like the BlackWidow X Ultimate). You must use Cherry MX Blue. It's an interesting change, and I'm not sure why they did that, but they did.

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Beyond that, it's a fairly standard keyboard. It doesn't have a number pad, but it does have a button to record macros on it. I personally do not like those ever since my original Razer BlackWidow. I would accidentally press the button, not realize it, then have everything I typed get spammed out for the next half hour, including passwords. I would assume Razer has fixed that issue in the last four-or-so years, but I haven't used their keyboards in a while. There might have even been an option to prevent it back then, but I never found it. Also, for some, a macro button is probably a nice feature, seeing as they've consistently included it.

The talk about Cherry Switches and Macro Keys aside, the keyboard seems like a pretty decent value. The Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition costs $69.99 and ships next week.

Source: Razer

Das Keyboard 5Q Kickstarter Announced

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 30, 2016 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: das keyboard, mechanical keyboard, Omron, RGB LED

Das Keyboard has just launched a crowd-funding campaign for their new Das Keyboard 5Q. The company is known to make high-end keyboards with a focus on productivity, even to the point of marketing some models with blank keycaps to force users to learn QWERTY. This model is an “extra bright” RGB LED keyboard that uses these lights to deliver data to the user's peripheral vision (because you're not looking at your keyboard while you type, right?)

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Over the last year or so, RGB LED peripherals have become more commonplace. A new RGB LED keyboard from a gaming company will come in at around the $120 - $170 USD price range. Das is known to be on the higher end of the pricing curve, though. The Das Keyboard 5Q is expected to retail for $229 (although backers perks starting at $109 contain the keyboard -- and Das Keyboard is an established company, so it seems likely that these rewards will be fulfilled).

What you're getting for this cost is a high-quality, mechanical keyboard (with Omron switches) that has an open API. Their examples range from slowly alerting you of notifications, which can be expanded with a press of the volume button, to displaying your CPU load. Their pitch is that you cannot dismiss your keyboard and it's always on your desk, so, using color, it can continually notify you how much free time you have until something needs your attention. You'll need to decide for yourself if that seems reasonable and will help you be productive, or if it will just add to your anxiety, preventing you from zoning out into a good chunk of work.

As always, Kickstarters are backing products, not purchasing them, but Das Keyboard expects backers to receive their keyboards by January 2017.