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."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: TechPowerUp

Das Keyboard Gaming Announces X50 Gaming Keyboard

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 24, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: Omron, das keyboard

According to post-CES coverage from Tom’s Hardware, Das Keyboard is in the process of rebranding their gaming line from “Division Zero” to Das Keyboard Gaming. Das Keyboard is known for their productivity-focused keyboards, including their famous models with unlabeled keycaps. I’m guessing they realized that more gamers know of Das Keyboard than Division Zero, which this news is the first I’ve heard of it, although it’s possible that they changed their branding for a completely different reason.

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Image Credit: Tom's Hardware.
(Das Keyboard hasn't updated their website yet...)

They are also announcing a new keyboard, the Das Keyboard X50 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard, which uses switches from Omron. If this company name rings a bell, they are the provider of switches for several of Logitech’s mechanical keyboards as well as mechanical switches for several mice, including a few models from Logitech, Razer, Steelseries, and others. This keyboard’s brand of switches is called “Gamma Zulu” and Das Keyboard claims that they are manufactured on a production line that is entirely separate from Logitech's Romer-G. There will be two models, one with a bump and another with a click, both of which will apparently be called “Gamma Zulu”.

As for the keyboard itself, it has three macro keys up in the top right, by the volume knob. Tom’s Hardware points out how odd these two decisions are, and I agree. Still, it might be very good for a left-handed gamer that still uses the arrow keys, despite pressure from game developers to pretend to be a Tyrannosaurus rex / Thriller zombie with our hands crushed up to the left, right elbow in our chest. (Thankfully, I have a big desk, so I can just slide my keyboard to the right.)

Yes, I used to look kind-of stupid playing Battlefield 2.

Especially when I bunny-hopped.

Yes, I bunny-hopped. Stop complaining and use a shotgun or something.

If you were a fan of the Das Keyboard X40 Gaming, formerly called the Division Zero X40 Pro, then you can still buy another one. Das Keyboard expects to produce both models in parallel, targeting the lower-end gaming market with the lower-numbered version and its Alpha-Zulu switches, its lack of a volume knob, and its left-side macro keys.

Tom’s Hardware claims that the X50 will sell for $180 MSRP when it launches in Q2.

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.

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and First Impressions

The ASUS ROG Gladius mouse features sleek styling and customizable lighting effects, but the biggest aspect is the underlying technology. With socketed Omron switches designed to be easily swapped and an adjustable 6400dpi optical sensor this gaming mouse offers a lot on paper. So how does it feel? Let's find out.

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There are a few aspects to the way a mouse feels, including the shape, surface material, and overall weight. Beyond the physical properties there is the speed and accuracy of the sensor (which also affects hand movement) and of course the mouse buttons and scroll wheel. Really, there's a lot going on with a modern gaming mouse - a far cry from the "X-Y position indicator" that the inventors had nicknamed "mouse" in the 1960s.

One of the hallmarks of the ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) lineup is the sheer amount of additional features the products tend to have. I use an ROG motherboard in my personal system, and even my micro-ATX board is stuffed with additional functionality (and the box is loaded with accessories). So it came as no surprise to me when I opened the Gladius mouse and began to look it over. Sure, the box contents aren't as numerous as one of the Maximus motherboards, but there's still quite a bit more than I've encountered with a mouse before.

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Continue reading our review of the ASUS ROG Gladius Gaming Mouse!!