Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD Review

Western Digital today is launching the latest version of its Black-series NVMe SSDs. Like its predecessor, the WD Black SN750 is targeted at gamers, introducing a new "Gaming Mode" that tunes the drive to favor performance over power efficiency.

The drive will be available in two variants — one including a heatsink and one without — in capacities up to 2TB. Western Digital worked with cooling experts EK to design the heatsink.

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We had a brief time to review the 1TB non-heatsink model and have some initial performance results to share.

Read on for our review of the WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD.

Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: FlexiSpot

FlexiSpot SanoDesk Pro Review

I'm no doctor, but the consensus appears to be clear: sitting for long periods of time isn't healthy. There are lots of jobs where prolonged sitting can be a problem, and writing about and reviewing PC hardware is certainly one of them.

Our knowledge of the dangers of prolonged sitting or, more positively, the benefits of standing while working, isn't new. Indeed, several years ago when I first started my career focused on online writing I purchased what was then a relatively novel motorized sit-to-stand desk from Steelcase.

That Steelcase desk, which I continue to use to this day, is solid and well built, but it was insanely expensive at the time I bought it. Since then lots of companies have entered the market to offer cheaper sit-to-stand solutions, but few are high quality or feature-rich enough to justify their price points.

In my time looking at options ranging from Ikea to boutique companies specializing only in the standing desk product category, I've found that desks either lack features such as height memory, feel cheap with loud jerky motor movement, or involve a complicated and time consuming assembly process. There are good options out there, of course, and while they're far cheaper than my original Steelcase desk, they're still quite expensive.

But we were recently contacted by a company called FlexiSpot, who asked us to evaluate one of their motorized high-adjustable desks. We receive all kinds of review requests here, including frequent requests related to things on the periphery of the PC hardware industry such as desks and other furniture. But what caught my attention with FlexiSpot's proposal was their claim of an "easy 5-minute assembly" for their desk.

So, intrigued by that, I agreed to a review sample of the FlexiSpot SanoDesk Pro. Priced at $599.99 for the basic desk, the SanoDesk Pro isn't cheap, but in my testing I found it to offer premium construction and operation at a lower price than many alternatives of equal quality. And yes, that "5-minute assembly" claim is actually true.

Read on for our impressions of the FlexiSpot SanoDesk Pro.

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Wooting

The World’s First Fully Analog Keyboard

For years, keyboards have been mostly static. Sure, there’s been innovations here and there but for the most part, we’ve been clacking on the same set of keys for most of our lives. The switches are digital, like the light switches on your wall: they’re either on or off with nothing in between. For many games, this just isn’t ideal. Racing games need feathery touches; third-person action games demand you both creep and run; most, in fact, feel better when you add a little bit of nuance to your control.

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The Wooting One is the world’s first completely analog optical keyboard. With the press of a button, every key can offer the same kind of nuanced control of a controller’s trigger, and thanks to a clever design, it will work any game that offers dual controller and keyboard support. Coming in at $159.99 for a single tenkeyless model and two switch options, this is the kind of innovation that doesn’t come cheap.

Join us as we dig in to see just how much of a game changer analog switches truly are.

Manufacturer: be quiet!

Introduction and Case Exterior

It has been almost three years since we reviewed the original Silent Base 600 enclosure, and today we have the brand new Silent Base 601 from be quiet! in for review. Launching this week, the latest case from the German manufacturer combines a noise-reducing interior with a no-frills exterior. Gone are its predecessor's optical drive bays and hinged front panel door, allowing for a wide-open internal layout, and overall this is a thoroughly modern enclosure design.

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The Silent Base 601 enclosure also marks this reviewer's first experience with a be quiet! product (Lee handled the Silent Base 600 review), so I came into the this with zero expectations - and was honestly pretty surprised by the case overall. My findings (and many photos) are documented in this review, so let's get started!

Features from be quiet!:

  • Noise dampening vents provide excellent air permeability with maximum silence
  • Extra thick insulation mats of 10mm in the front, top and sides
  • Two preinstalled Pure Wings 2 140mm fans
  • 3-step fan controller caters for up to three fans
  • The PSU shroud provides a neat interior
  • Ready for radiators up to 360mm
  • Three years manufacturer’s warranty 
  • Product conception, design and quality control in Germany

The Silent Base 601 is available in both the standard version (as reviewed) or a windowed version for $10 more, and with the option of three different front accent colors - orange, black, or silver.

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Continue reading our review of the be quiet! Silent Base 601 enclosure!

Introduction and Case Exterior

Corsair's new Crystal Series 280X RGB enclosure brings tempered glass and lighting effects down to the size of the company's previous micro-ATX Carbide Air 240 case (reviewed here back in 2014), creating a high-end take on this compact dual-chamber design. Beyond the stylish appearance an important question presents itself: can the Crystal 280X RGB offer sufficient airflow for good cooling with all of those glass panels? We will find out!

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There is no more pervasive trend in the world of PC hardware than RGB lighting, and with the Crystal Series of enclosures Corsair adds the one component you will need to see as much of that colorful lighting as possible: glass, glass, and more glass. Yes, no fewer than three panels of the tinted, tempered glass variety adorn the 280X RGB, with the side, front, and top of the case covered - or, with the front and top, partially covered. About a third of the front is a solid panel, as is a third of the top, and this serves to help illustrate from the exterior that we are actually looking at a dual-chamber design.

Not so 'micro' ATX?

There are those who feel that an enclosure's internal volume must be low to qualify as "small form-factor", and that can certainly be argued; consider this design (like that of the Air 240), then, a compact take on the larger cube-like dual-chamber case that started with the Carbide Series Air 540 which we reviewed way back in 2013. As you will see, the ease with which a clean-looking build can be completed in such a case, and the ample storage and fan support, help mitigate the size. This case is wide for its height, though the rear chamber allows for the easy installation of a full-size ATX power supply, simultaneous installation of two standard hard drives and another three SSDs, and plenty of room for cable management.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair Crystal Series 280X case!

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and First Impressions

Corsair’s Hydro Series H100 all-in-one liquid cooler has been a mainstay on the market for years now, with iterative updates to add features such as software integration. With this new H100i PRO, now joining the ranks of the existing H115i PRO and H150i PRO, the venerable cooler has again been revised, and this time RGB lighting is featured - though a subtle integration.

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“The CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i PRO is an all-in-one RGB liquid CPU cooler with a 240mm radiator built for low-noise cooling performance and bold styling with an RGB LED pump head. Two included 120mm ML Series magnetic levitation PWM fans provide great airflow and static pressure, with a wide PWM speed control range between 400 RPM and 2,400 RPM.

Powerful CORSAIR iCUE software lets you customize RGB lighting, monitor temperatures and precisely adjust fan speeds, or stop fans entirely with the H100i’s Zero RPM fan mode. Easy to install and compatible with most major CPU sockets, the H100i makes it easy to cool your system in silence and style.”

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The RGB lighting effect can be adjusted to any color using the iCUE software


Specifications from Corsair:

  • Coldplate Material: Copper
  • Tubing Material: Low permeation with black sleeving
  • Radiator Material: Aluminum
  • Radiator Size: 276mm x 120mm x 27mm
  • Fan(s) included: 2x ML Series 120mm PWM Fans
  • Fan Max Speed: 2400 RPM
  • Fan Airflow: 75 CFM
  • Fan Static Pressure: 4.2 mm-H2O
  • Fan Noise Level: 37 dB(A)

Pricing and Availability:

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Hydro Series H100i PRO liquid CPU cooler!

Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: BenQ

BenQ EW3270U Review

The HDR craze continues to heat up in the PC display market, and while some manufacturers are aiming at the high end of performance and price, BenQ is targeting a much more attainable price point with the recent launch of the EW3270U, a 32-inch 4K HDR display.

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The EW3270U touts support for HDR, FreeSync, and both DCI-P3 (95 percent coverage) and sRGB (100 percent) but its relatively low price of $699 means that buyers can expect some compromises. We tested the EW3270U to find out if its performance and limitations were worth the price, and discovered a display with very good color accuracy that may be just what mid-range 4K buyers are looking for.

Read on for our full review and impressions!

Cutting the cord; painless or not? Corsair's HS70 7.1 headset

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2018 - 02:20 PM |
Tagged: wireless, stereo, review, music, HS70, headset, gaming, corsair, audio, 7.1 channel

In case you missed the launch this week, Corsair have released a new set of wireless headphones, the $100 HS70.  Sebastian has already offered his impressions of this headset, slapping an Editor's Choice sticker on them but audio quality is quite subjective and you might not have the same ears.  The Tech Report and others also tested these cans out, finding them as good as the less expensive HS50s without the need for wires, which was both good and bad in their eyes.  Check out their review and recommendations here.

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"Corsair's HS70 wireless headset starts with a proven wallet-friendly design and removes the potential annoyance of having to plug in a permanent cord when it's time to game. We jammed out with these cans to see whether that improvement alone justifies the HS70's higher price tag."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Specifications

Corsair’s HS70 gaming headset offers 2.4 GHz wireless operation, the option of 7.1 channel virtual surround effects, 50 mm neodymium drivers, and an impressively light weight. The big questions going into this review, as with all gaming headsets: how do they sound, how comfortable are they, and are they worth the price tag. Let’s find out!

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While you will quickly discover that the majority of this review concerns sound quality, it’s worth first noting the attention Corsair has made with the build quality of the HS70. As the company explains:

“Like all other CORSAIR products, carefully selected materials and components ensure long term reliability. Unlike many competitors that resort to low grade plastic components in critical structural support areas to reduce cost, HS70 WIRELESS uses rigid (AL5052) aluminum alloy yokes and a metal internal headband for increased strength and durability. High quality ABS plastics are used to further reinforce the outer headband and improve impact resistance. We built this headset to last.”

Comfort has also been considered with lightweight construction (330g or about 11.6 oz) as well as memory foam padding in the ear cushions and headband. Clamping force, heat and moisture resistance, and weight distribution have all be considered in this design, according to Corsair, and it all looks really impressive on paper. Now we just need to take it out of the box!

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Continue reading our review of the Corsair HS70 Wireless gaming headset!

Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction and First Impressions

NZXT has proven to be willing to adapt and innovate in the competitive DIY PC space, introducing their own software control suite (CAM) to control cooling and lighting effects in 2014, and this year launching their first motherboard. We have have seen CAM in action with products like the Kraken AiO liquid CPU coolers, which required the software to fully unlock their potential - both thermally and visually (RGB) speaking, and it's an integral part of the new H700i enclosure.

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“The H700i showcases NZXT’s vision for modern PC building. This premium mid-tower case features a unique CAM Powered Smart Device that digitally drives RGB lighting and fan performance. You can effortlessly control RGB lighting and fans, while Adaptive Noise Reduction optimizes your build’s acoustics through machine learning and ideal fan settings. Includes four integrated Aer F fans and two RGB LED to enhance the aesthetics of your build as seen through the H700i’s stunning tempered glass panel.”

Now that NZXT has brought that CAM software feature-set to enclosures beginning with the H700i mid-tower we have for you today, we will pay close attention to the way the integrated "Smart Device" - a module that controls fans and lighting - fits into the usual thermal/noise equation. OEM systems from the likes of Dell with their Alienware desktops have used similar dedicated hardware for cooling and lighting control, and it's interesting to see this enter the DIY space. How important is software control of cooling and RGB effects to you? That depends, of course, and partly on how easy it is to use.

We will take a close look in and around this new enclosure, and while it’s on the test bench we will see how the stylish H700i stacks up with thermal and noise results vs. some other recent cases - and test the H700i both with and without CAM software optimization to see what sort of difference it makes in practice. Let’s get started!

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Continue reading our review of the NZXT H700i enclosure!!