Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Razer

Overview

Razer’s Blackwidow might be the most iconic mechanical gaming keyboard ever made. It’s dominated electronics store displays since it was first introduced and, as a result, few gamers don’t know the Blackwidow by name alone. Understandably, the Blackwidow series has been Razer’s flagship keyboard line since its debut with everything else coming second. All of that changes this week as the company introduces a second flagship keyboard. Today, we’re looking at the Razer Huntsman Elite, a premium keyboard with an exciting set of features and a brand new in-house key switch. But is it worth the ultra-premium $199 price tag? Let’s find out.

Specifications

  • MSRP: $199.99 (Huntsman Elite, reviewed), $149.99 (Huntsman)
  • Switch Type: Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch
  • Actuation Force: 45g
  • Actuation Point: 1.5mm
  • Travel Distance: 3.5mm
  • Lifespan: 100 million clicks
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • 10 key rollover with anti-ghosting
  • Gaming mode
  • Braided fiber cable
  • Aluminum matte black top cover
  • 4-sided underglow lighting with 38 customization zones
  • Ergonomic wrist rest with 24 underglow lighting customization zones
  • Dedicated media controls
  • Multi-functional digital dial
  • Chroma game integration

1.jpg

Beginning with packaging, Razer continues their long tradition of over-delivering. When you open the box, you’ll find the keyboard well presented with a nice plastic cover to keep it dust free. You also find a letter from Min-Liang Tan, telling you what an amazing buying choice you’ve made and welcoming you to the Cult of Razer. Behind the letter, you’ll find the instruction manual, warranty information, and a sticker sheet with a handful of case badges.

2.jpg

Contiunue reading our review of the Razer Huntsman Elite!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

Do You Have a Need for Kailh Silver Speed?

HyperX has launched the Alloy FPS RGB mechanical keyboard, featuring Kailh Silver Speed switches. The keyboard has a more compact design than the Alloy Elite RGB keyboard I reviewed back in June, and carries a price tag $50 lower than that model thanks in part to the lower-cost Kailh switches employed. Is the quality of this new keyboard up to the high standards of previous HyperX designs? How do these Kailh Silver Speed key switches feel compared to Cherry MX switches? I will try to answer both of these questions in this review, so let's get started!

DSC_0271.jpg


Specifications

  • Type: Mechanical
  • Keyswitches: Kailh Silver Speed, Linear, 40cN actuation force
  • Backlight: RGB (16,777,216 colors)
  • Light effects: Per key RGB lighting and 5 brightness levels.
  • On board memory: 3 profiles
  • Connection type: USB 2.0 (2 USB connectors)
  • USB 2.0 Pass-through: Yes (mobile phone charging only)
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz
  • Anti-ghosting: 100% anti-ghosting
  • Key Rollover: N-key mode
  • Media control: Yes
  • Game Mode: Yes
  • Cable Type: Detachable, braided. Length: 1.8m
  • Dimensions Width 442.26 Depth 129.81 Height 35.59 mm
  • Weight (with cable): 1100g
  • OS compatibility: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7

Pricing and Availability: $109.99 MSRP (currently available direct from HyperX)

Previously all HyperX keyboards were built with Cherry MX keyswitches, so the move to Kailh with this new keyboard is interesting - though it does allow for a lower MSRP with the same per-key RGB lighting of the Elite model. And while Kailh switches are less expensive to buy (about a third of the cost of a Cherry MX key switches), that does not mean the performance is inferior - though I have previously found Kailh switches to feel a little different.

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

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

Evolution of a Pro Mouse

Logitech’s original G Pro mouse quickly became a fan favorite among competitive gamers and, with the introduction of the new HERO16k sensor, it was only a matter of time before we saw an updates trickling into their existing lines. Well, now is that time and we actually find ourselves with two new G Pro mice to test today: the updated wired G Pro and the LIGHTSPEED equipped G Pro Wireless. Let’s dig in and see if they deliver!

Before we get to packaging, let’s have a look at the specs:

  • Sensor: HERO16K™
  • Resolution: 100-16,000 DPI
  • Max. acceleration: tested at > 40G
  • Max. speed: tested at > 400 IPS
  • USB data format: 16 bits/axis
  • USB report rate: 125Hz (8ms) - 1000 Hz (1 ms)
  • Microprocessor: 32-bit ARM
  • Main buttons: 50-million clicks with precision mechanical button tensioning
  • Feet: tested at > 250-km range
  • Physical specifications:
    • G Pro Wireless: 4.92in (H) x 2.50in (W) x 1.57in (D)
    • G Pro: 4.59in (H) x 2.44in (W) x 1.50in (D)
  • Weight:
    • G Pro Wireless: 2.8oz/80g
    • G Pro: 2.93oz/83g (mouse only)
  • Cable length:
    • G Pro Wireless: ~6 ft (charging)
    • G Pro: ~6.5 ft
  • Illumination: Yes, dual zone
  • Pricing and Availability:
    • G Pro Wireless: $149.99 at LogitechG.com
    • G Pro: $69.99 at LogitechG.com

As you can tell, when it comes to performance, these mice are almost identical. That’s no surprise given that they’ve been developed in collaboration with top e-Sports pros over the last two years. Whether you’re wired or cable-free, if you’re in the middle of a tournament, you need your mouse to be reliable and on the cutting edge of tracking, so we wouldn’t expect to see a performance difference between the two, particularly when LIGHTSPEED has so narrowed the gap between wired and wireless performance. Instead, the differences come down to physical design.

Design

1.jpg

The packaging on each of the mice is very similar. The Pro Wireless is clearly more premium, however, coming apart in two pieces to showcase the mouse underneath.

2.jpg

The G Pro Wireless comes with a few accessories, including a 6-foot USB cable, USB dongle and extender, and plates to block the side buttons on either side. Conveniently, the wireless receiver can be stored in a compartment in the bottom of the mouse. The wired G Pro is much  simpler, including only the mouse and some basic documentation.

3.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Logitech G Pro and Logitech G Pro Wireless gaming mice!

Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Pengo

Overview

Recently, we got the opportunity to take a look at an interesting video capture device from a company called Pengo. While we had never heard of this company before, the promises of 4K 60Hz video capture at the price of $150 were too compelling to pass up.

Also, the Pengo 4K is a UVC capture device, which means that it uses the standard Microsoft video drivers, meaning it will work with any application capable of seeing camera input from a webcam and requires no additional software/drivers. Pengo also claims support for Mac OS and Linux with this device, although you would have to find software that knows how to deal with UVC devices.

From a design perspective, the Pengo 4K is quite simple. The device itself is made from aluminum and about the size of a deck of playing cards.

DSC05160.JPG

In addition to video capture, you can also use the Pengo as an audio input/output device through the audio connectors on the front.

DSC05161.JPG

Taking a look at the back of the Pengo, we can see my one major gripe with the device. Instead of using a proper port like MicroUSB or USB-C, the device ships with a Type-A to Type-A cable, which is actually against the USB specifications and will make finding a replacement cable, or a cable longer than the included cable (about 1 foot) difficult. 

pengo-obs.png

In this case, we used OBS to record footage from the Xbox One X using the Pengo 4K. Here, we can see that the Xbox is, in fact, capable of outputting full 4K 60Hz content to this capture card.

However, if you do some further investigation, we found that while the Pengo capture device ingests 4K footage, it is only actually capable of recording at 1080p 60Hz, meaning that it internally downsamples the footage.

While this still makes sense to some degree, allowing you to keep your console or PC in 4K for your local display while gaming, it's disappointing to see the capture functionality limited to 1080p. To be fair, the recording limitations of the Pengo are hidden on the specifications page, but overall it seems disingenuous to market this device heavily as "4K".

For anyone looking for an inexpensive, easy to use capture device, I would still recommend taking a look at the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber. However, if you are looking for true 4K capture, this is not the device for you.

Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
How product was obtained: The product was on loan from Pengo for the purpose of this review.
What happens to the product after review: The product remains the property of Pengo but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
Company involvement: Pengo had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
PC Perspective Compensation: Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Pengo for this review.
Advertising Disclosure: Pengo has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.
Affiliate links: This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.
Consulting Disclosure: Pengo is not a current client of Shrout Research.

Intro and NNEF 1.0 Finalization

SIGGRAPH 2018 is a huge computer graphics expo that occurs in a seemingly random host city around North America. (Asia has a sister event, called SIGGRAPH Asia, which likewise shuffles around.) In the last twenty years, the North American SIGGRAPH seems to like Los Angeles, which hosted the event nine times over that period, but Vancouver won out this year. As you would expect, the maintainers of OpenGL and Vulkan are there, and they have a lot to talk about.

In summary:

  • NNEF 1.0 has been finalized and released!
  • The first public demo of OpenXR is available and on the show floor.
  • glTF Texture Transmission Extension is being discussed.
  • OpenCL Ecosystem Roadmap is being discussed.
  • Khronos Educators Program has launched.

I will go through each of these points. Feel free to skip around between the sections that interest you!

Read on to see NNEF or see page 2 for the rest!

Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

Logitech G560 Review

Continuing the seemingly unstoppable trend of RGB-enabled PC accessories, Logitech last month introduced the G560 LIGHTSYNC PC Gaming Speaker. The G560 is a $200 2.1 speaker system with multiple RGB lights that works with Logitech's LIGHTSYNC platform.

logitech-g560-rgb.jpg

The company loaned us the G560 for review, and we spent the last few weeks using it as our primary speaker system for movies, music, and games. Does adding RGB lighting to your PC speakers make a positive contribution to your multimedia experience? Or is it just a gimmick?

Check out our impressions of the Logitech G560 RGB speakers.

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

More than RGB

The Pulsefire Surge from HyperX is a wired gaming mouse with solid specs and 360-degree ring of RGB lighting. The heart of the mouse is its optical sensor, which in this case is the Pixart PMW3389; a sensor with a native 16,000 DPI (or CPI) resolution. A pair of Omron switches handle clicking duties for the left/right mouse buttons, and on paper this seems like a pretty good option - with the added flair of RGB effects. So how did it perform? Let's find out!

DSC_0377.jpg

First here's a look at the specifications from HyperX:

  • Ergonomic: Symmetrical
  • Sensor: Pixart PMW3389
  • Resolution: Up to 16,000 DPI
  • DPI Presets: 800 / 1600 / 3200 DPI
  • Speed: 450ips
  • Acceleration: 50G
  • Buttons: 6
  • Left / Right buttons switches: Omron
  • Left / Right buttons durability: 50 million clicks
  • Backlight: RGB (16,777,216 colors)
  • Light effects: Per-LED RGB lighting and 4 brightness levels
  • Onboard memory: 3 profiles
  • Connection type: USB 2.0
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz
  • USB data format: 16 bits/axis
  • Dynamic coefficient of friction: 0.13µ
  • Static coefficient of friction: 0.20µ
  • Cable type: Braided
  • Weight (without cable): 100g
  • Weight (with cable): 130g
  • Dimensions:Length: 120.24mm
  • Height: 40.70mm
  • Width: 62.85mm
  • Cable length: 1.8m

Pricing and Availability:

DSC_0352.jpg

Out of the box the Pulsefire Surge looks quite conventional - more like a standard productivity mouse than a gaming product. This is a compact symmetrical design (aside from the two side buttons along the left edge). Without RGB lighting enabled this could pass for any number of inexpensive or OEM mice on a desk - but we will discover that actual use paints a very different picture.

DSC_0353.jpg

Continue reading our review of the HyperX Pulsefire Surge RGB mouse!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Sennheiser

Sennheiser’s New Flagship Gaming Headset

Sennheiser is one of the most respected names in the audio world and especially with headphone users. Almost five years ago, they released the GAME ONE headset and set a new high water mark for PC gaming audio. In late 2016, the company began reshaping its gaming line with a new “GSP” series, first with the entry-level GSP 300, which is still one of the best headsets you can buy for under $90. This year, they’re taking on the other end of the spectrum and releasing a new gaming flagship: the GSP 600. With an MSRP of $249, it doesn’t come cheap, but is easily one of the best headsets in its class.

Specifications

  • MSRP: $249.99
  • Color: Black
  • Wearing Style: Headband
  • Impedance: 28 Ohms
  • Connector: 2 x 3.5 mm (3-pole connectors) 1 x 3.5 mm (4-pole connectors), 2.5mm connection to headset
  • Frequency Response (Microphone): 10–18,000 Hz
  • Frequency Response (Headphones): 10–30,000 Hz
  • Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 112 dB SPL @ 1 kHz, 1V RMS
  • Ear Coupling: Over-Ear
  • Cable Length: 2.5 m PC cable / 1.5 m Console cable
  • Transducer Principle: Dynamic, Closed
  • Pick-up Pattern: Bi-directional ECM
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -47 dBV/PA
  • Weight: 395g
  • Warranty: Two-year

1.jpg

Starting with packaging, the GSP arrives in a simple, elegant box. I appreciate that it’s not covered in gamer-marketing. The name Sennheiser carries esteem and respectability that would be diminished by slathering the box with over-stated logos and aggressive art. The packaging is in line with many of Sennheiser’s consumer audiophile headsets, which is in keeping with what they’re trying to do here.

2.jpg

Inside the box is the headset itself and two detachable cables, as well as the usual warranty card and basic instruction manual.  The GSP uses an analog stereo connection, so there’s no built-in USB sound card here. Each cable is braided in nylon fiber and connects to the headset with a 2.5mm jack. The longer cable of the two is 2.5m and ends in a Y-splitter with separate headphone and mic connectors, clearly meant for use with PC. The shorter cable is only 1.5m and ends in a 4-pole connection, suitable for use with consoles.

Continue reading our review of the Sennheiser GSP 600!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Flexispot

Get Up, Stand Up

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you spend a portion of your day sitting at a desk. Spending too long sitting at a computer is bad for you. It increases your risk of heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, back problems, and a laundry list of other health issues. But what do you do when your job demands your work at a computer all day?

We’re breaking from our usual fare today to bring you something a little different from our friends at Flexispot with the M3B 47” standing desk riser. Using the M3B, or one of Flexispot’s variants to match the size and style of your desk, you’ll easily be able to shift your workstation to a stand. After a few months at my office desk, I’m here to tell you might want to consider it even if you’re not worried about your health.

Specifications

  • MSRP: $199 - 349 (Size dependent - M3B: $349)
  • Smooth adjustment with 12 height settings
  • Deeper desktop surface & wide keyboard tray
  • Straight up & down movement optimizing for compact offices
  • Smart desktop with built-in tablet integration
  • Quality assured by cycling test of 6,000 height adjustments
  • Simple one-step assembly
  • Compatible with ergonomic monitor mounts
  • Available in three size options and two colors (black or white)
  • Dimensions: 23.2 x 47 x 19.7 in (M3B)
  • Size: 47" (M3B - size variable)
  • Loading Capacity: 44 lbs (M3B)
  • Height Adjustment: 5.9-19.6 inch (M3B)
  • Material: Fiberboard & steel
  • Weight: 54.01 lbs (M3B)

1.jpg

Starting with packaging, the M3B arrives in a monster of a box. It’s heavy and awkward to carry with the 47” model, coming in at over 54 lbs and greater than four feet long boxed, so I’d recommend getting some help moving it to your install location. Packaging is pretty basic here.

2.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Flexispot M3B Standing Desk Riser!

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.

DSC_0028.jpg

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:

DSC_0816.jpg

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

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

HERO Power

When it comes to gaming mice, Logitech has never been afraid to take risks and innovate. With PixArt, they created one of the most popular optical sensors in the industry with the PMW3366, which is renowned for its excellent tracking. In fact, the sensor is still be adopted by Logitech’s competitors today, often rebranded with custom firmware and fancy in-house names.

Logitech wasn’t content to rest on their laurels and has continued to push boundaries, introducing their new LIGHTSPEED wireless technology and the HERO sensor which is poised to lead the way into the next generation of gaming mice.

Today, we’re looking at the newest and cheapest way to try this new tech for yourself with the Logitech G305 Wireless Gaming Mouse. It promises performance to rival the best wired mice on the market and battery life between 250 hours and nine months, all for $59.99. Is there a catch? Let’s find out in our full review.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $59.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Sensor: HERO
  • Resolution: 100-12,000 DPI
  • Max Acceleration: > 40G
  • Max. Speed: > 400 IPS
  • USB Data Format: 16 bits/axis
  • USB Report Rate: 1000Hz (1ms)
  • Wireless Technology: LIGHTSPEED (Logitech G Custom 2.4GHz)
  • Microprocessor: 32-bit ARM
  • Battery Life:
    • Performance mode: 250 hours (non-stop gaming, single AA battery)
    • Endurance mode: 9 months (standard usage, single AA battery)
  • Durability:
    • Main Buttons: 10-million clicks with precision mechanical button tensioning
    • Feet: > 250-km range
  • Weight: 3.42oz, 99g (with 1AA battery inserted)
  • Warranty: 2-year limited hardware warranty

1_3.jpg

As always, we begin with packaging. It’s a simple affair this time around with a small blue box showcasing the body of the mouse as well as the usual feature callouts on the back.

2_3.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Logitech G305 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Wire Free with RGB

Corsair has been on a roll lately. We’ve looked at a number of their peripherals here at PC Perspective and have consistently found them to be well-built, performance accessories for your gaming rig. Today we’re leaving the keyboards and mice behind to take a look at a different, more divisive product category: the gaming headset. Corsair’s Void Pro RGB Wireless looks great on the surface but does it have the sound and comfort to match? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $99.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Wireless: Yes
  • Wireless Range: Up to 40 feet (12m)
  • Surround Sound: Virtual 7.1 Dolby Headphone
  • Headphone Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20 kHz
  • Headphone Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1 kHz
  • Headphone Drivers Drivers: 50mm
  • Headphone Connector: USB Dongle
  • Battery Life: Up to 16 hours
  • Microphone Type: Unidirectional noise cancelling
  • Microphone Impedance: 2.0k Ohms
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -38dB (+/-3dB)
  • Lighting: RGB
  • Audio CUE Software: YES
  • Warranty: Two years

1_2.jpg

As always, we begin with packaging. Corsair always does a good job here. We find the usual black and yellow trim with the shard background on the face, as well as our key feature callouts. You can’t see it well on the box since they went with a black and white aesthetic but both the “sails” logo and the trim on the microphone’s boom arm are illuminated, though only the former is RGB. Inside the box, we find the headset well packaged without any annoying tie-downs.

2_2.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Void Pro RGB Wireless headset!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech
Tagged: pro, logitech, headset

eSports on a Casual Budget

Slowly but surely, gaming accessories are going to the way of sneakers. Growing up, if you wanted to be a “baller,” you wanted a pair of Jordans. Short of that, you at least wanted a pair of Nikes or Reeboks - something that screamed “sports.” Even though making it to the pros was about as common as winning the lottery, you still wanted to be like the pros with their amazing talent, millions of dollars, and adoring fans. So you’d lace up those shoes and think maybe, just maybe, they’d lend you a little bit of the magic promised in the commercials.

And so it goes with the rise of eSports. With pro gamers now competing in million dollar tournaments and filling out stadiums of their own, PC gaming peripherals are going to the way of Nike, inextricably tying themselves to competitive gaming with marketing and team sponsorships. Yet, at least in some cases, there may be some substance to the hype.

Today, we’re taking a look at the Logitech G Pro gaming headset. Yes, it’s got sponsorships printed on the side of the box and quotes from professional gamers on the product page, but with a renewed focus on performance over flash, could there be more to the G Pro than hype? Let’s find out.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $89.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Driver: Hybrid mesh PRO-G
  • Magnet: Neodymium
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 107dB@1KHz SPL 30mW/1cm
  • Noise Isolation: up to 16dB
  • Cable length: 2m
  • Surround: Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos for headphones Compatible
  • Microphone Pickup Pattern: Cardioid (Unidirectional)
  • Microphone Type: Back Electret Condenser
  • Microphone Size: 4mm
  • Microphone Frequency response: 100Hz-10KHz
  • Dimensions: 6.77 in (H) x 3.22in (W) x 7.17 in (D)
  • Weight: (w/o cable): 9.14 oz  (259 g)
  • PC Cable Length: 6.56 ft (2 m)
  • Warranty: 2-Year Limited Hardware Warranty

Materials:

  • Headband: TR90 nylon
  • Joint: Glass fiber reinforced nylon​
  • Slider: Stainless steel
  • Ear and head pads: Leatherette
  • Additional ear pads: Microsuede
  • Earcups: Soft-touch

1.jpg

Beginning with packaging, we can see the simple approach right from the outset. The box mirrors the headset itself in its low key presentation. The most flash we see is on the rear with a large-text glossy black feature list and a slogan befitting its design: “One Purpose. Play to Win.”

Continue reading our review of the Logitech G Pro headset!

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!

DSC_0938-3.jpg

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!

DSC_0911.jpg

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

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Center Your Qi

Wireless charging mouse pads. It’s one of the ideas PC enthusiasts have been asking for since wireless chargers started taking over the smartphone scene. Yet, for years, this seemingly simple idea stymied accessory makers. It turns out, wirelessly charging a moving object is harder than it seems. Finally, the industry seems ready to surmount this challenge, each with their own unique twist.

We’ve seen what Logitech has to offer with PowerPlay and Razer with the FireFly HyperFlux. Today, we look at Corsair’s solution with the Dark Core RGB SE Wired/Wireless Qi Charging Mouse and the MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad. Is it enough to win the market? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Specifications

Dark Core RGB SE Wired/Wireless Qi Charging Mouse

  • MSRP: $89.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Programmable Buttons: 9
  • DPI: 16,000 DPI
  • Sensor: PMW3367
  • Sensor Type: Optical
  • Mouse Backlighting: 4 Zone RGB
  • On Board Memory: Yes
  • On-board Memory Profiles: 3
  • Mouse button Type: Omron
  • Connectivity: Wireless, Wired
  • Mouse Button Durability: 50M L/R Click
  • Grip Type: Palm
  • Battery Life: Up to 16hrs with standard lighting or 24hrs with backlighting off
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Polymer
  • Cable: 1.8m Braided Fiber
  • CUE Software: Supported in CUE 2.0
  • Report Rate: 1000Hz
  • Battery Life: Up to 16hrs with standard lighting or 24hrs with backlighting off
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Polymer
  • Weight: 128g
  • Mouse Warranty: Two years

MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad

  • MSRP: $79.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Surface: Micro-textured Hard Surface
  • Charging Capability: Qi, single-zone
  • LED Indicator Light: Two pattern charging status indicator
  • USB Passthrough: Yes, USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: 260mm x 350mm
  • Also includes:
    • Micro-B wireless charging Qi adapter
    • Micro-B To lightning adapter
    • Micro-B to Type-C adapter

Starting with the MM1000...

1.jpg

Starting off with the MM1000, we find the standard Corsair black and yellow packaging with a nice product shot on the front. It also features the Dark Core RGB SE mouse, which at the moment is the only mouse in Corsair’s catalog compatible with the MM1000’s unique Qi charging capability without using the included adapters.

2.jpg

Unlike the other charging options on the market, the MM1000 features a single Qi charging zone, which means it’s capable of charging any number of devices, not just your mouse. Simply placing the device over the circular outline allows it to pick up on the charge. Using the Dark Core RGB, getting it into position is easy and not overly picky like some chargers.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Dark Core RGB SE and MM1000!

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

1_1.jpg

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.

2_1.jpg

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!

Author:
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

I Have a Need, a Need for Download Speed

Thanks to Wendell from Level1Techs for his all of his help on this project and pointing us in the right direction!

A few years ago, we were fortunate enough to get a fiber internet connection installed at the PC Perspective office. Capable of 1Gbps download speeds and about 250Mbps upload, we were excited at the possibilities that laid ahead.

However, when you have access to a very fast internet connection, you begin to notice that the bottleneck has shifted from your connection to the servers on the other side of the content delivery networks (CDNs) that power the internet. While these CDNs have very fast links to the internet, they generally limit bandwidth so that there is more speed to go around to multiple people at the same time.

A look back at what once was

One of the services that we found would max out our connection was Steam. Since we download a lot of PC games at the office, it was a nice benefit to have an internet connection as fast as our NICs could handle, and that the Steam CDNs would serve us at our maximum potential. In fact, the bottleneck shifted over to storage performance, as the random writing nature of Steam thrashed our SSDs at the time.

steamcache-off.PNG

By no stretch of the imagination is 60MB/s slow.. but what happened to our 100MB/s!

Unfortunately, this has ceased to remain the case. At some point, Steam downloads started getting slower on our same internet connection. Not only did storage utilization during a Steam download start to increase, but also CPU usage, pointing to a potential change in how Steam distributed their data. While downloads on our high-end systems fell to around 50-60MB/s, systems with less CPU horsepower started to see speeds fall to 20-30MB/s. All hope was lost for fast game downloads.. or was it?

Recently, Wendell from Level1Techs mentioned on Twitter that they were running a local Steam caching server on their network with great success. After some guidance from Wendell, we decided to tackle this project and see if it would help our specific scenario.

Continue reading our experiences setting up a Steam cache!

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

1_1.jpg

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.

2_1.jpg

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

1_0.jpg

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.

2_0.jpg

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
Tagged: RGB, platinum, K95, corsair

The Premiere Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Corsair has long been the company to beat in the world of RGB mechanical gaming keyboards. With the K95 RGB Platinum, they present their flagship: an oversize, fully-programmable, light show of a board with the kind of rapid response competitive gamers crave. But for $199, it’s a steep asking price. Is it worth such a high MSRP? Let’s find out.

Specifications and Design

  • MSRP: $199.99 ($172.99 on Amazon at time of writing)
  • Key Switches: Cherry MX RGB Speed (also available in Cherry MX Brown)
  • Actuation Force: 45g
  • Actuation Distance: 1.2mm (standard 2.0mm)
  • Travel Distance: 3.4mm (standard 4.0mm)
  • Lifespan: 50M
  • Keyboard Backlighting: RGB
  • Macro Keys: 6 dedicated G-keys
  • Report Rate: Up to 1ms
  • Matrix: 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover on USB
  • On-board Memory: Yes
  • Media Keys: Six dedicated multimedia keys, incl. Volume Up/Down roller
  • Wrist Rest: Full length, detachable, dual-sided with soft touch finish
  • Cable Type: Braided Fiber
  • Dimensions: 465mm x 171mm x 36mm
  • Weight: 1.324kg
  • Warranty: Two years

1.jpg

The K95 RGB Platinum comes in nice packaging in the standard Corsair black and yellow. We have a nice profile shot of the keyboard on the front and the features highlighted on the back. It’s also one of the few cases where the marketing shots really undersell the keyboard. It looks much better in person, especially in low light.

Inside, the keyboard comes in a dust-preventative plastic sleeve with the wrist rest, ten replacement keycaps (QWER, ASDF, WD), and keycap puller under the keyboard itself.

2.jpg

Taking a closer look at the keyboard, the first thing that stands out is just how refined it is compared to the previous K95s or popular K70 variants. Compared to the K68 we looked at previously, the K95 is a massive upgrade, featuring a full aluminum top plate, aluminum volume roller, a glossy illuminated Corsair sails logo, and a dedicated control area for profile switching, brightness control, and Windows Lock. It also features a gorgeous LED light bar along the top rim, a USB 3.0 pass-through, and six programmable macro keys along the left side.

3.jpg

Continue reading our review of the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum keyboard!!