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A Sea Monster Refreshed
We can thank PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It was in a conversation after a product briefing when a manager at one of the world’s biggest accessory companies revealed the reason for the gaming headset explosion: battle royales. As gamers pushed for every advantage they could find, the value of great positional audio crystalized in the eyes of the mainstream and demand went through the roof.
A quick Amazon search for “gaming headset” today will turn up not hundreds, not thousands, but tens of thousands of results. It can be tough for gamers to cut to the chaff and find something that will actually deliver the high quality audio they’re looking for while also staying inside their budget.
Today, we’re looking at the latest Razer Kraken gaming headset. It’s part of Razer’s latest line of budget-oriented peripherals. Coming in at $79.99, it offers stereo sound, plug-and-play setup, and Razer’s iconic green styling. In such a crowded market, does it do enough to stand out? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
- Frequency response: 12 Hz – 28 kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ω @ 1 kHz
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): 109 dB
- Input power: 30 mW (Max)
- Drivers: 50 mm, with Neodymium magnets
- Inner ear cup diameter: 54 mm x 65 mm
- Connection type: Analog 3.5 mm
- Cable length: 1.3 m / 4.27 ft.
- Approx. weight: 322 g / 0.71 lbs
- Oval ear cushions: Designed for full-ear coverage with cooling gel, perfect for long-wearing comfort
- Frequency response: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: > 60 dB
- Sensitivity (@1 kHz): -45 ± 3 dB
- Pick-up pattern: Unidirectional ECM boom
Current Price: $79.99, Amazon.com
Legend on a Budget
In the world of gaming peripherals, there are few pieces of gear more well-known than the Razer BlackWidow mechanical keyboard. Since the launch of the original in 2010, it’s haunted department stores and professional eSports tournaments alike. As part of their 2019 product launch, Razer has refreshed this classic, stripping it down to the essentials to put it within the grasp of gamers on a budget. At $119, it enters the market at a crowded price point. Is a “core” Blackwidow do enough to stand out from the competition in 2019? Join us as we find out.
"Since its inception, the Razer BlackWidow name has been synonymous not just with precision but also the tactile and clicky feel of its switches that gamers love. We’ve fine-tuned our mechanical switches to unlock the highest level of gaming performance yet with the latest edition of the Razer Green Mechanical Switch. Game on with total clicky satisfaction and Razer Chroma lighting with the new Razer BlackWidow."
- Razer Green Mechanical Switches designed for gaming
- 80 million keystroke lifespan
- Razer Chroma™ customizable backlighting with 16.8 million color options
- Hybrid On-Board Memory and Cloud Storage – up to 5 profiles
- Razer Synapse 3 enabled
- Cable routing
- N-key roll-over anti-ghosting
- Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
- Gaming mode option
- 1000 Hz Ultrapolling
- Instant Trigger Technology
Pricing and Availability: $119.99, Amazon.com
A USB-C Headset Powered by an ESS Quad-DAC
The ROG Delta is a gaming headset from the Republic of Gamers division of ASUS that offers a Hi-Res audio certification thanks to its ASUS Essence 50 mm drivers with a 20-40,000 Hz frequency response and implementation of a high-end ESS Quad-DAC, and offers custom lighting effects via the circular RGB lighting on each ear cup. A wired headset exclusively, it connects via USB-C or standard USB 2.0 for use with PCs as well as compatible consoles and smartphones.
“ROG Delta is the world's first gaming headset with the industry-leading, hi-fi-grade ESS 9218 quad DAC, which delivers impeccably clear and detailed sound to give serious gamers the edge they need to win. ROG Delta features a USB-C connector and comes with a USB-C to USB 2.0 adapter to let you game on your PC, console and mobile device without changing headsets. A one-of-a-kind, circular rainbow RGB lighting effect provides a stylish look to set you apart on the battlefield.”
Features from ASUS ROG:
- Industry-leading hi-res ESS quad-DAC for impeccably detailed and true-to-life audio
- USB-C connector for true multiplatform support, including PCs, Mac, mobile phones and PS4
- Customizable, multi-color circular RGB lighting lets you shine in style
- Exclusive ASUS Essence drivers, airtight chamber and audio signal diversion technology for immersive audio experiences
- Upgraded comfort with ergonomic D-shape and ROG Hybrid ear cushions
Why a quad-DAC design? When ESS released the ES9218 they pointed to these “internally connected parallel quad DACs” as the key to delivering its rated 124dB DNR and -112dB THD+N, in addition to signal-to-noise of up to 130 dB, with ASUS stating that their implementation with the ROG Delta makes the headset “capable of achieving an unprecedented signal-to-noise ratio of 127 dB, a level untouchable by single-DAC gaming headsets.”
Another aspect of the ultra-low noise of the ROG Delta is a design feature that ASUS calls “Hyper-Grounding”, which is an ROG-exclusive technology with an intelligent multi-layer PCB design that prevents interference and shields the audio signals from any RGB lighting-related PWM switching noise.
So how does this very impressively-specified hi-fi gaming headset sound? I’ll offer my impressions after we check out the design and talk about fit and comfort.
HyperX Enters the USB Microphone Arena
HyperX has released the Quadcast USB microphone today and we had a chance to test it out early for this launch-day review. Introduced at CES in January, this new condenser mic offers four selectable polar patterns (stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional) and offers real-time monitoring via an onboard 3.5mm headphone jack. The mic also ships with a shock mount and desktop stand, and can be mounted to your choice of mic stands and boom arms with an included adapter that fits 3/8” and 5/8” threads.
Other features of the QuadCast are the large gain control on the bottom of the mic and the touch-controlled mute switch on the top, with mic status instantly evident via the integrated red lighting which is illumiated when you are "live", and turns off when you have muted the mic.
- Power consumption: 5V 125mA
- Sample/bit rate: 48kHz/16-bit
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Condenser type: Three 14mm condensers
- Polar patterns: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional
- Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Sensitivity: -36dB (1V/Pa at 1kHz)
- Cable length: 3m
- Microphone: 254g
- Shock mount and stand: 364g
- Total with USB cable: 710g
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Maximum power output: 7mW
- THD: ≤ 0.05% (1kHz/0dBFS)
- SNR: ≥ 90dB (1kHZ, RL=∞)
- Pricing and Availability: $139.99, Amazon.com
Razer is never one to shy away from reinventing and refreshing its products. Every year or two, we find ourselves receiving a new press release on a familiar item that’s been updated or made new again with a fresh feature or new design. Today’s review is exactly one such item with the Razer Basilisk Essential. The design of the original Basilisk proved to be quite popular amongst gamers. Today’s update takes that same shape and intriguing multi-function paddle and trims it down to the titular essentials, landing at just under the fifty-dollar price point.
Is it worth adding to your Amazon wishlist? Join us as we find out!
- Current Pricing: $49.99
- Sensor: 6400 DPI Optical Sensor
- Gaming Grade Tactile Scroll Wheel
- Multi-function paddle (single length)
- Razer Mechanical Switches
- 20 Million Click Lifespan
- 7 programmable buttons
- Customizable backlit logo
- Weight: 95g
Starting, as always, with packaging, Razer is keeping to the mold here. We have the usual high-end product shot on the front and the specific feature highlights on the back. Inside, we see the first hints of the budget-oriented nature of the mouse in that it ships in a brown cardboard tray and styrofoam sleeve. This kind of packaging is perfectly fine, and transports the mouse safely, but it doesn’t offer the same kind of presentation found on some of Razer’s more expensive products.
The Pint-Sized Flagship
In November 2017, Cooler Master released their flagship keyboard, the MasterKeys MK750. With its successor, the MK850, just around the corner, they’ve released its little brother, the MK730. It’s a tenkeyless version of the original, but when I saw that, one, it was only $119.99, and two, we’d never reviewed the original MK750, I knew that we had to take a look. Is this the small form factor keyboard you’ve been waiting for? Let’s dig in and find out.
- Switch Type: CHERRY MX Red, Blue (reviewed), Brown
- Material: Plastic / Aluminum / PU Leather
- Color: Smoky Gunmetal Aluminum Brush
- LED Color: RGB, 16.7 million colors
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz
- Response Rate: 1ms / 1000Hz
- MCU: 32bit ARM Cortex M3
- On board Memory: 512KB
- On-the-fly system: Yes, for Multimedia, Macro Recording and Lighting Control
- Multi-media Keys: Through Function (FN) Key
- Smart cable manager: Yes, 3 Ways
- Wrist rest: Removable magnetic with soft PU Leather
- Cable: Detachable braided USB Type-C
- Software Support: Yes, Portal
- Connector Cable: USB 2.0
- Cable Length: 1.8m
- Dimensions: 360 x 192 x 41.5 mm, 360 x 183.5 x 41.5 mm (Without Wrist Rest)
- Product Weight (without cable): 698g
- Warranty: 2 years
- Current Pricing: $119.99, Amazon.com
A Unique Blend of Lighting and Customization
The ROG Strix Flair is a mechanical gaming keyboard from the ASUS Republic of Gamers division that offers Cherry MX RGB switches, customizable lighting with underglow effects, a unique pop-out badge that can be swapped for a custom logo or text, dedicated media keys, USB passthrough, and programmable macro support. All of these features carry a premium price tag, and with a list price of $179.99 (though our Cherry MX Red version has been selling for quite a bit less) it sits in the upper range for gaming keyboards. Is it worth it? That is always the question, and we will try to answer it here.
“Flare up your game with ROG Strix Flare – a mechanical gaming keyboard that's got everything you want and more. Feel the satisfaction of every keystroke with world-renowned Cherry MX switches. Enjoy instant access to dedicated media keys on the upper left while gaming. And experience an unparalleled level of personalization with a customizable badge illuminated by Aura Sync RGB lighting. Boast your gaming flair as you dominate the battlefield.”
Features from ASUS ROG:
- German-made Cherry MX RGB mechanical key switches that deliver satisfying mechanical feel with optimal actuation – The choice of professional gamers and enthusiasts
- Customizable illuminated badge – Boast your ROG pride or show your flair with a personal or team insignia
- Dedicated media keys and volume wheel positioned on the left for instant in-game audio control, a USB passthrough for easy connection and a detachable soft-touch wrist rest
- Individually backlit keys and vibrant underglow powered by Aura Sync RGB lighting technology
- Map macros on-the-fly to our fully programmable keys, adjust settings with enhanced ROG Armoury II software, and store profiles on the keyboard’s onboard memory
The clear insert with the ROG badge can be swapped for additonal customization
Logitech Z606 Review
Logitech this week released a new model of affordable 5.1 surround sound speakers. Priced at $129.99, the Logitech Z606 is a 5.1 powered speaker setup aimed at users looking for a budget-minded upgrade to their home theater or PC audio experience.
We got an early look at the Z606 and found that, despite some improvements over previous Logitech surround sound packages, its lack of digital inputs may limit its appeal. But if your specific audio setup conforms to the system’s limitations, you’ll end up with a nice sounding 5.1 system that’s hard to beat for the price.
Macros and RGB for $39
We’ve previously looked at the top of the HyperX mouse line with our Pulsefire Surge RGB review, and the Core model we're checking out today sits at the entry level in the HyperX lineup, though it still offers full customization for buttons and RGB lighting. Is this $39.99 wired gaming mouse a good value? We will try to answer that here.
First we'll check out the specifications for the full HyperX mouse lineup:
|Pulsefire Core||Pulsefire FPS||Pulsefire FPS Pro||Pulsefire Surge|
|Lighting||RGB||Red||RGB||RGB - 360|
|Switch Reliability||20M Clicks||20M Clicks||20M Clicks||50M Clicks|
|Optical Sensor||Pixart 3327||Pixart 3310||Pixart 3389||Pixart 3389|
|Max Resolution||6200 DPI||3200 DPI||16000 DPI||16000 DPI|
|Max Speed||220 IPS||130 IPS||450 IPS||450 IPS|
|Polling Rate||1000 Hz (1 ms)||1000 Hz (1 ms)||1000 Hz (1 ms)||1000 Hz (1 ms)|
|Weight (without cable)||87g||95g||95g||100g|
|NGenuity Software Enabled||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Pricing and Availability: $39.99, Amazon.com
As you can see the Pulsefire Core offers a mix of features between the FPS and FPS Pro models, and still provides NGenuity software control. The first technical difference to point out is the optical sensor (Pixart 3327), which at a max of 6200 DPI sits between the FPS and Surge, and also provides a faster 220 IPS speed than the FPS models. Mouse switches are rated for the same 20 million clicks as the FPS as well, though you will need to move up to the Pulsefire Surge to get the Omron brand switches and their 50 million clicks.
Dedicated 2-Channel Sound
In the audio realm something pretty special happens when you have the right mix of source material, digital-to-analog conversion, amplification, and transducers (headphones or loudspeakers). And I am just talking about stereo, as 2-channel audio has the potential to immerse as deeply, and even more so, than 3D positional audio can; but it does take more care in overall setup. Enter EVGA, a company famous for its video cards, power supplies, motherboards, etc., and no stranger to diversification in the enthusiast PC community. And while EVGA in recent years has expanded their offering to include cases, coolers, and even laptops, they have never attempted a dedicated sound solution - until now.
Coming as a surprise as the featured product in their suite at CES 2019, EVGA’s introduction of the Nu Audio card was exciting for me as an audio enthusiast, and this is really an enthusiast-level card based on the pricing of $249 ($199 for EVGA ELITE members). The Nu Audio is an all-new, designed from the ground up sound card with a true hi-fi pedigree and a stated goal of high-quality stereo sound reproduction. Just hearing the words “two channel” in relation to the computer audio was music to my ears (literally), and to say I was intrigued would be an understatement. I will try to temper my enthusiasm and just report the facts here; and yes, I understand that this is expensive for this market and a product like this is not for everyone.
The Nu Audio was created in partnership with Audio Note, a UK-based hi-fi component maker with a solid reputation and a philosophy that emphasizes component selection and material quality. In breaking down the components selected for the Nu Audio card it is evident that a high level of care went into the product, and it is the first time that I am aware of a computer sound card having this much in common with dedicated audiophile components.
Of course component choices are irrelevant if the Nu Audio doesn’t sound any better than what users already have, and proving the value of a quality 2-channel experience can be tricky as it generally requires the user to provide both source material and headphones (or amplifier/speakers) of sufficient quality to hear a difference.
Logitech G935 and G432 Gaming Headsets Review
This month, we were given a sneak peak at Logitech’s updated line of gaming headsets for 2019. We’ve spent the last week getting acquainted with two of the premiere entries in their new catalog with the Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset and the G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset. Each headset is an update to two of Logitech’s most popular models, the Artemis G933 and G430, and include a number of upgrades to bring them up to speed. Let’s see how they made out!
Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset
- Price: $169.99
- Driver: 50mm Pro-G
- Sensitivity: 93dB SPL/mW
- Battery Life: 12 hours
- Wireless Range:
- Indoor: 15m
- Outdoor: 20m
- Connection Type: USB 2.0
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 3.43" x 7.67" x 7.40"
- Cable Length: 6.56ft/2m (Charging Cable), 4.92ft/1.5m (Mobile Cable)
- Weight (w/o cable): 13.4oz (379g)
Logitech G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset
- Price: $79.99
- Driver: 50mm
- Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
- Cable Length: 6.5ft (2m)
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.77" x 3.22" x 6.77"
- Weight (w/o cable): 9.14oz (259g)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
- Impedance: 39 Ohms (Passive), 5k Ohms (Active)
- Pickup Pattern: Cardioid(Unidirectional)
- Condenser Size: 6mm
- Frequency response:100Hz–10KHz
- 2-year limited hardware warranty
Starting with packaging, both headsets arrive in the usual Logitech grey and blue with big, beautiful product shots. There’s no mistaking these two headsets. The G935 is clearly larger and, even though the picture only shows blue lighting, it’s fully RGB enabled.
Inside the box, both headsets are packaged similarly, wrapped in a plastic sleeve and held in place with a cardboard arm. Folding the arm up frees the headset and reveals the accessories hidden inside. I actually really like this packaging style. It’s easy to retrieve your extra cables and other goodies without unfolding a cardboard jigsaw puzzle. It also makes putting everything away neatly that much easier #reviewerproblems.
The Cherry MX Low Profile Difference
The market for mechanical gaming keyboards is exploding. Everyone, even companies you would never expect (I’m looking at you Creative Labs!), seems to have their own line of PC gaming accessories. But what really sets them apart? The answer is, sadly, not much; the existence of media keys or a volume roller, how good the software is, the occasional quirky layout.
Then there are the unique keyboards. We’ve looked at a few of them here. Today we’re adding another one to the list with the Cooler Master SK630 Low Profile Gaming Keyboard.
The SK630 features a flat, slimmed down design that could make any Apple fan feel right at home. Add to that full RGB backlighting, brand new Cherry MX RGB Low Profile Red switches, and massive amounts of software-free programmability and you can begin to see why this might catch more than a few eyes. With a list price of $119.99 this is not exactly a budget option, so let’s dive in and see if it’s worth the cost of entry.
- Switch Type: Cherry MX RGB Low Profile Switch
- Actuation Point: 1.2mm
- Travel Distance: 3.2mm
- Switch Lifespan: 50M actuations
- Material: Aluminum/Plastic
- Color: Gunmetal Black
- LED Color: RGB
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
- Response Rate: 1ms / 1000Hz
- MCU: 32-bit ARM Cortex M3
- Onboard Memory: 512KB
- On-the-fly System: Yes, for multimedia, Macro recording, and lighting control
- Multimedia Keys: Through Function Key (FN)
- Cable: 1.8m, USB Type-C Detachable & Braided
- Software Support: Yes, through Portal
- Dimensions: 353.5 x 125.5 x 29.8 mm (L*W*H)
- Product Weight (without cable): 552g
- Weight: 593g
- Warranty: 2 years
- List Price: $119.99
A Tale of Two Headsets
There is no shortage of wireless gaming headsets these days, with 2.4 GHz via USB dongle the most common option. The HyperX Cloud MIX provides wireless connectivity of the Bluetooth variety, and if you need or just prefer a wired connection don't worry - as the name implies these provide wired analog audio via a 3.5mm headset plug, with a Y-cable is also included to split off mic and audio to your sound card's requisite I/O.
An interesting addition to the standard Bluetooth codecs with the Cloud MIX is aptX support, which means this headset has the capability of far better wireless audio quality than the standard SBC codec can provide - if you have a way to connect with aptX, that is. It's also worth noting that the Cloud MIX is actually the first Bluetooth-capable headset HyperX has released, with latency a roadblock to its adoption in this market.
Before moving on here is a look at the full specifications from HyperX:
- Driver: Custom dynamic, 40mm driver with neodymium magnets
- Type: Circumaural; Closed back
- Frequency Response: 10Hz–40,000Hz
- Impedance: 40Ω
- Sound Pressure Level: 100dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
- T.H.D.: < 2%
- Weight: 260g
- Weight with Mic: 275g
- Cable Length:
- Detachable Headset Cable: 1.3m
- PC Extension Cable: 2m
- USB Charging Cable: 0.5m
- Connection Type:
- Detachable Headset Cable: 3.5mm plug (4 pole)
- PC Extension Cable: 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
- Boom Microphone
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar Pattern: Noise-cancelling
- Frequency Response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -42dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
- Built-in Microphone
- Element: Electret condenser microphone
- Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
- Frequency Response: 50Hz-8,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -33dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
- Battery Life (50% headphone volume) 20 hours
- Bluetooth Version: 4.2
- Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters
Pricing and Availability: $199.99, Best Buy
New Corsair Gaming Mice
This week at CES 2019 Corsair is launching two new gaming mice as well as featuring another recently-launched flagship. The M65 RGB Elite, released late last year, and the Harpoon RGB Wireless and Ironclaw RGB, launching at CES, each offer unique features geared toward specific games and user preferences, including improved optical sensors, refined designs, and more options for customization.
We got an early peak at each mouse along with the MM350 Extended XL, the latest version of Corsair’s gaming mouse/desk pads. Read on for a quick look at what each new gaming mouse brings to your PC gaming experience.
Corsair Gaming Mice Spec Comparison
First, here's a quick look at the major features and price point of each new mouse.
|M65 RGB Elite||Harpoon RGB Wireless||Ironclaw RGB|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0||USB 2.0
Bluetooth LE 4.2
|Resolution||Up to 18,000 DPI||Up to 10,000 DPI||Up to 18,000 DPI|
|Battery Life||N/A||30hrs 2.4GHz w/lighting
40hrs Bluetooth w/lighting
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.
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.
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.
Better With Age
Logitech has been around since 1981 and has produced well over a billion mice during that time. As most companies have found out through the years, if there is no differentiation in products then there is a greater risk of suffering dips due to changes in demand or missed product cycles. Through acquisitions and smart hiring, Logitech has continued to grow and have addressed markets well beyond the mice that they have been famous for.
The G29 is compatible with the Driving Force Shifter from Logitech. This leather wrapped shifter features 6 speeds and a reverse in a self clamping package.
The move to gaming controllers was started decades ago and Logitech has a pretty significant lineup under the Logitech G brand. These gaming oriented products have proven to be quite popular due to their features, construction, and overall price. Initially Logitech opted for joysticks, but have broadened their reach with other controller types. Eventually they produced their own racing wheels and have found a moderate amount of success there. The earlier G25 and G27 products became quite popular due to their overall featureset and relatively low price. The previous G27 was originally released in 2010 so it was prime time to design a new product that would address the PC and console markets.
In 2015 Logitech released the G29 for the PC and Playstation and the G920 for PC and Xbox. The difference between the two wheels is limited to button placement and functions. The internal mechanism is the same as well as the pedals and mounting. This is primarily due to licensing limitations from Sony and Microsoft. The design philosophy that powered the G25 and G27 wheels is retained for this latest generation. There are some differences though, and they were not exactly positive.
At release the G29 and G920 wheels were priced at $399. This is a significant hike from the $299 price of the G27. Also significant is that Logitech did not include the manual shifter that was packaged with the G25 and G27 models. A far higher initial price which did not include an optional shifter was not a popular decision with consumers. While reviews were generally positive for the wheel, it seems as though Logitech had priced themselves out of the market compared to what the competition could give.
Now that we are a few years from that launch we are taking another look at the G29 now that prices have dropped significantly from $399. On Amazon and Newegg the wheel is listed at $266, and I have seen prices as low as $230. MSRP is still at $399 according to Logitech’s site, but in reality the price is far lower and much more in line with expectations and the competition.
Packaging is pretty minimal with no styrofoam or extra packing. It arrived in excellent condition with cardboard inserts and good compartmentalization.
Slay your rivals
It's no secret that streaming video games on the internet is immensely popular now due to the rise of services dedicated to game streaming like Twitch and Mixer. A combination of commodity capture cards and software capture solutions have made it easier than ever to start streaming.
As internet speeds increase (at least in some parts of the world) combined with newly available capture hardware, it's only a matter of time before we start to see more of a push towards 4K streaming in the coming years.
However, until now, one of the biggest emerging trends in both console and PC gaming, HDR, has been ignored by capture gear.
Today, we're taking a look at two 4K HDR products from Avermedia, the Live Gamer 4K, and Live Gamers Ultra.