Similar products have always been a problem for companies, with successful products quickly being copied and sometimes even rip off “cheap” versions of their products being offered to their customers by rivals; Lenovo’s latest tablet, the MIIX 700, has some striking similarities with the Microsoft Surface.
A 12-inch tablet with a detached keyboard and built-in kickstand, the MIIX even shares the surfaces 3:2 aspect ratio, considered one of the more unique (and weirder) features of the Surface. The screen measures in at 2160×1440 resolution, weighing 0.06lbs lighter than the surface.
The MIIX will contain Intel’s Skylake processors, with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, the MIIX will contain enough processing power to match tablets that are currently out on the market. Listed under its features, the advertisement for the MIIX states it is “recognizably different with a unique dual watchband hinge kickstand for those who value stylish design”. The watchband hinge was seen on the Yoga 3 Pro, but unlike its older counterparts can hold the stand in any position.
Looking at the design, and even the secondary magnetic strips on the product, even from a picture based view it is hard to not notice the surfaces glaring impact on the MIIX’s designs and functions. When it comes to products, is it the “works for them so it will work for us” approach allowed or do you feel that certain companies can take these similarities too far?
Recently, I’ve been getting engrossed in the world of Turtle Beach peripherals. The company announced they would be breaking away from being an audio only company, set to explore the world of keyboards and mice and we were very impressed with the products we saw at CES 2015. More recently, we’ve been lucky enough to play around with their gorgeous GRIP series mice, such as the GRIP 500 which we recently review and if that’s just a taste of things to come, we should be in for a real treat with their keyboard products.
“The Turtle Beach IMPACT 700 premium-quality backlit mechanical PC gaming keyboard sports Cherry MX Brown key switches for a smooth responsive, tactile feel and laser-engraved keycaps with keyboard-controlled adjustable soft-to-hard red backlighting and multiple illumination modes, all set in a steel-reinforced chassis for stability and maximum durability. Six-key rollover with full anti-ghosting gives fast-moving fingers instant and accurate gameplay control even when hitting multiple keys, including double or triple taps. The IMPACT 700 also includes 3.5mm mic and audio jacks, and two USB 2.0 ports with direct audio pass-through to support a gaming headset and mouse.”
You can’t go far wrong with a mechanical keyboard and since the Impact 700 is equipped with Cherry MX switches, we already know were going to get a great quality product. However, given the rather high price of the Impact 700, which we’ll get to in a little while, I’m expecting or at least hoping for something really special from Turtle Beach and their new keyboard.
The model I have at my disposal today comes equipped with Cherry MX Brown switches and as you can see from the packaging, it follows a similar design to most other Turtle Beach products.
A few cool features on the back of the box, such as audio and dual-USB pass through, LED back-lighting, a steel-mounted chassis and more!
In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started, the keyboard, obviously, as well as a quick start guide, some extra key-caps and a key-cap pulling tool.
The extra key-caps are particularly interesting, even if they’re almost unnecessary. There’s replacement WASD keys, which has a white block around the letters, that’ll let more backlighting through and help you better differentiate the keys. Then we have some rather funky alternative key-cap replacements, such as GG, InCTRL and NoCTRL, they’re just a bit of fun, but I like them.
the Impact 700 comes hard-wired with a rather bulky, but incredibly durable sleeved cable. The thickness is dictated by the fact that the keyboard has two USB headers and two 3.5mm cables.
The key-caps are of a very high quality, with a really nice silky black finish to them. They are laser etched to allow the LED backlighting to shine through and have a nice clear font on them.
Like most keyboards these days, the F-Keys also act as multimedia keys, which can be accessed via the Fn-Shift key; I prefer dedicated multimedia keys, but this is certainly better than nothing.
More multimedia functions here, this time for volume control.
The LED brightness can be dialed up or down using F11 and F12, again, via the Fn-Shift function.
The arrow keys are as you would expect and the key spacing is pretty standard stuff; nothing to complain about, that’s for sure.
Those with a keen eye will notice I don’t have a UK layout keyboard here today, but UK/US will be available dependant on your region when the keyboard is released.
The 700 is quite a chunky keyboard, but that’s no bad thing as it’s as durable as it looks. The Steel chassis on the interior does add weight, but it also means the 700 is strong, rattle free and isn’t going to slide around your desk in the heat of battle.
The included key-cap removal tool is a welcome bonus, as it makes cleaning and general maintenance a lot easier. It also means it’s nice and easy to swap out the stock key-caps for the included alternatives.
Such as these lovely WASD keys which you can see below.
Around the back of the keyboard, you’ll find a pair of USB ports and a pair of audio jacks. This is perfect for connecting your other peripherals, such as a gaming mouse, microphone, headset and similar devices, without having to fiddle around behind your computer.
There are four side and tough rubber grips on the base of the keyboard, giving it a firm hold on your desk.
the kickstands are plastic, but they’re thick and strong, so it’s unlikely they’ll break anytime soon; they’ve also been treated to small rubber grips of their own so you don’t lose too much traction on your desk.
Last week we saw the release of NVIDIA’s latest graphics range – namely the 700 series and its top model, the GTX 780. In many respects the GTX 780 brings a whole new level of performance to a greater audience and as I showed, there is only a small difference between the 780 and Titan on a single screen.
Working through the new 700 series line-up, NVIDIA are now lifting the lid on their next card, the GTX 770. Like the GTX 780, the GTX 770 has had many rumours surrounding its release and like the 780, these are all related to specifications, performance and most of all the GK104 core and a GTX 680. Like the GTX 780 I first of all want to put one of these rumours to rest and state the reason why. The one that I am referring to is the speculation that GTX680 owners would be able to turn their card into a GTX 770 through a BIOS update. Simply put this CANNOT be done. Whilst both cards share the same GK104 GPU core, there are a number of factors that lead to this impossibility. Like the 780 to Titan comparison, the GTX 770 has a slightly different revision of the GK104 core with varying number s of CUDA cores and texture units, however the most significant factor for the inability to ‘convert’ the GTX680 lies with the on-board memory.
One of NVIDIA’s major shouting points with the GTX770 is the inclusion of memory that runs at a whopping 7Gbps at stock, these are no overclocked ICs either, they are entirely new, so unless you have the ability to unsolder and resolder the ICs on to a GTX 680 as well as change the PCB layout slightly, there is no possibility of changing your card from one to the other.
It’s that time of year again where NVIDIA have a new series of cards in the pipelines and as we have seen running up to today, the number of rumours and leaks that have been flying about are as profound as ever. For some this leads to pure confusion as to what is to be seen and what is complete rubbish, and for people like myself it leads to pure frustration as I know all the true facts and figures, meaning that when I see the rumours and false facts floating around I can do nothing but sit and wait until the NDA lifts to put a number of these claims to rest with the real specifications and performance figures behind the new cards.
So here we have it, the GTX 780 – the first in the new line of Kepler based 700 series cards and before we get too far into the nitty gritty of what’s new in the 700 series, I want to make the following fact clear and true – the GTX 780 CANNOT be flashed in any way to effectively turn it into Titan. There are a number of reasons for this; first off, whilst both cards share the same GK110 core, the 780 has far less CUDA cores, is a different revision of the core chip and has less texture units on-board. On top of this, there is also half the amount of video memory and a number of components in the power region of the PCB are missing as the 780 does not require these as opposed to Titan.
Point out of the way, NVIDIA’s new 700 series cards are here to replace the ever popular 600 series, although they are not a re-hash and re-brand of 6xx cards as some may presume. Whilst the GK110 cores may be featured on both 600 and 700 series cards, they will have subtle variances to them, mainly on the front of CUDA core count and texture filters and so forth.
So what is the 780 in relation to the 600 series cards. Whilst it may look like Titan, it is a slightly lower performing card. Titan is more geared towards users with multiple high resolution displays and thus the higher 6GB of GDDR5 memory that it encompasses. The 780 whilst still home to 3GB of GDDR5 is more aimed at users who are going to be gaming on a single screen at high resolutions with all the settings turned to 11. Over its predecessor, the GTX 680, the 780 has 50% more CUDA cores with a count of 2034, 50% more memory, up to 3GB from 2GB and overall a 34% increase in performance. Interestingly enough, GTX 580 users who upgrade to a 780 will see a whopping 70% gain in performance between the two cards and a 25-30% gain can also be found over AMD’s 7970.
Word has it that the new graphics cards are going to launch later this month and that Nvidia plan to launch not one, but two cards, just a single week apart.
The more expansive and powerful card, the Geforce GTX 780 is expected to launch on 23rd of May at 6am PTD. The less powerful of the two, but still by no means lacking in performance of its own, is the GTX 770 and that will launch on the 30th of May also at 6am PDT. Both dates are valid for the tier one customers.
The GK110 chip is to be powering the GTX 780 and you might remember that chip from such graphics cards as the GTX Titan, which as well all know is some seriously impressive hardware. The less powerful GTX 770 is running on the GK104 425 architecture which is an improvement over the original GK104 28nm chip, but I guess well find that out when benchmarks and tests start rolling in later in the month.
I would expect anything ground breaking from these new cards, they will of course be more powerful and likely more efficient than their 6xx counterparts but as with any new card generation, it will take a little while for them to find there groove and really flex their muscles.