2015 Keyboard Buying Guide

Picking the right keyboard is a fairly complex battle these days, there’s a huge range of products out there and so many well established (and relatively new brands) that all have shiny and attractive products. Even then, the prices and configurations can vary wildly from model to model, even though they all do the same basic things, so which one is the right one for you? We don’t actually know! What I can tell you are some of the best keyboards we’ve tested recently here at eTeknix, round-up some of their best features and help you find one for your budget, and one that ticks all the right boxes for you in terms of features.

We’ve got one fantastic collection, as you can see in the image above. There are mechanical, membrane, plunger and Romer switches, different sizes, prices and more in our keyboard pile. We’ve tried and tested every single one of them and would happily go out and spend out hard-earned cash on any of them, but we would love to know which one you would want to buy? Let’s jump right in and take a quick look at what each one of them has to offer.


Ozone Strike Battle

The Ozone Strike Battle has long been my favourite keyboard. It’s quite a contradiction for me too, as I love a big keyboard, full of features and packed with macro keys, but the TKL design of the Strike Battle was something I fell in love with quite quickly. It has virtually no bezel on the body, so the desktop space it occupies is incredibly compact, leaving more room for your mouse and other desktop treasures.

This is also one of the lightest keyboards I’ve ever seen, at least for a mechanical, which combined with the small size means that it’ll fit in your backpack with ease, making it a great weapon of choice for travelling to LAN gaming events. It’s also exceptional value for money, especially for a keyboard that features the well tried and tested Cherry MX Switches. The only downside of the lightweight design is the keys are quite clanky, something that I personally fixed with a set of O-ring mods.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Red
  • Form factor: TKL
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RED LED with Brightness adjustment
  • Price £58.63 @ PCNation

Check out our full review here.


Razer Blackwidow Chroma

One of the more expensive models on the market is the Razer Blackwidow, but it’s one that is loved by gamers all over the world. Razer is a great gaming brand with a huge range of products, and the Blackwidow Chroma is certainly a stand out product in their range. The backlighting on this is some of the best RGB lighting I’ve seen, with really vivid colours that will excite those who love a bit of customisation.

In terms of the performance, the BlackWidow is a slight diversion from the usual Cherry MX boards we see, as Razer developed their own brown and green variant switches. They’re finely tuned for gaming and offer even better durability, but subjectively, they’re at least just as great as any other premium switch. The angular design and slick build quality are certainly standout features, making this a great addition for any desktop gamer, Razer fan or otherwise.

  • Switch type: Exclusive Razer Mechanical
  • Available switches: Brown or Green
  • Form factor: Full-size + macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RGB LED (Chroma)
  • Price £139.95 @ Box

Find more information on the Chroma here.


Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB

Another expensive model here, although when you’re looking at the best of something, prices are often going to sweep to the higher end of the spectrum more often than not. The G910 is the latest and arguably the greatest keyboard from Logitech. It comes packed to the brim with exciting features that make it well suited to PC gaming, from a range of dedicated macro keys, ARX dock, multimedia controls, custom shaped ergonomic key caps, two detachable wrist-rests, per-key RGB lighting and more.

What really stands out here, however, is the Romer-G mechanical switches, a hybrid of traditional mechanical and plunger switches, which feature a light action, a tactile bump and a lower actuation point for super fast response times. They tick all the boxes for an almost greatest hits of different switch types, all bundled into a single package.

  • Switch type: Exclusive Logitech Romer-G
  • Available switches: Romer-G standard
  • Form factor: Full-size + macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: RGB LED (font only, no underlighting)
  • Price £129.99 @ eBuyer

Check out our full review here.


G.Skill KM780 RGB

G.Skill may have made a great reputation in the memory market, but recently they’ve taken the peripherals market by surprise, with the release of the rather amazing KM780, a fully featured mechanical gaming keyboard that has every feature you could ever hope for and more. The build quality is exceptionally good, with a huge black brushed aluminium chassis, a durable rubber grip wrist rest, dedicated macro keys, dedicated multimedia controls, RGB lighting and so much more. It’s certainly one of the more unique looking keyboards too.

They are an unproven name in the peripherals market, but with such great looks and build quality, as well as a fully Cherry MX switch layout, it’s not hard to guess how well it performs. Additional features, such as the detachable wrist rest, optional gaming key caps, USB and HD audio cable pass-through and lovely RGB lighting make this a great keyboard for gaming and day-to-day desktop use.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Brown
  • Form factor: Full-size + macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RGB LED
  • Price $159.99 @ Newegg

Check out our full review here.


TteSports Poseidon Z

The TteSports Poseidon Z is quite a simple looking beast and quite frankly, it is. It has all the basics and little else, but what it does have, it does really well. The compact design is great for those who want to free up a bit of desktop space, and the slimmer design means it’s much easier to transport too.

Build quality is rock solid, there’s some LED backlighting for a little extra flair, but at the end of the day, that’s about all you get. The keyboard is equipped with Kailh mechanical switches, which come with the advantage of being a lot cheaper to buy, making it a great mid-price entry to the mechanical keyboard market and a big step up for those coming from a membrane switch keyboard. It’s great for gaming, but the simple design means it wouldn’t look out of place in the office either.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Kailh Switch
  • Available switches: Brown or Blue
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: Blue LED
  • Price £64.99 @ CCL

Check out our full review here.


TteSports Commander

Another entry from Thermaltake, with their super affordable Commander, what’s so special about this one? It’s incredibly cheap! Using the more common membrane switches and cheaper construction, it’s now about to blow you away, but there’s a lot of keyboard here for very little money, with the added bonus that it also comes bundled with a gaming mouse!

If you’re looking for an affordable entry into PC gaming, then this is certainly the best place to start. It’s keys are light and responsive, the design looks great and there’s still some nice features, such as the LED lighting and multimedia key shortcuts to add to the already excellent value for money.

  • Switch type: Membrane
  • Available switches: N/A
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: Tri Colour LED
  • Price £23.99 @ CCL

Check out our full review here.


CM Storm Quick Fire XTi

Much like the Poseidon Z, the Quick Fire XTi is a little back to basics in terms of features. The no-fuss design is certainly something that appeals to me and it’s also a proven choice for many pro-gamers too. The slim design doesn’t take up too much space, but what really makes this keyboard stand out is the build quality. Cooler Master keyboards are one of the things that will still be around in a thousand years time, they’re incredibly durable, which is great if you’re prone to rage quitting.

Fully equipped with Cherry MX switches, and one of the few keyboards on the market that offers MX Green as a switch type, this is simply one of those keyboards that once you try it, you won’t want to stop typing on it, ever. It’s a joy to use, looks nice and sleek and the price is pretty reasonable too given the build quality. A great option for LAN gamers, at home gamers, the office or anywhere for that matter. I also love the red and blue lighting, which can be combined to give you pinks and purples, but it offers up some lovely warm colours that certainly add to the appeal.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Blue, Brown, Red, Green.
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: No
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: Red and blue LED per-key lighting
  • Price £129.99 @ Box

Check out our full review here.


Cougar 700K

Cougar have been cropping up more and more this last year, with an absolutely fantastic range of gaming mice and keyboards. One of the ones that stoop out for me was the Cougar 700K as it’s one of the best looking mechanical gaming keyboards on the market, and also one of the more unique ones at that. With detachable wrist guards, a fantastic ergonomic layout, brushed aluminium chassis, dedicated macro keys, dedicated multimedia controls and an on-board macro engine, it’s certainly versatile.

There’s a range of Cherry MX switches on offer, so it’s easy to find the one that best suits your needs, although I personally think the MX Red is especially good on this model. It’s a little expensive, but with such great build quality, as well as a cool bonus features such as the USB and audio pass-through, it’s a competitive option for those wanting a fully featured mechanical gaming keyboard.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Red
  • Form factor: TKL
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RED LED with Brightness adjustment
  • Price £89.99 @ OCUK

Check out our full review here.


Roccat ISKU FX

The Roccat ISKU FX is, in my opinion, one of the absolute best membrane keyboards on the market. It’s got super fast and low set keys that are an absoulte joy to work on, but with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end mechanical gaming keyboard. There’s full RGB lighting, dedicated multimedia keys, dedicated macro keys with on-the-fly recording, three rather handy thumbster keys, a built-in and durable wrist rest, and so much more.

It’s a little greedy in terms of required desktop space, but for this money, you’re going to struggle to find so many features anywhere else. It also comes with the benefit of the rather sublime Roccat Talk desktop software, which allows extensive settings customisation, as well as syncing features with other Roccat products.

  • Switch type: Membrane
  • Available switches: N/A
  • Form factor: Full-size + Macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: RGB LED
  • Price £79.99 @ PCW

Check out our full review here.


Roccat RYOS MK Pro

Not a fan of membrane keyboards? Don’t worry, you can still get all those lovely gamer focused features of the ISKU FX from Roccat in a more premium model, the RYOS MK Pro. Now, I’m sure Roccat would like me to class this as an entirely different keyboard, but just look at it, it’s very similar to the ISKU FX, just with a fully mechanical switch setup and a slightly thicker, heavier and more durable design overall.

It’s just as featured packed as the ISKU, but with better build quality and world-class Cherry MX switches, as well as USB and HD audio pass-through, making it a great choice for those who love their mechanical keyboards, so long as you can spare the extra financial investment, of course.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Red, blue, black and brown.
  • Form factor: Full-size + Macro and Thumbster keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: Blue LED with timing and delay effects
  • Price £99.99 @ Currys

Check out our full review here.


CM Storm Octane

 

We finish up with another budget friendly offering, the membrane switched Octane from Cooler Master. It’s a pretty humble keyboard, but the design looks great with the matte black finish key caps, a little LED lighting, and as a very welcome bonus, a set of basic multimedia keys on the top row.

For gaming on a tight budget, the Octane is hard to beat, but its value is even further improved by the bunded 3500 DPI optical mouse, making it great for those who need a complete setup. Both the keyboard and mouse feature 7 colour LED lighting, giving you some scope for desktop customisation, and the membrane switches are remarkably pleasant to type on overall.

  • Switch type: Membrane
  • Available switches: N/A
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: Seven colour LED
  • Price £34.99 @ Box

Check out our full review here.


 

Looking for a great mouse to go with your new keyboard? Check out our Best Gaming Mice of 2015 feature!

Best Gaming Mice of 2015 – Which One Will You be Buying?

Picking the right gaming mouse can be a tricky task as there are virtually countless brands on the market offering a staggeringly huge range of mice in seemingly every shape, colour, size and budget you can think of, so where do you even get started?

We’ve had a dig around for some of our favourite gaming mice, albeit with a slight focus on more recent models, giving you a good impression of what’s currently available on the market and with any luck, help you find the one that is right for you. Of course, which is best is a matter of personal opinion, one may have a better sensor, but you may prefer the look or grip of another, it’s about finding what’s best for you and your requirements.

As you can see from the list below (and the image above), we’ve got quite a selection of great gaming mice at our disposal, and we’re confident that no matter which you choose, you’ll be very happy with it as these are all great products in their own respects. We’ve got a wide range of budgets covered too, from around £20 to well over £100! Let’s get on with the fun stuff and take a closer look at what each of these gaming mice has to offer!

  • CM Storm Xornet II
  • Zowie FK1
  • Ozone Argon Ocelote World
  • CM Storm Sentinel III
  • Logitech G502 Proteus Core
  • Corsair Scimitar RGB
  • TteSports Ventus X
  • G.Skill Ripjaws MX780
  • Roccat Tyon

CM Storm Xornet II

A lightweight and compact mouse design that is well suited to fast-paced gameplay, the Xornet II is a great little gaming mouse. The compact design lends well to fingertip and claw grip play styles, making it a great weapon for twitchy FPS shooters, but it’s also very well suited to younger gamers who naturally have a smaller grip and hand size, so it’s a popular option for the Minecraft generation. The buttons are light and responsive too, which is great for frantic MOBA sessions.

With a smooth optical sensor, with three programmable DPI levels, as well as an adjustable lift-off height, fully programmable buttons and a little bit of full RGB flair, it’s a versatile tool for gaming and day-to-day desktop use, at a price that’s certainly attractive; it’s actually one of the cheapest in our round-up today.

  • Buttons: 7
  • Sensor: Avago 3320 Optical
  • Min DPI: 250
  • Max DPI: 3500
  • Macro Engine:
  • Built-in Storage:
  • Weight: 132g
  • Grip: Claw and Fingertip
  • Price: £19.99

Check out our full review here


Zowie FK1

Zowie has a very respectable reputation in the pro gaming scene, offering a range of mice that are loved by gamers at home and in the eSports industry. A lightweight and nimble design, as well as large slipmats, give the FK1 exceptional glide and agility, combined with comfortable ergonomics, responsive switches and a zero fuss design that lends well to competitive gameplay.

The flawless deployment of the Avago 3310 Optical Sensor is pixel perfect, something that’ll benefit both work and gameplay, but we find this mouse is at its absolute best in games like CS:GO and we’re certainly not the only gamers to think so.

There’s no desktop software, the DPI selector is on the base of the mouse, offering up 450/1150/2300DPI and the ergonomic left-and-right handed design can be toggled back and forth directly on the mouse, so no need to worry about setup, you can just plug it in and get right on with the action.

  • Buttons: 7
  • Sensor: Avago 3310 Optical
  • Min DPI: 450
  • Max DPI: 2300
  • Macro Engine: No
  • Built-in Storage: No
  • Weight: 90g
  • Grip: Claw
  • Price: £49.99

Check out our full review here


Ozone Argon Ocelote World

Another mouse with an eSports pedigree, the Ozone Argon is a great gaming mouse, but we like their special edition which was designed by legendary pro gamer Ocelote. Equipped with a pin point accurate Laser sensor, a switchable ambidextrous design, on the fly DPI switching, grippy side panels and 9 fully programmable buttons, the Argon has all the features you could likely ever need or want from a gaming mouse.

The stylish and lightweight design is certainly appealing, but you can also benefit from a weight tuning system that allows you to customise the glide and balance of the mouse to best suit your play style. While not the cheapest or most expensive mouse here today, you will struggle to find better value for money than what Ozone have to offer here.

  • Buttons: 9
  • Sensor: ADNS 9800
  • Min DPI: 100
  • Max DPI: 8200
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: 128KB / 5 Profiles
  • Weight: 125g + optional 4 x 4.5g
  • Grip: Claw
  • Price: £42.32

Check out our full review here


CM Storm Sentinel III

Cooler master is the only brand we have in this list twice, so you can be certain that there’s a good reason for doing so. Their recently released Sentinel III is their latest and greatest Sentinel gaming mouse yet, with practically every aspect of the mouse having been improved upon, especially the build quality, without ruining what we loved about the original.

The Sentinel III ticks all the right boxes for a desktop mouse, with an accurate sensor, fully programmable buttons, comprehensive software, a built-in OLED display for DPI and profile readout, weight tuning system, on-board memory, full RGB lighting and more, making it as versatile for office work, as it is for competitive gaming; a solid all-round mouse.

  • Buttons: 8
  • Sensor: Avago 3988
  • Min DPI: 400
  • Max DPI: 6400
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: 512KB / 5 Profiles
  • Weight: 115g + optional 22.5g
  • Grip: Palm
  • Price: £39.99

Check out our full review here


Logitech G502 Proteus Core

There are a lot of things I can say about this mouse and every single on of them is positive. Without a doubt, the G502 is one of the best gaming mice in the world today and comes with all the latest features you would expect from a flagship gaming mouse.

Equipped with what may very well be the best sensor we’ve ever tested, the accuracy of the G502 is unmatched. With extensive customisation options available via the desktop software, 11 fully programmable buttons, a sniper mode button, on-board memory for saving your profiles, full RGB lighting, a weight tuning system, as well as the iconic unlockable scroll wheel that has been a popular feature for Logitech mice and so much more, there isn’t a thing that the G502 wouldn’t be perfect for.

It’s a little more expensive that some other options, but the saying that you get what you pay for rings loud and clear here, and I think it’ll be a long time before we see a better mouse on the market.

  • Buttons: 11
  • Sensor: Exclusive Delta Zero 12,000DPI
  • Min DPI: 200
  • Max DPI: 12,000
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: Yes / 3 Profiles
  • Weight: 121g + optional 5 x 3.6g
  • Grip: Palm
  • Price: £54.99

Check out our full review here


Corsair Scimitar RGB

The world of MMO and RPG gaming can be quite demanding, with complex commands and more often than not, a control setup that uses virtually every key on the keyboard and mouse. The help gain more control and speed over the competition, the Scimitar deploys a fantastic mechanical keypad on the side of the mouse, giving you a frightening amount of flexibility for deploying macros, cooldown timers, shortcuts and more, giving you the edge over the competition when you’re in the middle of a complex raid mission.

On top of the monstrous amount of buttons, it’s also a fantastic looking mouse, with some of the coolest RGB lighting that you’ll find on any gaming mouse. Snappy and responsive switches, comprehensive software features, built-in memory and a fantastic sensor make the Scimitar a powerful weapon for control-intensive gaming.

  • Buttons: 17
  • Sensor: Optical
  • Min DPI: 100
  • Max DPI: 12,000
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: Yes
  • Weight: 147g
  • Grip: Palm / Claw
  • Price: £69.99

Check out our full review here


TteSports Ventus X

One of the more affordable mice on our list today, the Ventus X is a great all-round mouse that may not have all of the crazy features of some of the products we’ve suggested so far, but it certainly has all the basics right.

A smooth sensor, snappy and response switches, comfortable ergonomics, a new grip coating and durable rubber grip side panels, weight tuning system, LED lighting, hand ventilation, macro engine and more make it suitable for a wide range of gaming and work applications, it also looks pretty stylish too.
The laser sensor may not be the highest grade on this list, but you’ll find it gives silky smooth results right across the range, giving you excellent accuracy. Combined with the effortless glide and tunable weight, it’s easy to use even after many hours of gaming.

  • Buttons: 6
  • Sensor: Avago 9500 Laser
  • Min DPI: 100
  • Max DPI: 5700
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: 128KB
  • Weight: 155g + Optional 3 x 4.5g
  • Grip: Palm / Claw
  • Price: £30.65

Check out our full review here


G.Skill Ripjaws MX780

G.Skill may be relatively new to the peripherals market, having spent years making award-winning memory products, but the MX780 is proof that they’re able to deliver the same relentless high-quality and performance in a new market. The MX780 is not only one of the best-looking mice we’ve ever seen, it’s also packed full of fantastic features, such as the removable side panels that allow you to tweak the ergonomics, or turn it from a right to left-handed mouse.

All the high-end features you would expect are here, RGB lighting, high-quality sensor and switches, weight tuning system and more, all topped off by the fantastic laser sensor, making this a great gaming mouse for a wide range of users, play styles and more.

  • Buttons: 8
  • Sensor: Avago Laser
  • Min DPI: 100
  • Max DPI: 8200
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: 512KB
  • Weight: 111g + optional 2 x 4.5g
  • Grip: Palm
  • Price: £59.62

Check out our full review here


Roccat Tyon

The Tyon is an easy mouse for me to recommend, as it has been my mouse of choice for a year now and I’ve no intention of swapping it out anytime soon. The sensor is great, offering up to 8200 DPI and the rather fantastic software from Roccat is, in my opinion, the best on the market.

Customising the mouse with macros, RGB lighting effects, the sensor performance and more is easily done and with the addition of a dual switch fin on the top, a button on the wing, extra buttons next to the LMB and RMB, as well as an analogue thumb controller, the Tyon is an unrivaled mouse for FPS gaming; especially for games like Battlefield, where those extra buttons are great for controlling vehicles.

  • Buttons: 16
  • Sensor: Pro-AM R3 Laser
  • Min DPI: 50
  • Max DPI: 8200
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: 576kb
  • Weight:
  • Grip: Palm / Claw
  • Price: £72.62

Check out our full review here


Razer Mamba 2015 – 16,000 DPI

Razer is one of the most recognisable gaming brands in the world, proving a popular choice for gamers at home, as well as many members of the eSports community. Razer claimed their new Mamba mouse was one of the most advanced mice ever created and while it comes with the price tag to reflect this, it delivers on features and performance that help justify the investment.

Capable of being used wirelessly and wired, with incredible RGB lighting effects, a fully programmable button layout, one of the best sensors you could ever imagine on a mouse and so much more. Capable of performing at up to 16,000 DPI, there’s no doubt this sensor can provide you with everything you need and more. However, the best features, at least in my opinion, is the adjustable click responses on the left and right mouse buttons. Wants them fast and light or clicky and heavy? Not a problem, just turn the screw and get them just how you like them.

  • Buttons: 9 + tilt-click scroll wheel
  • Sensor: Razer 5G Laser
  • Min DPI: 50
  • Max DPI: 16,000
  • Macro Engine: Yes
  • Built-in Storage: Yes
  • Weight: 125g
  • Grip: Palm / Claw
  • Price: £134.99

Check out our full review here

CM Storm Xornet II RGB Optical Gaming Mouse

Introduction


Picking the right mouse can make or break your gaming experience. I’m a strong believer that a really great mouse won’t really make you a better gamer, at least not right away, but it can enhance your experience greatly. From having the right ergonomics to leave your hand feeling comfortable, even after a full days work and a late night of gaming, is certainly something you should be looking for in a mouse. Having a smooth and accurate sensor, so you don’t screw up those edits in Photoshop, or miss those headshots in your favourite game, that’s also pretty important. The latest mouse from CM Storm, the Xornet II, promises to great ergonomics, a great sensor and so much more.

“The Xornet II is built from the ground up for gamers who choose to battle it out using a claw grip style. Renowned as the best gaming mouse design for claw grip, every inch of this mouse has been crafted to prevent cramping and provide maximum comfort. Powered by an improved optical sensor, on-the-fly DPI settings, full 16.8 million color illumination, and lift of distance tuning and calibration, the Xornet II stands out among the competition as a comfortable, accurate and affordable weapon to add to your arsenal.”

The new design and upgrade hardware certainly sound promising, and several great mice, such as the Alcor and the Mizar already to their name, I’m eager to see what this mouse can do.

“The Xornet II uses an Avago 3320 optical sensor which is nearly flawless for control and speed, meaning your enemies stay in your crosshairs. And that’s not all. You’ll be prepared for any situation thanks to 3 preset DPI controls (500 – 3500) that can be changed on-the-fly. Go from performing surgery with a shotgun (500 DPI) to lightning fast reaction time shots (3500 DPI). Or open up our new easy-to-use software to find the perfect DPI setting to match your playstyle. An RGB LED in the scroll wheel quickly lets you know your current DPI setting.”

The features are sounding promising, with a good quality Avago 3320 Optical sensor, customisable three setting DPI, RGB lighting and more.

The packing has a nice image of the Xornet II on the front, as well as detailing the optical sensor, lighting and claw-grip design.

Around the back, we’ve got the main specifications, but of course, we’ll take a much closer look at these features in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find a user manual, as well as a hard-wired Xornet II mouse.

Cooler Master Unveils CM Storm Sentinel III Gaming Mouse With OLED Display

Cooler Master is one of the leading peripheral manufacturers with a history spanning over 20 years. The latest addition to their product line-up is the Sentinel III ergonomic gaming mouse designed for first-person-shooter players who adopt a palm grip. Additionally, the mouse sports a 32-bit ARM processor, 512KB on-board memory, and customizable OLED display. Leo Cheng, Product Manager at Cooler Master said the mouse is:

“Designed for right-handed palm grip players, the Sentinel III includes a new sensor and expanded on-board memory”

“The new and improved OLED display also allows you to rename your profiles in addition to knowing your exact DPI settings and/or uploading custom logos. This is the first step in making the Sentinel III truly yours.”

The Sentinel III’s Avago 3988 sensor offers supreme accuracy and the DPI can be set to 400, 1200, 4000 and 6400. Additionally, the mouse doesn’t incorporate any hardware acceleration and includes five removable 4.5g weights. The main buttons are also rated for 20 million clicks and the Sentinel III’ body opts for an extremely comfortable matte UV coating. 

 

Cooler Master’s software suite allows you to create macros, adjust the LED illumination and change a number of other advanced features. If you run out of programmable buttons, the ‘Storm TactiX’ setting can assign secondary functions to your mouse, triggered swiftly in-game simply by holding the function aka ‘TX’ button. This increases the button count from eight to fifteen and greatly enhances the overall level of customization.

Check out our review of the Sentinel III here.

CM Storm Sentinel III Ergonomic RGB Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


The legendary CM Storm by Cooler Master Sentinel mouse is back and it’s better than ever! The latest high-end gaming mouse from CM Storm takes everything we knew and loved about the Sentinel II, but improves on each aspect to make the Sentinel III the perfect weapon for modern gamers.

“The OLED display puts the Sentinel III in a class of its own. You can upload any logo or re-name your profiles across the display to represent different settings and/or your team logo. The Sentinel III also radiates any color you choose. Two different areas can glow any color that piques your fancy. With 16.8 million color options, you can tinker till you drop or completely switch off all LED lighting.”

The iconic ergonomics and palm grip design are still present, but the old laser sensor has been swapped out for a new Avago 3988 Optical Sensor, there’s a built-in OLED display, RGB lighting, TactiX shift button, higher quality switches, a more powerful 32bit ARM processor, more internal memory, higher quality switches, better software, weight tuning system, LOD tuning, fully-programmable buttons, easily changeable feet, the list just goes on and on!

“Not having enough keys on your mouse is a pain. Storm TactiX solves this problem by letting you assign secondary functions to your mouse. During a game, simply press one button to trigger secondary functions for every mouse button. This essentially increasing your button count from 8 to 15.” Said CM Storm.

As you can see from the specifications below, all the basics are covered and more. The mouse weighs in at 155g, although the weight-tuning system allows you  to bring that up by an additional 22.5g (5 x 4.5g) to suit your own taste.

The packaging has a nice picture of the mouse, although why it’s only showing off the LED lighting and not the OLED display is strange, as that’s a major selling point I think CM would be eager to show off.

Around the back, we see a few more images showing the OLED display, weight tuning and buttons.

In the box, you’ll not find much in the way of extras, but you will find this rather lovely looking mouse, which comes hard-wired with a high-quality black braided USB cable, as well as a gold-plated connector.

Cooler Master Launch New Xornet II Gaming Mouse

Cooler Master and their gaming division CM Storm have just pulled the covers off of their latest gaming mouse, the Xornet II. The new mouse is set to take the budget conscious gamers by storm, with a price of just £19.99 it’s certainly affordable, but don’t be fooled, this mouse packs a great range of features despite its wallet-friendly price tag.

Key Features:

  • Unique, ergonomic claw grip design
  • High precision Avago 3320 optical sensor
  • On-the-fly DPI Control
  • Rugged rubberized side grips
  • Highest grade Omron switches
  • RGB lighting mouse wheel
  • AP Software to adjust assignments and settings

Picking the right gaming mouse can be tricky, but with a good sensor, an ergonomic design, RGB lighting and customisation software, the Xornet II looks like a strong competitor in a very busy market.

“The Xornet II fits your hand like a glove. We kept the small, lightweight design of its predecessor that our fans have come to love and packed it full of improved features,” said Leo Cheng, Product Manager at Cooler Master. “The Xornet II is built for gamers who choose to battle it out using a claw grip style.”

We’ve already reached out to Cooler Master about this mouse, so you can expect a full review of the Xornet II in the very near future. Will the Xornet II be your next gaming mouse? Let us know in the comment section below.

CM Storm Pitch Pro Gaming Earphones Review

Introduction


Gaming headsets are an important part of most people’s gaming setup, be that on a mobile device, games console or desktop computer. Sure, headphones and headsets can often bring you closer to the games audio, allowing you to get lost in the digital world of your choosing, but they’re also great for being able to turn the volume up, without bothering everyone else within range; such as a sleeping SO. They’re also a fairly importantcomponent in team chat, something that’s vital in many team-based shooters, MMOs and MOBA style games.

“Gamers love to travel. Whether you’re trudging through a war torn battlefield, farming creeps in the jungle, or going on a business trip to close that deal, the Pitch Pro in-ear headset is all you need. Great sound, high-quality microphone, and compatible with nearly all smartphones, desktops, and laptops – bundled all in a package that fits in your pocket.” – CM Storm

Of course, where the Pitch Pro differs the most from many headsets is the size, these are ear buds, rather than over-ear, meaning they’re extremely portable. For anyone that travels with a gaming laptop, plays games on their phone, tablet, or takes their PC to LAN gaming events, having something compact and portable is certainly going to be appealing; it’ll be interesting to see how they perform given the compact size.

The specifications are promising, big drivers, at least for a set of in-ear buds, an omni-directional microphone, good sensitivity, a 1.2m cable and gold-plated jackplugs. Now, let’s go and take a closer look at exactly what you get for your money from this new headset.

The headset is compact, so too is the packaging. A tidy little presentation box that gives you a good view of all the major components.

The box opens out, giving you a little technical information on the frequency response compared to that of the original Pitch headset.

In the box, you’ll find a nice assortment of goodies. There’s a warranty card, 3.5mm 4-pole to dual 3.5mm 3-pole adapter for desktop use, a split adaptor, two extra sets of different size ear buds, with a third set coming pre-installed on the drivers, and finally, a protective carry pouch.

The adaptor is of a good quality and vital for use on a desktop computer that requires separate channels for the microphone and headphones. The headset is designed to work with mobile devices as standard, meaning you can use it to make hands-free calls on your phone and similar devices.

The headset comes with a hard-wired microphone, which also features a built-in control button, perfect for answering calls without having to reach for the handset.

The drives are quite large, but surprisingly lightweight thanks to the main chamber being constructed for lightweight aluminium. They’re also pretty stylish, mixing matte finish and chrome finish materials, as well as that lovely red highlight on the back with the CM Storm logo.

The cable designed to be tangle free thanks to its flat design and soft rubber coating. Overall, the cable is lightweight but feels remarkably durable; pretty much what you would want from such a unit. The connector on the headset is gold-plated, just like the connectors on the included cable adapters.

The ear-buds are quite tricky to remove and install, but removing them does mean you can clean and maintain them easier, as well as swap them out for different size buds to help tailor the fit to your own preferences.

CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


The gaming division of legendary component manufacturer Coolermaster, CM Storm, has made some great peripherals over the years. Their gaming keyboards are certainly worthy of your attention, not only because of their smart designs and flawless performance but also because of their incredibly durable build quality. It’s with this in mind that I’m very excited about our latest product review, the brand new Quick Fire XTi mechanical keyboard, which comes packed full of cool features that are no doubt going to appeal to a lot of people.

The new keyboard features genuine Cherry MX switches, so you know you’re getting great quality right there; we have MX Greens at our disposal today. The keys feature a rather funky lighting system too, which has both red and blue backlights, so while not full RGB, you do still get a range of 35 colours per key. On top of the lighting colours, you can use ActivLite per key illumination, with a range of presets, 4 profiles and brightness options, giving you plenty of fun customisation options. There’s also macros, repeat rate adjustments, NKRO, 1000Hz/1ms polling and more!

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with the switch type detailed and a lovely image of the keyboard on the front.

Around the back, a run down of the features, although we’ve already listed these above and will take a much closer look in a moment.

In the box, I’m very happy to see a detachable micro-USB braided cable,

CM Storm Release Swift-RX XL Mouse Pad

Not to be confused with the popular pop star Taylor Swift, although CM Storm tell me it’s an easy mistake to make, the new CM Storm Swift-RX XL Mouse Pad is now available in the EU. I know that it’s hard to get too excited about a mouse pad, but let’s face it, virtually all of us use one type of gaming surface or another and if like me, you game a lot, they often need replacing every few months.

So what is so special about this one? It’s freaking massive, that’s what! Measuring in at a lovely 900 x 360mm the Swift-RX is the exact width of my own desk, so it’s great for providing a good gaming mouse surface, but it’ll also sit nicely under my keyboard and keep my hands off the cold glass surface of the desk. The extra width is also great for those who use low DPI settings while gaming, as it gives you all the mouse-moving room you’re likely to ever need.

The Taylor Swift-RX-XL Gaming Mouse Pad (SGS-4140-KXXL1) is already available from most major retailers for around £19.99, which is a very competitive price for a mat of this size. I’m not sure how legit the creation of the Swift-TX XL is though…

What kind of gaming surface do you use?

CM Storm Octane Mouse & Keyboard Combo Review

Introduction


Just 9 months ago we reviewed the budget friendly Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator mouse and keyboard bundle. At a little under £30 it was an absolute bargain for anyone needing a mouse and keyboard for gaming. The Devastator bundle was worthy of our Bang for Buck award and now CM Storm at going to try win us over again with their latest budget bundle, the Octane.

The Octane bundle comes with a keyboard and mouse and is price at just under £40 from most major retailers. This is obviously quite a low price, so I’m not expecting these to be the greatest products in the world, but the budget market is fiercely competitive and with Speedlink, Logitech, Gigabyte, iRocks and many others offering reliable gaming keyboards for under £20 and Logitech, Razer, Trust, Gigabyte and even CM themselves all offering mice for under £20, the Octane is entering a very busy part of the market.

In the box, you’ll find a hard-wired keyboard and a hard-wired mouse, nothing more, nothing less.

The keyboard is really nicely designed, it has a matte black finish to it that looks pretty stealth, almost like a piece equipment Batman would use.

The keys feature multi-colour LED backlighting and a white interior will allow the lighting to create an under-light effect.

Dedicated volume control keys.

Dedicated multimedia keys; perfect for controlling your music without quitting out of your game.

The Octane has a nice low profile, as well as a short wrist rest at the front thanks to its oversized chassis.

There are four tough rubber grips on the underside to prevent it from sliding around your desk.

Two small kickstands to help provide a better typing angle.

The mouse comes with two switches down the left side,

 

It has a really low profile design, which should be suitable for a palm rest play-style.

The mouse is designed for right-hand use only, as there are no buttons on the right side.

There’s a rubber grip coated scroll wheel and behind that, you’ll also find two switches for on-the-fly DPI level adjustments.

The top part of the mouse has a split design with two extra LED lights in the top, although we’ll take a better look at those in a moment.

There are three small slipmats on the base, which isn’t a lot, but this is a very lightweight mouse, so it should still glide with ease.

CM Storm Alcor Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


The Alcor has proven to be a very popular mouse in recent months, when it launched alongside the Mizar we opted to put the Mizar to the test, so it only seemed right that we should follow-up with its brother, the Alcor, for our latest review. Both the mice are named after stars, hence the space-themed promotional video below; pretty cool.

The Alcor offers all the usual features you would expect from a mid-budget gaming mouse. It’s got on the fly DPI adjustments, an ergonomic design for right-handed use, a 4000 DPI Avago 3090 optical sensor and customizable LED lighting; not bad for a mouse that only costs around £30 from most major retailers.

The Alcor comes hard-wired with a gold-plated USB cable, nothing fancy, but it’ll certainly do the job.

Down the left side, you’ll find a pair of switches for back/forward navigation. The switches here are nice and responsive, without being so light that you would trigger them accidentally.

The left side of the mouse is curved inwards, giving you a good thumb rest and extra grip.

There’s nothing notable on the right side of the Alcor, but you can see the swollen shape that should provide you with a comfortable hand position for both palm rest and craw grip play-styles.

In the centre, there are two switches for DPI adjustments, as well as a nice quality scroll wheel with  rubber grip coating for extra control.

Both the left and right mouse buttons are a good size, with a very low front at the end of the mouse; this allows your fingers to curl downwards and could help reduce hand strain.

Around the back, a small CM Storm logo with four colour LED back-lighting.

There are only four small slipmats on the base, but the mouse is very light, so it should still glide very well.

A quick test on the CM Storm Swift-RX mouse pad, it does indeed glide very well!

Cooler Master New Year New Cooler Competition Winner!

What better way to celebrate the new year that to win a competition! We teamed up with Cooler Master to give three lucky winners the chance to win a new cooler for their PC, to help them usher in the new year in style. We’ve just fired up the random bean machine to pick three lucky winners on our forums.

We’ll be picking three lucky winners today and the prizes are as follows.

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

If you would like to show your support to eTeknix and Cooler Master you can like your respective Facebook pages. It’s a great way to stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and competition announcements. Be sure to say thanks to Cooler Master for providing us with these awesome prizes.

Did I Win?

CM Storm Quickfire Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


There’s no shortage of gaming keyboard on the market, but one brand in particular has always stood out for me personally, Cooler Master. They’ve proven time and time again that they can make a great keyboard, with excellent performance and some of the best build quality in the business, which is why I was eager to test out their very popular Quickfire Ultimate. It’s no secret that this keyboard has been on the market for a while now, but it’s still a big seller for Cooler Master and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about; although given their past successes in our reviews, I have a pretty good idea.

The Quickfire Ultimate is available in a range of Cherry MX switches and LED backlighting configurations. The model at my disposal today is the Cherry MX-Brown with Red LED backlighting (SGK-4011-GKCM1). Cherry switches are world renowned for their exceptional performance and build quality, so we can expect the same high performance from them as you would in any other Cherry equipped mechanical keyboard. The keyboard packs a few interesting bonus features too, such as the 1000 Hz/1ms polling rate, full N-key rollover, high quality ABS key caps, a rubber grip coated chassis, multimedia control keys (via F-shift), Win lock and a removable braided cable.

The Quickfire Ultimate is pretty straight forward in terms of design, but there are a few lines cut into the top right corner, and a few more on the bottom left edge; they don’t add to the function of the keyboard, but they do break up what would otherwise be a bland design.

The key caps are a curved design as well as a very light texture, which should provide you with a more accurate finger resting position and extra control.

Along the F-keys you’ll find a range of extra features. on the F1-F4 keys you can control the backlighting features; these are accessible via the F-shift key.

F5-F11 features the multimedia controls, which are perfect for controlling your music while gaming, as well as your systems master volume levels. F12 features a Windows lock control, because no one wants to accidentally return to desktop while gaming!

The Insert and Delete keys allow you to toggle between 6-key and N-key anti-ghosting/rollover modes.

While the top of the number pad has 8ms, 4ms, 2ms and 1ms response rate modes; this means you can control and configure ever feature of the Quickfire Ultimate directly from the keyboard, with no need for external software.

The keyboard has quite a thick chassis with a very slight curve from front to back, giving the keys a near-flat layout that is ideal for gaming. The thick chassis goes a long way to explaining the weight of the keyboard, it’s chunky and heavy; I certainly wouldn’t want to drop it on my foot, but at least I’m confident that the keyboard wouldn’t be the thing that broke.

Around the back you can see that the keyboards braided cable channels through a small cut-out at the back.

The cable goes through one of three routing channels on the underside and into a microUSB port on the center.

There are four tough rubber grips on the underside to keep the keyboard from sliding around your desk, and there are two durable kickstands, each with rubber grips on them.

Cooler Master have included a key cap removal tool, which is great for helping you keep your keyboard in excellent condition, as it makes cleaning the keyboard a much easier task.

Cooler Master UK and Jagex Announce Partnership

Cooler Master UK and Jagex today announce an official partnership, making CM Storm the official peripheral supplier for the game developer.

In a press release we received, Cooler Master have announced that they will be the official peripheral supplier for Jagex Games Studio. This means that we will soon see products such as the CM storm Ceres-500 headset and the Havoc mouse being used alongside the CM Storm Quick Fire Ultimate keyboard and CM Storm Speed- RX surface. All these products are aimed at gamers so it’s great to see that they will be used how they are intended.

As official game peripheral supplier, Cooler Master will be working closely with Jagex Games Studio to ensure that wherever Jagex are the best mechanical gaming keyboards, DPI switching mice, and most comfortable headsets will also be available – be it on live stream, gaming event or in the amazing 60 PC gaming atrium at the studio in Cambridge. With joint projects, giveaways and more special announcements coming soon

Jagex is a large game developer and publisher with their largest game, Runescape, still holding the Guinness World Record for “Most Popular Free Multiplayer Online Game”. They are currently working on a new game called “Block N Load”, which I managed to get a sneak preview of at Multiplay’s Insomnia 53 and can confirm its lots of fun.

Timing for the new partnership is perfect as Jagex travel the world showing off their latest announcement; Block N Load, a game where brains are as important as bullets and no game’s the same! Build, destroy, attack, defend and literally become the architect of your own victory. Head over to www.blocknload.com and get involved in the game’s beta test now

This partnership can only bring the best out of each other, both are companies that strive to make the gaming experience better and both are passionate about what they produce. It’s certainly something to keep an eye out for as I’m sure we can expect some big things.

Thank you Cooler Master for providing us with this information

Cooler Master New Year New Cooler Competition

The new year is almost upon us and to celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the good people of Cooler Master to help you welcome in 2015 with style. A great PC deserves a great cooler, so we’ve grabbed three of the most popular Cooler Master coolers to help you upgrade your rigs. We’ve got a Nepton 120XL and a Nepton 240 water cooling radiator, as well as the awesome Hyper 612 Ver.2 air cooler.

We’ll be picking three lucky winners at the start of 2015:

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

If you would like to show your support to eTeknix and Cooler Master you can like your respective Facebook pages. It’s a great way to stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and competition announcements.

ENTER HERE

CM Storm NovaTouch TKL Topre Switch Keyboard Review

Introduction


New keyboards are a fairly common thing in this industry, I see wave after wave of mechanical and membrane switch keyboards come through the office each year. However, very few of the keyboards I review have had me as excited as the NovaTouch TKL. The NovaTouch has been a long time coming, we’ve seen it at trade shows around the world for over two years now, but it’s finally here and ready for consumers! Cooler Master has ditched the usual choices of Cherry, Kailh or any other brand of mechanical switch for this keyboard, instead opting for hybrid capacitive switches from Topre.

“Built to impress, the NovaTouch TKL utilizes exclusive Hybrid Capacitive switches which are exceptionally quiet and suitable for heavy-duty typing or gaming. The actuation force is precision-tuned to the strength of your fingers, while an ultra smooth, tactile key process makes NovaTouch the best feeling keyboard on the market” – CM Storm

The NovaTouch switches are a patented design, which use a spring mounted switch with an electrostatic capacitive sensor. Combined they offer a unique typing sensation that removes the key bounce associated with mechanical switches such as the Cherry MX range, while offering smooth and linear key travel. Cooler Master say this keyboard is ideal for gaming and typing, no doubt designed with the PC enthusiast in mind. Can this really be one of the best keyboards in the world? There’s only one way to find out.

As you can see from the specifications below, the NovaTouch TKL is equipped with a 1000hz/1ms polling rate, a high quality removable braided USB cable, N-Key Rollover and more; all fairly standard stuff for a high-end keyboard.

One thing I really like about this keyboard is that it comes bundled with a set of rubber O-Ring mods. If you don’t know what these are, check out our review of them right here. There’s a gold plated USB to micro-USB cable, a key-cap removal tool and a simple quick start guide.

The keyboard is pretty standard is terms of design. It’s constructed from high quality plastics and has a nice lightly textured matte finish to the chassis and the keys; giving it a premium quality, yet understated look.

There are no glaring logos, no flashy lights, no chrome strips or any of that other nonsense which you often see on high-end gaming friendly keyboards. The NovaTouch is sleek, clean and tidy.

Each of the key caps are really nicely finished, with a clear font and a slight curve to each key that provides a nice finger resting position.

The keyboard isn’t completely void of extra features, and you’ll find a few FN shift functions on the F-keys. F9-F12 will give you access to a Windows key lock and system volume control.

The keyboard has a slightly raised rear and a slow curve from front to back; this provides a nice typing position. The height can also be increased with the rear kickstands.

Around the back of the NovaTouch TKL you’ll find a micro-USB port tucked away on one side, as well as the only bit of obvious branding on the other.

The keyboard is fairly heavy at 895g, and there are four tough rubber grips on the base; so it’s unlikely to start sliding around on your desk.

The flip up feet are plastic, but they’re still pretty durable compared to the ones we often see on keyboards. There’s also a rubber grip on the base of each foot.

The new switches certainly look different from most mechanical keyboards, in fact they’re quite similar in appearance to plunger style switches. One thing I do like, is that the switches are fully compatible with Cherry MX stem key-caps, so you can still install a set of custom caps if you wanted to. Cooler Master had these switches specially made to feature the MX stem in the middle, all other Topre switches I’ve seen do not have this.

The key caps can easily be removed with the included key-cap puller, allowing for quick and easy maintenance of your keyboard.

As I mentioned before, the NovaTouch comes bundled with a set of O-Ring mods to help reduce key noise. Here you can see I’ve installed a few on the WASD keys to demonstrate how they’re installed. This will prevent the key caps from bottoming out as hard and should make them a little less noisy to type on.

Insomnia 53 – Cooler Master Booth

At the weekend we were at Multiplays Insomnia 53, the UKs biggest gaming festival. The winter one is usually quieter than usual, but you wouldn’t have guessed it from some of the products that were on show. One company that was there was Cooler Master, and as a leading brand in the industry with a wide range of quality products including cases, peripherals, coolers and power supplies, they were more than happy to show what they had on offer.

The main products that stuck out for me included the Cosmos II which can be used to house pretty much anything you could ever wan,t right down to the mini ITX cases such as the CM Elite 130. The contrast between the two was great. I also really liked the Aluminium series of peripherals that they have on offer at the moment which includes the Mech, Pulse-R and the Reaper.

As well as the hardware they had 2 display systems on show, one of which had a really excellent paint job from Utopia Computers. The “Keyboard Olympics” game was back again which was keeping the crowd entertained, as well as 4 gaming systems to play games such as League of Legends and CS:GO.

CM Storm Octane Keyboard & Mouse Combo Unveiled

The Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator launched with great success earlier this year; a budget friendly gaming mouse and keyboard combo for little over £20. Following on from the success of the Devastator, CM Storm are now launching their Octane keyboard and mouse combo, another budget friendly offering, but with revised specifications and aesthetics vs the Devastator bundle.

The Octane combo offers seven different backlight colour options on both the mouse and the keyboard, allowing you to tailor the overall look of your desktop to match your system build; or even just to make your room look cool when gaming in the dark.

The Octane mouse comes equipped with the popular AVAGO 3050 optical sensor, four level DPI toggle with a range of 500 to 3500 DPI and switches that are rated up to 10 million clicks. The keyboard is packed full of features such as dedicated multimedia controls, backlight switching key, Windows key lock, adjustable repeat rates, 19 key anti-ghosting and more.

The Octane will be available soon from most major retailers with an MSRP of just £34.99. Getting this many features for very little money is no bad thing and while the overall quality might not be the same as their flagship devices, this is a cost-effective solution for those who need to game on a tighter budget.

Thank you CM Storm for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of CM Storm.

Target Open Day 2014 – Cooler Master Booth

Target Open Day 2014 is in full swing today and while the event is generally just a B2B event, we thought it would be a great opportunity to drop by and get an exclusive look at the festivities and hopefully some cool products.

We start today’s coverage with a look at the impressive Cooler Master booth; they’ve certainly got the biggest booth at today’s show and it’s packed to the brim with their latest and greatest products such as the HAF Stacker, their latest power supplies, coolers and more.

The team have been on hand all day to offer product advice and information to help educate retailers about what they do as a company; it’s been a great opportunity to pick their brains and learn more about the products they produce, many of which we’ve already reviewed here at eTeknix.

Many of their top chassis are on display for people to poke around, ask questions and more. The HAF Stacker and the mini-ITX Elite chassis are certainly proving popular.

The new Nepton coolers, ranging from 120mm to 280mm.

The V series PSUs which now meet the new EU regulations, as well as the 80Plus specifications; I’m told that CM are the first to meet these new rigorous standards.

CM make some great keyboard and mice products and they’ve got everything from their budget friendly Devastator to their flagship Aluminium series mechanical keyboards on show for visitors to try out.

We’ve got more great coverage from the show, so stay tuned for more.

Cooler Master and CM Storm Booth at Insomnia i52

Cooler Master have one of the biggest booths here at the show, not only have they brought along a wide range of chassis products ranging from their budget friendly N200 right up to their behemoth HAF Stacker and Cosmos II, but they’ve also brought along a huge range of gaming peripherals from their CM Storm range.

One of the most interesting new products here is the soon to be release Toper switch keyboard, a flagship product for CM Storm and one that has been highly anticipated due to its ultra premium switch technology, it won’t be cheap, but it’s already turning heads in the industry.

Their rigs are setup for people to sit down and play some games, but it’s their keyboard demo that’s really drawing the crowd. You have to strike all the keys on one of their Aluminium series keyboard as fast as possible and set a time, those who rank well will be walking away with plenty of cool prizes.

CM Storm Mizar, TteSports Saphira and Balista MK-1 Head-to-Head Mouse Review

Introduction


Normally when I test mice I do them one per review, but today I though it would be even more fun to put three of them head-to-head to erm head. We’ve got three great low-to-mid budget gaming mice with us today that I’ll be putting to the test, the TteSports Saphira, the Ballista MK-1 and the CM Storm Mizar. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses and today I’ll be finding out just what they are, what kind of gaming their best suited for and of course what they’re like to use in general day to day situations.

All three mice have proven popular choices with PC gamers and if you’re on the market for a new mouse, then there is a good chance that you’re looking within a price range similar to that of these three products, with a similar feature set. My goal is to help you find the mouse that is right for you and show you just what you can get for your money. Is one of these mice greater than all of the others, or is one better suited to MMO while another suited to FPS? There is only one way to find out! So let’s take a closer look at each then crack on with some gaming tests to see what they can do.

First up we have the MK-1 which comes equipped with the popular Avago ADNS-9800 8200 DPI Laser Sensor, ten buttons, right hand ergonomics and a fixed 1.5mm lift-off.

Next up we have the Saphira, which comes equipped with a 3500 DPI optical sensor, five macro keys, an adjustable lift-off height and right handed ergonomics.

Finally the Mizar, which features the same Avago 9800 8200 DPI laser sensor that is found in the MK-1, 7 programmable buttons and an adjustable polling rate.

All four mice come in nicely designed packaging, each detailing the major features such as DPI, sensor, programmable buttons etc on the box.

Around the back you’ll find a more in-depth technical break down, which you can see on the spec charts above.

The MK-1 comes bundled with a user manual, CD-ROM with drivers and of course the mouse.

The Saphira comes with an instruction book, soft protective zip-up pouch and a CD-ROM for drivers.

The Mizar comes with an instruction booklet.

CM Storm Resonar Gaming Earphones Review

Introduction


It was just 6 months ago that we reviewed an in-ear CM Storm gaming headset and while I loved the build quality, style and microphone performance, I couldn’t help but notice that bass was seriously lacking on the drivers. Now this isn’t really a bad thing, the headset was targeted right at the LAN gaming and eSports loving crowd and it’s no secret that clear treble and minimal bass can provide tangible benefits in competitive FPS gaming, since it allows you to better hear the footsteps of your opponents. Unfortunately for CM Storm I expect a little more from my audio devices and since I like to listen to music as much as I love gaming, good all round performance is a must.

CM Storm know they can do even better, which is why they’ve gone back to the drawing board and created the Resonar in-ear gaming earphones, not only do they promise more bass than before, but they also promise an innovative new feature to help you fine tune how much bass you get; well take a closer look at how this works in just a moment.

As you can see from the specifications we have powerful 20 Ohm 8mm drivers, a 1.3m cable, 3.5mm jack and an omni-directional microphone. All relatively straight forward stuff, so lets move on and see what else you get for your money.

The packaging is nicely designed with a few major features detailed on the front and a stylish image of the headphones.

Around the back you’ll find a detailed run down of all the bits you get in the box, as well as the full specifications (see above).

The packaging folds out to give a sneaky view of the headphones, as well as a run down of the BassFX technology.

In the box you’ll find a quick start guide, some spare ear-buds, a 3.5mm 4-pole to dual 3.5mm 3-pole adaptor, a protective carry case and of course, the headset.

CM Storm Resonar In-Ear Gaming Headset Released

The CM Storm Resonar gaming headset is finally here, I say finally because I first saw this headset over a year ago and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one for testing. The Resonar is the spiritual sequel to CM Storms Pitch in-ear headset which if I’m honest, wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be and the Resonar looks set to fix that.

The new design comes fitted with patented Bass FX Technology, with each driver having a small mechanical dial on the back of them, allowing you to tune the levels of bass by physically moving the magnet inside the ear-bud. This is a far cry from the often EQ based adjustments we see on pretty much every other headset.

The Resonar come fitted with a high quality flat cable, 3.5mm 4-pole jack that make it perfect for mobile, mp3 and other multimedia playback devices. It also comes with a high-quality 3.5mm splitter to allow it to be used on your PC as a chat and gaming headset, and its size makes it one of the most portable gaming headsets on the market.

The Resonar will be available in most major retailers this month and come equipped with a high-quality microphone, hard carrying pouch, three sizes or ear tips, tangle free cable, in-line controller for answering calls, all for a retail price of just €39,99.

Thank you CM Storm for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of CM Storm.

CM Storm Sirus-C 2.2 PC & PlayStation 4 Gaming Headset

Introduction


CM Storm, the gaming division of legendary manufacturer Cooler Master is back once again with the release of their Sirus-C 2.2 gaming headset. The Sirus has long been a popular product of CM Storm, but this new model looks to kick things up a notch with improved performance and specifications. Not only is the headset compatible with PC, but also PlayStation 4, making it a tempting purchase for those who love to game on both PC and the latest Sony console.

Priced at a little over £70 from most major online retailers, the Sirus-C isn’t overly expensive, especially given the brand name and the multi format support, so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up to the competition. Especially when you can pick up something like the Turtle Beach PX3 and the MadCatz Tritton Pro+ for around the same money. However, the Sirus-C does have some impressive specifications behind it that should give it a leading edge, most importantly being the 2.2 drives, that’s two drivers in stereo configuration and two sub woofers to give your sound extra depth and low end grunt, something that will no doubt appeal to a gaming audience.

“Sirus-C delivers earth-shaking 2.2 channel sound with dedicated extra large 44mm and 40mm drivers in each ear for explosive bass and crisp sound. A built-in high-fidelity amplifier dramatically boosts signal power to make games and movies more immersive and music livelier. In addition, Sirus-C is coupled with an in-line remote that grants access to volume adjustment, microphone mute, chat volume (console mode), and PC / Game Console mode switching.” – CM Storm.

Having a good quality headset can really make or break your gaming experience, especially when it comes to competitive gaming. Having clear audio for team chat, or simply have a more involving and immersive soundscape for single player games. Lets not forget that comfort is also incredibly important, as when you’re gaming for hours on end, you don’t want to take your headset off just to find that your head hurts. CM Storm have had a good run in the past with our reviews here at eTeknix and today I’ll be expecting nothing less than a solid performance from this headset.

The packaging features a large window section, giving us a good look at the headset design as well as the in-line controller. Down the side of the box is a quick run down that details the headset in compatible with Xbox, PlayStation and PC. Although why they put PS4 on the front and not a badge for each format is a little strange as this could confuse some consumers.

Around the back we have a detailed run down of the major features such as the 2.2 drives, audio pass through cables, in-line controller and more. The left side of the box has the full technical specifications (see above).

Everything you need to get you going is included in the box. The headset comes hard wired with the in-line controller and a long braided cable that features both a 3.5mm connection and USB connection. There is also a 3.5″ female to dual AUX pass through cable, controller connection cable and the user / quick setup guides.

Coolermaster Devastator Mouse & Keyboard Review

Introduction


Coolermaster and their gaming division CM Storm are a popular choice for PC gamers, with a wide range of cooling, chassis and peripheral products that have won virtually countless awards around the world at their disposal. CM Storm do offer a great range of premium products, but we all know that not everyone in the world has a premium sized budget when shopping for their peripherals, which is why CM Storm have created the Devastator. Priced at an average of just £30 the Devestator promises great value for money by bundling together both the MB24 keyboard and the MS2K mouse.

There are many reasons for wanting to save a few bucks at your local retailer, you may just be after a cheaper replacement, you may have spent all your money on a huge graphics card, or maybe your building a rig for your kids to play Minecraft and you don’t think splashing out on a £100 mechanical keyboard is the best course of action. What ever your reason, £30 for a mouse and keyboard combo from a well-known brand name is a tempting option, and today we hope to find out if it really is good value for money or not. CM Storm haven’t let us down with their budget friendly products in the past, so it will be interesting to see just how much you can get for your money at this price range.

The mouse, the MS2K comes fitted with an ergonomic body, a three speed optical sensor, large mouse wheel and rubber grips on the side for extra stability.

Devastator MS2K

  • Ergonomic ultra flat mousebody
  • 800 – 1600 – 2000 DPI modes
  • Large high-precision mouse wheel
  • Solid rubber side pads for ultimate stability

The keyboard, the MB24 features a customised membrane design, low profile chassis, laser etched grip coated keys, dedicated multimedia keys and LED backlight, which sound more like the feature set of a keyboard worth twice the price!

Devastator MB24

  • Custom membrane design – more durable and improved tactile feedback
  • Ergonomic ultra low profile design
  • Ultra durable Laser etched and grip coated keycaps
  • Anti-slide rubber pads on bottom side
  • Dedicated Multi-media keys
  • Blue LED backlight with on/off key shortcut

The packaging is fairly standard, a nice image of the products on the front as well as detailing that this is English layout.

Around the back you’ll find a multilingual breakdown of the major features (see lists above).

Both products are nicely packaged, especially the mouse which has been set in a soft foam block on the right hand side.

In the box you’ll find both products come hard-wired with a good length USB cable.

CM Storm Resonar Headset at Computex 2014

Computex 2014: The new CM Storm Resonar headset was on display at this years show, I first saw the prototype model at CES 2014, but now they’re looking ready to hit the retail market.

Their quite unique in the sense that each ear-but has a dial on the back, turning this moves a small mechanical system inside that literally moves the drivers magnet forwards or back, allowing you to tune the bass response higher or lower, and this can be done independently for each driver.

The headset comes with a 4-pole cable and in-line microphone that is ideal for mobile usage, as well as a 4-pole to dual 3-pole 3.5mm cable adaptor that allows you to use it on your desktop PC. the cable is really nice quality, rubber coated and flat, so it should stay tangle free.

I can’t wait to try these out when they’re released, I tested their Pitch in-ear headset last year and wasn’t overly impressed with the bass levels, but it looks like CM Storm have taken big steps to address this issue.

Coolermaster Novatouch Topre Switch Keyboard at Computex 2014

Computex 2014: We just stopped by the Cooler Master booth at Computex 2014 to check out what new products they’ll have on the market later this year. We’ve already seen their Nova keyboard before at CES, but it’s such an impressive product that we just have to show it to you again. The keyboard uses a switch type that is unlike mechanical and membrane, it’s actually quite unique, and offers unrivalled build quality and performance from its Topre switches.

More details to follow soon in regards to release date and official pricing.

The keyboard looks pretty standard, but CM say they’ll release different layouts and switch weights in the future. The quality is hard to describe, but it’s best described (in my opinion) as a membrane feel keyboard with mechanical quality. The only downside being that it will be priced toward the enthusiast market, at what we expect to be around $150-200.