BlackBerry Priv Android Phone Ships Soon

BlackBerry have started taking preorders for the all new BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first phone that runs the popular Android OS.

The device is being sold in the US, UK, and Canada, with pricing at £559.lackberry say that in the US and Canada, the device will start shipping November 6th, and in the UK the Priv will ship “starting the week of November 9.”

Blackberry, according to Ars Technica, have included some of the much loved android functions that are not used on many devices these days. There is a hardware keyboard that slides out from the bottom, a physical camera shutter button on the side. It also has a Micro SD card slot and a hardware convenience key.

The CEO of blackberry stated that he was willing to leave the hardware market if he feels that the profits are non-existent. The Priv will probably become the make or break device for Blackberry. However, the approach that blackberry has taken is slightly different to other manufacturers. The price may make it harder to sell, especially when other flagship devices are selling for £200 less than the Priv. However, the unique features may draw some users in.

I can see a lot of businesses adopting the Priv, if Blackberry makes it work with their mobile device management solution (BES12) as well as their Blackberry OS devices do, then a lot of corporate environments will probably use the device. They will, however, have to catch up on the software front as the Priv ships with 5.1 instead of the newer 6.0 (Marshmallow).

COUGAR Announces New 550M Flagship Gaming Mouse

COUGAR was founded to build and provide gamers with the best peripherals available and their latest product shows that. The new flagship gaming mouse from COUGAR is the 550M and it looks quite impressive. A smaller brother named the 500M with slightly lower specs is also on the way.

COUGAR’s 550M will be available in two colours, blue and black, giving the user the choice for a perfect match to other devices located on the gaming station.

There is no doubt that COUGAR has a lot of faith in this mouse as it introduces it like this: “This device is the result of years of continuous work with a single objective: creating the most perfect gaming mouse the world has ever seen.”

The new mouse has been designed in cooperation with several professional gaming teams to get just the right device for this field of work. The unique shape allows the user to sustain high levels of performance during long gaming sessions with a minimum amount of fatigue while the hardware allows precise reading and customization.

The 550M features the SDNS-3988 optical gaming sensor that provides 6400 DPI and it features a 1000 Hz polling rate for a fast response. You can adjust both of these as well as customize the buttons and record macros thanks to the COUGAR UIX software. Three profiles can be stored in the onboard memory with up to 21 functions.

 

There are two independent LED areas and each of them is customizable within the RGB scale and is done via the software.

 

The COUGAR 500M comes at a lower price, but with the same quality and shape. It is black or white (not pictured) and features a smaller 4000 DPI sensor and some “other different features”.

Availability is set for late July or Early August in most of the world. The price isn’t bad either for what you get, as the 550M has an MSRP of just 59 USD and the 500M $39 USD.

Overclockers UK works closely with COUGAR as we know and they’ve already listed the new COUGAR 550M in both colours. So you can get your pre-orders in already for just £41.99 and be one of the first to have one of these new gaming mice.

AMD R9 Nano Performance Indirectly Revealed

The AMD R9 Nano, a dinky little card that still packs a massive punch. It is said to pack 2x the performance per watt and 2x the performance density of AMD’s previous flagship card, the result being a 175 watt six-inch long beast of a graphics card.

We’re referring to Teraflops here when describing the “computer power” and how many this card achieves. It doesn’t always translate into gaming performance, but will give you a good idea.

How do we know the performance? Wccftech managed to apply some maths to the little amounts of data that AMD revealed to us. They used that cards TDP and performance per watt to work it out:

Since we know that performance per watt is FP32/TDP, we can go ahead and extrapolate the power efficiency of the R9 290X.
R9 290X’s peak FP32 = 5.6 TFLOPs, in other words, 5600 GFLOPs, and its TDP is 250W.
Perf/W = 5600 GFLOPs/250W = 22.4 GFLOPs/W

We also know that the R9 Nano has 2X the perf/watt of the R9 290X.
Which means it’s 2X (5.6TFLOP/250W)
= 2X 22.4 GFLOPs/W
= 44.8 GFLOPs/W.
Thus the perf/watt rating of the R9 Nano is 44.8GFLOPs/W.

Incidentally, we also have the TDP for the Nano, and that’s the last missing piece in the puzzle.

R9 Nano
Perf/watt = FP32 in GFLOPs (unknown) / TDP (175)
44.8 = FP32 (unknown) / 175
44.8 x 175 = FP32 (unknown)
44.8 x 175 = 7840 GFLOPs or 7.84 TFLOPs.
In summary, this means that the R9 Nano could pack a crazy 7.84 Teraflops in compute power. That’s more than a Titan X can give. If bitcoin mining was still financially feasible with graphics cards, this one would by far be the most popular. It will give out nearly twice the amount of gigaflops per second than the Titan X.

For a definite verdict on if this card will be good at gaming, we will have to wait for it to be released into general population. AMD’s power and performance claims will need testing by an independent organisation, that won’t happen until near the launch date.

Thank you to Wccftech for providing us with this information

Teasers Bring First Official Images of Samsung Galaxy S6

Both Samsung and T-Mobile have been teasing the Samsung Galaxy S6, bringing us the first official (limited) images of Samsung’s next flagship.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere posted a tweet confirming that the company will be carrying the phone on their network. He also included with the tweet something much more interesting – a link to a teaser site that gives us our first look at the new phone. That image, which we’ve posted above, very much confirms that the new device will have a curved edge display.

The phone will be revealed fully on March 1st.

Source: The Verge

Antec Officially Announced P380 Flagship Chassis

Antec announced the availability of the new P380 chassis, the latest addition to Antec’s award-winning Performance One series. The P380 isn’t just a stylish chassis, it is specially equipped to dampen system noise to the point that the computer is almost inaudible when the fans spin at a higher speed.

“The P380 is impressive not only because of its fine aesthetics and high-quality finish, but also because of its remarkable features,” said Jerome Francois, Sales Director Europe at Antec. “The chassis offers space and sufficient flexibility and design options to meet the high demands of gamers and enthusiasts, while ensuring a smooth running performance and best cooling performance.”

The case is compatible with SSI CEB, E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards and two ergonomically positioned USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports as well as audio jacks are integrated into the aluminum front bezel. The case features a slim optical drive bay, three anti-vibration 3.5-inch drive cages (Eight 3.5″/2.5″ swappable drive bays in total). Parts of the HDD cages can be removed when more space is needed for longer graphics cards, all the way up to a length of 465 mm.

The P380 can fit up to seven fans: a 120 mm fan on the back, up to three 120 mm or two 140mm fans at the front and three 120mm or two 140 mm fans in the top panel. There is room for two 360mm water cooling radiators at front and on the top of the chassis.

The P380 is covered by a three-year guarantee on parts and labor and is available now for an MSRP of 209,00 €.

Thanks to Antec for providing us with this information

Microsoft Announced Cortana Update and 2 New Lumia Phones

Microsoft’s Cortana has been very well accepted in the US and UK where it’s already rolled out in beta state. Now Microsoft is ready to remove the beta tag from the assistant as well as add it to more markets. The next ones to get access to Microsoft’s voice based assistant are Australia, India and Canada as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 Denim update.

The new update will allow it to tie more tightly to apps, giving Cortana the ability to “Skype Peter” or order up an Audiocloud music stream and more, and all this without having to unlock the phone and press a button. The new version will also feature an Always Listen feature, something it seemed many users have requested. A similar function is already available in the Moto X with Android World. When enabled, the device will always listen for the phrase Hey Cortana and then perform it’s action upon that.

While this sure will drain your battery faster, it can be very useful. You can sit across the room from the phone, speak the trigger phrase and let it record a reminder, ask a question or launch an app.

Microsoft also presented 2 new phones, the new Lumia 830 and Lumia 735, to address holes in Microsoft’s product offerings. The 830 is labeled as the affordable flagship and the 735 is a selfie phone. Indirectly they presented three phones, as there’ll also be a dual-SIM version of the 735 that will be called Lumia 730. They are set to roll out this month, so you don’t have to wait long if you’d like one of them.

The Lumia 830 is priced at €330, but doesn’t lack in specifications. It has a 5-inch, 1280 x 720 display, a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB storage, and a removable 2,200 mAh battery. The phone measures 139.4 mm x 70.7 mm x 8.5 mm and weighs 150 grams. Microsoft’s SensorCore is also built in, providing a pedometer sensor for tracking your steps via the Bing Health and Fitness app. It has a 10 MP PureView camera with optical stabilization on the rear and a 1 MP front-facing camera, which seems somewhat underwhelming.

The new Lumia 735/730 is a so called selfie phone that is growing in popularity at the moment. It has a 5MP front-facing camera and features to improve the quality of images and Skype calls. Microsoft even throws in a promotional three-month Skype Unlimited World subscription to get you used to making Skype calls on the go instead of regular ones. The rear facing camera doesn’t have a much higher resolution then the front with 6.7 MP.

It has a 4.7-inch, 1280 x 720 OLED screen with sunlight readability enhancements and a high brightness mode, 1 GB memory and 8 GB of storage. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip that runs at 1.2GHz. Again Microsoft used a 2,200 mAh removable battery. The phone weighs slightly less then the 830 does with just 134.3 grams. It measures 134.7 mm x 68.5 mm x 8.9 mm. The 753 is expected to be priced at €219.

Both phones offer wireless charging as well as traditional. Remember, these phones aren’t meant to be the flagships, they are meant to fill a gap in the product lineup, and I think they do that pretty well.

Thank you PC World for providing us with these information.

Images courtesy of PC World.

Flagship Colorful iGame Z97 Ymir-X Motherboard Revealed

Colourful have just officially launched their flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard. The iGame Z97, also known as the “Flame Warrior” motherboard is the product of their partnership with Chaintech. The motherboard made its first appearance at Computex earlier this year, but it’s now ready for the consumer market.

The board features a standard ATX form-factor, drawing power from the usual 24-pin ATX connection and an 8-pin EPS connector. Overclocking looks promising too, with a 16-phase CPU VRM, driver-MOSFETs and Poscap capacitors that should allow good power delivery. You’ll also find on-board base-clock tweaking switches, auto-OC buttons, PCIe slot power gating, and a feature rich UEFI dual-BIOS.

There are four DDR3 DIMM slots, three PCI-e 3.0 16X (electrical x8/x4/x4 when all three are populated, x8/x8 when two are, and x16 when one is.) This is backed up by four PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, mSATA 6 Gb/S port (can also be used as mPCIe, dual like DVI, D-Sub, HDMI, DisplayPort, Killer E2200 Ethernet, 8 Channel HD, Six USB 3.0 ports (four rear, two header). Overall it doesn’t sound like connectivity is going to be an issue and this is pretty much what we would expect to see from any flagship board.

The board is expected to hit the Asia-Pacific and European markets very soon, expect more details on price and availability in the coming weeks.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Corsair K95 Mechanical Keyboard Review

In the office today we have something a little special, the Corsair K95 mechanical keyboard and it’s not only the latest in the very cool Vengeance range of products from Corsair, but also Corsair’s new flagship keyboard. We’ve already had great fun testing previous keyboards from Corsair so if this is truly the best they have to offer then I’m really looking forward to testing it out. It was only recently that we took a look at the gorgeous Corsair K70 and I still find that to be one of my all time favourite mechanical keyboards, but can the K95 really be that much better?

Corsair are one of the biggest names in the industry, there is a good chance your current system, a previous system or your next system contains something they’ve made, be that a power supply, cooler or even a chassis. Playing off the success of their hardware business they’ve also created some incredible peripherals in recent years and their headsets, keyboards and in my opinion especially their mice are some of the best around.

The keyboard we are looking at today isn’t cheap, although mechanical keyboards rarely are cheap, this one is set to cost you a whopping £130 and that is a stern investment for any peripheral so today I will be expecting to see all of the Corsair pedigree crammed into this keyboard, flawless performance and premium grade build quality because nothing short of perfection would make me spend so much money on a device like this.

“In the world of high-performance gaming gear, there are few things that match the feeling of using a well-designed keyboard with mechanical key switches. Vengeance gaming keyboards use Cherry MX Red switches, hailed by gamers worldwide to be the best of the best. They combine great key feel with super-fast reaction times and smooth, linear travel with low operating force. Vengeance K95 takes the next step with a 100% mechanical layout – there’s a Cherry MX Red switch underneath every key. So, you’ll get that optimal tactile feedback and responsiveness, no matter your fingers go.” – Corsair

The K95 is well equipped and as you can see from the specifications below this keyboard comes with plenty to keep both gamers and general users happy; the ever popular Cherry MX Red switches are well known to be fast and accurate switches, key-by-key backlighting, 18 macro keys, aluminum construction, 20 Key rollover and a wrist rest should all make for an enjoyable experience.

  • Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switches
  • Key-by-Key Customizable Backlighting
  • 18 Programmable G-Keys
  • Brushed Aluminum Chassis
  • Full Key Matrix Anti-Ghosting with 20-Key Rollover
  • Detachable full length wrist rest

The box is nicely designed with a cool looking shot of the keyboard and a few of the major features listed on the front.

Around the back of the box we have a more detailed breakdown of the keyboards features, but we’ll take a closer look at those shortly.

In the box there was a user manual and some warranty information, oh and of course there was also a great big keyboard in the box!

Next out of the box was the detachable wrist rest, with a full width soft touch design.

Some plastic “push-click” pins hold the rest in place, but there are also two metal screws to give extra security.

There is a light texture to the surface thanks to these little pressed holes, this provides a little extra grip when combined with the soft-touch finish and overall the surfaces feels rather luxurious.

The cable for the K95 features two heavy duty USB 2.0 connections and the keyboard requires that you have a high-power USB 2.0 port to operate it, if you want to use the USB pass through feature you also need to connect both USB cables. The cable is ridiculously heavy and if this isn’t the toughest cable on a consumer keyboard then I don’t know what is. It’s a little unwieldy but at least it should last a life time.

The keyboard is pretty huge, this is mostly due to the extra macro keys on the left side but you best make sure you’ve got a wide desk area should you wish to accommodate it.

It features a fairly low profile overall but it’s about average in terms of height and the keys features a very slow and gentle curve to their ergonomics.

The top right of the keyboard features a very fancy metal scroll wheel for system volume control, a master mute switch and below that (above the number pad) are some dedicated media controls. The keyboard features three more buttons along the top for controlling the lighting features as well as a lock control.

The G keys are situated on their own extension on the left and it features a different finish to the rest of the board that I dare say looks a little cheaper, but it does give a nice visual distinction between the two areas and it still look pretty good in terms of design. The keys are separated into three groups of 3×2 and this makes navigation a little easier, plus there is a decent amount of space between the main keyboard keys and the G keys so you don’t accidentally trigger them, but it’s not so far that you feel your going out of your way to use them.

There was no key cap removal tool included with the K95 but the caps are fully removable non the less. Every key is mechanical with the exception of the top M and media buttons and all feature Cherry MX Red switches with individual LED lighting which can be see here under the WASD key caps.

The key caps are plastic moulded but they feel durable and well finished with just enough curve to provide a good finger resting position when typing or gaming.

The underside of the keyboard features two flip out feet to increase the hight of the board and there are also four small rubber grips to prevent the board from sliding around your desk, although it is quite heavy so I doubt that will be an issue.

The back of the keyboard features a single USB port that you could use for your mouse, headset, or any other USB compatible device really. There is also a BIOS switch that allows you to change compatibility modes as most high end keyboards are often incompatible with most motherboard BIOS screens, that shouldn’t be the case here.

The wrist rest might not be something everyone would want to use so I appreciate that Corsair made it detachable, but in my opinion it completes the design and the keyboard looks easily twice as good with it attached and it doesn’t feel as wide and narrow as it does without it.

The angle of the wrist rest lines up with the rear edge of the keyboard chassis which is below the keys and the keys effectively hover above it, looks pretty cool but also has some practical applications too. The keys and the switches are raised from the chassis of the keyboard, as if there was a lid to go around them and its been left off to show the bare chassis, this makes cleaning super easy but it also gives it a slightly industrial look that I must admit I am fond of.

Setup & Installation

The keyboard is plug and play compatible and works straight out of the box but if you want to use the funky G keys then you’re going to need to download the software from Corsair. Of course this is highly recommended because you don’t buy a huge keyboard with 18 custom keys if you don’t want to use them (if you don’t want them, you should buy the K70 instead). Upon hooking up the keyboard we see the white LED lighting and at first I think it’s a little bright but you can adjust it from off to full in 4 stages of brightness.

The lights not only light up the letters in the key caps but the light bleeds downward and lights up the gaps between the keys and the base chassis below them, it’s a very nice effect and in a very dark room it gives the keys the visual appearance of floating and glowing that looks rather cool.

If that is a bit much for you, you can also turn off / on each key on the keyboard, allowing you to have different zones illuminated on different profiles.

The software gives you complete control over the G key configuration, you can set macros or launch applications and more over each profile. Unfortunately you can’t configure any of the rest of the keyboards functions and all macros have to go on the G keys, although that’s hardly a compromise given there are 18 of them.

You can also set custom names for each profile so you know which is which and you can even save them direct to the keyboard on-board memory.

Performance

Just loading up my game and logging in on this keyboard is a lush experience, the keys feel light and snappy at my fingertips. I decided to tackle an FPS first to test the most important keys of all, WASD! I have to admit I tested this on Battlefield 3 far longer than I had planned to and while I can’t say I did better at my game I certainly had a comfortable experience thanks to the wrist rest, light keys and the K95 didn’t let me down once. Yet this is hardly pushing the limits of the K95 so I fired up WoW and Diablo III for a while, making sure I setting up some macros before hand. I can safely say I think that 18 G keys is too many, I must have used 6 per game at best and I was even able to assign one game per block of 6 keys, meaning I could keep my games on one profile! Still, far too many for my liking, at least for gaming.

Day to day usage however is where the G keys really start to shine, Photoshop shortcuts, email shortcuts, app launchers, text macros and more really make my workflow a whole lot easier and having them in three groups allows me to get through things super quick. I found it a little cumbersome changing profile automatically for software as it doesn’t switch back when you access other apps or your desktop, so having an “all in one” profile is more suitable in my opinion, but then again I don’t need 18 macro keys for any one task, I doubt many people do.

Typing is incredibly quick on this keyboard, the keys are super responsive and the ergonomics of the board present you with a good typing position. The only downside is that when I’m typing at around 70wpm the noise of the key caps striking the keyboard chassis is enough to annoy anyone else in the room after a while, although this is true of 95% of the mechanical keyboard I’ve tested. The upside of course is that you don’t care about the noise because it feels so nice to type, pros and cons I guess.

The media keys are also a welcome feature and since I listen to music all day long on my computer while I work and game, having dedicated keys is vital for me, especially ones that don’t require you to press a Fn key first.

Final Thoughts

You don’t “need” a high end keyboard to enjoy your favourite games, you don’t even need the best equipment to be a winner either, but that doesn’t mean to say that it couldn’t help. The super fast keys of the K95 could cut milliseconds from your reaction times, doesn’t sound like much to most people, but if your a pro gamer then you know that every millisecond counts in the heat of battle. Plus when your sat down on an evening with your favourite game, the last thing you want is for your fingers to feel tired and fatigued from a cheap keyboard and you can feel every penny of the £130 under your fingers tips when typing, reminding you that it was totally worth the investment.

How it performs and feels under your finger tips is easily the most important factor for a keyboard, but I’m not so sure I should give Corsair so much credit here as all that work is being done by the Cherry MX Red switches, a switch that is common place and can be found in many other mechanical keyboards, many of which are half the price of the K95. So what does the K95 do that other keyboards do not to justify the extra price tag?

Many mechanical keyboards are boring rectangles and a mere box to hold the nice switches in place, gorgeous to type on but nothing fancy to look at. The Corsair K95 just oozes luxury with its black brushed aluminium chassis and with the LED lighting reflecting of the texture of the metal it just looks better and better. The only gripe I have is that the G keys look tacked on, maybe Corsair were just trying to make a distinction between the two areas but I think a one piece chassis design would have looked better, even if the current configuration doesn’t look particularly bad.

Because of its metal chassis the keyboard is super strong and should last more than a few years worth of knocks and bumps, plus the keys are very easy to keep clean and maintain. Just remember that Aluminium is easily scratched, so I wouldn’t be putting your car keys next to this thing if you know what’s good for it.

So have Corsair made the best keyboard on the market? No not really, it’s on par with the competition in terms of performance but that is again because of the reliably uniform performance of the MX Red switches, so it’s hard to say one keyboard “feels” better than the other. What corsair have made however is one of the best designed and constructed keyboards on the market, it has a premium feel that is unmatched and a lush aluminium finish that goes a very long way to justifying the high price tag.

Pros

  • Fantastic typing response
  • Huge amount of macro keys
  • Aluminium chassis
  • Well made and durable
  • Premium design

Cons

  • Might be a little expensive for many
  • Only available with MX Red Switches (even if they are very good, it’s nice to have a choice).
  • Macros restricted to G keys

 eTeknix says: “Corsair looked to create their ultimate keyboard and the K95 delivers on that promise, it’s incredible to use and it looks fantastic. It performs as well as any other mechanical keyboard on the market but it’s build quality is in a league of its own.”