Tesoro Unveil The Gram Spectrum RGB Mechanical Keyboard

Tesoro is a highly-respected hardware company specialising in peripherals and gained notoriety for releasing affordable products. This notion spans across gaming keyboards, ergonomic mice and comfortable mouse pads. Their latest creation is the Gram Spectrum RGB keyboard sporting Tesoro AGILE mechanical switches. These low profile switches offer a short travel distance while retaining a tactile feel. This means you can effortlessly press keys during intense gameplay moments and type large documents in an effective manner.

The Spectrum supports full RGB illumination with 16.8 million colour options as well as numerous lighting effects including breathing, colour wave and more. This provides superb flexibility and allows you to create a very spectacular appearance. On another note, the keyboard utilises double-injection keycaps and is built on a robust metal plate.

Johan Borggren, VP of Sales at Tesoro Technology described their latest product and said:

“The ultra-accurate, low-profile Tesoro AGILE switches bring something truly unique to market, a low-profile mechanical keyboard that does not surrender the tactile feel,”

The GRAM Spectrum is jam-packed with features and rich in customizable functions making it a premier choice for dedicated gamers.”

Technically, the product opts for a 32bit ARM processor with 512KB of onboard memory to record complex macros. Each key is fully programmable and the unit has a 100Hz polling rate. It also supports full N-key/G-key rollover.  In terms of pricing, the black model will retail for $137.00 while the white edition has an MSRP of $139.00. Both products should be available at the beginning of June.

GRAM Spectrum Specifications

  • TESORO AGILE Mechanical Switch – Low-profile switch with 3.5 mm travel distance.
  • 16.8 Million Customizable Lighting – Brilliant RGB lighting.
  • Double Injection Keys – High-quality, long-lasting keycaps.
  • 32bit ARM Cortex Processor and 512 KB Onboard Memory – Advanced processing power for instantaneous macro execution.
  • All Keys Fully Programmable – Reassign any key or set up the most extreme macros for advanced gaming.
  • Detachable Braided USB Cable – Hassle-free travel and cable management.

Aorus Thunder K7 Mechanical Keyboard + Macro Keypad Review

Introduction


Aorus are back on eTeknix again today, following a long hiatus from our last review of theirs, the rather stunning Aorus Thunder M7 Gaming Mouse. In the office today, we have their new flagship gaming keyboard, the Thunder K7, and it’s packed to the brim with high-end features that are sure to excite professionals, gamers and well, many other people too!

  • World’s 1st Mechanical gaming keyboard with detachable Macro keys
  • Superior CHERRY MX Mechanical Key-Switch
  • Absolute Anti-Ghosting Multi-Key press Capability
  • AORUS Macro Engine

Equipped with a split design that allows you to not only detach the number pads completely and turn the main keyboard into an 80% width design, you can also attach the number pad on the left side of the keyboard and use it as a macro pad, or for any other purpose for that matter, and even then, you can also use the number pad all by its self if you really wanted! Of course, a funky modular design isn’t the only thing you can expect from this keyboard today. Equipped with Cherry MX Red switches, N-key rollover, anti-ghosting, LED lighting, macro engine, detachable wrist rest, and more, the K7 is sounding like strong competition for many other high-end keyboards on the market today.

The box for the Thunder K7 is absolutely huge, it may actually be the biggest keyboard box we’ve ever seen, and not by any small margin either!b There’s a huge image of the keyboard don the front, as well as a badge telling us this is the orange light edition, not the blue one in the big picture.

Around the back, a quick rundown of the main features, such as the modular design, Cherry switches, and the powerful macro engine.

The box opens up to reveal just why it’s so big in the first place. The keyboard is exceptionally well padded and the main keyboard, number pad and wrist rest are all separated by thick foam to ensure they stay secure in transit. Each component is wrapped in plastic bags to keep them dust free and there’s a large plastic shell over the top over everything to protect it from damage.

In the box, the keyboard, which comes hard-wired with a good quality USB cable and custom USB 2.0 gold-plated head, as well as a secondary cable for when you’re using the number pad independently.

The detachable wrist rest is pretty durable and has a good width to it. It is worth pointing out, however, that it’s the full keyboard size, so may look ridiculous if you’re using it in 80% mode.

There are some rubber grips on the bottom to keep it in place, but you’ll notice the lack of clips as the whole unit connects to the keyboard magnetically.

eTeknix Visit Corsair Rapidfire Keyboard Launch Event in London

A few days ago, we were invited down to London for a top-secret event, giving us the opportunity to check out the latest gaming keyboard from Corsair. Of course, now that the NDA has lifted, we’re able to share with you what we say at the event, as well as bring you a full review of the new K70 in all its glory and boy is it good!

Of course, we have to share this fantastic teaser from Corsair first.

Equipped with an innovative new switch that was created in a partnership between Cherry and Corsair, the new K70 Rapidfire features the MX Speed switch (they’re the right most row on this block).

MX Speed is very much like MX Red, in that it is a lightweight and fast linear switch, but the major change comes from the fact that the switch has a 40% reduction in actuation distance, meaning less force is needed, response times are cut and the keys return rate is quicker, allowing you to touch-type and game at an increased pace vs the regular red switch.

Corsair were kind enough to set up some cool games and plenty of the keyboards for us to try out.

Some of our friends at Dignitas putting the keyboards through their paces.

There are two models available as of today, The full-size K70 and the shorter K65.

Both keyboards follow the iconic K70/K65 designs, and are fully equipped with RGB lighting, although a non-RGB version is also available for the K70.

The return of the USB pass-through port and BIOS switch!

 

K70 Quickfire RGB is to be £149.99 and non-RGB is £119.99, while the smaller TKL version, the K65 RGB, will also be £119.99. Expect all major retailers to have stock or pre-orders from today.

Want to know even more about this keyboard? Check out our full review here.

Corsair Gaming K70 Rapidfire RGB Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Ready to take your gaming seriously? We’ve got the (mostly) new Corsair Gaming K70 Rapidfire RGB in the eTeknix office today, and while you may be familiar with the K70 part, the keyboard now features the all-new and very much improved Cherry MX Speed switches! But what are MX Speed switches? They use the same underlying format as the extremely popular and lightning fast MX Red switches, but with a 40% reduction in actuation distance, meaning they’re even faster than ever before, making them the shortest response mechanical switches on the market today.

  • Ultrafast mechanical gaming keyboard: ultrafast 1.2mm actuation and light 45g switch force for truly unrivaled response time.
  • 100% Cherry MX Speed RGB key switches: ultrafast performance with the precision and durability of gold contact Cherry MX mechanical gaming key switches.
  • Aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame: with light weight and rugged durability you need for a keyboard that’s going to see a lot of action.
  • 100% anti-ghosting and full key rollover over USB circuitry: no matter how fast you go your keypresses will always register.
  • Advanced lighting control and large font keycaps: experience dynamic, vibrant multi-color backlighting.
  • The power of CUE: sophisticated macro programming and fast, fluid dynamic multicolor illumination for an enlightened gaming experience.
  • Detachable soft-touch wrist rest: the comfort you need for marathon gaming sessions.
  • Dedicated multimedia controls: the control you need to adjust your audio without interrupting your game.
  • USB Pass-Through Port: Positioned for uninterrupted game play and ready for your mouse or wireless headset adapter.
  • FPS and MOBA keycap sets: Textured and contoured keycaps provide maximum grip and enhanced feel

Every action counts when it comes to competitive gaming, and trimming the fat from the switch means that you’ll be triggering those switches milliseconds before the competition. It’s not a huge advantage, but every little bit adds up and no matter how small it may seem, an edge is an edge.

The packaging is really nicely designed, keeping the usual Corsair colours and showing off the most important features.

You’ll find all the usual stuff in the box, such as the documentation, two sets of gaming caps and a handy key cap puller.

PiPO KB2 – A Folding Keyboard That’s Also Windows 10 PC!

People love small computers, the ability to sit and use your smartphone or a tablet to play games or write an essay while you wait for the bus or your order at a restaurant. So what about if you got a computer you could fold into your pocket? that’s the idea behind the PiPO KB2, one of a new series of PC’s hidden with keyboards.

The PiPO keyboards will be released in two batches, starting with the KB1’s which will be released soon. If you’re interested the KB1 will feature an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 (also known as a Cherry Trail) processor and  either 32GB or 64GB of memory to back up the 4GB Ram. If you didn’t want to spend so much, you could grab a KB1 with an Intel Atom Z3736F or Z3735 processor (from the Bay Trail series) with 2GB of RAM. With 2 USB ports, an ethernet port, microSD slot, a VGA connector and an HDMI port the inbuilt speakers, battery and touchpad are rounded off with Wi-FI and a battery.

If you want something a little more pocketable, you could wait until September and get the KB2 featuring the same storage options of 2/4GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage and even the same Cherry Trail processor as the KB1 model. Going with the upgrade, the KB2 will feature a USB 3.0port, a micro USB port, and Bluetooth. For the added bonus of being able to fold and pocket the keyboard PC, you lose the touchpad, something which I’m sure people will compensate with their own travel mice.

With both devices running Windows 10, are you interested in being able to carry around a pocket PC to plug into your friend’s TV or do you think that you’ll stick with your laptop and tablets for now?

SteelSeries Unveils The Apex M500 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Steelseries is one of the most respected peripheral manufacturers and quickly gained a reputation for producing reliable products without gimmicks. For example, the SteelSeries 6Gv2 offers astounding build quality and feels incredibly robust even when you try to bend the keyboard from an angle. There’s also products like the Sensei which proved to be really popular. Of course, competition in the mechanical keyboard industry is fierce due to the might of Corsair and Razer.

Today, SteelSeries announced their latest keyboard entitled The Apex M500. This particular model opts for Cherry MX Red switches and blue LED backlighting. Furthermore, the keyboard incorporates anti-ghosting technology and opts for a traditional layout. It also supports SteelSeries Engine software to customize lighting and create custom commands. Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling, Carry for Evil Geniuses Dota 2 explained why the Apex M500 was his favourite keyboard thus far:

“The APEX M500 is my new keyboard of choice. It’s a tank and lives up to the quality of the 6Gv2, the mechanical keyboard that I’ve been using for a year now,”

“This keyboard is everything I think a majority of players look for when it comes to quality and feel, it’s going to be a product that will be used at the pro level for a long, long time.”

Here we can see a synopsis of the keyboard’s main features:

Cherry MX Red Switches
The #1 preferred choice of pro gamers worldwide, Cherry MX Red mechanical switches provide remarkable consistency and durability. With the worlds best switch rating for gaming and a 50 million press guarantee, Cherry MX keys continue to be an essential part of any gamers arsenal.

SteelSeries Engine Software
SteelSeries’ acclaimed software delivers the ultimate level of individual customization for gamers. Pros and enthusiasts can program individual keys for unique combinations, create advanced macros for faster gaming commands, launch game profiles automatically, and create unlimited profiles to unlock infinite gaming possibilities.

Cable Management and Anti-Ghosting
SteelSeries’ Apex M500 showcases a smart cable management system with three cable guides that adapts to your keyboard setup to eliminate tangles and interference. It is also armed with 100% Anti-Ghosting technology with 104 key rollover to ensure precision no matter how fast you play.

Unfortunately, it seems the Apex M500 only comes with Cherry MX Red switches. It’s not possible to select more tactile, clicky options such as Blues. In terms of pricing, the keyboard has a retail price of $99.99/€119.99.

ShakeSpeak Keyboard Lets You Write Like Shakespeare

In the modern world, communication has often been reduced to abbreviations that represent words and a vast collection of emotive images, which is a far cry from the language used by Shakespeare and other famous linguists. Now you can add a little culture to your messaging and find out what the world would have been like if Shakespeare had a smartphone with the latest new keyboard from SwiftKey, ShakeSpeak.

The reason why SwiftKey have decided to release such as niche smartphone keyboard in order to celebrate the upcoming 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death on the 23rd of April. ShakeSpeak makes use of the powerful predictive tools that have made SwiftKey keyboards popular in order to transform your everyday messages into something that sounds like it came straight out of the 17th century England. During the analysis of his works, a number of trademark words, phrases and expressions were identified, which will appear when you make use of this keyboard.

This may simply be a tribute project, but it is interesting to see how modern technologies such as machine learning and text prediction can act when trained on more old-fashioned linguistic styles. If you fancy sounding more like you belong 4 centuries back, ShakeSpeak can be found on the Play Store.

Nacon’s Controller Ready to Compete With Mouse and Keyboard

When it comes to competitive play every advantage is a huge one, when money’s on the line people will do everything to get an edge which is why the controller vs mouse debate has been at the heart of competitive play for years. Nacon is positive that their new controller which change this and allow controllers to go toe to toe with mouse and keyboard users.

Controllers allow for you to move fluidly in two axis with the left joystick and the right joystick allowing simple and smooth movements. PC users have a problem in this respect with the mouse and keyboard combination allowing smoother, quicker and sharper actions using the mouse but more analogue and sudden movement with the keyboard.

Nacon’s new controller is set up to combat this by being built for the PC and offering the precision and customization in its button mapping, joystick responses, sensitivity and dead zones. Initial views of the controller also reveal rear paddles, similar to those that are found on the Xbox Elite pad. The paddles, in this case, are limited to just two, compared to the Elite pad’s four.

Can a controller keep up with the mouse and keyboard user or will there be a time when controllers are the only thing you need to play a game? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

QPAD MK-90 RGB Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


The mechanical keyboard market is fiercely competitive, even more so when it comes to the high-end ranges, where prices can often be around £150 for a fully equipped RGB unit, especially if you’re looking for something with a lot of gaming-focused features. QPAD have a solid reputation for creating great gaming peripherals are competitive prices, at least in terms of spec vs spec on their rivals products. Today, we’ll be taking a look at their new MK-90, a well equipped mechanical gaming keyboard that comes in a £109 here in the UK; about £30-40 cheaper than their rivals similar specification keyboards.

“The MK-90 is built with superior quality, durability, well-conceived design and layout. It features an exciting new RGB LED concept with a multitude of lighting options and a white plate built into a strengthened keyboard to enhance the clarity and impact of the lighting. The new RGB LED allows gamers to individualize their experience by choosing any color in the spectrum and displaying them in a variety of modes. For example, you can choose breathing, trigger, explosion, rainbow, audio beat, wave or random in any of 16.8 million colors! ” – QPAD

  • High-end mechanical keyboard with superior quality
  • Exciting new RGB LED concept with a multitude of lighting options
  • Ultra-durable, programmable keys, designed to last 60 million strokes
  • Full N-Key rollover anti-ghosting technology via USB
  • Media keys for volume control, play, pause and skip tracks

The MK-90 packs all the features you would want in a gaming keyboard, with Full N-Key rollover, on-the-fly macro recording, adjustable repeat rates, multimedia controls, audio pass-through, and USB pass-through. There’s a few extra bonuses too, such as per-key RGB lighting, with plenty of effects to go with it, a long braided cable and a detachable wrist rest.

The box is very nicely designed, showing us a stylish image of the keyboards RGB lighting, as well as detailed all the main specifications on the front. It also details that we have linear switches; better known as Kailh Red.

Around the back, all the technical details broken into multiple languages for different markets.

In the box, you’ll find a detachable wrist rest, which looks pretty neat and tidy, and we’ll see that mounted to the keyboard shortly.

It uses plastic clips to mount to the keyboard, not the best, but it’s still a nice little extra to have.

You’ll also find a simple keycap puller, handy for cleaning and maintaining your keyboard.

Cooler Master Releases MasterKeys Pro Series Keyboards

Cooler Master released their newest series of keyboards, the MasterKeys Pro series. The new MasterKeys Pro is available in two versions so you get just the size you need, want, and prefer, whether you like a full sized keyboard or rather a TKL without the num pad. Both versions feature the same functions and customizability, so pick which is best for your gaming needs. The full-sized version is called the MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL version is called the MasterKeys Pro S.

The Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro has a minimalistic design, but don’t let that fool you. The keyboard features full RGB backlighting with multiple effects and full customizability. On top of the extra bright LEDs, you find the Cherry MX switches of your choice, whether that might be red, brown, or blue switches.

It appears like a very simple keyboard when looking at it, but the MasterKeys pro is anything but simple. It is built with a 32-bit ARM processor which increases the possibilities when it comes to on-the-fly macro recording as well as general features. Most keyboards rely on software solutions to handle things and you can use Cooler Master’s software tool to configure and set up your keyboard to match your needs, but you don’t have to. You can do everything software-free too via the on-the-fly system built into the MasterKeys Pro keyboards.

“The MasterKeys Pro offers multiple lighting modes. Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and other responsive effects. You can choose between red, brown, or blue switches to match your tactile preference,” said Kevin Yang, Peripherals Product Manager. “And you get all the features, whether you prefer a full size keyboard or a tenkeyless design. In addition to easy-to-use software, we are working on a Software Development Kit (SDK) to truly help Make It Yours.”

Cooler Master needed to completely redesign the interior of the MasterKeys to fit both the original Cherry MX switches as well as the much bigger and brighter LEDs used here. The end result looks stunning and should provide you with a stable partner for your online battles. The sleek lines, refined symmetry, and a heavy-weight quality build will help you keep things clean and simple. Speaking of clean and simple, the full-sized L version comes with hidden positioning grooves on the bottom of the keyboard, giving you 180° cable management and the ability to keep your keyboard and desktop sleek and organized regardless of arrangement preference.

The keys themselves have a soft-to-touch and long-lasting UV coating for a great experience and long-lasting effect that won’t result in missing letters and discolored keys.

Both the MasterKeys Pro L and MasterKeys Pro S are available in Europe from today, March the 15th, for a recommended retail price of €169 and €139 respectively. If all that peeked your interest, then you should check out our full review of the MasterKeys Pro S for an in-depth analysis and verdict.

Cooler Master Masterkeys Pro S Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Cooler Master are one of the biggest and best in the industry, not only for their high-end chassis such as the Master Case Pro 5, but also their power supplies, coolers and most importantly today, their peripherals. Dropping the CM Storm branding, their latest keyboard, the Masterkeys Pro S TKL, falls in line with their “maker” series of products. Last year so very little new products from CM and we knew they were cooking up something big. They came back after a long period of silence with a completely redesigned and focused product line, and their “make it yours” philosophy.

All the new products we’ve seen from Cooler Master have been beyond impressive, so I’m really eager to see what their new premium-grade mechanical keyboard has to offer. There are two models available, the full-size MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL MasterKeys Pro S, which is the one we have in the eTeknix office today.

“Get the best of both worlds with the MasterKeys Pro L and Pro S: the brightest LEDs and the best tactile feeling that gamers have come to love. We completely redesigned the interior to fit both Cherry MX switches and big, fat, LEDs that can radiate 16.7 million colors. You also get on-the-fly macros, profile support, and easy-to-use software – all in a sleek, minimalistic design.” – Cooler Master

The new keyboards come with all the premium features you would expect, such as customisable RGB lighting, Cherry MX switches, macro support, anti-ghosting and N-key rollover and more. Most importantly, at least in terms of the RGB lighting, is that cooler master customised the PCB, allowing for larger and brighter LEDs, without compromising on the use of Cherry MX switches.

• Brilliant RGB lighting with 16.7 million colors

• Exclusive Cooler Master design makes each LED pop out and shine

• Multiple lighting modes

• Change and customize colors with or without software

• Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and responsive effects

• Cherry MX switches

• Guaranteed to endure at least 50 million keystrokes

• On-the-fly macro and profile support

• On-board processor and profile keys let you save macros and backlighting settings without hassle

• 100% anti-ghosting with N-key rollover

• Ensure each keypress is correctly detected regardless how many other keys are being pressed

• Detachable cable

• Cables won’t get in your way or clutter your desktop

• Hidden underside positioning grooves gives you 180° cable management (only for Pro L)

The packaging is very nicely designed, showing off the RGB lighting in all its glory, as well as touting the use of Cherry MX switches.

Around the back, a little breakdown of the build, showing the PCB, switches, casing and key caps.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started. This includes a high-quality micro-USB braided cable, which fully detachable from the keyboard, a key cap removal tool and a nice and colourful user’s guide.

Tesoro Excalibur V2 Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Tesoro may not be the first name you think of when it comes to buying a new gaming keyboard, but given the successes they’ve delivered in the past, they’re certainly a name you should be looking at more often. Just check out some of the kick-ass keyboards we’ve reviewed from Tesoro over the years and you’ll get an idea why I’m excited about their new Excalibur V2, such as the Lobera Supreme, Lobera Spectrum RGB, the seriously cool Tizona Elite and of course, the predecessor of today’s review sample, the Excalibur.

“Excalibur is a classic take on gaming, giving gamer all required tools to dominate the field of battle without additional features that most gamers would not use, making it one of the best performance to value board out there.” –Tesorotec.com

Equipped with a powerful ARM Cortex Premium CPU, onboard memory, 1000Hz polling rate, full N-key and 6-key rollover, LED lighting, on-the-fly macro recording and more, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes for a well-rounded desktop keyboard.

Equipped with Kailh mechanical blue switches, and a wide range of lighting effects, the V2 is bound to be a lot of fun to work and play on, as well as a visual treat, so let’s jump in and take a closer look at what the latest keyboard from Tesoro has to offer!

Features

  • Gaming Grade Mechanical Switch
  • Heavy-Duty
  • 32bit ARM Cortex Premium Processor
  • 1000Hz Ultra-polling rate
  • 512KB (4Mb) Onboard memory
  • All keys programmable
  • NKey / 6 Key Rollover
  • Versatile Lighting effects
  • Make your own LED effects with instant lighting recording
  • Double injection keycaps
  • Quick profile switch, instant macro recording, reset hotkey, keyboard lock
  • Compatible with Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10

The packaging is really nicely designed, showing a stylised image of the keyboard on the front, as well as a picture of a sword, most likely Excalibur since all Tesoro peripherals are named after legendary weapons.

Around the back, a quick breakdown of the main features, such as that ARM CPU and the Kailh blue switches; nothing we don’t already know, so let’s get the box open and take a look.

The first thing you’ll find, a simple quick start guide and a Tesoro product catalogue, all fairly straightforward stuff so far.

The V2 comes hard-wired with a good quality 1.8m black braided cable. Although, I’d prefer that it was a removable cable, as it makes it easier to transport the cable without damaging it. It’s plug and play ready too, meaning you can get straight into the action, but there is also downloadable software if you want to tweak some of the more advanced settings.

E-Blue K820 Professional Gaming Combo Review

Introduction


E-Blue may be a fairly new name to most of our readers, but they’re quickly pushing into new parts of the world with their products and their latest, the E-Blue K820 Professional Gaming Combo certainly caught our attention. There’s a lot of competition in the market right now to make the absolute best budget friendly gaming bundle. With many people investing in their first computers, building on a tight budget, or even just looking for an affordable solution for younger games; especially with the never-ending popularity of Minecraft, it makes sense that there’s a big market for affordable peripherals.

“Our mission is to bring stylish, trendy and high-quality products to the worldwide end-users. We believe that there are many good products in the market but they are in unreasonable price to the end-user and also there exist many low-graded of products with bad quality and in low price to a big group of user. But these two types are not the most desired and demanded to the customers. They desire the products more trendy, under reasonable price and good quality with high durability. This is how e-blue insist to keep such principle as the main mission.” – E-Blue

E-Blue has been around since 1999, working out of Hong Kong and creating a range of OEM products, but have pushed their own hardware, such as keyboards, mice, headsets, gaming chairs and more. Since then, they’ve been working with Marvel Inc for Iron Man branded hardware, they’re investing in eSports and sponsor LoL champions EDG Gaming, and are opening hundreds of E-Blue equipped internet cafes/Gaming Arena’s in China; safe to say, they’re not doing too badly at all.

What’s great about this bundle is that it has the keyboard, a mouse and the mouse mat all packed into a single box. This is super convenient for getting ready for some gaming, but I think it also doubles up as a nice gift bundle; very handy when Christmas comes around.

  • Ergonomic designed shape, standard 104 key layout and the lifespan up to 10 million for both gaming and office demands.
  • Mouse is tailored in ergonomic design with perfect grip and dazzle blue lighting effect, 3 levels DPI shift to select.
  • Mouse pad adopts high compact weaving mesh surface with unique splash-ink design.

while not the highest spec of hardware ever, it’s a good entry point and looks like great value for money given the current RRP.

First thing I noticed was that the packaging is very well designed. Great images of the products on the front, as well as a rundown of the main features and specifications around the back.

In the box, you’ll find a hard-wired keyboard, hard-wired mouse, mouse mat, and a set of extra key caps.

Lian Li Enters the Peripheral Market With a Giveaway


It isn’t often that we as the press get taken by surprise, but today is such a day as Lian Li revealed their entry into the peripheral market with their first ever mouse and keyboard. Usually, we already expected a launch, got hints, teasers, and heads-up notifications, but Lian Li chose to take us all with a surprise this time. To top it all off, Lian Li launched a giveaway for this at the same time.

Very little is known about the new Lian Li peripherals yet and there aren’t any official product pages online yet, but we do have eyes to spot some things based on the limited information. The new line of Mice and Keyboards is called the TerminAL series and comes in a total of 6 colour options: Black, Silver, Gold, Blue, Green, and Red.

The keyboard is a brushed aluminium keyboard with a flat design, but that’s about the information that we get now. There is no mention of switch types, whether it’s mechanical or membrane, and whether it has some extra and unique features.

The TerminAL mouse features two thumb buttons beside the normal left and right mouse button and a scroll wheel. Anything else is up to anyone’s guess right now.

 

We shouldn’t forget about the promotion either, the one where you can be the first one to own one of these new sets in the colour of your choice. The giveaway can be found via Facebook or Lian Li’s blog site. All you have to do to participate is to cast a vote on which colour option you like best.

“We will be giving away three of each color for a total of eighteen combos. Cast your vote anytime from today, March 1st to Friday, March 25th for a chance to win your preferred color! Winners for each color – one per color, six total winners – will be announced every seven days until the end of the event.”

Roccat Ryos MK FX RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Roccat are back on eTeknix once again, this time with the latest and hopefully, their greatest keyboard they’ve ever produced! The new Roccat Ryos MK FX RGB Mechanical Keyboards takes everything we know and love about the already fantastic Ryos range, and gives it a glorious RGB switch upgrade, allowing Roccat to take their already impressive lighting engine to a whole new and far more colourful level.

“The Ryos MK FX offers fully customizable, ROCCAT®-enginereed Per-Key RGB illumination in two convenient modes: preset and custom. This means you can add awesome special effects in 16.8 million colors to your keystrokes, configure your keyboard to highlight your in-game and application key bindings, your modifier keys, your system controls as well as your macro sequences and cool-downs plus much, much more.” – Roccat

Of course, aesthetically pleasing lighting effects are one thing, but the Ryos MK FX is no slouch in other departments and is easily one of the best-equipped keyboards on the market today. With full 16.8 million colour lighting, two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors with 2MB of flash memory ensuring lag-free processing of lighting, macros recording, Cherry MX switches, AlienFX, Roccat Talk, Easy-Shift, dedicated macro keys, thumbster keys, n-key rollover and more.

“Do you pick style or performance when you look for the perfect weapon to add to your gaming arsenal? Do it the ROCCAT way: pick both. Purpose built for hardcore gamers, the Ryos MK FX is the most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard on the market. Using all of ROCCAT’s industry expertise and gaming experience, the Ryos MK FX boasts a feature set so comprehensive and a design so eye-watering you’ll be leading the pack by miles – complete with 16.8 million color per-key RGB illumination.” – Roccat

The packaging keeps in theme with all the other Roccat keyboards we’ve seen, but one noticeable difference is the extra aura of colour around the keyboard; very colourful!

A few technical details around the box tell us that we’ve got MX Brown switches, the UK layout and some of the cool features of the board, but since we’ve already discussed these, let’s move on and open up the box!

With the outer slip cover removed, you’ll find a sturdy inner box with a Ryos logo.

Inside that, the Ryos keyboard, protected with a lot of cardboard spacers to keep it safe, as well as a custom plastic top cover and some plastic strips to prevent scratches in transit.

The keyboard comes hard-wired with a thick braided cable and has dual USB headers for extra power, as well as a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks for pass-through connectivity.

Play a Game of Snake on Your Keyboard

I still remember the old Nokia 3310, the indestructible brick. I would steal it off my family and load up the only game worth playing. Snake, the classic tale of food and growth, was all the hit back in the day and even with its evolutions, from being able to travel from one side of the map to the other to including powerups, the classics are sometimes the best. So why not play it on your keyboard?

Created by the Youtuber Mythic Maniac, the colourful version of snake, played using only a Corsair K70 keyboard was created using C# and is publicly available. Available to download from the code repository site Github, it is noted that while it was only tested and used on a Corsair K70 “there’s a high possibility of it working with others as well”.

https://youtu.be/yYet1X18F2E

With everything you need to download, install and play the game I can see many hours fading away as we get used to the new and colourful version of Snake. Be warned, if you are after “good code” you may want to be wary of the warning posted on the GitHub page,

“I never intended to release this at all, so the source might have some silly things lying all over the place.

If you choose to clone this and use for your own purposes, you might want to clean this up a bit.”

So will you be downloading and playing Snake on your keyboard? Who can get the highest score? Tell us yours in the comments below

Cougar 450K Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


We’ve been seeing a rapidly growing range of peripherals from Cougar over the last year, from their high-end 700K Mechanical to their budget friendly 200K. Today, however, we’ll be taking a look at a keyboard that fits quite nicely in the middle, the Cougar 450K Hybrid, a budget friendly, yet rather feature-packed gaming keyboard that we’re hoping will be as impressive as all the other Cougar products we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix.

“COUGAR 450K brings you all the features you would expect from a high-end gaming keyboard. With highly comfortable hybrid mechanical switches, 450K provides the accurate tactile feedback of fully mechanical keyboards and a durability far above other keyboards of its class while at the same time offering a superior level of comfort and less finger strain.”

While this is a membrane keyboard, it’s marketed as a “hybrid mechanical.” Many of you will recognise this as what it really is, a plunger switch. This means you’ve got a tactile pop to the keys that gives them a mechanical feel, but they’re much quieter and cheaper than classic mechanical switches, giving you a nice bridge between standard membrane and mech switches.

“COUGAR 450K’s support for UIX allows you to adjust the functionality of the keyboards’ keys, define macros and modify many important settings of the keyboard. All of this is done with a highly intuitive interface that is shared with compatible COUGAR mice, which means that after you get used to 450K using, for example, 450M will be easy and natural. After configuring all the settings, 450K’s on-board memory will allow you to bring with you up to three configuration profiles anywhere you go.”

The 450K comes well equipped given its budget friendly aspirations. You’ll find three colour LED lighting, on-board memory for macros and profiles, 1ms response, anti-ghosting, UIX software, programmable keys and a 1.8m braided cable.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a cool image of the keyboard on the front, as well as a quick rundown of the main specifications, such as the polling rate, splash proof design, switch type and more.

Around the back, a more detailed run down of the extra features, but we’ll take a closer look at those in just a moment.

In the box, you’ll find the keyboard comes hard-wired with a good quality 1.8-meter black braided USB cable. It’s plug and play ready, but if you want to tap into all the extra features, you’ll also want to download the UIX software from the Cougar website.

ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals Review – A Full Gaming Setup for Under £100!

Introduction


Picking the right gaming peripherals can be a tricky endeavour as there is a huge range of products from an equally large selection of gaming brands out there to choose from. Asus are one of the most established and recognisable gaming brands on the market today, and while they may be better known for their high-end graphics cards and motherboards, they’ve proven time and time again that they can make some great gaming peripherals too.

Today we’ll be taking a look at their Cerberus range, a budget friendly but feature packed range of peripherals that are sure to appeal to a wide range of PC gamers. We’ve got a mouse, a headset and a keyboard here today and what’s great about these devices is that all of them can be picked up for a total under £100, making them an attractive option for those on a tighter budget, with the added peace of mind of them being from a well-established brand name.

As you can see below, we’ve got a well-equipped membrane keyboard, with macro keys, LED lighting and more. As well as an optical mouse, which features an ambidextrous design, adjustable DPI and LED lighting. Finally, a powerful gaming headset equipped with 60mm drivers, support for PC, Man and PS4 and a detachable microphone. All of which can be snapped up for a total of just £96.89 (prices from Overclockers UK).

Cerberus Keyboard – LED backlit USB gaming keyboard with splash-proof design

  • Full SECC metal plate – Rugged durability
  • Splash-proof design with drain hole – Protects against spilled liquids
  • 12 macro keys – Tactical flexibility
  • Fully rubberized feet – Enhanced friction for strong movements
  • Price – £39.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Mouse – Ambidextrous optical gaming mouse with four-stage DPI switch and convenient LED indicator

  • Agile DPI control – Four customizable DPI levels with an LED color indicator
  • Stylish ambidextrous design – Designed for both right and left-handed gamers
  • Improved rubber side grips – Reduces sweating and slipping
  • Price – £21.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Headset – Gaming headset with large 60mm neodymium drivers, designed for both PC gaming and mobile use.

  • Large 60mm neodymium-magnet drivers deliver unrivaled punch and ultimate immersion
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation® 4 and smart devices for gaming and mobile fun
  • Dual-microphone design: detachable boom mic for clear in-game communication and an in-line mic for on-the-go chat
  • Comfortable 100mm full-size cushions offer great noise isolation for undisturbed gaming and music enjoyment
  • Price – £34.99

For more information, check out the official product page here.

The packaging on each product is really nice, with a large window on the headset and the mouse, allowing a good look at the design of each, while the box for the keyboard has a big image of the keyboard and its LED lighting. There’s a few technical details around each box, but nothing we haven’t already covered above.

ASUS Integrates ROG BIOS Functionality Into Claymore Mechanical Keyboard

ASUS’ Claymore mechanical keyboard was originally demoed during Computex last year and showed a great deal of promise. Since then, the company has been working extremely hard to separate the Claymore from other mechanical keyboards currently dominating the peripherals market. One major change is the option to remove the number pad section and position it on the left hand side. This adds a large array of macro keys or you can even disregard it entirely and create a TKL layout. Of course, this isn’t an exclusive feature and other keyboards in the past have adopted a similar design. The more interesting development revolves around dedicated BIOS function keys and provides the end-user with various commands providing they are using an ROG ASUS motherboard.

According to Tom’s Hardware, ASUS has implemented a BIOS key which boots directly into the UEFI without having to frantically time the correct key presses. It’s even possible to adjust CPU and RAM overclocking settings from the keyboard. Another neat feature is the ability to cycle between XMP profiles and configure system fan RPM values. In addition to the enhanced BIOS functionality, there’s the usual array of RGB colour customization and dramatic lighting effects. I’m also quite fond of the keyboard’s style which makes it look unique. It seems every major manufacturer has moved into the peripherals market and released a high-end mechanical keyboard. It will be interesting to see what kind of switches the ASUS Claymore comes with. Ideally, I’d love to see more gaming keyboards with switches designed for typists such as Cherry MX Blues.

The Claymore is scheduled for release in Q2 this year and more official information regarding its price, and specification should be unveiled shortly. It’s always going to be difficult to compete with Corsair, but the BIOS features might just be enough to shift units in impressive numbers. When the product is finally released, we should have an in-depth review detailing the feel, build quality and unique selling points.

Which is your favourite mechanical switch type?

G.Skill Announces RIPJAWS KM780R Keyboard Models

G.Skill’s latest two RIPJAWS mechanical keyboards aren’t actually new ones, but rather the current ones with a reduced accessory package and thereby also a reduced price. There might be quite a few people out there that wouldn’t mind saving a few bucks on the hardware and not get the parts that they don’t need or want on the side.

The two new G.Skill keyboards are the RIPJAWS KM780R RGB and KM780R MX keyboards and they are just the same as the KM780 versions when it comes to the keyboard itself.

The KM780R models offer highly responsive and extremely durable Cherry MX key switches that are rated for 50 million keypresses without losing the same mechanical feel, a military-grade aluminum plate in a brushed black anodized finish, and the full suite of extra macro keys, onboard keyboard profiles, and media control keys with the digital LED volume display. These keyboards will also be available with the choice of Cherry MX red, brown, and blue flavors.

So what is the difference between the KM780R and KM780 series? As previously mentioned, it is the accessory pack. With these reduces version you don’t get the gaming keycaps, the puller tool, and the keycap box. All things that one can go without or already might have extra from a previous keyboard. Let’s face it, you only need on puller tool to remove your keycaps. It saves money, it saves resources, and it saves you the hassle of finding a place to put all the extras. In return, you get a keyboard that is $10.00 cheaper on the recommended retail price.

These new G.Skill RIPJAWS KM780R RGB and KM780R MX models are currently available on Amazon.com, but they will be sold via G.Skill authorized partners worldwide at a later unspecified date.

What do you think about these reduced package models? Is it a good or bad thing? Are the savings enough for you to let go of the extras or would you still get the full product version? Let us know in the comments.

Cougar Attack X3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


The mechanical gaming keyboard is quite busy these days, but we’ve seen quite a few fantastic keyboards from Cougar recently and I’m eager to see what their latest has to offer. The Attack X3 features a fully mechanical design, with a choice of four Cherry MX switches, red, brown, blue and black, so finding one that suits your personal preferences should be an easy task.

“The COUGAR Attack X 3 is a pro gamer’s dream, come true. Cherry MX Switches, fully configurable key functions (including macros), strong red backlight and a durable and visually stunning aluminum design. No superfluous buttons or additions, only what true gamers need.”

There’s a whole host of features that will appeal to gamers, starting with a durable and rather stylish brushed aluminium frame, high-end mechanical switches, 10 programmable keys, full backlighting, multimedia keys, NKRO and more.

The box has a nice image of hte keyboard on the front, as well as details of the Cherry MX switches and the latest Cougar UIX software.

Around the back, a much more detailed feature breakdown, covering the various switches available, N-Key rollover, built-in memory and more.

The Attack X3 comes hard-wired with a hard-wired USB cable, which is nice and long, making it easily placed if you have a large desk.

Sharkoon Releases SHARK ZONE MK80 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Sharkoon is mostly known for the budget oriented hardware aimed at gamers, but it looks like they’re trying to take a new approach with the release of the SHARK ZONE MK80 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. The new keyboard brings quality around, but also a price tag that is quite a bit higher than what we’re used to from Sharkoon.

The SHARKZONE MK80 uses mechanical switches, but not the CHERRY MX switches that we usually find in high-end mechanical keyboards. Instead, Sharkoon used Kailh switches and the MK80 comes in three different versions: red, brown, and blue. The Kailh switches have an average operating life cycle of at least 60 million clicks, so on that part they should be as good as those we know from CHERRY. How the actual feel is, that’s something that needs to be tested.

The keys feature RGB background lighting as well as pre-programmed lighting effects with up to 16.8 million colours. The MK80 supports N-key rollover and comes with a 1000 Hz polling rate. The function keys work partly as media keys and programmable macro keys and the MK80 also features on-the-fly macro recording. You can store up to five profiles in the onboard memory. The keyboard also features a removable palm rest and a two-port USB hub and audio connections.

The Sharkoon SHARK ZONE MK80 Mechanical RGB keyboard should be available now for a suggested retail price of €139.90 euro. A premium price, especially from a company that usually makes budget devices. Would you opt for on of these or rather pick something else? Let us know in the comments.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


We’re back again with our latest Logitech review, and following on from the stunning Logitech G502 Proteus Core gaming mouse, we now have the G910 Orion Spark, the big brother of the also recently reviewed Logitech Atlas Spectrum G410 TKL Keyboard. The G410 was certainly unique, offering a lot of cool features that put it on a lot of people’s wish list. The G910 keeps pretty much every feature we loved about the G410, but it’s bigger and better, with even more cool features and, of course, a full-size keyboard design with a number pad.

With the G410 review behind us, I’m expecting equal performance from the G910 and hopefully even better performance courtesy of the added features. Equipped with the fantastic Romer-G mechanical switches, which are exclusive to Logitech, the Orion Spark is finely tuned for competitive gaming. Romer-G have a shorter actuation than most mechanical keys, meaning response times are lower and you can use less effort to deploy rapid commands.

“Exclusive new Romer-G mechanical switches with up 25 percent faster actuation for an edge in matches where every millisecond matters. Improved durability allows Romer-G switches to weather the wear and tear of intense gaming for years to come.”

The keyboard is also compatible with the cool ARX Control system, a mobile app that allows you to track stats of your gaming, system and more. Even better, the keyboard has a built-in phone dock to help keep that information at your fingertips.

Equipped with LED RGB 16.8 million colours lighting, you can tune every single key on a per-key basis, allowing for endless combinations that make it great to zone out your favourite gaming profiles, or just give it some cool visual flair.

Clocking in at just 1.5KG the G910 is fairly lightweight, especially given that it’s quite large, so best measure your available desk space if you’re rocking a smaller desk.

The packaging is really nicely designed, showing off the RGB lighting effects, as well as some details of the exclusive Romer-G switches.

Around the back, a little more detail on the same, so perhaps it’s best we just open the box and take a closer look ourselves.

Take the slip cover off the box, there’s a very durable inner box with a cool G logo cut into it; doesn’t make the keyboard any better, but I thought it looked cool.

COUGAR Launches Attack X3 Mechanical Keyboard

COUGAR announced the release of a new keyboard and it is a beauty. The new keyboard is called the COUGAR Attack X3 and it is a simple keyboard for gamers, built with quality materials and mechanical switches. The pure and minimalist design will attract the purist gamers who want the functions without the clutter. The COUGAR Attack X3 fulfills these requirements with a combination of Cherry MX switches, gaming features and an impressive aluminium based design.

The Attack X3 keyboard is compatible with COUGAR’s UIX software where you easily can define the function of any key on the keyboard and use up to 10 of them as macro keys. You can store up to three full profiles in the onboard memory and take them with you where ever you go – should you take your keyboard on the go.

A gaming keyboard has to be responsive in all situations, and that shouldn’t be a problem for the Attack X3 with its 1000Hz polling rate, that can be fine tuned, and the full N-Key rollover capabilities. There is no shroud around the key areas which exposes the aluminium baseplate for a great look in combination with the red backlighting. It is durable and classy at the same time.

The Attack X3 will be available very shortly and Overclockers UK already announced that they’ll be stocking it too. The US MSRP is set for $119.90 USD and you can now pre-order it for just £84.95 at Overclockers UK.

Specifications

  • Key switch: Cherry MX mechanical switch
  • N-key rollover: Yes (USB mode support)
  • Full key backlight: Yes
  • Game type: FPS / MMORPG / MOBA / RTS
  • Onboard memory Yes
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
  • Material Aluminum / Plastic
  • Software: COUGAR UIX SYSTEM
  • PROGRAMMABLE KEYS: 10
  • Interface: USB plug
  • Cable length: 1.8m Braided

eTeknix 2015 Christmas Buying Guide – Treat Yourself or Someone Else!

The time for holiday festivities is almost upon us and as the modern tradition of consumerism continues to grow, it becomes harder and harder to pick the right gifts for people every year, or perhaps it’s just me who struggles? Either way, we’ve sat around a Christmas fire, or just a general fire in November and December, getting into the gift buying state of mind and picked a range of our favourite products which we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix throughout 2015, as what better products to recommend than the ones we’ve had in our own hands and tested!

We’ve got a huge range of budgets covered here today, although I think it’s fair to assume that given we play around with graphics cards and a lot of enthusiast friendly products, there are some real wallet busters here too. Of course, you can use this guide to find some of the best products of the year to treat your family, friends and more, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t just spoil yourself too!


Rock Band 4 Band in a Box

Get ready to rock out this Christmas and no doubt many other days. Pick up the guitar, drum sticks, or just butcher your favourite song on the microphone. Rock Band 4 – Band in a Box is a fantastic gift and it’s a great thing to deploy at parties too, certainly beats the usual Karaoke chaos! It comes with the guitar, microphone, drums and the game for $249.99. To save costs, the standalone game with the guitar is just $129.99. In the UK, the Band in a Box is £219.99, while the guitar and game is just £109.99.

Check out the full review here.


Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Chassis

The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Mid-Tower chassis is by far my favourite chassis of 2015, it just oozes high quality inside and out, with capabilities for high-end water and air cooling and so much more. It is available from Overclockers UK for £139.99 and is available in both Gun Metal and black.

Check out the full review here.


Raijintek Styx Micro-ATX Aluminium Chassis

What a fantastic little chassis this is! Built from beautifully finished brushed aluminium and available in a wide range of colours, this would make a great gift for someone building a new gaming system this Christmas. The Raijintek Styx chassis is available from Overclockers UK for just £64.99.

Check out the full review here.


be quiet! Silent Base 800 Chassis

Another expensive chassis on our list, but one of the best we’ve seen this year. If you’re wanting to build someone, or yourself, a gaming PC that not only looks great but is as silent as you could ever hope for, the Silent Base 800 Window is the way to go. It is available from most popular retailers for 149,90EUR/119 GBP/149,90 USD ex. VAT.

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard

Featuring the innovative Cherry MX Silent Switches, the Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is simply amazing to use. It’s packed full of features and is by far the quietest mech we’ve ever tested. A little expensive, but I’m sure anyone would be happy to unwrap this at Christmas. The Strafe is available for £139.99 from Overclockers UK, while the MX Red and the MX Brown are priced at £129.95. If you want the non-RGB version, you can find the MX Red and the MX Brown at £99.95 each.

Check out the full review here.


Thermaltake Commander Gaming Gear Keyboard and Mouse Combo

The TteSports by Thermaltake Commander Keyboard and Mouse Combo is a great gift for Christmas, it’s affordable, has a nice range of features and you get a keyboard and a mouse in a single nice and tidy (and easy to wrap) box! With prices around £23.99 it’s hard to say no to such a great deal! Readers in the US can pick one of from Newegg for an equally impressive $29.99.

Check out the full review here.


CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Keyboard

RGB mechanical keyboards are everywhere this year, but the XTi from Cooler Master is my personal favourite so far. It’s no-fuss and bold design is great for home and office, gaming or work, with the added bonus that it’s incredibly durable and has some of the nicest lighting tones I’ve seen so far, even if it does only allow for a mixture of red and blue! You can pick up the XTi from Box for just £134, although there’s also a deal that includes a free mouse here!

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse

The Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse is packed full of features that will put a smile on any PC gamers face. With RGB lighting, excellent performance and a customisable keypad on the side, it’s one of the best mice we’ve ever tested. better yet, it’s only £69.95 from Overclockers UK.

Check out the full review here.


Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse

The Logitech G502 is a prime example of how great a gaming mouse can truly be. This is without a doubt the best mouse sensor we’ve ever tested and the rest of the mouse isn’t exactly lacking in features either. I’d be tempted to buy this one for myself this Christmas, but you could always treat someone else with it too. It’s available directly from the Logitech website (with free shipping) for just £69.99.

Check out the full review here.


G.Skill MX780

A relatively new entry on the peripherals market, the G.Skills MX780 is a fantastic gaming mouse, with a switchable left or right handed grip that makes it ideal for a wide range of gamers. With a retail price of just $59.99 it is exceptional value for a Christmas gift, and given its spec, it’ll go head to head with many of the best mice on the market.

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Void Headset

We were absolutely blown away by the Corsair Void series, some of the best sounding, most comfortable and best-looking headsets we’ve ever seen! They would make a great gift, but be careful, if you try them out before you give them away, you may want to keep them. The Corsair Void USB 7.1 RGB Headset is available from Overclockers UK for just £79.99. This is £10 cheaper than the Wireless headset which is £89.99, I prefer the wireless and think it’s not much more to pay for the extra tech, but you’re own preferences will obviously determine which model you prefer.

Check out the reviews for the USB 7.1, Wireless 7.1 and 2.0 headsets here.


Astro A40 TR + Mix Amp Pro

Eager to get the best of the best gaming headset for you or your loved one? Then make no exception, the Astro A40 TR Headset with Mix Amp Pro is the way to go. This is one that’s sure to leave a dent in your wallet, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Available from the Astro store for £200, plus around £48 for the optional Mod Kit, the Astro is expensive, but the sound quality, features and comfortable fit are priceless.

Check out the full review here.


Crucial BX200 SSD

SSD prices are dropping constantly and there really has never been a better time to invest. If it’s for your own system, you can give yourself a great upgrade without spending a fortune, but the smaller drive sizes make excellent gifts to those who could do with a performance upgrade on their system. The Crucial BX200 comes with an MSRP of £234.49 ($299.99) for the 960GB model and £66.49 ($84.99) and £116.99 ($149.99) for the smaller 240GB and 480GB models, plus the small boxes are super easy to wrap up as a gift.

Check out the full review here.


QNAP TS-251 2-Bay NAS

Give the gift of a connected home this Christmas, from streaming your movies around the house, to backing up those important files, there are a lot of benefits to owning a NAS. Not the cheapest of gifts, but it’s one of those products where if you buy cheap, you’ll likely regret it in the long run. The QNAP’s TS-251 Turbo NAS can be found at NewEgg for $384.99, at Scan UK for £295.32, or through Geizhals starting at €284.

Check out the full review here.


Sapphire Nitro R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card

AMD have created a mighty powerhouse with the R9 380X and the Sapphire Nitro is one of the finest examples. It’s fast, sleek and affordable, more than enough power for 1080P ultra gaming, or 1440p high gaming, making it a great addition to anyone who wants the latest PC games for Christmas. The Sapphire Nitro R9 380X is currently available from OverclockersUK for £199.99. NeweggUS currently has this card listed for $229.99.

Check out the full review here.


Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card

Spend a little more, get a lot more, the GTX 970 is a superb card, but one that may be getting a little expensive for those looking for a Christmas gift. With enough power to play anything on the market and even delve into high-end resolutions, it’s a strong contender for something to put under the Christmas tree, or even put on your own wish list. The Gainward Phoenix GTX 970 is currently available in the UK from SCAN for £273.56 and for an estimated $360 in the US.

Check out the full review here.


Nvidia GeForce GTX 980ti 6GB Graphics Card

It wouldn’t be Christmas if we couldn’t all hope and dream, but the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti is currently one of the best cards on the market and we would be crazy not to suggest the best of the best. Available in the UK for the £599.99 it’s certainly not cheap, although we’ve seen some great deals bringing it down below £500, so it’s best to shop around. Just imagine the look on your partners face when they unwrap this monster on Christmas day!

Check out the full review here.


DDR4

Getting a little more back to reality and reasonable prices, DDR4 memory is dropping in price quite nicely now. It was super expensive at launch, but now you’ll often find DDR4 kits at equal or lower prices to their DDR3 equivalents. That makes them a great upgrade for Christmas, but make sure you have a DDR4 motherboard to go with it!

Check out our latest memory reviews here.


Shield Android TV

Snapped up a 4K TV in the Black Friday deals? The Nvidia Shield Console is the most powerful Android device on the market, and it’s the perfect media player for Plex, 4K content on Netflix and more. Even better, it’s also a very powerful gaming system, with many AAA games available to play, as well as game streaming features that will leave you wondering why this device doesn’t cost more than £149.99! You can buy the Shield TV and accessories directly from Nvidia here.

Check out the full review here.


Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S

Think someone could do with a cooling upgrade for their system, or perhaps even parts towards a new system build this Christmas? Treat them to an AIO water cooler and they’ll be able to reduce the noise from their system and unlock its overclocking potential! The Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S is a little expensive, but it’s still a competitively priced AIO at just £81.98 and would make a great gift, especially if you’re just going to treat yourself.

Check out the full review here.


Alpenfohn Atlas

The Atlas is one of the coolest coolers we’ve seen this year, a tiny form factor with big performance and virtually silent acoustics. Building a system for someone or upgrading your own, this is one cooler you’ll want to consider and given that it’s available from Overclockers UK for a very reasonable £42.95, it’s another great addition to our buying guide.

Check out the full review here.


be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim

Need a premium cooler but don’t want to pay a premium price this Christmas? The be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim is more affordable, but still packs some impressive performance figures. It’s available from Scan.co.uk for just £30.52 + shipping here in the UK and from Amazon.com for $49.90 + $9.80 shipping in the US.

Check out the full review here.


Inateck Mercury Box Bluetooth Speaker

Love your music on the go, when you’re out at the park, or anywhere for that matter? The Mercury box offers up a huge sound from such a tiny box. Built from aluminium and featuring a waterproof design, it’s one of the best mobile speakers on the market, great for listening to music wherever you are! Available from Amazon.com for just $48.99 and readers in the UK can get it from Amazon.co.uk for £49.99.

Check out the full review here.


OnePlus 10,000mAh Mobile USB Power Bank

The perfect stocking filler, a 10,000 mAh mobile battery. This has enough juice to charge most mobiles several times, and it’ll even recharge high-end devices such as iPads with ease too. Perfect for travelling, and best of all, it’s super lightweight and affordable. The power bank is £13.99/$14.99/€15.99 and you can order it directly from OnePlus.

Check out the full review here.


Gaming Systems

Nothing says I love you like a kick-ass gaming PC. Of course, budgets vary wildly from hundreds to even thousands of pounds/dollars, but that’s the joy of buying a PC, or building your own, there’s so much to choose from! With so many awesome system integrators around these days, you can’t go far wrong. Chillblast, CyberPower, PC Specialist, Vibox, Freshtech or Overclockers UK.

Gaming in the living room? Why not invest in a CyberPower Syber Steambox! Prices start at £485 and go right up to £1905, giving you a great choice to suit your needs, and your budget.

A whole lot of gaming for not a lot of money from Chillblast, with their very competitive Fusion NightHawk, a great option for those looking for their first gaming PC at just £599.

Got a little more budget to play around with this Christmas? The super fast gaming systems from PC Specialist that feature ASUS Maximus VIII hardware also come with the gorgeous Gladius mouse! Systems in this category start at £890 for the i5 and GTX 960 model, all the way up to £1670 for the i7 and GTX 980 Ti.

Another mid-budget powerhouse, this time from Vibox with their Element X. At just £649, this MSI R9 380 and AMD FX-6300 powered computer is great for gaming and would make a great gift this Christmas.

Time to bring out the big gun’s and really treat yourself? Or perhaps you just want your friend or family member to open a present they’ll never forget? The FreshTech Solutions Stealth Gaming PC is an absolute beast, powered by some of today’s latest and greatest hardware. Of course, it’s not cheap at £1412, but this is not your run of the mill gaming PC.

Overclockers UK offer a range of gaming systems, and general day-to-day PC’s just like another other, but with the big advantage that they’re also a normal PC component retailer. If you want to build your own system, customise a build or pick a pre-built system, you’ll find lots to play around with here.

Check out our full range of system reviews here.

Logitech Atlas Spectrum G410 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Today is a special day here at eTeknix, as we’ve got the all-new Logitech Atlas Spectrum G410 mechanical keyboard. That in itself is pretty special, as this is a major product for Logitech, but it’s also great for us, as it’s been a long time since we’ve had a Logitech product on the site, and it’s certainly nice to have them back in the office again.

The G410 is certainly an interesting and unique product, which is not a common thing in a considerably over saturated peripherals market, where very similar products are commonplace. With a compact and lightweight design, this TKL (Ten Keys Less) keyboard is designed for gaming at home, eSports, LAN gaming and more, basically anything gaming related. Being lightweight means it’s easy to carry and that’s going to be great for gamers who like to travel with their systems to various events.

One thing really got my attention about this keyboard, it comes with switches I’ve never used, the Logitech exclusive Romer-G Mechanical Switches. Promising quiet performance, a shorter actuation and high-end reliability, they’re certainly interesting switches and as an added bonus, they’re also equipped with 16.8 million RGB LED per-key lighting.

“Where every millisecond matters, get the edge on the competition. Exclusive Romer-G™ switches gives Atlas Spectrum™ compact mechanical keyboard up to 25 percent faster key switch actuation. Atlas Spectrum weathers the wear and tear of intense gaming for years to come.” Reads the Logitech website.

There’s even a mobile phone dock, allowing you to easily use your smart phone for Arx Control, a Logitech app for game info, system statistics and more.

“Logitech Arx Control app for Android and iOS adds second screen capability that allows your mobile device to display in-game info, vital system statistics, and more. For ease of access, Atlas Spectrum’s removable Arx Control dock is stored conveniently in your keyboard and can be placed anywhere on your desk.”

Check out the product video below to find out more about the G410, then we’ll jump in and take a closer look at it ourselves!

As you can see, this keyboard is insanely light, clocking in at just 830g with the cable!

The packaging is nicely laid out, with a colourful image of the keyboard on the front, as well as details of the new Romer-G switches.

Around the back, a little more information on the tournament ready design, phone dock and per-key lighting.

SilverStone Releases RVP01 Oversized Mousepad

We have all experienced the trouble in hectic games when our mouse exits the surface areas edge and we lose proper control of our beloved input device, the mouse. Silverstone has now released a new surface pad that is large enough for both your keyboard and mouse and thereby gives you an entire gaming surface for your desktop rather than just a mouse pad.

The extra-large pad creates a seamless and consistent gaming area and it features a fine machine woven top surface for smooth movement and precision stitched edges with an excellent durability. The Raven RVP01 oversized pad features a non-slip coating made of eco rubber that makes sure it stays where you place it.

The new Raven RVP01 extra-large gaming pad for mouse and keyboard measures an impressive 85cm by 30cm and uses a combination of black and blue to create a great looking surface for your desktop.

 

We will find out just how great this extra-large gaming pad from SilverStone is when we have our own review of the Raven RVP01 gaming pad ready for you very shortly.

Which surface type is your preferred choice for battle and work? Soft woven fabric or hard surface pads? Do you prefer normal sized pads or would you want a large one like this? Let us know in the comments.