Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset Review

We have been using this headset for about two months daily before writing this review.

logitech g430 gaming headset
logitech g430 gaming headset

Cable/Wire:

The connectors are standard, gold-plated mini-jack audio connectors that are not just compatible with all computers but MP3 players as well. The main cable is thin and it splits into a cable that you connect to a sound source as well as a cable that lets you use the microphone. If you don’t want to use the standard audio connectors the headset comes with an adapter that converts the two plugs into a USB adapter. It’s recommended to install the software that comes with the headset should you wish to use the USB adapter with full functionality and support, as far as using it with a Windows PC. The cable is bright blue which is useful in the sense that it can prevent you from stepping on the cable since it is much more visible than a standard black cord. It also has a controller that lets you mute and unmute the microphone as well as adjust the volume of the headphones. The cable is long enough that they will be adequate for most situations.

Comfort:

The headset is light which helps the level of comfort in general and after extended usage. The ear pieces are soft to the touch and are easy on your ears. Since the earpieces are made out of cloth they won’t get hot (like most full ear headphones do) since they vent your heat successfully. This is great for marathon gaming (the kind that we usually do).

The earpieces can be rotated a full 90 degrees which make them easy to transport in most laptop carrying cases with no problems.

Construction:

This headset is mainly made out of plastic, rubber, and cloth. The thing most people will notice is the usage of the neon blue color on the earpieces and the headband.

We’ve dropped them (a couple of times) to see how sturdy they are on a tile floor and they only suffered minor damage that did not affect functionality.

Microphone:

We have tested the microphone with Skype, Ventrilo, TeamSpeak, and Raidcall and it worked great with virtually no configuration needed on our part. The sound quality is crisp.

The microphone can be muted either from the volume control in the cable or also by raising the microphone up from it’s working position.

Software:

The headset came with an installation pamphlet that directs you to download the latest software for the headset from the Logitech website. Once downloaded it installs an application that for the most part is dormant and becomes active when you connect the headset to your computer. You can use it to play around with the equalizer and other adjustments of that nature.

Sound Dampening:

When using this headset the material of the earpieces successfully blocks most outside noise. This is great for when working or gaming but it can result in people screaming to get your attention because the headset does a great job.

Sound Quality:

The level of fidelity is high in this headset. It does not distort badly even if set at maximum volume.

Loudness:

This headset gets loud which goes well with how successful they are sound dampened. They can be heard 5 feet away if you take them off and you have them reasonably high.

Surround Sound:

The 7.1 surround sound that is built into this headset works great with gaming and movie watching, for which they are intended. The surround sound features are designed by Dolby and they are effective in creating a realistic surround sound environment.

Value:

These headphones cost around $100 new, which seems like a reasonable price to me.

Conclusion:

I recommend these headphones over the similar Logitech G35 Headset that I reviewed earlier. They cost about the same and work better with less configuration on the user’s part. They are almost the same except that the G430 does not include the programmable sound buttons (that most people don’t use anyways), and they are superior because they have regular mini-jacks as well as the ability to connect via USB.

Creative Zen Style M300 MP3 Player Review

Creative Zen Style M300

I am writing this review after having owned the MP3 player and used it daily for the past 3 months.


Advantages:

– One of the first things one can notice about the Zen is its small size. Think of it like a fatter but shorter iPod.
– It is very light and you can hardly notice you are carrying it.
– No software installation required. You can add songs to it in their properly named folders almost as easy as if it were a digital camera.
– Amazing battery life! Up to 20 hours worth of life.
– Cheaper than some Apple products, with almost the same quality of construction. Amazing value!
– Built in radio function.
– You can expand it via MicroSD media up to 32 GB.
– Generic USB interface makes you be able to charge it almost anywhere.
– Bluetooth functionality that has very low latency.
– Although it is not official it has Mac support.
– Self-intuitive interface. I didn’t even need to read the manual the first time I used it. You can rewind and fast-forward a track by holding down the back or forward button.
– Supports the following file formats: MP3, WMA (DRM9), WAV, Audible Format 4, Audible AAX.
– Built in microphone that lets you record like an old tape recorder.
– Built in Equalizer function that has presets that cannot be modified.
– Can be used to view pictures as well.
– Since you can access it via Windows Explorer or your favorite file manager you can use it as a portable hard drive.

ZEN_Style_Feature

Disadvantages:
– Touchscreen can be too sensitive. It can be too small if you have hands the size of a troll!
– Cheap headphones included that aren’t that loud when outdoors. They are fine for indoor use.
– USB cable that it comes with is short.
– Screen is too small for its video playback capabilities.
– FM radio doesn’t work over Bluetooth.
– No FLAC, OGG, or M4A support.
– Limited video playback only supports SMV video files.

Mini Stick: The Joystick for Gamers Review

Mini Stick - Image

If you are an avid PC gamer you might already be comfortable using the W-A-S-D or the arrow keys for control and moment in games, but for newer PC gamers and retro gaming enthusiasts this little invention could be right up your alley. The Mini Stick is a small joystick that you can attach to your arrow control keys using Velcro pads and because of its design you have the same range of movement you would have with a normal sized joystick like the classic Atari controller.

Mini Stick - Image

Now I personally used to use a funky control setup for playing PC games just due to not liking to use the W-A-S-D keys or the arrow keys. Over time I got used to the traditional set keys so switching to using the Mini Stick took time to get used too. Also, for typing and depending on how you move your hands around your keyboard you might find yourself bumping into it. However, this is easily solved by removing the joystick since it is connected using Velcro pads. By the way I did see if having the little Velcro pads left behind on the keyboard was bothersome and it was not.

Mini Stick - Image

Setting up is simple. You have the Velcro pads already attached to the Mini Stick and then three Velcro stickers to attach to your Up, Left and Right keys. Just make sure you secure the stickers well and press down when attaching the Mini Stick. With it installed I played some emulators first and the Mini Stick worked great in games like Mappy, Pac-Man, Alien Syndrome and 1942. I then tried out Guild Wars 2 and while using the mouse or a gamepad still proved overall better, the Mini Stick performed well and I found myself using it more and more.

Mini Stick - Image

Now keep in mind that you cannot be rough on the Mini Stick like you would an arcade joystick that is not the idea here. I did try the joystick between the ring and middle fingers move and it worked for a bit, but if you pull to hard it can come unattached. Where it worked wonders was with my sister who is not a big PC gamer, but is good at console games. She loved the Mini Stick and said it made playing PC games easier and more fun.

Mini Stick - Image

Overall for keyboard and arrow key games the Mini Stick gets an A+ and makes our Totally Not Obsolete category. At only 10 dollars, the Mini Stick is a great bargain and would make a great stocking stuffer with the holidays coming up. You can check out more on the Mini Stick on the official website.

Mini Stick - Image

Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset Review

 

I’ve had this headset for about 5 months. Keep in mind how long a product was used when reading a review!

Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset

Cable/Wire:

The headset connects through USB connector that is attached to a thick, very sturdy cable. This is great design improvement over other headsets that have a cable that’s thin and easy to get cut or broken. The cable is also long enough that you probably won’t need to get an extension for them. Even if you need an extension, USB cables are cheap to extend these days so that is not really an issue.

Comfort:

These headphones are extremely comfortable to use. The ear piece parts are well designed enough that it won’t make your ears sweat much and they will hug your ears providing great comfort as you use them. I haven’t gotten my ears to hurt by using these headphones for an extended period of time. I’ve used them 14 hours non stop and I haven’t felt uncomfortable during that period of usage.

Construction:

This headset is pretty sturdy. It seems to be made of aluminum, rubber, and the ear parts of imitation leather. I’ve dropped them from 8 feet and they only barely got scratched.

The headset has buttons on the left side of the ear muff that you can use to trigger functions such as launching your favorite media player, controlling it, reconfiguring them, etc.

Microphone:

The microphone works whenever you have the mouthpiece down; the rest of the time you can turn it off by lifting it up. The light on the piece helps you know when it is on or off. I’ve gotten good response from my guild/clan mates regarding the default sound quality of the microphone (tested using Skype and Teamspeak, using auto calibration).

Software:

It’s completely optional to install the software that comes with them but the software is useful for when tweaking the settings of the headset. The software/drivers sometimes go a little crazy if you decide to plug them in or unplug them during system critical points like in the middle of booting windows. From my experience this is a program that most USB audio peripherals seem to have versus traditional audio plugs. Sometimes I have to manually set my output to either be the headset or my speaker set depending on what I did.

Some games require you to quit them in order to use the headset correctly if you plugged them in while you were using speakers before. Usually the newer a game or program is, the less likely it is to have this problem. For example, Guild Wars 2 works like a charm but World of Tanks requires restarting the game for the headset to work.

Sound Dampening:

These headphones are extremely efficient when it comes to blocking out external sound. Usually when I am using them while talking to my guild on Teamspeak and my girlfriend is talking to me, I have to put one ear offset to be able to hear what she is telling me. I love this feature because I live at a house where there are plenty of loud noises most of the time (dog barking, people watching TV at airport noise level volumes, etc.).

Sound Quality:

For me, the best way to test sound quality is to play all different ranges of music on whatever audio equipment I’m testing. The sound quality is really good all throughout except for the bass when at maximum volume. Although the bass is decent enough when gaming, when playing bass heavy music you see a limitation in the bass feel of these headphones.

Loudness:

The G35’s max volume is loud enough to appease most users. I’ve had more powerful headphones in that past that were so loud that people two rooms away could hear them. Due to the better design, only the wearer can really hear the sound when they are worn.

They are loud enough that some games might shock you. I don’t classify them as being loud enough to make one go deaf but then again this is subjective.

Surround Sound:

The surround sound in these headphones is even better than the 5.1 Surround Sound speakers I use and they are also from Logitech. I was very impressed by them, especially when gaming and they make you have a significant advantage while playing a game with a good audio engine. The first time I used these headphones I was playing World of Tanks at 4 AM, at max volume, and it was amazing to hear cannon shells flying by and exploding all around me. It felt like actually being in a real battle.

The surround sound capabilities are specifically useful for hearing things behind you in games and in movies that take advantage of proper sound channel placement.

Value:

Right now the Logitech G35 Headset can be bought for about 90-100 US Dollars. I think that’s a fair price considering what you are getting.

Conclusion:

The Logitech G35 Headset is great to get if you are a gamer, live in a loud place, or need to use Skype/Teamspeak/Ventrilo privately with a good microphone.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD Review

When SSD’s first arrived on the market the price point alone made many people turn away from them, but as the prices began to come down, more and more people began to see the benefit to adding a SSD to their existing system. For more novice consumers and those who still find the price a little too high there are remaining questions about when and why to get an SSD. In this review we will cover the benefits of the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD as well as the overall advantages to using a SSD.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Why an SSD?

So let’s start with the basics. An SSD is faster than your normal Hard Drive, much faster. The direct speed difference will vary on the model you get. Using the HyperX 3K we compared it to my previous hard drive, a 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s. The read and write speeds were many times faster with the SSD which translates into quicker load times and faster access of data. This means if you use it as your system drive Windows will boot and respond faster and applications will do the same.

For many gamers, an SSD is added to their existing system to be used as their game drive. What this does is improve the loading and access time of a game and this also comes into play online. Now an SSD cannot help you if your ISP is slow or you have bandwidth issues, but if you have applications running in the background along with your game, say Ventrilo, an SSD can manage the data better meaning a smooth gaming experience with no choppiness, which is a key in FPS, RTS and MMO gaming.

Beyond the benefits for applications and games an SSD can make an older computers seem newer by expanding its usability. Many times, especially for users who are not heavy into games, find themselves with a slow PC, not because of CPU or memory, but their hard drive. The speed and performance of an SSD can inject new life into your existing system even freeing the need to upgrade other parts. Finally, an SSD contains no moving parts so if you move your system a lot it can take the wear and tear that a traditional hard drive cannot.

The Breakdown

We tested the 240GB version of the Kingston HyperX for this review. For people looking to add more programs and games in addition to their operating system, this size is a perfect fit. This model is also lower in price costing a litter over two hundred dollars. For your O/S 100GBs of space is a good number to go with. I personally have used as low as 50GBs with a few applications added, but was always low on drive space. With this 240GB drive, you will have more than enough room for your operating system, your applications and games. If you collect media like movies and music you could add them as well, but its best to run those from a traditional drive as it does not really impact performance.

First thing you will notice is the size. The drive is 2.5 inches with a 9.5mm height, so it is much smaller than your traditional hard drive. The drive comes with a sturdy shinny metallic 3.5 inch bracket and mounting screws, so it can fit into any desktop case. The drive also comes with a handy screw drive that holds various bits as well as the screws keeping everything together and making installation very easy. Of course, if you are not comfortable doing your own installation you can ask a friend, but it is very simple to do and there are many videos showing how to install an SSD.

 

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

The HyperX 3K also comes with an USB external drive bay, which looks pretty cool design wise. This allows you to use your SSD as an external drive that you plug into your USB. This also allows you to take the drive on the road which is great for professionals or gamers that travel and since it supports USB 2.0 you will still get the speed and performance you expect.

The drive runs quite since it does not have any moving parts. This is ideal for those who want a silent running PC in their home or office. Another great thing about this drive is that it also draws less power and is cooler than a traditional hard drive meaning it will not add extra heat to your system or the environment it is in and overall is more energy efficient.

Here is a breakdown of the features for the SSD:

  • Features
    • SandForce controller technology
    • High-speed SATA Rev 3.0 (6Gb/s) transfer speeds
    • Advanced Wear-Leveling Technology
    • User-Configurable Over Provisioning4
    • Performance — incredible speeds for enhanced productivity
    • Reliable — much less likely to fail than a standard hard drive
    • Shock-Proof — dropping your notebook no longer means losing your data
    • Cool & Quiet — runs silent and with no moving mechanical parts to generate heat
    • Innovative — uses NAND Flash memory components
    • Supports TRIM — enhances device wear leveling by eliminating merge operation for all deleted data blocks
    • Supports S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology)
    • Guaranteed — three-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Defining Technology

So when looking at the top SSD’s you will want to understand the technology that comes with it. Let’s take a look at some of the terms and breakdown their meaning for those not familiar with them.

Sandforce Technology: Sandforce is the processor for Flash Storage devices. Also known as the controller, it is key component of the drive. Sandforce is known for making top rate SSD processors, which contains additional features that improve the performance and power optimization for a drive and the longevity of the SSD.

TRIM: TRIM in a nutshell is Windows 7 memory optimization for SSD’s and was best explained to me like this. When you write something to your drive think about writing on a piece of paper. When you want to get rid of the paper you would toss it away. With a computer you are not tossing the paper, but erasing whatever you wrote on the paper to use again. With an SSD, you may delete or erase a page, which can be a word doc or an entire program, but the SSD needs a stack of papers, or what is referred of as a block before it deletes them. However, when it’s time to delete the block, since there is more than one page to do, it can take time and that time taken can slow down the SSD. TRIM anticipates that you will need to delete that block sooner or later so it does it ahead of time so you do not run into that large block being erased that slows down your system and in turn your SSD runs at optimum speeds at all times.

S.M.A.R.T: This stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. This is the early warning system that something is going to happen to your disk drive. SMART monitors your drive and its main function is to detect and report and various indicators of reliability giving you a heads up of potential issues. When SMART finds something wrong you have the option to prepare for an outage by backing up your data and getting a replacement drive. In addition to having a warning to back up your data disk drive manufactures may be able to use the SMART data to find out where issues occurred in their drive and even help them make changes to prevent other issues from occurring. Think of it as the little black box for your SSD.

ATTO Disk Benchmark on my old drive
ATTO Disk Benchmark on my old drive
AS SSD Benchmark on my old drive
AS SSD Benchmark on my old drive
Crystal Disk Mark on my old drive
Crystal Disk Mark on my old drive

Testing

One thing to keep in mind when testing is how the drive is being used. You will often see faster speeds if you run tests on a free drive being used for gaming than one that you already installed Windows on and then ran the tests. The HyperX features 555MB/sec read and 510MB/sec write speeds, but again these can vary depending on the software and testing conditions. However, the overall speed difference over a traditional hard drive is unmistakable as you can see in the benchmarking screenshots below.

AS SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
AS SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
ATTO SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
ATTO SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
Crystal Mark SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
Crystal Mark SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

As you can see compared to my previous hard drive the HyperX is much much faster in both read and write speeds. As far as daily use, the different is night and day. When logging into Windows after a reboot the load time is cut down to a few seconds. With my old drive, it would be up to a minute before all my programs would open and be ready for use.

This is another point for SSD’s specifically the Kingston HyperX. If you run a lot of programs and/or have a number of programs that start automatically like instant messenger programs and anti-virus software, a faster drive dramatically drops down the loading time of those applications. Even using programs such as Microsoft Office I can see the different when it auto saves or I save the program myself. Finally, for those who work with audio or video programs an SSD is a must for quicker access of your work and loading times.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Final Thoughts

Kingston offers a 3-year warranty with this SSD as well as customer support via their website. In addition, a toolbox software download is available. The Kingston Toolbox enables you to read your drive information such as Serial Numbers, Firmware versions, and S.M.A.R.T. attributes.

Overall the Kingston HyperX SSD is one of the fastest drives on the market at with a price in the low 200’s, it is perfect for the advanced or novice user of any budget. The speed and reliability you get with this drive will make any system better, and for those who demand the best performance it is a must have.

The Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard Review

The Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard

There are always a number of requirements for gamers looking for the perfect keyboard. One of the most important things is the key placement and additional keys or functions that allow the user to more easily play their favorite games. The Anansi MMO keyboard from Razer gives gamers a number of options to make gaming easier and thus allowing you to pwn.

One of the first things you will notice are the seven thumb modifier keys you can press just below the spacebar. These keys allow you to press the standard one thru seven keys you see in most MMO’s for your various spells or abilities. These keys can also be used for combination keys such as “Alt-Control” or “Shift+Alt” allowing you to put off your abilities and spells faster and with less movement so you can play more.

The Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard

Second, you will notice the five macro keys on the left hand since of the board. These keys can be configured to allow you to combined key strokes to pull of multiple combinations of spells or abilities in games, of course within the games design.

Razer’s configuration software allows for a ton of configuration options. You can literally change every key function on the board so in essence you can make any key a hot or macro key.  You can also configure the backlighting, which shines though each key and if you wish, set the backlighting to randomly change color (16 million of them) which is pretty awesome when playing in a dark area.

The Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard

The keyboard itself has a good length and low profile, which works well for small and large hands alike. Al l the basic functions keys are there including the numeric keys and while not mechanical, pressing the keys feels comfortable and gives a good feedback response be it in games or typing. The keyboard sits stable when using the legs or lying flat and is sturdy so you heavy key pressers will not have to worry about damaging your keyboard.

I did find myself hitting the caps lock keys when going to type the “A” key, but I found that was more my own issue than the keyboard. You can also lock the Windows key, which is great for those who have ever been in the middle of an FPS game and found themselves kicked to Windows by a missed key stroke.

The Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard

Now it does take two USB ports to run the Anansi so make sure you have the room and there are no port connections on the keyboard itself so you are unable to connect another USB device or headphones. Overall, the keyboard itself is a prefect mix of style, functionality and durability that will make any gamer happy. You can pick up the Razer Anansi for about $99.99.

Tech Specs:

  • 7 thumb modifier keys
  • Over 100 programmable Hyperesponse keys
  • One-button profile switching
  • Five additional gaming keys
  • Optimized key matrix
  • Gaming mode option
  • Easy access media keys
  • Approximate Size : 515 mm / 20.28” (Width) x 190 mm / 7.48” (Height) x 20 mm / 0.79” (Depth)
  • Approximate Weight: 1020 g / 2.24 lbs

Hardware Requirements

PC with USB port
Windows® 7 / Windows Vista® / Windows® XP / Mac OS X (v10.5 to 10.6)
Internet connection (for driver installation)
At least 35MB of hard disk space

Creative: Live! Cam Connect HD Review

Creative-Live-Cam-Connect-HD

Most gamers are on the leading edge of technology and communication. We keep in contact with our friends and gaming buddies via instant message, voice communication and video chat. The Live CAM connect HD from Creative allows uses to take full advantage of those forms of communication and more with a sleek design and reasonable price.

Design

Creative-Live-Cam-Connect-HD

The glossy black design and sharp styling’s of the Connect HD complements any computer setup. The unit itself measures 0.8 by 2.6 inches and is made of hard durable plastic. The unit comes with a clip-on mount that allows you to connect the cam to the top of a monitor or to a laptop lid. The mount itself allows the cam to be adjusted and pivoted in multiple positions so you can find the perfect camera angle for whatever you are doing and even place it on flat surfaces like your desk.

Software

Creative-Live-Cam-Connect-HD

The great thing about the Connect HD is right out of the box you can use it. Just plug it into your PC or Mac via USB and on Windows 7 operating systems, it will automatically install itself, so right away you can begin using the device for video chat or Google hangouts. Plus, the Connect HD is Skype HD certified at 720p and works with other video communications such as Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. For PC users you can take advantage of the Live! Central 3 software bundle and tools such as video editing and a movie maker.

The bundled software is easy to use even if you are a novice. You have tabs to the right that allow you to play around with effects such as avatars and various visual effects. The settings tab allows you to adjust the picture including brightness, face tracking, zoom and other features to improve or tweak overall video quality. You can also adjust the built in microphone. Additional you can take snap photos from Live Central and record video. Best of all you can directly upload your videos to YouTube with a touch of a button.

Video

Creative-Live-Cam-Connect-HD

The Connect HD records in HD and has a built in H.264 hardware video processor. H.264 is used for video compression of high definition video meaning you get the quality without taking up to much space and using too much CPU resources, which is important when steaming video or using video chat as it keeps you from experiencing lag or the stutter/choppy motion you sometimes see with lesser web cams.

The Connect HD Liquid-Crystal lens auto focuses and records video at up to 30 frames per second and looks incredibly crisp and clear in 720p HD. Now for other video chat programs HD may not be supported but the video quality was still very clear and the colors vibrant.

Audio

The Connect HD comes with a built in microphone that does a great job at picking up the sounds you want and leaving out the ones you do not want. With its noise-canceling microphone, your voice comes in clear in Skype or even voice only programs like Ventrilo. In addition, background noises and sounds are not picked up as long as you have noise-canceling active, which is great for conversations or web meetings.

Conclusion

Overall, the Live Cam Connect HD from Creative offers clear HD recordings and video for Skype and other video chat programs for a reasonable price. The audio is clear, and background noise is eliminated. The software is user friendly and the device can be easily setup almost anywhere. Definitely a good choice for the price-point and features. You can find the Connect HD for about $60 on Amazon.

Origin PC: The EON 11-S

When mini’s came out people kept asking for a powerful laptop that could be used for gaming in a smaller size and since then we have seen a few on the market. For the most part people want the latest processor, powerful graphics and good battery life and the EON 11-S looks to have those in spades.

Origin-EON-11-S Black

The EON 11-S is an 11-inch notebook that sports third generation Ivy bridge processors from Intel, that alone screams power for the pc gamer. In addition, the EON 11-S features the NVIDA GeForce 650M video card with Optimus 1.2 technology. The Optimus technology is important because it extends your battery life meaning, you get the graphics you need for games, but without the need to remain plugged into an outlet 24/7.

The breakdown of the system includes an Intel Core 2.5GHz i5-2520M with 3MB cache or 2.1GHz i7-3612QM with 6MB cache. Next, up you have the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM. The EON 11-S uses the Intel HM76 Express chipset, features an 11.6-inch HD display screen with 1366 x 768 pixels resolution and comes with Windows 7 64-bit.

Origin-EON-11-S Red

You can configure the system with up to 16GB DDR3 RAM, up to 1TB 5400rpm hard drive or up to 512GB solid state drive or up to 500GB 7200rpm hybrid drive. Finally, the EON 11-S has Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi and a 1.3-mega pixels web cam.

Talking design, the EON 11-S comes in three colors Matte Black, Mate Red and Glossy Silver you can choose from their new laptop case design or the original design. For those looking for a more personal touch Origin PC offers top cover painting for an additional fee.

Now the question is what kind of size, battery life and price are we talking about. Well first off, gamers rejoice because the EON 11-S offers up to 7 hours of battery life with its 6-cell battery, which is perfect for those long gaming sessions far from an outlet. Size and weight will not be an issue either with it weighing in at only 3.9 pounds. Here are the dimensions, 11.2 x 8.1 x 0.5-1.4.

Origin-EON-11-S Silver

So what is the most important question, what is the price. The base unit costs only $999.00 and that is not a stripped down unit. The only thing that makes me a bit sad about this laptop is the lack of a backlit keyboard, but everything else looks pretty sweet. Overall, the EON 11-S is a great notebook for gamers or anyone who wants a powerful laptop that’s portable with great battery life.

You can check out the EON 11-S here.

The Logitech G510 Review

Logitech-G510

The G510 is the heir of the G110 and has undergone quite a handful of upgrades, the most viewable is the LCD display on top of the keyboard similar to G15. The G510 comes prepackaged in Logitech’s standard green and black colored theme box in a stylish yet elegant boxing to reduce the chances of receiving a damaged product due to improper shipping or miss handling. Logitech’s sales team did marvelous job detailing the products highlights on the outside of the box so even if you never heard and or read about the product you can get quick condensed facts about the keyboards features all located on the back of the box. The box includes paper documentation, a CD including software and driver support; which I personally like, there is nothing worse than receiving and item that you cannot use because the manufacturer failed to include drivers or software. A palm rest was also included as part the keyboard accessories.

Logitech-G510-Gaming-Keyboard

At first glance the G15 seems like a hefty keyboard but holding it in your hands shows it’s light weight yet still inhibit a sturdy feel. Along back top section of the keyboard are two legs used to tilt the keyboard. The bottom back section of the keyboard has to two large rubber sections, which perform a great job at keeping the keyboard in place. The key placement follows a traditional pattern so besides the new macro buttons on the far left side and the new function buttons on the top row it’s an extremely clean design. The USB 2.0 connector is attached on the center of the keyboard right behind the back of the newly added GamePanel  LCD and on the far left upper corner is an on board USB audio which supports 3.5mm sockets.

Logitech-G510-Gaming-Keyboard

Installation is a breeze; I’ve always loved this about all Logitech products. The Logitech Gaming Software gives you fast and easy access to all related controls on the keyboard mainly GamePanel LCD, Profile settings adjustments and backlit color control. The customizable “G” command keys on the left can be edited via this interface but it’s not required since you can set them on demand. Profiles can be saved on the keyboard itself so you can take you pre-configured profiles on the go from machine to machine! It’s extremely easy to setup, sync and manage profiles using the gaming software so easy that and end user wouldn’t really need to read a manual in order to use.

Logitech-G510-Gaming-Keyboard

I enjoy bad news first so let’s get the cons out of way, after a few weeks of usage I’ve ran into a few things which I don’t particularly enjoy. I’m a full keyboard typist and I’ve noticed that the G command keys on the far left take up quite a bit real estate making the main keyboard a bit uncomfortable. I’ve found myself hitting the ‘G3’ or ‘G6’ command key when stretching my pinking while trying to use the ‘Esc’ key. This may be something that I would probably get accustomed to over time but its rather gloomy that the change over from a traditional and or ergonomic keyboard doesn’t carry over to well in this regard. I would get rid of 2 macro rows and work on the keyboard layout design to make it more comfortable to use for full keyboard typist. Second issue I have is the overall feel of the USB cable. The cable itself is too rigid in my opinion, I feel that the material should be more flexible and or perhaps the usage of a different material would be in order to give the keyboard ease of use while moving it around the desk.

Logitech-G510-Gaming-Keyboard

Now with the bad news out of the way let us cover the pros! The macro keys are great addition for RTS games although it has usage for MMORPG I feel it has a stronger attunement towards RTS. Reaction time is fast when using the macro keys even on long command playback. The illumination provided by the G510 is remarkable! You get a soft color tone under directly lighting conditions but a subtle glow under poor lighting conditions. The choice of picking the spectrum of your choice is great compared to picking from a handful of colors like its previous predecessors. The rocker control for the volume is smooth and a well placed mute button is right next to it, right above these two mainly abused controls are the multimedia key handling play, pause, stop, forward and back. The GamePanel LCD is a great addition I see myself viewing the panel while gaming and even debugging code as I sit there to keep an eye on CPU and Memory allocation. The onboard sound card is a nice feature if you forget your G35 at home and you have your cell phones 3.5mm headset with you with microphone and audio mute right above the USB audio controller.

In conclusion, the overall build is excellent and you’ll feel like you’ve purchased a high grade quality product. They keyboard’s key layout will take time to get used to from your left hand perspective. You’ll see yourself hitting the right G-keys even while you’re focused on a game but you’ll find yourself stretching your pinky as you try to hit that first macro row on the far left. It’s a great purchase when you analyze the grand design, performance and build quality it’s certainly worth its value.

Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD 120 GB Review

Patriot Memory WildFire 120GB SSDPatriot Memory Wildfire SSD 120 GB Review by Honorabili

In recent years we have seen SSDs drop a lot in price and are becoming more standard each passing day. Most people will get one just to run their operating system on as well as allocating all their virtual memory on it, since the performance benefits of an SSD over a typical hard drive are significant. We decided to test how significant this difference is by testing a popularly selling SSD versus a pretty strong hard drive. I tested the Patriot Memory Wildfire 120 GB SSD and compared it to my main system’s Seagate ST330006 51AS 3 TB hard drive.

For the testing suite I decided to use AS SSD Benchmark, ATTO Disk Benchmark, and Crystal Disk Mark. Each of them have their own benefits, but the data will show us the real advantages of having an SSD over a hard drive.

Under the AS SSD Benchmark, the Wildfire yielded the following numbers:

AS SSD Benchmark Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD

Under the AS SSD Benchmark, my hard drive yielded the following numbers:

AS SSD Benchmark ST330006 51AS

Let’s get down and dirty with the number analysis of the AS SSD Benchmark: (click picture for full resolution image)

AS SSD Wildfire final benchmark results

Based on this data, the Wildfire was insanely faster than the hard drive in every performance aspect, not just in raw speed but in responsiveness as well. In a the pure MB/s tests, both including reading and writing, it was about 90.97 as fast as the hard drive. That is a huge difference and in the real world I felt this when I compared how fast the SSD would load games and copy data over in comparison to my hard drive. Under this benchmark, the Wildfire responds 203.29 times faster than the hard drive on the average for any kind of activity. The benchmark gave us a score where the Wildfire is 19.28 times as fast as our lovely hard drive.

Under the ATTO Benchmark, the Wildfire yielded the following numbers:

ATTO Disk Benchmark Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD

Under the ATTO Benchmark, my hard drive yielded the following numbers:

ATTO Disk Benchmark ST330006 51AS

Let’s analyze the numbers of the ATTO Disk Benchmark results: (click picture for full resolution image)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Wildfire final benchmark

If we look in detail at the data from the ATTO Disk Benchmark we see that for super small file transactions, the hard drive is actually faster but as data density increases it cannot keep up with the raw speed and superior hardware architecture of the Wildfire SSD. At one point the Wildfire is only 0.578 as fast as the hard drive but when we get to huge file operations the Wildfire is 3.148 as fast as the hard drive. On the average, ATTO shows us that the Wildfire is 2.088 as fast as the hard drive. This benchmark I think is both more and less useful than the other ones. It’s good for analyzing speed with data density but since in the real world you’re not going to do stuff based on data density it’s not that useful. It’s useful for a geek like me!

Under the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, the Wildfire yielded the following numbers:

CrystalDiskMark Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD

Under the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, my hard drive yielded the following numbers: (click picture for full resolution image)

CrystalDiskMark ST330006 51AS

Numerical analysis of CrystalDiskMark data:

CrystalDiskMark Wildfire final benchmark

CrystalDiskMark just cares about raw MB/s performance tests. In this benchmark we see the Wildfire on the average is 70.59 as fast as our Seagate hard drive. Again, the speed difference is HUGE.

If I had to compare the difference between the Wildfire to my hard drive in car engine terms the Wildfire would be like a supercharged V12 and the hard drive would be an inline 6 engine. Sure the inline 6 gets the job done but it’s not a monstrous supercar engine like the Wildfire is.

An SSD feels as difference from a hard drive as a hard drive feels as fast as an old floppy disk. It’s like the load speed for a console that uses a cartridge versus one that uses slow CD technology. This technology is the present and future, now if only their price could drop further, we will all start using them as our primary drives, rather than just the performance enthusiasts using it for the majority.

As far as the Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD, I really like the packaging, the mount for the drive looks really cool, and the fact that it is MADE IN USA! I hadn’t seen that on a computer part for years and it really brought a smile to my face. Right now the cheapest Wildfire, which is the 120 GB one we tested, is sold at newegg for $224.99 (with rebate, if not 264.99) and that’s a good chunk of change but it’s not incredibly expensive. Most enthusiasts will spend easily $1,000 on a custom computer and that’s about a 22% difference which might make or break this option for some people. It depends on how much you need the crazy performance but as a system drive you will see a huge difference in your computer, that’s for sure. Load times will be a thing of the past.

I’ve had the Wildfire since about late August 2011 and I’ve used it a lot. I haven’t had any problems with it as far as reliability goes. I usually spend a good hour or two a day recording and editing a lot of audio and it’s been a dream to use this card to almost autosave my projects. The card also has been amazing for last minute backups of some of my client’s data that never back their stuff. I used it to open up their desktops and just copy stuff immediately off their dying machines. Really useful in the real IT world!

Conclusion:

If you’re a hardware enthusiast, you should be using this or another SSD already. If you’re in IT, I recommend having at least one for crazy last minute backups. Since I got the card the price has dropped to 224 dollars from the 300 it was when I first got it. It might go down in the future but it’s already becoming really affordable. The only advantage that hard drives have over SSDs are huge capacities and lower prices. For the performance, it’s totally worth having an SSD over just having a hard drive. I remember reading about SSDs in the mid 90s and I’m glad that they’re finally here in force. Welcome to the 21st century!

Razer DeathAdder – Transformers 3 Collector’s Edition Review

razer-deathadder

Razer has released their Transformers Collector’s edition of the DeathAdder mouse and I had a chance this weekend to try out the purple Decepticon model. The mouse has a shiny metallic purple color to it and both the scroll wheel and Decepticon logo lights up. The design looks great but in the dark with the neon-like colors, it looks awesome.

Let’s talk highlights, first off the DeathAdder features at Ergonomic Right-Handed Design. What this means is the DeathAdder is made for right-handed users and is designed for maximum comfort. When you grip the mouse, your hand rests comfortably on the base so when you are gaming for long periods of time you don’t get pains or feel fatigue that can happen with other mice designs.

Larger or small hands the DeathAdder feels as if its molds to you which is important in games with fast movements like Battlefield. The scroll wheel is a bit larger then on some other mice, but not to big that it feels cumbersome and it has 24 individual clicking positions. The rubble and groves on the wheel work perfectly with your finger when scrolling or pressing down on it.

razer-deathadder-

The two side buttons are easy to reach with your thumb and feel sturdy when you press down hard on them. I like that these side buttons are a decent size and of course, they are programmable so you can customize it to your favorite games. The two top mouse buttons are also large and wide enough for various finger positioning.

As for performance, I tried out the DeathAdder in various games from Call of Duty to World of Warcraft, Portal 2 and World of Tanks. One main selling point of the DeathAdder is the 3500DPI 3.5G Infrared sensor, this deals with precision when moving the mouse and with sensitivity in games and within windows.

In games like World of Tanks depending on what tank you are playing you may want more or less sensitivity. I noticed right away the sensitivity of the DeathAdder was much higher by default from my other mice so you may need to adjust your in game setting if you are not used to it.

razer-deathadder-

However, even with increased sensitivity I quickly adjusted because of how the mouse flows and reacts to my movements even when I get a little twitchy. So when you are trying to shoot a tank from far away or locking in a headshot the DeathAdder shows no sign of negative acceleration meaning you can move with speed and ease and quickly get the shot off.

This is also due to the 1000HZ ultrapolling, which deals with response time. For you old school FPS people, remember spinning your mouse for a railgun shot in Quake 2? The response time of your mouse can be the difference between a kill and a wild shot so with a response time of 1ms on the DeathAdder, you do have faster feedback, which can give you an advantage in competitive FPS games.

Now you can control and tweak all the DeathAdders setting in the control panel provided by Razer. Here you can control acceleration, horizontal and vertical sensitivity. You can also change button assignments and control the glow effects of the mouse. Best of all the on-the-fly sensitivity control means you can alter the sensitivity within a game without having to exit the program and adjust your settings in Windows.

razer-deathadder-

The DeathAdder mouse glides across multiple surfaces, which is good for those who hate using mouse pads. I used the mouse on various surfaces including my wooden desk and even though I still prefer my ultra-thin mouse pad, the DeathAdder worked well on each surface.

A few things to note that also gives the DeathAdder a nice touch is the gold plated USB connection and the 7-foot braided fiber cable. Nothing sucks more than not having enough cable if you keep your PC further away than normal and the strong cable design is great if you are a little rougher on mice than normal gamers.

Overall, we give the DeathAdder the Obsolete Gamer stamp of approval for overall comfort, performance and design. If there is one negative point it would be the price tag. At $60 the price is a bit high for a mouse, but for advanced gamers and gaming professions it is worth the cost.

You can purchase the DeathAdder Transformers 3 Collector’s edition at Razer,

Dual Controller Charging Kit for XBOX 360 Review

memorex XBox_Dual Controller Charging Kit

If you are an Xbox 360 gamer, you know all about the issues of using the wireless controller. If you go the battery route you can find yourself not only wasting time switching out the batteries, but also spending a lot of money replacing them. On the other hand, if you go the recharge route, while a better option, sometimes even those batteries do not last as long as they should and you still have to charge them using the 360 cable connected to the unit.

I recently got my hand on the Memorex dual controller charging kit and it works perfectly for not only charging my controllers, but storing them as well. The unit itself is lightweight and is pretty stylish as well. Since I have a black Xbox 360, it fits perfectly with the style. The charging kit comes with two of its own rechargeable controller batteries, which is great because mine have been undercharging for a while now.

How it works is take the rechargeable batteries and plug them into your controller, then you can mount your controllers onto the unit’s base and there they not only sit out of the way, but charge as well. There are LED status indicators that show red when the batteries need charging and blue when they are fully charged.

The kit costs around thirty bucks, which is not bad since it comes with the two batteries as well. You can find it on their website and I am sure online as well. The unit comes with the charge station, which can be placed vertically, or horizontally, two batteries and the AC power cord. It does not take long to charge the batteries and once done, the charge last just as long as the official rechargeable batteries from Microsoft.

You can check out my personal pictures on our Official Facebook Page.