This week following IDF has posted several news items for general computing technology and for product announcements. As one might expect, Intel unveiled more Kaby Lake information at its self-titled "Intel Developer Forum," and OCaholic posted a SKU listing for the new Kaby Lake CPUs up to the 7700K. Our news round-up video discusses the limited specifications of the i5-7600K, i7-7700K, lower TDP chips, and Intel's plans for launch.
We also look to the world of peripherals for the Logitech G Pro mouse, equipped with the PMW3366 sensor, and to the world of cases for X2's new "Empire" enclosure.
More in the video or script below, if you prefer:
Logitech's new Chaos Spectrum G900 mouse has definitively settled the wireless gaming mouse debate: Wireless mice can respond just as fast – if not faster – as their wired counterparts. This topic is one we've explored in-depth below, including discussion on wireless interference and cross-talk/impedance, battery life and weight trade-offs, accuracy, and more.
The Chaos Spectrum G900 was unveiled at GDC as a “wired-wireless” mouse, embodying Logitech's devout effort to demystify wireless mice as “unreliable” for gaming. Logitech informed us that their wireless G900 tested as performing minimally equal to wired competition for responsiveness, and sometimes better.
The new G900 RGB mouse costs $150, making it one of the most expensive gaming-class mice currently on the market. It also makes some of the biggest promises, like 24-hour run-to-die battery life (with RGB LEDs on) and exceedingly tight tolerances for click force variance from mouse-to-mouse. It's a uniquely high-end peripheral that requires a properly in-depth review. Starting us off, the usual specs sheets:
Logitech's gaming (“Logitech G”) unit deployed a clicky spectacle at PAX East 2016. The “Great Wall of Logitech G” flanked the booth, a composition of 160 keyboards capable of aggregated video playback across roughly (by eye) ~10 x 15ft of key caps. The display uses Logitech's G810 RGB mechanical keyboard with diffuser keycaps for the underglow. Partnership with Right Brain Electronics' Kent Suzuki made the wall possible on the software side, where video playback was programmed to location-match the appropriate keyboards.
A video explaining the making of the keyboard wall can be found below, along with some footage of the wall itself:
In a hands-on demonstration at GDC 2016, Logitech showcased its newest G900 Chaos Spectrum “wired-wireless” gaming mouse. We've got the unit in-hand and are running extensive battery life testing prior to publication, but for today, we're covering initial specs, wireless range, and engineering. The below interview hosts Chris Pate, Logitech's Gaming Portfolio Manager, who speaks to testing, engineering, range and accuracy of wireless mice, and wireless mouse misconceptions.
The goal with the $150 G900 Chaos Spectrum mouse (the “spectrum” means “RGB,” in Logitech's branding) was to create a high-precision wireless mouse that's ready to be taken on tournament weekends, without charge. The unit can extract an advertised ~32 hours from its battery under the right conditions – namely disabling the lights – or about 24 hours of gaming use when running the LEDs. A braided cable is provided for charging or wired use (“wired-wireless”) and the mouse can charge while being used with the cable.
Since the dawn of the membrane switch, “gaming” keyboards have invested heavily in design choices that would make a Transformer self-conscious. An unrivaled dedication to excessive plastic and edgy aesthetics have driven keyboards to a market position that rivals cases, opposed only by an equally over-done and dutiful worship of brushed metals and deified simplicity. There's little middle-ground with keyboards, and ASUS has managed to violate as many design standards as possible with its Horus GK2000 keyboard.
Logitech’s recent keyboards have sported a prominent “gamer” type of style, but with the new RGB Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum, the company has embraced a more minimalistic design approach. It still has some style due to the familiar Logitech font and logo, but they don’t look out of place on the cleaner G810, Logitech’s latest full-sized RGB mechanical keyboard.
The G810 features a matte textured design and braided cable, neither of which are features the G910 and G410 have. Like the G410 and G910 though, the G810 features programmable RGB lighting with 16.8 million colors and default modes like “star mode” and “color wave,” but it also has game-specific lighting modes. The game-specific profiles only illuminate keys used for the particular game, and can produce color patterns for quicker identification. Logitech boasts that their software supports lighting profiles for over 300 games, although smaller and indie games aren’t as widely supported as AAA games. The Romer-G switches used help to ensure this RGB lighting is vivid and even. The Romer-G switches have a durability rating of 70 million actuations, making it rated for more actuations than most keyswitches (especially modern switches like Cherry MX and Kailh). Logitech also continues to emphasize that the 25% shorter actuation point (compared to Cherry MX switches) grants players an advantage; although, whether a couple milliseconds will make the difference is iffy when human reactions times can easily be above 150ms.
For years now, Cherry MX switches have been the norm in mechanical keyboards, but recently Cherry’s dominance has been threatened. Cherry’s patent expired, and now companies like Kaihua and Gateron are making clones of Cherry MX switches and altering the design to add features like RGB lighting. Other switches also exist, like the Romer-G switch that Logitech developed with Omron for Logitech’s G910 and G410 Atlas Spectrum keyboards. The Romer-G switches are designed with significant differences from the usual Cherry, Kailh, and other plus-stem clone switches, something we previously talked about a few times.
The latter keyboard is our review topic today. Logitech’s G410 Atlas Spectrum ($130) is a unique keyboard with RGB lighting, a tenkeyless design, and Romer-G switches. Romer-G switches are currently only available on the G410 and its larger brother, the G910 ($140).
A lot happens in a few days, especially when it's nearing the holiday season. In the past week, HDD juggernaut Western Digital acquired SanDisk for $19 billion, Razer's OSVR solution was announced available for $300, NZXT's HUE+ got its first review, and asymmetrical GPU solutions underwent testing. On the more “industry” side of news, Logitech also posted its best retail sales growth since 2010, with substantial gains in NA, EMEA, and Asia-pacific markets.
We've recapped the news of the week below in video form, but a transcript of the video can be found further down. If there's news you think is worth telling others about, feel free to drop a comment below with info!
Gaming headsets have seen a number of improvements through 2015, especially in the department of LEDs – because RGB connotes superiority, apparently – and DTS/Dolby partnerships. Even so, some of our favorite mainstays have survived years of new releases and refreshes, remaining on this year's “Best of 2015” holiday buyer's guide.
The best headsets for gaming can be found below, listed between $50 and $220, with some additional thoughts on headsets for FPS, RPGs, and other types of games.
Note that we're in the process of reviewing a few of these; you can also find some of our existing reviews linked below.
Logitech's newest headsets run the high-end of the gaming market, priced at $150 and $200 for the respective wired and wireless variants. We showed the engineering and “making of” behind the company's G633 ($150) and wireless G933 ($200) headsets last month, briefly explaining the Logitech Pro G driver.
The two headsets are boasted by Logitech as the company's return to gaming audio, further claimed to exceed the usual “good for a gaming headset” quotation. Logitech wants its “Artemis Spectrum” headsets – the G633 and G933 – to be recognized for performance across various use cases, primarily including gaming, music, and movie / entertainment categories. Our favored audio solutions specialize in single categories, so the attempt at versatility requires more comprehensive testing and analysis.
This Logitech G633 gaming headset review looks at the RGB LEDs, 7.1 surround sound setup through DTS & Dolby, comfort, build quality, and mic quality.
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