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Aorus X7 SLI Gaming Laptop Review

CES in Las Vegas is a cavalcade of consumer electronics for the year to come, with thousands of products from hundreds of exhibitors. This year, only one laptop at CES made the headlines: the Aorus X7.

The X7 got so much attention because it’s the thinnest and lightest gaming laptop ever to ship with two graphics cards – a feat that provides desktop-class gaming performance in a properly portable package.

One month after CES, the Aorus X7 showed up on my doorstep. Let’s see whether the X7 lives up to the hype.Continue reading

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Portfolio: Gigabyte P35K review

Portfolio: I spend a lot of my time writing, but very little appears on my own website. This is my attempt to link to some of the news, reviews and other content that I’m most proud of, no matter where it appears.

Just a brief note to say that I finished my review of the Gigabyte P35K UItrablade gaming laptop, after staying up way too late tonight! I’ve started shooting in RAW for the first time (I’m a newb, I know!) and hopefully the pictures will show some improvement over what I’ve produced in the past. I’ve also spent a lot of time getting the charts and benchmarks looking good, so I hope that goes over well.

This is a super-slim 15″ laptop that’s actually capable of some serious gaming, thanks to a Nvidia 675M graphics card. If you’re looking at the Razer Blade but want something more professional-looking, then this is a really nice choice – and might be a fair bit cheaper as well, depending on your local retailers.

Check out the full review at XSReviews via the link above, and be sure to let me know your feedback.

 

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Olloclip 4-in-1 review

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Today I’m having a look at the Olloclip 4-in-1, an attachable lens kit available for the iPhone. I’m testing it on the iPhone 4, but I understand that the Olloclip also works on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S.

As you’d guess, the Olloclip has four different lenses, mounted in a 2×2 configuration around a plastic clip that attaches to the corner of your iPhone, to rest above the camera. On one side you have a fisheye lens and a 15x macro zoom, while on the other side there’s a wide angle lens and a 10x zoom. You get fisheye and wide angle by default, and then you can unscrew the metallic red section on either side to use the corresponding macro lens below.Continue reading

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Plantronics BackBeat 216 In-Ear Headphones review

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I picked up these smart earbuds for £40 in Leigh Delamere service station in my desperation to find something to provide some noise isolation. I walked out of the shop and promptly put them on in a bid to try and block out some of the 70 mph gale about my helmet. I know you’re supposed to run these things in, but people have places to be.

The headphones themselves have an attractive black body and bronze accents, with a rugged (and essential for my riding) rain resistant braided cable and the chunkiest mic / remote I’ve ever had the pleasure of using – a real blessing compared to having to fish blind for the tiny remote with leather motorcycle gloves. The unit itself is cylindrical, a little over an inch long and matches the earphones’ colour scheme. It uses the common Vol+ play/pause/call Vol – layout for 3 buttons, although these buttons seem only to be fully recognised by iPhones and recent Mac computers.

So, what about sound quality and call quality? I can report that the sound produced is wonderfully deep and rich, without missing out on any of the high details. This is all provided that you are using the right size of in ear cup- it makes all the difference. Listening to any music on these is a pure delight, comparable to my Sennheiser HD 202′s. Obviously, both sets are for entirely different purposes, but I enjoy listening to these little beauties just as much- plus they fit in under a motorbike helmet. They provide a good deal of noise isolation, though one shouldn’t expect BOSE levels of quiet from the outer world while they are in. Adequate is what I’d call it.

Oddly, I think I can tell the difference in audio hardware between my Mac and the iPhone 3GS that has been by my side for so long.

Worth the £40, for sure!

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KBT Race S Pink Limited & QWERKeys Keycaps

KBT Race S Pink Limited Edition

So this week has been good to me in keyboarding terms – I’ve finally received the KBT Race S I ordered from mechanicalkeyboards.com earlier this month. The delay wasn’t their fault, just customs, but I’m very glad to finally have my hands on it.

The Race S is a 75% keyboard from what I understand, which refers to its size. It’s less wide than a tenkeyless, and it also has a very cool layout – Instead of a traditional keyboard, which has spaces between different sections of the keyboard, on the Race S they are all together. This, combined with the extremely minimal ‘bezel’ around the keys, gives the impression of just a bunch of keys chilling in space, which I very much like.Continue reading

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Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Review

I’ve been looking for a way of connecting a keyboard to my Galaxy S2 as of late. Most have revolved around the Galaxy S2’s willingness to accept USB OTG (on-the-go) connections; the basic idea is that you plug in a micro USB to USB adapter and connect your USB keyboard directly. The keyboards at work are perfectly suited for this, allowing me to type away on my phone quite happily. All of the keyboards at my house, however, do not work at all in this manner. Some fail due to excess power requirements, and others simply don’t work even though they appear to connect successfully (‘USB device connected!’ the Galaxy S2 shouts, but to no avail).

For this reason, I’ve decided to settle on a Bluetooth keyboard (alternate solution: buy a cheap USB keyboard off eBay of the kind found in the office). As we had a sample lying around, I thought I’d use it for a while and give it a review. The keyboard is called the Mini Bluetooth Keyboard, and sports a full QWERTY array as well as a few function keys. The keyboard is quite slim, as you can see, and runs for days once fully charged.Continue reading

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Tivoli Audio PAL+, Expertly Crafted DAB Radio

American audio master-crafters Tivoli Audio have released an update to their seminal PAL radio, called the PAL+. The new design takes the minimalist radio into the modern day with the inclusion of digital DAB radio. The radio, which is portable and weather-resistant radio looks surprisingly well suited to a variety of roles, from home life to travel or even the great outdoors.Continue reading

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Leopold FC200RT Tenkeyless Linear (Black) Review

While Leopold keyboards have quickly gained their fans in the international community, they’re still relative newcomers to the mechanical keyboard scene, having been founded in Korea in 2005. They now have an English language website thanks to their Japanese division, and have started distributing their keyboards internationally, directly from their Japanese branch and from the US through EliteKeyboards.

Their latest releases are two mechanical keyboards featuring Cherry MX switches, the full size FC500RR/EB and the smaller FC200RT. These keyboards are similar to Filco’s Majestouch series and were developed by the same designer, but have been re-made from the ground up to include oft-requested customer features like a removable USB cable and more durable keycaps.

Last week I covered the FC500RR/EB, so this week I’ll be looking at the smaller version, the FC200RT.

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Leopold FC500R Linear (Red) Review

While Leopold keyboards have quickly gained their fans in the international community, they’re still relative newcomers to the mechanical keyboard scene, having been founded in Korea in 2005. They now have an English language website thanks to their Japanese division, and have started distributing their keyboards internationally, directly from their Japanese branch and from the US through EliteKeyboards.

Their latest releases are two mechanical keyboards featuring Cherry MX switches, the full size FC500RR/EB and the smaller FC200RT. These keyboards are similar to Filco’s Majestouch series and were developed by the same designer, but have been re-made from the ground up to include oft-requested customer features like a removable USB cable and more durable keycaps.

Today I’ll be looking at the FC500RR/EB, which features rather uncommon Cherry MX Red switches.

Continue reading