The $1134 Challenge

Based on xsistor’s latest build over at The Prior Art, I came up with this. The idea was to make a system to cost the same as some dosh all-in-one but with 3D goggles and a massive screen to start. I wanted to make a ATI/AMD system, so I did. I took off the same amount as xsistor, as I’m sure if this 3D thing does take off AMD’ll want a piece. Could have gone for AMD/NVIDIA but then this awesome motherboard wouldn’t have worked.Continue reading

Mionix Saiph 3200 Gaming Mouse Review

The Saiph 3200 is one of the two mice first produced by new Swedish gaming company Mionix in 2008. It is the weightier of the two, and carries a slightly higher pricetag. The 3200 in the name refers to the DPI of its laser sensor, compared to the 1800 of its sister. It is primarily known in the UK for being a free gift with a subscription of PC Gamer.Continue reading

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SteelSeries MERC Stealth Gaming Keyboard Review

The MERC Stealth, produced by Ideazon, is the latest in its line of gaming keyboards that started with the Z-Board in 2004. This keyboard brings a lot to the table, boasting dedicated gaming keys, backlighting, multimedia controls, and built-in USB and headset ports. It’s available for around £50 or $75.

Loved

Solid Construction: This keyboard was built to last — it’s heavy and unyielding, from the keys themselves to the reinforced stand. This is not a keyboard you’d worry about throwing into a backpack unprotected for that sudden LAN party.

Illumination: The Stealth provides three colour choices (Purple, Red, Blue) and four levels of illumination that make for a functional and attractive extra feature. The inclusion of three colours allows you to pick the one that’s best for the light level you’re in — purple seems best for the day, while red and blue start to look real good after dark.

Connectivity: The two USB ports are easy to reach and incredibly useful, particularly if your computer is on the floor or lacks front USB ports. The headphone/microphone ports are useful too, eliminating yet another thing that usually involves struggling around the back of the computer.

Hated

Dedicated Gaming Keys: These keys sit to the left of the standard keyboard and include WASD and its immediate neighbors. For some reason they just didn’t sit right with me; I found myself returning to the standard keys again and again. Your experience may be different, but I don’t honestly feel that they improved my performance or comfort in the slightest. They make the keyboard heavy and wide, without much benefit.

Software: It took a good while to get the software working on Vista, and when it did finally work it proved difficult to use; the “comedic” blurts and zoips did little to improve things. Macro creation was much more difficult than it was on the Logitech G15; a quick macro button that allowed you to skip the tiresome software would have been great.

I would not hesitate to recommend this keyboard to you if you like and use dedicated gaming keys. The other parts of the puzzle – connectivity, look, design – are all fabulous. If you’re like me though, your dollars and your desk space would be better spent on other keyboards.

Samsung NC10 Review

The NC10 is the smaller of the two netbooks Samsung has produced, with netbook standard specifications in most areas, but a few surprises in others. Overall, it’s a well designed and attractively priced netbook. Full review after the jump.

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