titleIt’s difficult to write about items themed around Diablo III and resist the urge to write about the success (or lack thereof) of the game itself. There are plenty of opinions about the game, but one thing we can agree on is that they stem from high expectations created from such successful franchise. Love it or hate it, you most likely remain a fan of the series.  SteelSeries has a line of peripherals inspired by Sanctuary to help scratch your Diablo itch.

titleThe licensing people over at SteelSeires must stay very busy. A quick glance over on the SteelSeries website shows a whopping 15 different games that they have peripherals on. This doesn’t even count special models with pro gaming team logos on as well. The LanOC Guild Wars 2 Guild (LOL) will be very happy to hear that SteelSeries introduced a full set of Guild Wars 2 peripherals at the games launch. Well we may or may not have intercepted a whole box of Guild Wars 2 goodies. We are going to take a look at each as well as the group together. Are you going to have to pick up your Guild Wars 2 peripherals for your next game? Let’s take a look and see what they are all about. 

titleEarlier this week I took a look at the K60 and K90 Vengeance keyboards from Corsair. I was impressed with their unique take on the mechanical keyboard. Prior to looking at their keyboards I also took a look at the Vengeance 2000 wireless headset. To round out our coverage we of course need to check out Corsairs Vengeance gaming mice. We know that Corsair always takes a different path with any product they introduce and I am excited to see what they did differently in the gaming mouse market, a market that has become fairly stagnant with higher DPI, more buttons, and more lighting be the focus from most manufactures.

titleEvery once in a while you find a company that is able to take a normal product that everyone has and change it in a way that makes everyone wonder why it was never done before. As much as it pains me to say this, Apple was one of those companies. In the pc components business there are a few as well, but the company that stands out the most to me would be Corsair. Every time corsair enters a new market, I find myself impressed with what they have to offer. Even though it seems like they are always jumping into random markets, they take their time and research what everyone has to offer and what people would really want to see. This week we are going to take a look at their new Vengeance lineup of mice and keyboards to see if they have done the same in these new markets. Today we are going to start with their new keyboards, let’s dig in and see what they are all about.

titleWe have spoken about it before, it seems like everyone and their mom jumped onto the mechanical keyboard market  in the last few years. Because of this we have seen many designs with nothing to make them stand out, a few have had full LED backlighting for example like Cooler Master’s Storm Trigger. The problem with a full backlit keyboard of course is the cost. A few manufactures have introduced mechanical keyboard with just backlighting on WASD, but this has left non FPS gamers out in the cold. When I saw Cooler Master was introducing the QuickFire Pro with lighting expanded past the WASD, I was excited to check it out. We enjoyed both their Quickfire Rapid, and the Trigger. Today we are going to take a closer look at the QuickFire Pro to see if it’s an improvement over the other semi backlit keyboards on the market.

titleWhen SteelSeries introduced the Sensei, we were very excited about their latest flagship mouse. We have consistently had a SteelSeries mouse in use in the LanOC office all the way back to the introduction of the Xia. The Sensei was a nice progression from the Xia, but I did miss the rubber finish from the Xai. When I heard they would be introducing a Sensei with a rubber finish, I was very excited to check it out. When I heard about its price, I was even more excited. Without further introduction, let’s take a look at the SteelSeries Sensei [RAW].

titleMost of you who have read any of my past mice reviews will know that I am very particular about them and have a strong hate of the Phillips Twin eye sensor that a good portion of the market has been using for a few years now due to a few of the sensors quirks. When I was introduced to Cooler Master’s Gaming Accessories Product Manager, Carter Salley, he and I had one of the geekiest conversations about mouse sensors and our dislike of the Twin Eye sensor. When it was all said and done I was left very excited to see what Cooler Master would be coming out with in the future with someone like Carter as the wheel. Today I have in my hands their Sentinel Advance II, a revamped version of the Twin Eye equipped original, but without the god awful sensor. With a proper sensor onboard, it might very well be a mouse to consider.

titleJust two years ago the only mechanical keyboards you would find were from companies like DAS keyboard trying to create a nitch market. Over the past two years things have really exploded with every manufacture you can think of introducing their own mechanical keyboards. Cooler Master has been especially aggressive with multiple unique designs like their Quickfire series. What they did lack was a full featured mechanical keyboard with full backlighting, until now. Today they officially introduce their Storm Trigger, although it you look around the board was available Globally before now. With full backlighting it falls into a small category of Mechanical Keyboards with very little competition. I am excited to see how it performs.

Image 1_2Today we are going to look at the Thrustmaster T500RS. This is one of the highest quality racing wheel/pedal setups on the market. Thrustmaster is known for building some of the most complex peripherals in the industry. From the wheels, joysticks to the insane flight controls for the A-10C Warthog game there is something for every gamer. With its build construction, paddle shifter, button layout and pedal arrangement all being tested out using some of the most demanding driving games, see if it’s up to par with what you expect. 

 

titleEveryone and their mom have jumped into the mechanical keyboard party over the past year. Typically each of the keyboards has a fairly standard layout with a few small differences to help them stand out. When we saw Cooler Master’s new offering I was excited to see something a little different. If you have ever seen a Filco keyboard this may look familiar. The new Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid is a compact keyboard without a number fad for those looking for something that doesn’t take up very much room on your desk. Sounds like a perfect keyboard for going to LAN’s doesn’t it? We thought so, let’s take a look.

IMG 5439 frontWith the release of the Meka G Unit, the keyboard category has the most players in Thermaltake's eSports line. The G Unit itself is the third reincarnation of the Meka family, featuring mechanical switches among other gaming enthusiast features. The professional gaming market has never been hotter, nor more demanding. Let's see how Thermaltake handles the heat.

titleFor the most part SteelSeries has stuck to a fairly nitch market. Their products are normally mice, keyboard, headsets, and mouse pads. There have been a few products here and there that have broken that mold like their work with Gunner Glasses and a few products that carried over from their purchase of Ideazon. Surprisingly they recently introduced a new steering wheel, the S1. They worked together with Simraceway to enter into the wheel market. I say wheel because unlike every other product on the market, the S1 is simply JUST a wheel. There isn’t a pedal, gear shifter (other than paddle’s), or even mount for the wheel. With just a USB cord and an F1 inspired wheel between you and the game it’s a different solution, but will it work?

titleAny long time reader has no doubt seen the Razer Deathadder before. We have used them in countless reviews including our writ-up on the new at the time 3500DPI version HERE. There is a reason for that though, over the years there hasn’t been a time that I didn’t have a Deathadder being used on my main PC or one of our test benches. The Deathadder is one of, if not the best mouse that Razer ever introduced. Because of that when we saw they introduced a Transformers edition I had to get my hands on one. Now that we have one, let’s take a closer look.

titleWith the keyboard moving to mechanical keyboards in mass over the past year there is still one company holding their ground. Logitech as of this posting has not introduced a mechanical keyboard into the gaming market. The reason they haven’t is because their gaming line holds its own, even with just minor changes over the years. The key to this is their built in screen with up to date game and PC information right on your keyboard. No one else on the market has been able to develop anything similar, largely due to Logitech’s integration with so many games on the market. We had a chance to look at their G19 a while back, but even still today their main keyboards are still very similar to the original G15. The G15 was replaced by the G510 and that is what we will be taking a look at today.

titleHere at LanOC Reviews we consider ourselves to be fairly picky with our mice reviews. We are still one of the only sites to bring to light the Z-Axis tracking issues when we come across them and as a whole we hold every mouse that comes into the office to a very high standard. Typically we only see mice from the usual suspects (Razer, Logitech, Steel Series), but sometimes we get a chance to take a look at a mouse from an up and coming manufacture. Today is one of those days. We are going to take a look at a mouse from Tek Republic designed for gaming. Being new to the market I am hoping to find a gem, or at least a few new ideas. The only way to find out is to put it through our testing and you know what that means right? I get to game and act like its work!

titleMy first true gaming mouse pad was the Razer Exact Mat. Surprisingly I still pack that same pad in my laptop bag every day due to its metal constructions durability. When I originally purchased the eXact Mat it also came with a wrist rest made to fit it. That same rest actually was carried on from the eXact mat to the Destructor later on for me until it became a little to tore up for me to use day to day. When I had seen Razer’s introduction of the Vespula, I couldn’t help make the connection to the eXact mat with the included wrist rest and dual sided design. We have finally gotten our hands on one, the Transformers 3 Licensed version to be exact. Let’s see how it compares to its much older brother.

titleWhen you’re looking at mouse pads you really only have to consider a few things. Do you want a hard or soft mouse pad? How big does it need to be? Thickness? Would you like a design on it? Let’s be honest: the mouse pad market is a little hard to be innovative in. Ether it’s a good pad or it’s not. Most of the manufactures have resorted to designing pads with designs from popular movies and video games. It’s very rare that we see anything come along with a new design that truly innovates in the mouse pad market. XFX’s new mouse pad the WarPAD may do just that. Its edgeless design is very intriguing, but is it just a gimmick? There’s only one way to find out.

titleAsk a room full of gamers what the most important piece of equipment is in their build and you're likely to end up with a long list of internal components. Video cards, processors, ram, SSD, etc. What you will likely never hear is that the mouse is the most important piece of equipment. Now, before you get all out of shape, I don't think the mouse is really the most important. But, it deserves a spot on the list of things that are somewhat important. After all, for nearly every moment that we spend gaming, we do so with our hand firmly attached to our mouse. The mouse is our direct line of input to our character on the screen. How our mouse performs affects how we perform in the game. Which is why, in recent years, there has been a bit of a deluge of new gaming mice to hit the market. The one we're looking at today is a budget gaming mouse from Cooler Master's Storm line called the Xornet.

titleSome of you may remember my review of the DAS keyboard over a year ago. For almost 20 months we have had the keyboard in the office. For that same amount of time we have seen what a clicky keyboard can do to your coworker’s sanity when used regularly. Because of that I was ecstatic when DAS said they would send over their Silent model. But I was a little concerned that going silent would take away some of the features we loved the most about the DAS keyboard. We are going to put the DAS Model S Pro Silent through its paces, and while we are at it we may put the two keyboards head to head on video to compare their noise levels.

frontEven as early as the name, SteelSeries knows how to appeal to MMO addicts such as myself. Sure, 'Legendary' sounds desirable, but what attracts me is the color of the font. It's not a phenomena restricted to the massive-multi genre, either; anyone who has scrambled for a green set item in Diablo 2 shares the same rush that raiders do when they roll for legendary loot. SteelSeries has dropped a Legendary Edition MMO Gaming Mouse, let's roll to see if it's a Need, Greed, or Pass. Ether way you will find us testing it out in a game of Battlestar Galactica online.

 

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