A look back at 2014's top picks

So it’s 2015, we made it. 2014 was a little crazy at times but a few interesting things happened right? Well here at LanOC every year I like to take a quick look back at the past year and revisit all of the products that I slapped the Editors Choice badge on. It’s not something that I take lightly. I only put the badge on products that stand out and are something that I would like to put to use in my own office. You see, over the past year we have published exactly 100 reviews, there just isn’t any way for all of that to make it into my office. Of those 100 reviews this year, 12 of them ended up with this distinction. So let’s kick back for our new years and take another look at each of them, along with that I will update you guys a little on how things worked out after the reviews and if the product is still that spectacular months later.

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DXRacer K Series Office Chair

You might know the saying “for every butt there is a seat” well I get the feeling DXRacer recognizes this with their wide selection of seating options. I have taken a look at a few of their chairs in the past and after visiting their US office I can say for sure that they have a wide selection of seats. They have seven different chair series as well as a ton of colors in each series. When it was time to upgrade my wife’s office chair I decided to go with DXRacer’s latest line, the K Series.  The high weight capacity wasn’t needed for her but the large size is great for when she sits in her chair Indian style. On top of that, the high weight capacity means when we have people over for small LANs we won’t have to worry about big buys like me breaking the chair.

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Asus Crossblade Ranger

So last week I took a look at Asus’s AM3+ board, today I have the chance to take a look at a more recent AMD based ROG board called the Crossblade Ranger. Asus launched the Crossblade Ranger not to long ago and as you can tell from the lack of any numbers in the name this is their first Republic of Gamers FM2+ board. Why did they take so long to bring one out? Frankly the FM2+ platform was always designed to be more of a mainstream platform but that didn’t stop some people from using them for gaming. Asus noticed there was interest in a gaming focused board and here we are. Today I’m going to dive into the Crossblade Ranger and see what kind of features Asus packed in then after that I will get it on the testbench and make sure it performs like it should as well.

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Silverstone SFX Series 600W SST-SX600-G

Over the past few years we have really seen the Small Form Factor market grow, especially when it comes to small easy to transport gaming PCs, or what we call LAN Rigs. Early in 2013 I upgraded our Lunchbox 2 by upgrading the cooling and opening up room for airflow with a new SFX power supply from Silverstone. Later when I built Lunchbox 3 I used the same model of power supply. Why didn’t I change it up? Well not only did the first 450 watt SFX power supply perform reliably for me, but also frankly there just wasn’t any other competition. Silverstone had the highest wattage in the form factor not to mention the only SFX power supply with modular cabling. Well today we have the chance to check out the new top dog in SFX power supplies, Silverstone’s 600W SST-SX600-G.

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Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z

Due to Intel releasing new chipsets often a lot of people might think that the motherboard market has a big focus on Intel boards. As I have seen in the past on our forums, our Facebook, and even at our events there is still a large AMD following that is hungry for the latest and greatest to support their preferred vender as well. Well when looking to lock in a board for future AM3+ testing I ended up with the Asus Crosshair V Formula in my hands. Today I’m going to dig into it and see what makes it Asus’s flagship AMD board.

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Code Keyboard 104 key and TKL models

So the story behind todays review is that Weyman Kwong of WASD Keyboards and Jeff Atwood got together because they couldn’t find a simple and clean mechanical keyboard that they truly loved. I can see where they are coming from, as someone who has developed a love for Mechs over the years if you don’t like the gaming styling you really are limited to just a few keyboard. It gets even worse if you are like me and still like having backlighting. After working with WASD Keyboards on our Keyboard Customization article they offered to send over a Code keyboard to check out. I only had one problem, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to check out another TKL that I love for test bench and LAN use or if I would look at the Code as a potential replacement for my main keyboard where I need a full number pad. Lucky for me they completely understood and sent over one of each, giving me a chance to check out both and to check out both of the keyswitch options.

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Droid Turbo vs MotoX 2014

This fall I had the chance to take a look at two of the most popular Android phones on the market and compare how well each of them performed compared to each other. The response to that was overwhelmingly positive. So to follow up with that today I will be taking a look at another pair of flagship Android phones, this time the Droid Turbo and the latest version of the MotoX. While both phones have a lot of similarities, a lot of you might still be wondering which phone is best for you. Today I’m going to run through their features, performance, and find out if one or the other stands out from the crowd.

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Cougar 700M Gaming Mouse

With such a wide variety of mice on the market we sometimes tend to focus just on what comes out from the largest of the manufactures. We sometimes forget that some of the companies that we now see as being large brands used to just be small up and coming brands. It’s nice to step back and check out what some of the other manufactures are doing. A great example of this is Cougar, just a few years ago they jumped into the fan market and we were very impressed with their offering. I’ve even seen some of their fans in use at our events. Well recently they jumped into the peripherals market and today I will be checking out their 700M gaming mouse to see if it has what it takes to stand out in a crowded market. 

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Cooler Master Nepton 240M

I remember just over 5 years ago at CES was the first time I had ever seen a sealed water cooling system. At the time, it seemed a little crazy. How would it fit various PCs? What about maintenance? At that time the only real options were custom setups using parts designed for fish tanks. That company introduced their kit later on (Cool-It’s Domino), it had its share of problems, not to mention trying to convince people you weren’t crazy when you said you want to put water inside of their PC. Years later it feels like everyone has gotten into the market and those designs have improved year after year. Cooler Master for the last few years has been trying there hand at it. Today I have the chance to dig in check out their latest model, the Nepton 240M. They have had a few Nepton models before but this is the first 240mm model.

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Rosewill RGB80

With RGB mechanical keyboards being the latest bandwagon that most manufactures are jumping on I have been keeping an eye out for RGB keyboards that are a little different. One that stood out to me was the RGB80 from Rosewill. Rosewill’s history in the mechanical keyboard market is actually better than you might think. They have had good boards are great prices. The RGB80 is of course an RGB keyboard but unlike the others it is only available in a TKL (TenKeyLess) version. The LAN attendee in me is reminded each time I see or use a TKL keyboard that they help same room at and when packing for LANs. Will the RGB80 be the next big LAN keyboard? Let’s find out.

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