We have made it through another year. This year we published 116 reviews ranging from phones to computer components and beyond. Of those reviews we had a few that stood out enough at the time of publishing to earn an Editor’s Choice Award. This is a little different than our Top Honors or Recommended awards. Top Honors, for example, is given to a product that had at most a trivial issue that we could list as a fault and Recommended is anything that we would still recommend if you are on the market. Editor’s Choice on the other hand means that I would pick the product up for myself; a few times we had products with faults that still fell into this category. Today I’m going to look back and see what I’m still using and if things have changed.
This was our last Editor’s Choice winner of the year and obviously we really haven’t had time for things to change. I am excited to see what the competition will introduce this year at CES to compete with cases like the Storm Stryker.
Once again it’s a little early for our thoughts to change on this one. This was a case that I was a little concerned about when I was originally shown, but after getting my hands on it I came around. In the time after the review I have heard multiple people talk about this being their next case purchase. Considering its price I’m not really shocked. LanOC will still being using the XB going into 2013 as well as our cooling test bench, I doubt it will get replaced for a long time considering how well it works for that situation.
The Elite 120 Advance was giving this away for its price point and feature set. My personal LAN rig is using the PC TU200, a much more expensive case that required some adjustments to be able to fit all of my components into it. I was impressed by the room that the Elite 120 gave us compared to the Lian Li, and it was priced at a price point that anyone could afford.
The MSI GTX 660 Twin Frozr made it onto our list because of its amazing performance and cooling power. The GTX 660 performance and price point were almost enough to get this award but MSI went above and beyond with cooling performance that topped our charts.
With performance that rivaled more expensive offerings from AMD and with the hit game Borderlands 2 being bundled with it, the GTX 660 Ti was a given when considering the Editor’s Choice award. Even still today the performance is great and it comes with a copy of Assassin’s Creed 3, prices haven’t really dropped, but it’s still a good deal at its original price.
Most of you know that I am VERY picky when it comes to mice and when I find something that I like I continue to go back to it over and over, so it’s rare for a mouse to interrupt my cycle for much longer than it takes to properly review, other than when I’m just too lazy to swap them out. The Corsair M60 did just this. It was almost 5 months before I went back to my go to mouse after this review, sticking with the M60 for a long time. Even then there was no real reason to go back to my Sensei other than just out of boredom; I would still highly recommend the M60 to anyone. I can’t wait to see what Corsair introduces next on the mouse front.
Corsair went about a mechanical keyboard different than anyone else. For one they are the only mechanical keyboards right now that aren’t full mechanical. You would think that this would bother me, but this is the reason they were able to have media keys and they could also save money to keep the price of their all aluminum keyboard design within reach of most gamers. I still to this day use my K60 on my second PC in my office for when people visit and the K90 in my LAN bag. The reason for this is because they both are easy to keep clean, something no other keyboards can say. The K90 is especially nice for LAN use because of its backlighting as well.
When I mentioned earlier that I have a go to mouse that I normally go back to, it’s the Sensei from SteelSeries. When they introduced the RAW it fixed all of the issues that I mentioned in my review of the Sensei, because of that it was a given that this mouse would be on my go to mouse list. This is what I take to LAN parties and generally what I grab when I take my gaming laptop with me when traveling. The lower price makes me less worried about having to replace it when traveling but I still get the same performance of the Sensei.
Our Z77 Roundup was much more than a typical roundup. It was actually four motherboard reviews with the performance numbers put together. At 18 pages this monster is still our biggest article by far. Only one of the boards stood out enough for an Editor’s Choice Award and I still use this board to this day. The P8Z77-I Deluxe was the little guy in the bunch. Shockingly its Mini ITX size didn’t stop it from performing right up with all of the big guys. This board has been popular with people looking to build LAN rigs including myself. I still use the combination of this in the Lian Li PC TU200 as my rig when traveling to LANs and when our power was out for a week it also doubled as my work PC as well.