Tritton AXPro 5.1 Headset

img_3315lr-lrsmSome time ago we reviewed Tritton's quality headset, the AX51 5.1 Headset.  At that point I was thoroughly impressed with the set, so much so in fact, I took them to our last local party LanOC V.3.   I decided that even with the power brick as an anchor, the superior quality warranted the hassle.  It seems that Tritton was dissatisfied with their previous attempt at chaining me to my desk with just one adapter because they just released a new top of the line model: the Tritton AXPro.  As you may have guessed, this device's number of earthly tethers are greater than the last, possessing a staggering two power adapters for one single headset.  Tritton sent us one of these beastly headsets to see if they live up to their status as well as their power consumption.  This means that, once again, as we review this headset,  I can no longer move from my workstation.  My name is Thomas Gilligan, and if you are reading this, I am being held against my will by the Tritton AXPro.

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Kensington's Slim Blade Presenter Mouse

img_3427lr-lrsmLast July i had the chance to take a look at Kensington's Si670m bluetooth mouse. I have been using that same mouse up until now, our friends over at Kensington sent me their Slim Blade Presenter Mouse to take a look at. A drastically different design than the Si670m that I enjoyed. How will it compare? Will this become my new laptop mouse?

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Cooler Master V10 Hybrid Cooler

img_3254lr-lrsmThe big news from Cooler Master at CES this year was the upcoming release of the long awaited V10 heatsink. Last year they showed off the V10 design at CES similar to what eventually released but without the TEC cooling that was included in the final product. Speaking of the TEC cooling, the idea of a hybrid cooling solution isn't new, but has been far from perfected. Cooler Master believes they have the top dog in cooling performance with the V10. Today we will be comparing the V10 to Cooler Master's V8 to see how much of an improvement the step up in price and size gets you.

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Noctua NH-U9B 92mm Heatsink

img_3490lr-lrsmToday we are looking at the Noctua NH-U9B. This of course is far from the first product from Noctua that we have tested; in fact, we have looked at just about everything from their current product lineup. The NH-U9B is similar to the NH-U12p but smaller. Replacing the 120mm fan with a 92mm the NH-U9B is the perfect size for smaller more compact setups. If it's anything like my past experiences I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

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Crucial Ballistix Tracer Blue 3x2Gb DDR3

img_3276-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallWith it being tax time and computer upgrade season we have been seeing a lot of our members upgrading to new i7 setups. I was even lucky enough to win a setup while in Vegas thanks to our friends at Coolermaster. With DDR3 ram becoming more prevalent, especially when run in Tri Channel with the new i7 setups its no surprise that every ram manufacture is bringing out their new kits. While at CES we did get to take a look at Crucial's new Ballistix Tracer color series. Well knows for their led lighting that flashes to the speed of ram access, I was really happy to see they are producing a line using only one color to help match today's high end rigs. Today I will be taking a look at a Blue set of TriChannel 3 x 2 GB RAM from Crucial with a color matched LED, heatspreader, and PCB running at 1600Mhz.

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Choiix Mini Air-Through Notebook Cooling Pad

img_3443-lanoc-reviews-lrsmAt CES this past January and more recently at CeBit right now we have seen a growing trend. Companies like Cooler Master have been introducing designer brands with a focus on style. Cooler Master introduced Choiix (it's said "choice") this past June, we had the opportunity to take a closer look at their whole line this past January at CES. Today we have a chance to get a closer look at their Mini Air-Through Notebook Cooling Pad. Without the models here to distract me, I can really check it out.

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Steelseries Ikari Laser Mouse

img_3263-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallSteelseries is well known for being a quality gaming peripheral company. Their headsets and mouse pads are seen all over any just about any lanpartys or tournament that you go to. Up until last year their mouse line was basically a Microsoft mouse with a paint job. Designing a mouse takes time, and designing a mouse of the caliber of their other products takes a lot of time, fifteen months in fact. A year later we finally have a chance to take a look at the Ikari Laser to see if the time they invested was worth it.

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XCM Sniper 3.0 Plus

img_3101-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallThe PC vs. Console argument has been an ongoing battle. With new consoles focusing on online play the issue mainly comes down to controls in FPR and RTS games. Diehard PC gamers have a hard time playing those games with a controller, and console gamers don't see the need for a keyboard and mouse. Until recently, if you wanted to play console games you had to use a normal controller. XCM recently released their Sniper 3.0 Plus, an adapter to be able to use a mouse and keyboard on your favorite console games. Well considering or focus on gaming and gaming gear I had to get my hands on the Sniper 3.0 Plus. As a PC FPS gamer, I could not wait to jump in and see how well I could do on console games with my preferred input device.

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Steelseries Siberia Neckband Headset

img_3283-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallIn the past, we have worked with Steelseries with our lan parties and reviews. Considering their focus on creating performance enhancing gaming gear, it's not a surprise really that we have a close relationship with them. Today I will be looking at their Siberia Neckband headset. With a neckband design being much different than any other headset I have tested I am excited but unsure how it will perform. Although considering past experiences with Steel Series I'm sure it will be a quality product.

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Plextor PX-B310SA Blu Ray drive

img_3303-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallIn the Disc drive industry it's really hard to stand out. Most people just pick the cheapest drive with the specs that they are looking for. This may work for some people but anyone who has lived with the cheap drives should know that they can sometimes be noisy and unreliable. One company that has made a reputation of quality in the disc drive market over many years is Plextor. I've seen people throw down two and sometimes three times the price of a cheap drive just to be able to have a Plextor drive. The reason for this is all about quality and noise, for those same reasons I was excited to hear that I was going to be able to check out their new PX-B310SA BD Combo Super Multi Drive. My excitement doubled when I realized I would be able to watch The Dark Knight and other Blu Ray movies in 1080p on our 52-inch television.  So today I'm going to find out if the PX-B310SA is a quality drive that's quite enough to include in your HTPC without sounding like a weed eater running.

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Crackheads2

img_3381-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallIt's nice to see a company grow and come out with new and exciting products.  The Osmanium Candy Company launched Crackheads2 on October 17th, 2008 and Jitterbeans on November 3rd, 2008 according to their blog. I will be reviewing these two products today.

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Cosmos S Mods Part 2 - Fan upgrade

img_3329-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallThis past December I walked everyone through a few small mods that I did to our Cosmos S to help it stand out. The window and lighting really made the case look amazing. I did have some issues with the fans with vibration and overall noise. Infact it got so bad that I had to unplug most of them. Because of that I was on the market for replacement fans. I have reviewed a few fans in the past so my decision was hard, adding to that was the problem of my favorite fans running $20+. When you’re looking at 5 or 6 fans that adds up quickly. In the end, I decided to go with Noctua fans considering the amazing performance of them in the past. After working out a deal with Noctua, the next thing I know I had a box full of fans on my doorstep. Will they be an improvement?

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Earpollution Custom Fallout

img_3125-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallWhen I went to CES this year at Las Vegas, NV,  I went into it knowing I would be the person to check out the stuff Wes couldn't make it to. While I was there, ifrogz was nice enough to meet up with me to show off some of their new headphones. I meet up with spoke with their Media Relations Specialist Ashley she showed me around to some products. I was impressed with their products and loved the ability to customize your own headphones in the Earpollution line. I was even more impressed when Ashley handed me a gift card to customize my own set. After getting back home and settled in I took a look at their website and decided to order a set of Fallout's.

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Shuttle SP45H7

img_3227-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallIn the PC gaming world it seems like everything just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Recently we looked at the Coolermaster 840, at over 22 inches tall it's a very large case. What if you could pack your whole rig into something no taller than a DVD case. This is where Shuttle comes in; they have been designing barebone setups for 19 years that defy what most people say should fit into a small form factor case. In fact, they were the first company to produce a SFF system. Barebones of course means you get a case, power supply, and motherboard; leaving you to only get your HD, disc drive, CPU, Ram, and video card. Today we are going to look at their SP45H7 barebone, with a Intel P45 chipset and a SFF case I suspect this has the possibility to be a great lan party setup.

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Razer Moray

img_3204-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallRecently Razer has jumped into the Audio market in full force with a variety of headsets, speaker systems, and even a sound card (ok this has been out for a while but still). Obviously all of their products are geared towards the PC gaming community. One of their new products that stands out in the Moray, "Designed for gamers, the Razer Moray delivers immersive gaming audio or music on the go in a sleek, compact package." The Moray could be a more compact replacement for my Razer pro|tone m250's. If you're playing games while on the go or even looking to bring razer style along with you and your mp3 player make sure to check out how they performed for us.

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Antec Veris Multimedia Station Basic

picture-021-copyHigh-end PC gaming can be considered a niche market without too much of a stretch. Its expensive and doesn't always translate well in the price to performance ratio department.  Home theater PCs, on the other hand, are a niche within a niche, due largely to the pain and expense necessary to maintain a separate computer simply to watch television.  Furthermore, you can't use just any hardware in an htpc. If you want one that can decode high-def movies and television or even lightly game you can't just slap the oldest stuff you have lying around the house into a case - the tech has to be somewhat competent.  Antec has recently come out with the Veris product line to help blur these lines a bit.  Whether you're looking to turn your main rig into a pseudo-htpc, or trying to spice up an already assembled home theater solution, read on for our experience with the Veris Basic.

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Tuniq TR-1 Thermal Paste Remover

img_3170-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallGetting the best performance out of your heatsink depends on the perfect application of thermal paste. If there is old thermal paste left over or to much is used you can decrease the performance of even the best heatsinks. In the past I've just wiped thermal paste off with a towel, if it gets really tough I used rubbing alcohol. Tuniq realized that there is an issue where most people don't clean their CPU off properly. They developed TR-1 as a reaction to that problem. Considering how often I am swapping heatsinks I am excited to see how this will perform. Read on to find out!

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Coolermaster Hyper N520

img_3182-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallWith our trip to CES this year I had a rare opportunity to get a closer look at Coolermaster’s current and upcoming heatsinks. They showed off their “Top Dog” the v10 mostly, and because of that coverage and enthusiasm the new Hyper N520 was slightly overshadowed. Targeted at the budget crowd who is looking to get the best performance for their money I don’t expect it to break any records. But we have been surprised before, will the Hyper N520 out perform its competitors?

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AxeWraps Skins: The Blaze

100_1270 Let's be honest: when it comes to expressing yourself, cute stickers and colored plastic just don't seem to cut it. So when you decide to to deck out your guitar peripheral, you want to do it with some style. AxeWraps graciously sent us one of their Rock Band guitar skins, The Blaze, to put to the test.

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Razer Lycosa Mirror Edition

img_3150-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallAs much of a fan of Razer products that I have been I have yet to own one of their keyboards. When they brought out the Tarantula keyboard I seriously considered picking one up. But after testing one out I decided to go with the 2nd generation G15 that I still use. Because of this I was really excited when our friends at Razer asked if we wanted to take a look at their new keyboard (ok so I may have begged a little). Today I am going to tell you my experiences with this new keyboard, will it live up to the hype of all of the other Razer products?

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