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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Spire Torq Laptop Backpack

img_0481-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallFor the past year I have been using a messenger style laptop bag to carry around my laptop. I've made a few trips but nothing major up until the beginning of this year. Our trip to CES this year required a lot of planning and packing. I was going to need a secure way to carry around my laptop at the show that I could also take onto the plane with me. I came in contact with a bag manufacture by the name of Spire; they have a great selection of high quality laptop bags including backpacks. Spire was nice enough to send out their new backpack called the Torq for me to be able to try out while I was at CES.

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Measure Twice Products Guitar Stand and Wall Mount

img_0217-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallI recently reviewed the Guitar stand from Dudethingcreations. As it turns out, they aren't alone in the market for Guitar Hero and Rock Band guitar stands. A company by the name of Measure Twice Products also produces a 4-guitar stand with a drastically different design. They also produce a Wall mountable hanger available in two different designs. Today we will be looking at both; I plan to figure out if their stand will stand up to our abuse.

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Coolermaster ATCS 840

img_3079-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallBefore Coolermaster released the original Stacker case back in 2004 (has it really been 5 years?) they had a line of cases called the ATCS (Advanced Thermal Cooling Solution). ATCS cases where all aluminum cases that at the time was a major change from the steel cases made by many of the other manufactures. With pc case styling going to the bigger is better look, the ATCS's went away in favor of cases like the Stacker. Recently they went back to their old designs and came up with the idea of bringing the ATCS back, but with updated features to compete with modern cases and a serious focus on making the case simple to use. They called the new case the ATCS 840; the 840 caught my attention as soon as I saw pictures giving me reason to contact Coolermaster about working with them on reviews. Because of that, I now have a chance to check it out, so let's get to it.

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Prince of Persia - PS3

When the Prince of Persia was born in 1989, it began as a simple side-scrolling platform game. At the time, the graphics were beautiful, and the gameplay put a refreshing twist on the genre that Mario had set not too long before. After a few sequels and several years, PoP saw new life from Ubisoft, where it evolved from a 2-D scroller to a 3-D adventure title. And again, the graphics looked great on the current generation of console, and the gameplay took the breath of many gamers, myself included. Of course, the Sands of Time was followed by two more sequels, ending in 2005. With a new wave of consoles at their disposals, Ubisoft has revived the old franchise, and again it has seen many changes.

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Dudethingcreations Guitar Stand

img_0223-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallBetween our unhealthy obsession for Guitar Hero and Rock Band games and the need for equipment for the LanOC events we have a few too many guitars lying around. Because of this we began to have a nest of guitars and wires. Considering the popularity of the games I'm sure we are not the only one with this problem.  Because of this there have been a variety of company and people who have many creative ideas on how to deal with this problem. A couple of guys in Texas had our same problem and designed a stand to hold 4 guitars and one microphone. After "selling like hotcakes" on Ebay they decided to step it up with a new website and some additional help, and that's how Dude thing Creations came about. Today I will be taking a closer look at their Gaming Guitar Stand. This will hopefully help clean up the mess in our living room.

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