Tag - tech

BenQ ZOWIE Official Gaming Monitor of the 2017 MLG Pro Circuit

COSTA MESA, Calif. — March 17, 2017 — ZOWIE, BenQ’s eSports brand, today announced its partnership with global eSports leader Major League Gaming (MLG) by becoming the official gaming monitor sponsor for the 2017 MLG Pro Circuit Season. Engineered to create the ultimate competitive gaming experience, the ZOWIE RL2455 and the RL2460 console eSports monitors will be the featured sponsorship products at the Call of Duty® World League tournaments.

The MLG Dallas three-day tournament and finals for Call of Duty World League is set for March 17-19 at the Fort Worth Convention Center, Halls C, D and E, in Fort Worth, Texas. The event kicks off this weekend, where 16 qualifying international teams and more than 160 open-bracket teams will compete for a $200,000 prize pool. The competitors will battle it out on the ZOWE RL2460 eSports console monitor, and visitors will be able to experience ZOWIE products in the ZOWIE booth all weekend.

Tickets for MLG Call of Duty World League Dallas Open at Fort Worth Convention Center are available on the MLG Store. Every single match will also be streamed live on MLG.tv. For the full lineup of ZOWIE gaming gear, please visit Zowie.BenQ.com.

Bionik Announces The Mantis VR PS4 VR Headset

TORRANCE, CA (March 1, 2017) – Bionik™, a new manufacturer of innovative and high quality gaming accessories, released first details on their unique attachable PlayStation VR headphones, The Mantis VR™.

With a patent pending design engineered for seamless integration with PlayStation VR®, The Mantis VR attaches onto the PSVR Headset with spring loaded clips for easy installation and removal. Comprised of high quality components and a complementary color scheme, The Mantis is lightweight and intuitive to use and adjust. The Mantis VR will retail for $49.99 this Spring.

“Based on the incredible growth and upside of the virtual reality industry, including positive momentum recently reported on sales of PlayStation VR, the Mantis VR headphones are appearing at the perfect time,” said Amir Navid, Bionik’s SVP Product Development. “The Mantis VR was designed for the PlayStation Virtual Reality headset with the core purpose of delivering great sound and performance while reducing the clutter and inconvenience of using traditional gaming headphones. Great care was taken to make sure that the product enhances the gamer’s experience, by consolidating key accessories into one apparatus. This integrated solution perfectly complements the existing PSVR headset. We’re excited for fans and gamers to experience audio that matches the quality of PSVR’s visuals inside and out.”

For more information on Bionik check out www.bionikgaming.com and www.facebook.com/bionikgaming and follow on Twitter @BionikGaming.

Razer Power Bank Announced

IRVINE, Calif. – Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced availability for its Razer Power Bank smart charge accessory.

The Razer Power Bank is optimized to work with the Razer Blade Stealth 12.5-inch laptop to extend battery life past 15 hours.

The Blade Stealth is Razer’s most awarded laptop design for its combination of best-in-class displays, mobility, portability and value. Designers, professionals and other creatives who need more pixels can upgrade to a 4K IGZO touch display for 100 percent Adobe RGB color saturation.

Razer’s Power Bank is also compatible with additional USB-C powered laptops for absolute convenience. Users can also connect a wide array of mobile devices with dual USB-A ports and a USB-C port for charging up to three mobile devices simultaneously. Equipped with a large 12,800 mAh capacity battery, the Razer Power Bank is an ideal traveling companion for all mobile power needs.

The Razer Power Bank is equipped with Intelligent device charging and is able to instantly identify the type of device that is plugged in. A fast-charge feature unlocks up to six hours of battery life in a Blade Stealth in less than two hours of charging.

Additionally, Qualcomm® Quick Charge 3.0 allows users to power up their compatible mobile devices up to four times faster than conventional charging.

“High-performance mobile laptops like the Razer Blade Stealth are more a part of daily life than ever before, and keeping them charged and ready is a high priority,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “The Razer Power Bank enables true mobility for users who can now quickly and smartly charge their laptop, phone and tablet at the same time when an outlet isn’t an option.”

The Razer Power Bank is small enough to fit in most pockets and matches Razer’s laptop design aesthetic with a black CNC aluminum casing.  The accessory is available in March exclusively at Razer Store.

Price:

US$149.99 / 169.99 / £144.99

Timing: March 2017

Availability: Razerzone.com

United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and France

Product features:

  • Large 12,800mAh battery
  • USB-C laptop charging
  • Get up to 15hrs combined battery life with the Razer Blade Stealth
  • Dual USB-A ports for mobile device charging
  • Intelligent Device Detection
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge 3.0 and fast charge technology
  • Durable and lightweight CNC aluminum

For more information about the Razer Power Bank, please visit http://www.razerzone.com/power-bank

AOC Announces Availability of Two New Agon Gaming Monitors

Fremont, Calif. – February 23, 2017 AOC, a worldwide leader in monitor display technology, today announces the U.S. availability schedule of five new monitors within their premium line of AOC gaming monitors, the Agon series. The first two from the series, which are available in the U.S. now, are the AG241QX (24-inch Class Adaptive-Sync) and the AG241QG (24-inch Class NVIDIA® G-SYNC), both featuring QHD resolution and a 1 ms response time. While the AG241QG comes with 165 Hz, NVIDIA G-SYNC technology and NVIDIA ULMB, the AG241QX differentiates itself by having 144 Hz and Adaptive-Sync technology. Both monitors made for the enthusiastic and highly competitive gamers, allowing them to race through games without stutter, screen tearing and motion blur. The AG241QX and the AG241QG are available at Amazon for $499 and $699 respectively.

The additional displays coming soon to the U.S. include the AG271UG, a 27-inch NVIDIA G-Sync™ Gaming Monitor with 4K resolution and rapid 4ms response time ($799.99 – Available late March); the AG352UCG, a 35-inch Curved NVIDIA G-Sync™ Gaming Monitor that offers a highly immersive gaming experience, thanks to a small 2000 mm curvature radius and a 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution ($999.99 – Available late March); and the AG251FZ, the 240Hz and fastest Agon Gaming Monitor coming to market ($499.99 – Available in May).

Eye comfort is one of the most important consideration for outlasting the competition. And since the Agon displays are designed specifically for the competitive gamer, they feature eye-protecting AOC Flicker-Free Technology to reduce eye strain, discomfort, and fatigue during long gaming sessions. The AG241QX Adaptive-Sync model goes even further with its Low Blue Light mode, reducing adverse short wavelength blue light without sacrificing color quality.

Additional powerful gaming features of the AG241QX are the AOC Low Input Lag, AOC Shadow Control and the AOC Game Mode Presets on the special Qwick Switch KeyPad. Gamers that play competitively not only rely on fast and smooth images, but also on instantaneously-executed commands and perfect visuals in every situation. The AOC Low Input Lag mode disables picture post-processing on the monitor’s electronics and, therefore, accelerates the command pass-through from mouse, keyboard and gamepad to result in immediate actions.

While the low input lag ensures gamers’ commands are executed without delay, the AOC Shadow Control provides quick contrast adjustment for a better view of pinpointed areas, as to not jeopardize the already well-balanced screen areas.  Monitor settings are key features when it comes to individuality and performance, and they need to be easily accessible. The AOC Settings KeyPad allows users to switch effortlessly between modes and adjust brightness, contrast and other gaming features to comfortably switch between various image settings, save presets and activate them when needed.

Finally, the AOC Agon series’ ergonomic base provides plenty of comfort so gamers can adjust height, tilt and swivel, and is accurately marked by a scale, so gamers can always jump back to their preferred settings. The stand is also equipped with a carry-handle for easy transportation of the monitor to and from eSports events. There is even a headphone holder at the side of the display to support the headset when it’s not in use.

Kasda KA1900A Wireless AC1900 Router Review

Kasda was a relatively unknown brand to me until I got the chance to check out their KA1900A wireless router. This 802.11AC router features a sleek, black design with both 5.4GHz and 2.4GHz WiFi networks. It even features a both a USB 3.0 and 2.0 port on the back of the unit, which allows for USB storage sharing – just plug a flash drive into it and you have some file sharing ability for your networking needs.

Installing the Kasda KA1900A wireless AC1900 router is relatively simple. I simply connected the router into my cable modem by way of the WAN port on the back of the unit. Then I plugged my PC into one of the Gigabit LAN ports on the router and started everything up. I directed my favorite Internet browser to 192.168.1.1 and began the setup procedure. I setup the WiFi network and connected my smartphone and laptop to it. Everything just worked. Now, it didn’t have as much hand holding as some routers to, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for a WiFi router these days. Kasda does offer online support if you need it.

For those users who love the feature, it also offers a WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) button for easy connection setup. There are those that consider WPS insecure, but if you are just using it on a local home network, it is really up to the end user as to what level of security they desire.

The Kaska KA1900A router does feature some pretty cool specs. Aside from those previously-mentioned, it has 5 internal WiFi antennae which provide a very stable wireless signal. Its range is ridiculously good and, no matter where I stood in the office, I had a consistently solid connection. In fact, it was a marked improvement over the 802.11N wireless router we were previously using. It was so impressive that I thought, for a passing moment, that I could still get signal at the Starbucks down the street! But, I digress… Even better is that, because the antennae are internal, they are not sticking out like porcupine quills as they do on external models.

A small aside, one of the best features on this router is an actual power switch! There are a lot of routers out there that simply rely on pulling the power cable out of the unit to restart it. This just doesn’t always make the best user experience as the power cable often falls out and ends up lost behind office furniture. With the power switch, you don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Overall, the Kasda KA1900A Wireless AC1900 Router is a great purchase that offers a very stable networking environment for you home or office. Its WiFi networks are speedy as are its LAN connections, and it will provide you with terrific throughput in your local network. It retails for about $110 dollars and more information on the product can be found at Kasda’s official website. Those of you looking to purchase can find the KA1900A available at Amazon.com


Kasda KA1900A Wireless Router Review Score

(4 out of 5 Stars)


 

Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II Desktop Speaker Review

In looking for some new desktop speakers (my older set ended up taking a nosedive and breaking), I looked through a great many potential replacements. Having used several types of speaker systems in my gaming lifetime, I was hoping to reduce the physical footprint of the audio system as much as possible. My office is not that big and I don’t need to have gigantic speakers everywhere. Then again, I also did not want to sacrifice sound quality for this exchange. My answer came in the form of the Creative Labs GigaWorks T40 Series II desktop speakers.

The GigaWorks T40 Series II speaker system is made up of two free-standing satellite pylons – each containing three types of speakers. There is a cloth-domed tweeter unit for higher-end frequencies as well as two fiber woven cone drivers for low and mid-range sound. Capping these drivers off is a resonance chamber that helps funnel low-end sound out of the pylon for a subwoofer-style effect. The speakers require an AC power source – the adapter is included. Some have complained about this requirement but those detractors need to understand that power is required to send the audio signals through the six speakers.

These weighty satellite units are more than a match for a full 2.1 sound system and it saves you the extra space being taken up by a dedicated subwoofer! Using Tokyo city planning logic, Creative Labs built upwards, not outwards, and it is a very successful outcome for their efforts.

We liked…

  • Powerful sound
  • Reasonable price
We did not like…

  • Couldn’t really think of a negative

I have used the Creative Labs GigaWorks T40 Series II speakers for easy listening music all the way to first-person shooter games. When using speakers for Mp3 enjoyment, I usually start with showtunes. Hamilton, the latest craze in musicals, plays wonderfully on these speakers. Having the bass and treble control knobs next to the volume/power knob is brilliant and allows me to have direct control of the highs and lows, without getting bogged down in all the tweaks available via an equalizer. Moving into the hard stuff, I loaded up Dragonforce and blared out Operation Ground and Pound and reveled at the clear separation of highs and lows, thanks to the GigaWorks T40 Series II’s multi-driver system. Finally, I ran an assortment of video games while using the speakers. Master of Orion was no challenge for the speakers and the adrenaline-fueled explosions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare came through like gangbusters. The system us truly exceptional – especially at its price point of $124.95 on Amazon.

Overall, the Creative Labs GigaWorks T40 Series II speaker system is a terrific option for those of you in need of powerful desktop audio that won’t break your bank account. The three different sound sources per satellite provide a wide range of frequencies that you would normally need several speaker units and a subwoofer to equal – especially in a home office environment. The GigaWorks T40 Series II speaker system is a great choice for gamers and audiophiles in their home office, dorm, or bedroom.


Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II Desktop Speaker Review Score

(5 out of 5 Stars)


 

SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Headset Review

SteelSeries has a terrific line of headsets in their Arctis series. Designed for both gamers and music fans alike, the Arctis series features a ClearCast microphone, ski goggle style headband, and 40mm drivers. It also features a nice steel alloy structure which feels rugged and strong – not like some headsets out there that are flimsy to the touch. Setting up the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is very easy. Simply install the SteelSeries Engine 3 software package which controls the Arctis 7 (as well as SteelSeries other peripherals). The software is robust and allows for numerous customization options for sound quality.

One huge factor for long-term wear of a gaming headset is comfort. If you play a game for hours on end, it helps if your head doesn’t feel as though it’s going to collapse under the pressure of a pair of headsets. Thankfully, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 features a ski goggle style headband which is very comfortable while also helping the headset stay put. Directing your browser to SteelSeries website, you can find a variety of accessories for the Arctis 7. They sell both velour and leather ear cushions depending on your preference as well as a host of headbands with various patterns.

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 features some very nice audio quality, and allows for connection via a wireless USB dongle or 3.5 mm jacks. The microphone boom retracts and extends from the left ear cup and features a handy light on the end to help locate it. The ClearCast microphone does a great job of picking up the wearer’s voice while also not taking in a lot of background white noise. I got the chance to use the Arctis 7 while playing Battlefield 1, Skyrim Special Edition, and a host of other games – each time I was pleasantly surprised with my experience.

Moving to music, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 performs very well and, thanks to the SteelSeries Engine 3 software, you can tweak your equalizer as desired. The headphones provide a decent amount of bass while also not sacrificing sound quality when the volume increases. Its drivers have a 98 dB sensitivity and a frequency response of 20-20000 Hz, meaning that these are some powerful drivers. They chew up whatever you can throw at them and keep coming back for more. Kudos to SteelSeries for crafting such a powerful set of headphones that won’t break your bank account.

Overall, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 gaming headset is a terrific option for about $150 dollars. It features some great sound quality coupled with a good degree of comfort and, of course, wireless connectivity. If you need a wireless headset but are afraid of latency and sound quality issues, worry no more with the Arctis 7. You can find the SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless headphones at numerous wireless retailers such as Amazon.com and SteelSeries official website.


SteelSeries Arctis 7 Review Score

(5 out of 5 Stars)


 

Sennheiser Announces HD1 In-Ear Wireless Headphones

Las Vegas, January 6, 2017 – Sennheiser’s HD1 headphone range represents the perfect fusion of sound and style: Uncompromised sound performance meets minimalist design and carefully selected materials. At CES 2017, held in Las Vegas from January 5 to 8, the audio specialist goes one step further by unveiling the new HD1 In-Ear Wireless. Combining a leading-edge acoustic design with Bluetooth 4.1, AAC codec support and Qualcomm® apt-X™, the new neckband headphone has been designed to enhance the experience of listening to music on mobile devices – for the ultimate portable HD1 experience.

Uncompromising sound quality, progressive technology and high-quality materials in a minimalist design: Sennheiser redefined the world of headphones with its HD1 range – a series of headphones with MOMENTUM. In the creation of these iconic headphones, the audio specialist was inspired by people who follow their vision, striving for the new and pushing the world ahead. With the HD1 In-Ear Wireless, Sennheiser now adds ear-canal headphones with Bluetooth connectivity to the acclaimed range.

“HD1 headphones are inspired by people that push boundaries and refuse to compromise in fulfilling their ambition,” said Dr. Christian Ern, Head of Portfolio Management Audiophile at Sennheiser. “With the new HD1 In-Ear Wireless, we are bringing this ethos to a compact Bluetooth neckband headphone.”

Elegant in every detail, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless has been designed for an uncompromising experience. Its stainless steel in-ear sound tunnels have been custom machined to deliver superior acoustic precision: This high quality dynamic speaker system brings the signature HD1 sound to a compact in-ear headphone, with a powerful bass response, detailed vocal projection and a great sound stage. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.1, AAC codec support, and Qualcomm® apt-X™ compatibility, this true hi-fi sound is delivered with crystal-clear wireless transmission.

An elegant companion to mobile devices
With a great 10-hour battery life, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless can be enjoyed throughout the day. An integrated three-button remote and high-quality microphone are incorporated into the neckband, making it easy to stay connected and make phone calls and control music on the go. HD1 In-Ear Wireless supports convenient multi-connection with up to 2 devices at once, with 3-way calling support. Ease of use is further enhanced by NFC one-touch Bluetooth pairing with smart devices, an intuitive system of voice prompts to notify of pairing status and to provide battery life warnings, a vibration alert for incoming calls and support of USB audio with USB charging.

Like all HD1 headphones, the HD1 In-Ear Wireless represents a perfect marriage of style and substance, with high-quality materials, superb comfort and lasting durability. The ergonomic around-the-neck design and soft sheepskin nappa leather stitched onto the neckband offer all-day listening comfort. Ear adapters in four different sizes are provided for optimized fit in the ear canals to allow excellent attenuation of ambient noise. Meanwhile, premium materials such as stainless steel, the mirrored chrome finish, and tough, impact-resistant polycarbonate give the HD1 In‑Ear Wireless the strength for a life on the move.

Sennheiser’s HD1 In-Ear Wireless will be available from January 2017.

Razer Demos Project Ariana at CES

LAS VEGAS (CES 2017) Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today unveiled that Razer Chroma™, its flagship lighting technology, will be now available to 3rd party partners along with a glimpse into the future of Razer Chroma with “Project Ariana,” the world’s first video projection system designed for total immersion gaming.

Razer Chroma is the largest RGB platform for gaming with more than 5 million devices sold to-date. Some of the world’s top AAA games have integrated Razer Chroma lighting, including “Overwatch” from Blizzard, “Call of Duty®: Black Ops 3” from Activision, “Shadow Warrior 2” from Devolver Digital, and more.

A growing number of hardware partners are additionally queued to leverage the Razer Chroma platform for immersive gaming solutions, including Lenovo, NZXT, Antec, Lian Li, Wicked Lasers and Nanoleaf. Entry into the Razer Chroma ecosystem and the 16.8 million-color palette of the platform is given through the Razer Chroma Module, a single hardware and software API available to partners.

Additionally, Razer is exploring how lighting in the whole room can create more immersive experiences, together with Philips Lighting.

A glimpse into the future of Razer Chroma is given by Project Ariana, taking the concept of RGB lighting into room projection and bringing a whole new dimension to immersive gaming through Razer Chroma, which communicates with games in real time to create both lighting and video effects. This results in solutions for gamers that range from peripherals to smart lighting and video projection, all working as one to provide a totally immersive gaming experience.

Project Ariana is a concept design that showcases the power and potential of the Razer Chroma platform in the pre-VR world in bridging the gap between gamers and games,” says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan.  “Video projection, multi-color lighting and the responsive intelligence of our Razer Chroma engine are changing the way we game today. We and our publishing and technology partners are working toward new visual solution for an even more incredible and visually rich tomorrow.”

Project Ariana is a high-definition video projector that uses an ultra-wide fish eye lens and advanced processing capabilities to extend the gaming experience into an entire room. The system adapts the projection of in-game elements to the dimensions and features of the physical environment.  A pair of 3D depth sensing cameras together with proprietary calibration software automatically calibrates itself to detect environmental factors such as furniture and room lighting, to provide the perfect display for any room.

The concept is being demonstrated to attendees of the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the Razer booth – South Hall 3 booth: 30320.

“This is the future of Razer Chroma as we see it,” says Tan. “We are working toward new video projection technology designed to place users in their games for total gaming immersion. Having a game literally surround a gamer completes the entire ecosystem of gaming, bridging the sensory gap between player and game.”

Razer Unveils Multi-Monitor Gaming Laptop at CES

LAS VEGAS (CES 2017) – Razer, the leading lifestyle brand for gamers, today revealed a multi-monitor laptop computer concept that sets a new standard for immersive entertainment and multipurpose portable computing.

Dubbed “Project Valerie,” the system is the world’s first portable laptop with three built-in monitors. Each 17.3-inch 4K IGZO display is equipped with NVIDIA G-SYNC™ technology that is capable of producing the smoothest possible framerates and expansive 180 degree NVIDIA Surround View gaming. Creative professionals can look forward to 100 percent Adobe RGB color accuracy and the greatest amount of screen real estate ever assembled in a single computer.

Project Valerie uses an automatic deployment mechanism designed by Razer. Each display mechanically slides out of the side of the main screen and adjusts into place, making it easy for users to deploy. With integrated multi-monitor support, users will no longer have to deal with the cable clutter from traditional desktop setups. The result is a clean gaming and working environment that’s just as easy to maintain.

“The complexities of a traditional multi-monitor setup are a thing of the past with Project Valerie,” says Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “Equally important, the power of a desktop computer and graphics capabilities of three top-end monitors are included in the system. There is no shortcoming in the way of performance in the face of its amazing portability and features.”

Project Valerie adds to the professional capabilities of the new 17-inch Razer Blade Pro. The system was conceived with enthusiasts and power users in mind who want multitasking capabilities and desktop performance on the go. Packed with more screens than previously possible in a notebook, Razer’s Project Valerie is capable of handling virtually any PC task, anytime, anywhere.

The proposed system retains the iconic Razer design, while at the same time accommodating triple-monitors. A unibody CNC aluminum chassis measures just 1.5-inches thick and weighs less than 12 pounds. An included compact AC adapter is much smaller than similarly powered systems, furthering complementing Project Valerie’s mobility.

Project Valerie retains the remarkable thermal management system for which Razer’s line of laptops is known. A custom-designed fan and dynamic heat exchangers pair with a vapor chamber to maximize heat dissipation.

Project Valerie is the second Razer notebook to utilize Razer’s Ultra-Low-Profile Mechanical switches. Each switch features a true actuation and reset point. Key presses are registered with 65 grams of force, mimicking the feel of full-size mechanical keyboards. The keyboard, trackpad, extended monitors are also Powered by Razer Chroma™, which unlocks a virtually endless array of dazzling lighting effects that can be customized by the user or synced to in-game events.

Similar to Razer’s newest systems, Project Valerie equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 exceeds the minimum hardware requirements of HTC Vive™ and Oculus Rift, making it one of the most immersive, mobile VR-ready devices for enthusiasts and developers.

“Multi-monitor desktop set-ups are becoming more necessary for professionals, creators, and gamers,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “For the first time, we’ve engineered a solution that users can take with them. Project Valerie promises all of the functionality of three screens and none of the hassle.”

The triple monitor, 17-inch Project Valerie complements Razer’s award-winning systems lineup. The 14-inch Razer Blade sets the benchmark for mobile gaming, while the 12.5-inch Razer Blade Stealth, with a starting MSRP of $899, earned official “Best PC” and “People’s Choice” honors at last year’s CES.
Razer won official “Best of CES” awards with other systems innovations in the past, including the Razer Switchblade, Project Fiona and Project Christine concepts. The Razer Edge tablet won the CES “Best of Show” in 2013, besting a field of more than 20,000 electronic devices at the world’s most prestigious tech tradeshow.

For more information on the Project Valerie, and to register for announcements, visit razerzone.com/projectvalerie.