Creative Labs has released the first gaming keyboard and mouse in their Sound BlasterX Pro Gamer line. These offerings consist of the the Siege M04 RGB gaming mouse and the Vanguard K08 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. While you could purchase the two products separately and be perfectly happy, Creative Labs has released the very limited Sound BlasterX Weapons Crate edition bundle. This “weapons crate” contains both the Vanguard K08 and Siege M04 as well as the nifty Alphapad mouse pad, all in a heavy duty carrying case that looks like it should be carrying actual weapons. Each crate comes with a unique serial number.
Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08
The Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 mechanical gaming keyboard is a beautifully-designed peripheral which exudes style and good looks. RGB lighting systems have become all the rage in peripherals these days and is well executed on the Vanguard. Using the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Connect software, you can configure a number of eye popping patterns to oogle during play. It also allows you to customize 109 of its keys with macros and a lot more!
The real standout feature of the Vanguard, however, is its PRES mechanical key switches. PRES, or, Perceive-React-Execute Switches are specially designed by Creative Labs and OMRON to activate 25% faster than standard mechanical switches. This is thanks, in part, to the keys reduced travel time. Furthering the remarkability of the keys is that each PRES key has two connectors hiding inside. This means that even if one connector gets coated in dust or grime, the other one can still fire off a signal to your computer. This redundancy means PRES keys are extremely reliable in a multitude of conditions. The keyboard even boasts 26-key rollover technology, which should be plenty for any gamer – no matter how many actions you need to perform.
Rounding out some of the cool features of the Vanguard is a soft braided cable as well as a USB 2.0 pass through port for convenient attachment of a gaming mouse – such as the Siege M04. Speaking of which…
Sound BlasterX Siege M04
The Sound BlasterX Siege M04 RGB gaming mouse features a stylish, sleek black body with rubberized side areas for increased grip during play. Of course, much like the Vanguard we already touched on, the Siege M04 features a 16.8 million color RGB lighting system that is completely cool and eye catching. You can configure the lighting system within the Sound Blaster Connect software suite.
Under the hood, the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 features a PixArt PMW3360 IR LED gaming grade sensor. This sensor provides up to 12,000 dpi and 1,000 Hz polling rates as well as customizeable lift off distance of either 2 or 3mm.
Further harnessing the power of this remarkable mouse sensor is a 32-bit microprocessor. The Siege M04 is very good at promoting its lack of mouse prediction and acceleration and, while you might think NOT having features would be a negative, those are two huge problems for serious gamers out there. Acceleration and prediction can be a real detriment in tournament play and not having those is a terrific thing to tout (the more you know!).
The Siege M04 features a soft braided cable and a cool thumb button which puts the mouse into sniper mode. This is great for those of you who play shooter titles and I loved using it in my Battlefield 1 sniper rifles. It brings the DPI down to a predetermined level that makes minor corrections much more achievable. The hope is that it allows you to be a more effective sniper and, for the most part, it succeeds!
Alphapad Mouse Pad
Admittedly, the weakest part of the Sound BlasterX Pro Gamer Weapons Case is the Alphapad. It is a flexible mouse pad which boasts the Sound BlasterX logo. While I say this is the weakest part of the weapons crate, it isn’t so much that the Alphapad does not function as a mouse pad – it’s fine. It just doesn’t have the same wow factor as the Vanguard or Siege – the true stars of the crate. The Alpha pad features a decent size mouse pad surface but does not have any kind of wrist rest. The pad itself is rather hard on the skin, so I would recommend a wrist pad of some sort if you are doing some marathon game sessions.
I am hard pressed to believe that the Vanguard and Siege peripherals are Creative Labs first forays into the mice and keyboard markets. They are each so well-designed and made so durable that they exude the style, performance, and look of a company that has been crafting them for years. Whether you purchase them together, in the weapons crate, or separately you will not be disappointed with the rewards they will provide both your gaming and general computing needs. If you are looking to transport your peripherals to e-sports tournaments or just a friend’s house, you might consider the limited edition Weapons Crate as it comes in a super rugged case with form fitted foam to keep everything from rattling around – really cool bundle!
The Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Pro Gamer Weapons Crate retails for $299.99 while the Vanguard K08 mechanical gaming keyboard has an MSRP of $179.99 and the Siege M04 RGB gaming keyboard retails for $79.99. You can find them at Creative Labs official website as well as online retailers like Amazon.com.
Sound BlasterX Weapons Crate Review Score(5 out of 5 stars)
Sound BlasterX Vanguard Review Score(5 out of 5 stars)
Sound BlasterX Siege Review Score(5 out of 5 stars)
Sound BlasterX Alphapad Review Score(3 out of 5 stars)