When Cooler Master Launched their new QuickFire Line of gaming keyboards with Mechanical switched they were very well received. We have had the chance to test out all of the models even though we have not always been able to try out the different Cherry MX Switch types (we have gone through Red, Brown and Blue). Now while all of the models were well received there were complaints about more than a few of the features that were built in. One of the most common complaints that we have heard about the QuickFire line up is that the QuickFire Pro did not have full back lighting. Instead Cooler Master chose to only light up a small selection of keys that they called the gaming cluster. Still this keyboard has been bought by many gamers because it is one of the only mechanical keyboards that supports NKRO over USB. As an added bonus the QuickFire Pro has two modes of NKRO; Full and 6-Key. Well for those of you that have wished for a mechanical keyboard with full NKRO over USB and full back lighting your wait is over. Cooler Master has taken some of the best features of the QuickFire Pro and put them in a smaller version named the QuickFire TK and the best part,… it has full backlighting. Read on to find out all of the nice details.
Although not as sexy as a new CPU, GPU or Motherboard USB flash drives are still used on an almost daily basis by many, many people. These are the indispensable little products that we carry our files around in. I know quite a few IT people that carry complete operating systems on them (I keep a Linux Live USB handy). It has also become increasingly popular to keep a web browser on a USB key to maintain better privacy (when combined with TOR). Now the problem is getting a USB key that has enough room and speed to keep things humming along so that these are extra steps are not slowing you down when you are working. We have gone through quite a few USB keys and are now taking a look at another one from Kingston; The DataTraveler Elite 3.0 32GB USB 3.0 Flash drive.
With all of the issues surrounding online privacy and internet snooping many are very concerned about having their personal information reviewed, logged, scanned and then stored away for sale by the companies that are tracking this. This issue is a very real one and as the companies we work for can (and do) put system in place to monitor, log and block certain types of traffic we are not surprised to see this become a very hot topic. The issue has become so large that there are multiple protests about privacy and personal data security happening in many countries. So what are you to do if all you really want is to check your Hotmail or maybe do some quick shopping without giving up all of your details? A Canadian company by the name of SurfEasy has a possible answer for you. So sit back, relax and read along as we talk about the SurfEasy Plug-in Privacy device.
One of the interesting items with today’s computer market is the use of multiples in so many components. When I first started playing around with PCs there was very little in the consumer (or even prosumer) market that had multiple anything. Occasionally you saw someone with multiple MODEMs running in tandem or shotgun mode. Then 3dfx brought in the multiple GPUs in the form of the add-in Voodoo3D Accelerator and things took off Now we see multiple CPUs and CPU cores, Multiple interlinked channels of RAM, Multiple Video cards, multi-channel audio, and of course multiple monitors. However, while multiple monitors have penetrated the desktop market the mobile market is still waiting on a solution. The issues is pretty simple; portability. Thanks to Displaylink and Mobile Monitor Technologies we have an answer to those that need an extra screen on the road. So let’s introduce the Field Monitor Pro.
Mobile devices are great. All of us use them in the form of phones, MP3/4 players, tablets laptops etc. The problem with a large majority of them is that they never seem to have enough storage to do everything you want. To combat this trend some manufacturers have started dropping in large capacity HDDs, but to keep inside the expected power curve these drives are very slow and end up slowing the system down as well. The alternative of dropping in a Solid State Drive can speed things up, but can also leave you with limited storage space unless you spend a ton of money. Kingston came up with an interesting little concept that takes care of the storage problem and also gives you some high-speed storage that you can move between your portable device and your desktop. So let’s take a look at the 512GB Kington HyperX Predator USB 3.0 thumbdrive.
The UPS truck stopped by today and brought with it some very nice toys. The first box was from Cooler Master and contained a Choiix Cruiser mouse, all decked out in red. This mouse is part of CM’s more college oriented line of peripherals, and has a decent look to it. We will have to see about how well it performs.
The fourth generation of Intel Core processors, codenamed Haswell, should be found in stores by mid-year. However, users could initially have some problems with the USB 3.0 interface and connected devices.
Asus has introduced an interesting external sound card named Xonar U7, which is connected to the computer via USB interface. The card is not in the Asus ROG product line, so the company has not targeted this product solely at the gamers but also at the fans of music and movies.
Acer gives up the Thunderbolt interface in favor of widespread USB 3.0. According to the official announcement, Acer in the recent line of computers no longer intends to implement Thunderbolt, but also wants to focus their attention to fast USB 3.0 interface.
Ok, now this is something that looks like it is going to be very cool. Today we got word about something called Cotton Candy. We know you are probably wondering what Cotton Candy is (outside of the real cotton candy). Well, it is a new twist on an old technology. When computer networks first started the screen that was in front of you did not do much processing. In fact, most of the time it did not do any processing. All of that was taken care of by a single powerful mainframe computer and what you saw was the displayed results. Now, as we move more and more into Cloud Based computing we are returning to that style of work. Someone else does all the heavy lifting and you get the results.