Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

radio

There’s just time to review this before I take it back to the shop. It isn’t that it’s cheaply made (it is, but it’s also cheap) or that it doesn’t sound good (for the price, it sounds fine). It’s that it comes with a bog-standard telescopic antenna, and such antennae really aren’t up to the job. If you live in an area with good DAB coverage then this would make a sensible, even advisable, purchase. If not, it’s all but unusable. 3/5

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If you’ve ever made a Let’s Play video then you’ll know what a faff it is. By the time you’ve shot, re-shot, added a soundtrack, edited, re-edited and uploaded the damned thing, there’s rarely change left from a weekend. This is where the Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket comes in. It’s an external, USB-powered game recorder for PC, XBox and Playstation, and it promises to make the process as easy as pressing a button. Well, some of the process, anyway.

Recording happens directly to a flash or external HDD drive, and it comes with a built-in audio mixer. It was released earlier this week, so we’ve not had chance to play with one yet, but it’s a potential time-saver for content producers with £140 to spare.

For more info, check it out here: www.hauppauge.co.uk/rocket

‘What Saitek X55 flightstick teaser?’ I hear you ask. This here Saitek X55 flightstick teaser, I reply.

Actually, there’s not much to see. Lots of wiggly lines and a few second’s footage of the device itself. Nonetheless, there are enough clues for me to indulge in some unwise speculation. The smart money is on the X55 being a high-end stick-and-throttle combo, something fresher than the ageing X52 Pro but simpler than the £300 behemoth that is the X65F combat stick. The clue’s in the name, and there’s a strong X65F-ness about the shape. But…

…but. See that trigger? It’s red. That’s very arcadey, no? And there’s no throttle in sight. That means nothing, of course – who knows when the X55 will ship, and what it’ll look like when it does. However, it’s got me thinking that it might just be a single-stick solution. That would be very exciting. That would make it a pro version of the Cyborg 3D USB Gold, and the Cyborg 3D USB Gold was incredible. It was cheap, robust, and ideal for everything from Freespace to Flight Simulator X.

Either way, it’s good news. There’s nothing we simmers like better than waggling our joysticks. And hey, Christmas is just round the corner. If any of my friends or family are reading this, you know what to do 🙂

[UPDATE: The official word from Saitek is ‘sooon’. So expect it sooon!]

[Incidentally, thanks to Saitek for giving their permission to share the video]

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This review is for @RenderB, who recoiled in horror at the mention of the word ‘bass’ in last week’s Steelseries Flux review. Fear not, my friend. The Flux’s grown-up sibling, the Flux In-Ear Pro, has no such urban pretentions. This time the sound is more Concert Hall than Rock Club, with balanced armature technology which creates an exceptionally accurate soundscape. Drawbacks are a fiddly fit, a poor inline microphone and a weighty price tag. The Pro also shares the Flux’s dislike of cheap PC soundcards. However, if you’re using them with your iThing, and you value precision over power, they’re well worth a try. 4/5 

Here’s the full review:  http://www.digitallydownloaded.net/2013/08/hardware-review-steelseries-flux-in-ear.html

flux

The headphones that make music fun again. The sound is more Rock Club than Concert Hall, with an enveloping, boomy bass that underlines sweet trebles and clear midtones. There’s clarity here, but not at the expense of power. The Flux features interchangeable cables, so it’s also possible to set them up as a PC headset. They don’t work too well with front audio ports, but they produce decent gaming audio when plugged directly into a soundcard. Like many similar headphones, prolonged use can lead to squashed ears; if you can live with that then you’ll find that this is an exceptional general-use headset at a very reasonable price. 4.5/5  

Read the full review here: http://www.plughead.net/review-steelseries-flux-gaming-gadget-voice-headset

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A top-notch mechanical keyboard that does the basics brilliantly. It has media keys, and full n-key rollover if you connect it via the default PS/2 adapter, but few other features. No lighting, no drivers, no fancy extras. Nevertheless, the key action is sublime. It’s based on Cherry Red switches, so has featherlight key resistance and a pleasingly noisy clack. Sadly, there’s no easy way to disable the Windows key, and the lack of illlumination means that you’ll have to play in a well-lit room. If you can’t stretch to the higher-spec MK80 or MK85, it’s excellent kit for the price. 4/5

Check out my full review at: http://www.plughead.net/review-qpad-mk50-mechanical-gaming-keyboard