hardware

discussion

Show Us Your Keyboard

I swear the color scheme is just a coincidence. While all of us at Kotaku are big fans of typing, a handful of us have started taking our love of keyboards to the next level. There’s nothing like a good mechanical keyboard, especially when you take extra steps to make it your very own. I’ll show you what I’m typing on if you show me yours. Advertisement I’ve been covering keyboards for Kotaku for years now, but it’s only recently that I’ve been introduced to the wonderful world of customization. I blame Chris Person, who was parading a sexy set of pastel keycaps around the office when I was visiting our New York headquarters earlier this year. Between that, with Gita Jackson’s recent acquisition of a lovely pink Filco keyboard (which is perpetually out of stock) and a visit to Reddit’s Mechanical Keyboard community, I was hooked. Acting on a suggestion from some folks on the Reddit board, I pulled the trigger on a Unicomp Ultra Classic, the spiritual successor to IBM’s famed Model M keyboard. Like the original Model M, the Ultra Classic utilizes a unique READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

game pad

Hyperkin X91 Retro Controller Review: Past Imperfect

Over the past three decades console game controllers have evolved from utilitarian rectangles to sleek works of ergonomic engineering art. Hyperkin’s retro-styled X91 wired controller for Xbox One and PC is what would have happened if that evolution had taken a less comfortable turn. What It Is The X91 marries the wide, short and shallow form factor of classics like Nintendo’s Super Nintendo game pad with modern advances like analog sticks, duel shoulder buttons, exceedingly bright LEDs and grips. Imagine someone took an Xbox One controller, affixed a wire and then smushed it between their hands as if it were clay. Advertisement Then stop imagining it, because I have a picture. It’s a cool concept, and one that might work fine for someone with small-ish hands. I do not have smallish hands. I have badly-drawn cartoon hands. Advertisement Despite its low profile, Hyperkin has outfitted the X91 with all of the same bits you get on a standard Xbox One controller. Shoulder buttons, triggers, analog sticks, buttons, a directional pad and a stylized X in a circle—if you are looking READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

1080 ti

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 Ti Review: Comfortably 4K

Last year Nvidia launched its Pascal gaming line with the GTX 1080, bringing capable 4K PC gaming to the masses. The new Geforce GTX 1080 Ti upgrades that “capable” to “comfortable.” Advertisement The original GTX 1080 is an excellent graphics card that hits at least 30 frames per second on most contemporary PC games, especially when some of the more extraneous settings are dialed back. Thing is, I am not a big fan of dialing back. I like to install a game, set everything to “ultra” or its equivalent, and then never go into the graphics settings menu again. I know there are settings that I wouldn’t even notice were sub-optimal with these aging eyes, but I can still read a slide, dammit. Don’t touch my thermostat, kids. Advertisement If I can’t play at 30 frames-per-second or higher on ultra, I dial things back to 2K or 1920 x 1080. I’ve been doing a lot less dialing back since I installed the Geforce GTX 1080 Ti. What It Is The GTX 780 begat the 780 Ti, the GTX 980 begat the 980 Ti, and READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

hardware

Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard Review: Professional Grade

The latest keyboard to come from Logitech’s gamer-focused G series is a compact little number built specifically for esports professionals. I am not an esports professional, but I know what I like. Advertisement As the line between sports and esports continues to blur, we’re seeing more gaming peripherals made for the esports market. Just like you can go into a sneaker shop and grab the same shoes a pro basketball player wears, now you can go into your local PC boutique and grab a keyboard endorsed by Team SoloMid’s Wildturtle. Logitech, a sponsor of Team SoloMid, worked with esports professionals to create a keyboard for esports professionals. It’s a nice piece of kit, even if you aren’t streaming competitively while wearing matching shirts. What It Is The Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard is a compact typing and gaming device, designed from the ground up with esports professions in mind. It’s got a tenkeyless design, which means it does away with the number pad that’s normally off to the right in order to conserve space. Advertisement The Pro Gaming Keyboard features Logitech’s Romer-G mechanical switches. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

accessories

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Hides A Secret Message Inside

The Nintendo Switch’s Pro Controller is partially translucent, meaning that you can look inside the guts of the accessory. You’d think, then, that anything housed within would be easy to spot, but there’s actually a furtive little easter egg that you’ll need to look closely to see. Advertisement If you look by the directly above the right stick, you should see a message that reads “thnx2 allgamefans!,” as a few people on social media recently discovered: It’s kinda hard to spot, I spent five minutes looking for it despite knowing exactly where it was. I initially couldn’t see the words without flashing a light on the controller, and tilting it side to side a bit. It helps to move the stick down and to look directly on the dark ring surrounding it. Cool, huh? Gotta love Nintendo’s attention to detail. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Featured

Nintendo Switch Review — Potential Hidden Under Problems

One of the defining moments of my childhood were my family’s road trips to Disney World. Cramped into a packed minivan, my father would — and still does — drive the 18 hour car trip from New …Read More The post Nintendo Switch Review — Potential Hidden Under Problems by Lou Contaldi appeared first on DualShockers.

amd

AMD's Ryzen CPUs Are Here To Take On Intel

Holding a Ryzen CPU in your hand offers absolutely no benefit. AMD today launches the first three models of its Ryzen desktop processor, a trio of eight-core CPUs that promise power to rival Intel’s finest at a more accessible price point. Advertisement AMD has spent four years and thousands of hours working on the Zen core microarchitecture, and the three Ryzen processors launched today represent the culmination of that work. Available today for do-it-yourselfers or in a wide array of systems from boutique PC builders, the first three Ryzen CPUs offer an amazing power-to-price ratio. Ryzen 7 1800X running at 3.6 GHz or up to 4.0 GHz for $499 Ryzen 7 1700X running at 3.4 GHz or up to 3.8 GHz for $399 Ryzen 7 1700 running at 3.0 GHz or up to 3.7 GHz for $329 Early testing indicates the the Ryzen CPUs outperform their Intel counterparts in multiple areas—our friends at Techspot are already impressed—though early gaming benchmarks show Intel still on top. Advertisement “Today’s launch of Ryzen represents AMD at its best, delivering great products and innovation to READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Dell

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop Review: It Plays Games

Some gaming laptops are legendary electronic beasts, brimming with the latest in powerful mobile computing tech, built to perform and priced slightly beyond that. Then there is the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop. You want to play games? It can do that. Just don’t go crazy. Advertisement I’ve reviewed a lot of gaming laptops in my ten years with Kotaku, and they’ve all leaned towards the ridiculously powerful side of the fence. When a company like Maingear or MSI or Razer sends a review unit to a gaming site, they try to send the best. They’re looking to impress. Aside from what I think is a lovely outer shell, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 isn’t particularly impressive. It’s a $800 to $1,100 machine that just wants to play some games with the nice people. I almost feel sorry for the little guy. What It Is The Inspiron 15 7000 is the new entry-level gaming laptop from the folks at Dell, a company that’s been putting PCs on desks for over three decades. It doesn’t have a glossy 4K touch screen. It’s not outfitted with the most power mobile READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Video game companies are lobbying against a bill that protects independent business’ and gamers’ rig

Video game companies are lobbying against a bill that protects independent business’ and gamers’ right to repair personal gaming consoles, VICE Motherboard reports. Several states have introduced bills that will force manufacturers to release tools and information required for fixing their products, exploding their so-called “repair monopoly.” READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

hardware

Not All Switch Games Will Support TV Mode

Not all Nintendo Switch games are going to take advantage of the console’s dual TV/portable nature. Released last year for iOS and Android, rhythm game Voez is now a Japanese Switch launch title, and it requires a touch screen to play. Does this mean we’re in for a flood of tablet ports? Advertisement The latest game from mobile developer Rayark, Voez is a lane-based rhythm game where the tracks are dynamic, shifting and changing as songs play. It’s a very neat game with some lovely visuals. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit on my iPad, and today it was announced as a Japanese launch title for the Switch (via NeoGAF.) But how does a touch-intensive game work in TV mode? According to the FAQ accompanying the announcement, it does not. Q: Can I play even in TV mode? A: No. This software can not play in TV mode. Touch the touch screen in mobile mode to play the game. Button operation is not available. (Translated via Google)  I don’t know about you folks, but I was not expecting the Switch to get games that were portable only. It READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Clutch Chairz Throttle Review: The Sports Car Of Supersized Gaming Chairs

Just because you are a bigger-than-normal person doesn’t mean you can’t get a gaming chair that looks and feels like you salvaged it from a wrecked race car. Clutch Chairz’ Throttle gaming chair is rolling, butt-gripping proof. Advertisement Unlike many products that toss the word “gaming” in front of an everyday thing in order to appeal to our incredibly attractive demographic, gaming chairs are a step beyond basic sitting items. While there’s a certain amount of showiness involved, they’re also designed to keep players upright, awake, and sitting properly as to not damage their backs during extended gaming sessions. As someone who has had back surgery to help correct years of improper sitting (and some poor lifting choices), I can appreciate that. But I am a 6’6″ person with an oversized build. I weigh around 325 pounds at the moment (and falling), which seems like a lot, but the nutritionist I see tells me for my height and build, 275 is ideal. So yeah, I am a big boy, and I need a big boy chair. I recently reviewed the Titan from Secretlab, and was impressed with the difference a seat built specifically for someone almost my size and weight…

big and tall

SecretLab Titan Review: A Big Gaming Chair For Big Gaming People

Standard office and gaming chairs are not built for big and tall people. They cower before our broad frames, shudder beneath our weight and generally fear us. The SecretLab Titan, built for the larger-than-guy-sized gamer, has no fear. Advertisement Finding a comfortable place to sit for long periods is not an easy task for the big and tall. I stand at 6’6″ and have a very broad frame. I generally hover around 300 pounds, depending on how much of a damn I am giving about my weight. I have killed many a flimsy folding chair in my time, and my office seating tends to fall apart after a year or two of extended use. To make matters worse, I have a very long torso and relatively short legs. At six and a half feet tall I have a 32-34 inch inseam, which is about the same as that of my foot-shorter wife. When everyone else in the airplane is resting their heads, my headrest tries to function as a just-below-the-shoulder-blades-rest. I do my best to score window seats so I have something to lean against that isn’t my fellow passengers. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

controllers

Look At This Skinny Xbox One Controller

Available February 21 from Hyperkin, the X91 wired Xbox One controller is designed to replicate the slender form factor of the game pads of old. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. The X91 will also be available in red and black. All three will retail for $29.99. I just received a review sample of the X91 and have yet to put it through its paces, but it’s just such a unique shape compared to other Xbox One controllers that I felt I had to share. Advertisement It’s the bastard child of an Xbox One controller and a Super Nintendo game pad, its grips short and stunted, its guide button significantly shrunken. The analog sticks might look smaller, but they’re the same size as Microsoft’s official ones. I’ve been playing quite a bit of games on my NES Classic recently (the kids need teaching), so I am used to a controller that’s wide and not tall. The only stumbling block I forsee is the bumbers and triggers, as the X91 doesn’t sport the extended grips that allow my forefinger to rest READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

blackwidow

Razer's Most Popular Gaming Keyboard Gets A Wrist Rest And Fancy New Switches

If you’re into keyboard switches, you’ll appreciate news that the latest version of Razer’s BlackWidow gaming keyboard adds a third option—the silent, low-travel Razer Yellow switch. Me, I’m just excited about the magnetic wrist rest. Advertisement Riding on the success of the dual mechanical/membrane Razer Ornata, the new BlackWidow V2 is sporting a padded wrist rest that attaches magnetically to the front of the unit, which has quickly become one of my favorite things. Sporting angled edges, the comfy home for your wrists and part of your palms really ties the keyboard together. This keyboard is naked and should be ashamed of itself. This keyboard is properly rested. I do not have a picture of the Yellow switches, but the official announcement promises that they’ll be an option for the V2. They even explain why one might want them. Advertisement The Razer BlackWidow V2 continues the legacy of offering the best tactile switches with the Green and Orange variants, and adds an alternative – the Razer Yellow switch. Its linear and silent design and reduced travel distance READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!