Logitech has been producing high end peripherals for years, but can the company’s midrange products maintain the aesthetics and functionality of its more expensive gear? We tested the Desktop Wave to find out.
There's never been a better time to be in the market for a keyboard. On the lower end of the pricing spectrum, OCZ recently announced its Elixir, an über affordable keyboard as part of the company's Alchemy line aimed at gamers on a budget. And for those running out of Swish bank accounts to store obscene amounts of of cash, Art Lebedev Studios' OLED Optimus Maximus has finally emerged from the depths of vaporware to become a shipping product.
In between both extremes, many still consider Metadot Corporation's Das Keyboard the tour de force of keyboard construction, which Maximum PC awarded a 9/Kick Ass verdict back in 2005. The original plank broke the mold by blanking out the keys rather than saddling them with peksy labels, and now three years later, Metadot looks to jump back in the peripheral market with a pair of updated models.
Click the jump to learn more about the Das Ultimate and Das Professional, and how they compare to the original.
Pretty soon you might be able to build a complete PC with nothing but OCZ-branded components and peripherals. Adding to the list of power supplies, RAM, USB thumb drives, videocards, coolers, and mice is OCZ's new Elixir keyboard. The keyboard kicks off OCZ's Alchemy line of gaming products, whch the company says "is designed to offer gamers quality gaming solutions that deliver both exceptional performance and value." Products in the Alchemy line will evidently target budget-minded gamers, and could potentially give Razer a run its money.
Getting back to the Elixer, the new keyboard claims a combination of ergonomic and sturdy design. Features include 10 blue macro keys with 3 user-programmable profiles, mode selection (standard PC or customized gaming mode), a pop-up menu shortcut, and eight multimedia keys. Rounding out the feature-set are membrane tactile keys with all rubber-coating and a USB port. The Elixer will carry an MSRP of $29.99, putting it in a good position to compete other similarly spec'd gaming keyboards at much higher price points.
It all sounds good in theory, but can OCZ pull off releasing quality gaming peripherals at budget prices?
Forget about buying fake Guccis and knockoff Louis Vuittons, and take a look at your keyboard instead. Are you sure it's genuine? It most likely is, as the effort and risk would surely outweigh the rewards in trying to sell a fake high-end keyboard, and lower end boards would hardly make the illegal venture worthwhile. Nevertheless, four Chinese companies apparently thought it made good business sense to make and sell counterfeit NEC keyboards, a move which has earned them a court ordered fine of CNY1.15 million. In U.S. dollars, that only equates to roughly $167,000, which only serves to highlight the bad business decision. It's believed the four counterfeiters profited at least CNY1 million in the venture, or about $36,000 USD after a four way split.
While NEC keyboards may seem like a quirky target, counterfeit computer goods can add up. In a joint operation earlier this year, officials from the US and European Union seized over 360,000 computer components worth a whopping $1.3 billion over a two week period. Some of the over forty different trademarked brands included Intel, Cisco, and Phillips.
Have you ever been bamboozled by fake goods, PC or otherwise? Post your experience(s) below.
Perhaps no other country takes gaming as seriously as China, and no other company pushes gaming peripherals as hard as Razer, who arguably drove the once niche market into the mainstream sector with the introduction of its Boomslang mouse back in 2000. It seems only natural for the two to court each other, no matter what Paula Abdul sang about back before she, well, never mind.
For its part, Razer's making its interests known and will play suitor to Chinese gamers with the announcement of the Aurantia keyboard. Built exclusively for Chinese gamers and co-developed with XioFeng "Sky" Li from China's Team World Elite, the entry-level keyboard offers a bevy of customizable options, including:
104 programmable keys with macro capabilities
Three additional keys for 'gaming mode,' 'profile switching,' and 'mute' functions
10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
A detachable non-slip wrist rest and backlit keys round out the feature-set. Sound familiar? It should, because glossing over the spec sheet and available pics, the Aurantia bears more than a just a striking resemblance to the Razer Lycosa; save for what appears to be a slightly lowered keyset on the Lycosa, the two keyboards seem to share much of the same DNA and could pass as peripheral twins. Quick, what's the Chinese term for déjà vu?
According to a DigiTimes report, Asus plans to expand its Eee PC line with a pair of new models, the 904 and 905. Like the current 901 ultraportable, the new models will reportedly feature the same 8.9" panel and continue to use Intel's Atom processor. But in a nod towards the 'bigger is better' axiom, look for a larger keyboard and chassis similar to the dimensions found on the Eee PC 1000, with pricing expected to stay competitive with the current crop of 900 and 901 models. DigiTimes also claims Asus is still on the fence over making changes to battery and storage capacity.
Dell has always bolted out with top honors for the most galling customer service experience. Although it claims to be working earnestly at improving customer service, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.
It had committed the same blunder just a month ago and subsequently apologized. Dell has no choice but to offer replacements which it is currently doing. But even mandatory replacements seem such a privilege with Dell’s customer-service credentials.
We’ve long admired Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000; its combination of a downward tilting typing surface and a split layout is the perfect salve for our aching wrists. But we aren’t as fond of the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, which is unfortunate, as the devices are paired in one bundle for the weak-wristed.