Like most old school geeks, we have some fond memories of Commodore computers. We probably typed Load"*",8,1 a million times, but those were simpler times, back before 3D graphics cards and double-clicking icons.
Well, the Commodore is back, though don't go dusting off your Epyx Fast Load cartridge or your floppy bin. Barry Altman, president and CEO of Commodore USA, filed all the necessary paperwork to secure rights to the Commodore name, which he'll use to market and sell a keyboard computer.
It will come branded with the same Commodore logo you remember from three decades ago, but the hardware is nothing like your old C64. Altman says you can expect an Intel Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad processor, up to 2TB of disk space, up to 4GB of memory, a DVD burner, four USB 2.0 ports, dual-link DVI port, memory card reader, and other modern day amenities.
No word yet on this revival will take place or how much it will cost.
At one time a niche market largely dominated by Razer and, to some extent, Logitech, gaming peripherals have become big sellers, prompting a crowded field of contestants all competing for your pieces of eight. It's about to get a little more crowded, as Thermaltake jumps into the fray with its upcoming Tt Esports line.
One of the first products in the Tt Esports line will be Thermaltake's Challenger Gaming Keyboard, a rugged looking plank with up to 18 macro keys, an anti-ghost key function, 32KB of onboard memory, integrated USB ports, gold-plated USB connector, and a handful of red caps in case you want to highlight the WASD and arrow keys. It's also the first keyboard to come with a cooling fan, which plugs into either side of the plank.
Thermaltake is also launching a mouse with adjustable weights. It looks attractive enough, but there are currently no other specs to share, such as laser sensitivity and the sort.
Fudzilla snapped a ton pics, which you can check out here.
SteelSeries, makers of “professional gaming gear”, have used CeBIT as the launching platform for a new keyboard, the 6Gv2, and headset, the 7H.
The 6Gv2 keyboard is modeled after SteelSeries’s award-winning 7G. It is designed with 18-karat gold-plated mechanical no-click switches, which SteelSeries says will offer quicker reaction times, advance key combinations, and more “Actions Per Minute.” The 6Gv2 has a buffer system created specifically for gaming, and an “anti-ghosting” feature that allows users in first person shooters (FPS) to move, crouch, aim, fire, and even check the scoreboard--all at the same time. Built in are media controls, allowing quick access to audio controls. Unlike the 7G, the 6Gv2 has no audio ports, USB ports, or removable plastic hand-rest.
The 7H headset features 50mm drivers with over-the-ear cups that SteelSeries says will deliver a “clean soundscape of high, low and mid tones from background, mood setting sounds in MMO games to 3D positional alerts in FPS games.” The 7H comes with two ear cup options: leather, for maximum sound isolation, or cloth, so you can better communicate with teammates. It has a retractable, uni-directional microphone in the left ear cup, and has built-in volume and microphone controls. 7H comes with standard miniplugs or a USB connector. The USB version comes with optimized sound profiles, as well as customizable environmental settings. For easy storage the 7H can be dismantled into four pieces.
The 6Gv2 keyboard retails for $99.99, while the 7H headset retails for $119.99, with the USB version going for $149.99. All are available for pre-sale at Amazon.
We've seen a lot of different keyboards, but nothing quite like Lenovo's Mini Wireless plank with an integrated trackball. Designed for HTPC duties, the trackball isn't even its most unique feature.
That would belong to its paddle-shaped design, a first as far as we're aware, and a masochist's dream come true. It also comes with 69 keys, the exact number required to tickle your inner Billy Madison.
Essentially an oversized remote control, Lenovo's paddle-shaped plank sports a 2.4GHz wireless Nano dongle, giving you 10 meters of control distance, or just shy of 33 feet. It takes a pair of AAA batteries and works with Windows 7 / Vista / XP / 2000.
Just in case typing full words was too much exercise for you, or perhaps learning a traditional QWERTY keyboard was too mainstream for your “rebel” lifestyle, Fast Finger Keyboards has the peripheral for you!
Not only have they completely rearranged the keys to be in consecutive A-Z format, they have included shorthand internet and texting meme short cuts on the function keys. This keyboard is for you if you knew what HOAS meant without Googling it. In case someone who has used any keyboard (or typewriter) in his or her lifetime sits down at your computer, FFK generously included the standard QWERTY layout on the keyboard.
Thankfully, the folks over at Fast Finger Keyboards didn’t make this fire-engine red atrocity novelty more than 25 bucks.
There was a time when computer keyboards were little more than bland, beige planks with nary a unique feature to be found, but that certainly isn't the case anymore. Today there are tons of higher-end keyboards to choose from, the latest of which comes from Adesso.
Adesso's newest entry into the 'not-just-another-plank' category consists of the WKB-4200UB, a wireless keyboard thanks to its 2.4GHz RF combo controller, giving the keyboard a range of 30 feet.. There's a touchpad nestled over to the side, but even so, the WKB-4200UB still boasts a full-sized QWERTY keyboard.
The touchpad isn't the only unusual feature. Adesso says you can use multiple units in the same room, a trick made possible because of 6500 IDs on 12 different channels.
Video editing is specialized enough that it demands its own peripherals. A jog wheel is arguably the most important, making it easier to zip too and fro, and locate specific points for editing. CodeAct, a Korean manufacturer that offers a series of GR labeled video editing tools, offers a solution: the GR100--a keyboard with a built-in jog wheel.
Design of the GR100 is nothing special. Layout is pretty standard, with the obligatory 105-keys, and a built-in three port USB hub. The illuminated jog wheel sits on the right, along with a set of special function keys for video editing, but these can be remapped for other duties. The GR100 integrates nicely with CodeAct’s video editing software: GReditor, GRplayer, and GRencoder.
But at $274 (¥ 24,500.00), it seems a bit on the pricey side. Bella Professional Series keyboards also offers a jog wheel, and prices from $19 to $149. And, given the right-handed preference of these jog wheel keyboards, there’s always the standalone option, such as Griffin Technology’s PowerMate. (And is easier to replace should it fail.)
Still, the GR100 does come in some pretty cool colors: snow white, metallic sliver, orange, sky blue, light green, gentle gold, deep blue, as well as black. As of now, the GR100 is only available at GeekStuff4U.
We have a tough time envisioning Mad Max wearing Nintendo's original Power Glove (even if it is "so bad"), but we could totally see Mel Gibson darting around the desert armed with SpecOps's new "wearable computer technology to provide enhanced situational awareness of the battle space for military soldiers to use in the field." Sounds as wicked as it looks, doesn't it?
"We saw that iKey had experience with the military and they had a unit similar to what we wanted," said Caroline Tucker, Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development for SpecOps Systems. "The thing that impressed us the most about iKey was that we told them what we needed, and quickly had a conference call to discuss the details. Literally, within 24 hours, we had a prototype drawing. It was this focus on the customer that led us to go with iKey rather than any other vendor - we knew we had found a vendor who embraced our requirements."
That discussion led to the KYB-170-OEM, an ultra-compact plank measuring just 2.55 x 2.75 x 0.22 inches. There's a 17-key keypad crammed onto the sleeve that SpecOps says functions just like a cellphone does when texting. It also comes with an integrated micro Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) pointing device, which can be made with any color LED for use in the dark, a pretty important trait in a post-apocalyptic world.
No word yet on when this one will move out of the working prototype stage, but SpecOps did say it's currently testing the unit both in theater and stateside.
Straight out of Redmond's Hardware division this morning is the announcement of a new gaming keyboard, the SideWinder X4 Keyboard with "advanced anti-ghosting technology."
"We're always looking for new and novel ways to enhance people's interactions with their PCs," said Steven Bathiche, research manager of the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft. "We know that ghosting can be a problem for gamers, so we wanted to develop a way to eliminate this issue and improve the overall gaming experience, and we've succeeded with the new anti-ghosting technology in the SideWinder X4 Keyboard."
More specifically, the new SideWinder's anti-ghosting tech allows gamers hopped up on Red Bull to furiously mash up to 26 keys simultaneously without the PC ever skipping a beat.
In addition to anti-ghosting, Microsoft's latest plank also boasts mode switching (standard mode and two gaming modes), automatic profile switching, programmable macro keys (three banks of six keys to assign up to 18 macros per profile), in-game macro recording, automatic macro repetition, backlit keys with three illumination levels, and media keys.
Like it or not, computers and peripherals are as much a fashion statement as a practical tool. More and more they need a je ne sais quoi to accompany their functionality; an aesthetic to legitimize their existence. (In other words, if they don’t look cool we don’t want them.) Such is the case with Microsoft’s newest keyboard, the Arc, which was introduced at CES.
This is not to say that the Arc is a bad keyboard. The design has a certain Bauhaus flair to it, given how Microsoft envisions it being use. According to the description, the Arc was “inspired by home accessories like flatware and lighting fixtures,” and “[i]ts unique dome keyset comfortably rests on your lap so you can kick back and work on the couch or type away on the kitchen counter.” The Arc, then, is meant for casual use that can only occur when wearing lounging pajamas, and where style is an important consideration. (In contrast to manly gaming, where solidity and menace best define peripheral design and construction.)
The Arc, which is wireless, will be available exclusively at Best Buy, starting February 21, and will set you back $59.95. There is also a companion Arc mouse, that goes for $49.95, and is available from a number of outlets.