Microsoft this week said it has hit the ground running with its new TrueColor Technology, which the company claims provides superior color and brightness even in piss-poor lighting conditions.
"Color quality and brightness are critical aspects of video calls. Through our research we know that a large number of video calls are held in either low light conditions or uneven lighting,a nd these are challenging situations for any webcam and represent a common pain point for webcam users," said Daniel Anguiano, product marketing manager for Microsoft Hardware. "Our engineers at Microsoft Hardware created TrueColor Technology to improve the video experience, combining software and firmware to help people look bright and natural in virtually any lighting situation."
Microsoft's TrueColor tech will make its debut in three new webcams, including the LifeCam HD-5000, HD-5001, and HD-6000. All three feature 720p HD sensors and auto focus technology. The HD-5000 series is intended for desktops, while the HD-5001 will be exclusive to Best Buy and includes a custom design with a white faceplate.
The HD-6000 is intended for notebooks and comes capable of 360-degree rotation.
Both the HD-5000 and HD-5001 will be available later this month for $50, while the HD-6000 will ship in May for $60.
Well hi giggly hey, Razer, if Ned Flanders were a gamer, this might be the happiest day of his life. That's because Razer just announced the first gaming grade mouse designed specifically for left-handed fraggers - son of a diddly!
"Leftie gamers have long been requesting that we develop a gaming grade mouse that is designed exclusively for the left-handed gaming community and we really value the feedback we receive from our fans," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "Not many gamers know this, but I am a southpaw myself and feel truly excited to have a mouse that fits perfectly in my left hand. There is really no substitute for gaming with your naturally dominant hand."
Before right-handed gamers cry foul, this isn't an entirely brand new model, but a left-handed version of the popular DeathAdder gaming mouse. As such, lefties get the same benefits of their right-handed brethren, including a 3500dpi 3.5G infrared sensor, 1000Hz ultrapolling, 1ms response, on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments, five programmable buttons (including two on the right side), and everything else you remember about the Death Adder.
Razer has the DeathAdder for lefties on backorder for $60.
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.
We're expecting big things from the USB 3.0 spec, but that doesn't mean it's time to write USB 2.0's obituary. Case in point: Corsair today just unleashed a new family of flash USB drives -- Flash Voyager GTR -- designed for the USB 2.0 interface.
The biggest feature of the new flash drive family is the quad-channel architecture. According to Corsair, this makes it possible to reach read speeds up to 34MB/s and write speeds up to 28MB/s. Corsair says these are real-world figures too, as demonstrated by the company's in-house testing "against a major competitor's 128GB 'fast' flash drive."
"As we continue to digitize the sights, sounds, movies, and business of our everyday lives, we need better and better ability to transport our data and access it quickly," stated John Beekley, VP of Technical Marketing at Corsair. "The Flash voyager GTR combines to the best features of a USB flash drive and the performance of an external hard drive to provide the ultimate data portability tool."
In addition to 128GB, the new drive series will also be available in 32GB and 64GB capacities. No word yet on price.
Microsoft's Project Natal looks to make air guitar a bona fide gaming skill, as well as all kinds of gestures applicable to a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience." But before Natal can get to that point, developers have to resolve a potentially crippling issue with latency, says news and rumor site Fudzilla.
Citing sources who "wish to remain nameless," Fudzilla says Natal's sensor-based control scheme could suffer from lag as much as .08 seconds to .12 seconds, most often hovering around .10 seconds. That might not sound like much, but it's enough to create tracking problems for fast paced titles.
Keep in mind that Natal hasn't shipped yet so there's still plenty of time to iron this and any other bugs out. Playing the part of Pessimistic Patty, Fudzilla says even while development continues, "it is doubtful that [the lag issue] will be able to totally be eliminated." Our take? We'll reserve judgment until the thing actually ships.
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.
Super bright LED flashlights are already pretty awesome, but slap an integrated video recorder into the mix and it's all over, man. This might be the coolest gadget James Bond never had.
It's called the LED Spy Light HD. The HD nomenclature might be a little ambitious, but you can shoot video in 1,280 x 960 at 30fps. You can also snap photos of your nemesis' secret plans in 1,600 x 1,200, And if all that weren't enough, there's also a voice recorder tossed into the mix.
The Spy Light doesn't come with any internal memory, but you're welcome to shove your own SD/SDHC card into the Spy Light.
If you owned a pair of Sennheiser's PX 210 BT headphones, you'd never have to pause another Maximum PC podcast again, even when you have to use the bathroom or duck downstairs to check on the laundry. Not only do these headphones cut the cord in favor of a Bluetooth connection, they also come with a range of 33 feet.
On the technical side, Sennheiser's cordless headset comes constructed with Neodymium magnets and Duofol diaphragms for "excellent sound reproduction," apt-X technology support for audio compression duties, a collapsible design with a metal-reinforced headband, and integrated track and volume controls.
The set also comes with an audio cable for those times when Bluetooth isn't an option. Other accessories include a multi-country chargers, USB charging cable, rechargeable battery, and carrying case.
We weren't too impressed by Microsoft's Arc Mouse, finding its anemic shape a bit awkward. The recently announced Arc Keyboard maintains the same curved aesthetics as its mouse counterpart, but doesn't deviate as much from traditional keyboard designs. We were able to get our hands on one from sister magazine MacLife to try out for an afternoon.
Intended for use on lapboards or on tiny workspaces, the Arc Keyboard is efficiently compact. While its key arrangement is full-sized, the keyboard is just barely one foot wide. It's also very light (weighing less than a pound), making it possible for you to hold it up with one hand while typing with the other (like ubernerds do in movies).
But there are two decisions that Microsoft made that we weren't happy with.
Rather than mourn the passing of your Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis (from relevance, mind you -- we're well aware some of you still have a functioning SNES or Sega console stuffed in your basement), dreamGEAR's giving you a chance to relive old times with a throwback-style controller designed for the Wii.
The new controller looks almost identical to the old SNES pad, but unlike the original, however, this one comes with six buttons on the front, giving it a bit of Sega Genesis DNA. The ultimate love child, perhaps?
Not quite, but it does complement the assortment of old school titles available from Wii's Virtual Console section, and because it comes with six buttons, you're a Street Fighter download away from dredging up days of killer combos (and remembering how much more fun it was to play at the arcade).
Best Buy's Outlet Center has the dreamGEAR pad in stock for $15.