When StarCraft II releases to a rabid fan base who have helped make the original one of the most popular games of all time, Razer will be ready and waiting with a handful of StarCraft II themed peripherals, including a mouse (Spectre), keyboard (Marauder), and headset (Banshee).
"We are all huge StarCraft players here at Razer, so we are really excited to give gamers a first glimpse at the StarCraft II gaming peripherals," said Robert 'Razerguy' Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "The peripherals were created with our newly developed APM (Actions-Per-Minute) Lighting System™ and feature a gaming-optimized design inspired by the StarCraft universe to complement the on-screen action."
Hit the jump to see what each one brings to the StarCraft universe.
Intel hasn't been in any real hurry to promote the USB 3.0 standard, instead leaving it up to hardware makers to come up with their own solutions. EVGA, perhaps best known for the company's line of graphics cards, is one of those companies ready to usher in faster USB data transfers
To help do that, EVGA today launched its EU30 PCI-E host card, which adds an additional two USB 3.0 ports to your system. It works with any available PCI-E slot, including x1, x4, x8, and x16, and once plugged in will facilitate data transfers up to 5Gbps.
The low-profile design means it will slip in nicely to your HTPC or mATX LAN box, and of course it's backwards compatible too.
The new Polaroid bears little resemblance to the clunky Polaroid cameras of days gone by, but it does look strikingly similar to a more modern model, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 7. It's not hard to figure out that there's a bit of rebranding shenanigans going on, but nevertheless, Polaroid is touting its newest camera as the beginning of the "Polaroid Movement."
"We are thrilled that today marks the return of instant. It's bigger -- and better -- than ever. The Polaroid Movement is one of that we heartfully embrace and intend to build upon by reaching the creative community and global Polaroid fans alike," said Giovanni Tomasell, Managing Director of the Summit Global Group, the exclusive worldwide licensee for Polaroid branded imaging products.
The "Movement" doesn't come cheap, however. Polaroid has priced the 300 at $90 for the camera itself, and ten-packs of instant film run $10 each.
Barnes and Noble had grand visions for its Nook ebook reader when the device first launch at the tail end of 2009, but other than an initial flurry of sales, the ebook reader hasn't been able to pluck the crown off of Amazon's market-leading Kindle. Maybe things are starting to turn around.
According to DigiTimes Research, ebook reader shipments to Barnes and Noble jumped ahead of shipment numbers to Amazon for the first time in March, indicating that demand for the Nook might finally be starting to pick up. Looking at figures from upstream suppliers, the Nook accounted for some 53 percent of ebook readers shipped to US vendors last month.
The Nook's future now looks a little brighter than it has been. B&N just recently released another firmware update -- version 1.3 -- which, among other things, purports to kick performance up a notch yet again. In addition, B&N recently struck a deal with Best Buy to carry the company's ebook reader both in the electronic chain's brick and mortar stores and website.
Intel is taking a hard-nosed approach to USB 3.0, and as a result, widespread adoption isn't expected until the very end of 2011. In Intel's absence, companies are stepping to the plate with SuperSpeed solutions of their own. One of those companies is Patriot Memory, which on Wednesday announced a family of USB 3.0 products.
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI-E Adapter (PCUSB3PCIE)
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Express Card Adapter (PCUSB3EXP)
Gauntlet 2.5-Inch SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Enclosure (PCGT25S)
Patriot's trying to cover all the bases here, and that's just fine by us. Both the desktop and notebook adapters come equipped with two USB 3.0 ports and can already be found online for around $40 shipped (Newegg). Both also include supplemental power input jacks. The Gauntlet enclosure isn't yet available, but will be soon, Patriot says.
We don't know what kind of black magic PC Treasures and Digital Works Australia are into, but whatever it is, the two companies have conjured up a battery charger that's capable of re-juicing disposable batteries. That's wicked.
It's called the ReZap Battery Engineer and it works with both rechargeable and standard batteries. In the case of the latter, the ReZap "utilizes intelligent microprocessors and software that regulate the charging process" to keep your throwaways alive for up to 10 recharges.
"Most people are surprised to learn that they can recharge standard alkaline batteries. With the ReZap Battery Engineer, not only can you recharge them, but you can do so in an entirely safe manner. The Battery Engineer is a great way to help the environment and save a great deal of money on reduced battery purchases."
The "foolproof" charger works with up to four multiple-sized batteries (AAAA, AAA, AA, C, D, 9V, and lantern batteries), so you can mix and max and not worry about the kids filling it up incorrectly.
According to PC Treasures, the ReZap is destined for the U.S. market next month and will carry an MSRP of $60.
If you're having problems with your Apple headphones, you're in good company. Apple on Monday announced a replacement program for potentially faulty headphones that shipped with the iPod shuffle (3rd gen), which the Cupertino company says only affects a "very small percentage" owners who made purchases between approximately February 2009 and February 2010. Think you're one of them? Here are the symptoms to look for:
Controls are non-responsive or work intermittently
Unexpected volume increase or decrease
Unexpected playing of voice feedback
You can also narrow down potentially faulty headsets by looking at the serial number. According to Apple, serial number ranges covered by the program include xx909xxxxxx to xx952xxxxxx and xx001xxxxxx to xx004xxxxxx. All of the affected headphones have an in-line remote on the right earbud.
SteelSeries feels pretty confident Ubisoft's upcoming RTS will be a hit, so they went and designed a mouse to prove it. The new Xai Laser R.U.S.E. edition will also appeal to lefties because of its ambidextrous design.
"The SteelSeries Xai Laser Mouse R.U.S.E. Edition is a perfect complement for R.U.S.E., an exciting new RTS game from Ubisoft. Introducing deception techniques like camouflage, decoy units and sabotage, the game lets players bluff their enemies and lead their nation's army to victory," SteelSeries said. "Offering an exceptional experience in-game, the SteelSeries Xai R.U.S.E. Edition enhances game-play and immersion with superior technical specifications and cool graphics on the mouse."
More than just a pretty face, the new rodent comes capable of storing up to five player profiles, including one that's already preconfigured for R.U.S.E. Other features include a true 16-bit sensor data path, 12,000fps, 8 buttons, 125-1000Hz polling (in 1Hz increments), gold plated USB connector, and an on-mouse LCD display.
SteelSeries says the mouse will ship soon for about $90. A smooth-cloth mouse pad sporting the R.U.S.E. theme is also being made available and will sell for $15.
You might have heard that Apple released this thing called the iPad. It isn't quite magical, as Stevel Jobs describes it, but the iPad is an important piece of tech, if for no other reason than for kickstarting the handheld tablet market. Competitors will soon step up to the plate with their own take on tablet computing, and one of those competitors could be Google.
According to a report in the New York Times, Google is weighing the pros and cons of building its own-branded slate, which sounds decidedly less shocking now that Google sells a branded smartphone (Nexus One). Details are pretty sparse as the company prefers to fly under the radar while decisions are still being made, but apparently Google CEO Eric Schmidt was overheard at a recent party in Los Angeles talking about how the device would exclusively run Android. No big surprise there.
Citing "people with direct knowledge of the project," the NYT also says Google has been talking with publishers trying to devise a delivery method for books, magazines, and other content on a tablet. In other words, performing double duty as an electronic reader will probably be a big part of Google's tablet.
When something like this might come to fruition is anyone's guess, but let's hope it's soon.
Early concept shot of what a Google Tablet running Chrome OS might look like.
Just a few months ago, the Nook was one of the hottest holiday items, so much so that Barnes and Noble had trouble keeping up with demand. But starting this Sunday, April 18, you'll be able to drop by any Best Buy store and pick up B&N's $260 ebook reader.
The deal makes Best Buy the first chain (other than Barnes and Noble) to carry the Nook, giving the ebook reader more than double the exposure it's been getting from B&N's website and 723 bookstores. In addition, Best Buy said it plans to include Barnes and Noble's BN eReader software on some of the PCs and smartphones it sells.
This is a great move for Barnes and Noble, who not only is up against Amazon's Kindle, but more recently has been put in a position to go up against Apple's iPad. Apple last week said it has sold about 450,000 iPads in its first few days, while B&N hasn't released any sales figures for its Nook.
On a side note, Best Buy also sells Sony's ebook reader. Amazon's Kindle is only available on its website.