The gap between cheap and inexpensive widens to a yawning chasm when you’re talking audio gear, which is why we’re so pleasantly surprised with the Rocketfish gaming headset. We didn’t realize this was a Best Buy private-label product until after we’d given it a listen, but we’re glad we didn’t dismiss it out of hand.
One of the reasons we picked Turtle Beach’s Ear Force HPA2 headset as one of the 19 awesome upgrades we recommended in our June 2007 issue was the fact that it’s analog and can be paired with a soundcard. The new Ear Force AK-R8 is USB only, but this enables it to offer some compelling features in addition to fabulous surround sound.
Netgear’s WNR854T was faster than any other router in this roundup in our close-range tests, lost the least amount of potency while running WEP security, and came in second in our 40-foot test, bested by D-Link’s DIR-655. But Netgear’s entry was several times slower than D-Link’s in our 150-foot test. (See page 70 for benchmark details.)
It’s difficult to improve on something that’s already damn near perfect. That’s the problem Logitech faced when designing the follow-up to the kick-ass G5 gaming mouse. The new G9 features an innovative, but not necessarily improved, design.
It used to be that simply having two monitors on your desk was enough to establish your power-user cred, but LCD prices being what they are these days, it’s not uncommon for even regular folk to boast a multimonitor setup. Perhaps it’s time you up the ante with a little monitor “modding,” as it were.
Installing the OWC NASPerform to a computer via a network is a confusing mix of simple and complicated. The installer program itself is a welcome relief from the typically agonizing process of having to play with IP address and configuration screens. But that doesn’t mean OWC has spared you from a headache: You have to not only type in a 20-digit device ID just to connect the NAS box to your rig but also input a “write key,” which is printed on a label on the enclosure, if you want more than read-only access. So much for simply dragging and dropping files or controlling users via a handy web interface!
Data Robotics was a bit concerned about its Drobo external enclosure being tested in the Maximum PC Lab. After all, the name of the game at Maximum PC is speed. We hate that which is not fast almost as much as we hate that which doesn’t work out of the freakin’ box.
We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. You aren’t going to win any speed competitions with Toshiba’s Portable External Hard Drive; we tested a 200GB version (the device itself comes in capacities ranging from 100GB to 200GB), and the resulting benchmark numbers are nothing for Toshiba to be proud of.
The 2TB LaCie Ethernet Big Disk is appropriately named, we suppose. Other potential monikers: the LaCie Ethernet Big Headache, the LaCie Ethernet Sucks at Networking, or perhaps even the LaCie Ethernet Where Did My Drive Go. We jest, but there’s truth to our ramblings–the LaCie Ethernet Big Disk is horrific as a network-attached storage device, mainly due to our frequent failures to get Windows to even see the drive.
You don’t need to be a graphics professional to care about the color of your prints—even casual digital photographers take pride in their work. But what’s a user to do when the image he sees on the screen bears little resemblance to the printer’s output? Many screens provide manual control over individual color channels, but tweaking them to match your printer’s color can be a tedious and time-consuming affair. An alternative is to color calibrate your monitor with a hardware/software package made for the task.