Oh little black box of witchcraft, how do you work? Despite how much I appreciate amazing audio the mechanics behind it all are akin to black magic in my eyes. All I know is that sound is something that often gets overlooked from a gaming and filmgoing perspective, and spending the money to get something deliver that sound can change that perspective. It’s not until you splurge on a good set of headphones or a speaker system that you can appreciate how much you weren’t hearing.
Gaming mice have a problem; once you get past the cheaper options into the better hardware the performance is so good in terms of sensor accuracy it becomes practically impossible for the average gamer to discern any real difference between them. Sure, by running a battery of tests the minute gains of one sensor over another can be worked out, but does those differences really matter if you don’t actually notice them in real-world use? As a result, gaming mice are having to come up with other ways to attract attention. Enter the Rival 700 which has two unique features that set it apart from the competition.
Damn but do I love me a good headset! Don’t get me wrong, I adore my speaker system, but there’s something awesome about slipping on a headset and tuning the outside world out, revelling in the sense of isolation that padded ear cups can provide. Not to mention a good pair of cans can help you appreciate one of the most under-appreciated aspects of videogames – the sound design.
RGB LEDs are quite the trend at the moment, appearing on everything from headphones to CPU coolers to fans and mice. They’re everywhere and companies seem determined to find more ways to slap them onto their products. Hence we’ve not gotten a wave of RGB mouse mats ranging from cheap and cheerful to more expensive, and today I’ve got one from SteelSeries in for review. In fact, I’ve got three things from SteelSeries but we’ll start with this.
In the past, I’ve often failed to see the appeal of gaming orientated laptops, largely because their battery life is so short that taking one on a train journey or something seems a bit pointless if there’s no nearby wall socket handy. Still, sitting in the middle of the woods playing The Witcher 3 is kind of cool. The laptop I was using to do this is the ST-Plus from Thunderobot, a predominantly western company who are now seeking to move into the eastern market with their products. As this is my first laptop review let’s see if I can muddle through this with my already limited dignity intact.
Routers are odd little creatures, aren’t they? They sit on shelves or behind computers or sometimes on the floor, constantly working to provide us with the stable wireless connection that our fast-paced, always connected lifestyle demands. They are so very easy to forget about, especially since Internet service providers typically hand you a cheap one when you sign up which gets plugged in and never touched by the average user. But a good router can be a solid investment.
It’s the graphics that tend to get all of the attention as people lavish praise upon the art style, the level of pure technical prowess on display, the lighting and the colors. We tend to put the emphasis on what we can see, which is a shame because well-done audio is just as important when it comes to creating a gaming masterpiece or a fantastic movie. And what makes wonderful audio design even better? A good set of speakers or headphones, of course.