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Pros: Having never picked up an item like this before but realizing it would help desperately cool the Dell laptop in the house, I gave it a shot for review and testing.
The cooling pad is very well built, and is a solid piece of aluminum. Two center fans help airflow and can be adjusted in speed by a rocker switch on the lower left of the panel. Also on the left are four USB ports; one for input and three for additional devices which is nice to see on laptops that are limited on ports.
The fans do have a very low audible whoosh but between the laptop itself and environmental noise it's not really noticeable at all.
This was tested on a 15.4" Dell Studio 1535 system from several years ago that as usual, doesn't really cool the best. It is usually set to somewhat aggressive power settings since the machine would overheat constantly. This pad serves fantastically compared to our little raised block of wood used to elevate the machine up a bit.
Coretemp readings without the cooler had the CPU (a basic Core 2 chip) and a Mobility Radeon 3450 had the processor temperature always around 60C - while far below it's TJMax, it was still hot to use especially when watching video.
With the cooler plate, temps are closer to about 50 degrees C and I have generally seen a difference of 5 to 10 degrees for this particular machine during different loads. It's not insane, but for $30 it's also not inconsequential. I have not seen the machine shut off from overheating since.
--Heavy, solidly built, plug in and go.
--3 additional USB 2.0 ports
--Fans push enough airflow to make a difference, yet are not too loud
--Noticeable temperature change on a Dell laptop.
--Relatively inexpensive cooler
Cons: The pad corners are smooth and rounded but it's easy to nick yourself on them perhaps. Otherwise because the feet are attached to the unibody cooler, it's pretty large at 17" or so and may have difficulty fitting inside a bag or carrying case.
--A bit large so putting it in a bag may not work.
--Edges may be a bit sharp, though all the surfaces are rounded
--To stay at a quiet audible level, the fans aren't exactly high performance so there are limits to what the cooler can handle.
Other Thoughts: While it's too bad laptops sometimes need additional coolers like this, that's the price for portability. This Deepcool plate does it's job, seems to be a nice, inexpensive mix of noise to performance, and certainly has benefited the test laptop by a few degrees of temp change. It certainly makes the machine more usable in a sense ;).
If your machine runs a bit hot, this is a nice gentle breeze to help cool it down.
If you're needing more extreme cooling or are in a hotter environment, this cooler may not be quite up to the task.
This review is from: Corsair Gaming STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Red
Pros: Other than oldschool computing, this is the first time for me that I've used a mechanical keyboard in many years. My previous keyboards have generally been soft membrane style such as basic Dell boards or on occasion, the shallow keys on laptops. I had always wanted a mechanical keyboard but the perceptions of being extremely loud, cumbersome, huge in size, and expensive always threw me off from getting one.
To be fair in disclaiming, when Newegg Eggxpert allowed me an opportunity to review this Corsair Strafe red model, I certainly wanted to give it a go and see if my thoughts carried any weight, or if it was just all in my head, so to speak.
Now, while I can not compare this to other kinds of mechanical switches on the market, I can directly compare it from my old Dell membrane soft quiet keyboard to this one with Cherry Red switches. As a user with small hands, I was always worried that these behemoth keyboards would be cumbersome, difficult to use, and need time to get used to. In actuality, most of those fears were quickly quelled once I plugged this KB in and started testing it out.
I have my keyboard very close to my screen and in a narrow spot on my desk since my eyesight is not great and aside from having to bump back the monitor an extra inch, this keyboard is surprisingly compact for a mechanical. There's little room from the number pad and a typical half inch gap for your Function keys but only a quarter or half inch of side housing, an inch in front, and a couple inches above it meaning that if you have the space for some of the more compact keyboards out there, you should be able to fit this one. I am using it in a top-of-desk style and not sitting inside a slide-out keyboard drawer.
Next up, while there is some awesome Corsair software out there (CUE) for adjusting key macros, the brightness and layout of specific keys, as well as some cool ping / rain, droplet type lighting effects, I usually eschew non necessary software for products and as such have stuck to using the keyboard for gaming and typing in a plug-and-play traditional sense. The Windows Button lockout as well as the options to disable ALT+Tab are welcome for gaming sessions as we all know they are very easy to hit accidently.
The keys feel great - being nearly as quiet as my old Dell keyboard yet while still giving feedback upon full depression / giving you that mechanical feel.
The spacebar having a texture on it has certainly grown on me and I just love the little bit of bumpy texture there; kind of wish all the keys had that, though all other keys you can feel a slight engraved recession on the letter itself which is nice.
The ability to toggle the red lighting from off to 3 different brightness states is a nice touch, though having mine on full is helpful for some additional illumination and style, along with the side LED runners.
For what it's worth, as a mechanical keyboard I figured this would be heavier than simple membrane keyboards and that part was correct - it's a couple pounds! It's not moving anywhere. The rear has two flip-out tabs for raising the keyboard up, though I have to use a couple supplemental coasters to give me enough monitor base clearance, but that's just a personal issue.
THICK power cord! Like, nearly as thick as a power supply cable. It ends with two USB cables - if you have USB 2.0, it requires both for power and operation, apparently, but if it's on USB 3, only the USB cable with the keyboard symbol is required to be plugged in. So far, I've found no issue using the keyboard on a single cable regardless of what port I've plugged it into.
This thing feels very top notch as I'd imagine most any keyboard around $100 would be. The only caveat perhaps is that it's not full RGB but since my system theme is red and black, this board matches perfectly ;). If you wanted something other than your typical colors, you may have to look at the RGB version.
--Mechanical! It's helped typing I feel and has great tactile response.
--Fairly compact. It's really not that big at all. Nothing like your old IBM-era keyboards.
--Responsive. I had no issue gaming or typing on the Dell but this Corsair MKB feels great too.
--Weighty - It's a beast!
--Thick Power Cable - Built like a tank.
--Not really too loud. I thought it'd be worse honestly, it's not that bad. With headphones on or gaming, you don't even hear it.
--Red LED. Nice bright gaming lights. Sure if you want you can turn them off and it's just as comfortable I suppose but it's cool to see them staring back at you. Has toggleable settings too which is nice.
--ALT+TAB / Windows Key Disable - super helpful for gaming
Cons: About the only issue one could say would be the price and the loudness of mechanical keyboards in general. This product so far has worked fantastically after a couple weeks of use. $100+ is quite a lot to spend just on a keyboard in my eyes but now that I have seen the light so to speak, I can understand why.
Other Thoughts: I wanted to give this keyboard a couple weeks of use before reviewing it so to be fair in my judgments. While the price and red color / loudness may dissuade some purchasers, I've had no issue with the keyboard. It's worked great for my needs and is a really cool product.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: SteelSeries Rival 100 Optical Gaming Mouse - Gaia Green
Pros: Compared to other reviews so far on this mouse, I am coming from the barest of bones three button mice such as a Dell Optical mouse for a whopping $15 so unfortunately I can not compare using this mouse to other gaming oriented or more pricey options. But I will say that I have always been impressed with Corsair products and had been curious about their mice so gave it a shot. I wanted to wait approximately two weeks from receiving it to give a fair review on the product based on time spent.
Coming from a no-frills mouse, it's nice to see this mouse firstly fit my small hands - a challenge for many of the gargantuan gaming mice out there in the market. The top part of the shell is completely smooth and polished, with the side grips a textured harder plastic that remind me of shoes in a way. The mouse lays fairly low compared to a standard Dell mouse, or some that EVGA produce so if you happen to have smaller hands, this is an excellent mouse in that regard. I found all buttons very reachable, and requiring the expected amount of pressure / feedback for operation without anything except perhaps the center button being awkward to reach.
Since this mouse is Gaia Green or Sakura Green color, it would definitely need the right aesthetical set up to go with it's quite unique color scheme. I would certainly choose other colors over this, but at the same time, I won't knock off an egg for that.
Using the included software was easy, fast, and intuitive to change the default yellow LED color to a red, and adjust DPI settings, however isn't required for the mouse to be used. As other reviewers stated, the package itself is fairly nice, the cord lengthy, and so far, the usability of this mouse to me has been excellent. I've seen a few "freak outs" of the cursor / sensor but it's not enough for me to ding an egg and could be instead pinned to potential VOIP software so to blame the mouse isn't fair.
On the high end in fact, the sensitivity is sharp enough that I have sometimes had difficulty adjusting fine grained elements in photography work, but at the same time, the added control you'd get is a bonus and the DPI can always be changed.
The Teflon coating on the base legs is fantastic and even sitting bare on a desk, it's had absolutely no issue pointing exactly where I want it to and it's so very smooth.
Since I prefer simple setups for hardware and I don't often play FPS, I did not really test out the macroing system, though the software made it very easy to understand and set them up to the buttons.
--Small and low-sitting for us users with smaller hands!
--LED is changeable which is pretty cool.
--Adjustable DPI, even though that's really a standard on most any mouse these days.
--Very smooth scrolling / tracking / usability / button accessibility
--Absolutely disgusting color. I get that it could fit a tropical theme perhaps or something cheery and bright in a public facing system but since most gaming products are black, red, grey, or variations of those colors, it doesn't fit for that. But in the dark you don't really tell and at the end of the day your hand won't know the difference. Not knocking an egg off for it though.
Other Thoughts: In conclusion and in my opinion, it turned out that this mouse is superb from a standard / basic entry price. While something closer to $30 may be closer to a suggested price, price fluctuations happen on products all the time.
I've found it to certainly be a more than functional replacement for my original Dell optical mouse as the Rival 100 is very comfortable in use, works well, and has a couple extra features included to be a step above average.