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This review is from: CM Storm Devastator - LED Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo Bundle (Blue Edition)
Pros: What a great value! This KB/mouse combo is absolutely wonderful. You won't find better bang for your buck out there. Both devices have there pros.
KB - Great backlighting for a non-mechanical KB. Looks great in the dark, as well as a lit room. Keys are nice and responsive, and have a tactile feedback similar to a cherry mx blue switch. I'm not saying as good as a cherry mx blue switch, but very similar. Full QWERTY layout with numpad. As well as media keys (stop-play/pause-foward-back & volume up and down). The overall build quality is very nice when compared to other KBs in it's price range. Nice rubberized pads for no-slip typing, and raised feet for comfort. 6 foot long usb cable.
Mouse - 3 DPI settings (800-1600-2000), not bad for an optical mouse. Rubberized grips on the side and very low profile. Feels very comfortable in my hand. Lighted design as well as scroll wheel. Forward and back buttons are something I can't live without when browsing the internet. Nice long 6 foot usb cable as well.Overall great value from CM Storm.
Cons: This combo is great, however there are some flaws. On mine at least, the paint was rubbed off some of the keys right after I took it out of the box. On the bottom row most of the keys have spots where the blue backlight shines through. The Y key came with a small crack in it as well. I won't be RMAing it, as it would cost almost as much to ship back as it does to just buy another set.
Some people are complaining about the dedicated backlight key being the scroll lock key. This didn't bother me at first, as I don't use any software where I actually uses the scroll lock key. This being said, I tried using the keyboard in Linux. That's a no-go. The KB works fine in Linux, but there is no backlight, as Linux has no use for the scroll lock key. Without the backlight on you can barely see which key you are pressing. Not a huge deal, as I have had a QWERTY key KB memorized since about 7th grade, but still kind of annoying when typing in passwords and things in the terminal on Linux. May work with some distros, but not the two I use. (Those are Arch and Xubuntu custom by the way).
Mouse clicks really loud and can be annoying in a quiet environment. As others have stated. For this price, you need to expect things like these though.
Other Thoughts: I purchased this combo deal as a kind of spur of the moment thing. I always like getting KBs and mice to test them out, and you can never have enough backups laying around in case something fails. I own 3 mechanical KBs as well as two other membrane KBs. I haven't had excellent luck with mechanical KBs always being reliable. Several have failed on me and I have had to RMA them. So I always keep a few of these little sets on hand just in case. i got this mainly as a replacement for my on-the-road keyboard and mouse set. I'm a digital DJ, and hate typing and using the mouse-pad on my laptop at gigs. I always carry a KB/mouse in my keyboard bag along with all of my other wires/cables and my NS6. I use gaming KBs because they often offer backlighting that you just don't find in normal KBs. After one incident where my K70 with cherry blues died on my in the middle of a set, I have switched to non-mechanical KBs as they are cheaper to replace and take more abuse being lugged around all of the time.
I do also game on these. Don't get me wrong. Why buy a gaming KB and not use it for it's intended purpose? I just leave the good expensive ones hooked up to my 3 PCs at home. No reason to beat them up dragging them all over the place where they get stuff spilled on them, cigarette ashes and buns on them, and such. For the price you really can't go wrong. $15 a piece is not a bad price. Even if it doesn't last that long. I've had top name brand KBs and mice die on me in less than a month. If I get at least 2 months out of this, it will be the best value I have ever seen for something this cheap.
I wouldn't recommend gaming with this combo, if you are serious about gaming. The responsiveness of the mouse is not that great for, let's say a FPS. The KB is great to type on, but I wouldn't go doing any MP gaming with it. Since getting this, I've used it once at a gig, and got several questions about it. Mainly, "How much did you pay for it?" and "Where can I get one?". People are acting like this is one of my K70s or my Osmium. Wonder what they'd say if they saw one of those.
All in all, you can go wrong...buy one if you need a combo that will suit a lot of your needs and not break the bank in the process.
Pros: Great blu-ray burner from Pioneer. 16X is almost unheard of for a blu-ray burner. Amazing quality compared to the one that it is replacing. Spin up time is less than 6 seconds. No more waiting a that dirty 15 seconds for other brands. Who has that kind of time? (wink) But, seriously, this thing is great. Quality burns so far. (about 100+ since I got it). No coasters at all. There are some blank media issues though, see cons for more on that.
As alwasys, no drivers needed. Completely plug and play with Windows 7 and Linux OS. What isn't these days though, right? Unlike most other burners in this price range, it comes with software. Not just for burning, CyberLink Power2GO, but also software for playback (CyberLink PowerDVD). Now that's a plus in my book. No more having to use Nero's blu-ray player, which is well known to be very buggy. All in all the software works quite well. Not as lightweight on resources as Nero, but still good. (See other thoughts for more on that)
With this drive you are able to write, with the right media, up to 12X as far as I have experienced. Quite a jump from 6X BDRs taking about 22 minutes to burn, now at 10-12X only taking about 9-11 minutes to complete. Without read errors afterwards. GREAT!
As stated before, the spin-up time means you put the disc in the drive and it almost instantly pops up. Copying files, both to my SSD and mechanical HDDs, I have seen speeds reach 38-40 MBps. Meaning you can copy a whole blu-ray in less than 11 minutes. Instead of the old 20-25 minutes it used to take. Great again!
The BDXL feature is cool, but seeing that the price for one blank disc is almost the price of a small hard drive I don't think I will ever use it. Good to have it though. Drive runs way more quiet than my old one. That thing is now in a land fill. Overall great quality product from Pioneer.
Cons: A few cons even though I am very happy with this burner. First of all, the laser is way too sensitive. Anything on the disc, and I mean ANYTHING, such as a fingerprint, a hair, even one time a speck of dust and this thing will spin-down, and show a read error. So make sure to keep your media clean, or clean it before putting it in this thing.
Also it really doesn't like cheap blank media. I had some old Rosewill BDRs, both burnt and blank. It would burn them, but then couldn't read it's own burns. I have heard about others experiencing this same problem with these discs and other burners. A firmware update corrects these read errors, but one is not available for this drive at this time. Verbatim BDRs burn perfectly with no read errors. Even at 12X. Explain that one to me. When trying to copy old discs to my HDD to re-back them up, (again same Rosewill discs), this thing went completely 'nanners. I'm not sure if it has error correction, but the drive would slow down, and read really slowly. Causing it to take 39-45 minutes to copy a single disc. Really odd. Almost opened an RMA over it. Luckily another drive I had would read them so I could re-burn them with this drive.
Another weird thing that happens when I burn, around the 36-37% mark, the drive stops, then starts burning again. Like a spin-down then spin-up. Both of the burning software programs I use do it. So it's not the software. I don't know if I got a dud or what. It seems like if the drive hasn't been used in a while (cold start), then I experience these problems. It runs completely fine if I use it for a minute, to warm it up. Then all the problems go away.
The software is kind of a resource hog. I tested this burner both on my Windows PC and my Linux PC. They are both higher end machines and when you try to burn using Power2Go, it really jacks up the memory and HDD usage way more than Nero. Not on the Linux PC, since I had to use different software to burn on that particular OS. It's not really a problem for my builds, but something to consider if you are using a PC on the lower end.
Other Thoughts: I use this for data backup, if you haven't already guessed that. Being that the price of hard drives is still sky high, and the reliability of them is sub-par. I need something that won't take up too much room, and give me a lot of space per disc still. DVD-DL just wasn't cutting it anymore. About a year and a half ago I started using BDRs. They work great for data backup. Every once in a while I will burn a video disc. So I do use it for what it was intended for also. My old burner was making noises similar to a 20 year old used car. Also experiencing read error and coasters. So I decided to change brands and see if anything else out there was better. This will do the trick I hope. The small amount of glitches I have experienced will probably just iron themselves out. Now that the burner is broken in, it does seem that these problems are going away. One more note. I wouldn't recommend burning too far over what your blank media is rated for. I don't think these burns will retain data as long this way. Put it this way, I learned way back when CD burners first came out that a slow burn is a quality burn. So if you want something to last, I would burn it 2X under or at most 2X over the speed that the discs are rated for. Just my opinion on that matter. I tend to burn my 6X discs at 8X. As long as they are a higher priced brand name. I haven't seen any problems with them as of yet. I tested this drive on Windows 7 x64 Home and Ultimate editions, as well as Ubuntu 13.10, Xubuntu 12.10 (custom) with KDE over the top, Manjaro, Linux Mint, and Arch Linux. There were only slight issues with compatibility with some of the Linux systems. They were all easily fixed with a quick google search. Very good burner so far. Now we'll see if it lasts...READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Corsair Raptor K50 Gaming Keyboard (CH-9000007-NA)
Pros: There are a lot of good things about this KB, even though it has many faults (see cons). The overall look of it is great, even though it uses rubber dome switches instead of mechanical. The keys are raised, just like Vengeance series it's modeled after. This gives the illusion of using a mechanical KB when you are in fact not. The keys have a tactile (soft bump) feel to them. Sort of like a cherry MX brown/black. It doesn't feel at all like an authentic mechanical KB, but it also doesn't feel like a regular cheap rubber dome KB either. Very unique feel to it.
The body feels to be quality built. There is a macro key section on the left side with 18 macro keys. And with three profile banks, that gives you up to 57 programmable keys. This, plus the top brushed aluminum top rail, make it almost identical to the Vengeance K95. Minus the mechanical switches of course. Doesn't seem to feel too heavy, compared to the other two K70s that I own. The backlighting seems to work well, but could be a little brighter IMO. One really cool feature of this KB is that you can customize the backlighting to all 16.5 million colors of the RGB spectrum. Which makes matching component color schemes really easy. Also, with the software (download from website), you can not only change the color of the backlighting for all 3 profiles. You can make the lighting pulse or color shift though the spectrum. The software is very simple to use, and you don't even really need it to program on the fly at any time. Just hold down the MR button, hit the key you want to program, type out the key sequence, and hit MR again. DONE!
Other features include 4 fold out feet, soft touch detachable wrist rest, and a USB passthough. Also, like Corsair's other KBs feature, windows lock button, brightness adjustment button, complete media key section (with volume wheel), and a braided cable that has to be over 6 feet long.
Cons: First and foremost, the price is really steep for a non-mechanical KB. Almost the same price as a K70 (unless you get it on sale like I did), but not as good of quality. The backlighting isn't that bright compared to the Vengeance series, with their beautiful "underglow" effect. You can, however, set them to be the brightest setting instead of the "true color" setting. Colors do seem to be a bit "off" also. The purple looks violet/pinkish, the dark blue looks bluish/purple, and the white is just...well...pink. Nothing a little tinkering with the software doesn't fix. Just slide the RGB sliders around until the keyboard itself looks the color you want it to. It's not all that heavy which worries me about how long it will last. Even with the 2 year warranty, (I think that's how long it is). Just hope I didn't pay for another dud.
Other Thoughts: Well this is my second one actually. The first one arrived 6 days after I bought it and paid for "3 day" UPS shipping. Then to add insult to injury, the spacebar was broke. One of the clips that holds the retainer bar was crushed, causing the spacebar to see-saw back and forth every time you wrested your thumbs on it, or even tried to press it for that matter. So anyway, after the long ship back to Newegg, then back to me, I finally got a working one. I have to say, it's a pleasure to type on. As I mentioned before, I have two K70 mech KBs. Those are for gaming. I use this for typing and programming. As to not annoy everyone around me with the lovely clickitty clack that we all love so much. I do catch myself not pressing down hard enough for the key to register while typing fast. When you get use to a mechanical KB it's like learning all over again to get back to old membrane KBs.
Another reason I bought this particular KB, was that the lighting was so interchangeable. I just got a new case (arctic white), with new white and purple LED fans inside it, and wanted to match as many components as I could. Changed the Corsair emblem on my H80i AIO LC to change between white and purple, got an arctic white M65 mouse, arctic white Fractile Design R4 case. Then this nice gun metal black KB...oops! Basically I messed with the software until I got the blacklighting to match the LEDs at the top of the KB. Started with all three sliders all the way up, then dialed back the red until the keys were bright white. Purple was just as simple. Took out some of the red and now it looks the same as the LEDs on my Corsair AF140 fans. Overall this is a pretty solid keyboard. I hope it is as well built as well as the other two I have. It just depends on whether or not you are willing to spend as much on KBs and mice as I do. I do use them everyday, almost all day long. Until they are so worn out they just die. I love the media section of these Corsair KBs more than anything. The metal volume wheel is something I couldn't do without. It is definitely the best part of this KB if you ask me.