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SteelSeries Rival 300 Gaming Mouse - Silver
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Better with new SteelSeries Engine 3 version 05/17/2016

This review is from: SteelSeries Rival 300 Gaming Mouse - Silver

Pros: This mouse seems to have a pretty high quality build, as you would expect at this price. The weight is decent, but I would have preferred it to be slightly heavier.

The performance of the mouse is very nice. Even before installing the SteelSeries Engine software, the sensitivity was just about right.

The buttons feel solid, and produce a noticeable feel when they are actuated.

Once the SteelSeries Engine software is installed, the sky is the limit to the customization options. Each button can be programmed to application specific tasks, as can the sensitivity and colors.

Cons: Note that this a right-hand only mouse. That does not apply only to the left side buttons, but to the whole grip of the mouse. A lefty will find this mouse very uncomfortable.

This mouse is also designed for very large hands. My wife refers to my hands as shovels, and I am unable to comfortably use the front left button. I must adjust to a much less comfortable grip to access the button, or stretch to reach it. Unfortunately, the mouse naturally moves back when I stretch to reach it, so if you were using it in a game as a trigger, your aim will be affected by this unwanted movement.

The mouse has raised texture sides, and while I can see that some people may like the extra grip, the mouse is not heavy enough to need it and I can see the area getting caked with crud in no time.

All of the buttons emit a much louder than average clicking sound when actuated. The track wheel button is quiet, but the wheel itself is rather loud and quite abrupt when rolling.

This is likely caused by a problem on my main computer, but I was not able to get this mouse to function on it. When I connected it, I would get the normal New Hardware popup and it would attempt to install drivers (even though I already had an older version of SteelSeries Engine 3 installed). It would then fail to install 2 of the 5 drivers and the mouse would not function. Both lights would be on, however. I upgraded and even removed and reinstalled the Engine 3 software, but neither helped. I also tried several other USB ports, rebooted, and even removed my existing mouse, all to no avail. I finally gave up and tried my work laptop. The mouse was immediately recognized. I installed the Engine 3 software and began testing.

When I first started the Engine 3 software, a line under the Rival 300 device appeared saying "CRITICAL UPDATE: Click to install new firmware." I clicked this, and immediately after acknowledging the next warning not to disconnect the mouse during the upgrade, the mouse stopped working. I assumed this was a normal result of the upgrade in progress. After several minutes, a dialog appears informing me that "An error occurred that prevented the successful completion of the firmware update." The mouse was still non-functional at this point. I disconnected the mouse, then reconnected it and it came back online. I tested the update again, with the same result.

Other Thoughts: I am sure some people will like the feel of this mouse, but for me, it's just not a good fit. And while I am disappointed that it will not work at all on my non-ancient Z77 based computer for some unknown reason (their SENSEI wireless mouse works fine), I am more concerned that it also has problems on my brand new work laptop. Perhaps I got a bum unit to evaluate, but from this experience, I would have to say this mouse is not quite ready for prime time.

Update (5/17/2016) - With the latest update of SteelSeries Engine 3 (v 3.7.4) this mouse suddenly started working on my computer and the firmware could be upgraded.

JBL Synchros S300 Premium On-Ear Headphones for Android with built-in remote/Microphone - Black/Blue
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: These headphones are quite solid yet very light, and they look good.
Carrying case is nice.
Sound is good once dialed in.
Quite loud on a PC. 15-20% is comfortable and 50% is about all I can take for long.

Cons: These are for people with smallish heads. I have them extended as much as they will go and it's not quite enough, so they are a bit snug on top of my head and don't quite feel right on my ears.

Without any adjustments, these sound like you have a head cold. Bumping up the mid-ranges helps a ton, but what a hassle, especially if you're using these on a PC and alternate between these and speakers.

These come with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable with a control panel (volume up, volume down, phone answer/hangup), which according to reviews on other sites, is not replaceable, even directly from JBL, so if you lose it or damage it, you may be in trouble.

While I realize these are for Android phones, they do work fine on a PC, however I was disappointed to find that the volume up/down buttons didn't work. When connected to a PC with a spliter cable, the microphone sensitivity is quite low, requiring the microphone level and boost to be set to almost maximum levels, however when connected to an Android phone the sensitivity is good.

Volume when connected an Android phone is very low (max volume on phone was equivalent to about 15 on PC).

Even at moderate levels, people around you can hear what you are listening to.

Other Thoughts: If you are willing to tweak the sound and find these on sale, they will serve you well, otherwise I would pass on them...

Steelseries Apex M500 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Red Switches and Blue LED
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Excellent basic layout mechanical keyboard 05/08/2016

This review is from: Steelseries Apex M500 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Red Switches and Blue LED

Pros: This keyboard truly is built like a tank. It is solid and weighs a lot. There is no way this will move around on your desk, and I think it could double as a weapon against intruders!

Having never owned a mechanical keyboard, I had no idea what I was missing. Every key click has a gratifying feel that makes your old membrane keyboard feel squishy and substandard.

Unlike every other illuminated keyboard I have tried, this one is actually bright enough to light up all of the keys. It is almost too bight, really, but you can tone down the brightness in the control panel.

The SteelSeries Engine software gets better every time I download a new version, however there really isn't much to use it for with this keyboard. You can remap every key on the keyboard, if you would like to, and you can reassign any key to do something else, like run a macro, just as long as you don't need the original key for anything.

They have added a key to the right of the right alt key with the SteelSeries logo, which when pressed in combination with F5 through F12 provides backlight brightness, volume, and media controls, so even though you don't have dedicated buttons for these functions you still have a way to do it.

Cons: A USB port on the back would have been nice.

Mine shipped with old firmware. Upgrading is a snap, though.

Personally, I think having the bottom of the keys lit up is a little much (if you look at the second picture and zoom in you can kind of see it, but it is much more pronounced when looking at it straight on). Fortunately, it is done well enough that the spaces between the keys do not get brighter when you type.

Other Thoughts: If you are looking for a rock solid, basic-layout mechanical keyboard that feels great this is absolutely it, look no further.


Steve F.'s Profile

Display Name: Steve F.

Date Joined: 06/27/05


  • neweggTop 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 78
  • Helpfulness: 40
  • First Review: 12/01/07
  • Last Review: 05/17/16
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