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This review is from: Corsair Gaming STRAFE RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Red
Pros: The big sell for this keyboard isis, of course, its use of Cherry MX Keys. You should weigh your options before choosing which to get. Look online for more information -- many reviews take the time to discuss the differences. Put simply, the red keys are for gaming, the blue keys are designed to be more quiet, and the brown keys split the difference. It might be good to find a brick-and-mortar where you could possibly try the keyboard out first, although that becomes less and less likely over time.
The keyboard has a nice and hefty build. It feels very solid and is definitely built to last, physically.
The USB pass-through is a nice extra, although it is really just an extra. Keep in mind, this is literally a second USB cable passing down along with the keyboard's USB cable. It still uses up a USB port in the back of the PC.
The alternative key caps for some included, if you're into that. The tool for popping off and swapping the caps is included.
The 2-year warranty is very reassuring. For a premium piece of hardware like this, I think that should be standard, but of course some cut-rate manufacturers skimp on the warranty. I think it's fair to hope that Corsair's warranty is an indication of quality here.
Cons: My main complaint is the spacebar. It seems a bit dodgy depending on how you apply pressure. Maybe it's just me, but I don't like it. They also ONLY give you the special texturized key for this one, no regular spacebar, so be aware of that. I don't go for the texturized WASD etc. but I don't have the option on the spacebar.
The USB pass-through is only USB 2.0. This seems reasonable, all things considered, but if the pass-through is a big Pro for you, then this might also be a Con.
Speaking of USB, the USB plugs (to the PC) are fairly bulky.
I am still on the fence about the CUE software. I'm really not sure I like it, but after a little while, it becomes easier to use.
One real bummer is the amount of optional tilt the legs can give is fairly low. I like a pretty decent tilt, which cannot be achieved. I ended up trying to boost the legs with some paper clips.
I hate the palm-rest, but I usually don't use one, so I guess I'll continue to not use one. If the palm-rest is important to you, I suggest you check it out, look for video reviews, see one in a brick-and-mortar, etc. to decide whether you like it.
Related to the palm rest, the edges of keyboard are a bit sharp. The aesthetics might work better that way, but it's not exactly comfortable.
Finally, for the extremely niche/technical folks, this keyboard does not use "hardware-playback" mode for macros. All macros done in software means certain picky games will not accept this type of input. Is that fair? I don't know. But this feature used to exist in Corsair gaming keyboards, and now it seems unavailable.
Altogether, most of these are fractions of eggs (or just not worth anything), but I would say they total to -1. The spacebar is the most egregious offender, and if that were the only issue, I'd let this slide in at 5/5. But with some other minor issues, I'll take it down a peg. I tend not to give 5/5 to items that aren't really top-notch. My 4/5 is still a very good rating -- your mental ratings system may vary.
Other Thoughts: I don't care much for the fancy backlighting. Backlighting is good, but I'm pretty utilitarian. I see no need for the lights -- but if you're into that sort of thing, it might be good for you. I don't normally look at my keyboard, but if you want to color-code things, you can, and that might be useful. It can also be customized to match whatever silly color scheme your fan LEDs have.. if that's your thing.
The manual isn't helpful, but it's 2015, when is the manual ever helpful?
As a Newegg EggXpert reviewer, it's important to note that we only test these items up to one month. Plus, this is a relatively new item, in general. So the 2 year warranty may be comforting, but we have no idea how these will last. Some users are reporting issues, and it's not like quality-control is 100% perfect always. But it seems Corsair won't send you a new key or switch -- they will force you to send the whole thing back. So beware of that.
As always, be sure to un-check the box "Item Specific Reviews" so that you can see reviews for the other colors etc. for this item. This is true all over Newegg, so keep it in mind!
This review is from: G.SKILL RIPJAWS SR910 Real 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset
Pros: Before I start, I'm going to make one piece of tech vocabulary clearer, in case readers do not understand the lingo. There are two things called drivers: software drivers, which are an interface between programs that want to create audio output and the audio output hardware device (in this case, the USB-connected headset); and the driving speakers in each ear (10 total) that translate the electrical signal from the hardware into physical sounds. To avoid confusion, I will call the software drivers "software" and the driving speakers "speakers." The terms "software" and "speaker" aren't the best in this case, but they are different words, which might help the uninitiated reader.
The headset is designed to be extremely comfortable. I have many over-the-ear headsets (my favorite type of design), and each design varies in its layout, headbands, ear cups, materials, etc. and these are clearly intended to fit comfortably.
There are indeed 10 speakers providing a 7.1 configuration: front left/right, rear left/right, center, and sub (center and sub are doubled up, one on each ear, bringing the total to 10 speakers, even though 7+1=8). It does its job for Dolby surround audio in movies/TV and is good for surround-sound gaming. ("Where did those footsteps come from?" you ask yourself.)
The microphone is retractable, a pretty common and useful feature. It is not good enough for serious recording, but at this price range, that is what you should expect. It's for chat, games, etc. and it does those just fine.
In theory, the ability to adjust the volume for each speaker is an interesting and possibly useful idea.
The control box itself has a nice volume knob. Most headsets at this price range have them, and this one does its job just fine. The knob is quite sensitive and it moves in discrete clicks, not a smooth increase, so a small turn might be only one click, but even so it might result in a big volume jump. It's hard to complain about that, since that's relative to your other settings in some cases, and there are other audio-level issues that are more at the root of this issue (see below).
As a headset, generally, yes it does a fine job. It's not a audiophile grade (it would have to cost 2x-3x more and/or lose some of its other features to be that good). It's fine for non-pro gamers, for basic music listening, for day-to-day stuff, for video chat, etc. It is important, though, to acknowledge that there are many, many, many headsets that are "good enough" for all of these uses -- and many of them won't have the cons I'm about to mention.
Cons: Despite being well-put-together, it is enormous. This impacts comfort, as well as usability. This headset is not one-size-fits-all, but it only comes in the XL size. I have a pretty big head, and it feels like I'm on the small end of the spectrum for this headset.
The equalizing / tweaking on this unit is a big drawback. There are promises of changes to the software, firmware, etc. to compensate for those issues, but I can say after decades of customer support from so many companies, "we promise to fix this with some update in the future" is not something we can rely on. Don't count your firmware eggs before they hatch. These headphones sound better with Windows' default drivers. The "preset" configurations are not good, and even the default seems to be far from "neutral" which is what it ought to be. (Or, if it is truly "neutral" there is a deeper problem here.) Trying to tweak the sound (or fix the bad sound on any preset) only has a small change -- not enough to get the sound you probably want. Attempts to adjust the "line" volume for each speaker type may also help, but as soon as you change the master volume, this will reset!! (That does *not* make sense!)
The driver's user control application is poorly designed, and you can see many other reviewers had trouble installing or using it. Like most hardware-controlling software, the user application here is flashy in a way I find is irrelevant, distracting, and in poor taste. Then again, I haven't seen a non-pro soundcard since 1995 that didn't have a stupid looking interface for the user.
The speakers are also seemingly lower quality. While this makes almost no difference in most circumstances, there are some mid-priced headsets with good speakers, and some with "meh" speakers (and a few with terrible speakers). This headset is "meh." They aren't great, so getting really rich sounds, highly textured music or effects, loud and low pitches, certain other types of output, it will sound flaky. This should not affect the average user, but at this price range, it's hit-or-miss -- in this case, miss. The equalizing issues do exaggerate this problem, though. I, for one, totally disagree with the reviewer who is comparing these to mid-priced options from audio-enthusiast brands like Sennheiser. The latter spares the expense of the onboard USB sound card, microphone, software, surround sound, etc. etc. and makes high quality stereo headphones. It is totally, totally, 100% different. It's apples and oranges, but from a sound-quality perspective, it's clear that this headset could never measure up to the Senns.
I would have preferred a "Y" shape between the headset, USB plug, and control box. My cable has to backtrack, limiting the usable length. However, the cord is long, so it's not a fatal flaw here.
Other Thoughts: Be aware of your USB configuration in your motherboard. There is no battery to charge, so it makes more sense to put this into a USB port that is not "always on" for charging.
This microphone, like most, seems to do noise canceling in software only. The effectiveness of this feature, or even its existence at all, is all based on the software. Keep in mind that many important applications that require noise canceling will do that on their own. In other purposes, noise canceling will be irrelevant. I would not let this feature make or break any purchase if I were the average user. It's usually not relevant, and is also very common among mid-priced sets like these. It does its job so-so, as you would expect, but really only matters if you work in a server room with a thousand fans spinning away all day or something.
This headset loses 1.5 eggs for sound quality / tweaking / software problems and another 0.5 eggs for the ridiculous size. That is based on the severity of the problem for me. If you have a small head, these headphones are 2/5 or 1/5 quality, potentially. It is also important to note that some of the software problems might be fixed (I wouldn't consider that guaranteed). The size problem is something that is more likely to be fixed in the next model or line of headsets.
This review is from: CORSAIR 256GB USB Flash Drive Model CMFSL3X2-256GB
Pros: USB 3.0 read speeds of about 130MB/s, 1ms access times. Write speeds about 35MB/s. Good performance for a USB 3.0 drive of this size -- smaller ones will likely get slightly better speeds. Your rates will vary according to your motherboard etc.
Drive tests seem to show consistent, reliable performance. Small, but not too small. Hole for keychain or lanyard is good. Interesting rubberized grip area on the sides.
5 year warranty, and Corsair is generally considered to be good at backing their products.
Cons: I really don't like the blue color, although I guess when the LED inside blinks, it's blueish instead of black or white. Maybe that's good?
The sliding cap does not cover the connector, so if you drop this in dirt or if there is lint in your pockets, it could get in there.
A bit wide. Check the clearance on your USB ports, although most external ports will be okay (the ones in the back of your PC might be too bunched up though).
Other Thoughts: Of course, as an EggXpert reviewer, I can't test the product for a long time. This is a new product, so few people have had it for very long. We can't say whether it is reliable or not, but what you should do to get a good idea of that is to look at previous products in this line. Corsair makes pretty reliable flash products most of the time, and their thumbdrives have a good track record. It's no guarantee, but you can do your own research if you want to see how they stack up with other brands.
To see more reviews, uncheck the box marked "Item Specific Reviews." You will see reviews for drives of other capacities in this model line.