From novelty mats, freebies with adverts on, to pro level gaming mats, the surface under your mouse comes in many shapes, sizes and finishes. If you're serious about precision as most gamers and graphic designers are, then a good mat is an absolute must.Roccat will be known to most gamers, with their range of performance peripherals, and today we're going to take a look at their hybrid mat, the Roccat Sota. Touted as the first hard surfaced mat which retains flexibility, it’s a bit of an odd beast. Read on to see how it performs.
Companies are now becoming wise to the fact that revising an existing product is often an all together better choice than starting from scratch to try and create something intrinsically different. In this instance, Tuniq, a subsidiary of Sunbeamtech, have attempted to improve upon the Tower 120 design. Now christened the Tower 120 Extreme, this CPU cooler has been beefed up a little to make it more compatible with the newer Intel Nehalem architectures through a series of improvements designed to uprate the cooling capabilities. Let’s take a better look at the product in question.
Everyone has experienced wanting just that little bit more prestige to their sound if they are using a laptop, hating the poor quality of the built in speakers. If you want to try and boost the caliber a bit, or perhaps play sound from an mp3 player without having to use earphones then external speakers are usually your only choice.These external speakers come in many shapes and sizes, from the sublime to the insane. Today we're going to be looking at the strangely named Porty Speakers (Portable Speaker-System 2.0) from Maximus, so let's see how they perform.
Our second NZXT offering in less than a week comes in the form of the Panzerbox. Aimed much more specifically at the higher end of the enthusiast and gaming market, the Panzerbox utilises a unique layout and a crafted aluminium chassis. The Panzerbox also shares the first part of its name with a German Tank – the Panzer from WWII. It also claims to share many of the qualities of its name sake such as a strong exterior, and, to some extent, the shape. Let's get a little better acquainted with the design.
These days portable equipment is as ubiquitous as vomit in pub toilets, which in turn has meant a general move towards devices that allow you to recharge in-situ. Presumably so as to avoid the need to wipe said vomit from a nearby mains socket, and saving you the trouble of constantly needing to replace removable batteries. It's also standard practice to make just enough of your product proprietary – or dependent on something that is – in order to maximise profit without pushing the consumer too far. This means you can end up carrying around a separate charger for every portable item you own along with the bushel of interfacing cables. Adaptors are of course abound, but it would be nice if more devices came with a selection of common fittings the way the Turbocharger 3400 does. This portable charger gives you the ability to juice up anything from mobile phones to hand-held consoles, and all on the move.
A gamers’ case is undoubtedly more than just a metal chassis to house all the circuit boards and components. The styling and aesthetics are very important giving particular rig uniqueness as well as being a way for the enthusiast to express themselves. However, with the cost of high-end gaming chassis pushing well over the £100 mark and money much tighter due to the economic status, manufacturers are starting to react. Antec were one of the first to release a low-budget case – the Two Hundred; a chassis that has quickly become the case to beat in the low price market. Visually, performance wise and the build quality are all spot on and at just £35, it's very competitively priced.Hot on Antec's heels though are NZXT. With any array of gaming chassis available, the Beta bolsters the low budget part of the Classic Series. Let's take a look…
With music becoming increasingly centred around the home computer, a decent set of PC-compatible speakers has become almost a necessity. Even leaving aside the tendency towards downloading – legal or otherwise – keeping your CD collection on a hard-drive is now common-place and provides many benefits. It's easier to organise, retrieve and backup media stored to disk than hundreds (or even thousands) of CDs, tapes, LPs, mini-dics, and such. Even when recorded in one of the many loss less audio formats – FLAC, True Audio (TTA), Apple Loss less, MPEG-4 ALS, etc – a hard-drive the size of a paperback could store many hundreds of CDs, thus making it an extremely efficient use of space. Since we'll all be living in Tokyo-style pods soon anyway, larger media will probably become obsolete eventually, if not merely at an excessive premium. The thirst for a clear and precise rendering of all that binary finery is quite palpable, but perhaps Speedlink can satisfy it?