Category Archives: Hardware

This category is for Hardware we’ve reviewed for PC. These Hardware The reviews are listed in chronological order, and if you’re looking for a particular title please use the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.

It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

Tech Review: SteelSeries Siberia 200

SteelSeries, maker of such fine products such as the mouse with the gimmick LEDs has come out with a another item. Although this one was released a while back, I just now got around to using it.

2311_1 Normally I use a Corsair V2000 headset with its cushion-like headpiece and its adjustable features, but I can never get it to sit right on my head. It is quite uncomfortable at times. I feel like I have on ear-muffs on and I get really hot. Not to mention it collects dust on the headpiece because it’s made of cotton or some similar fabric.

But I figured it was time for a change so I decided to try another SteelSeries product: the Siberia Forge Red 200 and I must say I am really impressed with the headset. In fact I would go to such lengths as to say it’s possibly one of the best headsets I’ve ever worn.

Its headphones are comprised of a synthetic leather which rests comfortably on my head and the audio quality is superb. I really enjoy how crisp the sound is. The headband section rests comfortably on my head with easy adjustments. Since it’s a wired headset I don’t have to worry about charging the battery at all.da951ee8-b822-48d4-b30c-de5ea6228b71.png._CB290757754__SR300,300_.png

If you are in-game and don’t want to switch off your microphone via software, you can use a switch they have placed on the cable to shut it down without any trouble. The microphone itself picks up crystal clear audio as well, with zero feedback (although this depends on several factors, such as your computer’s ambient noise level).

However I did encounter one tiny issue with the headset: it’s only meant for 3.5mm input and not USB like my Corsair. I have no on-board audio devices since the burnout in my Asus Sabertooth X58 motherboard. So I had to use my wife’s laptop for the review of this product.

Do I recommend the SteelSeries Siberia Forge Red 200? Of course I do. If I had a working audio card I would be using it now, and would keep this headset around for emergencies.

There is a reason why SteelSeries sponsors massive gaming tournaments and why competitors like Team Navi, Evil Genius, and Tyloo use the brand. This product is definitely one of the best that I’ve ever tried and I recommend it to anyone who needs a new headset.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech Editorial: SteelSeries Rival 700

SteelSeries has done it again; they’ve created yet another mouse. This new Rival 700 boasts a walloping 16,000 DPI tracking, as well as a unique feature among gaming mice. It has a small visual display of sorts where you’d normally place your thumb. Now just think about this for a second…indeed…a display covered up by your thumb!6Ig0fYa1BZVa.878x0.Z-Z96KYq

Now don’t get me wrong, SteelSeries does make great products for computer gaming and I absolutely love their keyboards and mice, overall.

But as car enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson says, “It’s stupid“. I’m looking forward to doing a technical review later this month on the mouse, outlining its pros and cons. But in the sense of professional gaming, the fact that it has a small display where the thumb goes is outright idiotic.

 

I’d like to quote Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO, if I may.

“We’re thrilled to deliver the world’s first smart gaming mouse,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. “By listening to gamers and eSports athletes, we’ve perfected professional gaming mice for more than a decade. The Rival 700 takes that expertise and meets gamers’ needs today, and grows to help them win in the future.”

That means that someone in the design department came up with this and thought it was a good idea. Let’s take a moment to consider this. You are a professional gamer. You are playing in a massive competition, going for a grand prize. But your health is low, so do you look at the screen? Of course not; you lift your thumb from the mouse and take a peek! Your health suddenly drops to zero because…

You took your #%#@% hand off the mouse instead of moving out of danger!

But being serious here, the actual specifications for the Rival 700 are pretty good. I stated earlier though, when we take a look at it in the future we’ll write and tell you if it’s worth the price. Although as always, they could have saved money if they hadn’t put that gimmick on it in the first place. This would mean the product would be cheaper for the end-market user. But that’s just my opinion.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech Review: SteelSeries Rival 100

As gamers, we rely on the equipment we use to get us through hard gaming sessions. Microsoft has a $100 Xbox controller, and there are others relativity cheaper than that. PC gamers on the other hand rely more on the graphics cards they choose, as well as their keyboard and mouse.steelseries_rival_100_optical_mouse_4

I am going to be taking a look at the SteelSeries Rival 100 gaming mouse and truth be told, I wasn’t impressed at all when I first saw it. “Oh look, colors…a nice little gimmick that will definitely be a selling point” was my initial thought on the matter. But after giving it a test run in comparison to my CM Storm, I must say I’m quite impressed at its reliability…and more impressed at its cost.

Now let’s take a minute to examine a technical aspect of the SteelSeries mouse. In this case, a list of features:

What exactly can the SteelSeries Engine make this mouse do? It’s all about the customization of buttons, sensitivity, lighting and more:
• Map the 6 mouse buttons to custom game controls
• Adjust optical sensitivity for any style and speed of play
• Create custom lighting options with over 16 million colors
• Create personalized configurations for your favorite games
GameSense is part of the new generation of peripherals and real-time, in-game actions – Users can create illumination settings that directly respond to actions as they happen.

As a many people know, I play Dota 2. I really enjoy it and Njal (Zaceron) is our League of Legends player. In my runs with Dota 2, I started by testing the Rival’s response rate, and it was flawless. The only issue I had was with my keyboard. The mouse’s speed was spot-on and its accuracy was amazingly smooth.

The feel of the mouse is equally impressive. It fits to my fingers and hand as if they were made for each other, and the grip is the most comfortable feeling I have had on a mouse. In comparison to my CM storm, which feels rubbery and a little worn down, the SteelSScreenshot_1eries Rival 100 prevents my hand from sliding around; I feel really attached to it.

However I must commend them for the dumbest addition to a mouse I have ever seen.
Some mice love to go with a color scheme of sorts, and they make it their selling point. The Rival 100 does indeed do this…and it is pointless. You put LEDs into the mouse and if you are playing Dota 2, Counter Strike, and hell even Minecraft the lights will change color depending on how much health and or mana you have.

It’s a great idea on paper. In general its game sense and custom lighting options of more than 16 million colors is very pointless..The reason? I have a big hand, and thus cannot see the lights as my hand covers them up. Their inclusion could have been completely avoided, and the cost of the mouse therefore reduced. Although the savings would be small, they still could have saved money.

Adjusting the DPI settings is also quite interesting, mainly because it’s non-existent. In this case we’re just going to quote them directly:

Counts Per Inch (CPI) or Dots Per Inch (DPI) doesn’t carry any relevant weight on a great or better mouse. The CPI race is a way for gaming mouse companies to include an incredibly high number – outdoing their competitors –meant to dupe and confuse the consumer into believing a higher number is better.

The mouse’s instructions are even pretty interesting. When you open it up, a single piece of paper pops out that literally just tells you to plug the mouse into the USB port. Honestly, I wish I could say it was avoidable but I know a lot of people are quite remedial. I know this from experience as a computer support technician.SteelSeries Rival gaming mouse

In the end though the mouse really is amazing, despite the obvious flaw about the lighting.
If you’re not like me and have big hands compared to most people, the lights may even work for you. I know there are a lot of negative points about the mouse but overall?, As a gaming mouse it is possibly the best one I have ever used in my entire life.

Is it worth investing the $40? I think so. It’s built really well and I really did enjoy using it. If SteelSeries actually reads this they should put the lights on the side, underneath the side buttons, as that would be a better indicator.

-Daniel Clatworthy-