Release roundup: Amped-up graphics, unique peripherals, and business storage
This week in our look at miscellaneous product launches and announcements, we bear tidings from EpicGear, Genius, Razer, SanDisk, and Zotac.
- EpicGear introduces DeziMater mechanical gaming keyboard. As far as gaming keyboards go, it doesn't get more decked-out than this. The DeziMater is made of "70% aluminum," has a cushioned wrist rest made of "anti-slip composite cloth," and features a total of 109 keys backed by either Cherry MX brown or red switches. There are five programmable macro keys, 10 macro profiles, two USB ports, and audio in and out jacks. Oh, and EpicGear gives you multiple backlighting options for the WASD, number, and macro keys, plus "underbody lighting." There are even optional red key caps for the WASD, QERF, and 1-6 number key groups. The downside is that this thing won't quite blend in with your Dell monitor and Logitech speakers.
- Genius introduces Cam Mouse – a combination of a camera and a mouse. Okay, so technically, all optical mice have cameras built in—that's why they're called optical. Genius' new Cam Mouse is different in that it has two cameras: a 1200-dpi BlueEye sensor for tracking and a regular camera for taking pictures and videos. A sliding plastic panel lets you switch between them. Genius says the camera can be used as a webcam for video conferencing, can scan QR codes, and can upload content directly to social media via the bundled software. The mouse has a dedicated "snapshot" button on the left side, too. I'm not sure I see the appeal, since just about everyone has a camera phone these days—but hey, the Cam Mouse only costs $34.99.
- Latest Razer membrane gaming keypad gives gamers precision, speed, control and comfort. According to Razer, the Tartarus gaming keypad is a "successor to the widely popular and award-winning Razer Nostromo." It features 25 backlit keys, an eight-way directional thumb pad, and extensive macro functionality. (There's no limit on either the macro length or the number of profiles, Razer says, although it looks like you can only switch between eight key maps.) The product page touts the Tartarus' use of "membrane keys for a soft, cushioned touch," which is an, uh, interesting way to play up the lack of mechanical key switches. Asking price: $79.99.
- SanDisk strengthens SSD portfolio for business customers with powerful X210 SSD. SanDisk's X210 is a 2.5" solid-state drive aimed at business users. It's based on 19-nm flash and features the same nCache technology as the company's Extreme II drive, which is more of a consumer-oriented offering. The X210 one-ups the Extreme II by adding SATA DevSleep support to the mix. According to SanDisk, the X210 can reach peak sequential speeds of 505MB/s during reads and 470MB/s during writes. It's available in capacities of up to 512GB through "SanDisk's SSD hardware and software sales channel, the SanDisk Commercial Business Channel."
- Zotac amplifies GeForce GTX 780 for faster and quieter performance. Zotac's AMP! Edition graphics cards are known for their high clock speeds and beefy coolers. The new GeForce GTX 780 AMP! Edition is no different. This puppy has base and boost clocks of 1006MHz and 1059MHz, respectively, up from 863/900MHz on Nvidia's reference design. The memory has also been pumped up from 6Gbps to 6.2Gbps. On top of all that, Zotac has replaced the stock Nvidia cooler with a "Triple Silencer Enhanced Cooling system," which can purportedly "reduce temperatures up to 10C and noise levels by 15dBA under heavy gaming loads." (I assume that's compared to the stock cooler.) It looks like the card is already available at Newegg for $649.99 with a free copy of Splinter Cell Blacklist.
Thinking back to that Genius Cam Mouse... don't all laptops have webcams built in, too? I can't imagine who would use a camera mouse for video conferencing. Perhaps low-end sensors have just gotten so cheap that manufacturers are running out of places to put 'em. Next up: camera Monster cables.