RGB LED-illuminated products were the most conspicuous new additions to many products at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Though they may not have been on the show floor, we recently got our hands into one of the warmest new RGB products to bring you gerbils a mini-review just in time for the coldest part of winter. We present to you the Chnano LED gloves.
Chnano offers the gloves in a one-size-fits-most-adults form factor that just barely fits over my large manly paws. I have to stretch the fingers just a little bit to sneak my hands inside. The gloves don't come with any sort of label identifying their constituent materials, but they seem to be some kind of stretchy nylon material. Color choices for the Chnanos are limited to black hands and white finger portions. Additional color options are available from other, similarly mysterious manufacturers.
The LEDs are discrete red, green, and blue units that are not clustered together the way that PC component RGB LEDs are. The gloves do offer six different color modes: all colors flashing, slow fade from red to green to blue, all colors on, red-only, green-only,and blue-only flashing modes. The lighting is selectable via a momentary push button integrated into the opisthenar part of the glove. The color modes are individually addressable on each glove. Regretfully, no automatic syncronization is available, so users will have to rely on manual control and precise timing to get the gloves to flash simultaneously and in the same mode. Power is provided by one replaceable CR2016 3V battery in each glove. Perhaps the next version can include synchronization over Bluetooth and wireless charging.
The stretchy fabric of the gloves provide moderate protection from extreme temperatures. The fabric is breathable, at the expense of any kind of water resistance. We tested the gloves in conjunction with a mechanical keyboard with Kailh switches and found no performance benefit to having lights on our fingers. Key feel was diminished by the cushioning of the fabric material, and typing accuracy was slightly reduced due to the increase of effective individual finger thickness.
The gloves were unsuitable for gaming because the fabric was somewhat slippery against the game controller, and gamepads without rubber inserts repeatedly slipped from our hands. The gloves do not feature fingertip inserts for compatibility with capacitive touchscreens, so gaming on a smartphone or tablet is almost impossible, besides titles that rely on gyroscopic input. We performed this testing for a long time while writing many news posts and articles, so any typographical errors you may have noticed on the web site recently were almost certainly the fault of these gloves.
The one place where the gloves did offer benefits during computer-centric pursuits was in the handling of hot system components. The gloves provided adequate thermal protection when handling computer components only slightly cooled after intense gaming sessions.
We give the Chnano LED gloves a thumbs-up for handling of warm computer components and general insulative duties, but we wouldn't recommend them as performance-enhacers for typing or gaming. The gloves cost less than a meal at a fast-casual restaurant, and they'll leave you with a longer-lasting feeling of satisfaction and warmth. What's not to like?