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Observation

I have tested a wide range of mice over the years and have then concluded my top 10 mouse of all-time (effective May 2013). #1 would be the best overall performance while #10 will be the lowest of the scale. Note: These are based on personal opinions, no pun intended.

 

Andrew’s Top 10 mouse of all time (mid 2013):

1) Steelseries Sensei 

2) Steelseries Ikari Laser

3) Razer DeathAdder (Refresh/Black Edition)

4) Steelseries Xai

5) Roccat KONE XTD

6) Logitech G700

7) Razer Krait

8) Steelseries Sensei RAW

9) Logitech MX518

10) Razer Abyssus Mirror Edition (Standard)

One particular mouse, the Steelseries Kana did not make it to the top 10 list even though it has a price stage of RM199, it does not fit to be in the top 20 list should I compile another in future. The Kana is the worst underperforming and overpriced mouse Steelseries ever produced. The sensor is horrible, the grip is uncomfortable, the click switch is TTC based, and the first batch of Kana came with a plastic hard feet which Steelseries then provided TEFLON feets as replacements. What the heck? Customers paid RM199 for a mouse that does not come with TEFLON feet? 

Then again, the comparison above are based on my personal opinions. But the worthy winner no doubt goes to the Sensei, best sensor, best grip, best weight distribution, only flaw is the peeling metal coating after a few months of usage, otherwise it will collect a full 10/10. 

Cheers 🙂

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Roccat KONE XTD Review

Roccat is back. And they mean business. The KONE XTD is the flagship model of the KONE series, has the potential to be one of the best gaming grade mouse in the market with the price tag of RM339, will it justify it’s price tag?

Features: 

  • 8,200 DPI Pro Aim (R3) LASER sensor
  • OMRON click switch
  • Roccat Easy Shift[+]
  • 32 bit Processor
  • LED Light System
  • 8 mouse buttons
  • 4 Easy clip on weights
  • 572kb On Board Memory
  • TDC (Tracking&Distance control unit)
  • Roccat Talk

To be honest, Roccat was never the first brand that comes to my head whenever I am looking for a gaming mouse. My perception of Roccat is that they manufacture decent and very ‘bling-bling’ peripherals, for example, the KOVA and KAVE. Not to mention, the ever famous Roccat Apuri, which most people know, it is a mouse bungee. For me, I like a simple mouse without blings but packed with punch. And there stood the KONE XTD, upon receiving it, another fancy bling-bling mouse from Roccat.

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What you will find in the box?

1) KONE XTD

2) WEIGHTBOX

3) Manuals and warranty booklet

Design:

Design wise, the KONE XTD excels. The curved-in sides are designed to provide sufficient grip for people with small or medium hands. Definitely not for big hands as your thumb tends to overshoot the curved placement which appears to be pretty useless as you won’t be making use of the ‘grip’. Unfortunately, I have large hands.

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The XTD in action. I admit, the light is very beautiful. It provides glimpse of ‘light display’ every few seconds, pretty much like LED light shows that you see outside. The lights are very entertaining and works perfectly in the dark. At least you know where your mouse is when you are engaged in a late-night sneaky frag sessions.

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Side by side comparison with my trusty Deathadder. Almost similarly designed.

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Non Gold Plated USB port? I don’t mind, seriously. No proof that Gold Plated ports performs better than non-Gold ports. So yeah.

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Braided cable. Plus point there, seems like an industry standard to include braided cables in every gaming mouse now. Braided cables are a plus point to any gaming mouse out there, less messy, more flexible and more durable.

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Class 1 laser sensor. I kid you not. Performs like a beast! Just make sure you have the right mousepad to go with it.

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The weight slot. Twist to open. This is where you put in the weights (optional).

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The design of the weightbox is brilliant. Looks like a military ammo case. Contains 4 units of 5g weights totaling 20g if added together.

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Weights locked and loaded. Extra 20g in there. Heavy stuff indeed.

The weights are purely optional. For those who find the mouse a little light, they can choose the adequate weight for their preference. For me, I chose to opt out the weights. The weight of the XTD is prefect, any heavier will result in heavier drag and almost impossible lifting. Lifting is important for FPS gamers as most of them play with lower DPI.

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The interesting 4 directional scroll wheel. Yup, fully functional in all 4 directions for those who likes to customize their mouse. I only use it for adjusting my volume, high and low thou. Note the + – buttons above the the scroll wheel, that is the DPI customizer button. Choose your desired DPI with the Roccat Software Driver, able to store up to 4 profiles.

Personal Opinion:

Higher DPI does not necessarily mean that it is better. I stuck with my usual 1,800 DPI, a cult of habit to set every mouse that way. I personally believe that any DPI above 6400 are meant for dual monitors. Don’t tell me that you will use 8,200 DPI to play FPS.

After 3 continuous hours of Battlefield 3, my hands felt good. No cramps or sore, however I would prefer if the mouse is designed slightly longer than its current form, I have big hands! A big kudos to Roccat for choosing OMRON’s switch, the clicks felt good, even with several rigorous clicking, it felt sturdy and firm, performing how every high performance mouse should perform. Another plus point of the XTD is the on-the-fly setting. You can use the mouse with any computer without the software and it operates just fine. LAN Competition would be a breeze for those who likes to participate in tournaments. The software works like a charm too. Although the XTD does not have an indicator to indicate which DPI profile you are using, it has it’s own way to telling you. Yup, telling. The voice feedback will tell you which profile you’ve selected, even works for volume controls. So effective that you don’t have to look at it to change a profile while in game.

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One of the best software available. Fully customizable!

Likes (Pro’s)

  • On the fly setting
  • Ability to customize your own DPI at any value
  • Voice feedback
  • Fancy LED lights
  • Good sensor, reads and tracks well
  • Comfortable
  • Customizable. Function buttons can be customized
  • Braided cable
  • Excellent Software

Dislike (Con’s)

  • Not Mac (OSX) compatible. (Not everyone has Windows)
  • Badly positioned thumb grip

So does the KONE XTD justify its RM339 price tag? Yes. The XTD is comparable to every high end gaming mouse that is available in the market. It performs brilliantly and even after several hours of usage, the mouse felt good and comfortable. The built quality is worth crediting for. Solid and firm. All round performer.

To those looking for a value-for-money high end mouse, the Roccat KONE XTD is worth considering. Roccat is back in business!

Rating: 8.5/10

Special Thanks to Heavy Arm for providing the opportunity for me to review the mouse.

Roccat is distributed by Play Interactive. The Roccat Kone XTD is available from Heavy Arm’s retail store @ SS15 Subang Jaya or alternatively;

Look out for Heavy Arm here : https://www.facebook.com/Heavyarm412?fref=ts

Roccat Kone XTD Unboxing

Hello.

At long last. The Roccat Kone XTD gaming mouse is within my possession. Play Interactive is the official distributor of Roccat products in Malaysia and with the help of the official Roccat retailer, Heavy Arm Online Gamestore, I was given the opportunity to review the latest Roccat Kone XTD.

First up, unboxing photographs to tease the audience.

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Based on my first impression, the box is beautiful. Unlike other mice boxes available from other brands, Roccat actually designed the box very differently. It is a double fold magnetic box.

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The very familiar ‘Play Interactive’ sticker from the official distributor.

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As the word reads: Open.

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The ‘folded’ interior of the box. Well designed indeed.

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The WeightBox. Comes with 4 x (5g) weights. (More details will come later).Image

Unboxed! Bundled with a Kone XTD mouse, a reading manual, and a Weightbox. Sadly, no stickers. Why Roccat why?!Image

The Kone XTD unmasked!

That concludes the unboxing of the Kone XTD. The review and verdict will be up in a few days. More photos to come too!

Best regards,

Andrew.

Ducky Shining MX Red Review

Hello there,

After 11 months of using my Steelseries 6Gv2 keyboard, I have made the wrong decision. I have a pair of sensitive hands, so whenever I am on the computer for long hours, my hands will be filled with blisters and I thought it was normal initially until I realized, it was the keyboard. The 6Gv2 was using a Cherry MX Black switch which by the way, is the hardest switch among all Cherry models (Red, Blue , Brown and Black). It requires at least 60g of force before it can fully respond to the keys, was implemented to avoid accidental key presses.

Today, my Ducky Shine 9008 has arrived. Collected it from HeavyArm, SS15. Can pretty say that I am regular there already 🙂

A quick look at the packaging.

Almost the same size as the 6Gv2. Striking box.

Red Switch that last to over 50million key strokes. Yes, 50 million.

Unboxing. Comes with detachable cable connect with either PS/2 or USB.

Also bundled with additional WASD keycaps and a key puller.

Cherry Red Switch peeping out. Note the LED bulb behind the switch.

Rear end of the keyboard.

USB to PS/2 adapter.

Stage 1 shining effect.

Full Stage Shining effect.

The interesting part of this keyboard is the lighting effect, as Ducky called it, Shining effect. You can set the shine level, from no shine to stage 1 until 4. Also, the brightness level of the lighting effects can be adjusted from low to high which makes it interesting. Playing in the dark would be a breeze now without hitting the wrong keys which I always do while playing games in the dark.

Performance:

The Ducky Shine 9008 has a very expensive price tag, ranging from RM439 to RM489 depending on the switches.  The Blue, Black and Brown switches cost RM439 respectively and the Red switch cost RM489.  With such a huge price tag for a Taiwanese brand, does it live up to it’s expectations? Yes it does. Why? It is very stable, although a wrist rest would be a better alternative but Ducky Distro as confirmed that all Ducky Keyboards bought in 2012 will receive a free wrist rest. Yay!

Next, apart from stability, the performance of this keyboard is excellent. There are no response delay from this Duck, compared to other brands which some complained about the 1-2 sec delays from the keyboard to the screen. Also, if you connect via PS/2, you are able to get a full KRO (Key Roll-Over) which means that you can press as many keys as you wish , there are no limitations. USB connection however, has limited key presses ranging from 6-9. So the best way to maximize your mechanical keyboard is to connect via PS/2.

I really like the built design of this keyboard. It feels very sturdy and hard. Unlike the 6Gv2, the key caps are not laser printed which can fade after a few months of usage, which is a good thing because people would not like their key caps to fade which makes a living hell for those who are not good with keyboard keys. People always compare between the color of switches, blue, brown, black or red. Honestly there are no best switch. They are all the same except for the feeling and tactile response.

A quick summary of what the switches meant:

1) Black Switches – Hardest among all to avoid accidental key presses. Requires 60g of force. (Steelseries 6Gv2, Steelseries 7G, CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Black)

2) Blue Switches – Most common mechanical switch. Has a clicky sound. Requires 50g of force. (Razer Blackwidow Ultimate, Expert, Filco, Das and Ducky Shine Blue)

3) Brown Switches – Soft switch but with a tactile feedback. Requires 45g of force but may raise up to 60g. (Filco, Ducky 1008 series, Das and Razer Blackwidow Stealth)

4) Red Switches – Rarest and softest switch. Requires 45g of force. (Ducky 9008 Red, CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Red and Corsair K60)

Verdict:

Mechanical keyboards are good investment items. It last longer than conventional rubber-dome keyboards, it can sustain to heavy forces and impact and it is very much softer than rubber domes. People always say that they can use rubber dome keyboards to pwn or own people in game, do alot of typing and never get tired. It is up to individual, not everyone likes to spend money on hardwares. For me, I consider this as an investment, something that I enjoy doing on, I feel more comfortable with mechanical keyboards compared to rubber domes. If you ask me, Ducky Shine 9008 series is a good investment, worth the money spent for. But if you don’t like fancy keyboards, just a plain, simple and durable mechanical keyboard, do get the Steelseries 6Gv2 or 7G.

Rating: 9/10

*NOTE: All prices stated above are RRP. Subject to change from retailers.

Chinese New Year

First and foremost, I would like to wish everyone a happy new year.

 

This is the time of the year when the Chinese regardless or different beliefs and religious backgrounds, unite as one to celebrate the annual New Year celebrations. This year, is the year of the Dragon, water dragon to be exact. So much for the 2012, the vodoo year, world apocalypse and stuff, Mayan calender nonsense. We are here, still alive and kicking, those Mayan calenders were dated centuries ago, everything has changed. If you believe that the world will end by this year, you are nuts.

Currently I have no New Year’s resolutions as I do not make an effort to follow any of those anyway. Taking this opportunity to wish everyone a good health, enjoy yourself out there, do whatever you think is right, feel like doing and have fun. It is all about having fun, work and play, balance it and you’ll be fine.

 

Once again, Happy New Year and Gong Xi Fa Chai to everyone! Cheers!

Mango Update for WP7

It’s here! Microsoft has released the latest update for Windows Phone 7, called Mango (7.5) which is a major update for all WP7 users. Officially launched on the 27th September 10am Pacific Time (1am in Malaysia) .

Currently updating my device. Will publish a review about it soon  🙂

Steelseries Sensei

Aloha! Recently, Steelseries launched their latest product which is a gaming mouse, called the Sensei which means Master in Japanese. The Sensei was released to replace the legendary Xai mouse which was highly acclaimed towards the gaming community, received almost perfect reviews. So will the Sensei live up to it’s expectations of being the successor of the Xai?

My answer would be Yes. I am not bias because I own both Xai and Sensei respectively. I collected my Sensei from Moderno.PC one day before the official launch date, I was lucky.  The Sensei is powered by a 32-bit ARM processor which allows you to double your Count-Per Inch (CPI) sensitivity from 5701 to 11,400 CPI.  Moreover, it was fitted with technologies such as the Steelseries FreeMove,  ExactAim, ExactTech, ExactLift, ExactAccel,  and ExactSens. In conjunction with the launch of the Steelseries Sensei, Play Interactive (PI) , the official distro for Steelseries gave away a Limited Edition QCK mousepad and a Lanyard. I received the Starcaft Marine Edition from them. The first thing that came to my mind was the size of the box, there is a flap which you can open,which looks abit like this:


The bundle from Moderno PC.

The standard contents includes :

1) Steelseries Sensei

2) Booklet

3) Product Catalog

4) Steelseries Sticker

5) Proof of Purchase

 

Upon testing, I realized the mouse was  heavier than the Xai, the switches are harder to click which makes it firmer, the scroll wheel is also very firm. But what I noticed the most was the edges around the click buttons, the Xai edges are sharp because it was made of thin plastic with rubber coating whereas the Sensei, they made it thicker in which it’s glossy finish made it safer and no more pointy sharp edges. Next, the metal surface is much smoother, not so easily scratched like the Xai. The Xai was covered with rubber coating which made it scratch-me material, the Sensei however changed the whole statement.

In game testing :

I tested the Steelseries Sensei with both Counter Strike: 1.6 and Sudden Attack, both FPS games. I was really impressed with the performance of the Sensei, providing accurate judgments, especially when it comes to Sniping as I am a sniper, the Drag movement of the mouse was stunning. The lift distance however, needed time to be used to. There is a function called ExactLift which allows gamer to determine their lift distance for turning etc, also depending on the mousepad surface.

Overall bings :

The Sensei was build to destroy all other competitors in the gaming mouse market. Added Bing effects such as the customized LED light effects, Create your own BitMap image for the  LCD screen under the mouse, setting Macro keys for your game, it has everything a gamer wants in a mouse, purely brilliant.

However, the only thing that I am not really satisfied, the Steelseries Engine driver. It is rather complicated compared to the Xai’s driver. Other than that, it’s still a great mouse.

My verdict : 9/10

Value for money : 8/10

Built Quality : 10/10