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Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: a responsive, well-featured gaming keyboard that’s great for typing too
4:41 pm | June 13, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: one-minute review

Let’s cut to the chase – the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard is a fantastic wireless RGB gaming peripheral. Really, the only reasons to stay away are if you need a different form factor, whether it’s a full-size model or something in a more diminutive package, or if you find the price a bit too much to stomach. While plenty of premium gaming keyboards go for a similar price, you can certainly find decent models for much less.

That said, I will say I was essentially smitten the first time I typed on the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless. For me personally, it’s certainly among the best wireless keyboards and best mechanical keyboards out there. Whether it’s one of the best keyboards for you will depend on what you’re looking for, of course.

Outside of the main downsides I already mentioned, the only other reason someone might avoid this keyboard is if they want something that looks a little less like a gaming keyboard. As good as I think this keyboard looks, it still feels more appropriate for a gaming setting than a professional one.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: price and availability

Connectivity options of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? On sale in the US and UK

Paying $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250) for a gaming keyboard is a lot for most people, especially as everything else in life seems to cost a little more these days. For better or worse, though, spending that much on a premium gaming keyboard with wireless connectivity is par for the course.

The Razer BlackWidow V4 75% I reviewed last year, which not only shares the same size, but also allows you to replace keycaps and switches to your heart’s content (in fact, you can use both three- and five-pin switches) goes for $189.99 / £189.99 / AU$349.95. And, since it’s aimed at modders, any first-party additions like different keycaps only adds to that price tag.

Or, take a look at the Yunzii AL71. It costs almost the same depending on where you are ($159.99 / £129 / AU$245), and offers a lot of the same features regarding customization, connectivity, and even being able to switch between Windows and Mac connectivity. It is a slightly smaller form factor and you won’t get the control dial seen on this Corsair keyboard (more on that in a moment).

Value: 4 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: design and features

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless keycaps

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As far as the design of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless goes, let’s start with the basics. This is a 75% sized model, meaning that you forgo a number pad and extra dedicated macro keys as you would see on full-sized options, but you still have the arrow keys as well as Page Up, Page Down, and Home (that you would miss out on with even smaller form factors). Plus, you still have a media key in the form of the control dial in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.

The keycaps have a soft feel with a concave shape to them that makes for easy, comfortable presses. And, since Corsair uses a top mount plate and stabilizers, not to mention pre-lubed switches, every press feels almost like pressing into a firm pillow (that might be a bit hyperbolic, but you get the idea). Each press is stable as the switches and keycaps have no wiggle to them – just a proper up and down motion.

There are also two layers of sound dampening built into the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless, and the Corsair MLX Red switches are designed for quiet operation as well. That makes this among the quieter mechanical keyboards I’ve used.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard Specs

Layout: 75%
Switch: Corsair MLX Red
Programmable keys: Yes
Dimensions: 12.59 x 5.35 x 1.37-inches (LxWxH)
RGB or backlighting: Yes (customizable)

Moving on to connectivity, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless has just about everything you could ask for. There’s the wireless dongle, of course, for 2.4GHz operation, as well as USB connectivity for wired use and charging. Furthermore, there’s also Bluetooth on hand. Plus, you can pair this keyboard with three different devices and use hotkeys (mapped to Home, Page Up, and Page Down) to switch between each Bluetooth connection.

The controls for switching connectivity, excluding the different Bluetooth sources, are on the back of the keyboard along with another little switch that lets you flip between the Windows and Mac layout, a feature I really appreciate.

Since this is a gaming keyboard, RGB lighting is on hand and it’s quite colorful. You can customize to your heart’s content, even on a per-key basis, in the iCue software. Using that you can also remap all the keys along with some limited but useful customizations for the control dial, which controls the volume by default.

If there’s a missing piece of the puzzle here, for me it’s a nice wrist rest, especially considering the price. However, Corsair does include a keycap puller to remove both the keycaps and switches, which are hot-swappable.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: performance

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless gaming

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

All this attention to detail spills over to the way the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless performs. Thanks to a polling rate of 1,000Hz and switches that have an actuation point of 1.9mm, not to mention require just 45g of actuation force, this keyboard is as quick as most people will need.

While there are a few keyboards with a higher polling rate or lower actuation point, I would say that pretty much nobody but the most competitive gamers will notice any kind of difference. Even then, I have my doubts.

Whether it’s keeping up with the action in Battlefield 2042, Rocket League, Cyberpunk 2077 (the games I like to use for testing), or any other fast-paced title, there’s no question that this keyboard is up to the task.

I was even able to get the desired results with very light presses, so there’s no need for a heavy hand. Of course, if you are heavy-handed, the switches are rated to last 70 million keystrokes. Since Corsair employs N-key rollover, I never experienced any missed presses either.

More broadly, thanks to all the factors incorporated in its construction that I mentioned before, as well as the fact that the switches are pre-lubed, typing on this keyboard is a dream. In fact, I find that most decent gaming keyboards can keep up with general typing needs. 

Where this keyboard really sets itself apart is with its feel, as I was able to do quite a bit of typing without putting too much pressure on my fingers. Plus, it feels really nice to type on. If you’re willing to splurge, I definitely think the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is a worthy recommendation.

Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard?

RGB lighting of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You want a lot of features
From being able to hot-swap the switches to changing between a Windows and Mac layout, not to mention all the connectivity options, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is about as fully loaded as they come.

You want an accurate, fast, and comfortable typing experience
It’s not only fast and accurate for just about any gaming needs, the K65’s quiet, soft operation makes for a very comfortable typing experience.

Don’t buy it if…

You need to save some money
Let’s be clear: the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is worth its price. But if you’re on a budget, you can sacrifice some of its quality-of-life features for a cheaper keyboard that will still provide the performance you need.

You need a wrist rest
As comfortable as this keyboard is to use, I’m surprised it didn’t come with its own wrist rest. You can buy a third-party one, but for the price, you would think it would come included.

Also consider

How I tested the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

  • Used regularly for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with typing as well as gaming
  • Tested all included features

I used the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard regularly for a couple of weeks, typing quite a bit on it, as well as playing games. Specifically, I tried fast-paced gaming like Battlefield 2042, Cyberpunk 2077 and Rocket League as well as more sedate games like Starfield. I even tried it with some RTS titles like Iron Harvest.

I looked at other aspects beyond performance, of course. I played with the K65’s programmable features, whether remapping or adjusting RGB, and the various connectivity options.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and mice, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
HP E45c G5: a huge, immersive monitor, but it comes at a price
9:30 pm | June 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

HP E45C G5: One-minute review

Using the HP E45c G5, a 44.5-inch ultrawide monitor, is an experience. It’s not for everyone as the price tag is high, and it takes up a lot of space (as any 40-inch+ monitor would, of course). However, it’s engagingly immersive for media and, more importantly, allows for the ability to streamline a workflow where you need to look at multiple tabs or windows without having to switch between them.

If you’re looking for 4K resolution or need impeccable color accuracy and coverage for editing, your money may be better spent elsewhere. That’s not to say this screen isn’t great, or falls down badly in those respects, but the HP E45c G5 is among the best monitors for those looking for that immersive experience or ability to spread out a workflow, and not so much for other considerations.

Of course, if you’re reading this review, you’re probably looking for one of the best ultrawide monitors for your needs, anyway. In that regard, I think it’s up there.

HP E45C G5: Price and availability

HP E45c G5 running Sable

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $1,099 / £959.99 / AU$2,045
  • When is it available? It’s out now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

While the HP E45c G5’s price tag is certainly justifiable, $1,099 / £959.99 / AU$2,045 is not a small chunk of change to pay for a monitor. However, it fills a very specific niche as it’s for those who like to have the screen real-estate of two monitors, but in a somewhat more streamlined setup.

Looking at it from that perspective, the price tag isn’t so bad. Most decent monitors are going to set you back about $400 to $500 anyway, so getting two of them will be the same price as the HP E45c G5, while requiring two spots on an outlet or power strip for power, not to mention you won’t have a single ultrawide screen if you want to use it this way.

As for the similarly-sized competition, you’re looking at the same kind of asking price or more. For instance, the Corsair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 OLED is just as big and has a nicer OLED display with a faster 240Hz refresh rate, but costs $1,999.99 / £2,099.99 / AU$3,299.99.

Or, consider the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 with its similar aspect ratio and resolution. Of course, it does have an OLED display as well, so it’s going to cost much more at $2,199.99 / £1,599 / AU$3,399. Really, the only way you’ll pay the same $1,000-ish price tag as this HP display is to find the older non-OLED version of this monitor or go smaller.

Value: 4 / 5

HP E45C G5: Design and features

Image 1 of 2

HP E45C G5 cable management

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
Image 2 of 2

Assembling the HP E45C G5

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When discussing the design of this HP monitor, we have to go into detail about the obvious fact that this thing is big. With a 44.5-inch VA panel, it’s made to replace the need for two monitors. In fact, I would say it’s mostly better than using two monitors as the 1500R curvature allows for a more natural way to take in the whole panel. Plus, you can either split the screen between two sources, or expand the screen real-estate of one source in a way that isn’t separated by the blemish of an inconvenient bezel (well, two bezels).

HP E45c G5 Specs

Screen size: 44.5-inches
Aspect ratio: 32:9
Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440
Brightness: 400 nits
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 3ms gtg (overdrive)
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color coverage: 99% sRGB
Inputs: 1x DP 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x USB-C, 4x USB-A, 1x RJ-45
Weight: 32.18lbs (14.6kg)

Of course, the downside with this one-panel solution is that you don’t have the same level of ergonomic control as with two separate monitors, so for example, some people like to use the second monitor in portrait mode, and obviously that’s not possible with the HP E45c. Aside from that, the HP monitor’s overall ergonomics are somewhat limited, offering a 10-degree swivel in either direction, along with a 5-degree downward tilt and 20-degree upward tilt. On a more positive note, at least its height adjustment is substantial at around 8-inches.

Another point in HP’s favor compared to using two monitors is that the HP E45c’s base, while substantial, takes up less space than you would need for two monitors. Additionally, its stand comes with some basic cable management to keep the desk looking tidy. On a side note, assembling the whole thing is much easier than I thought it would be – just attach the stand to the back of the monitor while in the box, attach the base, and just pick it up from behind.

There are plenty of ports available as well, including three video-capable inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C. While there are no duplicates, so you won’t be able to plug in two laptops that only have HDMI, that’s still enough to take advantage of its ability to split the screen between two sources. Also, that USB-C port can deliver up to 100W of power to one PC, or 65W to two computers.

There’s also an additional USB-C port and a couple of USB-As on hand for peripherals. Since this monitor is a multi-tasker’s dream, KVM is incorporated too. You can even plug in an Ethernet cable with the HP E45c G5.

The last design-related aspect I want to mention is the OSD menu button on the back. It’s situated all the way over on the right side behind the panel, requiring a bit of a stretch whenever you want to change a setting.

Design: 4.5 / 5

HP E45C G5: Performance

Using the HP E45c as a productivity monitor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When it comes to performance, most of the negatives go right out of the window. Though this large display is limited to a (still great) 99% sRGB color coverage, its DCI-P3 coverage is not provided, and there are no settings for different color coverages, meaning that this is probably not an ideal monitor for photo and video editing.

However, for the rest of us non-creatives, it’s a blast to use. It still looks great with its dual QHD (5,120 x 1,440) resolution at a 165Hz refresh rate, and offers the kind of immersion for gaming and media that I found engrossing (I did have a powerful PC on hand to run it, of course).

This isn’t meant as a gaming monitor necessarily and is more targeted to worker bees who need a lot of screen real-estate to spread out on. This is an aspect I really appreciate, as I often have to look at several tabs to access and process different bits of information for articles and reviews. Additionally, the monitor can snap windows to an assortment of grids for easy organization.

HP was thoughtful enough to include a pair of 3W speakers. They’re loud enough and sound fine if you just need some audio in a pinch. But, if you care about sound quality, you’ll really want to pair this monitor with some decent speakers. This is true of 99% of the monitors I test, mind you, and it’s still nice to have integrated speakers as a little extra for a well-rounded experience.

Performance: 4.5 / 5

Should I buy the HP E45C G5?

HP E45c G5 picture in picture

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You hate switching windows or tabs
With this ultrawide panel, you no longer have to rifle through different tabs and windows to find what you’re looking for. You can streamline, organize, and spread out your workflow here.

You want an immersive experience
It might not be 4K, but the dual QHD screen is plenty sharp enough. And, with its 1500R curvature and ultrawide panel, you’ll be engrossed in whatever you’re doing.

You have multiple PCs to connect
As a monitor meant for multi-taskers, the HP E45c comes with the right kind of features including KVM and picture-by-picture so you can seamlessly switch between two different computers.

Don’t buy it if…

You’re on a budget
Compared to buying two separate monitors, the price is right. But if you’re on a budget, you can get a decent monitor for much less. You’ll just need to go smaller.

You need portrait mode
If you’re considering alternatives to a second display, just be aware that by the very nature of this monitor, ergonomically speaking you’ll be forever locked in landscape mode.

Also consider

How I tested the HP E45C G5

  • Used regularly for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with multiple sources
  • Tried out all the features

I used the HP E45c G5 regularly for a couple weeks. I tested it with various games, as well as connecting multiple sources to see what it’s like viewing them side-by-side with its wide 32:9 aspect ratio. I tested the various features as well, not to mention the built-in speakers.

After spending some time with the HP E45c G5, it’s obvious that this monitor is for those looking for an impressive visual experience for gaming, for instance, or, as HP has positioned it, for streamlining and organizing a large workflow.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and speakers, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: top-notch gaming performance for both righties and lefties
4:56 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Mice Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Two-minute review

While there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the best gaming mouse, Corsair’s new M75 Wireless looks like it has all the goodies necessary to make that shortlist.

This mouse has the speedy and accurate performance that gamers need, the lightness that makes whipping it around furiously on a mousepad (or appropriate surface) effortless, and the kind of connectivity that lets one not only go cord-free, but allows for use with a second source without having to move the wireless dongle.

Whether it’s the best mouse for you will depend on a few factors. While there is a dedicated DPI button, it’s located underneath, which will deter some, especially if you still need all the other buttons for whatever hotkeys and shortcuts you like to have at your fingertips. More importantly, it’s expensive for a mouse. There are plenty of capable mice for much less, especially if you don’t care so much about wireless connectivity.

With that in mind, you’ll see regular comparisons to the non-wireless Corsair M75 that the company also provided for review. Since they’re very similar mice, with the main differences being connectivity and weight (the non-wireless version is quite a bit lighter), you can decide if you want to spend more for wireless connectivity or not.

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Price and availability

Corsair M75 wireless mouse

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$203.08
  • When is it available? It's out now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

If you were to categorize gaming mice into budget, mid-range, and premium brackets, the Corsair M75 Wireless fits into the latter category. While there are some more expensive options out there, the Corsair M75 Wireless is plenty pricey at $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$203.08.

If you want to spend a little less and don’t care about wireless connectivity, the Corsair M75 non-wireless version goes for a somewhat more palatable $79.99 / £79.99 / AU$141.08. That’s still somewhat expensive, but you’re partially paying for its ambidextrous quality, not to mention its top-notch components.

You can certainly spend much more on a gaming mouse as the Razer Basilisk V3 Pro shows us with its $159 / £159 / AU$289 price tag. It does have 10+1 buttons (the +1 is a profile button underneath) and the ability to upgrade to wireless charging capabilities. But all that’s rather overkill for most people.

If you want something that’s competent and works for both righties and lefties but at a significant discount, the Cooler Master MM311 might be a better fit. It still has a solid 10k DPI and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, and while it doesn’t have Bluetooth onboard, it is way more affordable at $39.99 (about £34, AU$59).

Value: 4 / 5

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Specs

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: design and features

Corsair M75 Wireless compared to the wired Hero model

Corsair M75 Wireless compared to the wired Hero model (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

First off, let’s dive into the design of the Corsair M75 Wireless. The most striking thing to me is not the two zones of RGB lighting on the palm rest and underneath, which are plenty bright, or the M75’s very smooth exterior. What strikes me most is its symmetrical design.

This mouse was made for both righties and lefties. In fact, it has identical side buttons on both sides that are magnetically held in place. Corsair included raised buttons that can be substituted for easier pressing no matter which orientation you prefer. This is also the case for the non-wireless version.

On top, you have the normal left and right buttons, and center wheel. What’s different compared to a lot of other gaming mice is the fact that the DPI button is nestling underneath. This is always a pain (again, also true for the non-wireless version).

Luckily, you can easily reprogram any but the dominant main button (left click in regular mode, right click in left-handed mode) however you like, including setting as the DPI toggle, DPI up, DPI down, and Sniper. Unfortunately, if you want to use all those buttons for other hotkeys, you’re going to have to find a compromise somewhere.

Also worth noting is how light this mouse is at just 89 grams. That’s very good for a wireless mouse as it needs to hold a battery, something that you don’t have to worry about with wired mice. The wired Corsair M75 is even lighter at 75 grams. While you can find some even lighter mice that hover in the 50 gram range, these feel balanced and lightweight enough to not cause any fatigue.

Before we dive into the performance, I also want to mention the connectivity on hand. While the wired version just connects via USB, the wireless M75 also adds in 2.4G Wireless (it also comes with a wireless dongle) and Bluetooth. Due to this, you can switch between your gaming PC with the wireless connection and a work computer on Bluetooth with just the press of a button. That button also happens to be the power button, which sits opposite the DPI button underneath.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: performance

Corsair M75 mouse underside

Underside of the Corsair M75 mouse reveals the DPI button (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When it comes to performance, there’s only one complaint about the Corsair M75 and that’s the placement of the DPI button. You either lose another button for that purpose (by remapping it), or you live with your DPI setting as it is, with no ability to switch on-the-fly (as changing involves messing about with turning over the mouse, of course).

Beyond that, its 2,000Hz polling rate when used in wireless mode and 26,000 DPI provided via Corsair’s own Marksman sensor, not to mention speedy optical switches for all the buttons, all make for a mouse that will have no trouble keeping up.

I used it in firefights when playing Cyberpunk 2077 and Battlefield 2042, and also in RTS games like Iron Harvest, as well as in Rocket League. All I can say is that if there was a bottleneck in doing better in any of those games, that bottleneck was me.

Lastly, I want to quickly mention the iCue software used to remap buttons, change RGB lighting, or adjust settings like putting the mouse in left-handed mode or enabling all side buttons. I’ve used the software for a long time in the course of testing Corsair products and have gotten used to it. Once you get iCue, it’s easy to use, but it does have a little bit of a learning curve. Be patient and you’ll be able to unlock just as much from the Corsair M75 Wireless as any other mouse.

Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse?

Corsair M75 gaming mouse in action

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You’re a leftie or ambidextrous
You can use the Corsair M75 Wireless and its wired sibling no matter the orientation you need. And you can replace the side buttons with raised ones for better personalization.

You want top-notch performance
With its 26K sensor, optical switches, and relatively light nature, this mouse will keep up with all your gaming needs.

Don't buy it if...

You can’t sacrifice any buttons
If you need access to that DPI button but can’t sacrifice any of the other buttons to remap it, other mice place the DPI button on top where you can use it on-the-fly.

You’re on a budget
This is an expensive mouse. If you’re on a budget, there’s something out there that will meet your needs (or, at least, most of them) for far less.

Also consider

How I tested the Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse

  • Used regularly for a week
  • Tested with different genres of games
  • Fully tested all features

I used the Corsair M75 Wireless as well as its non-wired sibling regularly for a week, playing fast-paced games like Battlefield 2042 and Rocket League, as well as RTS games like Iron Harvest, not to mention less demanding titles like Starfield.

I looked at other aspects beyond performance, of course. I played with the M75’s programmable features, including remapping and adjusting RGB, and also looked at how easy it was to remove and replace the side buttons.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and mice, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Razer Viper V3 Pro review: a super-light, super-customizable gaming mouse
6:55 pm | June 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Mice Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Razer Viper V3 Pro review

The Razer Viper V3 Pro, as the name implies, is touted as a gaming mouse fit for professionals, with endorsements and development feedback from various esports stars. A follow-up to the Viper V2 Pro, the V3 is even lighter and has a new optical sensor for purportedly greater precision and control.

For a gaming peripheral, the Razer Viper V3 Pro's styling isn’t as brash as you might expect. It seems that Razer has toned down its adolescent designs for the most part, and the Viper V3 Pro continues in this newly established tradition. It's very minimal and sleek, with just a single instance of the Razer logo, positioned toward the back. It's barely visible on the black variant, as the outline is almost the same shade as the finish. On the white model, the logo remains black, but it’s still pleasantly restrained.

At just 54g (55g for the white variant), it’s very easy to maneuver, helped by the wide PTFE feet that make for frictionless gliding across multiple surfaces, including glass at least 4mm thick.

Close up of Razer Viper V3 Pro mouse buttons and scroll wheel

(Image credit: Future)

The low overall weight means acceleration is very fast – ideal for rapid swipes with low DPI settings – so it can hold its own against many of the best gaming mice when playing tactical shooters and the like. I did find the sharp cursor movement quite jarring at first, though. 

To help with this issue, you can adjust the tracking cut-off height in the free Razer Synapse software, which offers to install itself as soon as you connect the Viper V3 Pro. Synapse is a historically wonky piece of software, but it does the job well here. Higher settings reduce the snappiness of cursor movements, and you can even toggle asymmetric cut-off values, letting you set different height values for lift-off and landing. The V3 has 26 height adjustment values, whereas the V2 only had three, courtesy of the second-generation Razer Focus Pro Optical Sensor.

The Viper V3 Pro feels slender in the hand and the overall shape seems to accommodate various grip styles. It also comes with optional grip tape you can adhere to the sides and mouse buttons, should you prefer that extra level of tactility. However, the hump in the middle is quite pronounced, which made me curl my hand more than I’m accustomed to, and forced me away from a fuller grip in the palm, so those who prefer this may want to take note.

The mouse buttons feel snappy and only require a light press, yet they are well-dampened and lubed, with a satisfying click that provides good feedback for your actions. There are indentations on both buttons to keep your fingers in position, which I found improved comfort during long sessions.

Underneath of Razer Viper V3 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

A pair of side buttons and a scroll wheel are the only extra topside features, but they perform excellently. The buttons are easy to use in the heat of the moment, being large and responsive enough to be found and pressed easily with the thumb. The scroll wheel is tightly notched while still being smooth, making for quick and accurate selections every time. The lack of a fast-scrolling mode, however, was a minor gripe of mine away from gaming, as navigating web pages and documents can feel too slow at times. 

Pressing down on the scroll wheel button is incisive and tactile, and like the main mouse buttons, it's pre-lubed for smoother actuation. It gave me the confidence to use it without fear of accidentally scrolling the wheel. There's no side tilt input function, but for most gamers, this would've been an unnecessary inclusion.

The Viper V3 Pro is capable of DPI resolutions all the way up to 35,000, an increase over the V2, which peaked at 30,000. Settings this high, though, will frankly be unusable in most cases. If you’re using an 8K monitor, it may prove useful, but these remain rare, especially in the competitive gaming world, where 1080p and 1440p resolutions still reign supreme. The lowest possible DPI setting is 100, and the adjustments are available in single increments using Synapse software – another improvement over the V2 – meaning any gamer will be able to dial in the perfect amount of precision. The X and Y axes can also be adjusted independently. 

Right side of Razer Viper V3 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The DPI/power switch is on the underside of the mouse, which some may find inconvenient. But if you're a pro-level player, you want your mouse to be as utilitarian as possible, without any unnecessary accouterments that might interfere with gameplay. I was also able to wrap my middle finger underneath if I needed to adjust it since it's positioned to the right-hand side, making for easier access.

The Viper V3 Pro can be connected wirelessly or with the included USB-C cable. However, due to the thickness of the cable, I found it caused a noticeable amount of drag, which is particularly bothersome given the extremely light weight of the mouse itself. 

Using the Viper V3 Pro wirelessly is certainly a better experience. The included dongle (there’s no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity) can elevate the poll rate all the way up to 8,000Hz (which Razer dubs “HyperPolling”), whereas a wired connection maxes out at 1,000Hz. This isn't a case where the dongle is a tiny USB attachment; here, it's a full-length cable with a transmitter on one end that needs to be placed near the mouse. Thankfully, due to the length of the USB cable, the dongle can be positioned comfortably within a desktop setup for minimal interference. During my time in this mode, I had nothing but flawless connectivity, with no dropouts or noticeable lag whatsoever.

Razer claims that the Viper V3 Pro battery life can last up to 95 hours, and I have to say that during my tests, this figure seemed to hold true. After just over an hour of continuous gaming from a full charge, the Viper V3 Pro only dropped a single percentage. Charging is also fast, and I managed to go from 28% to 72% in around 50 minutes. It's worth noting that the higher poll rates will drain the battery faster, however.

Close up of Razer Viper V3 Pro HyperPolling Wireless Dongle

(Image credit: Future)

Despite the relative dearth of physical buttons on the Viper V3 Pro, the number of customization options via the Synapse software is mind-boggling. All buttons can be remapped to perform other functions besides their usual defaults – even the left click can be modified to have a secondary function when activating Hypershift mode. Multiple profiles can also be created to easily switch between your desired set of customizations. 

Customizable functions range from simple Windows system-level actions – macOS isn’t supported – such as opening an app or putting your PC to sleep to creating a sniper button or cycling DPI resolutions (which rectifies the inaccessibility of the DPI button). You can also record keyboard shortcuts, activate individual keys, and write blocks of text with the press of a single button. The text option even features a full character list with virtually every possible symbol, including those in other languages, and emojis. It’s hard to imagine who would make use of all these functions with their mouse alone, but the fact that Synapse offers this much scope is impressive nonetheless. 

There's also the ability to record your own macros and assign them to a mouse button of your choice. (Adding the Macros menu to your instance of Synapse may mean installing the add-on in the Modules menu). It lets you record any input from your mouse and keyboard (even non-Razer ones), adjust their delay times, and set up loops. You can also run commands, and even run macros within other macros. 

All of this, in addition to the calibration and setup tools, make Synapse an extremely involved piece of peripheral software with an incredible amount of tweakability. It is the ideal companion for the Viper V3 Pro, which similarly aims for top-level performance – and for the most part, it hits the target. 

Razer Viper V3 Pro: Price and availability

  • $159 / £159 / AU$279
  • Black and White options
  • Available now

The Razer Viper V3 Pro is priced at $159 / £159 / AU$279 and comes in two color schemes: black or white. Thanks to the symmetrical design, both right- and left-handers are catered for. It was released on April 23, 2024. 

This is Razer’s lightest full-size gaming mouse. The next lightest full-size mouse in its esports line, the DeathAdder V3 Pro, is almost 10g heavier. There is, however, a smaller version – the Viper Mini Signature Edition – which tips the scales at a mere 1.72oz / 49g. This is priced much higher, though, at $279 / £279 / AU$449.

Other lightweight contenders include the ASUS TUF Gaming M4 Air, which comes in at 1.76oz / 50g and is much lower in price ($49 / £39 / AU$69), but it has no wireless option.  

Razer Viper V3 Pro gaming mouse and grip tape

(Image credit: Future)

Razer Viper V3 Pro: Specs

Should you buy the Razer Viper V3 Pro?

Buy it if...

You want an ultra-lightweight, high-quality gaming mouse
At 1.9oz / 54g, this is one of the lightest full-size gaming mice on the market, so those who want rapid movements with no resistance should get along fine with the Viper V3 Pro. All the buttons have a high-quality feel as well, instilling confidence there’ll be no slip-ups.  

You want to be among the esports pros
The Viper V3 Pro has plenty of ringing endorsements from esports stars, and some even provided development feedback to make this a gaming mouse worthy of tournament use. The lack of fuss is also highly prized in such circles.

You want in-depth customization
Razer’s free Synapse software still has a dodgy reputation, but after many, many updates, it's now about as involved as customization software gets, letting you create almost any shortcut and macro you could wish for, as well as the ability to tweak the Viper V3 Pro to your heart’s content.

Don't buy it if...

You want plenty of buttons
The Viper V3 Pro is fairly spartan, with a scroll wheel and side buttons being the only extras. A top-facing DPI button would help appease those who’ll use the mouse for both gaming and general PC use in equal measure. 

You want something to fit your palm
Of course, everyone’s hand size and grip style are different, but I found the Viper V3 Pro didn’t fit well within the palm of my hand, so if this is a style you prefer, it might not be for you. 

Razer Viper V3 Pro: Also consider

How I tested the Razer Viper V3 Pro

  • Tested for gaming and general use
  • Played competitive FPS and strategy games
  • Over a decade of PC gaming experience

I used the Viper V3 Pro for over a week in various scenarios, from gaming to productivity and general use.

I played FPS games such as Counter-Strike 2 and Black Mesa, as well as strategy games like XCOM 2, to cover each end of the gaming spectrum.

I have been PC gaming for over a decade and for the most part, I measured the Viper V3 Pro against my erstwhile companion, the Logitech G502 Lightspeed.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Samsung Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: two exciting new entries in the gaming monitor market
12:30 am | June 7, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Several monitors were showcased at the Samsung Wonders Unlocked event, with two of them gaming-oriented. In recent years, the manufacturer has really stepped up its gaming monitor game, with the Odyssey series nearly always delivering on display quality and performance as some of the best gaming monitors out there.

I tested two of the latest in the Odyssey series – the Odyssey OLED G60SD and the Odyssey OLED G80SD – to see how these iterations hold up. So far, I've been very pleased with the results. Not only do they look great, but they offer plenty of upgrades, quality-of-life additions, and improved specs to justify the steep price - especially the HDR 10 support, which was stunning to witness.

Odyssey OLED G60SD: price and availability

The Odyssey OLED G series has two models: the 27-inch Odyssey OLED G60SD and the 32-inch Odyssey OLED G80SD.

The G60SD is available for preorder on the Samsung online store at $899.99 / £799 / AU$1,499, while the G80SD is priced at $1,299.99 / ££1,099.99 / AU$2,058. You'll also receive a bonus of $300 in Samsung credit if you purchase one of the new monitor models.

Odyssey OLED G60SD: specs

Here are the specs for the Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD at a glance. 

Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: design

Odyssey OLED G60SD

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Odyssey OLED G80SD

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Like most other Odyssey-series gaming monitors, the Odyssey OLED G60SD and G80SD look gorgeous. They sport luscious QHD+ and UHD 4K OLED displays, respectively, both outfitted with glare-free technology that actually works - and quite well at that. 

I tested it out by simply having the monitor near sunlight coming in through an open window (one of the most pervasive lighting situations for the average buyer), and light didn't wash out the screen in the slightest. Thanks to said tech, the flat shape of the monitors isn't a hindrance as they don't require the curved shape to filter out light. I'll go out on a limb and say that this is such an important feature that it'll make reviewing other monitors difficult, as glare is one of my biggest issues.

Other nifty new features that combat overheating and OLED burn-in are Samsung OLED Safeguard+ technology and the Dynamic Cooling System. These tools diffuse heat and reduce the monitor's core and surface temperatures, keeping the internal components safe from heat damage and preventing burn-in from static images like logos and taskbars.

The two monitors' vibrant white color stands out in the sea of plain black monitors on the market, especially when paired with the CoreSync and Core Lighting+ features. Those are RGB light rings in the back of the monitor that you can control through various settings. They're purely aesthetic but help brighten up your gaming desk setup in a fun and unobtrusive way.

I also appreciate how, despite the large screen sizes, it's easy to pick up both the monitor and stand, making moving them around a living space much easier. The thin displays also mean that it doesn't take up much desk real estate, an absolute boon for any gamer struggling with space issues.

Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: performance

Odyssey OLED G60SD

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Odyssey OLED G80SD

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I tested out both the Odyssey OLED G60SD and G80SD gaming monitors through Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and more of the best PC games. The G60SD has a higher refresh rate at 360Hz versus the G80SD's 240Hz, while both sport a 0.03ms response time. Combined with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, you can fully eliminate choppiness, screen lag, and image tears. 

No matter what title I played, the gameplay was silky smooth and made the QHD+ and UHD 4K resolution shine even more. It was also explained to me that the G80SD featured no color shifting, no added latency, and could maintain its 240Hz refresh rate at 4K - an impressive feat. It has a tool called the Samsung NQ8 AI Gen3 Processor, meaning that the monitor can upscale content to nearly 4K

I was also able to try HDR10 through the G80SD and compare the image to the G60SD. We started with Red Dead Redemption 2's prologue through the wintery landscape as the protagonist navigated through a snowstorm on horseback. Not only were the colors, the whites, and the blacks far more vibrant, but the overall picture quality was much sharper and cleaner, with improved visuals.

Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: early verdict

gaming monitor near white keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

Both the Samsung Odyssey OLED G60SD and G80SD are exceptional gaming monitors that not only boast excellent specs but also come with a host of other quality-of-life features and upgrades that enhance the gaming experience. 

From a full ventilation system that prevents the dreaded OLED burn-in to HDR 10 that takes an iconic scene from a video game and elevates it to new heights to (one of my personal favorites) glare-free technology that ensures sunlight from an open window won't completely wash out your screen during a gaming session.

I'm excited to see what Samsung will churn out next, as its gaming offerings just keep getting better and better with each new year.

MSI MPG 271QRX review: a feature-rich gaming powerhouse that can’t be missed
5:30 pm | May 29, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

MSI MPG 271QRX: One-minute review

This year has seen MSI enter the QD-OLED gaming monitor space with several releases through its MPG series. Think of QD-OLED monitors as updated versions of OLED displays with four elements to create an image including an LED backlight, a layer of quantum dots, an LCD matrix, and color filter. Though they’ve already been popular in the high-end television space for a while, they’ve recently entered the gaming market. 

The MSI MPG 271QRX is about as fine an example of what an entry-level QD-LED gaming monitor can offer, though its $800 price tag might make some balk at the term 'entry-level' in this case. 

What you get for that money though is fantastic. The 27-inch display features a 1440p resolution with a 360Hz refresh rate in addition to an exceptionally fast 0.03ms response time, making it a killer esports display. On a surface level, these attributes are fairly standard for what someone would consider one of the best 1440p gaming monitors, but the QD-LED panel significantly increases image quality beyond the standard QHD display, alongside having both VESE certification for DisplayHDR True Black 400 and Clear 13000. 

From enjoying the visual benchmarks set by games like Alan Wake II and Cyberpunk 2077 to competitive shooters such as Fortnite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, the MPG 271QRX does a fine job of blending high-end image quality with speedy performance. Even the color accuracy matches Apple displays in terms of creative tools like Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop. 

That doesn’t even count the loads of extras such as MSI’s OLED Care 2.0 which improves the durability of the QD-OLED screen in addition to Gaming Intelligence for enhancing the gaming experience through crosshair overlay, customizable RGB lit back panel, and KVM capabilities. 

Most importantly, MSI managed to throw in a three-year burn-in warranty as well, critical for any OLED display nowadays. The accumulation of all these fine attributes makes the MSI MPG 271QRX one of the finest examples of a 27-inch 1440p gaming display available today, and well worth the price of entry. 

MSI MPG 271QRX : Price & availability

An MSI MPG 271QRX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The MSI MPG 271QRX is available now in the U.S., UK and Australia for $799.99 (£999.00, AU$1,799). Through the MSI store, there are buyer links to various online stores depending on the territory. Retailers in the U.S. include MSI’s own store, Micro Center, and NewEgg among others. 

Within the 27-inch 1440p OLED gaming monitor race, the MPG 27QRX’s main competitor is the $800 Alienware AW2725DF. Outside of the price difference, there isn’t a wide difference between the two as far as image quality and performance goes. 

This is where feature sets come in and this will largely depend on user preference. If both MPG 271QRX and AW2725DF are too much, the KTC 27-inch standard OLED gaming monitor for $699 might be a better bet for more budget-friendly OLED panels.

  • Value: 4 / 5

MSI MPG 271QRX: Design

An MSI MPG 271QRX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Various poseabilty settings 
  • Plenty of ports 

The design of the MSI MPG 271QRX is such a wonderful union of fantastic visual design and purposeful functionality in nearly every aspect. Even the setup is pretty straightforward with the base and neck design that clips into the back panel. One of the cool things about the design is that poseability is good enough to use the MPG 271QRX in a vertical position if a portrait setting is needed. 

There’s a singular power port facing down near the other ports that goes straight to a plug. Meanwhile, PC gamers with multiple consoles will appreciate having a singular DisplayPort and two HDMI 2.1 ports. There’s also an additional USB-C with DisplayPort and 90w charging as well. Other ports include a USB-B for KVM capabilities with the additional two USB-A ports. 

Once powered on, it's easy to notice the bright RGB logo that features customizable lighting through the in-display design. It does add a nice flair to the all-black colorway and angular back panel. Though the display is relatively thin, the center in the back panel does protrude outward for things like the head sink alongside other components. 

The front of the display has thin bezels on the top and sides with the bottom displaying the MSI logo. On the bottom of the back panel is a small thumb stick that sits between the power and KVM buttons. Finally, there is the beautifully glossy QD-OLED display that also has some amazing anti-glare and anti-reflective coating. Without even turning the MPG 27QRX on, it stands out visually among even the best gaming monitors.

  • Design 4.5 / 5

MSI MPG 271QRX: Features

An MSI MPG 271QRX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Nice amount of screen image retention options
  • Game Intelligence and KVM capabilities are great

If the MSI MPG 27QRX doesn't already look jaw-droppingly gorgeous and provide silky smooth performance, its feature set is also fairly hefty. 

The first is totally focused on screen image retention through a graphite film back and custom-made heatsink which eliminates the need for a fan. Then there’s MSI OLED Care 2.0 which is a system designed to reduce the OLED screen burn-in through pixel shift, panel protection through pixel refresh, and static screen detection. Carrying over from the previous OLED care system includes static multi-logo and taskbar detection. Making the deal sweeter is a three-year burn-in warranty from MSI. 

Outside of standard color correction and game mode features, the MPG 27QRX has Gaming Intelligence. This includes various smart crosshair overlays alongside Optix Scope which provides a built-in aim magnifier. The most interesting one is A.I. Vision which uses deep learning to reveal more details in the dark areas of a game without messing up graphical detail. Through the same in-display menu, users can also change the color of the lit logo on the back panel. 

The MPG 27QRX also offers KVM like most premium gaming monitors of the modern era. KVM allows users to use the same keyboard and mouse combo through another device connected to the display. It’s become popular for individuals who stream from one device and play on another. 

For console gamers, there’s a console-specific Console mode that automatically accepts 4K signals while supporting HDR.

  • Features: 4 / 5

MSI MPG 271QRX: Performance

An MSI MPG 271QRX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Image quality and performance are top notch 
  • 360Hz refresh rate makes this one of the best OLED monitors for esports 

For $800, the MSI MPG 27QRX most definitely makes good on its image quality and performance. Having the QD-OLED display opens up users to bold and crisp colors in addition to deep blacks. VESE certification for DisplayHDR True Black 400 and Clear 13000 enhances HDR visuals to the stratosphere. 

Playing more visually arresting games like Alan Wake II, Cyberpunk 2077, Forza Motorsport (2023), and even indie games like Children of the Sun are just beautiful visually. Color accuracy is more than respectable in terms of video and photo editing. There’s no better way to create content, game, and view videos on a 27-inch 1440p display. 

Having a 360Hz refresh rate and 0.03ms definitely will give players a significant competitive edge in more esports games if they have the PC hardware to support it. Games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III not only look fantastic but give exceptionally smooth motion without latency.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

MSI MPG 271QRX: Specs

An MSI MPG 271QRX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Should I buy the MSI MPG 271QRX?

Buy the MSI MPG 271QRX if… 

Don’t buy it if… 

Also Consider

How I tested the MSI MPG 271QRX:

For the review, the MSI MPG 271QRX was tested over a period of two weeks. During the day, most of the taks revolved around using Google Chrome and Slack. This allowed the use of Google Docs, use management software Asana alongside social media management tools like Hootsuite. 

Outside of that, other software mainly used was Slack to communicate with different channels. It was here where we tested general everyday use of the gaming monitor. 

In order to test out overall image quality, games played included Alan Wake II, Hogwarts Legacy, and Children of the Sun. This was done to see how games looked on technical visual levels alongside art direction. To test performance and game enhancement features, games such as Helldivers 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III were played. 

I’ve spent the past several years covering monitors alongside other PC components for Techradar. Outside of gaming, I’ve been proficient in Adobe Suite for over a decade as well. 

  • First reviewed May 2024
Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: a great keyboard that’s ideal for Mac, Windows… or both
4:44 pm | May 23, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Logitech Signature Slim K950: Two-minute review

The Logitech Signature Slim K950 is billed as a keyboard that’s equally comfortable at work or at home, with sensible looks, some advanced functionality and plentiful customization options.

Typing is satisfying on the Logitech Signature Slim K950, thanks to the feel of the keys. At first touch, they feel light and tappy due to the plastic material, but the subtle dampening helps to provide more depth to presses. Logitech claims that this is a quiet keyboard, but as the clashing of the plastics generate a high-pitched sound, I would be reluctant to point this out as a highlight, even if it’s still definitely quieter than a mechanical keyboard. Similar to a laptop keyboard, the profile of the keys is low, although the spacing between them is greater – a combination I personally prefer among the many options in the best keyboards.

The default shortcuts that occupy the function keys are well chosen, too. They’re aimed at the modern worker, with hotkeys for muting a microphone or activating a dictation package, as well as for bringing up a calculator app, screenshot tool, and even an emoji menu. 

These hotkeys can be modified using the Options Plus software, downloadable from Logitech’s website for free. It’s well designed and easy to use, and while it’s stable enough, I did encounter a few minor glitches and a crash on install, although this was easy to rectify.

Options Plus offers a set list of Windows and macOS system-level functions to choose from when customizing the hotkeys, which include actions such as putting your device to sleep and opening a certain app or file, to name a few. You can also create macros, which Logitech calls Smart Actions. The company provides 30 templates to choose from across a range of scenarios, which can be used as they are or edited to meet your specific requirements. Overall, many of these are well considered, although I did find that some of them failed to work as intended.

One of the new standout features in the Options Plus software is the ability to call up an AI Prompt builder, which essentially opens ChatGPT in a popup window at the press of a hotkey of your choosing. It comes with four default prompt templates for productivity purposes, but you can also create your own.

Depending on how much you use the AI chatbot in the course of your work, this is either a very useful tool or merely a gimmick to have fun with. Still, the integration works well enough, barring a few minor niggles.

There’s very little that the Logitech Signature Slim K950 doesn’t do well when it comes to being a tool for most users. The lack of rechargeable batteries, backlit keys and a few minor bugs are the only real issues with the product itself. The greater concern, though, is the cost: it’s hard to see why it’s almost double the price of its predecessor, the Logitech Signature K650, considering that the K650 offers nearly all the same functions and features, save for easy switching.

Close-up of Logitech Signature Slim K950 keys

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Price & Availability

  • $79 / £79 (about AU$120)
  • Graphite and Off-white color schemes
  • K650 is cheaper and almost as good

The Signature Slim K950 is available now for $79 / £79 (about AU$120). It comes in two colorways: Graphite and Off-white.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Signature K650 is another Logitech keyboard aimed at productivity, but has a larger form factor and includes a built-in wrist pad (although in our review, we noted this as an irrelevance). However, the K650 is currently available for $49 / £49 (about AU$75), which offers a considerable saving over the K950. It doesn’t support easy-device switching, but apart from that, it offers virtually everything else the K950 does. 

Although the K950 is a pleasure to use for the most part, if you’re after a supreme typing experience, the Cherry Stream Desktop is a standout choice. Although it lacks many of the advanced features of the K950, the comfort and performance levels elevate it among our best keyboard picks.

  • Value score: 3 / 5

Close-up of Logitech Signature Slim K950 logo

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Design

  • Slender profile
  • Forgettable appearance
  • No rechargeable battery or USB ports

The K950 doesn’t exactly scream style: the Graphite finish I was given to test was quite austere, and the matte plastic made it look rather anonymous. A simple and small ‘logi’ logo is the only branding that adorns the K950, which at least keeps its aesthetic minimal. The slim profile helps to impart some elegance too.

The entire construction is plastic, with no metal in sight. It feels robust enough, as do the keys themselves. They’re tightly fitted with very little play, and the lettering is ever-so slightly embossed, which I could feel under my fingertips. 

The fold-out feet can raise the K950 to an 8-degree incline, which isn’t as steep as other keyboards, and there are no gradients in between. For me, this wasn’t a problem, but if you’re someone who likes a steep typing angle, then this likely won’t be enough for you.

The power switch is located on the top edge of the keyboard and hidden from view, meaning I had to feel for it every time I wanted to turn the K950 on or off. There’s a small LED in the top-right corner to indicate battery level, which flicks on momentarily when you power up the K950 – otherwise, it stays off. 

There’s no backlighting for the keys, which is a shame, but does at least save on battery power. The only lights available are one on Caps Lock and three on the easy switching keys, which again only light momentarily when connecting to devices, or blink rapidly when in pairing mode.

Another small gripe I had with the K950 is the lack of LED indication for the FN lock. If you have the optional Options Plus software installed, it will display an on-screen prompt, but only when the lock is toggled. This meant I had no way of knowing if I had it activated or not without having to toggle it again. This is a small point, but one that, if you plan on using this keyboard to streamline your productivity as much as possible, may become a real thorn in your side over time.

Another notable absence is the lack of a rechargeable battery and ports. Instead, the K950 runs on two AAA batteries. Some may consider this to be an advantage, as it keeps costs down. However, it does mean that you’ll need to change the batteries once flat, and you won’t be able to charge and continue typing, as you can on keyboards with inbuilt batteries. 

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Hands typing on the Logitech Signature Slim K950

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Performance

  • Satisfying typing experience
  • Nice hotkey selection
  • Options Plus software is great

Typing on the K950 felt great to me. The keys are clacky and light, but they are also slightly dampened when you press a little firmer, making them suitable for both soft and hard typers alike. Their profile is low, so those who prefer typing on laptops will be right at home here, although the spacing between them is generally bigger compared to most laptop keyboards in my experience – something I personally consider a positive.

Logitech claims that this is a quiet keyboard to type with, but in my experience, I don’t think it’s necessarily quieter than other keyboards in its class. The plastic keys generate a higher-pitched sound, which isn’t exactly loud, but I wouldn’t say they’re dampened enough to eliminate most of the impact; they’re just ‘quiet’ compared to the best mechanical keyboards.

The easy-switching functionality between three devices worked well in my tests, whether it was between macOS, Windows, or Chromebook laptops, or whether they were connected via Bluetooth or the included Logi Bolt USB wireless receiver. I did encounter a hiccup on one occasion, however, when after switching between macOS and Windows devices the hotkeys stopped working on the latter machine. A quick on/off restart of the keyboard fixed the problem, but it’s worth mentioning.

The hotkeys along the top row feature a good selection of productivity-enhancing shortcuts, including window switching, search, mute mic, as well as keys for opening the calculator app, screenshot tool, and a dictation package you have installed. There’s even an emoji menu shortcut – handy for workplace chats.  

They can all be customized in the Options Plus software, which is free to download and provides plenty of additional features and functions for the K950. It displays the battery life as a percentage, and has a support menu where you can rate your experience with the app or inform Logitech of any connectivity issues you might be experiencing.

I did experience a few minor glitches with the software. It crashed on first launch after I installed it on Windows 11, but a relaunch fixed the problem. And every time I put my device to sleep, on both Windows and macOS machines, the application would close by itself. 

Options Plus also launches in a window which isn’t full size, and it can’t be adjusted, which could be an issue for those who like to have their windows larger for the sake of clarity. 

The hotkeys – which occupy the function and navigation keys – can be customized in the software, allowing you to choose what shortcuts they activate from a predefined list. These include simple actions, such as putting your device to sleep, as well as the ability to record keyboard shortcuts. These can be assigned globally or on an app-by-app basis, effectively letting you create profiles for every app you have installed on your device. 

You can also record macros via Logitech’s Smart Actions, which again can be assigned to any of the hotkeys. These allow you to create a series of automated actions to perform certain tasks, including opening apps and recording keystrokes. Anyone who has used Apple's Shortcuts app will be in familiar territory here, as it looks and works very similarly. 

Logitech has 30 templates to choose from to meet the needs of various users. There are those made for productivity and leisure, and those for developers and designers. There are also others specific to meetings and for using popular AI tools. 

Although some of the templates worked well, others that I tested didn’t. For instance, one template is meant to use ChatGPT to reply to an email, by copying text you’ve selected, opening ChatGPT in Chrome, and asking it to draft a reply based on the copied text. The problem I found is that it failed to type in ChatGPT’s prompt box, as it wasn’t automatically selected after opening the page. Since Smart Actions are essentially macros, they can’t account for subtleties such as a dialog box not being selected in a home page, for instance.  

Speaking of ChatGPT, one of the new headline features of the Options Plus software is the AI prompt builder. When assigned to a hotkey of your choice, this displays a small window that connects you to ChatGPT, with a selection of ready-made prompt templates (which Logitech calls “recipes”) to query it. These default recipes include drafting emails and rephrasing text. In order to make it work, you need a user account with OpenAI.

You can also create your own recipes, which involves writing a prompt and choosing two parameters from a possible four that modify the output. The four available are: word length, tone, complexity and style.

Your mileage may vary with this feature, depending on how much you employ the AI tool in the course of your work, but I found the integration to be responsive, and it functioned well for the most part, aside from a few small annoyances. 

When submitting a prompt, you can’t go back to submit another via the recipes list without first closing and reopening the prompt builder menu (if you’d rather not use ChatGPT without going through the prompt builder window, then you can choose to open a window that takes you straight to the main ChatGPT prompt page instead). The prompt window remains on top of all other windows you have open, too, even when not selected. 

  • Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Logitech Signature Slim K950 battery compartment

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Logitech Signature Slim K950?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Also consider

How I tested the Logitech Signature Slim K950

I tested the Signature Slim K950 on Windows, macOS and Chromebook devices for around two weeks. I used it for work, leisure and general productivity, both in the office and at home. 

I tried out all the functions and features it had to offer, including the hotkeys and the customization options in the Options Plus software, to see how well it performed on these fronts.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse review: a right-handed pro gamer’s dream
6:00 pm | May 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Two-minute review

Along with the gaming keyboard comes the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse, which has been specially developed and tested with professional gamers in mind to make it one of the best gaming mice available – and possibly one of the best mice in general. It's a massive upgrade from the Alienware AW720M with reduced weight, better feet, and improved specs.

The DPI is still at 26,000, mainly because there is little point in increasing such an absurdly high spec. However, it features both 4KHz wireless and 8KHz wired polling rates, 0.25ms and 0.125ms response time, respectively, which is a significant leap over the 1KHz polling rate (1ms response time) of the Alienware AW720M. 

The PFTE feet are additive-free and attract far less debris while moving much smoother. It still retains the previous model's ability to move over a wide variety of surfaces, which is something plenty of other gaming mice can't achieve.

An odd change is the removal of the 3D-sculpted thumb grips from the AW720M. With both sides being completely smooth now, the Alienware Pro mouse is much more susceptible to sweat, which makes it slippery during intense gameplay or if your hands sweat easily. Another odd change is the removal of the magnetic charging adapter, which was a much simpler option for recharging your mouse.

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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)

It features magnetic-force keyplates that prevent the keys from sticking, which is absolutely vital for pro gamers who rely on button accuracy and performance during intense competition. Thanks to its much-improved weight, now just under 0.13 pounds, combined with higher polling rates, the mouse responds much faster and with much less effort required to move it.

There is one glaring downgrade between the Alienware AW720M and the Pro Wireless, though. The latter lacks buttons on the right side, which means the Pro Wireless is no longer ambidextrous, excluding an entire market of people who would be able to use it. 

Ambidextrous mice are already difficult enough to find, and the AW720M was an excellent option. But the Pro Wireless removes that option, adding plenty of quality-of-life improvements but essentially gatekeeping them from left-handed gamers. This also has the drawback of removing buttons that the Pro Wireless sorely needed.

As for battery life, according to Dell, it's 32 hours at 4KHz polling or 120 hours at 1KHz polling. That is impressive, but it's a downgrade from the AW720M's 140 hours at 1KHz polling. And like the previous mouse, this one has an indicator that signals when the battery is low. The AW720M featured an Alienware logo on the front, but, the Pro Wireless moves it onto the side as a tiny light. Moving it was a good call, as your hand can no longer cover it, but the light is so small it's difficult to notice.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Price & availability

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $149.99 / £149.99 including VAT / AU$248.60
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse is very expensive, costing a whopping $149.99 / £149.99 including VAT / AU$248.60. This is a price increase of at least $20 from the Alienware AW720M - understandable considering the work developing it and all the new features it comes with. And the fact that this is a premium gaming mouse for professional gamers.

However, the pricing does make other mice more appealing, like the Razer Deathadder V3 Pro or MSI Clutch GM51. The former is $149 (around £149 / AU$279), and the latter is $99.99 (around £83 / AU$148), both much cheaper while offering solid gaming performance in their own right. The Deathadder V3 Pro in particular is easily one of the best gaming mice on the market.

The Alienware Pro Wireless, like most Dell products, has excellent availability. It's available in the US, UK, and Australia, as well as several other regions.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Specs

Should you buy the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

You're left-handed
Unfortunately, this mouse shed its two right buttons, making it completely inaccessible to left-handed gamers.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Also consider

How I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

  • I spent about a week testing this mouse
  • I tested it for gaming and productivity work
  • I used it extensively in both a home and office environment

I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse both at home and in an office environment, seeing how well it functioned in gaming and productivity. Its gaming performance is especially important, so I used a wide variety of genres to see how reactive it is. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Alienware Pro Wireless is a gaming mouse that's meant for extensive use over the years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards while maintaining maximum comfort levels.

I've tested a wide range of mice, mainly gaming, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard review: made for the pros
3:00 pm | May 11, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Two-minute review

Alienware has released its Pro line of both gaming keyboards and mice, focusing on making it as appealing as possible to professional gamers. In fact, they were both tested by pro gamers Team Liquid to ensure just that. The Alienware Pro gaming keyboard truly feels like a product made for such a demographic, thanks to its much smaller yet sturdier body and high-quality switches.

Like many of Alienware's other accessories and PCs, the Pro gaming keyboard comes in two colors: Dark Side of the Moon and Lunar Light. While the black keyboard is surprisingly beautiful thanks to the RGB lighting, the standard is the white model that not only stands out aesthetically but is truly enhanced by the LED lighting. The Alienware Command Center software is easily accessible and can be used to customize the color effects and most other keyboard settings.

Unlike other Alienware keyboards, which tend to be lighter, this one is much heavier and sturdier, weighing nearly two pounds. It's shocking, considering it's made with 47% post-consumer recycled plastics. It also has a long silicone strip on the underside of the chassis, which prevents it from moving around. You really have to use significant force to do so, which is ideal for intense gaming sessions.

Due to its status as a professional gaming keyboard, I tested it out in a wide variety of genres, including first and third-person shooters, platformers, action, RPGs, and more. It's incredibly stable, the keys are responsive with a good travel distance, and the switches are easy to activate. 

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closeup of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard keys

(Image credit: Future)
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back of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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closeup of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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closeup of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

One of the standout features of the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard is that it no longer features Cherry MX mechanical switches. Instead, Dell has developed its own switches specifically for this Alienware keyboard. The switches are hot-swappable 5-pin PCBA and are compatible with most other 3 and 5-pin switches - in case you want to switch them out for other brands.

The actuation force is only 40g, which is quite light and well-suited for hardcore and especially professional gaming, as it puts almost no strain on your fingers to press down on each key. The stem is also made of POM (Polyoxymethylene) material, meaning you avoid the often grating sound of keys rubbing against each other, adding to that extra light and almost floaty feeling when typing. Thanks to the sound-dampening silicone layers, the clean clicking sound of the switches is enhanced even further.

It's shocking how high-quality these switches are - Dell has truly knocked it out of the park. The efficiency of this TKL design is also a pleasant surprise as it manages to fit in media and arrow keys in a compact size.

The keyboard's connectivity is also great, with three ways to connect it: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, and USB Type-C wired. Having these options is incredibly important depending on your needs for the keyboards, with wired the best option for hardcore gaming with no latency, while wireless and Bluetooth are solely for portability.

Battery life is also pretty solid, with about three days of life using the RGB lighting and, according to Dell, up to 798 hours with lighting turned off on 2.4GHz wireless.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Price & availability

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $199.99 / £190 including VAT / AU$328.90
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard is incredibly expensive, costing a whopping $199.99 / £190 including VAT / AU$328.90. Of course, considering that this is a premium keyboard developed for professional gaming, the pricing makes sense. That said, this is not the keyboard to get if you don't need top-of-the-line quality and performance.

Compared to cheaper mechanical keyboards like the MSI GK50 Elite TKL starting at 64.99 (around £55/AU$100), there are other solid options for those who need it. There's also the Razer Huntsman V2 TKL, which will set you back $160 / £160 / AU$260. It's a great and slightly cheaper option as well if you're not in the market for keyboards tailor-made for professionals.

The Alienware Pro Wireless, like most Dell products, has excellent availability in the US, UK, Australia, and several other regions.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Specs

Should you buy the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

You need a more budget-minded keyboard
Bottomline, this keyboard is extremely expensive. If you need anything cheaper, it's best to wave goodbye and let it pass.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Also consider

How I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

  • I spent about a week testing this keyboard
  • I tested it for gaming and productivity work
  • I used it extensively in both a home and office environment

I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard in a home office environment, seeing how well it functioned in gaming and productivity. Its gaming performance is especially important, so I played a wide variety of genres to see how reactive it is. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Alienware Pro Wireless is a gaming keyboard meant for extensive use over the years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards while maintaining maximum comfort levels.

I've tested a wide range of keyboards, including mechanical and membrane ones, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Opal Tadpole webcam: A gorgeous design with a Sony mirrorless camera
9:10 pm | May 1, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Peripherals & Accessories Webcams | Comments: Off

Opal Tadpole webcam: Two-minute review

The Opal Tadpole is an incredibly capable webcam that is well-engineered and beautifully designed. The video quality is respectable, but my lasting impression of the Tadpole was not to do with the sensor's capabilities but rather that it just felt really good to use. All of this is due to the thoughtful and well-implemented design, as well as the minimalist feature set. This should come as no surprise, considering the Opal co-team has history with Google, Uber, and Jump.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

The Tadpole, as the name suggests, is small. At only 3.5 x 4.5 cm, the unit itself sits neatly and unobtrusively at the top of any laptop screen. When I first started using it, a few people initially asked me what on earth it was, but after a while, the device just faded into the background. So, if you’re after one of the tiniest webcams on the market at the moment, then your search is over.

The small size results in an overall weight of less than 50 grams, so there’s no chance of any unnecessary strain being applied to your screen hinge. This also makes it a dream to transport around, but more on that later.

Rather than a magnetic mount, the Opal team has opted for an adjustable clip. This means that the whole unit is either on or off, rather than having a permanently located mount. I personally prefer this implementation, because there is no chance of me losing any individual parts and thereby rendering the whole piece of kit useless.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

The range of the clip is 35 degrees, which was more than adequate for my Macbook Pro and is indeed perfect for almost all laptops. One of the concerns I initially had was about damaging my laptop. I didn’t want to scratch my metal back or crack the glass of the screen. I therefore gave the clip a good look before applying it to my laptop. After seeing that the clip was primarily made of silicone rubber, I proceeded to mount it. In reality, I needn’t have been concerned. The rubber ensures that the laptop is well protected.

The build quality is high, with a painted aluminum front and an anodized aluminum back. Despite not being the most expensive webcam on the market, the Tadpole certainly feels as premium as the best. Chemically strengthened glass will help with longevity although, for obvious reasons, I didn’t test how robust the glass was.

The cable, which measures 55cm in length and 3.7mm in diameter, is woven for greater durability. I love a woven cable, so that’s a win for me. It’s just the right length for attaching to a laptop, and thanks to the magnetic end, it can be looped around your wrist as you move between meetings. Even though I appreciate the design feature, I didn’t find much use for this type of portability. 

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

Moving away from the design and build quality, I’m sure you're interested in knowing about the camera itself. Generally, it’s pretty good, although not as good as the built-in webcam on my MacBook Pro 2023. As a result, I’ll inevitably stick with that, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many people who would benefit from this type of webcam - after all, many laptops have sub-par 720p webcams or no webcam whatsoever.

The Sony IMX582 RS sensor does a fantastic job of producing clean video with minimal noise, even in the shadows. Color replication is strong, with vibrant colors chosen over and above a flat profile. The image therefore pops nicely, which is exactly what you want when appearing in front of others at a meeting or when video-calling your parents.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

The f/1.8 lens is made up of six elements and is able to let in a significant amount of light, something that is particularly noticeable when using it in low light. Unfortunately, the dynamic range that is supported by the lens and its sensor is not quite wide enough. It was a real shame that during my meetings I had to put up with bright backgrounds, such as windows, that were almost completely blown out. It’s understandable that cameras like this would struggle here, but the Tadpole struggled more than I would have liked to see.

In terms of resolution, the 48 MP image is binned to 1080p, which is more than enough for most laptops. For most people, there is little point in spending more on a 4K webcam when it will make almost no difference to the visual experience - that territory is more for professional online content creators.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

As important, if not more so, is the quality of the audio. One of the biggest challenges to providing good audio from a webcam is that they’re often omnidirectional and therefore pick up way too much background noise. Some webcams overcome this by using noise filtering, but Opal has landed on a completely different solution. 

By using a directional microphone, the Tadpole captures only what is directly in front of the camera. The solution, in essence, creates a tunnel through which sound is funneled. As a result, any sound that doesn’t travel down this tunnel isn’t heard. It’s a genius little idea and puts the results in the hands of engineering rather than leaving it to programmers to work out.

This directional microphone does a pretty good job, with almost all low-to-medium level background noise removed. It didn’t work entirely in a crowded room but was certainly better than omnidirectional alternatives.

Another audio feature is the ability to mute calls with a single tap of the integrated capacitive button on the USB-C cable. This is a nice little feature to have, though I certainly wouldn’t buy the webcam because of it.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

One of the biggest selling points of the Tadpole is its portability. It is small, lightweight, and packs neatly into a purpose-made carry case that looks like a yoyo. The case is built well and allows the cable to neatly protrude out the side, doubling up as a loop for carrying. Simply put, this is one of the best carry cases for a webcam that I’ve ever seen. The magnetic clip makes it quick and easy to take in and out, with just enough strength to ensure it doesn’t accidentally fall out.

The Opal Tadpole is one of the best options in the mid-range webcam space. It delivers better quality than the super-budget alternatives but lacks additional features that are seen in the more expensive and premium webcams. Video quality is more than good enough for most situations, although it does sometimes struggle to deal with bright light sources. The directional mic is a nice feature that does a good job of cutting out a reasonable amount of background noise. Overall, the Tadpole is a very capable webcam.

Opal Tadpole webcam: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $129 (about £105 / AU$200)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? US with worldwide shipping

At $129 (about £105 / AU$200), the Opal Tadpole sits in the middle between the super-budget Logitech HD Webcam C310 and the eye-wateringly pricy Elgato Facecam Pro. The former lacks good image quality and feels a bit cheap in the hand, whereas the latter delivers amazing 4K video at 60 fps - for a high price.

If you want to compare like for like in terms of price, then the Tadpole is only a little more expensive than the Logitech C920, which wins the status for 'best overall' webcam in our best webcams buying guide - though it lacks the unparalleled portability of the Tadpole. 

For the asking price here, you get decent video quality and some nice features, including single-tap muting. If you're after something a little better than the cheapest options on the market, then the Opal Tadpole is a respectable choice.

The Opal Tadpole ships worldwide, with associated shipping costs. For the UK, that is set at an additional $8. The yo-yo case also costs an additional $19, but it's worth the price in my opinion.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Opal Tadpole webcam: Specs

Should you buy the Opal Tadpole webcam?

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want one of the best-looking webcams

Opal has absolutely nailed the design of the webcam. It not only looks smart on top of any laptop but also clips securely in place even when you need to move your laptop around.

You want a travel webcam

The Tadpole packs down into a small and lightweight hard carry case, which not only protects the webcam but also makes it easy to transport around.

You want an intelligent microphone

The Tadpole comes with a direction microphone that captures only what the camera can see. Some webcams achieve this through noise filtering, but Opal makes it happen with engineering.

Don't buy it if...

You want a 4K webcam

The Opal Tadpole records 48 MP, which is fixed at 1080p. Considering this will be the display resolution of many laptops and standalone desktop monitors, it won't necessarily be an issue for you, but serious content creators may want more.

You want the cheapest webcam

The Tadpole is far from expensive, but there are cheaper alternatives around, especially if you just want something that is no thrills and just going to get the job done.

Opal Tadpole webcam: Also consider

How I tested the Opal Tadpole webcam

  • I used the webcam for my video calls
  • I tested its general performance as well as its special features
  • I made sure to test it under a variety of lighting conditions

As soon as it came through the door, I was keen to get the Opal Tadpol webcam out of the box and hooked onto my laptop. Everything about the design and functionality oozes quality, so I wanted to get it setup as soon as I could.

After a few minutes of getting it up and running, I spent time in video calls to test it's many features. I also made sure to give it a good run around in different lighting conditions, including bright and low-lit rooms.

With a few neat features, I also checked those out so I could determine the degree to which I would use them on a regular basis. I also used the carry case to help me transport the webcam around. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

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