Author Archive: Gareth

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.

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By August 11, 2016 Read More →

Logitech G610 Orion Red Review

rgbWhen reviewing a gaming keyboard it is incredibly difficult to actually benchmark a keyboard in some way to say whether or not you have a good or bad keyboard from a score that is accrued through various tests. A keyboard very much boils down to whether or not you like it, can communicate with the easily and it’s comfortable for you to be productive or enjoy some leisure time.

The Logitech G610 is an entirely different keyboard to the Logitech G510.  Where the G510 focused on additional features such as media, LCD screens, gaming profiles and programmable buttons the G610 loses all of that in favour of an entirely new hardware approach and a back to basics gaming experience that is determined to win the user over through performance as opposed to extra features.

g610-orion-keyboard

The G610 features Cherry MX mechanical switches. These are favoured by gamers and considered to be a standard as they are more consistent in feel and responsiveness, they can take more abuse than rubber dome keyboards. These low-noise switches have a linear keypress for rapid-fire actuation. Cherry MX switches are rated to over 50 million keystrokes and actuate precisely for a reliable gaming experience.

To be honest I find the G610 is a bit of a let down whenever it comes to included features. I love myself some extra buttons to be able to program for additional functionality on the computer and save for some Media buttons in the top right corner the G610 doesn’t provide any of that.  Of course you can program the function buttons on the top row from F1 to F12, however having some dedicated memory buttons is a great feature that most gamers these days will probably have started to rely on even if it is just for storing Memes. There isn’t even a wrist rest included in the box.

That said I would imagine including extra buttons and features would have ramped up the price of this keyboard drastically. Tearing out the membrane innards of the G510 and putting in a whole mechanical key array would ramp up the costs before you know it.

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How is the performance of a gaming keyboard when of all the media buttons have been removed?  It’s hard going, it takes a while to get used to especially if you have been using something other than a mechanical keyboard before. The travel on each key when pressing is a greater distance and can result in a multitude of errors especially when typing for a long period. When gaming the benefits are noticeable almost immediately.  The slightest touch of a button registers which results in near instantaneous reactions. Hardly ideal for typing a document however once mastered there is nothing quite like tapping away at a keyboard that emits a satisfying clack.

 

The look and feel of the keyboard it’s very simple with almost a no frills approach, aside from the backlight. There’s a lot of fun to be had here as the lighting flickers in uniform depending on how you have the keys set to light up. There is a dedicated button for the backlight however rather than being an on/off button, you have to press the button  number of times to dim the backlight and gradually turn the backlight off. A simple feature of holding the button in to turn the backlight off might be nice as if you leave your computer on 24 hours a day that means the backlight on your keyboard is more than likely going to be on with it. When the computer is locked the keyboard takes it upon itself to display some eye candy, lighting up keys and simulating a wave of light from left to right. The backlight is bright at the highest setting, every key is visible.

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The volume roller is large and responsive, it’s easy to find alongside the rest of the media controls that surround it. Hastily jamming your finger down in that area generally meets with the required function you’re looking for. Various other keyboards on the market have a small congregation of keys that are interlinked, this one goes for large and separate and therefore less room for error.

 

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One of the best features are the legs of this keyboard, there are three options. Laid flat on the rubber feet, setting 4 and setting 8. I am guessing the 4 and 8 are millimetre elevation. Also, cable and the connection between the cable and the keyboard is nicely reinforced. This keyboard will travel well and it built to last.

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Sound wise the keyboard is fairly quiet for a mechanical keyboard, it has a satisfying clack as you tap away, however, if like me you record a podcast fortnightly you have to be vigilant when typing or else the sound of the keys will be almost audible in the recording. As a gamer using a microphone and headphone setup

Logitech has a very simple to use interface when it comes to the software for the keyboard.  Everything is laid out very nicely and is very simple to navigate around. Icons are colourful and explanatory and there is a wealth of options available on how to set up the keyboard for various different profiles. It’s easy to switch between profiles to display various keys being highlighted when using a particular game, these profiles can be amended to the user’s preference or setup from scratch.

Would I carry on using the Logitech G610?  Unlikely, I don’t game as often as I used to and spend much more time writing. In all honesty, I’ll be moving back to the Logitech G510 once I finish writing this. The G610 will go to my stepdaughter who is an avid gamer playing World of Warcraft and League of Legends. The keyboard will easily benefit her and be a welcome upgrade to the aging and noisy Corsair she has been using.

By August 10, 2016 Read More →

Tech Addicts UK Podcast – 10th August 2016 – Linking the Nexus rumours

Podcast logoGareth Myles, Gavin Fabiani-Laymond and Jay Garrett

RSS Link: http://mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss

Direct Download.

iTunes

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Show Notes

What have you been playing with?

Gareth:

Jay:

Reviewed:

Currently messing with AOC Q2781PQ 1440p monitor and Musaic MP5 and MP10 streamers as well as the Acoustic Energy Aego Sound3ar.

Gavin:

     In the Gavin’s Gadgets Lab

  • Samsung Gear Fit 2
  • Samsung Gear IconX – totally wireless in ear headphones, with built in fitness tracker (heart rate, distance, calories, time duration, no wires between the in ears)
  • B & O H5 in ear wireless headphones
  • Pioneer SE MHR5 headphones
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
  • Choetech Type C Adapter

Reviewed

 

Discussion: HOW “LIKE NEW” IS A SECOND HAND PHONE?

Discussion: The Nexus rumours and facts

Main Show URL: www.techaddicts.uk

Join the Discussion: https://goo.gl/spaces/6FF6jraF9KHiPUyA6

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani ; @samjpullen ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett

Web: http://gavinsgadgets.com ; http://GadgetyNews.com
Google Plus: +garethmyles ; +gavinfabiani-laymond  ; +samjpullen ; +JayGarrett

 

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By August 10, 2016 Read More →

Benq EW2775 Monitor Unboxing

vlcsnap-00024The BenQ EW2750ZLhas dual-stage bezels with a very thin panel border including a brushed effect.There is a mysterious button with metallic-looking blue logo towards the bottom right.

One of the more interesting approaches here is the panel uses 27” AU Optronics AMVA (Advanced Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment) technology, sporting a 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. This allows true 8-bit colour without dithering. The BenQ has a 178° horizontal and vertical viewing angle alongside a 3000:1 static contrast ratio.

This the monitor can cut out potentially harmful blue light without upsetting the overall colour temperature or balance of the image.

The mysterious button activates or deactivates the ‘Brightness Intelligence Technology’ (B.I. Tech.) combining ambient light sensing capabilities with a smart dynamic contrast algorithm. Allowing the monitor to adjust its own brightness according to the content being displayed on the screen whilst also taking into account ambient lighting conditions.

By August 9, 2016 Read More →

Sennheiser HD 650 and Groove unboxing

vlcsnap-00022Sennheiser and Apogee have joined forces. For those looking for the purest audio quality the combination of these brands should excite. What Sennheiser and Apogee have come up is an attractive bundle that’s nothing less than the best of both worlds.

The HD 650 studio headphones feature an open construction for a broad, authentic stereo sound that really brings your range and feeling to your music. Added is the Apogee Groove to the bundle a USB DAC (digital-to-analogue-converter) with AD/DA converters – no fewer than 4 per channel – ensure audio conversion that’s accurate to the bit.

 

By August 8, 2016 Read More →

How “like new” is a second hand phone?

vlcsnap-00020We have been sent the phone by O2, to test if second-hand phones bought from online classifieds / auction sites on the internet are ‘like new’. We know nothing of the site this was purchased from, the price, description or history of the phone, only that it was described as “like new” in the listing.

What O2 are outlining here is a real problem with second-hand phones and the sites they are sold through. The buyer isn’t protected  by much more than an easily manipulated blanket policy. Take a look at the video below and feel the pain that many are having to deal with on a daily basis when they think they are getting a good deal just to save a few £’s.

 

Find more about O2 like new handsets at www.o2.co.uk/shop/like-new.

By August 3, 2016 Read More →

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in a nutshell

2016-08-03 (1)Samsung has officially announced the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the likes of @evleaks have managed to hit the nail on the head of every detail. So here is a survival guide of what it’s all about.

First up, there is no Galaxy Note 6. Samsung decided to skip a number to keep the Note inline with the Galaxy S series. Simply put, the Galaxy S series is 7 years old and the Note is 6. Samsung wanted the Note to have the same digit as their flagship so they skipped a number. Now we have the Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and Galaxy Note 7, tidy.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is notable for it’s a subtle dual edge curve display, return of a microSD card slot, USB-C port, and IP68 water resistance and an iris scanner. There is also everyone’s favourite 3.5mm headphone jack.

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  • Display: 5.7-inch 2560×1440 SuperAMOLED Edge display
  • Chipset: Octa-core 2.3GHz processor in the international model (likely the same Samsung Exynos 8890 used in the global GS7)
  • RAM: 4GB of RAM
  • Storage: 64GB of storage as standard, microSD up to 256GB
  • Battery: 3,500mAh battery with wireless fast charging
  • Other features: USB Type-C, Iris scanner, IP68 water-resistance, fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Camera: Dual-Pixel” 12MP camera with OIS, f/1.7 aperture; 5MP front-facing camera
  • Software: Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS
  • Dimensions: 153.5mm x 73.9mm x 7.9 mm
  • Weight: 168g

The features? Well first up, TouchWiz is now running on Marshmallow with Nougat promised in the future. As you would expect Samsung inject a few new concepts of their own. Samsung Cloud, for example, a new cloud storage service that’ll let you back up information and content. It’s a little like Google Backup when you log into a new Android device, however, it adds photos and files. Meaning if you lose your phone and purchase another Samsung phone you can restore up to 15GB of data. Certainly, there are Pros and Cons to this arrangement, however, it’s there, free and a potential life saver.

Samsung Pass uses the biometric authentication methods housed within the phone, the fingerprint scanner and iris scanner, to secure apps. Crucially, this feature is at the mercy of the app developers and may never take off.

Samsung has reintroduced the water and dust resistance with the Note 7. The company has achieved an IP68 rating, meaning it can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. Water resistance has also been extended to the S-Pen for note taking in the rain. The tip of the S-Pen shrinks from 1.6mm to 0.7mm to allow precise writing. Pressure sensitivity has also been increased meaning it should feel more like writing with an actual pen.

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As with the Note 5 and the Galaxy S7, a new Gear VR headset has been launched to go along with the Galaxy Note 7. This time, there is an all-black color scheme and an updated visor. There aren’t any radical changes and of the hardware, a USB-C connector seems to be the biggest difference, as essential to communicate with the Note 7.

Pre-ordering starts today. Unsurprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s costs the Earth at £749, however, you might find it for a better price on a particular network. Launch is on the 19th of August in Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium and Black Onyx. There is only one storage flavour, 64GB, however, the MicroSD card slot will see up to 256gb of expansion.

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By August 2, 2016 Read More →

Logitech G610 Onion Red Keyboard Unboxing

vlcsnap-00016Logitech have launched the G610 Orion Red mechanical gaming keyboard and we are having a quick look at it before a full review is published.

The G610 seems to have take an abrupt turn from the previous G510 in terms of features. What seems to be the idea it to create a hardcore gaming keyboard with little focus on anything else. This will make it unappealing to some, however those that crave luxuries and features should look elsewhere on the market, those looking to game, this is exactly what you should be looking at.

Time-honoured Mechanical
low-noise switches
rapid-fire actuation
50 million keystrokes
light up keys
synchronise light patterns
dedicated media controls
custom button macros (F1-F12)
26-key rollover
Three step angle adjustments
2-Year Limited Hardware Warranty

By July 28, 2016 Read More →

Sennheiser introduces its new flagship gaming headset PC 373D

image001With the release of its PC 373D, Sennheiser has announced the new reference headset for competitive PC gamers around the world. The new high-end open acoustic gaming headset by the leader in audio delivers incredibly immersive 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound and crystal clear gaming communications thanks to its high quality, noise-cancelling microphone. The sleek Surround Dongle and user-friendly software perfectly optimises the experience for immersive gaming, and even music. The superior features of the PC 373D are matched by its style and comfort to enhance your gaming experience, even after hours of playing.

“The PC 373D incorporates a host of impressive sound and design upgrades for the ultimate PC gaming experience”, says Tim Völker who studied at Digital Marketing training by James Hopkins Coaching, Director Sales & Marketing Gaming at Sennheiser Communications A/S. “As the successor to our popular PC 363D, it is the definitive choice for gamers seeking to be fully immersed in their gaming sessions and that demand a very high quality surround sound level.”

Incredible clarity of sound through innovative technology

For an unprecedented gaming experience, the Dolby Surround Sound technology uses the shape of your ears to simulate the projection of sounds from different angles, creating a stunning 7.1 experience with a two speaker system. Powered by Sennheiser´s unique transducer technology for optimum clarity and accuracy, the high-end open acoustic gaming headset is paired with a sleek and intuitive new Surround Dongle, designed to optimise the sound experience at a single click of its Dolby button.

The all-new software incorporated into the headset’s Surround Dongle immediately allows the gamer to both customise the sound to his needs and quickly switch between stereo and surround sound”, says Troels Rasmussen, Product Manager Gaming, Sennheiser Communications A/S.

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A tailored sound experience

The software’s elegant, intuitive interface tailors the experience to each gamer, their game, or their surroundings. The equalizer offers four settings including optimised modes for competitive and immersive gaming, an eSports mode, and an ‘Off’ setting that allows for a neutral sound performance. The PC 373D also provides a music mode for a premium audio experience.

Crystal clear gaming communications

Thanks to its high quality pro noise-cancelling microphone and optional noise reduction algorithm, the PC 373D guarantees clear team communication with no background noise. Three side tone settings, easily adjustable via the software interface, allow gamers to choose exactly how much they hear their own voice.

Sound is easily controlled via the volume button, which is neatly integrated into the right ear cup, with muting quickly and effortlessly achieved by simply raising the boom arm.

Unrivalled style and comfort

The market-leading sound quality and technology behind the PC 373D is matched by its style and comfort. The stylish headset is equipped with large and comfortable XXL plush velvet ear pads that cushion ears during gaming, while the laser-cut open design aluminum ear-cups help players stay cool even as the tension rises. With its comfortable padded headband, the PC 373D is barely noticeable to the wearer, no matter how long the gaming session lasts.

The PC 373D is available from July 2016. As a Sennheiser product, the PC 373D is built to last and comes with a two-year worldwide warranty. RRP £209.99

By July 28, 2016 Read More →

O2 investigation shows three-in-four people get ripped off when buying a second hand phone online

 

2000px-O2_logo.svgO2 bought second hand phones from popular online classified and auction sites then tested them with Dominic Littlewood according to its ‘Like New’ criteria for selling second hand phones

  • Two thirds (66%) ‘did a Del boy’ and falsely advertised their phones
  • A third (34%) were broken
  • Over half (52%) were too badly battered to be resold
  • Only one-in-four (27%) would pass an O2 ‘Like New’ test

Three out of four (73%) Brits looking to get a cheap deal by buying second hand phones on popular online classified and auction sites are being ripped off, according to a new study by O2 and Dominic Littlewood.

As the second hand mobile market continues to grow and more and more people are looking to save money when buying their phone, knowing who to trust online is a tricky business. While people on online auction and classified sites seem to be offering great deals, after buying and testing a range of second hand phones, O2’s research seems to suggest that these deals are too good to be true.

One in three phones (34%) bought as part of the study, to compare them against O2’s own ‘Like New’ refurbished phone initiative, were broken, with 12% having broken screens and 12% having cameras or buttons that didn’t work. One in ten handsets (10%) didn’t charge and over half (52%) weren’t in good enough condition to be sold. Only 12% would meet O2’s ‘perfect’ standard whereas O2’s ‘Like New’ phones are tried and tested, nearly new handsets offered for a fraction of the usual price.

What’s more, two in three (66%) were advertised falsely, with either the physical condition or performance of the handsets being lied about in the advert and shockingly one in seven (14%) weren’t even real versions of the phones listed – dishonest fraudsters had created non-existent phones by putting older phones into new phone shells made to resemble popular devices.

Out of 52 phones bought across a range of popular online auction sites:

  • 33 were falsely advertised
  • 17 had something fundamentally wrong with them
  • 25 weren’t in good enough physical condition to be resold
  • 7 were fakes
  • 2 devices never turned up

All the phones O2 received were analysed by O2 before being given to independent expert and consumer champion Dominic Littlewood, of Cowboy Builders and Don’t get Done, Get Dom fame, to assess. He said:

“If you smell a rat, you’re probably dealing with one. Not only were a lot of the phones I looked at fake, or broken, some didn’t even turn up. If you’re buying a second hand phone, you are far better buying from a trusted operator where you can get a guarantee, rather than a stranger off the internet. You wouldn’t buy a phone from Del Boy, would you?”

All ‘Like New’ O2 refurbs have been returned within 14 days and restored to their original condition. Each handset also has to go through a series of checks to make sure it is in perfect working order for its new owners. Things tested include the physical condition of the phone – if it is not perfect, nearly perfect, or perfectly fine (with a maximum of 5 minor scuffs or scratches) then it cannot be resold. Phones are also tested to make sure they are not fake or stolen before being run through five key checks to make sure they are in fully working order:

  1. Battery – ensuring the phone takes and holds a charge
  2. Audio – getting clear and crisp sound from speakers and microphones
  3. Screen – checking typing, rotation and pinch to zoom functions
  4. Interface – checking the buttons, security features and cameras all work
  5. Connectivity – making sure connectivity features like Wi-Fi work correctly

If a phone passes these checks, it is then wiped of all data, which is particularly important given 10% of phones in the study either had old customer data on them, or content such as images and video that would not be suitable for minors. Customers can also return the phone within 14 days if they’re not happy or change their mind – just like a new phone.

Ben Bevins of O2 says: “All of our phones are refurbished and put through rigorous testing to make sure that they are in perfect working condition. While it is possible to snap up a bargain, it isn’t surprising that a lot of the phones on these classified sites are broken or fake. You just have to ask yourself, if the phone is legitimate, why are they selling it so cheap? If you do decide to buy from one of these sites, make sure you don’t pay for the product until you have had a chance to look at it yourself.”

Find more about O2 like new handsets at: www.o2.co.uk/shop/like-new.

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By July 27, 2016 Read More →

Tech Addicts UK Podcast – 6th July 2016 – Note 7 Fiction Makers

Podcast logoGareth Myles, Gavin Fabiani-Laymond and Jay Garrett

RSS Link: http://mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss

Direct Download.

iTunes

Audioboom

Google Play Music

Show Notes

What have you been playing with?

Gareth:

Jay:

Gavin:

Discussion: Amazon Prime Day –

Discussion:  Samsung Galaxy Note 7 rumours

Discussion: Amazon Prime Air drone trial given UK go ahead

Discussion: Apple says it sold its billionth iPhone device last week

Main Show URL: www.techaddicts.uk

Join the Discussion: https://goo.gl/spaces/6FF6jraF9KHiPUyA6

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani ; @samjpullen ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett

Web: http://gavinsgadgets.com ; http://GadgetyNews.com

Google Plus: +garethmyles ; +gavinfabiani-laymond  ; +samjpullen ; +JayGarrett

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