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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse Review

Logitech G502 (Proteus Core) Gaming Mouse Review
Technical Specifications
·       Surface Tuning Calibration
Weight and Balance tuning
11 Programmable buttons
Improved dual-mode hyper fast scroll wheel
On-the-fly DPI Shift
Advanced surface Material
Resolution: 200 – 12,000 dpi
Max. Acceleration: >40G
Max. speed: >300 ips


Pros


Ergonomic right handed design
Smooth matt feel
Many macro-able buttons
Weight tuning
Thumb rest
Unique 4-way Scroll wheel
Braided cables

Cons

Quite big-sized
Matt finish does pick up sweat stains
USB connector not gold plated
Stiff braided cables


Introduction

When you talk about PC gaming peripherals, the few brands that will probably come into your mind would be Razer, SteelSeries and Logitech. These are the prominent figures in the gaming industry that have created revolutionary gaming products ranging from Gaming Mice to Keyboards to Headsets. SPRG sent me a reviewing kit of the latest Logitech gaming mouse, and today we will be taking a look at the G502 Proteus Core made by Logitech.
To know why Logitech picked the name of Proteus Core, I dug a bit into the history of Greek mythology and found out that Proteus is the God of River. One of the most interesting things that I found out about Proteus is that he is also known as the god of “elusive sea change”. As water has no shape and form, it is highly versatile and mutable. Simply said, my assumption would be that Logitech created the G502 to be versatile and adaptable to each and every gamer.
When I first started to try a Logitech gaming peripheral, it was the G400s. The ergonomics of the G400s was so good that I could play Dota tirelessly for hours. Compared to the G400s, the G502 looks much nicer and cooler in the aesthetic department. It is also quite a significant upgrade from the G-series mice family with DPI count of up to 12,000. Now that’s a real speedy mouse!
Is the G502 worth the penny? Is the Proteus Core really that versatile to be compared to the Greek god? Is it really an upgrade from its G-ancestors? Let’s take a look and find out!

Unboxing and First Look

The G502 came in a packaging that is of the same style as its family members with black being the background colour with blue sides and outlines. The top part of the box is presented with the G502 in all its glory, with the sides of the packaging showing the technical specifications and requirements. The top part of the packaging also acts like a window flap. Opening it reveals a windowed view of the actual mouse. The back part of the box shows an X-ray view of the mouse, complimented with additional features about the G502.






From Top: Frontal View, Windowed View, Back View, Side Views of the Packaging


Included in the package is a set of weights in a small and neat case, the G502, instruction manuals and warranty leaflet. One important thing to note is that there is no disc that contains drivers, which means you probably have to get it off Logitech’s website. Similar to what the other competitors do.

Things that are included in the packaging


The mouse cables are braided which in my opinion was a bit stiff. It might take a few sessions to straighten it out, but on the other hand, it is supposed to last longer than rubber coated cables. Rubber coated cables are known to get sticky in the long run.

Braided USB Cable

The USB connector is not gold plated, which surprised me. Being the latest addition to the Logitech ‘G’ Family and commanding a hundred bucks, I would quite expect the USB connector to be gold plated. Similar priced products from competitors have their USB connectors plated in gold. This is not exactly a deal breaker for any gamers, but it is the expectations that gamers have in gaming peripherals nowadays.
USB Connector

There are a total of 11 buttons, which could be mapped with different functions and we will go into that later. When you plug the G502 into a USB port, the “G” logo will light up. Drivers were automatically installed and the G502 was ready for normal usage. Further mapping of keys and functions have to be done with the software which can be found on the Logitech website.






 The 11 Programmable Buttons that are labelled from G1 to G9 (Excluding the 2 mouse buttons)


Now let’s take a look at the G502’s core features and performance.

Ergonomics and Design

The G502 is ergonomically shaped to fit a right-hander. It is quite big in size in terms of the width and length. People with small hands might find using this mouse a challenge. 

Comparison of Size with Razer Krait 2013 Edition

I have a medium sized hand and even so it felt quite big in my hands, occupying the whole of my palms when I use it. It took me roughly 3 days to completely get use to the ergonomics of the mouse and after that, I had not much issue with the comfort that if offers apart from the fact that my palms got sweaty faster when using it. It could be because of the surface of the mouse which traps heat.




Front and SIde view of the G502

The G502 feels like it would suit a gamer with a palm-grip as the surface is quite big, requiring you to rest your palms fully on the mouse when using it. However, it would suit claw-grip gamers too. The sides of the mouse are tapered and you are able to grip the mouse by the sides which will make your hand arch over the mouse naturally. Personally I use claw-grip and I was able to get used to the mouse after a few games.

Palm Grip
Claw Grip


The sides of the mouse have a rough texture to improve grip. The texture was pretty nice and it does not cause any form of discomfort. 



Textured Sides


 The body of the G502 is dressed in a matt finish, which was both good and bad. Good as compared to glossy finishes, it does not attract fingerprints that easily. The bad part is that sweat stains could sometimes be permanent when used for long period of time. It does attract a fair bit of dust too. When I come home from work I would usually spot dust on the G502. Not exactly an issue, but do remember to either cloth it or keep it away if you’re not using it for a long period of time. 

Matt Surface
Weight-Tuning Mechanism

The weights came in a case which I felt was particularly useful as you definitely would not want to lose those weights even if you are not using them. The case is very slim and compact which signifies that it is suitable for travel.


Weight Tuning Case

The weights are boomerang shaped and have a very slim profile. Each weight weighs 3.6grams and there are a total of 5 weights that you can play around with to suit your gaming needs. In my opinion, the mouse feels quite sturdy even without the weights.

Boomerang-Shaped Weights

To insert weights into the mouse, you will need to turn to the bottom part of the mouse and release a flap door held down by a strong magnet. After which, you will see the skeleton of where the weights could be placed. Placing the weights into the mouse is fairly easy, requiring a bit of force when pressing it in place. Removing it however, was quite a pain. It was literally painful as I had to dig my fingernail underneath the sides of the weight which has a slight gradient to lift it out of its position. The fit was very secure and tight, making removing the weights harder than it should normally require.




Weight-adjusting compartment


People who play FPS games and desire more control and precision are often known to prefer heavy mice to restrict huge movements from the mouse as it glides across the mouse pad. I tried playing a game with all weights set into the G502, and after an hour, I felt that my wrist became tired and sore from the usage. It does however, feel more “solid” and cursor movement was accurate and precise. I preferred the G502 to be lighter, so I removed all the weights. It also resulted in more speed and the G502 was gliding effortlessly. 

Dual-Mode Scroll Wheel

The scrolling function of the mouse was one that I really liked, which had two different modes. They are the infinite scroll mode and the normal scroll mode. The mouse is by default set to the normal scroll mode, which “clicks” for each turn the scroll makes. The infinite scroll mode is without the “click” restrictions, and scrolls at hyper fast speed. To switch between these two modes, there is a button just underneath the scroll wheel. The button sets a mechanism in place to restrict the scroll hence producing a “click” feedback, while another press releases the mechanism and allow for infinite scrolling. It also offers 4-way scrolling, which allows you to scroll horizontally.
One thing however that I disliked about the scroll wheel is the click option. More often than not, a click on the scroll button resulted in a scroll, which in turn causes a miss-click on the intended area. This is a result of the scroll wheel being too sensitive.

Dual-Mode Scroll Wheel


Software


In my opinion, Logitech has really done up the software really well and it seems to be fool proof. After installing the software through Logitech’s website, the software automatically detects the G502, and prepares it to be customized.
You will not need a dictionary to start customizing your 11 buttons with the software as it was really easy to do so. Having used Razer’s Synapse and SteelSeries’s Engine, I would say that the usability of the software is on par. When you move your mouse over to the button you would like to customize, the actual button is highlighted on the image of the G502. Clicking the button allows you to designate specific task or buttons to the selected button. You are also able to set macros to the buttons.




User-Friendly Software Interface


Test Run

After a month of testing, I found out that my hands have really adapted to the mouse, making movements on the mouse seem like fluid. My wrist did not feel any strain after a 3 hour gaming session. The clicks also actuate effortlessly, allowing for faster response. The extra buttons were pretty useful, but not all of them as I did not require so many buttons for Dota 2 which is a MOBA genre game. A MMORPG player would truly appreciate the true beauty of the extra buttons, as they are placed very conveniently around your thumb and index finger.  
Even though the G502’s DPI count goes up to 12,000DPI, I found that 4500DPI was the maximum I ever have to go, as any higher than that, a slight movement of the wrist will cause the cursor to fly a few kilometres. (Exaggeration intended) The high DPI count felt more like a novelty rather than functionality as you will seldom need the mouse DPI to get to that level.
The clicks sound slightly louder than my Razer Krait 2013 Edition and Deathadder 2013 Edition. As Dota 2 requires many clicking action, the noise produced by the clicks became quite audible. Not to the extent you will want to put on a headphone just for that, but it can get irritating.


Verdict

Priced competitively at a price of $99, the Logitech G502 has pleasantly surprised me till no ends. To be named after a Greek God, the G502 definitely lived up to its name. The G502 was very easy to use albeit it being a bit bulky. People with smaller hand size might want to steer clear from this mid-sized giant as I predict it will cause a huge amount of stress on your wrist and hands, tiring your hands out faster. The braided cables were a bit too stiff than it should be, but if you are exchanging that for a longer lasting cable then I would think it’s a fair trade. The matt finish traps heat and causes your palms to sweat up faster, which in turns offer a better and more comfortable grip. The scroll wheel is unique, but clicking it causes the wheel to move as the wheel is too sensitive. If you have the luxury of the cost, then the G502 will not disappoint you. There are features which could be better, but the overall comfort and features it offers is too good and it covers the flaws. As with the improvement of the G400 gaming mouse being named as the G400s, I do hope there would be an improvement in the next upgrade, making the G502 one of the legendary gaming mouse in the gaming peripherals industry. I would rate the G502 as an expert gaming mouse because of the features it offers.


Pictures on Imgur:
Proteus Core

Most innovative iPhone release thus far for iPhone 6?

Our friend at Finances Online has published an very good infographic on the various innovation Apple made for each release of the iPhone 6. Check it out!

Will New iPhone Release Make It The Most Innovative Model?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

6 Apps That Help Prevent Car Accidents



The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an estimated 6,800 deaths related to motor vehicle traffic accidents for the first quarter of 2014. But you can avoid becoming another statistic with smartphone apps that help prevent car accidents. Your phone isn't just for texting and calling anymore, it is also a powerful tech tool that can save your life on the road.

Drive Safe.ly



This mobile app is the ideal driving buddy. DriveSafe.ly reads your texts and email out loud in real time and can even automatically respond without you ever taking your eyes off of the road. The app is Bluetooth and radio transmitter compatible, so you can use it whether you live amid New York City's giant skyscrapers or in the vast and remote deserts of Arizona. This free app, available for BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile, is a great way to avoid distractions while driving without having to completely disconnect from friends and family.

Waze



Knowledge is power and with Waze you can be in control of your daily commute while staying safe. Waze is one of the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation apps. Drivers can contribute traffic and road data to Waze, including car accidents, road hazards and traffic jams. When you're aware of what lies ahead, you'll make wiser decisions, save you time and keep other drivers safe. Furthermore, the app offers a live map with easy to read icons that make it simple to view while on-the-go.

iOnRoad



Phoenicians, listen up. Aside from reviewing the AZ permit practice test to become a better driver, you can also download an app that turns your smartphone into a personal driving assistant. iOnRoad reinforces the rules of the road with modern computer vision algorithms and your smartphone's camera, says the iOnRoad website. Features include collision warnings, headway monitoring, off road warnings and video recording. The iOnRoad app is available for both iPhone and Android.

aCar



A well maintained car is a safe car. The aCar app won't directly help you avoid accidents but it can keep a log of your vehicle's maintenance, including oil changes, inspections and air filter replacements. This app will also let you know if your car is operating at maximum performance, which means less surprises while driving. The app is available for Android, Amazon Kindle Fire and BlackBerry.

DriveScribe



This app is ideal for young drivers who can't yet be trusted to resist the temptation of replying to a text message or placing a phone call. DriveScribe provides the option of blocking all smartphone activity while a vehicle is in motion. This free app keeps teens safe on the road with automated prompts and friendly reminders. With DriveScribe you won't need to be with them in the passenger seat 24/7 to help prevent an accident.

Wi-Fi Honk



Vehicle collisions aren't the only type of accident that can occur while driving. Wi-Fi Honk alerts both pedestrians and cars of an impending collision. Wired reports that Wi-Fi Honk detects signals via Wi-Fi from other devices and uses them to create a collision prediction algorithm. The app shows a warning message to pedestrians and drivers if it determines a collision is possible. Wi-Fi Honk is still in the testing phase but will revolutionize safe driving once it becomes available for Android.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Displaying Information

When you own a business, you need a way to get across to your customers that there are sales and that there is new inventory in stock. One of the ways to do this is by using an LCD display that you can get from companies like ImpactDisplaySolutions.com. An LCD display will usually last longer than other kinds of displays. You can easily change the information in the display compared to keeping one paper on the wall for an extended period of time or using plastic signs that you need to change frequently. 

When you use LCD displays, you can set the display to change through the day so that various sales information is given to customers. These displays come in all sizes, making it easier for you to put something on a stand in a corner and a larger sign at the front of the store so that people can see the most important information when they enter. These displays don't use a lot of energy, so it won't make a big difference on your electric bill. Graphic LCD displays are an easy way for you to advertise multiple sales and store information at one time instead of cluttering the store with multiple pieces of paper on the walls.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Top 5 Fitness Devices and Apps You Should Know About


            As with every other facet of our daily lives, the realm of health and fitness is currently going under a tech makeover. Gone are the days where you had to muster up the energy and stamina to complete a workout -  now, you can effectively kiss your personal trainer goodbye thanks to the incredible advances being made in fitness tech in recent years.
            One could argue that it’s part of an overall “remodelling” of how modern Americans view health and fitness in light of the obesity epidemic that’s gripped our nation for the last decade or so. “Healthcare professionals are encouraged to see more people taking a more active, daily role in their well-being,” says Tim Cannon from HealthITjobs.com. “While it’s still ultimately up to the patient to put in the hard work, mobile tech is making it easier to stay motivated, and accurately track your biometrics so you know when you’re making progress.”
            These days, no matter what your schedule, lifestyle, or fitness level, there is some sort of fitness tech that can work for you. We’ve got wearable devices, apps, digital personal trainers, and even scales with Wi-Fi that can create graphs of your progress in the cloud. With all this new technology at your fingertips, it’s understandable to be confused as to where you should start, so let’s look at five of the most used and talked about apps and fitness devices on the market today.

            Pact is one of the easiest programs to stick to, and one that gives you the most motivation to get fit. It’s essentially a betting app, except you’re betting on your ability to complete a number of activities you set for yourself every week. Let’s say you want to workout 4 times a week, you decide which dollar amount you’d like to lose if the weekends and you haven’t completed all four workouts. If it’s set to $5 per workout and you don’t log at least 30 minutes four times a week of activity at the gym or using its motion tracker, you’re out $20 that week. That $20 gets thrown into the pot and distributed to Pact members who did meet their goals for the week. The more workouts you add to your Pact (assuming you complete them all) the more share of the pot you get at the end of the week.
            Yifan Zhang, cofounder of Pact, explained the thinking behind this to the New York Times; “Behavioral economics show that if you tie cash incentives to things that are concrete and easy to achieve like getting to the gym, it’s very effective. People don’t like losing money and it’s one of the strongest motivators, much more than winning money.”

            The Nike+ product line is based off their pieces of wearable tech like their FuelBand, SportWatch and Running App. These devices are partnered with an app that is available on nearly every type of smartphone, so track each and every move you make. On top of that they offer a personal training-style service called Nike+ Training Club which has been praised online.
            If you’re a competitive person or someone who likes to make exercise and fitness a social activity, these devices are for you. You can create groups with your friends and challenge each other in different activities and goals, all while getting fit at the same time.

            As one of the first companies to start selling wearable tech back in 2007, FitBit has somewhat become the leader of the pack when it comes to fitness trackers. They’ve got an extensive product line, but their star is the FitBit Flex, which is worn as a bracelet and tracks your every move, logs your sleep, and can sync with your Aria Wi-Fi scale to provide reports via the FitBit app and website (where you can also log your food intake).
            For those who are concerned in the obtrusiveness of these devices on their personal style, the FitBit is by far the device for you. Thanks to a partnership with the massively popular designer Tory Burch, you can keep your fitbit devices in sleek metal bracelets or medallions, or even purchase a signature Tory Burch printed silicone bracelet for your Flex.

            In the words of Pact cofounder Yifan Zhang “Behavioral economics show that if you tie cash incentives to things that are concrete and easy to achieve like getting to the gym, it’s very effective.” It’s off this principle that Pact was created; an app that monetarily punished you for not working out, or rewards you for going through with it.
            At the beginning of each week you set a number of workouts you’d like to do, and a dollar amount you’d like to set for a missed workout. You can check in at your gym using Pact or use its motion tracking abilities to log a minimum of 30 minute sessions as many times as you’ve set for yourself. At the end of the week, if you’ve missed 2 sessions, and let’s say you set the amount to $10 per missed workout, you’re out $20. That money goes into the pot and is distributed to the members of Pact who completely all their workouts that week (the more workouts you assign yourself, and complete, each week, the more of the pot you get). While it doesn’t amount to much more than $1 or $2 a week, it’s certainly better than losing $20!

            This app is gear specifically for those of us who are constantly attached to our phones (which is most of us it would appear). Instead of pairing with cumbersome and expensive devices that track your movement, Argus uses Apple’s M7 co-processor to track things like running, walking, cycling, and driving. It allows you to set goals for yourself for your daily step number and glasses of water you drink.
            The app essentially turns your phone into a personal trainer by using the iPhone’s numerous sensors. It comes with features such as a heart rate monitor, a fitness trend tracker which it uses to give you tips, and an Instant Fitness feature for your at-home workouts.

As you can see, there is an app or device for nearly all of us, and these are only five of the most popular! There are dozens more out there, and surely more to be released in near future like the rumors iWatch from Apple. At the end of the day it’s up to you to evaluate all of these different devices and decide which one fits your lifestyle, budget, and goals. However, using any of them to live a healthier life is something that should appeal to all of us.


Monday, September 01, 2014

Eye-Catching Gadgets and Accessories Spotted at Comic Con 2014



Comic Con 2014, held this past July in San Diego, was known for one thing: long lines. The event brought in more than 130,000 people who spent their time admiring the crazy costumes, attending the TV and movie panels and checking out some awesome new gadgets and accessories (after the long lines, of course). Here are the following five items that caused a buzz at this year's Comic Con.

Black Widow Motorcycle



Marvel’s "Avengers: Age of Ultron” features a wide variety of incredible electric motorcycles, which were designed in part with the experts from Harley-Davidson. Comic Con attendees got to see Black Widow’s bike as well as have the opportunity to pretend to be a stunt double for Scarlett Johansson. There has been much buzz and skepticism about Harley-Davidson's new Livewire electric motorcycle, as it is a large step away from their iconic hogs, according to the Bike Bandit blog. But at Comic Con bike lovers and regular visitors alike were fascinated by Natasha Romanoff and her amazing new bike.

Jabba the Hutt with Salacious B. Crumb



As Topless Robot notes, no business worth their salt will appear at Comic Con without some type of exclusive item in tow. From toys and comic books to even bottles of brewski, attendees love to bring home souvenirs. For example, "Star Wars" devotees were doing all that they could to get their hands on the Hasbro Black Series San Diego Comic Con Jabba the Hutt with Salacious B. Crumb figure. Although Jabba will be released by Hasbro later on this year, it will not include Crumb or an actual hookah accessory.

"Star Trek: The Original Series" Phaser Universal Remote Control



This device, which is produced by The Wand Company, made a huge splash. As Electronic House notes, the phaser was carefully made by studying 3-D scans of the popular "Star Trek" device. The remote works with all home electronic equipment, while also including Trek-tastic features like 10 real phaser firing sounds, a lock code and the ability to store up to three-dozen remote commands.

Darth Vader Hot Wheels



Toy giant Mattel stayed busy during Comic Con, featuring a new special edition Hot Wheels car inspired by the evil villain Darth Vader himself. To showcase the toy car even further, Mattel also displayed an actual-size version of the vehicle. As a bonus, the real car was even drivable! Fans flocked around the menacing black vehicle, trying to get a glimpse of its awesomeness. Those who wish to purchase the Hot Wheels version will get their chance this fall when it hits local retailers.

Marge Simpson Makeup



MAC Cosmetics got on board with everyone’s favorite animated housewife from Springfield. On July 26, fans of "The Simpsons" got a sneak peek at the makeup set that will be available for sale at retailers this fall. The set features bright blue eyeshadow and fake eyelashes in an eye-catching—no pun intended—makeup case decorated with images from "The Simpsons." In addition to being featured at the event, fans could pre-order the kit at the MAC shop near the convention center.

SAPPHIRE Introduces R9 285 Graphics Cards. Three new models include Dual-X and new ITX Compact OC edition‏

SAPPHIRE Technology today announces three new models in is successful R9 series of graphics cards based on the latest GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD.
The SAPPHIRE R9 285 Dual-X is a new model from SAPPHIRE that features a new GCN core and the company’s Dual-X cooler. Dual-X, with its two aerofoil fans, and set of graduated sizes of heatpipes, is an efficient and quiet cooler design which received industry acclaim in previous generations of products. The standard R9 285 model has 2GB of the latest GDDR5 memory clocked at 1375MHz (5.5GB/s effective) and a GCN core with 1792 stream processors clocked at 918MHz. The R9 285 OC model features the enhanced clock speeds of 965MHz for the core and 1400MHz for the memory (5.6GB/s effective).
At the same time SAPPHIRE introduces the R9 285 ITX Compact OC edition. Developed specially for small form factor PC systems, this model features a shorter PCB, measuring only 171mm long, and an efficient heatpipe cooler with a single fan. Sharing the same GCN core as the Dual-X models, the ITX Compact is no slouch with core clocks of 928MHz and memory clocks of 1375MHz (5.5GB/s effective).
All three models share the latest features of AMD GCN, including AMD Trueaudio technology for the most realistic sound reproduction in games, as well as AMD Image quality enhancement, AMD HD Media accelerator and AMD PowerTune for optimum performance. They offer support for the very latest games and applications with DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.4 and the on-board Dual BIOS supports both UEFI and legacy systems.
All three models also support AMD Eyefinity, for multi-screen operation. They are CrossFire ready for accelerated performance using multiple cards in a CrossFire enabled mainboard. No interconnect cables are required as CrossFire is now enabled over the PCI-Express bus.
APP acceleration is also supported for enhanced performance in a wide range of applications using the stream processing capabilities and specific hardware features of the GCN graphics architecture. Typical applications include Video encoding and decoding, compression and multiplexing for media distribution, gaming and video conferencing.  APP acceleration can also enhance everyday tasks such as Internet browsing, Office applications and file compression with supported software suites.
The SAPPHIRE R9 285 series of graphics cards will be available from September 2nd from etailers and retailers worldwide.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

BIOSTAR’s J1800TH - New Mini ITX System-On-Chip Solution

BIOSTAR has announced the J1800TH, a mini ITX mainboard with CPU on board, (known as System on a Chip or SoC). These boards are centered on being small and efficient using a small form factor with an embedded CPU, having low power consumption, and being fan-less. They are perfect for all sorts of various industrial applications.
The BIOSTAR J1800TH is the latest in all-in-one board that takes advantage of the optimized performance of Intel’s Bay Trail chipset by delivering a new generation of technology with value-added features and easy integration.
The J1800TH board, being in the mini-ITX form factor, is backwards compatible with ATX and micro-ATX form factors. The ITX form factor allows you to build small and energy efficient solutions. The J1800TH is a simple, affordable and internet centric computer design in a compact 17x17cm size. It is the ideal solution for an ultra small form factor system and easily used with various chassis makes.
For the Smart Office situation, the J1800TH ITX board will give you a budget saving dual core computing based on the Intel J1800 chips. This is a silent, fan-less design featuring low power consumption. It is perfect for office space saving and creating a neat and tidy office area, and ultra speed data transfers are no problem with the USB 3.0 interface.
With the J1800TH there are a multitude of business applications such as Digital Signage, Thin Clients, Point of Sales units and Kiosks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

ASUS P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L (Intel Avoton) Server Motherboard Review



TweakTown image content/6/5/6599_01_asus_p9a_i_c2550_sas_4l_intel_avoton_server_motherboard_review.jpg

Today, we are going to look at the ASUS P9A-I-C2550-SAS-4L server motherboard, which is based on Intel Atom processor C2000 product family, codenamed Avoton and Rangeley.

The unique feature of this platform is low power use or green design, which allows it to be run with a passive cooling system. This also offers low running cost with power saving features.

Intel's Avoton platform is the next-generation System-On-Chip (SoC), built on Intel's 22-nanometer process technology, which targets NAS, Micro server, entry-level communication and cloud storage markets.

Its compact size makes it ideal for slim form factor appliance servers and desktop type NAS solutions. It is a perfect fit for short depth chassis and increasing the density in a rack to provide higher compute/storage power per rack. Let us get started by looking at the ASUS P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L's retail package.


Packaging


TweakTown image content/6/5/6599_02_asus_p9a_i_c2550_sas_4l_intel_avoton_server_motherboard_review.jpg

Here we look at the front of the retail box. The P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L comes in a simple retail box that can be used for many different types of motherboards. The white sticker at the top describes the contents. The front and back of the box are the same, and there is no difference in the artwork for the sides of the retail box.

TweakTown image content/6/5/6599_03_asus_p9a_i_c2550_sas_4l_intel_avoton_server_motherboard_review.jpg

We get our first look at the contents of the retail box for the P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L. The inside has a nice modular look to it and everything looks nice and clean. There is a motherboard in here, in the section right below the DVD's.

TweakTown image content/6/5/6599_04_asus_p9a_i_c2550_sas_4l_intel_avoton_server_motherboard_review.jpg

Opening the retail box, we can see the accessories on the top. The parts list for the retail box is:

  • 1x Motherboard P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L
  • 2x SATA 6Gb/s cables
  • 1x I/O Shield
  • 1x COM port cable
  • 1x Back COM plate
  • 2x Support DVD's
  • 1x ASWM Enterprise Support DVD

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tesoro Lobera Supreme Full Color Illumination Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review


lobera supremea
   Many attempts have been made in the past from several manufacturers to change the concept behind the keyboard but when you try to change something that has been used by 100% of both PC and MAC users for several decades then the odds are obviously against you. Because of that manufacturers decided to further improve the keyboard instead rather than try and replace it with something else entirely and as you all know the result of that was the introduction of the much sturdier mechanical switches that offered better tactile and audible feedback. However although mechanical switches alone are what professionals around the world look for in a keyboard the same is not the case for gamers who are always on the lookout for something unique to place on their desks. Tesoro may not be one of the old players in the market but they know very well what gamers want and their latest Lobera Supreme Full Color Illumination Mechanical Gaming Keyboard which we have here with us today may actually have what it takes to become one of the best-selling models of 2014.

   Tesoro Technology USA Inc, a team of U.S.A gaming enthusiasts. With the objective of designing unique products specially catered to the gamers. We focused on PC gaming and our mission is to create products with better design, increase and reach for peak performances. In the recent years the gaming industry has developed into the ultra-competitive market that we see today. While we are still a relatively young company, established in 2011. Tesoro will continue to strive for the best and continuously evaluate our performance against the very best of the best. Tesoro could not exist without the gaming community who inspire us to excel in the design and production of our award winning gear. As a gamers company, we will continues to expand into new horizons and push the limits further with each product unveiling. We Strive to develop innovative cutting edge computer gaming peripherals to help improve your gaming experience. We maximize our ability to meet the needs of the fast changing PC gaming industry.

   The Lobera got its name from the "wolfslayer" sword used by Saint Ferdinand the 3rd so right from the start you know that we're talking about one very interesting keyboard model. So for starters the Lobera comes wearing the same mechanical switches by Kailh (Blue/Brown/Black/Red) which we've encountered in the past with the PoseidonZ line of mechanical keyboards by TteSPORTS and features 6/Full N-key rollover, 5 different onboard profiles, 6 different illumination levels for the keys, RGB color illumination and 3 macro keys. It also comes ready with one of the best LED placements I’ve ever seen used on a keyboard to date, two USB 2.0 ports, headphones and microphone 3.5mm jacks, gold plated plugs and a DC power port (USB to DC in) which can provide even extra power to the USB ports (just in case you want to use them with 2.5" PHDs). From the specs sheet to real world use things may not be exactly the same so lets see what Tesoro offers with their latest Lobera Supreme Full Color Illumination Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GeckoEye: Security for Peace of Mind

The new security gadget can be mounted anywhere to protect property or watch over children and pets, and it can be connected to any mobile device or computer.

GeckoEye is the newest innovation in home security devices. The versatile gadget provides around-the-clock safety for the home, office, or car. It can even provide a simple and very secure monitor for babies or pets. To date, GeckoEye has produced several prototypes of the camera and software and has tested them for compatibility. The team plans to perfect the apps and the equipment and get it ready for market launch. To begin mass production, an Indiegogo campaign has commenced. The crowdfunding campaign will end on September 21, 2014, and has a funding goal of $100,000 USD.
GeckoEye is an easy replacement for overpriced and outdated security systems. The new device works together with existing technology and is offered for a much more reasonable price. The cameras can be mounted anywhere and can be connected to a smartphone, tablet, or PC through Wi-Fi and GeckoEye’s proprietary software, GeckoEye Station.
The new smart-home device comes with a motion detector, 2 HD cameras, a highly sensitive microphone, a solar charger, a high capacity battery, a GPS tracker for locating a vehicle, 128 GB onboard storage plus secured cloud storage. Each GeckoEye customer receives 50 GB of free cloud storage. More storage can be purchased. Cloud storage is always secure and encrypted. User authentication is required in order to access it. 
Users are able to check in on their property from afar with the new technology. Videos can be viewed even from the opposite side of the globe. GeckoEye will send immediate alerts to its user through any preferred form of communication, either SMS, Facebook message, or email. The device can be monitored live or videos may be stored and viewed later.
The sleek camera design is made of high quality materials and comes with aluminum or black polycarbonate casing. GeckoEye is offering the security device to its crowdfunding supporters along with the app and 50 GB of cloud storage per year. With a pledge of just $189 USD, a supporter can receive one black camera set. The sleek aluminum design is granted to supporters that pledge $229 USD. Backers can receive 3 camera sets for a discounted price, and retailers can receive a package of 10 camera sets for a 15% discount, which can be sold in stores. To become a supporter of the campaign, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/geckoeye-security-for-peace-of-mind.
About GeckoEye Project:
The GeckoEye Project team consists of software and hardware developers, designers, engineers, and marketing specialists. They strive to develop smart gadgets that create a sense of calmness and safety for their users. GeckoEye, the all-in-one security device, has been under development for seven months. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Eurocom offers TPM and the highest possible graphics support in SLI in the Panther 5 and X7 Mobile Workstations


The EURCOM Panther 5 and EUROCOM X7 are ultra-high performance systems with no performance or security compromise.  Both support up to two graphics processors in SLI or CrossFireX, as well as Quadro, while the Panther 5 supports the most powerful desktop processors on earth, while the X7 supports the most powerful mobile processors on earth combined with Thunderbolt technology.  Trusted Platform Modules are supported to provide a fundamental aspect to IT security: the root of trust. Embedded into these systems, the TPM provides a proven, safe foundation for more secure computing.

“Video game design teams from all over the world require the highest possible graphics cards such as dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M cards combined with TPM chips for security in a single, mobile system with Thunderbolt technology.  We are seeing a great deal of interest in the EUROCOM X7 and EUROCOM Panther 5 from game developers who need a secure, mobile system with the capability of their desktop” Mark Bialic, Eurocom President.

The EUROCOM Panther 5 and X7 are enterprise class system for professionals creating, studying and manipulating sensitive information, because of this security is essential. Eurocom equipped the Panther 5 and X7 with Trusted Platform Module 1.2 (TPM), finger print reader and Kensington lock port.

Many of our customers utilize their EUROCOM Panther 5 and X7 system for game development, engineering, design, software development and other activities that involve valuable intellectual property information. Due to this, we feel the need to provide them with the utmost in secure computing to keep their information and livelihood safe and secure.

EUROCOM X7
Eurocom offers professionals, gamers and enthusiasts total control of their fully customizable EUROCOM X7; single or dual NVIDIA GeForce, Quadro or AMD Radeon graphics can team up with an optional 32GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, Intel Core i7 Extreme Processors, RAID 0/1/5 capability with SSD, HDD and mSATA support to create blazing mobile performance.

The Thunderbolt port on the X7 provides unprecedented expansion capabilities, transforming the EUROCOM X7 into a complete desktop workstation.

The EUROCOM X7 is perfect for High Performance Computing on the go, it is VGA upgradeable in order to meet future performance and technology needs of users.   Being fully customizable and amazingly flexible, the X7 can be filled with a plethora of top quality, high performance technology to fit a variety of needs.

Personalize your own X7 weapon with a custom backlit keyboard, with 7 colours, 3 zones and 8 modes. A sleek, customizable light illuminates the keyboard, hinting at the power held within the aggressively designed chassis.

The X7 supports beautiful full high definition 1920x1080 matte displays and 120 hz panels are also available. High definition audio, ONKYO sound and Sounds Blaster X-Fi enables users to hear the enemy creeping right up behind them.

EUROCOM Panther 5
The EUROCOM Panther 5 is a workstation and server class notebook with support for Intel Core i7 4000 and Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors, up to I7-4960X Extreme Edition and Xeon E5-2697 v2, 6 Terabytes of storage support, 32 GB DDR3-1600 support via 4 memory modules, RAID 0/1/5/10 and a 1 hour battery life.

The EUROCOM Panther was awarded the 2013 Intel Form Factor Solution Innovation Award for delivering the most innovative mobile solution based on Intel Technology to meet our customers’ demands for mobility. Eurocom corporation successfully conquered the challenge of, packing an appropriate amount of processing capability, storage capacity, memory, and back-up battery into a sub-12 pound form factor, by outfitting a desktop replacement chassis with the highest quality components, including the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 series, Intel® S3700 solid state drives and 32 GB memory – chosen for their ability to support both workstation and server-class operations. The EUROCOM Panther super computer has the performance capabilities of a datacenter server in a portable form factor, complete with workstation tools such as keyboard and monitor.

Solid State, Hybrid, or Enterprise level drives with RAID capability are supported in the Panther. With support for up to four 1.5 terabyte storage drives, the Panther is able to offer 6 terabytes of storage. RAID 0,1,5,10 capability gives users the ultimate in performance or redundancy.  For the most demanding customers Eurocom offers the highest performance Intel and Micron SSDs including the new Intel enterprise SATA 6Gb/s Intel DC S3700 800GB HET MLC SSD.

EUROCOM X7 Specifications
Display: 17.3-inch FHD 1920-by-1080 with Glossy (Glare) or Matte (Non-Glare); 120Hz Optional; LED Backlit
Chipset: Intel HM87 Mobile Express (Haswell)
Processor: 4th Generation Intel Mobile Core i7 4xxx series; up to i7-4940MX Extreme with O/C support
Memory: up to 32GB; DDR3L-1600/1866; 4 RAM sockets
VGA Technology: two MXM 3.0b slots; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 870M, 860M, 780M, 770M and 765M or AMD Radeon R9-M290X; supports both SLI and CrossFire; NVIDIA Quadro K5100M, K3100M and K1100M
Storage: up to 5 drives; 2x HDD/SSD (SATA3) + 2x mSATA (SATA3) + 1x HDD/SSD via ODD Bay (SATA2); RAID 0/1/5/10
Card Reader: 9-in-1 MMC/RSMMC/SD/miniSD/SDHC/SDXC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo
Optical Drive: DVD-RW, Blu Ray-RW or extra HDD/SSD
Keyboard: Iluminated, backlit with customizable 7-colours
Security: TPM 1.2, Fingerprint and Kensington Lock
Webcam: two webcams: 5M (front cover) and 1M (backcover); FHD
Audio System: Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3; external 7.1CH audio output; headphone out, microphone in, S/PDIF and Line-in port; two built-in ONKYO Speakers (2.2W)+ Subwoofer (2.5W)
Ports: 1x Thunderbolt; 1x DP 1.2 (via Thunderbolt port) 1x HDMI out; 1x eSATA/USB 3.0; 4x USB 3.0 (1x Powered USB AC/DC); 1x USB 2.0; S/PDIF; Headphone; Mic; Line-in; RJ45 (LAN)
Weight and dimensions: 4.0kg (8.8lbs); WxDxH 419x295x42-54.8mm (16.76x11.8x1.68-2.19")

EUROCOM Panther 5 Specifications
Display: 17.3-inch FHD 1920-by-1080-pixels; 60Hz, 120Hz or 3D 120Hz Wide Viewing Angle; Glossy or Matte; LED Backlit
Core Logic: Intel C600/X79 Express Chipset
Processor: up to Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition or XEON E5-2600 v2 series; LGA2011
VGA/Graphics TECHNOLOGY: Modular MXM 3.0b; NVIDIA: GTX 880M, GTX 870M, GTX 780M, GTX 770M, GTX 680M, GTX 675MX, GTX 670MX (Kepler); QUADRO K5100M, K4100M, K3100M, K2100M; AMD Radeon R9-M290X; supports both SLI and CrossFireX
Memory: up to 32GB; DDR3-1333/1600/1866; four physical SODIMM sockets
Expansion: Built-in ExpressCard 34/54 slot
Storage: up to 6TB of storage with four physical SSD, Hybrid or HDD, RAID 0/1/5/10 support; SATA 6Gb/s
Optical Drive Bay: DVD-RW or Blu Ray Burner or 4th HDD/SSD
I/O Ports: 3x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.0; eSATA; Firewire-800 (TI XIO2221ZAY); DisplayPort v1.2; DVI-I (SL); HDMI 1.4a out w/HDCP; Headphone; Microphone; S/PDIF out; Line-in; RJ-45 / LAN
Communication: built-in 10/100/1000Mb Base-TX Ethernet LAN (Intel 82579V); WLAN (optional); Bluetooth v2.1+EDR (optional); 2M Video Webcam (built-in)
Security: TPM 1.2; Fingerprint, Kensington Lock
Keyboard: Backlit; full-size with separate numeric keypad; W/A/S/D gaming key; built-in touchpad with multi-gesture and scrolling functions; 6 touch sensor instant buttons: Volume Up/Down, Mute, WLAN, BT, Webcam
Weight/Dimensions: 5.5kg (12.1lbs); 419(W)x286(D)x57.9-62.1(H)mm (16.76x11.44x2.31-2.48inch)