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Review Of The Roccat Isku Keyboard

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Roccat (pronounced like rocket) is a German company that has been making huge waves in the PC gaming scene across the pond in Europe. Now they have moved across the water and are bombarding our shores with top quality products.  We have been given the chance to try out one of the firms best keyboards, the Isku, and put it through its paces. Can this company knock off the big boys like Razer? Read on to find out.

The Isku is a very different beast from the last keyboard we tested, the Razer BlackWidow Tournament. Where the Razer is a stripped down portable unit designed to be used on the go, the Isku is a fully loaded piece of hardware. The Isku features a full size layout with number pad and built in wrist wrest. The keys are fully backlit and feature an intensity adjustment.

To make sure this keyboard can cash the gaming check its crazy looks have written it comes with 36 Macro keys. The keys can all be adjusted and changed on the fly. With so many Macro keys we were able to put them to other uses beyond gaming. We had a few keys set to input frequent user names for websites. When it came time to game the macros were great, and the ability to change them without entering into a complicated configuration program was a godsend. There are also five fully configurable profiles so you can set up macros for each of your favorite games. All-in there are 180 different macros you can set.

When we tested the Razer BlackWidow, we fell in love with its mechanical keys, and have since made it our daily driver, but we forgot how nice it is to use a backlit key keyboard. The blue light glowing from under the keys of the Isku helps us find our way around in the dark. Even during daylight gaming, having the extra light on the keys makes them much easier to see and improves our speed in finding the right key.

While the backlit keys are a superior improvement over the Razer, the lack of the mechanical keys is a demerit for the Roccat Isku. If you have never had the pleasure of banging away at a set of mechanical switches, you will be perfectly at home with the Isku. The keys are solid and have good feedback, but the travel is a little shallow. We have just become too accustomed to the solid and clickety feeling of our Cherry MX switches.

Those mechanical keys are about the only pro to choosing the Razer over the Roccat though. With a full suite of dedicated media keys, the full number pad, more macros than you know what to do with, and superb backlighting, the Isku is one of the best keyboards we have ever had the pleasure of gaming with.

The Isku does more than just make your gaming life easier, it makes life easier in general. If you flip the keyboard over, you are greeted with a large collection of indents and troughs cut into the underside. This is a cable management system that allows you to route a mouse cable under the keyboard to keep everything on your desk neat and tidy. Details like this are what separates the best from the rest.

The truth is that we would have a hard time trying to choose between the Isku and the Razer. On one hand we love our mechanical keys, and wouldn’t trade them for the world. That said, we spend far more time typing than we do gaming, so our needs are skewed. The fully backlit keys and customizable macros of the Isku are leagues ahead of ahead of many competitors. Our dream set of keys would be the Isku with a full set of mechanical switches.

Pros: Great backlighting and macro key functionality. Large and comfortable to use.

Cons: Lack of mechanical keys, styling may too garish for some.

Score 8/10

Christian is the Technology and Gaming guru of Guys Gab, and he also happens to be damn great with auto coverage as well. Big dreams and big enthusiasm are great ways to describe Christian. As a writer he strives to bring concise information together with quick wit to create an enjoyable and informative experience for his audience. When not writing he can be found trying to complete his life goal of becoming a race car driving, astronaut, rock-star. Big dreams indeed.

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Here’s How To Stay Secure While Using Free Wi-Fi In Public

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Raise your hand if you’ve connected to a free Wi-Fi network while you’re out.

Yes, we’ve all done it. But what most people don’t realize is that when you connect to that free Wi-Fi, you are hopping onto an open network, which leaves your computer vulnerable to hackers who can intercept your potentially sensitive information with a few clicks of their keyboard.

That’s right. When you fire up your laptop at Starbucks and log into Gmail, there’s nothing to stop a nefarious person who’s nearby from using some simple software to get your password. But that’s not even the worst of it. If you purchase something on the Internet while on public Wi-Fi, someone could steal your credit card info!

In fact, this happened to my girlfriend just last week, despite my constant warnings to her about just this thing. Lucky for her, her credit card company noticed some suspicious activity on her account and contacted her to verify these transactions. Turns out, she had ordered some shoes from Nordstrom’s website while sipping on an Iced Caffe Mocha at Starbucks a few weeks ago, and someone snagged her CC#.

So how do you keep yourself safe when using public Wi-Fi?

If you absolutely must connect to Wi-Fi, consider these security tips to keep prying eyes out of your devices:

  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi to shop online, log in to your financial institution, or access other sensitive sites.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create a network-within-a-network, which keeps all of your data encrypted. There’s a comprehensive explanation on how VPNs work here.
  • Only visit websites with HTTPS encryption when you’re in public places.
  • Turn off the automatic Wi-Fi connectivity feature on your phone so it won’t seek out hotspots.
  • Buy an unlimited data plan for your device and stop using public Wi-Fi altogether.

Hopefully these tips will help you guys stay safe out there when you’re surfing on a free Wi-Fi network. If you have any other questions, please leave me a comment below.

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Computers

Razer’s Project Linda Turns Your Phone Into A Laptop

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Razer Project Linda

Last January, Razer wowed the crowds at CES with an impressive triple-screen gaming laptop, and this year they are back with another innovative concept, the Razer Project Linda, a 13.3-inch laptop design powered by the company’s Android-based Razer Phone.

Razer’s Project Linda laptop seamlessly docks the Razer Phone inside its chassis where a touchpad would normally reside and connects with the press of a button. The phone’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 8GB of RAM deliver responsive performance, instantly transforming it into an Android laptop. The Razer Phone 5.7-inch display can be used as a touchpad, or as a second screen for access to apps, tools, and more.

Razer Project Linda

“Android power users and laptop enthusiasts share a need for performance in a mobile form factor, which we provide with our award-winning Razer Phone and Razer laptops,” says Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “Project Linda combines the best of both worlds, bringing a larger screen and physical keyboard to the Android environment, enhancing the experience for gaming and productivity.”

This is a great idea in concept, and it may actually hint at the future of the computer as we know it. Use your smartphone for the basics, like surfing the web, social media, games and apps. And when you need to be more productive, simply place the Razer Phone into the “dock” so you can write long e-mails and do other productive things where you’d benefit from a larger screen and keyboard.

Razer Project Linda

We’ve seen a few products try this before (like The Superbook, which raised nearly $3 million on Kickstarter), but if there’s anyone who seems poised to pull this off, it’s Razer. It should be interesting to see if Razer will move forward with Project Linda, or if it’s just another CES concept that never sees the light of day.

For more information on Razer’s Project Linda concept, visit razerzone.com/projectlinda.

Photo credit: Razer

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Computers

The Azulle Byte3 Mini PC Proves That Good Things Come In Small Packages

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Byte3 Fanless Mini Desktop PC

Back in the day, I had this bulky, awkward computer in my living room that I used to stream movies and other content onto my big-screen TV. And while it worked great, it really ruined the aesthetics of the room.

Thankfully, computers have come a long way since then, getting smaller and more powerful over the years. A perfect case in point is the sleek and lean Azulle Byte3 Fanless Mini PC, which is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet powerful enough to tackle anything you throw its way.

Despite its small stature, the Byte3 packs quite a punch, with a 64-bit Quad-Core Intel Apollo Lake processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage (with a Micro SD card slot that accept up to 256GB). Hook it up to a TV or monitor, and you’ve got a lightning-fast computer that looks right at home in your living room or on your desk, and thanks to its fanless design, it’s whisper quiet to boot.

Sure, with the Byte3 you can browse the web, check e-mails, do online banking, and shop online. But with 4K at 60 FPS, you can also stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other video services without breaking a sweat. Or use Microsoft Office to complete any business, school, or leisure-time task. Heck, you can even connect a webcam to your mini PC and make video calls on the big screen.

As you can see, the Byte3 has a wide variety of ports that enable you to connect a wide range of peripherals. I kept things simple, hooking up the mini PC to my 50″ TV via HDMI, and connecting my Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse over Bluetooth. Once that was done, I was off and running.

Overall, I was really impressed with the Byte3. It’s a fantastic little computer that will do almost anything you need it to do, despite it’s tiny footprint. Without a doubt, the Azulle Byte3 is the feather-weight champion of fast, functional, user-friendly and affordable technology. At it’s quite a bargain at just $199.99.

What do you think of the Azulle Byte3 Fanless Mini PC?

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