Accessories

Razer Thresher and Raiju Ultimate Hands-on: Splendid gaming combo

Badass gaming accessories

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If there’s one thing Razer is really good at, it’s making gaming accessories that are both stylish and edgy. The Razer Thresher headset as well as the Raiju Ultimate controller for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) are primary examples of this.

Headset you can wear for hours

At first glance, the Razer Thresher looks like it would weigh heavily on your head. This is not the case. Despite its bulky exterior, this headset is lightweight and extremely comfortable.

The four-inch earcups cover a good portion of your ears and it feels like a headset you can wear for hours. It neither feels too tight nor to loose.

Setup is pretty straight forward, too. Simply plug the accompanying USB stick to the PS4’s USB port, turn on the headset, and it should work with no hiccups.

Immersive audio

Audio quality is right about what you’d expect from a US$ 150 headset. The earcups lend nicely to making the sound feel immersive as you game. When I played Marvel’s Spider-Man with these on, it almost felt like it was me swinging around New York with how much of the environment I could hear.

This headset also has a mouthpiece that’s perfect for co-op games, but since I don’t really play those kinds of games, I wasn’t able to try the headset in that setting. It does record good audio though, so you can opt to use it for that.

Although it’s labeled as an accessory for the PS4, it will work with any device that has a USB port. I used the headset on my MacBook Pro and it worked just fine.

Feels drastically different from the DualShock 4

At first glance, you would even think that the Raiju Ultimate controller was made for the Xbox One. It bears so much resemblance to that console’s controller which is why I felt a little iffy using it.

Most of my console gaming has been spent wielding DualShock controllers. I did try the Xbox but my personal preference is still the controllers bundled with the PlayStation consoles through the years.

That said, I didn’t completely hate the Raiju Ultimate experience. I did have trouble playing NBA 2K19 because the buttons weren’t responding the way they usually would on a regular DualShock 4 controller. This had a significant effect on my game as I wasn’t knocking down the shots I normally would.

The Raiju Ultimate controller comes with a sleek carrying case

Using the Raiju Ultimate led to a close game and a loss against Marvin. We played twice more but I shifted back to the DualShock 4 and proceeded to dominate him on NBA 2K19 like I normally do. (Editor’s note: “Dominate” is such a strong word.)

It comes with an app

The Raiju Ultimate also comes with an app to customize the extra four shoulder buttons. It has four presets to choose from: Sports, Shooter, Fighting, and Racing.

Instead of using the Sports the preset, I tried the other ones but still got the same result. This wasn’t the case when I played Marvel’s Spider-Man. In fact, it was pretty fluid and the shoulder buttons which you end up using a lot in this game responded seamlessly.

If you want a little bit more of customization, you can add a profile and assign specific functions for each shoulder button depending on the game you’re playing. I imagine it being helpful in games wherein you’re asked to press two buttons at the same time. You can just assign those to buttons to a single shoulder button — pretty handy.

Perfect tandem?

While I did have some trouble with the Raiju Ultimate, that was only in one game. Granted it’s probably the game I play the most, I didn’t have the same troubles in other games.

I had a blast playing Marvel’s Spider-Man using this combo. The game felt a lot closer than when I first played it thanks to the Razer Thresher, and the mechanical feel of the Raiju Ultimate really grows on you as you play.

This pair probably isn’t for everyone but if you want a little boost for your gaming experience, I wouldn’t think twice about copping these.

Accessories

These Danbo power banks are the cutest things

They come in all colors and sizes, too!

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When I visited Japan last week, my favorite tech find involved an iconic Japanese manga character called Danbo.

These colorful bricks manufactured by Cheero are actually power banks featuring our favorite cardboard robot character.

There’s even a Nyanbo version which, you guessed it, has cat ears. It’s adorable!

Special edition variants are also available with other designs. Believe it or not, the Danbo on the right is covered in gold.

And because they come in different sizes, they also offer different capacities ranging from 3000mAh to 13400mAh. I got the 13400mAh version and it’s surprisingly very light, compact, and of course, cute.

Aside from these power banks, there are other Danbo accessories…

Literally the cutest car charger and power adapter I have ever seen.

Unfortunately for the rest of the world, these babies are only available in Japan. Order them from the Cheero website here.

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Accessories

USB 4 announced, delivers Thunderbolt 3 speeds and versatility

Time to bring the best traits together

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And just like that, USB 4 has been announced. It’s the successor to the now ubiquitous USB 3.x standard, and it reportedly uses the reversible USB-C port we’ve come to love.

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) defined the specifications, which include 40 gigabits per second (Gbps) data transfer speeds — basically what Thunderbolt 3 has been offering on select laptops for a few years now.

What makes USB 4 different from the Intel-owned Thunderbolt 3 is that it’s open source, meaning any manufacturer can use it without going through Intel or extra fees. This would lead to wider adoption and a more universal standard for all devices.

Aside from the speed boost, USB 4 allows daisy-chaining 4K monitors and external storage units, as well as up to 100W charging. More importantly, it supports external GPUs, so you can plug a graphics card to your lightweight laptop through an enclosure in order to enjoy high-quality graphics.

The biggest downside is that this will take a long time to roll out; it’s estimated that implementation will begin late this year.

In addition, since you can’t simply update your current USB 3.1 ports, you’ll have to buy a new laptop or motherboard to enjoy the benefits. It’s also possible that you’ll need a new set of cables.

You can learn more about the confusing world of USB in our explainers found here and here.

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Accessories

The Atmotube Pro is a keychain that will track air quality anywhere you go

One step closer to cleaner air

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It’s easy to protect loved ones from things you can see. But, how about things you can’t?

The Atmotube Pro is here to help.


This tiny device, a lightweight machine that fits the palm of your hand, is a portable air quality tracker. It basically allows you to track the air status anywhere you go. You can even set alarms when pollution reaches a certain level.

But, let’s backtrack a little bit. Why is this important? Simple: Even when we can’t see it, air pollution can be detrimental to our health — especially to younger kids who are more susceptible to damage to their developing respiratory systems.

The Atmotube Pro tracks all the bad stuff in the air, down to the smallest and most dangerous ones (PM1) and lets you know when you or your loved ones are at risk. It also records your day-to-day air quality levels and features an Air Quality Map from aggregated user info which shows you a global air quality map. This will help make sure you can avoid dangerous areas, and don’t worry, the data is anonymous so your privacy is protected.

Aside from that, this handy keychain also features an altimeter and a barometer for alerts on weather changes…

… and also a temperature and humidity log. Imagine having all this information at hand all the time. This would definitely be a godsend to those who are easily affected by these external factors.

The Atmotube checks air conditions every 15 minutes and battery time will supposedly last 12 days on this setting. Honestly, not surprised as I’ve only fully charged this thing once since I got it and haven’t had to plug it in yet. You can also set it to be constantly checking (one-day battery life), or set up a custom schedule.

This device mostly detects and measures surroundings, but it also gives you tips and info on how to ensure your surroundings are in tip-top condition. The Atmotube retails for US$ 189, or US$ 131 if you pre-order now. It starts shipping next month.

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