In the ever-growing age of Esports, players and teams simply look for the best and fastest peripherals. Whether it’s a gaming monitor or a dedicated gaming keyboard, the hardware needs to keep up. As such, Razer stepped up to the plate with a product they claim to be the fastest gaming mouse in the world. And, it’s all thanks to the innovative technologies behind it.
Meet the Razer Viper 8KHz, Razer’s more advanced version of their classic Viper gaming mouse. In terms of its overall look and build, nothing much is different. It still features the prominent green Razer logo at the bottom, with programmable buttons at the side of it. Also, it supports Razer’s Chroma RGB lighting software for the sweet rainbow of colors during gameplay.
However, when you tear it all down, the Viper 8KHz comes with much improved hardware. Inside, it comes with Razer’s 2nd generation optical switches powered by its HyperPolling Technology. In essence, this is what gives the mouse its whopping 8,000Hz polling rate for faster and more precise input. For competitive gamers, this mouse can cut down input lag to 1/8th of a milisecond, meaning near zero delay in clicks — quite essential for shooter games.
The Razer Viper 8KHz is now available on the official website and authorized resellers at US$ 79.99.
The global chip shortage could last till 2023
Put your plans for a PC build on hold!
The Coronavirus pandemic prompted everybody to leave the “normal” behind and adopt a completely new lifestyle. With everyone moving to the work-from-home model, the demand for new computers, phones, and other gadgets skyrocketed, bringing another crisis to our doorstep — global chip shortage.
The world’s largest chipmaker TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), announced its quarterly results this week, posting a profit of almost US$ 5 billion. This marks a 19 percent rise in profit when compared to the previous quarter. The announcement is good news for the investors, but it also highlights how long the shortage will continue.
TSMC CEO C.C. Wei said that the company hopes to offer more capacity and meet the demand by 2023. That’s two years away. And that’s after gearing up to spend a whopping US$ 100 billion in the next three years to ramp up production.
American chipmaker Intel has been plagued with production issues for the last few years and recently disclosed that it would spend US$ 20 billion to set up two new facilities in Arizona, US. However, these production sites take time to come up and can’t be just switched on in a few months.
Things aren’t looking good
Even Nvidia isn’t very optimistic about a recovery from the chip shortage anytime soon. “Overall demand remains very strong and continues to exceed supply while our channel inventories remain quite lean,” the company said in its press release. “We expect demand to continue to exceed supply for much of this year.”
Nvidia also has a brand new challenge — the demand for GPUs has skyrocketed ever since Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies started their bullish run in 2020. Cryptocurrency evangelists are constantly on the lookout for new gear, further amplifying the chip shortage.
The current state of component availability looks grim, affecting everything from the availability of new graphics cards to processors to next-gen PlayStations and Xboxes. The ripple effects of the shortage are being felt by every technology company, including giants like Apple.
Why owning a mechanical keyboard is worth it
Even for non-gamers
The first time I came across a mechanical keyboard, I thought I didn’t need it. A gamer friend made me try it once, and although I was impressed with how smooth my typing was, I thought: spending more than a thousand bucks for a typing device is too expensive.
Back then, I was actually eyeing a flat, minimalist wireless keyboard to add to my ~aesthetic~ work-from-home set-up.
It was not until my Discord friends–who even sent me video links of ASMR typing sounds and did live typing demos during our video calls–that I actually gave in and considered buying one.
After days of researching to find the perfect fit for me, I finally decided to get the Royal Kludge 71 with blue switches. The brand is popular among enthusiasts because it’s beginner-friendly, and has good specifications for a budget–friendly price.
I even bought a Gateron sampler (a keyboard sampler where you can try different switches) online to help me decide between blue and brown.
It can increase your productivity
As a writer who literally types words for a living, there’s added pleasure in typing when I started using a mechanical keyboard. There’s this illusion that you are using a modern typewriter, and I admit it somehow increased my productivity.
Of course, the typing feel can be subjective for everyone, but the click-y sound suited my preference well that it gave me added motivation whenever I type.
Another thing I love about these keyboards is the programmable RGB lighting feature. When I bought my personal laptop, the only thing that was missing for me was the backlit keyboard, since I have tendencies to write in the dark.
Owning a mechanical keyboard with an RGB feature has become very helpful, since it keeps me up when I do my work at night. Not to mention, the different RGB modes are actually entertaining–I tend to watch the lights dance whenever I’m bored.
It’s kind of therapeutic
Apart from the satisfying beauty of RGB lighting and click-y sound, another thing I love about mechanical keyboards is the therapeutic feeling whenever I clean the keycaps.
Since I bought the white version, my keyboard is a magnet for dirt and can be easily stained so it needs consistent cleaning. Removing the keycaps one by one is oddly satisfying that it has become one of my therapeutic hobbies every weekend.
Definitely worth the investment
As of this writing, I have only tried three keyboard brands and I can say that the Royal Kludge has a higher actuation force compared to the others, so it can be tiring after long periods of time.
The RK71 white variant looks very clean and minimalist, especially in photos. I haven’t bought any keycaps to customize my keyboard (I am very tempted, though), but maybe that’s for another time. I am willing to save up for another keyboard with new switches, since the blue ones can be annoying especially if you don’t work alone.
Is mechanical keyboard a match for you?
If you’re like me who spends lots of time typing in front of the computer, then it’s a resounding yes.
There are lots of mechanical keyboard variants–there are ones with and without number pads, and there’s the click-y and silent switches. There are also cheaper ones compared to the one I got, so make sure to read and watch reviews. For those with higher budget, aim for the big guns like Anne Pro and Keychron–these are highly recommended by most enthusiasts.
Looking for “the one” can be overwhelming at first, but trust me, it’s fun and interesting. It can be addictive, too. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Dell launches SafeShutter webcam for convenience, privacy
No more sticky notes for webcam privacy
With video conferencing becoming a staple in everyday work lives, Dell has announced SafeShutter — an automatic webcam shutter that knows when to open or close by syncing with users’ video conferencing applications, enabling them to work securely and confidently from anywhere.
Many remote workers today have resorted to permanently affixing a sticky note to computer cameras to ensure webcam privacy while working. It doesn’t need to be this way.
SafeShutter was created with remote working scenarios in mind — to strike the right balance between the convenience of seamlessly joining video calls and the privacy and the safety of knowing the camera is secure.
Human error is inevitable when it comes to video conferencing, be it speaking while still on mute or thinking the camera is turned off when it isn’t. SafeShutter creates an audible “click” that lets users know the camera has closed. The webcam also comes with a privacy LED light that turns on when the camera is in use. Paired with the keyboard indicator lights that denote if the camera and audio are on or off, users can rest assured they are in full control of their audio and video settings. No sticky note needed!
SafeShutter also factors in the need for added security aimed at limiting malicious surveillance and hacking. The security-hardened, hardware-controlled circuit allows users to control their privacy with camera disable (F9) and mic mute (F4) keys to override software settings. This provides extra assurance at the hardware level and ensures users can regain control with just a simple touch of a key, should the unexpected occur.
SafeShutter is available on the industry’s most secure commercial PCs and the new Latitude 9420 and 9520 devices. Combined with AI-based features that provide intelligent background noise-cancelling, auto-mute and smart connectivity features (like ExpressConnect, that prioritises bandwidth to your conferencing apps to prevent dropped calls), the Latitude 9420 and 9520 devices offer one of the best video conferencing experiences on a PC.
Pricing and availability
- Dell Latitude 9420 — April 2021 — Pricing TBD
- Dell Latitude 9520 — Available now — SG$ 2,629
All products are available for purchase online at dell.com.sg and the Dell exclusive stores in Funan Mall, NEX and Plaza Singapura.
This is a press release from Dell Singapore.
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