Dell Precision M4500 – Is it the most powerful laptop?

It is advertised by Dell as the world’s most powerful 15.6-inch laptop, and after one detailed look at it, not many would differ in their opinion. Featuring support for such powerful processors such as the Intel i7, the Precision M4500 aims for the top, and let’s see what it actually has to offer. Tested and reviewed here is the Dell Precision M4500 featuring the following specifications: Intel Core-i7 620M, clocking in at 2.67 GHz, Nvidia Quadro FX 1800M graphics with 1 GB of dedicated memory, and 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. Additional features are introduced later on.

The Precision M4500, at first look, appears as if it has dropped in from another generation. With old fashioned industrial looks, the M4500 is a very durable workhorse, enclosing loads of hardware and awesome computing power in its heavy, 3.2-kilo frame. The first thing that is visible to the eye is a fingerprint scanner, right next to the keyboard. The keyboard, by the way, is backlit. The fingerprint scanner, which is optional, can be used to disable hardware as well, adding the highest levels of security to the business user. The M4500 was also designed keeping the business user in mind, and just by removing five screws, you can have access to the RAM, hard drive, SSD MiniCard, and wireless cards that are available inside. The other parts, however, are not user-serviceable and are not accessible. Well, not intentionally, at least.

The backlit keyboard (again, an option), is an absolute beauty, with evenly-spaced keys, and with no jitteriness or any kind of sound at all. The excellent keyboard is complemented by an equally good mouse, with just the perfect amount of lag during rapid movements. It uses proprietary Dell touchpad drivers and is just as good as the keyboard. Coming to music, the M4500 includes a pair of 1-inch speakers that are placed on either side of the keyboard, and direct music towards the user, and are of very good quality, with decent bass capability. Watching movies and playing games won’t be any problem. The other physical functionalities include both a PC Card and an Express Card slot that can be used for expansion and attaching external peripherals, plus 4 USB ports. Storage is provided with a 500 GB hard disk, and the DVD writer is a Blu-ray disc drive, thus ensuring easy playback and recording of high definition content.

The operating system is the 64-bt version of Windows 7 Ultimate, with option for Windows XP Professional downgrade, intended solely for business users who prefer XP. Webcam and microphone are integrated, and so is Bluetooth. Networking is convenient thanks to speedy Gigabit Ethernet, 02.11 Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), 802.11i (WPA2), Virtual Private Networks (VPN) 802.1x with EAP modes and all of these are compatible with CCX 4.0. It looks like every kind of connectivity is supported.

The Dell Precision M4500 can be a mean machine when handled the correct way, and with availability for the optional Intel Core i7-920XM Quad Core processor Extreme Edition, it leaves little doubt regarding its “world’s most powerful 15.6-inch laptop” status. There is also an option for a 3 MP camera! All said, this is one laptop that is worth every pence, and definitely the wisest choice for a user who is looking for awesome features, amazing capability and performance all combined in one.

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No matter how powerful a laptop can be, it’s all about its battery life. Dell owners are welcome to check the latest range of Dell laptop batteries in our store.


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Toshiba Unveils WiMAX Ready Models: Satellite E205 M645 A665, Portégé R705

Geeks are buzzing about the recent release of the Toshiba Satellite E205, M645, A665, and Portege R705! Why?
WiMAX  ToshibaThe devices are the first Toshiba models to have the ability to give you a maximum of laptop connectivity no matter where you are. The new lines feature the 4G WiMax technology which lets users have the best of upload speeds and maximum unplugged connectivity. What that means is that you can do all of your computing from wherever you are, regardless of the connection or if you are in or out of your home or office.

The Toshiba Satellite A665 has the same styling as the Fusion X2 torch but it has a much improved multimedia ability that lets users get the maximum benefit from high definition. Using an HD Trubrite widescreen display this is the perfect machine for those who edit or watch a lot of video. The audio package and the Intel Core processor complete the package and with the WiMAX 4 on it, you won’t be left entertainment deprived ever again.

The Satellite M645 is more of an on the go machine. This laptop has great multimedia capabilities and looks great. With a 14-inch TruBrite HD screen and a Harman/Kardon audio package, the notebook does the multimedia job right and delivers everything you could hope. Dolby Advanced Audio will bring the soundtracks alive for you. Easy to carry and intuitive to use.

The Portégé R705-P35 has a 13.3 inch widescreen that looks great and does all you need it to. This machine is ultra portable and has a long battery life. Weighing just three pounds and only one inch thick, it also has the WiMAX 4 technology option available. The clarity, sound, and display are amazing for a laptop this small and the price is great since it starts at right around £550.

Finally, the Satellite E205 is a thin and light option for the executive or developer on the go. A 14-inch backlit display lets you use it without hurting your eyes and makes this an ideal machine for those who do a lot of reading from the screen. The chic slot-loaded DVD drive makes for a nice addition too. Using the HD Tru-Brite technology and an Intel Core i5 processor, this lapotp is fast and has plenty of optional upgrades that can make life easier for you.

All four machines are excellent laptop values and the WiMax 4G technology is the wave of the future. Starting in November, Sprint and Clearwire will launch the WiMax service in the US. Expect the rest of the USA and the world to follow. Taiwan recently boosted the budget to develop the 4G technology and high tech nations like Japan and South Korea already have it in place in some cities.

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Our research and development unit already rolled out the chargers and batteries for the above models amongst the range of other Toshiba laptop chargers.


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HP Pavilion dv6-3085ea – No Intel?

Probably one of the very few laptops actually NOT featuring any of Intel’s parts inside, the HP Pavilion dv6-3085ea is one 15.6-inch laptop that guarantees a second look. It features the AMD 785GX chipset that supports the AMD Phenom II P920 CPU, which runs at a slow 1.6 GHz, however, the use of four cores makes performance excellent. Also, the processor is backed up by 4 GB of RAM, which makes sure performance is top notch. Weighing in at 2.5 kilos, the dv6-3085ea is built very sturdily, with a metal-edged chassis and minimal design, and has everything that one can expect out of an HP machine.

The USP of this particular laptop, however, is its capability of seamlessly switching to and from 2 different modes for graphics, especially for battery life. That means, when you plug in, or plug out the laptop, an application called ATi Power Xpress comes up, asking whether you want to switch from the high power graphics to low power, or vice versa. Now the reason behind this is that because the dv6 uses a dedicated ATI 5650 GPU, the battery life is likely to be affected on the road, and hence the option. Also, if you select the low power version, though serious gaming won’t be possible, basic features like the Aero interface and multitasking are still possible. The 4400mAh HP dv6 battery allows the machine to perform really well even in the high power mode.

Now moving on to other features. The dv6-3085ea has got VGA and HDMI output sockets at the sides. The other ports provided are an Ethernet port, a multi-format card reader, 3.5mm sockets for headphones and a mic and 4 USB ports, two on either side of the laptop. There’s a DVD rewritable drive too. Storage is provided by a 500 GB on-board hard disk. The operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit. The 1,366×768-pixel, 15.6-inch display is vibrant, projecting various colors really well. The keyboard is a good one, and has a column of shortcut buttons included at the left-hand side. These shortcut buttons provide quick access to commonly-used services, such as the internet, e-mail, etc. A special mention is deserved by the fingerprint reader, which can be used as a security measure as well as a shortcut for opening up some software directly (a really good addition for a laptop in this range).

Having seen all the good features, it is only fair that we look at the two things that dull things a bit, if not more. One is the mouse – the trackpad is so sensitive, just a mere touch delivers double-clicks, and sometimes, it’s the other way around. A bit messy. The other thing is the shortcut keys on the keyboard. These keys look more like normal keys, and can be confusing for beginners. Though not a major problem, this is something HP should have looked in to. The battery life clocks in at a meager 73 minutes with the CPU running at a constant 100%. Of course, the battery time will extend pretty much depending on the usage, but that is the benchmark. The charging time is around 3.5 hours by the standard HP dv6 charger which is included in the package.

Overall, the dv6-3085ea is a very decent laptop, offering very good and quality features, and the only thing that people on-the-road might worry about is the battery life. Apart from that, we have a potential winner on our hands.


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MacBook Air In The News: TSA Exemption And The Surprisingly Good Performance

Ever since the MacBook Air was released earlier in October, it has been popping up all over the place. In an interesting development, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) in America recently exempted the new 11″ MacBook Air from the mandatory separate X-Ray security check that laptops have to go through at airports — much to the delight of a lot of travellers if I might add. This rule is however, only applicable to the 11″ MacBook Air model and not the 13″ one, which will still have to go through the X-Ray separately whilst its smaller version stays in the bag.

The reason behind this decision is the rule that governs which gadget will stay in the bag and which will need to be taken out. Apparently, the 11″ device falls right under the cut off line for such electronic devices, which is currently at about 13 inches. So technically, this is clubbing the smaller MacBook Air with the likes of the iPad and the multitude of other tablets, smartphones and other handheld devices that travel through the airports in hordes in the UK and the world over.

So now the travellers have yet another reason to pick up the MacBook Air. They are bound to be already very impressed by this new sliver of a laptop thanks to all the positive press it has been getting.

Despite initial scepticism about the new MacBook Air’s capability to perform without lag, the plethora of positive reviews has acquitted it of all such charges. As it stands right now, the MacBook Air seems to be pretty darn fast!

The fact that it has an onboard flash memory module for storage has more than a little to do with this increased performance. Thanks to the direct connection to the main board, the data read/write performance of the new MBA’s is amazingly fast. This shows up both in the boot times and app loading times. It also pushes the processor to its full potential and gets rid of HDD caused lags and speed bottlenecks of normal SSD storage solutions.

Also in the news is the longer battery life of the new MBA models. The super slim laptops are designed more or less to be all battery, with the main performance components hardly accounting for a fraction of the space inside.

All of it put together has made it one of the best lifestyle laptops around. For those who do not need the high-end performance of MacBook Pro’s, the new MacBook Air is fully capable of performing all the day-to-day tasks of the average user. This view is reflected more or less in every review that the MacBook Air has been through.

The 11” model seems to be getting special attention out of the two. The smaller size combined with the thinness has earned it the distinction of it being called an “iPad inside a laptop”. It is one model that I would recommend to those who travel a lot and only need basic computing done like word processing, surfing and emailing.

Overall, the new MacBook Air has made a great impact on the market and is all set to achieve good sales this holiday season.


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Razer Imperator – What Else Would a Gamer Want!

Gamers are always in search of comfortable yet hardcore devices. Although the Razer Imperator might not be the most hardcore mouse, it beats all others when it comes to being comfortable, solid to feel and, of course good, excellent performance. Also, you don’t get a gaming mouse that offers more features than it can actually handle. But, here what you get is a gaming mouse that is packed with all the necessary features and the performance is at par with the best!

Razor Imperator LED

So, what does this Razer mouse has on offer?

If you are a gamer, you would know that the last Razer Abyssus Mirror Special Edition gaming mouse was a hit. However, many of you were disappointed because it lacked some basic features and focused more on advanced ones. So, for a start, you can say that the Razer Imperator is the grand-daddy of the Abyssus. Yup, this one comes with more features, is heavier and is much more comfortable to use.

Gripping the Imperator!

Not all gaming mice are comfortable to grip, but this one is. It seems like Razer has focused a lot on the comfort level to make it an all time favourite mouse for gamers. It is a pretty tall mouse with a height of 42mm. The good part is that even though it is tall, the diagonal width is pretty slender. The mouse comes with a body that measures only 71mm across. Now that is what makes this gaming mouse easy to slip into your palms. While playing, you won’t feel the need of holding on to it with a tight grip. Stay free and enjoy your games with this Razer Imperator!

The mouse also comes with a rubber coating on the exterior so you won’t really want to worry about the device slipping from your hand. However, this rubber coated surface is only on the top portion of the mouse. The side areas are made of glossy black plastic with a slight hollow on the left area to accommodate your thumb.

Now, here comes the best part – the matte black exterior has light blue LED lights on it. If you are a Razer fan, you would know that this is Razer’s signature. The blue or red LEDs are always there no matter what. In the Imperator, the wheel and the Razer logo are complemented with the LED lights.

RZR Imperator Mouse

The mouse has a pretty different feel to it, which you can only know once you use it. Unlike most gaming mice, the Imperator has a body that is lifted and pointed a bit from the front while the rear is rounded. The only issue gamers might find with this mouse is that both of the left and right click buttons are missing. So, it might take you a while to get adjusted to the Imperator, but once you do, you will love it more than any other mouse out there!

The keys of the mouse are adjustable according to your preference. You can download the driver from Razer’s website in case you don’t get it in the package. The mouse is right now available for £54.99.

The Bottom Line:

This is a great mouse that is made for hardcore gamers but doesn’t feel like a conventional hardcore device!


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Will a Netbook Work for You?

These days lots of people are saying that the iPad is killing the netbook. A few years ago, the same people were crowing that the netbook had killed the laptop. The truth is that none of the three are going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Each of them have their fans and perform their functions well. A machine that does the job doesn’t just disappear. That’s why you still see guys collecting boomboxes even though cd’s and cassette tapes are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The iPad is a great device for reading, browsing the web, and doing basic email and office tasks. A full size laptop provides those who work in technology, film, or other application heavy industries with the processing power, visual display, and functionality to get their jobs done. For those who need something in between, a netbook just might be the perfect choice. There are a lot of brands to choose from: Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, and HP are just a few. They might call their netbooks something different, but the truth is a netbook by any other name is still a netbook. It’s a small, light, portable machine capable of doing most of the computing the average user needs. In addition, they are great for music storage, watching videos, and any sort of portable entertainment functions.

Even when you don’t take all those additional functions into account, you still have some research to do to make sure that you get the right netbook. What kind of a keyboard is going to make you the most productive? Does your screen resolution need to be a specific setting for the sites you use most? How does the screen material or backlighting affect your eyes? What kind of processor do you need for the games or applications you run? Do you need more than one USB slot? What about memory cards? Which operating system is going to give you the most powerful toolbox? Does the laptop you want include free software or will you need to upgrade or install freeware? What kind of security settings does it provide? Does it include free office software or will you need to install your own? How much RAM does it have? What about the hard drive size? Does it easily support plug and play hardware? What about the mouse? Do you prefer a keypad or does your new laptop need to support bluetooth for an external mouse? Maybe you want a touch screen or the ability to connect easily to an external monitor when you are at home?

As you can see from the questions above, there is a lot to think about before you make the jump to using a netbook. There are two things you should do before you make your purchase. First read reviews and talk to others that have netbooks. What works for them? What doesn’t? Next, head to the brick and mortar stores and get some hands on time with the machines. You wouldn’t marry a girl without meeting her, right? Don’t marry a machine either.


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Logitech Performance Mouse MX – Stylish Comfortable and Different!

Logitech is an emerging brand. We have brands like Razer on one hand, which has jumped to the top list in no time. Whereas, on the other hand, we have brands like Logitech that are still striving to reach the top. But, if ‘striving’ means creating better products than Microsoft, then we wouldn’t want Logitech to be on top. Instead we would want it to strive always so that we get better products every now and then. Take Microsoft, for instance, now that it is the king of the technological world, the products it creates are hardly amusing. All we get to see are products that are ‘just good’ enough for our daily chores.

With this Performance Mouse MX, Logitech has proven that it is not inferior to any other brand. Why? Well simply because it has outperformed Microsoft’s latest mouse technology. That is right. This mouse has made Microsoft go back in the den again. The mouse sensor technology employed in Logitech’s mouse is currently the most versatile one. Believe it or not, this mouse has the tendency to make the world your mouse pad!

logitech mouse performance mx

Here are some of the most noticeable features of the Logitech Performance Mouse MX:

The Darkfield Technology:

The Darkfield technology is more or less like the BlueTrack technology by Microsoft. However, Darkfield gets an edge over BlueTrack when it comes to using both types on glass surfaces. Darkfield wins there. Logitech’s sole purpose of introducing the Darkfield technology was to give users devices which are much more versatile than the ones with BlueTrack. If you don’t believe it, try using both of them on a glass table and you’ll know. Logitech Performance Mouse MX will beat any Microsoft BlueTrack mouse.

Wireless and With Rechargeable Batteries:

Having a wireless mouse with rechargeable batteries for your laptop is not something extraordinary in today’s world. But, having a mouse with a rechargeable battery that doesn’t require to be charged on a separate dock is what differentiates this mouse from the rest. That simply means that you don’t need to detach your Logitech Performance Mouse MX from your notebook when the batteries are dead. All you need to do is to simply plug-in the mouse into a powered USB port and it will recharge. Convenient, isn’t it?

The Unifying Receiver:

This Performance Mouse MX is a part of Logitech’s Unifying USB receiver family. What does that mean? If you don’t know it yet, this means that the Performance Mouse MX can work along with 6 other devices on the same port. However, you need to have the Logitech USB receiver for that, and you can get that in the package.

Design and functions:

Apart from the features mentioned above, there is nothing else that is extraordinary in this mouse. You get the same legendary Logitech scroll wheel and an additional button on the thumb side. This button allows you to use the wheel as a zoom controller which is quite cool. The mouse is currently available at a price £80 which might seem expensive, but considering the features you get, it’s all good.


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Laptop Wars: iPad Doesn’t Win

In terms of marketing their technology, Apple certainly wins any battle of the brands. In fact, Apple is so good with making you think what they want that they have nearly convinced the entire planet that the iPad is going to replace the laptop computer.

In fact though, it’s a lie. It’s simply not true. Maybe some future generation of iPad is going to replace laptops, but the current machine simply can’t replace the functionality, utility, and overall superb functionality of a laptop or netbook computer.

Certainly, the iPad is wonderful, it’s nice to not have to carry an AC adapter around, the battery life is great, the screen is crystal clear, and it looks cool. However, if you’ve tried to write an article, work on a book, or create blog posts with html links in them, than you know what I mean. The iPad is not designed for this kind of work. It’s designed for those who want to look and browse, not for those who want to create. The iPad is a machine for the non-coding masses.

If you don’t believe me, try to drag and drop your ftp upload files – oh, wait- the iPad doesn’t have a mouse pointer. That’s awkward. Or go to a Flash heavy website and see how functional it is on your machine. This is one of our product listings, for instance:

ipad no flash

Instead the iPad uses multi-touch which is cool, but not universally supported by developers or the existing web. Personally, I find the mouse and keyboard combination on my Acer Aspire One to be far more functional for this work. Perhaps in the next generation of iPad things will be different, but for now the iPad loses the battle for advanced user functionality.

In terms of watching YouTube videos, the iPad is great, but for a two hour film, I find it less than ideal because I don’t like looking straight down for that long and even the light weight of the iPad gets heavy about halfway through Braveheart. I’ve met some users who carry around stands with them, but if you are going to do that, you might as well have a laptop because the weight suddenly goes up.

ipad is heavy

For listening to music, well, it works but not really any better than an iPhone or iPod does. Once again, the iPad fails to exceed the existing standards because frankly, no one is ever going to go jogging with their iPad, so you end up needing more than one device anyway.

The battery life on the iPad is second only to the beautiful clear screen. It’s a great tool for browsing, reading, searching for information, and viewing or making presentations.

It’s also a great entertainment device in terms of playing games and finding something to do either on long flights or in long meetings.

So, I see it like this. I can have an iPad, but I also need something to code and write on. I also need something to watch long films on (or a stand), I still need my iPod for running, and there are some apps that just don’t work on the iPod. So, I need my netbook after all. Uh-oh.

It’s not however, a laptop. For a writer, application developer, or coder – the iPad may not ever be anything but a fun toy.

If you are already bored with your iPad, give it a new look with designer Ipad skins.


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Finding the Right Laptop – Not as Easy as Clicking a Button

You might think that finding the right laptop would be as simple as clicking a button on Amazon, but in fact, if you want to get the most performance, quality, and function from your machine – then you need to do a lot more than that.

Buying the right laptop
The first thing to do is sit down and make a list of the things you intend to use your machine for. While it would at first seem to be a simple task, when you actually take the time to think about it, what you soon come to realize is that you use your computer for a whole lot more than you think.

Here are just a few things that most people list off the top of their head: checking and sending email, reading the news, writing, keeping track of bills and accounts, watching videos, and playing games. Sounds pretty good right? But the truth is that even the most casual user actually uses their portable computer for more than that. Editing photos, making videos, doing research, writing up papers, managing social networks, setting up spreadsheets, keeping up with friends, shopping online, listening to music, syncing PDAs, smart phones, and mp3 players, chatting, and reading e-books.

When you add in the additional functions, the whole process becomes more complex. Does your processor speed support the type of web browsing you are likely to do? Will you be using a lot of specialized apps? Is there any conflict between your apps and any proprietary software that comes pre-installed? How do e-books look on the screen. Does the monitor screen easily smudge or scratch? Will your new machine support your phone for syncing?

It’s more than just the decision to click a button and get a new machine. If you do so, you might get lucky, but more likely you will have some unpleasant surprises in store. How can you prepare? Easy.

First of all make that list of everything you use your laptop, netbook, or iPad for. A good suggestion is to keep track of every different use for a week or more. Next, read the reviews from trusted sites that specialize in laptops (like this one), finally, take the time to go out and do some shopping in person. Get to know the feel and capabilities of the different brands like Sony, Acer, Toshiba, HP, or Dell and figure out which one works the best for you. Next, compare your list of needs with the machines you like. Does it fit?

Next, read a minimum of three quality reviews of the machine you are considering buying. You will learn the ups and the downs during this process. And finally, start your shopping process. Check the websites of the manufacturers first and then start to look at places like Amazon, Ebay, Play and other discount sites.

When you get your new laptop, you will still have some surprises. There’s no way to avoid them all. But if you follow this advice, you will at least avoid the worst ones.


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Steel Series Shift Gaming Keyboard – One for All, All for One!

Now, this is what we like calling ‘The Complete package’. SteelSeries has already amused many gamers in the past, and now it’s on to something much more fascinating. No more hassle of changing keyboards, and you won’t have to worry about buying keyboards for specific games because this SteelSeries Shift Gaming Keyboard is your all for one and one for all keyboard. Whether you want to play a FPS game or a WoW game, this keyboard can handle anything! Besides, you can even personalize the keyboard based on your preferences. You can buy additional stuff to make the keyboard look more of your-type!

SteelSeries Shift Key

What’s the wow-factor about it?

Well, the keyboard is completely customizable, which means all the keys can be programmed easily to perform multiple tasks. Moreover, the layers are pretty easy to switch, so you won’t need to spend hours trying to figure out how exactly to switch them. And, of course, it is a SteelSeries keyboard, so you don’t need to be worried about the quality you get.

Here’s how this one works…

To change the layer, you need to pull out the keyset from the right side of the keyboard. There is a tab with ‘SteelSeries’ marked on it, which is basically the spot from where you will pull out the layer. The keyboard is divided into three sections, so make sure you fold the keyset while removing it. If you don’t do that, you will have a tough time trying to pull it out. Now, once you have removed the keyset, insert the new one exactly in the same folding manner. Here is what you need to take care of – make sure you have noted down the three plastic tabs coming out from the side of the bottom panel. These three tabs basically match up with the three slots present on the left of the Shift bottom.

SteelSeries Shift Gaming Keyboard

Your next step is to insert the three plastic tabs into their designated slots. Also, ensure that the edge of the keys is in proper alignment with the edge of the base. There you go, your new keyset is now ready to use!

Who should buy it?

This gaming keyboard is meant for those who keep shifting to different gaming modes. This keyboard supports and makes it easier for you to play RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games, FPS (First Person Shooter) games, and MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games. All you need to do is to simply change the keysets and you are ready to go!

You won’t need to change your keyboard now and then. A simple change of the keysets will do the job. Of course, there is a catch here, which is that you need to buy the keysets separately. The good part is that all the keysets are well customized and programmed for different game modes. You can also download the drivers in case your computer is not compatible with them.

This SteelSeries gaming keyboard is available for £60. If you are a gamer, then this is one thing you would want to have for sure!


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