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I’ve definitely got used to high quality products from the guys over at Razer, and their Kraken 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Gaming Headset was something I was looking forward to getting my hands on. Is it going to be something that continues the long running, high quality success that gamers have come to know and love?

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The packaging for the Kraken 7.1 headset is keeping up appearances, literally.  With its eye catching black and green colour scheme, it definitely catches the eye.  Being a fan of everything green any way, this is a great start as far as keeping me interested.  The box itself shows you what to expect design wise by sporting a nice image of one of the earcups, complete with the mesh finish and the illuminated green Razer logo on the earcup.  Also included on the box is some headset related information, including the fact that it is a 7.1 virtual surround sound headset, and that it has an enhanced digital microphone.  The back of the box lists product details and specifications, as well as a detailed image of the headset.

As with all Razer packaging, getting into the box is almost as good as looking over the outer box.  The box opens from the right to left and you are instantly greeted with a full on view of the headset.  The inside of the opened flap contains a long paragraph relating to the headset.  The headset is covered by an easily removable plastic covering that slides off of the box.  Removing the headset is relatively straightforward enough – unfasten the ties that are holding it in place and take it out of the box.  The braided USB cable is neatly tucked away behind the cardboard sleeve insert beneath the headset and the Razer user manual  and stickers are located above the headset between the insert and the top of the box.

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First impressions of the headset – it feels very sturdy, well made, and comfortable.  The not overly padded, fully adjustable Razer branded headband ensures that the headset does not cause any discomfort during prolonged use, as do the extremely padded and comfortable, foldable ear cups.  The ear cups themselves have a closed cup design to help maxmise the sound.  The Razer logo can be found on the outside of both, as well as the solid, mesh type design.  On the left ear cup, you will find the retractable, enhanced digital microphone, and also the 2 meter braided gold plated USB cable.  It all fits together extremely well and is very, very easy on the eye.

Setting the headset up to get the most out of its features, requires you to download Synapse 2.0 from the Razer website as there is no software CD included.  Once installed, you are required to calibrate the virtual surround sound – this is very straightforward and only takes a few minutes.  Once you have completed the calibration process, you will notice that you have more menu tabs to choose from, including audio, mic, mixer, eq, and lighting.  Each of these menus give you the option to make additional changes to features such as bass boost, sound normalization, and voice clarity, and mic sensitivity/volume.  The EQ menu allows you to choose from a list of presets, and also gives you the option to create a custom preset.  Lastly, if you decide that the lights on the headset (Razer logos on the ear cups and the small light at the end of the mic) are too much for you, you can disable them from within the lighting menu.

While using the Kraken headset, I mostly played World of Tanks, Far Cry 3, and some Battlefield 3, while using Mumble for chatting.  I could not fault this headset at all if I am honest.  Voice chat came through crystal clear, and I was informed that my voice was also coming through clear – clearer than it did while using my previous headset.  I think that the inclusion of a digital microphone rather than a standard mic was definitely a smart move.  Also, if you don’t fancy chatting ALL the time, there is a mute switch located towards the end of the microphone itself – if you do mute it, you will be able to tell because the green light goes off when the mic is off, and on when the mic is on!  The game sounds were, in all honesty, amazing!  Being able to hear sounds coming from all around you definitely helped in identifying what directions the enemy were coming from, as well as being able to hear simple sounds that were not picked up previously.  Put all of this together and you have the perfect package!

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I didn’t only use the Kraken for playing games, though.  I also watched a few films and TV shows while using them, as well as using them for listening to music.  Being able to experience watching TV/films using the 7.1 virtual surround sound  was simply awesome!  It added so much to the overall film and actually made you feel a part of it.  Music wise, there was a lot of bass even with the bass boost turned off, and this kind of overpowered the music itself.  I think it all depends on your music taste when it comes to using this headset for music – if you like music with a lot of bass, then I doubt this will be an issue for you.

I think that anybody who picks up a Razer Kraken 7.1 Virtual Surround Headset will definitely not be disappointed.  With the eye catching colour scheme and the overall comfort factor, this headset would make a lot of people happy.  The crystal clear voice chat and game sounds only adds to the whole gaming experience, and it also adds a bit of a WOW factor to watching TV & films.  Being able to customise the headset to suit you using the Synapse 2.0 software is a nice touch, especially with the list of presets that you have to choose from.  If that wasn’t enough to sway you, maybe the price will?  At time of posting, you can pick this headset up for around £89.00 from Amazon UK

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Tech Specs

  • Advanced 7.1 virtual surround sound engine
  • Enhanced digital microphone
  • Designed for extended gaming comfort
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled
  • Powerful drivers for highest-quality gaming audio
  • Closed ear cup design for optimal sound isolation
  • Foldable ear cups for maximum portability

Headphones

  • Drivers: 40mm neodymium magnets
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ω
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: 112dB
  • Output Power: 30mW
  • Connector: Gold plated USB
  • Cable Length: 2m / 6.56 ft braided USB cable
  • Approximate Weight: 340g

Microphone

  • Frequency response: 100Hz –12kHz
  • Sensitivity @ 1kHz: -40dB ± 4dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 63 dB
  • Pick-up pattern: Omnidirectional

System Requirements

  • PC / Mac with USB port
  • Windows® 8 / Windows® 7 / Windows Vista® / Mac OS X (10.6-10.9)
  • Internet connection (for driver installation)
  • At least 100MB of free hard disk space

The Allreli M811Lu Wired Laser Gaming Mouse is the first product that I have used from the Allreli product range.  As with all new products, I was sceptical as to how good performance would be.

The product itself looks very nice from the image on the box.  With the black mouse and red lighting design, it really melded nicely with the flame on black design of the packaging.  The front of the box tells you what you need to know about the mouse, from the fact that it has 6 illumination colours, to the 8000 DPI Resolution.  The back of the box lists the mouse specifications and also shows images of the mouse in the different LED colours available.

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The mouse itself has a very nice weight and feel to it.  It has a 6ft braided USB cable and comes complete with the DPI button, mouse scroll wheel, forward & back buttons, and obviously the left & right click buttons.  It comes bundled with a user manual and the driver/software CD.

The M811Lu mouse has a very nice, soft touch surface, which only makes it more comfortable to hold.  Speaking of comfort, the mouse has grooves and spaces in all the right places.  My hand sits very comfortably on the mouse with my fingers have places to rest without any discomfort.  This makes using the mouse for extended periods of time a pleasure as it reduces the risk of hand fatigue.  The DPI button not only changes the DPI settings for the mouse, but also the LED colour.  When it comes to setting the DPI range (up to 8200), the easy to use, bundled software makes it easy to do so, as well as customising the mouse to suit your needs.  The buttons are as responsive as you would expect and didn’t seem to miss any clicks, etc, when being used – a good thing when it comes to games that rely on things like this.  The mouse itself has internal memory so that all of the changes you make to the settings are stored, enabling you to access them wherever you use the mouse.

Overall, the Allreli M811Lu Wired Laser Gaming Mouse seems to do the job very well.  For the price that you pay (around £26.00 GBP at time of posting) it does what you would expect and also has a very pleasing look to it.  I enjoyed my time using it and would be happy to use it on a permanent basis.

The TeckNet Redragon Perdition 16400 DPI Gaming Mouse is the next product from the latest TeckNet gaming range that I have for review.

The packaging of the mouse not only catches your eye with its red and black colour scheme, but also because the clear plastic window on the front of the box gives you a pretty much full on view of the mouse itself.  The left side of the front of the packaging shows some information relating to the mouse, as does the right hand side.  The rear of the box shows some more information, including the 12 programmable side buttons, and the 16 million colour breath light.

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Removing the mouse from the box was pretty straightforward.  The mouse comes out of the base of the box, and once removed, it is presented to you sat in a nice plastic sleeve.  Included in the box along with the mouse is a user manual, driver and software CD, and a round box for the 8 x 2.4g included weights.  The small round box has a nice red and black design so that it stays in with the colour scheme of the mouse itself.  The mouse has a very nice textured feel to it which adds grip to the mouse for more comfort when in use.  It also has a 6ft braided cable with a gold plated USB connector on the end.  The mouse has 12 buttons on the left side of the mouse, a red power button, two DPI buttons, a mode switching button, the two usual mouse buttons and the scroll wheel.  All buttons on this mouse are also programmable, using the bundled software.  Lastly, the base of the mouse has a space to put in the small weights that are included in the box to help you get the mouse weight to something that suits you, as well as teflon mouse pads.

Getting started was as simple as it gets.  Plug in the mouse, install the bundled software, and away you go.  Using the software was straightforward and allows you to customise the mouse to suit your needs.  You can set up to 5 different user profiles, which is handy depending on the game you are playing.  The DPI can be also be customised within the software – having to choice to be able to use up to 16400 DPI, there should most definitely be a setting that suits everyone.  Being able to customise the breathing LED lighting on the mouse is something that I really like because no matter what colour scheme you have for your gaming setup, it is easy enough to match the mouse up with it.  Alternatively, you can disable the LED altogether if you would rather leave it off.

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The mouse itself is definitely well designed.  It has grooves in all the right places, including down the right side of the mouse so that depending on how you are holding the mouse, your fingers actually sit comfortably, resulting in no discomfort during prolonged gaming sessions.  The 12 side buttons are well placed for use, even during fast paced situations.  Having the buttons light up helps also, especially while getting used to each buttons placing, initially.  The mouse itself is made from a nice plastic material which offers grip while in use.  The mouse itself is not smooth to touch, but alternatively has a slightly rough finish to it which eliminates the risk of your hand/fingers slipping off during use.  The buttons are as responsive as they should be, which again, helps during those play sessions where even the slightest delay could make all the difference.  Finally, the logo on the palm rest of the mouse looks really nice with the breathing LED effect.

Overall, I think that the Perdition mouse is a very nice addition to the TeckNet range.  Not only is it competitively priced (£39.99 GBP) compared to other gaming mice of the same quality, but it is very nice to look at, and use.  It does what you would expect of it, and more.  The included software is easy to use and it would suit users of all ages and abilities.  I would highly recommend this mouse to anyone looking for a mouse that does everything, for a fraction of the price.

Back up batteries are becoming a must have item nowadays, especially with so many people having and relying on gadgets that are battery powered.  There are plenty of products to choose from and today, I have the Sandberg PowerBar 2200mAh, complete with its own flashlight, for review.

The packaging that the PowerBar arrives in is pretty simplistic.  It shows you the PowerBar itself through the clear packaging at the front and in the bottom corner, there is a short bit of text about the product.  On the reverse of the box, there is a bit more info which is also available in several languages.  The bottom of the box shows you that there is a 5 year guarantee on the product.

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Removing the PowerBar from the box is as simple as open the top of the box and sliding out the plastic sleeve that houses the product.  Also included in the box is a Micro USB cable which is used to charge the device, and a small instruction leaflet.  The PowerBar itself has nicely curved corners and measures in at 9.3 cm in length and 2.10 cm in width, and weighs around 75g – definitely small enough to be carried around with you while out and about.  Along one of the sides, you will find the Sandberg logo, a silver button and 3 LED lights.  The button is for the flashlight – double click to turn it on and double click to turn it off again.  I haven’t had a reason to use this too much yet, but what I have used, it could prove handy.  The LED lights show the battery level and come on when you press the silver button once.

Charging the device prior to its first use was really straightforward,  It was simply a case of connecting the USB cable to the PC and also to the PowerBar.  Once connected up, charging started immediately – no need to install any drivers.  While charging the LED lights flashed, and once fully charged, the flashing stopped.  It was just as simple to use when I wanted to charge my phone also.  I simply hooked up my charger cable to the PowerBar and connected it to my phone and charging began.  It managed to charge my phone around 45% after a 30 minute charge.  It could have charged it more if I wasn’t using my phone at the same time.  I have only had to charge the device once since receiving it last week, so it seems like the battery life will be sufficient for most people.

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Overall, I am very impressed with the PowerBar.  It does what it should, when it should, and is small enough to be portable.  The metallic effect to the pink colouring makes the device stand out even more and doesn’t look out of place.  This can be used with many devices – pretty much any that can be charged via USB cable.  For the price of between £12.00 & £17.00 GBP (varies with colour choice) on Amazon UK, I think that this is a handy accessory to have, even if as a ‘just in case’.

The more products from Razer that I use, the more I fall in love with them as a brand.  I have grown accustomed to the outstanding quality, ease of set-up and use, and the range of people that they cater for.

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The moment I saw the packaging for the Mamba 4G 2012 gaming mouse, it was a pure ‘wow’ moment.  The mouse itself is presented in a transparent box packaging that shows off its beauty before you even touch the box.  The mouse is shown attached to a stand that allows you to see all angles of it.  The top right hand corner of the box is sporting the Razer logo, while the right top corner informs you that the Mamba is powered by the all new 4G Dual Sensor system.  The bottom half of the box is encased in a cardboard sleeve that you simply slide off to remove.

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Getting into the box was a bit tricky for me.  I don’t have much strength in my hands so the fact that you have to press the two sides of the box together and pull out the top from the bottom before you can get into the box would have put a stop to things for me straightaway.  Luckily, I had my partner to open the box for me.  Once the top was separate from the bottom, gaining access to everything was pretty easy.  You simply unclip the mouse from the stand to remove it.  Looking around the back of the box, you are greeted with three cardboard drawers, as well as the standard  envelope that contains the Razer stickers and information.  The drawers themselves contained even more goodness.  The big drawer at the bottom of the three was housing the mouse charging dock.  The dock itself has the Razer logo, a sync button, and a space in the back to plug-in the cable.  Drawer number two contained the 1100 mAh battery, which provides around 12 hours of use once fully charged.  In with the battery you will also find the battery compartment cover for the base of the mouse.  Finally, in the last draw, is the braided Mini USB cable which you can use to connect the charging dock to the PC OR you can plug it directly into the mouse to make it wired – how amazing!  The mouse simply sits on top of the dock – it’s pretty simple and once in place, feels quite secure.

Setting the mouse up took only a few seconds.  Plug the dock into the PC and insert the battery into the mouse.  The battery may need charging before use, so maybe set it up a little while before you intend to use it, or use the USB cable.  Once plugged in and turned on, the RGB LEDs went to work and my gosh, they look amazing!  The dock lights up all around the base and the mouse lights up in unison.  The lights are fully customisable using the Razer Synapse 2.0 cloud software – you can also use the software to personalise your mouse DPI  (range of 100 to 6400), buttons and cursor settings – perfect for if you have different profiles for different people.  Also using the Synapse program, you can keep track of the battery power level and also calibrate the mouse to suit you.  Finally, the Mamba is sporting the new 4G sensor, which uses both a laser and an optical sensor, which when coupled with the ultra slick mouse feet, provides increased accuracy across a number of different surfaces.

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After using the mouse as both a wired, and a wireless mouse, personally, I could tell no difference.  Both modes worked seamlessly well and having the option to go wired and wireless is definitely something that could come in handy.  The Mamba fits very nicely in the hand and access to all buttons (Left & Right, scroll wheel, two small buttons at the top of the left mouse button and two on the left side of the mouse) is easy and effortless.  It is very comfortable to use for both short and extended periods of time and for someone who gets sore hands from long sittings at the PC, I can honestly say that I encountered no discomfort.  The base of the mouse has the sensor, power button, sync button, an eject button for when the USB cable is attached, making it easier to remove, and of course, the battery compartment.

After having time to use the mouse for a number of activities, the ease of use with the Synapse 2.0 software, and also being able to sit back and watch the light show provided by the charging dock, I am very impressed with the Razer Mamba 4G mouse.  It is an absolute pleasure to use, no matter where you are or what surface you are using.  The option to have both a wired and wireless mouse is a nice touch and would suit any and every body.

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