Computex 2010 CoverageClayMeow - July 5, 2010
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Tt eSPORTS by Thermaltake
Although there have been small previews in the past, Computex was the coming out party for Thermaltake's new brand, Tt eSPORTS. Thermaltake has been supporting the e-Sports scene for years, but this is its first foray into gaming gear - headsets, keyboards, mice and mouse pads. At Computex, most of these products were not only on display, but fully set up for users to try out firsthand.
The first Tt eSPORTS products I looked at were the gaming keyboards, many of which feature the world's first fan cooling design. I started things off with the Challenger, which features the cooling fan attachment. The fan can be positioned on the left or right, and there's even a compartment for storage. This tiny 30mm fan spins at 6,000 RPM and only pushes 2.7CFM, but should be enough to keep your hands dry during intense gaming sessions. More importantly, the Challenger provides up to six macro keys and up to three game profiles stored on 32KB onboard memory, bringing it to 18 total macro keys. It also features anti-ghosting for up to 20 keys, an additional built-in USB2.0 port, and a gold-plated USB connector. The Challenger measures 480mm (L) x 205.5mm (W) x 25mm (H) and its cable is 2m in length.
The Challenger Pro takes it to the next level. The Challenger Pro still features the same exact fan and anti-ghosting for up to 20 keys, but ups the number of macro keys. The Challenger Pro provides up to 10 macro keys (five on each side of the keyboard), with up to four gaming profiles stored on 64KB onboard memory, bringing the total to 40 macro keys. In addition, Thermaltake increased the USB2.0 ports to two, and it still has the gold-plated USB connector. The Challenger Pro also has four levels of red illumination and comes with eight additional removable red keycaps for the WASD and arrow keys that provide a little more durability (you can see these further down the page in the Challenger Ultimate photo). The Challenger Pro measures 505mm (L) x 195mm (W) x 27mm (H) and has a 2m braided cable.
The last keyboard in the Challenger series is aptly named the Challenger Ultimate. Like its younger siblings, it features the same exact fan and anti-ghosting technology, but everything else is supercharged. The Challenger Ultimate provides up to 14 macro keys, with up to five game profiles stored on 64KB onboard memory, bringing the total to 70 macro keys. Not only does it have two USB2.0 ports like the Challenger Pro, but also adds in headphone and microphone jacks. When it comes to back lighting, like the Challenger Pro, it provides four levels of illumination to choose from, but unlike the Pro, you're not restricted to just red - you can choose between 256 different colors. The Challenger Ultimate has the same dimensions as the Pro and all three versions have a switch lifecycle of 10 million.
If 10 million keystrokes seems like too little for you and you're looking for something a bit more hardcore with a little less flash, no need to fret - Tt eSPORTS has you covered there too, with its mechanical gaming keyboards. MEKA G1 is a heavy duty mechanical keyboard with a switch lifecycle of 50 million keystrokes and a 1000Hz polling rate. Along with anti-ghosting, the MEKA G1 includes two USB2.0 ports, as well as headphone and microphone jacks. There are no macro keys on this bad boy - this is for your hardcore FPS gamer, not your RPG or RTS gamer. The MEKA G1 measures 430mm (L) x 160mm (W) x 40mm (H), comes with a detachable palm rest, and has a 1.5m military grade cable with gold-plated USB connector.
For those FPS gamers that want the durability and fast response of the MEKA G1, but doesn't have the real estate to accommodate it, there is the vanilla MEKA, measuring in at just 370mm (L) x 150mm (W) x 35mm (H), thanks to the arrow keys being moved over and condensed with the rest of the keyboard. It also removes the Caps Lock, Scroll Lock and Num Lock indicators, instead placing them on the keys themselves, which I actually think is even better. Like its sibling, the MEKA is a heavy duty mechanical keyboard with a switch lifecycle of 50 million keystrokes, a 1000Hz polling rate, anti-ghosting, and two USB2.0 ports, but lacks the audio jacks. It is connected by a 1.8mm braided cable with gold-plated USB connector.