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Lenovo Legion 7i Review- A Gaming Beast That Could Have Been Better

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Lenovo is on a roll when it comes to laptops. You can get a pretty modest laptop that is perfect for people who work from home and you can also buy a portable gaming machine because the company also offers impressive gaming laptops as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Lenovo Legion 7i. This is a 15-inch gaming laptop that is specced higher than the Lenovo Legion 5i. Is its higher price tag warranted or not? Let’s find out!

Design

The Lenovo Legion 7i borrows the same look and feel of its mid-range counterpart, the Lenovo Legion 5i. You get the same hinged design with the ‘Legion’ logo situated on the top-left corner of the lid.

I am glad that this laptop can be opened by using just one hand, so from an ergonomic standpoint, it really is great. You can also lay the screen to flat 180 degrees if you want.

You will find four vents- two on each side plus an additional two vents at the back. This can help cool this gaming behemoth down. It also comes with vapor chamber cooling. More on this later.

When you flip the lid, you will find a webcam situated at the top corner. This is a refreshing update since its predecessor, the Y740, had its webcam placed at the bottom. I feel that the top position is better as it can truly capture your face.

You will also love the fact that the webcam also has a plastic slider that helps you cover the camera when it is not in use.

Do keep in mind that on each air vents, there is some RGB lighting which I think is a nice touch. However, if you do use its lighting, you must be prepared to accept that its battery life will suffer as a result.

The Lenovo Legion 7i is predominantly made of aluminum which means that you will really feel its premium build once you pick it up. There are some plastic bits here and there, though, but they are mostly negligible.

In terms of ports, you get a USB-Type A port on the right side with an additional two USB-A ports at the back.

On the left side, you will find two USB-C ports- one of which supports Thunderbolt 3. You can also find a microphone and headphone combo jack just right beside the said ports as well.

At the back, you will find an HDMI 2.0 port, an Intel gigabit Ethernet port, the DC connector, and the aforementioned USB-A ports.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Lenovo Legion 7i Review 2020

The Lenovo Legion 7i comes with a fully RGB-illuminated keyboard that has good travel distance and amazing tactile feel. I really love how they respond to each individual click, so this thing is good for gamers and typists alike.

The RGB lighting, as well as the 4-zone RGB illumination on the air vents on this laptop, are all controlled using Corsair’s iCUE software.

As for the trackpad, you are getting a slightly larger trackpad than other gaming laptops. It is also situated slightly off-center as it is located more to the left.

Personally, I would have loved it if it had a glass surface. That is so that it would be much easier for you to use it for mouse clicks and gestures. Instead, you are getting a matte plastic finish which should get the job done.

The trackpad has more surface area and this was made possible thanks to the removal of the two buttons (for left and right-click inputs) that are usually found in other portable gaming machines.

Display

Now, the Lenovo Legion 7i comes in so many different configurations but my review unit had the 144Hz screen refresh rate with GSync compatibility. You can get the higher 240Hz screen refresh rate but I wouldn’t recommend it to most gamers since the difference is mostly imperceptible (unless of course if you are a professional gamer).

Anyway, the Legion 7i has a relatively color-accurate display. It scored 100% in the sRGB spectrum, 78% on the Adobe RGB test, and it had a 76% score on the DCI-P3. Content creation on this thing is possible and the good thing is that the display is already factory-calibrated right out of the box.

It is also worth mentioning that this thing has an IPS panel display. It is pretty impressive given that it has a high refresh rate, though you are limited to just 1080p resolution. It still doesn’t matter that much from a gaming standpoint though.

Specs and Performance

Lenovo Legion 7i

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-10980HK
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
  • RAM: 32GB DDR-3200
  • Storage: 2 x 1TB NVMe SSD (Raid-0 Configuration)
  • Display: 15.6-inch IPS panel, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144Hz screen refresh rate, GSync-enabled
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Ports: 3x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen1), 1x USB Type-C port, 1x Thunderbolt 3 port, 1x Intel Gigabit LAN, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack
  • Battery: 80 Wh

As mentioned earlier, you have plenty of configuration options to choose from if you want to buy the Lenovo Legion 7i. My review sample had the best possible configuration, albeit it only had a 144Hz screen as opposed to the 240Hz variant, but the specs should remain the same.

Anyway, gaming on this thing is pretty good. It can deliver high frame rates even in the most demanding games. If you play Steam games, you will definitely be able to take full advantage of the high refresh rate display and thanks to GSync, screen tearing and distortions are virtually impossible.

Because it also comes with 32GB of RAM, you can multitask with this thing really well. This is evident if you are running plenty of rendering tasks as this thing is equipped with the right specs to handle anything.

There is just one problem. You see, the Intel chip that is placed inside of this thing, as well as the relatively powerful Nvidia GPU, these things can run really hot.

If you are playing games, you will not run into problems with throttling whatsoever. However, if you start rendering a complex video project, for instance, then you will start to see the heating issues.

By playing the most graphically demanding games, the CPU got hot at 83C. But, when I rendered a 4K video project, the CPU not only throttled but it went as high as 97C.

This truly baffled me as the vapor chamber cooling should have kicked into high gear. Unfortunately, that wasn’t really the case here and I am a bit disappointed with that.

Even setting this thing in performance mode where the cooling fans should ramp up to their maximum, still weren’t able to cool this thing down well.

Don’t get me wrong, the performance is there, but it would have been great if Lenovo were to check its cooling solution first before they released this thing.

Battery

Lenovo Legion 7i 2020

The 80 Wh battery that is on this thing should have delivered a pretty reliable battery life, but unfortunately, gaming with this thing only yielded up to 4 hours and 26 minutes of continuous use.

This ranks in the lower echelon of 15-inch gaming laptops and I think that is because of the power-hungry chip.

Some of my fellow reviewers did point out that I should try uninstalling the Corsair iCUE software. That is because there was a bug with the program and it consumes way too much energy when it is running in the background.

After uninstalling the software, I went on with the same tests and I was able to get more than 5 hours of gaming. That is an improvement but that is almost negligible, to be honest.

It is also not a good idea to uninstall iCUE because this is the software you use to tinker with the RGB lighting on this thing. This will probably be fixed in later updates, so be sure to always check for them.

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion 7i, specs-wise, is a powerful gaming beast. You get really fast SSDs, a really powerful gaming processor, a flagship mobile GPU,  and a relatively color-accurate and high refresh rate display.

The only things that are holding this otherwise great gaming laptop back are its poor thermal performance and mediocre battery life. Other than that, this would have been a portable gaming machine that is easy to recommend.

Until Lenovo fixes the issues mentioned above, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this thing. You can try the mid-range Legion 5i though and I would advise you to get that in a heartbeat instead.

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Xbox Series X- When Will It Be Released and What Does It Bring to the Table?

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Microsoft Xbox Series X

After months of hype and speculations, the Microsoft Xbox Series X has finally been unveiled to the public and we now know a lot more information about the upcoming game console than ever before.

In this article, I will go over the key points that you need to know about Microsoft’s console, such as release dates, pricing, new features and technologies, and so much more.

Release Date and Pricing

The Xbox Series X will be released on November 10 and pre-orders will start as early as September 22. The price of the said game console will be $499 which is in-line with Sony’s Playstation 5 disc edition.

Unlike Sony where the company has decided to employ a staggered release date for its PS5 consoles, the Microsoft Xbox Series X will be released on the same date worldwide. Of course, there is the challenge of availability considering that we are still suffering from a global pandemic, which is why pre-ordering the console (assuming that you want to get one) makes a whole lot of sense.

Design

Microsoft Xbox Series X 1

Unlike previous Xbox consoles, the Series X will actually have a more tower-like design with some air vents that can be visibly seen on top of the device.

The Series X will also feature a 4K Blu-ray player, so you could say that it is indeed quite similar to what Sony has to offer.

As of the time of writing this article, the console will only be available in black, though with the release of prior Xbox consoles, a white-colored Xbox is not too far off.

The more vertical design of the upcoming gaming machine might prove to be challenging for some people, especially when it comes to desk space. You will need to have adequate space to rest the console on the surface.

Specs

Microsoft Xbox Series X Design

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen Custom Zen 2, 8-cores/16-threads (via SMT) @3.8GHz (boost) and 3.6GHz (base)
  • GPU: AMD Custom RDNA 2 GPU with 52 Compute Units, 12 TFLOPS, and @ 1.825GHz
  • Process (nodes): 7nm Enhanced
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6, 320-bit Bus, 10GB @ 560GB/s and GB @ 336GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Internal Storage: 1GB Custom NVMe SSD, 4.8 GB/s (read) and 2.4 GB/s (write) (both are theoretical values)
  • Storage Expansion: 1TB
  • External Storage Support: USB 3.2 External HDD
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
  • Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, up to 120FPS (Theoretical)

I am really very excited about the new-gen consoles because they are packed with serious hardware that allows you to play games at 4K resolution without any issues.

Just like the PS5, the Xbox Series X is also powered by a custom AMD Ryzen CPU (using Zen 2 architecture) and a custom AMD GPU (using the new RDNA2 architecture). This performance package should allow you to play games at 4K@ 60 frames per second ‘comfortably’ (at least according to Microsoft Xbox president, Phil Spencer) and it could even give you the right amount of processing power to achieve more than 60 frames per second (up to 120 frames per second, theoretically).

The CPU, according to Digital Foundry, has a base clock of 3.6GHz and it boosts up to 3.8GHz. The good thing is that the boosting algorithms will only kick in when the console needs more horsepower which can be a good thing both from a performance and thermals standpoint.

It is also worth noting that the new Xbox will support ray tracing. Thus, you can enable such a feature in the games that support it and you will not have to worry about any performance penalties at all since the hardware is more than capable.

This new and upcoming game console will also be using a custom 1TB NVMe SSD which is 100+ GB more than what the PS5 has to offer.

While Spencer didn’t mention anything specific, the SSD that comes in the Xbox Series X should be faster than any consumer SSD that you can find on the market up to this point.

This would mean that if you are going to use its expansion slot to add more storage, you will have to buy an SSD directly from Microsoft if you want to get the best performance possible out of a storage drive.

If you are okay with using an external hard drive, it can support one that is using a USB 3.2 Gen 1 cable.

The optical drive is a 4K Blu-Ray player and each game disc can hold as much as 100GB of storage (though it is more likely that each disc can contain an amount lower than that).

Features

The Microsoft Xbox Series X has a lot of nice features up its sleeve. For one, it has the new Velocity architecture that makes good use of the console’s NVMe SSD, thus virtually eliminating load times.

In line with the said technology, you will also get to enjoy the ‘Quick Resume’ feature where you can pick up right where you left off almost instantly thanks to the use of a new DirectStorage API and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) technologies.

The Xbox Series X will also have VRR or Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode or ALLM to provide you with a smooth gaming experience. The former will eliminate screen tearing and improve overall frame rates and the latter will ensure that it will use your chosen display’s lowest latency mode for maximum performance.

Because the Playstation 5 can support 8K resolution, Phil Spencer also said that the Microsoft Xbox Series X can also handle that as well, though it remains to be seen if the gaming experience will be somewhat enjoyable, given how taxing the said resolution can be.

Controller

Microsoft Xbox Series X Controller

Unlike the DualSense controller that comes with the PS5, not much is known about the Series X’s controller. Spencer did say that it will have a slimmer form factor and its D-Pad is vastly improved (to mimic the Xbox Elite controller which is a 3rd-party peripheral).

The rumble motors are reported to make a comeback, though I do not know if it will be a better implementation than the haptics that are embedded in the DualSense controller.

It seems that lowering the latency is one of the top priorities of the company as Spencer said that it will have a Dynamic Latency Input feature that will significantly reduce the input lag of the said controller. Of course, this will be tested in our review once the unit is available.

Games

It is a bit of a disappointment that Halo Infinite, which used to be a launch title, is delayed until 2021. There are still plenty of different games, however, and here are just some of the most notable ones:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • As Dusk Falls
  • Avowed
  • Battlefield 6
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War
  • Chivalry 2
  • Control: Ultimate Edition
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dirt 5
  • Dragon Age 4
  • Dying Light 2
  • Everwild
  • Exomecha
  • Fable
  • Far Cry 6
  • FIFA 21
  • Gears 5
  • Graven
  • Hood: Outlaws and Legends
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Scorn
  • State of Decay 3
  • Watch Dogs: Legion

Backward Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Xbox Series X Game Pass

A lot of people were disappointed by the fact that the Playstation 5 only supports PS4 games and is not backward compatible with the older generation Playstation consoles. The Microsoft Xbox Series X is different.

You see, it not only supports all of the games from its predecessor’s content portfolio, but it will also support most of the games of the older generation platforms as well. This means that even the original Xbox games are playable on the new game console which is a really good thing.

You would want to register for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate so that you can unlock all of the games. It is worth noting that by getting the game pass, you also have the privilege of using the company’s xCloud feature that allows you to play Xbox games while you are on the go. Think of this as an improved version of Google Stadia.

Conclusion

I am really impressed with what the Microsoft Xbox Series X has to offer. Aside from its very powerful hardware, its new features and technologies will certainly improve your gaming experience manifold.

By getting the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you get to enjoy your favorite Xbox games while on the go, while also unlocking all of the possible older-generation games that are playable on the new platform.

It remains to be seen if the new controller is better, but I am eager to find out if the new low latency feature can truly decrease input lag by a lot.

Remember that you can already pre-order your own unit today and the console will be officially released on November 10 in all regions. It costs $499.

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The Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards for a Clean and Minimalist Setup

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Razer Turret

Almost all of the new peripherals that you can find on the market are going wireless. From gaming headsets to gaming mice, things have cut their cords in favor of a more seamless experience.

That being said, keyboards are generally okay to be used wired, but if you want a clean setup, you may want to consider one of the best wireless gaming keyboards in 2020.

Why Wireless?

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to go wireless. The first is for convenience. Although I’ve really loved my wired headphones, wireless gaming headsets have provided me with a chance to not have to deal with any cables getting plugged into my PC.

Gaming mice have certainly matched or even bested their wired counterparts. Although they are more expensive, using a wireless peripheral allows for those quick movements without any compromises.

A wireless gaming keyboard might not be what you need right now, but it can certainly be useful, especially if you are looking to cut as many wires as possible to have a clean setup.

It is also a great idea to get one since you can play games while you’re sitting on the couch. I have a lot of friends that wire their PCs to their 4K TVs and just play while they’re relaxing on the sofa using their wireless gaming peripherals.

With all of those being said, I will now recommend some of the best wireless gaming keyboards that you can find on the market today.

Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards

1.Logitech G915

Price: $240

Logitech G915 Review

The best wireless gaming keyboard, in my opinion, is the Logitech G915. It is a full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard with five macro buttons located on the left side and some media controls situated at the top-right corner of the peripheral.

It uses the company’s own Romer-G mechanical switches which have a low-profile design and good tactile feedback on every keypress. If you’ve grown accustomed to using laptop keyboards, then this should feel right at home.

You can set different macros and save them in the keyboard’s three onboard profiles so you will not have to use the Logitech G Hub software if you do not want to.

Its RGB lighting is okay though if you want to save its battery, you would want to leave that turned off.

Speaking of battery life, this thing can last up to 40 hours without its lighting enabled and around 20 hours if it is. To me, that is pretty good.

You can charge this thing using the included cable, so if you want the convenience of not having to worry about this thing’s battery, you can use it wired if you want.

This thing has a solid build quality and it looks and feels premium. That should be the case considering that this is a $240 peripheral.

Although its price is definitely steep, the Logitech G915 provides you with a seamless gaming experience.

2.Obinslab Anne Pro 2

Price: $110

Obinslab Anne Pro 2

If you want a minimalist wireless keyboard, then the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is for you. This is a ‘60%’ keyboard and for those of you who do not know what it is, this just means that the Numpad and the section with the INS and DEL keys are removed- giving you a more compact keyboard.

A lot of gamers actually want this form factor as you only have to deal with the keys that you are most likely going to use anyway.

It has RGB lighting though you’d want to disable it if you want to maximize its battery life.

It connects via Bluetooth and can connect up to four devices at any time. This is great because you can use it on your tablet or any mobile device that uses Bluetooth technology.

I also love the fact that you have plenty of switch options to choose from. You can either select Gateron, Cherry MX, and a host of other mainstream mechanical key switches.

The only downside to this thing is its form factor. If you are not okay with the omission of the Numpad and INS-DEL keys, then this is not for you.

However, if you are a gamer who wants a minimalist setup, the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is certainly one of the best out there.

3.Logitech G613

Price: $73

Logitech G613

Not all wireless gaming keyboards need to be expensive. The Logitech G613 has received a huge price cut! It was originally sold for $130 but you can get one now for just $73 which is a pretty good deal!

Its design is nearly identical to the G915, albeit that it doesn’t have any backlighting whatsoever. This can be a good thing since, as I’ve mentioned numerous times before, it can help extend the peripheral’s battery life.

You still have some dedicated macro keys situated on the left side of the board and you also have the media control buttons on the top-right as well. To unlock the full potential of this keyboard, you will need to use the G Hub software.

It has a plastic wrist rest that is somewhat comfortable, but for people that do not want a wrist rest attached to their keyboards, you are out of luck. That is because the wrist rest is not removable at all. This could be a potential downside.

You can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or its 2.4GHz USB dongle. You may want to use the latter for better performance, but if you are using a mobile device that has Bluetooth 5.0, the wireless signal should not be a huge issue at all.

My only gripe with this thing is that you will have to buy two AA batteries to power this thing. Do not worry, if you get one of those Energizer batteries or any heavy-duty ones, then this thing should last for a whopping 18 months which is pretty insane!

4.Logitech MX Keys

Price: $100

Logitech MX Keys

Although marketed as an ‘office’ keyboard, the Logitech MX Keys can actually still be used in gaming. In fact, I’ve known some people that really love using this thing over a standard mechanical gaming keyboard.

Instead of the usual mechanical key switches, the MX Keys actually use tactile scissor switches. Its feel is somewhat similar to what you can find in laptops and provide you with a nice tactile feedback on every keypress.

This keyboard connects to your PC or laptop via Bluetooth and the signal doesn’t drop at all. That means that you can play your games with full confidence knowing that this thing won’t bail on you.

Even though you cannot program macros or whatnot and your use-case is limited to just typing and gaming, the Logitech MX Keys provide you with a seamless experience across the board.

5.Corsair K63 Wireless

Price: $60

Corsair K63 Wireless

Corsair is another competent gaming peripherals manufacturer. I really love some of their gaming mice and their keyboards are pretty good as well.

That being said, the Corsair K63 Wireless is the perfect wireless gaming peripheral for people that are on a budget.

At $60, it is really tough to beat. It uses Cherry MX Red switches which are the de-facto standard for gaming keyboards. It provides a good feel, though some typists might find it a bit harder to use due to its lightweight nature.

This thing connects via a USB dongle and it only has blue/white backlighting. In my usage, I was able to use this keyboard for 15 hours with its backlighting turned on, about 25 hours with it set to its lowest brightness, and around 70 hours without any backlighting enabled.

It does have onboard batteries that you can recharge when using the included USB cable. In fact, you can use this peripheral with the cable wired to your PC as well.

The K63’s weakness is its battery life, but if you’re okay with it, it is actually a pretty good wireless gaming keyboard nevertheless.

6.Razer Turret

Price: $250

Razer Turret

The Razer Turret is more of a complete package because it not only has a gaming keyboard but it also comes with a gaming mouse as well.

You basically have a huge lapboard that can house all of the keys of the keyboard, as well as a nice surface for your mouse to glide on.

This is a complete solution for people that want to engage in some couch gaming and its wireless signal is unparalleled for that seamless and uninterrupted gaming.

You only get one choice of keys in the form of the Razer greens. They are tactile and clicky but for the most part, they are good for typing and gaming.

The included mouse is also quite competitive. Its sensor is accurate and it can be set to a whopping 16,000 DPI (not that people would use it in real-world scenarios, but the option is there).

It works seamlessly in both the Xbox and the PC, so this is definitely one of the best gaming peripherals to get out there, especially for couch gaming.

7.Corsair K83 Wireless

Price: $95

Corsair K83 Wireless

The Corsair K83 Wireless is marketed as an ‘entertainment’ keyboard but in reality, it is actually a great lapboard for gaming. It is somewhat similar to the Razer Turret above in the sense that you get a keyboard and a mouse, but instead of a ‘true’ gaming mouse, you get a touchpad with some buttons for the left and right mouse clicks.

It uses scissor switches which are a bit mushy for my tastes, but it will certainly do for most gamers.

It can connect wirelessly to your device or computer via Bluetooth or its included USB wireless receiver and using both of them yielded no problems on my end.

The ‘WASD’ keys have a different color and are a bit more textured than the regular keys which can be helpful if you are playing battle royale or first-person shooters.

Although using its touchpad is clunky, in my opinion, the Corsair K83 Wireless can still be good for couch gaming.

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Steelseries Apex 7 Review- A Gaming Keyboard with a Cool OLED Display

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Steelseries Apex 7 Review

Steelseries is one of those gaming peripherals manufacturers that have an ace up its sleeve and one of its products, the Steelseries Apex 7, has one nifty feature that you will probably like.

I am going to be reviewing the said mechanical gaming keyboard today. What are my thoughts about it? Read through the rest of this piece to find out.

Design

If you have seen the Steelseries Apex 7 Pro, then the design of its younger brother is quite similar to that. In fact, other than the mechanical switches that are used, the Steelseries Apex 7 looks exactly the same as its ‘Pro’ counterpart.

Here you have a full-sized keyboard that is a bit more compact than others that you can find on the market. It has a volume scroll wheel at the top right and situated directly to its left is the hallmark feature which is the OLED display (more on this later).

Since this is a premium product, you can expect a really good build quality on this one. The company has used aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure that there will be no flexing or creaking when you use this peripheral.

The keycaps use ABS plastic but I would have preferred to use PBT keycaps since they feel much smoother. This won’t be a huge issue for most users though.

Because the keycaps are laser-etched, the RGB lighting can be quite tame by comparison. If you are an RGB fan, this might turn you off, but to compensate for this, you can maximize the LED brightness setting in the Steelseries Engine software.

The Steelseries Apex 7 uses two USB cables and that is because one is used to power the peripheral and the other is used for the USB pass-through that is situated in the top-left corner. You can use the said port to transfer data or plug in your gaming mouse, for instance, but you cannot use it for charging your mobile device as it is a low-powered port.

Upon looking at the keyboard, you might find that the INS key up to the page down key has M1-M6 imprinted on them. That is because you can use the keys for your macros which can be set using the aforementioned software.

Lastly, the Steelseries Apex 7 comes with a plastic wrist rest with a soft matte coating. It is not as comfortable as those leather ones but it is still comfortable nevertheless.

Keys

Steelseries Apex 7 Review 2020

Unlike the ‘Pro’ version, the Steelseries Apex 7 makes use of the company’s mechanical red switches. They are rated to last up to 50 million keystrokes and they also have N-key rollover as well which means that all of the keys (no matter how many of them you press at the same time) will register on the screen.

Just like Cherry MX Switches, you have three choices to choose from. You can choose the linear red switch, the tactile brown switch, and the clicky blue switch.

Personally, I like the blue switch since I really love clicky switches, but for most users, you would probably want to choose either the red or the brown variant.

My review sample has the red switches and they are actually great for gaming. But, I have to caution you about something.

Normally, mechanical switches have some sort of resistance when you type on them. That is what separates them from the mushy feeling of rubber-dome keys.

The Steelseries Apex 7 is somewhat in the middle. It is not mushy like rubber-dome switches but it certainly does not feel like your conventional mechanical switches as well. This is not to say that it doesn’t feel right; it just feels weird in comparison, especially if you have used mechanical gaming keyboards for quite some time.

Performance

The linear red switches are great for gaming. I’ve had no issues using the Apex 7 in fast-paced games at all thanks to the fact that it doesn’t have that tactile bump that is found in brown and blue switches.

I also love the fact that the RGB lighting can be used to your advantage. For instance, you can set the lighting to let you know the status of your health in the games that you play. Of course, it takes some time doing this as you would have to set things in the Steelseries Engine program, but you would only have to do it once. In fact, you can exit the program after use since you can save the profile to the peripheral’s onboard memory.

For maximum performance, I advise you to update the keyboard’s software. You should be prompted after firing up the device’s software.

OLED Display

Steelseries Apex 7

What separates the Steelseries Apex 7 apart from other gaming keyboards is its OLED display. When this was first implemented in one of the company’s gaming mice, it was considered as a gimmick, but it can actually be quite useful if you really take the time to set things up nicely.

You can use the OLED display to provide you with some useful information about the games that you play or the programs that you are using.

When I work, I’ve used the OLED display to provide me with the current information about the song that is playing on my Spotify playlist.

You can use the said feature to tell you to display some important statistics in the games that you play. The usability is extensive- you just have to commit some time to set things up first before you can truly enjoy it.

If there is one thing that could have been improved, it would have been nice if the display was a bit larger. But, it works nicely.

Verdict

From a performance standpoint, the Steelseries Apex 7 is just like any other gaming keyboard that you can find on the market. Although it uses the company’s own switches, it feels somewhat similar to Cherry MX switches that are commonly found in mechanical keyboards.

However, what sets it apart is its OLED display which, once configured, can be quite helpful in daily and gaming tasks.

Do I recommend the Steelseries Apex 7? I wouldn’t say that I would 100% recommend this thing to anyone who is looking for a gaming keyboard, but what I would say is that the OLED display is quite an appealing and nifty feature that you may want to try out.

This keyboard retails for $160.

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Lenovo Legion 7i Review- A Gaming Beast That Could Have Been Better

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Lenovo is on a roll when it comes to laptops. You can get a pretty modest laptop that is perfect for people who work from home and you can also buy a portable gaming machine because the company also offers impressive gaming laptops as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Lenovo Legion 7i. This is a 15-inch gaming laptop that is specced higher than the Lenovo Legion 5i. Is its higher price tag warranted or not? Let’s find out!

Design

The Lenovo Legion 7i borrows the same look and feel of its mid-range counterpart, the Lenovo Legion 5i. You get the same hinged design with the ‘Legion’ logo situated on the top-left corner of the lid.

I am glad that this laptop can be opened by using just one hand, so from an ergonomic standpoint, it really is great. You can also lay the screen to flat 180 degrees if you want.

You will find four vents- two on each side plus an additional two vents at the back. This can help cool this gaming behemoth down. It also comes with vapor chamber cooling. More on this later.

When you flip the lid, you will find a webcam situated at the top corner. This is a refreshing update since its predecessor, the Y740, had its webcam placed at the bottom. I feel that the top position is better as it can truly capture your face.

You will also love the fact that the webcam also has a plastic slider that helps you cover the camera when it is not in use.

Do keep in mind that on each air vents, there is some RGB lighting which I think is a nice touch. However, if you do use its lighting, you must be prepared to accept that its battery life will suffer as a result.

The Lenovo Legion 7i is predominantly made of aluminum which means that you will really feel its premium build once you pick it up. There are some plastic bits here and there, though, but they are mostly negligible.

In terms of ports, you get a USB-Type A port on the right side with an additional two USB-A ports at the back.

On the left side, you will find two USB-C ports- one of which supports Thunderbolt 3. You can also find a microphone and headphone combo jack just right beside the said ports as well.

At the back, you will find an HDMI 2.0 port, an Intel gigabit Ethernet port, the DC connector, and the aforementioned USB-A ports.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Lenovo Legion 7i Review 2020

The Lenovo Legion 7i comes with a fully RGB-illuminated keyboard that has good travel distance and amazing tactile feel. I really love how they respond to each individual click, so this thing is good for gamers and typists alike.

The RGB lighting, as well as the 4-zone RGB illumination on the air vents on this laptop, are all controlled using Corsair’s iCUE software.

As for the trackpad, you are getting a slightly larger trackpad than other gaming laptops. It is also situated slightly off-center as it is located more to the left.

Personally, I would have loved it if it had a glass surface. That is so that it would be much easier for you to use it for mouse clicks and gestures. Instead, you are getting a matte plastic finish which should get the job done.

The trackpad has more surface area and this was made possible thanks to the removal of the two buttons (for left and right-click inputs) that are usually found in other portable gaming machines.

Display

Now, the Lenovo Legion 7i comes in so many different configurations but my review unit had the 144Hz screen refresh rate with GSync compatibility. You can get the higher 240Hz screen refresh rate but I wouldn’t recommend it to most gamers since the difference is mostly imperceptible (unless of course if you are a professional gamer).

Anyway, the Legion 7i has a relatively color-accurate display. It scored 100% in the sRGB spectrum, 78% on the Adobe RGB test, and it had a 76% score on the DCI-P3. Content creation on this thing is possible and the good thing is that the display is already factory-calibrated right out of the box.

It is also worth mentioning that this thing has an IPS panel display. It is pretty impressive given that it has a high refresh rate, though you are limited to just 1080p resolution. It still doesn’t matter that much from a gaming standpoint though.

Specs and Performance

Lenovo Legion 7i

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-10980HK
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
  • RAM: 32GB DDR-3200
  • Storage: 2 x 1TB NVMe SSD (Raid-0 Configuration)
  • Display: 15.6-inch IPS panel, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144Hz screen refresh rate, GSync-enabled
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Ports: 3x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen1), 1x USB Type-C port, 1x Thunderbolt 3 port, 1x Intel Gigabit LAN, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x headphone/microphone combo jack
  • Battery: 80 Wh

As mentioned earlier, you have plenty of configuration options to choose from if you want to buy the Lenovo Legion 7i. My review sample had the best possible configuration, albeit it only had a 144Hz screen as opposed to the 240Hz variant, but the specs should remain the same.

Anyway, gaming on this thing is pretty good. It can deliver high frame rates even in the most demanding games. If you play Steam games, you will definitely be able to take full advantage of the high refresh rate display and thanks to GSync, screen tearing and distortions are virtually impossible.

Because it also comes with 32GB of RAM, you can multitask with this thing really well. This is evident if you are running plenty of rendering tasks as this thing is equipped with the right specs to handle anything.

There is just one problem. You see, the Intel chip that is placed inside of this thing, as well as the relatively powerful Nvidia GPU, these things can run really hot.

If you are playing games, you will not run into problems with throttling whatsoever. However, if you start rendering a complex video project, for instance, then you will start to see the heating issues.

By playing the most graphically demanding games, the CPU got hot at 83C. But, when I rendered a 4K video project, the CPU not only throttled but it went as high as 97C.

This truly baffled me as the vapor chamber cooling should have kicked into high gear. Unfortunately, that wasn’t really the case here and I am a bit disappointed with that.

Even setting this thing in performance mode where the cooling fans should ramp up to their maximum, still weren’t able to cool this thing down well.

Don’t get me wrong, the performance is there, but it would have been great if Lenovo were to check its cooling solution first before they released this thing.

Battery

Lenovo Legion 7i 2020

The 80 Wh battery that is on this thing should have delivered a pretty reliable battery life, but unfortunately, gaming with this thing only yielded up to 4 hours and 26 minutes of continuous use.

This ranks in the lower echelon of 15-inch gaming laptops and I think that is because of the power-hungry chip.

Some of my fellow reviewers did point out that I should try uninstalling the Corsair iCUE software. That is because there was a bug with the program and it consumes way too much energy when it is running in the background.

After uninstalling the software, I went on with the same tests and I was able to get more than 5 hours of gaming. That is an improvement but that is almost negligible, to be honest.

It is also not a good idea to uninstall iCUE because this is the software you use to tinker with the RGB lighting on this thing. This will probably be fixed in later updates, so be sure to always check for them.

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion 7i, specs-wise, is a powerful gaming beast. You get really fast SSDs, a really powerful gaming processor, a flagship mobile GPU,  and a relatively color-accurate and high refresh rate display.

The only things that are holding this otherwise great gaming laptop back are its poor thermal performance and mediocre battery life. Other than that, this would have been a portable gaming machine that is easy to recommend.

Until Lenovo fixes the issues mentioned above, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this thing. You can try the mid-range Legion 5i though and I would advise you to get that in a heartbeat instead.

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Xbox Series X- When Will It Be Released and What Does It Bring to the Table?

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Microsoft Xbox Series X

After months of hype and speculations, the Microsoft Xbox Series X has finally been unveiled to the public and we now know a lot more information about the upcoming game console than ever before.

In this article, I will go over the key points that you need to know about Microsoft’s console, such as release dates, pricing, new features and technologies, and so much more.

Release Date and Pricing

The Xbox Series X will be released on November 10 and pre-orders will start as early as September 22. The price of the said game console will be $499 which is in-line with Sony’s Playstation 5 disc edition.

Unlike Sony where the company has decided to employ a staggered release date for its PS5 consoles, the Microsoft Xbox Series X will be released on the same date worldwide. Of course, there is the challenge of availability considering that we are still suffering from a global pandemic, which is why pre-ordering the console (assuming that you want to get one) makes a whole lot of sense.

Design

Microsoft Xbox Series X 1

Unlike previous Xbox consoles, the Series X will actually have a more tower-like design with some air vents that can be visibly seen on top of the device.

The Series X will also feature a 4K Blu-ray player, so you could say that it is indeed quite similar to what Sony has to offer.

As of the time of writing this article, the console will only be available in black, though with the release of prior Xbox consoles, a white-colored Xbox is not too far off.

The more vertical design of the upcoming gaming machine might prove to be challenging for some people, especially when it comes to desk space. You will need to have adequate space to rest the console on the surface.

Specs

Microsoft Xbox Series X Design

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen Custom Zen 2, 8-cores/16-threads (via SMT) @3.8GHz (boost) and 3.6GHz (base)
  • GPU: AMD Custom RDNA 2 GPU with 52 Compute Units, 12 TFLOPS, and @ 1.825GHz
  • Process (nodes): 7nm Enhanced
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6, 320-bit Bus, 10GB @ 560GB/s and GB @ 336GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Internal Storage: 1GB Custom NVMe SSD, 4.8 GB/s (read) and 2.4 GB/s (write) (both are theoretical values)
  • Storage Expansion: 1TB
  • External Storage Support: USB 3.2 External HDD
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
  • Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, up to 120FPS (Theoretical)

I am really very excited about the new-gen consoles because they are packed with serious hardware that allows you to play games at 4K resolution without any issues.

Just like the PS5, the Xbox Series X is also powered by a custom AMD Ryzen CPU (using Zen 2 architecture) and a custom AMD GPU (using the new RDNA2 architecture). This performance package should allow you to play games at 4K@ 60 frames per second ‘comfortably’ (at least according to Microsoft Xbox president, Phil Spencer) and it could even give you the right amount of processing power to achieve more than 60 frames per second (up to 120 frames per second, theoretically).

The CPU, according to Digital Foundry, has a base clock of 3.6GHz and it boosts up to 3.8GHz. The good thing is that the boosting algorithms will only kick in when the console needs more horsepower which can be a good thing both from a performance and thermals standpoint.

It is also worth noting that the new Xbox will support ray tracing. Thus, you can enable such a feature in the games that support it and you will not have to worry about any performance penalties at all since the hardware is more than capable.

This new and upcoming game console will also be using a custom 1TB NVMe SSD which is 100+ GB more than what the PS5 has to offer.

While Spencer didn’t mention anything specific, the SSD that comes in the Xbox Series X should be faster than any consumer SSD that you can find on the market up to this point.

This would mean that if you are going to use its expansion slot to add more storage, you will have to buy an SSD directly from Microsoft if you want to get the best performance possible out of a storage drive.

If you are okay with using an external hard drive, it can support one that is using a USB 3.2 Gen 1 cable.

The optical drive is a 4K Blu-Ray player and each game disc can hold as much as 100GB of storage (though it is more likely that each disc can contain an amount lower than that).

Features

The Microsoft Xbox Series X has a lot of nice features up its sleeve. For one, it has the new Velocity architecture that makes good use of the console’s NVMe SSD, thus virtually eliminating load times.

In line with the said technology, you will also get to enjoy the ‘Quick Resume’ feature where you can pick up right where you left off almost instantly thanks to the use of a new DirectStorage API and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS) technologies.

The Xbox Series X will also have VRR or Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode or ALLM to provide you with a smooth gaming experience. The former will eliminate screen tearing and improve overall frame rates and the latter will ensure that it will use your chosen display’s lowest latency mode for maximum performance.

Because the Playstation 5 can support 8K resolution, Phil Spencer also said that the Microsoft Xbox Series X can also handle that as well, though it remains to be seen if the gaming experience will be somewhat enjoyable, given how taxing the said resolution can be.

Controller

Microsoft Xbox Series X Controller

Unlike the DualSense controller that comes with the PS5, not much is known about the Series X’s controller. Spencer did say that it will have a slimmer form factor and its D-Pad is vastly improved (to mimic the Xbox Elite controller which is a 3rd-party peripheral).

The rumble motors are reported to make a comeback, though I do not know if it will be a better implementation than the haptics that are embedded in the DualSense controller.

It seems that lowering the latency is one of the top priorities of the company as Spencer said that it will have a Dynamic Latency Input feature that will significantly reduce the input lag of the said controller. Of course, this will be tested in our review once the unit is available.

Games

It is a bit of a disappointment that Halo Infinite, which used to be a launch title, is delayed until 2021. There are still plenty of different games, however, and here are just some of the most notable ones:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • As Dusk Falls
  • Avowed
  • Battlefield 6
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War
  • Chivalry 2
  • Control: Ultimate Edition
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dirt 5
  • Dragon Age 4
  • Dying Light 2
  • Everwild
  • Exomecha
  • Fable
  • Far Cry 6
  • FIFA 21
  • Gears 5
  • Graven
  • Hood: Outlaws and Legends
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Scorn
  • State of Decay 3
  • Watch Dogs: Legion

Backward Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Xbox Series X Game Pass

A lot of people were disappointed by the fact that the Playstation 5 only supports PS4 games and is not backward compatible with the older generation Playstation consoles. The Microsoft Xbox Series X is different.

You see, it not only supports all of the games from its predecessor’s content portfolio, but it will also support most of the games of the older generation platforms as well. This means that even the original Xbox games are playable on the new game console which is a really good thing.

You would want to register for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate so that you can unlock all of the games. It is worth noting that by getting the game pass, you also have the privilege of using the company’s xCloud feature that allows you to play Xbox games while you are on the go. Think of this as an improved version of Google Stadia.

Conclusion

I am really impressed with what the Microsoft Xbox Series X has to offer. Aside from its very powerful hardware, its new features and technologies will certainly improve your gaming experience manifold.

By getting the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you get to enjoy your favorite Xbox games while on the go, while also unlocking all of the possible older-generation games that are playable on the new platform.

It remains to be seen if the new controller is better, but I am eager to find out if the new low latency feature can truly decrease input lag by a lot.

Remember that you can already pre-order your own unit today and the console will be officially released on November 10 in all regions. It costs $499.

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The Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards for a Clean and Minimalist Setup

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Razer Turret

Almost all of the new peripherals that you can find on the market are going wireless. From gaming headsets to gaming mice, things have cut their cords in favor of a more seamless experience.

That being said, keyboards are generally okay to be used wired, but if you want a clean setup, you may want to consider one of the best wireless gaming keyboards in 2020.

Why Wireless?

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to go wireless. The first is for convenience. Although I’ve really loved my wired headphones, wireless gaming headsets have provided me with a chance to not have to deal with any cables getting plugged into my PC.

Gaming mice have certainly matched or even bested their wired counterparts. Although they are more expensive, using a wireless peripheral allows for those quick movements without any compromises.

A wireless gaming keyboard might not be what you need right now, but it can certainly be useful, especially if you are looking to cut as many wires as possible to have a clean setup.

It is also a great idea to get one since you can play games while you’re sitting on the couch. I have a lot of friends that wire their PCs to their 4K TVs and just play while they’re relaxing on the sofa using their wireless gaming peripherals.

With all of those being said, I will now recommend some of the best wireless gaming keyboards that you can find on the market today.

Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards

1.Logitech G915

Price: $240

Logitech G915 Review

The best wireless gaming keyboard, in my opinion, is the Logitech G915. It is a full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard with five macro buttons located on the left side and some media controls situated at the top-right corner of the peripheral.

It uses the company’s own Romer-G mechanical switches which have a low-profile design and good tactile feedback on every keypress. If you’ve grown accustomed to using laptop keyboards, then this should feel right at home.

You can set different macros and save them in the keyboard’s three onboard profiles so you will not have to use the Logitech G Hub software if you do not want to.

Its RGB lighting is okay though if you want to save its battery, you would want to leave that turned off.

Speaking of battery life, this thing can last up to 40 hours without its lighting enabled and around 20 hours if it is. To me, that is pretty good.

You can charge this thing using the included cable, so if you want the convenience of not having to worry about this thing’s battery, you can use it wired if you want.

This thing has a solid build quality and it looks and feels premium. That should be the case considering that this is a $240 peripheral.

Although its price is definitely steep, the Logitech G915 provides you with a seamless gaming experience.

2.Obinslab Anne Pro 2

Price: $110

Obinslab Anne Pro 2

If you want a minimalist wireless keyboard, then the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is for you. This is a ‘60%’ keyboard and for those of you who do not know what it is, this just means that the Numpad and the section with the INS and DEL keys are removed- giving you a more compact keyboard.

A lot of gamers actually want this form factor as you only have to deal with the keys that you are most likely going to use anyway.

It has RGB lighting though you’d want to disable it if you want to maximize its battery life.

It connects via Bluetooth and can connect up to four devices at any time. This is great because you can use it on your tablet or any mobile device that uses Bluetooth technology.

I also love the fact that you have plenty of switch options to choose from. You can either select Gateron, Cherry MX, and a host of other mainstream mechanical key switches.

The only downside to this thing is its form factor. If you are not okay with the omission of the Numpad and INS-DEL keys, then this is not for you.

However, if you are a gamer who wants a minimalist setup, the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is certainly one of the best out there.

3.Logitech G613

Price: $73

Logitech G613

Not all wireless gaming keyboards need to be expensive. The Logitech G613 has received a huge price cut! It was originally sold for $130 but you can get one now for just $73 which is a pretty good deal!

Its design is nearly identical to the G915, albeit that it doesn’t have any backlighting whatsoever. This can be a good thing since, as I’ve mentioned numerous times before, it can help extend the peripheral’s battery life.

You still have some dedicated macro keys situated on the left side of the board and you also have the media control buttons on the top-right as well. To unlock the full potential of this keyboard, you will need to use the G Hub software.

It has a plastic wrist rest that is somewhat comfortable, but for people that do not want a wrist rest attached to their keyboards, you are out of luck. That is because the wrist rest is not removable at all. This could be a potential downside.

You can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or its 2.4GHz USB dongle. You may want to use the latter for better performance, but if you are using a mobile device that has Bluetooth 5.0, the wireless signal should not be a huge issue at all.

My only gripe with this thing is that you will have to buy two AA batteries to power this thing. Do not worry, if you get one of those Energizer batteries or any heavy-duty ones, then this thing should last for a whopping 18 months which is pretty insane!

4.Logitech MX Keys

Price: $100

Logitech MX Keys

Although marketed as an ‘office’ keyboard, the Logitech MX Keys can actually still be used in gaming. In fact, I’ve known some people that really love using this thing over a standard mechanical gaming keyboard.

Instead of the usual mechanical key switches, the MX Keys actually use tactile scissor switches. Its feel is somewhat similar to what you can find in laptops and provide you with a nice tactile feedback on every keypress.

This keyboard connects to your PC or laptop via Bluetooth and the signal doesn’t drop at all. That means that you can play your games with full confidence knowing that this thing won’t bail on you.

Even though you cannot program macros or whatnot and your use-case is limited to just typing and gaming, the Logitech MX Keys provide you with a seamless experience across the board.

5.Corsair K63 Wireless

Price: $60

Corsair K63 Wireless

Corsair is another competent gaming peripherals manufacturer. I really love some of their gaming mice and their keyboards are pretty good as well.

That being said, the Corsair K63 Wireless is the perfect wireless gaming peripheral for people that are on a budget.

At $60, it is really tough to beat. It uses Cherry MX Red switches which are the de-facto standard for gaming keyboards. It provides a good feel, though some typists might find it a bit harder to use due to its lightweight nature.

This thing connects via a USB dongle and it only has blue/white backlighting. In my usage, I was able to use this keyboard for 15 hours with its backlighting turned on, about 25 hours with it set to its lowest brightness, and around 70 hours without any backlighting enabled.

It does have onboard batteries that you can recharge when using the included USB cable. In fact, you can use this peripheral with the cable wired to your PC as well.

The K63’s weakness is its battery life, but if you’re okay with it, it is actually a pretty good wireless gaming keyboard nevertheless.

6.Razer Turret

Price: $250

Razer Turret

The Razer Turret is more of a complete package because it not only has a gaming keyboard but it also comes with a gaming mouse as well.

You basically have a huge lapboard that can house all of the keys of the keyboard, as well as a nice surface for your mouse to glide on.

This is a complete solution for people that want to engage in some couch gaming and its wireless signal is unparalleled for that seamless and uninterrupted gaming.

You only get one choice of keys in the form of the Razer greens. They are tactile and clicky but for the most part, they are good for typing and gaming.

The included mouse is also quite competitive. Its sensor is accurate and it can be set to a whopping 16,000 DPI (not that people would use it in real-world scenarios, but the option is there).

It works seamlessly in both the Xbox and the PC, so this is definitely one of the best gaming peripherals to get out there, especially for couch gaming.

7.Corsair K83 Wireless

Price: $95

Corsair K83 Wireless

The Corsair K83 Wireless is marketed as an ‘entertainment’ keyboard but in reality, it is actually a great lapboard for gaming. It is somewhat similar to the Razer Turret above in the sense that you get a keyboard and a mouse, but instead of a ‘true’ gaming mouse, you get a touchpad with some buttons for the left and right mouse clicks.

It uses scissor switches which are a bit mushy for my tastes, but it will certainly do for most gamers.

It can connect wirelessly to your device or computer via Bluetooth or its included USB wireless receiver and using both of them yielded no problems on my end.

The ‘WASD’ keys have a different color and are a bit more textured than the regular keys which can be helpful if you are playing battle royale or first-person shooters.

Although using its touchpad is clunky, in my opinion, the Corsair K83 Wireless can still be good for couch gaming.

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Steelseries Apex 7 Review- A Gaming Keyboard with a Cool OLED Display

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Steelseries Apex 7 Review

Steelseries is one of those gaming peripherals manufacturers that have an ace up its sleeve and one of its products, the Steelseries Apex 7, has one nifty feature that you will probably like.

I am going to be reviewing the said mechanical gaming keyboard today. What are my thoughts about it? Read through the rest of this piece to find out.

Design

If you have seen the Steelseries Apex 7 Pro, then the design of its younger brother is quite similar to that. In fact, other than the mechanical switches that are used, the Steelseries Apex 7 looks exactly the same as its ‘Pro’ counterpart.

Here you have a full-sized keyboard that is a bit more compact than others that you can find on the market. It has a volume scroll wheel at the top right and situated directly to its left is the hallmark feature which is the OLED display (more on this later).

Since this is a premium product, you can expect a really good build quality on this one. The company has used aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure that there will be no flexing or creaking when you use this peripheral.

The keycaps use ABS plastic but I would have preferred to use PBT keycaps since they feel much smoother. This won’t be a huge issue for most users though.

Because the keycaps are laser-etched, the RGB lighting can be quite tame by comparison. If you are an RGB fan, this might turn you off, but to compensate for this, you can maximize the LED brightness setting in the Steelseries Engine software.

The Steelseries Apex 7 uses two USB cables and that is because one is used to power the peripheral and the other is used for the USB pass-through that is situated in the top-left corner. You can use the said port to transfer data or plug in your gaming mouse, for instance, but you cannot use it for charging your mobile device as it is a low-powered port.

Upon looking at the keyboard, you might find that the INS key up to the page down key has M1-M6 imprinted on them. That is because you can use the keys for your macros which can be set using the aforementioned software.

Lastly, the Steelseries Apex 7 comes with a plastic wrist rest with a soft matte coating. It is not as comfortable as those leather ones but it is still comfortable nevertheless.

Keys

Steelseries Apex 7 Review 2020

Unlike the ‘Pro’ version, the Steelseries Apex 7 makes use of the company’s mechanical red switches. They are rated to last up to 50 million keystrokes and they also have N-key rollover as well which means that all of the keys (no matter how many of them you press at the same time) will register on the screen.

Just like Cherry MX Switches, you have three choices to choose from. You can choose the linear red switch, the tactile brown switch, and the clicky blue switch.

Personally, I like the blue switch since I really love clicky switches, but for most users, you would probably want to choose either the red or the brown variant.

My review sample has the red switches and they are actually great for gaming. But, I have to caution you about something.

Normally, mechanical switches have some sort of resistance when you type on them. That is what separates them from the mushy feeling of rubber-dome keys.

The Steelseries Apex 7 is somewhat in the middle. It is not mushy like rubber-dome switches but it certainly does not feel like your conventional mechanical switches as well. This is not to say that it doesn’t feel right; it just feels weird in comparison, especially if you have used mechanical gaming keyboards for quite some time.

Performance

The linear red switches are great for gaming. I’ve had no issues using the Apex 7 in fast-paced games at all thanks to the fact that it doesn’t have that tactile bump that is found in brown and blue switches.

I also love the fact that the RGB lighting can be used to your advantage. For instance, you can set the lighting to let you know the status of your health in the games that you play. Of course, it takes some time doing this as you would have to set things in the Steelseries Engine program, but you would only have to do it once. In fact, you can exit the program after use since you can save the profile to the peripheral’s onboard memory.

For maximum performance, I advise you to update the keyboard’s software. You should be prompted after firing up the device’s software.

OLED Display

Steelseries Apex 7

What separates the Steelseries Apex 7 apart from other gaming keyboards is its OLED display. When this was first implemented in one of the company’s gaming mice, it was considered as a gimmick, but it can actually be quite useful if you really take the time to set things up nicely.

You can use the OLED display to provide you with some useful information about the games that you play or the programs that you are using.

When I work, I’ve used the OLED display to provide me with the current information about the song that is playing on my Spotify playlist.

You can use the said feature to tell you to display some important statistics in the games that you play. The usability is extensive- you just have to commit some time to set things up first before you can truly enjoy it.

If there is one thing that could have been improved, it would have been nice if the display was a bit larger. But, it works nicely.

Verdict

From a performance standpoint, the Steelseries Apex 7 is just like any other gaming keyboard that you can find on the market. Although it uses the company’s own switches, it feels somewhat similar to Cherry MX switches that are commonly found in mechanical keyboards.

However, what sets it apart is its OLED display which, once configured, can be quite helpful in daily and gaming tasks.

Do I recommend the Steelseries Apex 7? I wouldn’t say that I would 100% recommend this thing to anyone who is looking for a gaming keyboard, but what I would say is that the OLED display is quite an appealing and nifty feature that you may want to try out.

This keyboard retails for $160.

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