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The 10 Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $1000- Play on the Go

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ASUS TUF Gaming FX705

What makes a laptop a ‘gaming’ one? Well, that will be its dedicated GPU. While most competitive gaming laptops cost more than $2,000, it doesn’t mean that you cannot play your favorite games on a sub $1,000 price point.

If you are looking for a portable gaming machine that allows you to play your favorite games on the go, then look no further because I will recommend the best cheap gaming laptops in 2020 that are under a grand.

Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000

1.MSI GF65 Thin RTX 2060

MSI GF65 Thin RTX 2060

Price: $999

The best way to start an article about cheap gaming laptops under $1000 is to talk about one that costs a little under that amount.

The MSI GF65 Thin is the best gaming laptop on this list simply because of its GPU: The RTX 2060.

You see, what makes a gaming laptop a ‘gaming’ machine is its GPU and the RTX 2060 simply cannot be beaten by other GPUs at this price point.

For those of you who do not know, the RTX 2060 is packed with a lot of features, including a hefty 6GB of VRAM that allows you to play even the most demanding games at considerable framerates.

Alongside its competitive GPU is an Intel Core i5-9300H CPU and a pretty good 512GB SSD storage.

It’s got a really nice keyboard with red backlighting and the screen uses an IPS display that is capable of 120Hz refresh rate.

If you want the best gaming laptop under $1,000, the MSI GF65 is the one that you’re looking for.

2.Dell G3 15

Dell G3 15

Price: $799

The Dell G3 15 is a respectable gaming laptop that has a sub-$800 price. It comes with the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. While it may not be enough when it comes to playing AAA games at high frame rates, it should be good enough to run it nonetheless.

Its performance package includes an Intel Core i5-9300H, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD with an included 1TB HDD for mass storage.

The keyboard layout is a standard one that is complete with a Numpad on the side that is ideal for purposes other than gaming. Its backlighting can also be configured using the Alienware Command Center.

Even though there is a lot to love here, there are some compromises that have to be made to fit this laptop into the budget category.

For one, the 15.6-inch display is more than adequate, though it is a bit dull compared to others in the market.

Second, its included HDD, while hefty at 1TB storage space, is only a 5400RPM variant which means that your games might be slow to load if you install them in it.

Despite its shortcomings, this gaming laptop is still pretty solid for its price. If you can spend a bit more, you may want to consider the Dell G3 15 SE instead.

3.Lenovo IdeaPad L340

Lenovo IdeaPad L340

Price: $899

Originally sold at $1,200, the Lenovo IdeaPad is one of my most solid recommendations simply because it’s got the performance package that budget-conscious consumers will love.

Its GPU is still an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650, but its processor is an i7-9750H coupled with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD combo. The CPU itself makes this gaming laptop ideal for productivity tasks as well.

This laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch IPS display that produces punchy and vibrant colors than a TN panel. The only downside is that its refresh rate is maxed at 60Hz, though looking for a high refresh rate panel at this price point is hard to do.

Even if its GPU is middling at best, its 9-hour battery life ensures that you can game on the go without having to worry about the unit suddenly dying on you.

For the price, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is definitely a worthy consideration.

4.Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

Price: $949

This gaming laptop was originally priced at $1,300 but has since received a massive price cut in favor of the new ones that are going to be released later in the year.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a pretty solid performer at a sub-$1,000 price point. Its most standout feature is its 144Hz display which is somewhat unheard of in an entry-level gaming laptop.

To be able to enjoy the 144hz display, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is fitted with some pretty awesome specs for the price.

For its GPU, you’ve got an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti- a 6GB VRAM graphics card that is usually found in laptops over $1,000.

Its GPU is the Intel Core i7-9750H which is ideal for productivity tasks. You also have a pretty good amount of RAM at 16GB and a 256GB SSD.

To be honest, the only thing that is a letdown on this device is its storage capacity as a 256GB SSD may not be enough to store all of your favorite games. But, at $949, you cannot really complain.

5.Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5

Price: $749

All of the laptops that were mentioned above have a 15-inch form factor and while that is considered to be the best middle ground when it comes to display size, some people would want more.

If you want a much bigger screen that is able to output some amazing visuals, the Acer Nitro 5 has got you covered.

It’s got a really big 17.3-inch IPS display that is known for its amazing color reproduction. Though it is not capable of high-refresh-rate gaming, this budget laptop pretty much makes up for it just on its video quality alone.

Aside from its display, the performance package of the Acer Nitro 5 is no slouch. It has an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 graphics card coupled with an Intel Core i5-9300H mobile processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB PCIe SSD.

The storage device is actually pretty good because it makes use of the PCIe slot as opposed to SATA. That means that your games will load considerably faster than a SATA SSD ever can.

While its bezels are thin, you do have to take note that this gaming laptop is pretty hefty at 5.73 pounds, so you may want to consider this before buying.

But, if you do not mind the weight, the Acer Nitro 5 is definitely what I would buy if I want a larger display.

6.MSI GF63 Thin 9SC

MSI GF63 Thin 9SC

Price: $950

Most of the games nowadays make use of 4-6 CPU cores, as well as your discrete graphics solution. In that regard, you want a gaming laptop that has more than 4 cores just to be safe and that is why I recommend the MSI GF63 Thin 9SC.

This is a 15.6-inch laptop that is fitted with a GTX 1650 GPU and an Intel Core i7-9750H processor. In addition, it also comes with a hefty 16GB of RAM and 512 NVMe SSD for faster loading times.

MSI really knows how to make an aesthetically pleasing laptop and this one delivers. It has an all-black chassis with red keyboard backlighting.

The display is a 15-6 inch IPS screen and although it is just 60Hz, it has pretty thin bezels to ensure that you get the most screen real estate.

My only gripe with this laptop is MSI’s Dragon Center. That is because most of the time, it works as intended, while in others, it is hit or miss.

Still, the MSI GF63 Thin 9SC deserves to be on this list.

7.HP Pavilion 15z

HP Pavilion 15z

Price: $640

While a lot of people want laptops that are pretty high-specced, they usually come with a gamer aesthetic which means that using such a device might not be ideal in professional work environments. However, the next one is definitely unique.

The HP Pavilion 15z is quite an affordable gaming laptop that has a professional aesthetic. It doesn’t have that gamer appeal that is evident in others, but make no mistake about it- this laptop can game.

It is fitted with the Radeon Vega 10 graphics processor, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD.

The screen is a 15.6-inch IPS panel that also acts as a touchscreen as well- perfect for productivity tasks while you’re in the office.

While its gaming performance is okay, its processor is actually pretty good when it comes to video editing or CPU-intensive workloads.

So, if you want a subtle gaming laptop that can still game, the HP Pavilion 15z is tough to beat, especially at its price point.

8.Dell G7 15

Dell G7 15

Price: $999

Another gaming powerhouse under $1,000, the Dell G7 15 goes head-to-head with my top recommendation.

It has pretty respectable specs. It has the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU, Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB of RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD, and has a pretty vibrant 15.6-inch IPS display to top it off.

The laptop also has a bevy of ports so that you can easily plug in your USB devices without a problem. Coupled with its amazing WiFi card, you will never have any problems when playing online games.

Probably, the only thing that I consider a negative here is that its display panel doesn’t have a high refresh rate. However, it pretty much makes up for its thanks to its vivid display.

9.ASUS TUF Gaming FX705

ASUS TUF Gaming FX705

Price: $820

ASUS is one of the most reputable companies when it comes to creating PC components. They not only have gaming monitors, but they also dabble into creating their own graphics cards, power supply units, and even gaming peripherals.

The company’s TUF lineup is pretty much their own gaming line that also has the durability to last a really long time and this particular model delivers on that front.

The ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 is equipped with a quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 3550H CPU, an AMD Radeon RX560X graphics processor, 512GB NVMe SSD, and 8GB of RAM.

Most other gaming laptops out there do not have a robust cooling solution and that is why most of them tend to overheat after a considerable amount of time. That is not the case with this TUF laptop.

Thanks to its dual-fan cooling solution, the laptop remains relatively cool even during intense gaming sessions. Its anti-dust technology also ensures that the fans do not need cleaning for a long time.

The keyboard is pretty nice to type on and it also has configurable backlighting to enable you to see everything even in dimly-lit environments.

Although its 17.3-inch IPS display panel is great from a content consumption standpoint, some gamers might be turned off by the fact that it is not a high-refresh-rate screen.

Still, I wouldn’t count the ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 out because it is a really appealing gaming laptop at this price.

10.Dell G3 Max-Q

Dell G3 Max-Q

Price: $990

The Dell G3 Max-Q was originally priced at $1,459 but has received a considerable price cut and is now priced at $990 (which is a steal, in my opinion).

This gaming laptop has a pretty good Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU, an Intel Core i5-9300H CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD.

Its 15.6-inch IPS display has an anti-glare coating to ensure that it protects your eyes if you intend to have a marathon gaming session.

The laptop has a predominantly black design, though it has blue accents here and there to make it even more appealing.

What do I dislike about the laptop? Well, aside from the fact that its display doesn’t have a fast refresh rate, its RAM could be doubled for better performance.

But, since it has received a huge price cut, I would say that the Dell G3 Max-Q is still worth considering.

What to Consider When Buying a Gaming Laptop

A gaming laptop is different from a regular laptop, especially since it is fitted with better specs to allow people to play games on the go.

Below are just some of the most important considerations when buying one:

1.GPU

This is what makes a laptop a ‘gaming’ one. The GPU handles all of the graphical load that your game needs.

A good gaming laptop should be fitted with a competitive GPU that can handle all games, albeit frame rates may be different depending on the title.

If you absolutely have to choose a budget gaming laptop, the GPU is one that you should definitely set your eyes on.

2.CPU

The CPU works in tandem with the GPU to help you play your games at considerable frame rates. Some games would require more processing power from the CPU while others barely need it.

Since most games are graphically-intensive nowadays, you should consider getting a laptop that has at least a 4-core processor. Ideally, you want to think about getting a 4-8-core part, though having the former should be adequate in most scenarios.

3.RAM

RAM is also another important factor to consider. Ideally, you want to get 8GB of RAM as a minimum standard, though if you are going to get one, make sure that you are not running any other application in the background.

Some processes like opening a Google Chrome web browser even with just 3 tabs can eat up a lot of system memory, so always bear that in mind.

The ideal solution would be to get 16GB of RAM just to be on the safe side, but that is hard to come by when it comes to budget gaming laptops.

4.Storage

Without a doubt, you should only be considering laptops that have an SSD on it. Having an HDD along with an SSD should be considered as an added bonus and may not be required in most setups.

The reason why you’d want to settle for an SSD as opposed to an HDD is that the former is much faster when it comes to both read and write speeds.

You can see why the SSD is much better than an HDD if you load a game using either of them.

NVMe or PCIe SSDs work much better from a performance standpoint, though getting a laptop that is fitted with one may mean that you need to spend more. A SATA SSD should be okay for most people.

5.Display

For a gaming machine, most people would opt for high refresh rate displays. Although that is all good, it is hard to come by for a gaming laptop that has a sub-$1,000 price.

6.Battery Life

Part of what makes a laptop more appealing than a gaming PC is its portability. In other words, some people want to play their favorite games anywhere they please. For this purpose, you will need a laptop that has a considerable amount of battery capacity.

Ideally, you want a laptop that can at least last for 5 hours before needing an adapter to charge.

7.Keyboard

A good gaming laptop should also have a pretty good keyboard. While a mechanical keyboard is hard to find in a laptop that is under $1,000, this is still worth noting.

8.Other Features

The above-mentioned things are definitely the ones that you should consider first when buying a gaming laptop. However, having some nifty additions is also good as well.

Some notable additions include keyboard backlighting, mechanical keyboard, a better trackpad, touchscreen display, better cooling solutions, just to name a few.

Keep in mind that while added features are welcome, they might also be the reason why the price goes higher than expected.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review- The Best Mainstream Gaming CPU in 2020

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review

Ever since the launch of the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, more and more people are recommending the R5 3600 for people that want to build a budget gaming PC. It is pretty sad that Intel chips are not getting recognition, but that is going to change with the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K.

Today, I am going to review the said chip. Find out why I think it is the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020 by reading the rest of the article.

Comet Lake Architecture

Intel Core i5-10600K Review 2020

The 10th generation Intel Processors is part of the ‘Comet Lake’ family that uses a much-improved architecture than Skylake (where it’s derived from).

While the i9-10900K is definitely a beast of a chip, the Intel Core i5-10600K is surely something that most people are going to want to look at.

Competition is very important, especially to us consumers. When AMD released their Ryzen line of processors, Intel had to respond in kind to stay in the game. 

Back then, you normally wouldn’t find i5 chips to have hyperthreading, which is essentially the same as the SMT or simultaneous multi-threading feature that is present in AMD’s CPUs. But now, the 10600K not only has one, but the core frequency is clocked higher as well.

Here is a rundown of the Intel Core i5-10600K’s specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Lithography: 14nm
  • Base clock: 4.1GHz
  • Peak Turbo (single-core): 4.8GHz
  • Peak Turbo (all-core): 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12MB
  • TDP: 125W
  • PCIe Lanes: 16

As you can see, thanks to hyperthreading being enabled, you get to have two times more threads than an i5 chip of yesteryears. This means that you get considerably better performance across the board, especially for multi-core/multi-threaded workloads.

But, where the 10600K really shines is through its gaming performance and I will talk about this in the next section.

Performance

Intel Core i5-10600K

When you ask people what CPU you want to compare the 10600K to, it would be the AMD Ryzen R5 3600. That is because they have the same core and thread counts but there is a huge difference when it comes to their clock frequencies.

You see, the R5 3600 has a base frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost (all-core) frequency of only 4.2GHz. The 10600K, on the other hand, has a base frequency of 4.1GHz with an all-core boost of 4.6GHz.

Because Intel has added a new boost algorithm wherein the best core inside the CPU boosts higher than others, you get a clock frequency of 4.8GHz maximum on the said core, giving you even more performance.

Now, how does this translate into the real world? Well, in most multi-core benchmarks, the Intel Core i5-10600K performs so much better than the chip that it is compared to. Seriously, I would recommend this Intel chip for anyone who engages in productivity workloads on the side.

When it comes to gaming performance, there is no question that the 10600K beats the R5 3600 by a lot. That is due to the combination of the architecture, as well as the higher core frequencies of each core of the said chip.

Overclocking

Intel Core i5-10600K Box

What makes Intel chips appealing to the overclocking community than AMD Ryzen processors is the fact that you can eke out even more performance by setting the clock frequency of the cores higher than their rated specs. This is possible if you have a ‘K’ series chip (which the Intel Core i5-10600K is) and a compatible Z490 motherboard as well.

In most cases, people can set the frequency to 4.8GHz all-core with the single-core frequency (the best one) set to 5.1-5.3 GHz depending on the silicon of your particular chip. This provides even better performance across the board which is pretty nice.

I do have to caution you to not overclock the processor until you get one of the best CPU coolers on the market.

Because of the higher core frequency and because of the fact that you add more voltage to the chip just to make it stable, overclocking will result in higher heat production than usual. You will need a very competent cooler to keep things at relatively good temperatures.

Verdict

The Intel Core i5-10600K is way better than its predecessors- both in terms of architecture and performance.

Its rival, the Ryzen 5 3600, doesn’t come close to its performance thanks to the Intel chip’s higher clock frequency and better boost algorithms.

This is not to say that the AMD CPU is bad because there are some cases where it is more warranted than the 10600K.

For instance, if you are really on a tight budget, the Ryzen 5 3600 makes sense because it already comes with a cooler out of the box and its performance is still quite good for the price (currently at $160 compared to the i5-10600K’s $280 price tag).

The money that you can save by getting the Ryzen chip could be budgeted towards a better graphics card or faster storage, so there is still value that can be had when you go this route.

However, if you are okay with spending $280 and if you want a processor that can comfortably last at least 3 years competitively, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is indeed a much better option.

All in all, the Intel Core i5-10600K is definitely what I would consider to be the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020.

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review- A Comfortable and Great-Sounding Headset for $100

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review

Back then, I never would recommend any of Razer’s gaming headsets because they often sound muddy due to the obvious preference towards the lower frequencies, but the company has changed its stance ever since.

The Razer Blackshark V2 is shaping up to be one of the best gaming headsets that are priced competitively in the market. Should you get one of these or look for something else? Read on to find out.

Design

Razer Blackshark V2 Review 2020

The ‘Blackshark’ line of headsets is nothing new because there is one that was released so many years ago. However, the Razer Blackshark V2 is a pretty polished iteration that I think would warrant the people’s attention.

Its design is quite similar to its predecessor, albeit there is a noticeable volume control dial located on the left ear cup.

Usually, Razer would put leatherette ear cups on its gaming headsets, but the Blackshark V2 actually comes with mesh foam ear cups instead.

In terms of comfort, I would prefer these over leather ear cups any day, but some people would want the feel of the leatherette material. So, to each his own.

The headset itself is quite simple-looking, although the aviation-style aesthetic might not appeal to some. I especially do not like the green wire that is exposed on each ear cup as you could potentially damage it if you are not careful.

Also situated on the left ear cup is the port for the removable boom microphone. I like the fact that you can completely remove it as it will not impede your vision when you are not using it.

Now, I’ve heard of some reports that the clamping force of the Razer Blackshark V2 makes this headset uncomfortable, but I beg to disagree.

If anything, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets that you can find on the market.

I do have to point out that, being a large person myself, its clamping force is a bit on the stronger side, but it is still relatively comfortable for me to wear even during prolonged gaming sessions.

The Razer Blackshark V2 connects to your game console or PC either via 3.5mm headphone jack or with the use of its included USB soundcard (the latter is only usable on the PC, however).

Audio Performance

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset

The company has come a really long way when it comes to audio quality. Gone are the days where the soundstage gets muddied by the lower frequencies as everything sounds pretty balanced right from the get-go.

Razer has partnered with THX to provide you with a better surround sound gaming experience and if you use the included USB soundcard, its 7.1 surround sound implementation is so much better than what the company used to offer.

Once you plug this thing in using the said USB connector, its drivers will get installed on your PC and you can use it to your heart’s content.

You can use the Razer Synapse 3 software to tweak the EQ settings or choose from a variety of different presets.

Personally, the default sound quality is already pretty good as it is quite balanced overall. Of course, you could add more kick to the bass by tinkering with the necessary settings, but I find that the default soundstage is already good for most use-cases.

Whether you are playing MMORPGs, fast-paced games like Overwatch and CS:GO, or even just listening to your favorite tunes, I am blown away by the sound quality that the Razer Blackshark V2 provides.

It is worth noting, however, that because of the mesh foam material of the ear cups that you will experience some sound leakage as a result. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to play games as you do not want to disturb the people around you.

Microphone

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset Microphone

While I am impressed by the audio quality of the Razer Blackshark V2, I am disappointed with the boom microphone.

It just doesn’t sound well. My voice is tinny, it is not full-bodied, and for the most part, the volume could definitely be improved.

Even when using the USB soundcard, nothing changes for the betterment of the said gaming headset. You should be using its 3.5mm connector instead as I find it to be considerably better.

Because it is a cardioid microphone, it should be able to get your voice really nicely, right? Well, that is talking from a theoretical standpoint, but in reality, it can still pick up unwanted background noise so I am really disappointed with the microphone of the Blackshark V2.

Verdict

So, what do I think about the Razer Blackshark V2? If we are talking purely from an audio standpoint, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the best out there. This is especially true if you are going to use the included USB soundcard and wire this to your PC.

However, I am really disappointed with the microphone quality. The output is not full-bodied at all and you are better off using a third-party standalone microphone instead.

Do I recommend the Razer Blackshark V2? Well, as I’ve said, if you are okay with its mediocre microphone quality, then this product is definitely one of the best out there. However, if you are looking for a complete package, you are better off finding something else.

The Razer Blackshark V2 costs $100.

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The 10 Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $1000- Play on the Go

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ASUS TUF Gaming FX705

What makes a laptop a ‘gaming’ one? Well, that will be its dedicated GPU. While most competitive gaming laptops cost more than $2,000, it doesn’t mean that you cannot play your favorite games on a sub $1,000 price point.

If you are looking for a portable gaming machine that allows you to play your favorite games on the go, then look no further because I will recommend the best cheap gaming laptops in 2020 that are under a grand.

Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000

1.MSI GF65 Thin RTX 2060

MSI GF65 Thin RTX 2060

Price: $999

The best way to start an article about cheap gaming laptops under $1000 is to talk about one that costs a little under that amount.

The MSI GF65 Thin is the best gaming laptop on this list simply because of its GPU: The RTX 2060.

You see, what makes a gaming laptop a ‘gaming’ machine is its GPU and the RTX 2060 simply cannot be beaten by other GPUs at this price point.

For those of you who do not know, the RTX 2060 is packed with a lot of features, including a hefty 6GB of VRAM that allows you to play even the most demanding games at considerable framerates.

Alongside its competitive GPU is an Intel Core i5-9300H CPU and a pretty good 512GB SSD storage.

It’s got a really nice keyboard with red backlighting and the screen uses an IPS display that is capable of 120Hz refresh rate.

If you want the best gaming laptop under $1,000, the MSI GF65 is the one that you’re looking for.

2.Dell G3 15

Dell G3 15

Price: $799

The Dell G3 15 is a respectable gaming laptop that has a sub-$800 price. It comes with the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. While it may not be enough when it comes to playing AAA games at high frame rates, it should be good enough to run it nonetheless.

Its performance package includes an Intel Core i5-9300H, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD with an included 1TB HDD for mass storage.

The keyboard layout is a standard one that is complete with a Numpad on the side that is ideal for purposes other than gaming. Its backlighting can also be configured using the Alienware Command Center.

Even though there is a lot to love here, there are some compromises that have to be made to fit this laptop into the budget category.

For one, the 15.6-inch display is more than adequate, though it is a bit dull compared to others in the market.

Second, its included HDD, while hefty at 1TB storage space, is only a 5400RPM variant which means that your games might be slow to load if you install them in it.

Despite its shortcomings, this gaming laptop is still pretty solid for its price. If you can spend a bit more, you may want to consider the Dell G3 15 SE instead.

3.Lenovo IdeaPad L340

Lenovo IdeaPad L340

Price: $899

Originally sold at $1,200, the Lenovo IdeaPad is one of my most solid recommendations simply because it’s got the performance package that budget-conscious consumers will love.

Its GPU is still an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650, but its processor is an i7-9750H coupled with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD combo. The CPU itself makes this gaming laptop ideal for productivity tasks as well.

This laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch IPS display that produces punchy and vibrant colors than a TN panel. The only downside is that its refresh rate is maxed at 60Hz, though looking for a high refresh rate panel at this price point is hard to do.

Even if its GPU is middling at best, its 9-hour battery life ensures that you can game on the go without having to worry about the unit suddenly dying on you.

For the price, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is definitely a worthy consideration.

4.Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

Price: $949

This gaming laptop was originally priced at $1,300 but has since received a massive price cut in favor of the new ones that are going to be released later in the year.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a pretty solid performer at a sub-$1,000 price point. Its most standout feature is its 144Hz display which is somewhat unheard of in an entry-level gaming laptop.

To be able to enjoy the 144hz display, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is fitted with some pretty awesome specs for the price.

For its GPU, you’ve got an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti- a 6GB VRAM graphics card that is usually found in laptops over $1,000.

Its GPU is the Intel Core i7-9750H which is ideal for productivity tasks. You also have a pretty good amount of RAM at 16GB and a 256GB SSD.

To be honest, the only thing that is a letdown on this device is its storage capacity as a 256GB SSD may not be enough to store all of your favorite games. But, at $949, you cannot really complain.

5.Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5

Price: $749

All of the laptops that were mentioned above have a 15-inch form factor and while that is considered to be the best middle ground when it comes to display size, some people would want more.

If you want a much bigger screen that is able to output some amazing visuals, the Acer Nitro 5 has got you covered.

It’s got a really big 17.3-inch IPS display that is known for its amazing color reproduction. Though it is not capable of high-refresh-rate gaming, this budget laptop pretty much makes up for it just on its video quality alone.

Aside from its display, the performance package of the Acer Nitro 5 is no slouch. It has an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 graphics card coupled with an Intel Core i5-9300H mobile processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB PCIe SSD.

The storage device is actually pretty good because it makes use of the PCIe slot as opposed to SATA. That means that your games will load considerably faster than a SATA SSD ever can.

While its bezels are thin, you do have to take note that this gaming laptop is pretty hefty at 5.73 pounds, so you may want to consider this before buying.

But, if you do not mind the weight, the Acer Nitro 5 is definitely what I would buy if I want a larger display.

6.MSI GF63 Thin 9SC

MSI GF63 Thin 9SC

Price: $950

Most of the games nowadays make use of 4-6 CPU cores, as well as your discrete graphics solution. In that regard, you want a gaming laptop that has more than 4 cores just to be safe and that is why I recommend the MSI GF63 Thin 9SC.

This is a 15.6-inch laptop that is fitted with a GTX 1650 GPU and an Intel Core i7-9750H processor. In addition, it also comes with a hefty 16GB of RAM and 512 NVMe SSD for faster loading times.

MSI really knows how to make an aesthetically pleasing laptop and this one delivers. It has an all-black chassis with red keyboard backlighting.

The display is a 15-6 inch IPS screen and although it is just 60Hz, it has pretty thin bezels to ensure that you get the most screen real estate.

My only gripe with this laptop is MSI’s Dragon Center. That is because most of the time, it works as intended, while in others, it is hit or miss.

Still, the MSI GF63 Thin 9SC deserves to be on this list.

7.HP Pavilion 15z

HP Pavilion 15z

Price: $640

While a lot of people want laptops that are pretty high-specced, they usually come with a gamer aesthetic which means that using such a device might not be ideal in professional work environments. However, the next one is definitely unique.

The HP Pavilion 15z is quite an affordable gaming laptop that has a professional aesthetic. It doesn’t have that gamer appeal that is evident in others, but make no mistake about it- this laptop can game.

It is fitted with the Radeon Vega 10 graphics processor, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD.

The screen is a 15.6-inch IPS panel that also acts as a touchscreen as well- perfect for productivity tasks while you’re in the office.

While its gaming performance is okay, its processor is actually pretty good when it comes to video editing or CPU-intensive workloads.

So, if you want a subtle gaming laptop that can still game, the HP Pavilion 15z is tough to beat, especially at its price point.

8.Dell G7 15

Dell G7 15

Price: $999

Another gaming powerhouse under $1,000, the Dell G7 15 goes head-to-head with my top recommendation.

It has pretty respectable specs. It has the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU, Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB of RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD, and has a pretty vibrant 15.6-inch IPS display to top it off.

The laptop also has a bevy of ports so that you can easily plug in your USB devices without a problem. Coupled with its amazing WiFi card, you will never have any problems when playing online games.

Probably, the only thing that I consider a negative here is that its display panel doesn’t have a high refresh rate. However, it pretty much makes up for its thanks to its vivid display.

9.ASUS TUF Gaming FX705

ASUS TUF Gaming FX705

Price: $820

ASUS is one of the most reputable companies when it comes to creating PC components. They not only have gaming monitors, but they also dabble into creating their own graphics cards, power supply units, and even gaming peripherals.

The company’s TUF lineup is pretty much their own gaming line that also has the durability to last a really long time and this particular model delivers on that front.

The ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 is equipped with a quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 3550H CPU, an AMD Radeon RX560X graphics processor, 512GB NVMe SSD, and 8GB of RAM.

Most other gaming laptops out there do not have a robust cooling solution and that is why most of them tend to overheat after a considerable amount of time. That is not the case with this TUF laptop.

Thanks to its dual-fan cooling solution, the laptop remains relatively cool even during intense gaming sessions. Its anti-dust technology also ensures that the fans do not need cleaning for a long time.

The keyboard is pretty nice to type on and it also has configurable backlighting to enable you to see everything even in dimly-lit environments.

Although its 17.3-inch IPS display panel is great from a content consumption standpoint, some gamers might be turned off by the fact that it is not a high-refresh-rate screen.

Still, I wouldn’t count the ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 out because it is a really appealing gaming laptop at this price.

10.Dell G3 Max-Q

Dell G3 Max-Q

Price: $990

The Dell G3 Max-Q was originally priced at $1,459 but has received a considerable price cut and is now priced at $990 (which is a steal, in my opinion).

This gaming laptop has a pretty good Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU, an Intel Core i5-9300H CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD.

Its 15.6-inch IPS display has an anti-glare coating to ensure that it protects your eyes if you intend to have a marathon gaming session.

The laptop has a predominantly black design, though it has blue accents here and there to make it even more appealing.

What do I dislike about the laptop? Well, aside from the fact that its display doesn’t have a fast refresh rate, its RAM could be doubled for better performance.

But, since it has received a huge price cut, I would say that the Dell G3 Max-Q is still worth considering.

What to Consider When Buying a Gaming Laptop

A gaming laptop is different from a regular laptop, especially since it is fitted with better specs to allow people to play games on the go.

Below are just some of the most important considerations when buying one:

1.GPU

This is what makes a laptop a ‘gaming’ one. The GPU handles all of the graphical load that your game needs.

A good gaming laptop should be fitted with a competitive GPU that can handle all games, albeit frame rates may be different depending on the title.

If you absolutely have to choose a budget gaming laptop, the GPU is one that you should definitely set your eyes on.

2.CPU

The CPU works in tandem with the GPU to help you play your games at considerable frame rates. Some games would require more processing power from the CPU while others barely need it.

Since most games are graphically-intensive nowadays, you should consider getting a laptop that has at least a 4-core processor. Ideally, you want to think about getting a 4-8-core part, though having the former should be adequate in most scenarios.

3.RAM

RAM is also another important factor to consider. Ideally, you want to get 8GB of RAM as a minimum standard, though if you are going to get one, make sure that you are not running any other application in the background.

Some processes like opening a Google Chrome web browser even with just 3 tabs can eat up a lot of system memory, so always bear that in mind.

The ideal solution would be to get 16GB of RAM just to be on the safe side, but that is hard to come by when it comes to budget gaming laptops.

4.Storage

Without a doubt, you should only be considering laptops that have an SSD on it. Having an HDD along with an SSD should be considered as an added bonus and may not be required in most setups.

The reason why you’d want to settle for an SSD as opposed to an HDD is that the former is much faster when it comes to both read and write speeds.

You can see why the SSD is much better than an HDD if you load a game using either of them.

NVMe or PCIe SSDs work much better from a performance standpoint, though getting a laptop that is fitted with one may mean that you need to spend more. A SATA SSD should be okay for most people.

5.Display

For a gaming machine, most people would opt for high refresh rate displays. Although that is all good, it is hard to come by for a gaming laptop that has a sub-$1,000 price.

6.Battery Life

Part of what makes a laptop more appealing than a gaming PC is its portability. In other words, some people want to play their favorite games anywhere they please. For this purpose, you will need a laptop that has a considerable amount of battery capacity.

Ideally, you want a laptop that can at least last for 5 hours before needing an adapter to charge.

7.Keyboard

A good gaming laptop should also have a pretty good keyboard. While a mechanical keyboard is hard to find in a laptop that is under $1,000, this is still worth noting.

8.Other Features

The above-mentioned things are definitely the ones that you should consider first when buying a gaming laptop. However, having some nifty additions is also good as well.

Some notable additions include keyboard backlighting, mechanical keyboard, a better trackpad, touchscreen display, better cooling solutions, just to name a few.

Keep in mind that while added features are welcome, they might also be the reason why the price goes higher than expected.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review- The Best Mainstream Gaming CPU in 2020

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review

Ever since the launch of the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, more and more people are recommending the R5 3600 for people that want to build a budget gaming PC. It is pretty sad that Intel chips are not getting recognition, but that is going to change with the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K.

Today, I am going to review the said chip. Find out why I think it is the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020 by reading the rest of the article.

Comet Lake Architecture

Intel Core i5-10600K Review 2020

The 10th generation Intel Processors is part of the ‘Comet Lake’ family that uses a much-improved architecture than Skylake (where it’s derived from).

While the i9-10900K is definitely a beast of a chip, the Intel Core i5-10600K is surely something that most people are going to want to look at.

Competition is very important, especially to us consumers. When AMD released their Ryzen line of processors, Intel had to respond in kind to stay in the game. 

Back then, you normally wouldn’t find i5 chips to have hyperthreading, which is essentially the same as the SMT or simultaneous multi-threading feature that is present in AMD’s CPUs. But now, the 10600K not only has one, but the core frequency is clocked higher as well.

Here is a rundown of the Intel Core i5-10600K’s specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Lithography: 14nm
  • Base clock: 4.1GHz
  • Peak Turbo (single-core): 4.8GHz
  • Peak Turbo (all-core): 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12MB
  • TDP: 125W
  • PCIe Lanes: 16

As you can see, thanks to hyperthreading being enabled, you get to have two times more threads than an i5 chip of yesteryears. This means that you get considerably better performance across the board, especially for multi-core/multi-threaded workloads.

But, where the 10600K really shines is through its gaming performance and I will talk about this in the next section.

Performance

Intel Core i5-10600K

When you ask people what CPU you want to compare the 10600K to, it would be the AMD Ryzen R5 3600. That is because they have the same core and thread counts but there is a huge difference when it comes to their clock frequencies.

You see, the R5 3600 has a base frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost (all-core) frequency of only 4.2GHz. The 10600K, on the other hand, has a base frequency of 4.1GHz with an all-core boost of 4.6GHz.

Because Intel has added a new boost algorithm wherein the best core inside the CPU boosts higher than others, you get a clock frequency of 4.8GHz maximum on the said core, giving you even more performance.

Now, how does this translate into the real world? Well, in most multi-core benchmarks, the Intel Core i5-10600K performs so much better than the chip that it is compared to. Seriously, I would recommend this Intel chip for anyone who engages in productivity workloads on the side.

When it comes to gaming performance, there is no question that the 10600K beats the R5 3600 by a lot. That is due to the combination of the architecture, as well as the higher core frequencies of each core of the said chip.

Overclocking

Intel Core i5-10600K Box

What makes Intel chips appealing to the overclocking community than AMD Ryzen processors is the fact that you can eke out even more performance by setting the clock frequency of the cores higher than their rated specs. This is possible if you have a ‘K’ series chip (which the Intel Core i5-10600K is) and a compatible Z490 motherboard as well.

In most cases, people can set the frequency to 4.8GHz all-core with the single-core frequency (the best one) set to 5.1-5.3 GHz depending on the silicon of your particular chip. This provides even better performance across the board which is pretty nice.

I do have to caution you to not overclock the processor until you get one of the best CPU coolers on the market.

Because of the higher core frequency and because of the fact that you add more voltage to the chip just to make it stable, overclocking will result in higher heat production than usual. You will need a very competent cooler to keep things at relatively good temperatures.

Verdict

The Intel Core i5-10600K is way better than its predecessors- both in terms of architecture and performance.

Its rival, the Ryzen 5 3600, doesn’t come close to its performance thanks to the Intel chip’s higher clock frequency and better boost algorithms.

This is not to say that the AMD CPU is bad because there are some cases where it is more warranted than the 10600K.

For instance, if you are really on a tight budget, the Ryzen 5 3600 makes sense because it already comes with a cooler out of the box and its performance is still quite good for the price (currently at $160 compared to the i5-10600K’s $280 price tag).

The money that you can save by getting the Ryzen chip could be budgeted towards a better graphics card or faster storage, so there is still value that can be had when you go this route.

However, if you are okay with spending $280 and if you want a processor that can comfortably last at least 3 years competitively, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is indeed a much better option.

All in all, the Intel Core i5-10600K is definitely what I would consider to be the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020.

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review- A Comfortable and Great-Sounding Headset for $100

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review

Back then, I never would recommend any of Razer’s gaming headsets because they often sound muddy due to the obvious preference towards the lower frequencies, but the company has changed its stance ever since.

The Razer Blackshark V2 is shaping up to be one of the best gaming headsets that are priced competitively in the market. Should you get one of these or look for something else? Read on to find out.

Design

Razer Blackshark V2 Review 2020

The ‘Blackshark’ line of headsets is nothing new because there is one that was released so many years ago. However, the Razer Blackshark V2 is a pretty polished iteration that I think would warrant the people’s attention.

Its design is quite similar to its predecessor, albeit there is a noticeable volume control dial located on the left ear cup.

Usually, Razer would put leatherette ear cups on its gaming headsets, but the Blackshark V2 actually comes with mesh foam ear cups instead.

In terms of comfort, I would prefer these over leather ear cups any day, but some people would want the feel of the leatherette material. So, to each his own.

The headset itself is quite simple-looking, although the aviation-style aesthetic might not appeal to some. I especially do not like the green wire that is exposed on each ear cup as you could potentially damage it if you are not careful.

Also situated on the left ear cup is the port for the removable boom microphone. I like the fact that you can completely remove it as it will not impede your vision when you are not using it.

Now, I’ve heard of some reports that the clamping force of the Razer Blackshark V2 makes this headset uncomfortable, but I beg to disagree.

If anything, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets that you can find on the market.

I do have to point out that, being a large person myself, its clamping force is a bit on the stronger side, but it is still relatively comfortable for me to wear even during prolonged gaming sessions.

The Razer Blackshark V2 connects to your game console or PC either via 3.5mm headphone jack or with the use of its included USB soundcard (the latter is only usable on the PC, however).

Audio Performance

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset

The company has come a really long way when it comes to audio quality. Gone are the days where the soundstage gets muddied by the lower frequencies as everything sounds pretty balanced right from the get-go.

Razer has partnered with THX to provide you with a better surround sound gaming experience and if you use the included USB soundcard, its 7.1 surround sound implementation is so much better than what the company used to offer.

Once you plug this thing in using the said USB connector, its drivers will get installed on your PC and you can use it to your heart’s content.

You can use the Razer Synapse 3 software to tweak the EQ settings or choose from a variety of different presets.

Personally, the default sound quality is already pretty good as it is quite balanced overall. Of course, you could add more kick to the bass by tinkering with the necessary settings, but I find that the default soundstage is already good for most use-cases.

Whether you are playing MMORPGs, fast-paced games like Overwatch and CS:GO, or even just listening to your favorite tunes, I am blown away by the sound quality that the Razer Blackshark V2 provides.

It is worth noting, however, that because of the mesh foam material of the ear cups that you will experience some sound leakage as a result. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to play games as you do not want to disturb the people around you.

Microphone

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset Microphone

While I am impressed by the audio quality of the Razer Blackshark V2, I am disappointed with the boom microphone.

It just doesn’t sound well. My voice is tinny, it is not full-bodied, and for the most part, the volume could definitely be improved.

Even when using the USB soundcard, nothing changes for the betterment of the said gaming headset. You should be using its 3.5mm connector instead as I find it to be considerably better.

Because it is a cardioid microphone, it should be able to get your voice really nicely, right? Well, that is talking from a theoretical standpoint, but in reality, it can still pick up unwanted background noise so I am really disappointed with the microphone of the Blackshark V2.

Verdict

So, what do I think about the Razer Blackshark V2? If we are talking purely from an audio standpoint, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the best out there. This is especially true if you are going to use the included USB soundcard and wire this to your PC.

However, I am really disappointed with the microphone quality. The output is not full-bodied at all and you are better off using a third-party standalone microphone instead.

Do I recommend the Razer Blackshark V2? Well, as I’ve said, if you are okay with its mediocre microphone quality, then this product is definitely one of the best out there. However, if you are looking for a complete package, you are better off finding something else.

The Razer Blackshark V2 costs $100.

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