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Gizmos, Gadgets and Goodies Guide #4

It's time for our forth Gizmos, Gadgets and Goodies Guide where we look at new and funky products from Everglide, Antec,, Kore Computers, ThermalTake and TekGems.
Shawn Baker
Published Sun, Nov 9 2003 11:00 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:25 PM CDT
Manufacturer: none

GGG #4 - Introduction

IntroductionIt's been a while since our last Gadget Guide but here we are again reading (and me writing) no. 4. Over the past few months a fair few little bits and pieces have made their way into our Melbourne office and it's time we got around to trying them out. We have a few goodies from some of our regulars as well as a few new guys making an appearance.Webber 4 Technologies like last time have provided us with the latest in mousing surfaces, handed us some of the latest in portable memory storage as well as a few goodies from our buddies over at ThermalTake.Let's get straight in to our Gizmos, Gadgets and Goodies guide #4 and see what has come our way this time around.

GGG #4 - Webber 4 Technologies

Everglide RicochetWe last saw a product from Webber4Technologies earlier this year and like this one, it was a mouse pad. For most people a mouse pad isn't too exciting and that is understandable. With the release of the optical mouse, mouse pads were almost about to become an antique. Enthusiast mouse pads...yes, there is a small group of people who rely on a mouse pad more then ever. Until only recently if someone asked for a recommendation on a mouse pad I couldn't help but say "fUnc Pad". There was nothing better in the mouse pad market then the fUnc pad and all for good reason. It had everything the Ratpad and Everglide had, and more. This did come at a cost unfortunately and naturally many were not willing to spend $30 US for just a mouse pad.
The Ricochet is the latest in mouse pads to hit the market and we knew that it wouldn't take Everglide long to come out with something to compete with the fUnc pad. Everglide have turned around and created a mouse pad bigger, smoother and nicer to use. Just like the fUnc pad, the Ricochet has two sides - an ultra smooth side and slightly rougher side.
The overall build of this mouse pad is excellent and we didn't think there was going to be a mouse pad that could beat the fUnc pad any time soon. The Ricochet has everything going for it and for this reason we give the Ricochet our Editor's Choice award. We can recommend this mouse pad to anyone who is willing to spend the extra dollars.

GGG #4 - Altech Computers

AntecAntec are quite well known for producing a cheap yet sturdy and very nice looking case. While Antec previously only concentrate on cases, they have moved on and started giving owners a chance to include their own brand of Case Modding equipment. We have a few items this time around from Antec through our good friends at Altech Computers.- Cobra ATA133 Rounded CablesFirst up we have Antec's latest Rounded Cables labeled Cobra. Antec Cobra rounded IDE cables are a UV reactive cable with support for ATA133, as well as all previous ATA standards. Not everyone has been able to move to Serial ATA, so rounded IDE cables are still an "in" item. In the event you're going for a UV look or just want some cables that look fantastic, the Antec Cobra cables are perfect.
- LED FansIf you're looking at upgrading the fans inside your case be it an Antec, Lian Li, ThermalTake or anything else for that matter, the latest fans from Antec might be just what you're after. Antec's new lines of LED fans are ultra bright and push a decent amount of air at a reasonably acceptable volume level.We had a chance to look at two different types of fans from Antec. First the normal 80mm Tri LED fan that looks simply amazing and secondly the 120mm thermal controlled fan. Some people prefer the thermal controlled fans over others as when the temperature drops the fans will slow down. This usually means at night when it cools down, you don't have to worry about your PC being loud as the fans will slow down accordingly. While you do pay a premium for Antec products, it's usually worth spending those extra few dollars and avoiding the cheaper and sometimes inferior OEM products.

GGG #4 -

TranscendTranscend has been in the memory game for quite a while and thanks to we have the chance to look at some of their latest offerings.In our latest Dual Channel Roundup, Transcend DDR400 didn't stand out too well. This time around we have a few different products from Transcend including their latest Pen Drive as well as some of the latest in camera storage.JetFlash USB DrivePen Drives, Flash Drives, Handy Drives or whatever it is you like to call them have become very popular. JetFlash is one of the best looking drives on the market and thanks to the ease of USB; the JetFlash drive is plug and play at its best.
Within the flash drive is a small red LED which shows activity. For example, when copying, deleting, etc the LED flashes. The Transcend JetFlash looks excellent, works like a charm and is priced quite competitively when compared to other flash drives on the market.Secure Digital and XD Picture CardAs far as camera storage goes, there are two common storage types used. Compact Flash and Secure Digital. Compact flash is a lot more common in older cameras and considered quite slow when compared to the newer Secure Digital standard. XD, on the other hand, is the latest in portable storage technology - it's faster, provides better features and is smaller.
Both cards are excellent and due to patent reasons like Memory Stick from Sony, Fuji Film is currently the only people able to produce the XD Picture Card. If you're currently in the market for a camera try to stay clear of the older Compact Flash type and steer towards something that uses a XD card or the Secure Data card. Both are of excellent quality and with sizes ranging above 512MB, there is no reason you would run out of space any time soon in your everyday digital camera.

GGG #4 - Kore Computers

PSU SleevingIn the never ending battle to clean up the cables inside your PC, Kore Computers (a local Australian based company) have given the Australian modding community the opportunity to clean up the dreaded cables that come out of your power supply.Sleeving has been around for ages. We started doing it with colored tape on our IDE cables years ago, slowly this got more and more advanced and we now have some of the best looking rounded cables around that can be picked up from your local computer shop for under $10 US.In the beginning, Kore Computer offered to sleeve a power supply for us and promised we would be very happy with the job. At the time we were just in the middle of setting up our new test beds and received two brand spanking new power supply's from another company. We boxed them up again and sent them straight over to the friendly staff at Kore who was kindly offered to sleeve both power supplies for us and for use in this guide. Unfortunately due to the power supplies being from the States, the switch on the back of one of the power supplies saying 110 and 240 hadn't been flicked and one power supply quickly saw the light.Kore let us know and proceeded to replace the power supplies with two brand new dual fan Leadman LP-6100 400 watt power supplies (Thanks guys!). While this isn't an article on the power supply, on a side note we must say that we have been using this power supply for some time and we haven't had a single hick up no matter what we throw at it - be it an Athlon 64 system with a Radeon 9800 XT or an Intel Pentium 4 setup.The sleeving looks amazing and it's that little bit extra which helps in creating a much tidier case as well as increase air flow due to less obstruction. Kore Computers offer sleeving in a range of colors and charge per the meter. While this is only available to Australian customers, we would highly recommend that you look around your local area to find where you can get this done also.It's not very often you have one of those products that look good and is cheap at the same time.
If you're looking at tiding up your power supply cables and live in Australia there is no need to look any further then Kore Computers. If you're outside of Australia, load Google right now and find where you can get it done nearest to you.

GGG #4 - ThermalTake

ThermalTakeBrowsing the ThermalTake website you notice just how far they have come from the old ORB days. This time around we aren't looking at a new case or a new cooler from ThermalTake - but a kit. ThermalTake recently released the X-Blower kit which comes with two fans and a rheobus to control them.- ThermalTake X BlowerThere are three parts to the X-Blower kit. The first is the rheobus which is used to control the speed of both the fans. The rheobus buttons are quite big but the best thing about this is that they are nice and smooth and very easy to move.
As we mentioned, there are two fans included within the pack. One is a thermal controlled 80mm fan. The fan moves from 1,300 RPM @ 20c pushing a maximum of 4,800 RPM @ 55c. This fan is a simple 80mm fan that you can either use to upgrade a current 80mm fan, add a new 80mm fan to a spot that supports it or upgrade a current heat sink to this new fan if your current fan just ain't cutting the cheese no more.The other fan looks quite different and you may recognize it from the Cooler Master Aero 7(+) cooling unit. This particular fan is designed to eliminate any dead spot that most fans have. The Blower Fan as ThermalTake call it pushes a maximum of 26.9 CFM @ 41 DBA. Below is a picture of how ThermalTake recommend setting the package up:
If you're chasing a few new fans and a rheobus, you're in luck. The aluminum rheobus is definitely high quality and will go perfect if you're the lucky owner of a silver ThermalTake or a Lian Li case, as it will suit perfectly.

GGG #4 - TekGems

TekGems WinAMP Remote ControlWhen first receiving the WinAMP remote control from TekGems, we noticed a logo on the bottom of the remote and for ages it bothered us wondering what it was. Finally when it came to installing and paying a little attention to the manual, it was quickly discovered that it was made by Packard Bell. The relief was instant!
Setting up the remote isn't hard...if you chose to read the instruction manual. Included within the package is everything you need to get the remote up and running. First we have the installation guide, the remote, an infrared receiver, a CD with everything needed and a manual explaining the remote. Included on the CD is WinAMP 3, infrared software and the necessary plug-in to get the remote up and running. Once everything is installed, make your way to the plug-in section of WinAMP and after adding the included plug-in, you can map your keys out as you wish. Once you have decided what buttons want to control what, you are ready to sit back and cruise your mp3z, control volume and so forth without any effort at all.The remote control isn't too bad - it does what it's suppose to but would probably only suit a small group of people. The remote is best suited for a PC home entertainment system where you're sitting back on the couch or walking around the house and getting to your keyboard involves stretching your arm more than a few centimeters.

GGG #4 - Conclusion

ConclusionThere is so much cool stuff out these days that if you wanted to put everything in one article you would be writing forever and ever. The beloved fUnc pad has left the clutches of my desk and been upgraded to the faster, smarter, sexier Ricochet by Everglide.Antec have definitely come a long way from one single case. They now have a load of cases, excellent power supplies with very nice features and definitely some excellent modding gear to accompany your system. Transcend are doing something a bit more exciting then your normal run of the mill DDR memory modules. They are producing one of the most stylish looking pen drives on the market right now.It's nice to see ThermalTake bringing out a little something different for a change. If you're interested in upgrading a few fans, chucking in a rheobus, it's not worth looking much further then the X-Blower kit from ThermalTake. Finally we saw a new toy from TekGems - useless some may say and the particular comment holds a lot of truth. Most people aren't going to use such a device while others are going to love it for the novelty factor. Each to their own we say and if you're too lazy to move your mouse in WinAMP, slowly move your mouse around and enter those magic numbers from your credit card and purchase one.Lots to do, lots to see and we will see what the next Gadget Guide offers when it next surfaces.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
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