It’s a great time to be a PC gamer.
Even though CES is for consumer electronics, there was still a good amount of PC hardware demos this year. Everything from new mice and keyboards to giant displays and impossibly small PCs were on-hand. Below, we’ve collected what we think were the most notable announcements.
Razer Mamba HyperFlux
Razer is jumping aboard the “charging mat” bandwagon with its $250 Mamba HyperFlux mouse/mat combo. Unlike Logitech’s PowerPlay system whereby the mouse surface is able to charge the battery inside the mouse, Razer’s design eschews the battery completely as the mouse pulls power directly from the mat, making the mouse a bit lighter than it would be otherwise. Both the mouse and the mat offer RGB illumination, and they’ll be showing up in the first quarter of 2018. We expect other HyperFlux mice to follow as well.
Nvidia’s Big Format Gaming Display is taking the performance of a gaming monitor and merging it with the size of a television. With its 65” wingspan, 120Hz refresh rate, 4K resolution, HDR support and 1,000 nits brightness, it’s a top-shelf display and should be spectacular for gaming. Thanks to its built-in Nvidia Shield TV, it’s easy to fire up a movie or TV show too. Pricing TBD but you should contact your loan shark now as they’re arriving in the 2nd half of 2018.
The Snowblind is a seriously cool and customizable case side panel that can display almost anything from whirly effects to system temps. Though it’s been around for a bit, the company was showing it off at CES and it looks unbelievably awesome. You can download widgets to display on the side of the case, and alternatively you can have it look totally transparent, white, or blacked out completely to show off your illuminated components. It’s pretty slick, and you can check out a video of it here or see the company’s landing page for more info. Unfortunately, this tech is only available in pre-built systems from iBuyPower.
HTC Vive Pro and Wireless Adapter
HTC threw down the gauntlet at CES this year, announcing an updated Vive Pro headset and a wireless adapter that work with the new headset and the original Vive. The big news on the Pro model is it offers a decent increase in resolution— running at 1,440 x 1,600 compared to the older model’s 1,080 x 1,200 resolution. It will also include built-in headphones, but still offers the same 110-degree field of view and 90Hz refresh rate. The Vive Pro also has two front-facing cameras instead of the single one on the original model.
The wireless adapter connects to the headset and communicates with your PC over Intel’s WiGig 60G band, and you’ll need to clip on a battery pack as well. Pricing for both products wasn’t announced, but HTC says they should be arriving later this year.
Digital Storm Project Spark
Boutique system builder Digital Storm’s Project Spark is easily the smallest and most powerful gaming PC we’ve ever seen. Despite being the width of a coffee cup and just 12 inches tall it can sport a GTX 1080, a Core i7-8700K CPU, and up to three M.2 SSDs. It’s built on the Micro STX platform and its compact size is made possible by Digital Storm’s hardline cooling system— so it’s all liquid-cooled and presumably super quiet. Configurations and pricing vary, and it’ll be available in Q2 of 2018.
Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service has been around for awhile, and at CES the company was showing it off by running PUBG and Rainbow Six on decidedly crappy laptops. Nvidia’s service works by allowing your PC to connect to a data center do all the heavy lifting, allowing you to stream the game to your PC, so you can play games on the road as long as you have a decent Internet connection. Nvidia says its service supports over 160 games, but of course you have to own the game to stream it over the service. Nvidia provided a chart showing performance of its service compared to using integrated graphics on your basic $200 laptop, and the results speak for themselves. The Beta is currently free in North America and Europe. You can give it a try for free by clicking here.
Asus Bezel-free Kit
Aside from stepping on Legos, there’s nothing more annoying than a monitor’s bezels interfering with your multi-monitor setup. Asus is trying to rid the gaming world of this scourge with its new Bezel-free kit, which uses light refraction to simulate what the image would look like if the bezels were transparent. The strips attach to the area where the bezels meet, and beam the edge of the content from each display onto the strips, creating what looks like a pretty convincing wrap-around monitor setup. No power of software is required. Pricing is TBD, but it’s certainly cheaper than upgrading to a massive curved panel.
Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
Corsair has launched the first wireless mechanical keyboard that includes a backlight, making it a first for the industry. Logitech recently launched the first wireless mechanical keyboard, but to conserve battery life it left the backlight out of the equation, upsetting gamers the world over. Corsair rectifies this heinous act with its new K63 wireless keyboard, which is available with Cherry MX Red switches and an “ice blue” backlight along with a diminutive tenkeyless design. Corsair says its internal battery is good for 15 hours per charge, but you can also use it while it’s charging via USB cable. It’s available right now on Corsair’s site for a mere $109.