While all of the new games and exciting announcements from our favourite studios continue to be the best headliners of E3, tech manufacturers are also a key component in the gaming industry and deserve some attention. Here are a few of our nominees and our winner for Best Tech of the show.
Logitech is known for their high-quality wireless mice and accurate sensors, but their new lineup didn’t pique my interest like I expected.The new mice, including the G703 and G903, are mostly new versions of popular fan favourites with small tweaks, so I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. What did surprise me, however, was the mousepads the mice were working on.
One of Logitech’s new products set to come out this year is called the Powerplay charging mousepad and it’s compatible with all of their latest wireless mice. The technology is pretty ingenious; by plugging in the new weighted power coin included in the system into your favourite Logitech mouse, the pad will actually charge it while you game. The demo I was shown also showcased that the pad was charging the mouse faster than the mouse was draining, meaning this Powerplay pad could be the perfect solution for all those users who forget to charge their gear. The Powerplay system will retail for $100 USD, but unlike recent RGB mousepads that only light up, this pad has technology users will actually want to take advantage of.
If you wanted to see the beefiest systems on the show floor running some insane demos, then Alienware was the booth to go to. The big headliner of their show was their new Area 51 PCs, which had both AMD’s Threadripper and Intel’s new Core i7 X-Series enthusiast level CPUs on full display. The Threadripper demo was particularly impressive, showing that the system was capable of running a game at 1080p 60FPS while rendering video and running two different benchmarks on a second monitor without breaking a sweat.
The case of the Area 51 PC is also a beauty to behold with its unique design and wealth of customization options to satisfy users with different budgets. The system itself starts as low as $2300 USD, but that price can quickly ramp up to over $4000 if users want to purchase the highest-grade components and additional add-ons like wireless adapters and software packages. After the user’s system arrives, they are free to open the case and add any of their personal components as well thanks to Alienware’s pro-consumer warranty.
Plantronics is one of the most recognizable brands when it comes to headsets in eSports and their technology continues to improve through new intimate partnerships with companies like Microsoft. If you’re a reader interested in picking up the Xbox One X, one feature you won’t immediately be able to take advantage of is the Dolby Atmos technology built within. A standard license to even use the feature costs $15 USD, but through Plantronics’ exclusive partnership with Microsoft, users who purchase one of the manufactures new RIG 800LX, 600LX or 400LX headsets will get a license for free.
The RIG 800LX is set to release this Fall for a competitive price tag of $150 USD and has a large catalogue of features built within. First, the set is wireless and can handle 24-hours of lag-free use on Xbox One before the battery fully drains. The 40mm drivers showcase the amplified sound that only Dolby Atmos can offer and the drivers themselves fit nicely to the user’s head with comfortable cushioning. To ensure that the user doesn’t have a hard time fiddling with audio controls in the back-end of the console, the 800LX also has built-in dials on the sides of the drivers for both in-game audio and chat.
If there was one tech manufacturer that stood out to me it was Razer with their impressive lineup of headsets for consoles, PC peripherals and the breathtaking winner of the show, the Razer Blade Stealth 2017. The new Razer Blade Stealth is the most impressive looking notebook on the market to date, setting a new standard for enthusiast notebooks by delivering powerful performance and a stunning professional design.
While the Blade hasn’t undergone a huge transformation with its chassis design, it’s shocking how a new gunmetal finish can make this notebook stand out from the crowd. Spec wise, however, the Razer Blade Stealth has gone through many improvements since its last iteration. The most noticeable difference was the new 13.3” QHD+ display with an impressive resolution of 3200×1800 and 50% reduction in display bezel. The colours come to life thanks to the 100 percent sRGB colour range and users can take further advantage of the display with convenient touchscreen controls. Even the trackpad has undergone new innovations with a much more accurate sensor and improved sensitivity controls.
While this baby may not have a GPU under the hood, the Razer Blade Stealth’s Core i7 processor will be more than enough to handle most eSports while the user is on-the-go. Lastly, to power this whole experience is a stronger battery with upwards of 9 hours of underload battery life from a single charge. It’s due to this great level of craftsmanship that Razer takes home the CGM Best Tech of Show Award.