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Corsair Katar Elite wireless review: The new ambidextrous king?

The Corsair Katar Elite takes a stab at the big boys

Historically speaking, Corsair hasn’t always done that well with their mice, but the Corsair Katar Elite seems like it might change that, so, let’s find out in our Corsair Katar Elite review.

Don’t get us wrong, Corsair doesn’t make bad gaming mice, but they never managed to compete against the big hitters like the Logitech G Pro X Superlight and Razer Deathadder V3 Pro, mostly because the price-to-performance ratio was always slightly off.

However, the Corsair Katar Elite Wireless retails for a very reasonable $79.99/£69.99/€79.99. If the Katar Elite can hold up to our testing, it might win a spot on the best gaming mouse page.

Corsair Katar Elite specs

Corsair Katar Elite Wireless gaming mouse

Sensor

Corsair Marksman

Max DPI

26,000

Weight

69g (nice)/2.4lbs

Buttons

6

Switches

OMRON mechanical

Pros

Excellent comfort for fingertip grip users

Lightweight

Accurate and reliable sensor

Cons

Uncomfortable for palm or claw grip users

Scroll wheel isn’t tactile enough and the texture is slippery

Tech Specs

Sensor

Corsair Marksman

Max DPI

26,000

Weight

69g (nice)/2.4lbs

Buttons

6

Switches

OMRON mechanical

Handedness

Ambidextrous, right hand only thumb buttons

Battery Life

60 hours (lighting on), 110 hours, lighting off

Skates

100% PTFE

Max IPS

650

Connectivity

2.4GHz/USB Type-C/Bluetooth 4.2

What’s in the box & setup

Corsair Katar Elite wireless gaming mouse

2.4 GHz USB dongle

USB Type-A to Type-C cable

Warranty guide

Safety information

For the last couple of gaming mouse reviews, we’ve grown tired of the same unboxing experience as brands like Razer and Logitech have settled into an identical design, which was so secure and utilitarian that we’ve been consistently and painfully bored.

So, we were overcome with ironic delight when we received the Corsair Katar Elite because it was packaged really quite badly, finally giving us something new to talk about.

In contrast to the foam-padded, fully-immobilized packaging we’re used to, the Corsair Katar Elite comes in a thin box, kept still in a sort of origami-esque cardboard insert.

Still, by the way, is a strong word as you can feel and hear the mouse rattling around when the box is shaken, however, ours arrived in perfect condition, but it’s worth mentioning regardless.

This all sounds pretty negative, but to our understanding, the quality of the packaging can have a significant effect on the end cost of a product, which the consumer will have to shoulder.

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So, Corsair has put the money where it counts? Allocating the budget to the product itself instead of mostly superficial presentation? Spoiler Alert: They have. Mostly.

The setup process was identical to all the other wireless mice for the last couple of years: Plug the dongle in, turn the mouse on, and download annoying peripheral software if you want.

Design

Coming up with a unique design has always been tricky when it comes to gaming mice, mostly because you can only get so creative while retaining a comfortable shape.

This unfortunately and inevitably means that there are only a handful of successful mouse shapes, copied from brand to brand with just enough differences to make sure no one gets their ass litigated.

This means that the shape of the Corsair Katar Elite is something we’ve seen many times before, with an ambidextrous sort of diamond/egg-shaped profile.

Nice weight. Note that we occasionally got readings ± 2g, however, this is probably due to the scale and not the short half-life of a mouse

The most popular example of this shape is probably the Logitech G305, followed by the Razer Orochi, and of course, the Katar Elite’s predecessor, the Corsair Katar Pro.

Despite the aforementioned limitation, Corsair has done very well, implementing just enough little flairs here and there to keep the design fresh, most of these are all well and good, but one of them actually results in the primary downfall of this mouse.

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For a while now, Corsair has been adding clusters of small tessellated triangles on their peripherals, which was most noticeable on the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless gaming keyboard.

Corsair has used these triangles to design the grippy sections on each side of the Katar Elite, which works delightfully well, adding some well-need traction on a crucial contact surface of this mouse.

Unfortunately, they’ve also used triangles to make the texture on the scroll wheel, and this texture isn’t nearly deep enough to provide enough grip, especially if you use the scroll wheel to cycle weapons in FPS games.

Given the obvious competitive FPS players that the Katar Elite is aimed at, making the scroll wheel unideal for switching weapons seem like a design misstep.

Additionally, the scroll increments have very little tactility, which made it woefully easy to scroll too far, again, causing annoyance switching weapons in FPS games.

Moving onto more positive aspects, we find the inevitable ‘// KATAR‘ on the left mouse button, a hallmark of recent Corsair peripheral that we really like. Behind this, on the palm section of the mouse, we find the sails logo, illuminated with glorious RGB colors. Pleasingly, we’ve yet to see the return of Corsair’s tramp tamp logo, thank god.

It’s worth noting here, that while the design is excellent for fingertip grip users and adequate for claw grip types, those with a predilection to palm grip should steer well clear. If you accidentally palm this mouse you’ll notice it digging annoyingly into the center of your palm.

NOW READ: What different mouse grips are there?

As with all egg-shaped gaming mice, the top surface is wider than the footprint of the mouse, meaning that your fingers will have to curve around and under to grip the sides, and this profile is a little more aggressive than the G305 and Orochi. Some could find this too aggressive, but it was plenty comfortable for our testing.

Build quality

The mouse feels great, especially the textured sides, as they feel super premium, and we are confident that they won’t wear away too quickly.

Unfortunately, the top shell doesn’t feel as hard-wearing, and we suspect that it’ll shine quickly, similar to ABS keycaps. Aside from this, all is well in terms of build quality, with no rattles and only the occasional creak, and only when squeezed with the might of Zeus.

Unfortunately, the included USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable feels super bog-standard, with no fanciful braiding, it’s perfectly functional, however, and we think this is another example of Corsair saving money to make this mouse more accessible in price.

The same goes for the dongle itself, which is again, super standard. Additionally, it only protrudes a couple of millimeters from the USB port, making it, and the 69g/2.4lbs Corsair Katar Elite one of the best laptop mice around.

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Additionally, like many of the lightest gaming mice, you can store the dongle inside the mouse itself via a little flap on the bottom, situated between the 100% PTFE feet, again improving portability.

Performance

Battery life seems to match what Corsair promises too, we aren’t sure of the exact numbers, but it’s more than enough, so you won’t have to plug it in multiple times a day.

This performance is especially impressive when you remember the $79.99 price tag. As long as egg-shaped gaming mice suit you, this can go toe-to-toe with the big boys without issue.

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Corsair Katar Elite Wireless mouse review: Final verdict

Corsair has done very well with the Katar Elite wireless, producing a high-performance, low-weight mouse that can perform far above its price tag.

The Corsair Katar Elite is comfortable, reliable, and looks great. While the unboxing experience is certainly on the budget end and the accessories are functional, but unimpressive.

It seems what corsair has done is save money in the right places, to deliver a great FPS gaming mouse that’s uncharacteristically affordable when compared to Corsair’s normal offerings, and we really like it.

Corsair Katar Elite Wireless gaming mouse

Sensor

Corsair Marksman

Max DPI

26,000

Weight

69g (nice)/2.4lbs

Buttons

6

Switches

OMRON mechanical

How We Review

CHECK PRICE

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Razer Mamba Elite Wired Mouse Review

Razer Mamba Elite Wired Mouse Review

Widely considered as the underdog to the Deathadder, the Mamba elite equipped with new Ergonomic design and Optical sensor begins to rival its close neighbour. We sit down with Razers Mamba Elite and put it through WePC’s Vigorous tests. Designed for both gamer’s and everyday users the elite has been equipped with their infamous 5G 16000 DPI sensor for what they like to describe as a new standard of precision and speed. It boasts a handsome 99.4% resolution accuracy to help you stay ahead of the field when it comes to those intense gaming battles but has also been ergonomically designed for comfort and usability in everyday situations. It has Razer’s fantastic RGB setup hosting 20 lighting zones and over 16 million different customizable light settings. Onboard Memory and cloud storage allow users to bind, assign macros and automatically save user profiles to access on any PC. We put the elite through the paces to see if it stands up to the likes of the Deathadder Elite and more.

Sleek and stylish design with a hardcore gaming brain, this mouse truly is for every situation. Of course many are only interested in how it performs within the gaming world and it’s safe to say this mouse excels on a number of different platforms. Great weight for FPS gaming, Ergonomics which eliminate finger drags points and reduced overall hand stress are 2 features that I really appreciated. I’ve used most of the mice in the Razer range now and can safely say the ELITE certainly takes on the task when attempting to break its way into the gaming Universe.

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[mks_one_half]

Pros

Fantastic Ergonomic Design

Powerful Optical Sensor

Excellent 50 Million+ Button Life Span

Beautiful 20 Zone Colouring RGB

Intuitive Synapse 3 User-Friendly Software

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Cons

Limited Buttons

Very Resistant Scroll Wheel

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Mouse Size & Weight

Weight:  96 g

Size: Medium

Length: 12.5 cm / 4.92 in

Width: 6.99cm / 2.75 in

Height: 4.33cm / 1.70 in

Hand orientation: Right-handed

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Mouse Tech

Sensor:  PMW339

Buttons: Omron D2FC-F-7N(10M)

DPI: 100-16000 True DPI

Polling Rate: 125 / 250 / 500 / 1000Hz

Connection: Wired

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What’s in the box

No one will be surprised to find an elegant looking classic matte black case with neon green exterior for the Razer Mamba Elite. Upon opening, you will find the Mamba mouse in its protective plastic housing, with the cable bound with a rubber stopper tied neatly behind. Potentially worth noting is that the cable, being 2.1 metres in length is tied in a small bundle, around 3 inches per loop, meaning once you’ve unboxed you are left with a ‘kinked’ cable.  This however being temporary is still a little off-putting in my opinion. Inside you will, of course, find your welcome note, extensive user manual, and 2 Razer stickers.

Inside we get:

Razer Mamba Elite mouse

Welcome letter

User Guide

Design

Size & Weight

Without sounding biased, I have always been a huge fan of the Razer’s designs and the Mamba Elite has yet again not failed to please my needs when it comes to comfort for short and long term usage. Being a huge gamer I always seek out mice that have been designed with this in mind and feel the Mamba has created a fantastic environment for this very need. Sitting at a slender 96g makes this mouse identical in weight to its neighbour the Deathadder Elite which has the perfect balance between light, quick movements and steady, slow accuracy. The mamba elite is a medium-sized mouse that fits perfectly into my own hand but lends itself to both small and large-handed users, they have really designed this with a wide field of users in mind. With improved ergonomics and state of the art side grips, the Mamba Elite allows for hours of seamless, unstressed gaming. Razer engineers have designed this mouse with reduced palm and finger stress in mind, creating a mouse that boasts complete elimination of finger drag points. Impressive.

Shape & Texture

Buttons & Switches

Mamba designers have created this mouse with gamers in mind and have subsequently armed this with 9 bind-able mouse buttons which are all customizable through Razer’s user-friendly Synapse 3 software. All buttons have been created with a sleek finish and none of the buttons are too pronounced which is exactly what I like. The 2 side buttons are in such a position that promotes usage during gaming. I’m a gamer who loves binding commands to their mice and after a few games, I was extremely pleased with the positioning and ease of which the buttons could be used. Worth a mention is 3 of the buttons are however taken by the mouse wheel, which for me isn’t something I would ever use for binding commands.

Cable

The cable is once again a standard braided cable with excellent durability and when paired with the Razer Mouse bungee makes for an almost wireless feel. We have tested the mamba elite both with and without the bungee, and for most people the cable, although not completed unusable, does become somewhat of an issue. It is, however, an extremely light cable so the mouse isn’t being obstructed by it, but you definitely notice it’s there. Alternatively if wireless is more your idea of a good time I would highly recommend checking out our Mamba Wireless review.

Pro tip – get a bungee.

Performance

Being an FPS gamer primarily, and a huge fan of both the Deathadder and Basilisk its safe to say that using the Mamba Elite was a great experience. Firstly we need to talk about the design, Razer engineers have classified the design optimization as Advanced Ergonomics, which means the most natural position of the hand no matter the type of grip. In short, Regardless of your hand size/shape/grip, you are going to find this mouse extremely comfortable. It feels very natural when in the palm of your hand which creates very accurate tracking when in any long-range FPS situation. I experienced no lag and very accurate crosshair positioning when practicing largely aggressive movements which are ideal for games such as CSGO. It is worth mentioning that day to day tasks were equally as enjoyable as you would imagine with such a great design. Unlike other mice in the Razer range, the ME doesn’t come with a clutch button but with its perfectly positioned side buttons, you could easily bind the sensitivity change to those. In conclusion, the mouse performed extremely well under all of our strict tests and came out with very similar results to the Deathadder Elite, which as we all know is regarded as one of the greats.

Features

Software

The Mamba elite, like the DE, comes pre-programmed to DPI level 800, handy as this is on average the most popular setting for gamers. However, if you want full customization then you will have to download and install Razer’s latest version of Synapse 3 which allows total control over your mouse setting. Over the years Synapse has been slated for not being as user-friendly as it could be, but with today’s current market you will find a much better package at your disposal. Drivers can automatically be updated through the software.

Our Verdict

Having sat down and used the Mamba Elite for almost a week and putting it through the pace of a highly active gamer I can safely say this fits right into Razer’s elusive list of top quality gaming mice. With the shadow of the mighty Deathadder Elite looming large, it was always going to be difficult to create something similar yet different that was going to have its own unique audience but I feel the Razer engineers have achieved this very feet. This is a brilliant mouse that withstood all the WePC tests and is recommended if you want something that is both ready for battle and easy to use on a regular day to day basis. Ultimately the greatest feature of this mouse is its ergonomic design which creates an ‘at one’ feel with the mouse. As we all know practice makes perfect and with the Mamba Elite you can really rack up the hours with the absolute minimum amount of stress on the hand.

Oclean X Pro Elite Smart Electric Toothbrush Review

Pros

Excellent battery life

Magnetic wall mount & USB charger

Well designed brush head

Cons

No pressure sensor

App sometimes unpairs

Mouth quadrant visual a bit off

Our Verdict

Slim and sleek with great battery life, the Oclean X Pro Elite is a terrific sonic toothbrush at a very reasonable price. However, the software isn’t as impressive as the hardware and the brush’s smart features can be hit and miss.

Best Prices Today: Oclean X Pro Elite

Retailer

Price

$99.99

View Deal

Oclean is a sub-brand of Xiaomi, a company best known for its phones. But it also makes a number of other smart health and beauty products, including smart scales.

There are several models of Oclean electric toothbrush. The X Pro Elite, which we’re reviewing, is at the pricier end of the range but still excellent value considering its features.

Brush design and battery life

Battery life of over a month

3.5 hour USB fast charge

Slim, waterproof design

In the box, there’s one brush handle, one brush head, a wireless USB charger, a magnetic wall mount and a user manual. There’s no travel case, but you can buy one separately. 

The 16cm toothbrush is limestone grey with a non-gloss surface for extra grip. With a diameter of 2cm, it’s smaller and slimmer than rival brushes and fits nicely into the hand.

It’s IPX7 waterproof, which means you can keep it one meter deep in water for almost 30 minutes. That’s more than enough waterproofing to allow you to take it into the shower, if that’s your thing.

Oclean expects you to keep the toothbrush on the provided magnetic wall mount. It’s an absolutely genius idea because it keeps the toothbrush off your wet sink or bathroom surface, and you can place the toothbrush just where you need it, at a height that’s convenient. It’s a cleaner, tidier solution. 

Keeping it in the mount and not on a charger is made feasible by the brush’s long battery life. As you’ll only need to charge it once a month, you can keep the wireless base in a drawer until it’s needed again, reducing bathroom clutter. Plus, as it charges via USB, you’re not reliant on a shaving power socket or a shaver plug adapter, and you can use the same adapter that you use for your smart phone or laptop.   

The brush handle holds an 88mAH battery, which charges in about 3.5 hours. After 26 days of use twice a day for two minutes each, the toothbrush still had 27% left, meaning you lose roughly 1-2% of battery life every time you brush your teeth for two minutes.

Oclean says that the toothbrush is compatible with multiple wireless chargers, although we weren’t able to test this feature.

Touchscreen control

Colour touchscreen

Four brushing modes

Over 30 brushing settings 

The toothbrush is controlled via a colour touchscreen on the front and a single button that switches it on and off and selects menu options.

Swiping the touchscreen down launches the menu, which displays model information, the brushing duration options of 2, 2.5 and 3 minutes, brushing intensity levels and four brushing modes: clean, sensitive, massage and white. 

Between the modes and intensities (which range from extremely gentle to a more powerful vibration), Oclean claims that the brush has 32 different brushing settings. There’s even a profile quiz in the app to help you find the right one.

But in everyday use, it’s just a question of pressing the button once to switch it on and pressing it again to start the brush going.

During a brushing cycle, the display counts down and shows your mouth quadrant coverage. However, there’s a slight problem in that you can’t see the display while brushing and sometimes the mouth quadrant graphic, which Oclean says is an 8-zone blind spot monitoring display, didn’t entirely chime with where you’d brushed.

The biggest issue with the X Pro Elite, however, is the lack of a pressure sensor. People often brush too hard as a substitute for brushing well and most high quality electric toothbrushes feature a pressure sensor, which will help them to protect their gums and tooth enamel.

If you find that your toothbrush bristles part in the middle like a palm tree after some use, it’s a sign that you’re brushing too hard and should opt for a brush with a pressure sensor to help change this habit. 

Using the Oclean X Pro Elite

Quiet performance

30 second alerts

2 minute countdown timer

One of this toothbrush’s best features is its quiet performance. Oclean claims an operating volume of less than 45dB, but we think it’s even quieter. It is not going to wake anyone up, and the 30 second reminder to change the brushing quadrant of your mouth is just a quick pause in the cycle, rather than an audible tone.

We also loved the Oclean’s design, with its notably slim brush head and long neck. Only 5mm in width, this slimness means it is far easier to reach the sides of your back molars and get better brushing coverage. Our teeth felt clean after using the Oclean and looked noticeably better after two weeks of use.

The back of the brush also has a rubberised tongue cleaner. But you should note that the compact brush head and slim design is common to all Oclean brushes: you don’t have to opt for the priciest model to get them. 

Oclean app

Pre-set brushing programmes

In-app quiz to tailor brushing

Must re-pair every time you open the app

To use the smart functionality, you’ll need to download the free to use Oclean app, which requires Android 4.4 or IOS 8.0 with Bluetooth 4.0. We couldn’t get the QR code in the manual to navigate to the right page, so we downloaded the Oclean app from Play store.

You’ll need to register, which might put off the more data conscious user, but you then set up your profile through a set of profile quiz questions that cover your age, whether you smoke or wear braces, and whether you drink coffee, tea or wine. The app then suggests a brushing profile for you and asks whether you want to try it.

You then pair your toothbrush to your phone app through Bluetooth, and the brushing profile exports to your phone, ready to go when you next start brushing. The app also gives you pictorial directions on how and where to brush according to the preset programme.

There are twelve app pre-set programmes: from strong cleaning for those with periodontal disease to newbie whitening and braces cleaning, and you also get an update to your main screen when your session has finished and a calendar that records your sessions.

One thing to mention is that the toothbrush needs to be powered on to pair with the app, and you tend to need to re-pair every time you open the app, which can be a little annoying. 

That said, the toothbrush operates just fine without the app. That means you can set it up, get the benefit of the tailored brushing programme, and ignore the app for day-to-day use.

Price and availability

The Oclean X Pro Elite brush is available in the US and internationally. Its US price represents excellent value for its feature set. In the UK, it’s currently available on Amazon, but its price jumps around, so you’ll need to buy at the right time.

If you like the idea of the Oclean’s shape and long battery life, but aren’t set on this model, you can browse options on Amazon, if you’re in the UK and on the Oclean site from the US. 

Verdict

What makes a good electric toothbrush? Well, that really depends. If you want a sonic toothbrush with 42,000rpm cleaning power, a battery that lasts over a month from one full charge and is quiet, pleasant to use, and has great reach, you should consider the Oclean X Pro Elite.

Its standout feature is its long battery life and quick USB charging. There’s no need to have charging stands in your bathroom, nor do you risk getting caught out on a trip with a dead battery.

We think that the smart features are a good add-on at this price point, particularly the tailored programmes, but the brushing feedback is not nearly as accurate or effective as the Oral-B iO9.

For more electric toothbrush options, have a look at our round-up of the best electric toothbrushes and the best cheap electric toothbrushes we’ve tested.

Specs Oclean X Pro Elite: Specs

42,000 RPM

Colour touchscreen

35 days of battery life

Wireless quick charging

Wall-Mounted Holder

IPX7 Waterproof

4G Wireless Vs. 5G Wireless

Network World’s Hottest Tech Arguments: Read them all

4G Smartphones: Verizon, Sprint in the lead

Because LTE is at the limit of what is physically possible it now makes less sense to develop another standard from the ground up, Djuphammar says. Also, the allocation of spectrum has become increasingly fragmented, because the airwaves are so crowded.

That said, networks will still continue to evolve going forward, according to Djuphammar. But, at the moment, the industry isn’t working towards a big 5G launch.

The development of so-called het nets, or heterogeneous networks, which use a mixture of traditional large base stations and smaller cells, placed in areas where there are a lot of users, will be key to how mobile networks evolve, according to Djuphammar.

It’s about building network structures that would allow devices with 2G, 3G, 4G and in most cases Wi-Fi, as well, to jump between different forms of access depending on the load in the different parts of the network and the application currently used, and can dynamically manage device access in an intelligent way, according to Djuphammar. Doing all that is a pretty challenging task, he says.

“Today we have a static allocation of spectrum, but in the future it will be completely dynamic. For example, if there are no phones in a cell that need to use GSM the entire spectrum can be used for 4G. But when a GSM phone comes back into the cell, the base station again reconfigures its spectrum allocation,” Djuphammar says.

The aim is a thousand fold capacity increase, according to Jens Zander, a professor in Radio Communications at the university and head of its center for wireless systems Wireless@KTH, who is also a big proponent of denser mobile networks where the distance between base stations is much shorter.

“Beyond LTE, I think the most important thing is finding good and cheap solutions over short distances, and have base stations that are as easy to install as Wi-Fi, but have much higher capacity and have better coordination with the rest of network,” Zander says.

Tech argument: wired vs. wireless edge

“A big part of the cost for current networks is that they have to be carefully planned,” Zander says.

Short-term improvements will include the use of more spectrum and multiple antennas. Continuous spectrum is a limited resource, so vendors came up with carrier aggregation. The technology allows operators to bunch together spectrum in different bands and use them as one data link.

A quick guide to 4G phones

The big challenge with MIMO is to fit all the needed antennas on the user device; and more antennas mean more capacity.

It is very difficult to fit more than two antennas in a mobile phone, according to Zander. For MIMO to work, the antennas need to see a slightly different version of the radio signal, which the distance between the antennas allow them to do.

How long the distance needs to be depends on the frequency used to send the data.

Today, MIMO is only used to increase download speeds, but it will likely be added to upload traffic, as well.

So going forward the development of mobile networks will be more evolutionary that revolutionary.

“Maybe something will come along that the industry feels is such a big change or addition to 4G that it could be labeled 5G,” Djuphammar says.

Logitech Circle Review: This Smart Security Camera Can Go Wireless

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The Circle costs $199. Logitech

The Logitech Circle Logitech Circle is different from most smart security cameras: it can be used wirelessly or plugged in. But, that flexibility comes with a cost.

Testing

Of all the home security cameras we’ve tested so far, the Circle takes the prize for quickest setup. Once we took it out of the box, we had it up and running in about three minutes. All you need to do is download the iOS or Android app, turn on your phone’s Bluetooth, enter your email address, and create a password. When powered on, the camera and the Logi Circle app recognize each other after a few seconds. Then it’s simply a matter of selecting the wireless network you want to use and creating an account for cloud storage.

The camera itself comes with a pivoting base as well as a detachable magnetic plate with a 10-foot USB cable, and a wall mount. This means you can set it on any flat surface or a wall. We placed ours on an office bookshelf and ran the Circle through its paces over the course of two weeks; we used it in both its wired and wireless capacities to see how well it stacked up against other home security cameras.

You can remove the camera from its base and it will run off of a rechargeable battery. Logitech

Observations

Like many other security cameras, the Logi Circle shoots 1080p video and offers the ability to monitor your home in real time or with smart alerts via a smartphone app. What distinguishes this compact ball of a camera from many of its competitors, however, is the ability to use it both as a wired (i.e., plugged in) camera and as a wireless one. The Circle comes with a 1,600 mAh rechargeable lithium battery that gets topped off whenever the camera is placed on its circular charging base. Take it off that base and it will switch to its internal battery.

We were excited to test out the camera’s wireless chops, assuming it would give us an opportunity to place it in a number of new, outlet-less locations, like our garage. But as we quickly learned, the feature is far less exciting than it sounds. The main problem is that rechargable battery. If you’re shooting a relatively busy scene in 1080p during daylight hours, you’ll squeeze maybe two and a half hours out of the camera before it needs a recharge. While we got close to three and a half when shooting the same scene during the more quiet evening hours, that’s still not a lot of hours—especially when you compare it to something like the Arlo Pro’s six months of battery life. Shooting wirelessly at night is even worse. We got an hour and 50 minutes.

You can select a power-save mode to buy yourself more time, but that significantly diminishes the video quality, and still only lasts about half a day. Are there scenarios where you might want to capture just a few hours of video? Sure. But, honestly, we can’t think of many. And here’s the other problem: Once you move the camera more than 15 feet away from your wireless router, you get significantly more dropped and interrupted video feeds. That was enough for us to return the Circle to its charging base and keep it there.

It also comes in black. Logitech

In this capacity, the Circle remained competent, but that’s about it. Its 1080p daytime image isn’t as sharp as those produced by the Nest Cam and Arlo Q. And although it did fare better at night than those other two cameras thanks to a much brighter image, its 135-degree fisheye lens still had some obvious distortion around the edges.

One feature we really enjoyed was the Day Brief option. Tap a button on the app and you can play or download a 30-second super-fast recap of the entire day’s recording. It’s a helpful way to find a specific recorded moments, and something we wish more security camera apps offered.

Details

Price: $200

Video: 360p, 720p or 1080p HD depending on bandwidth

Lens: 135-degree wide angle

Auto night vision up to 15 feet

8x digital zoom

Built-in speaker and mic

Rechargeable lithium battery (1,600 mAh)

Grade: 3.5/5

Official site

The Touch Bar Refuses To Die, As Corsair Voyager A1600 Borrows The Concept

Apple may have abandoned the Touch Bar, but that isn’t stopping other laptop companies from borrowing the concept. Last month saw Dell put touch-sensitive keys into the trackpad, and the Corsair Voyager a1600 gaming laptop is next in line …

The Touch Bar

Back in 2024, Apple replaced the function keys on the high-end MacBook Pro models with the Touch Bar – a high-resolution touch-sensitive strip that allowed access to function keys but could also have dynamically changing content depending on both apps and user preferences.

Apple described it as one of the headline features of the 2024 15-inch MacBook Pro.

“The Touch Bar places controls right at the user’s fingertips and adapts when using the system or apps like Mail, Finder, Calendar, Numbers, GarageBand, Final Cut Pro X and many more, including third-party apps. For example, the Touch Bar can show Tabs and Favorites in Safari, enable easy access to emoji in Messages, provide a simple way to edit images or scrub through videos in Photos and so much more.“

Not everyone was a fan, however, with the lack of a physical Escape key coming in for particular criticism. Apple responded to this in 2023 with a hybrid design, with a normal Escape key and a shorter Touch Bar. Two years later, the physical function keys were back, and it was like the Touch Bar never existed.

Dell Latitude 9330

Dell effectively embedded a Touch Bar directly into the trackpad of the Latitude 9330, though functionality of the business-focused laptop was limited to Zoom calls.

Corsair Voyager a1600

Corsair has teased the company’s first gaming laptop. The touch-sensitive strip above the keyboard looks very much like a Touch Bar, though Corsair calls it a Macro Bar in the promotional video (below) – and described it to The Verge as “easy-access customizable S-key shortcut buttons.” These are controlled via Stream Deck software.

These S-keys are powered by Elgato Stream Deck software, which means you’d likely be using them for various live streaming controls, including switching scenes, launching media, and adjusting audio. We wouldn’t necessarily expect a laptop to be the device of choice for many streamers, but it’s still an interesting idea that’s unusual in the gaming space — and can also work well as a Zoom meeting controller.

The specs certainly make it sound like a good choice for portable gaming.

Elsewhere, the Voyager will include a full-size Cherry MX low-profile mechanical keyboard with per-key RGB backlighting as well as a 1080p FHD webcam. I’m seeing what looks like a physical webcam shutter in these renders, which may be a good sign that Corsair is putting some effort into this area (which not all gaming manufacturers do). 

Prospective Voyager buyers will be able to choose between a Ryzen 7 6800HS and a Ryzen 9 6900HS — both configurations come with a Radeon 6800M GPU. You can get up to 64GB of RAM (Corsair Vengeance DDR5, of course) and 2TB of storage. The device has a 16-inch 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display and two Thunderbolt 3 USB 4.0 ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, one SDXC 7.0 card reader, and one audio jack.

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