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The Monday AAR - It's Angry Falcon Week

No F-16s though. Sorry. What we do have is a gigantic slog through a gauntlet of military-type tasks like making men die with bullets and making important things explode with bombs. Operation Falcon Fury happens this weekend!

Read on for more about what's been happening at OMGeek.

    • Operation Falcon Fury is a protracted-engagement ArmA II session which starts at 2 pm (GMT +8) on Sunday, March 18, and goes on until all the objectives have been met. Enlist yourself here! INQUE has listed down all the available roles you can play for the event. Get ready to run, ride, drive, fly, jump, crawl, peek, and gently pat the bodies of bleeding teammates until they roll over and start shooting bad guys again.

    • OMGeek regular jedi304 joined our writing staff last week, so say hi! He'll be focusing on hardware-related articles and reviews, which should round out our content nicely.

    • He's been keeping busy, too! For his first OMGeek review, jedi304 took a look at the Thermaltake Meka G1, a mechanical keyboard designed for gaming. Read the review here.

    • DICE recently announced that Battlefield 3 will be expanded, and not once or twice but three times this year! This June, we're getting Close Quarters, which is all about shooting up bad guys in close quarters, as you may have gathered. Armored Kill (shooting up bad guys in tanks) and End Game (shooting up bad guys in mysterious ways) are the next two expansions, and will follow soon after.

    • World of Tanks has opened its Southeast Asian servers for us, the people who are coincidentally located in Southeast Asia! This, of course, means more epic tank battles, more seat-of-your-pants toe-to-toe confrontations, and more guys saying "ffs cap" in team chat. Joy!

    • I've been posting excitedly in this XCom thread in the forums, because if I keep all this excitement inside me, I may burst from all the pressure into a fine liquefied mist, much like how the cows must end up after they spend a night or two at the bovine processing facility in Cydonia. XCom, guys! XCom!

    • Lastly, OMGeek member LYH just put up a thread here about the soon-to-be-Kickstartered Wasteland 2, the sequel of a game which no one born past 1990 has probably played. I probably played it for a grand total of 30 minutes before I gave up and went back to Ultima Underworld, but if a sequel to Fallout's spiritual predecessor is in the works, I'm paying attention.

Thermaltake Meka G1 - Be The Board

Editor's note: new contributor jedi304 is starting out heavy, having chosen the Thermaltake Meka G1 as his first hardware review. Take a few minutes to read about the higher end of what could be the most underappreciated element in our gaming rigs.


On a regular basis, the first thing gamers would normally think of upgrading their computer with is what most would consider to be vital parts, i.e. CPU, GPU, HDD. But what some might not realize is that peripherals such as the keyboard and mouse are as critical to your system as any internal component.

When you are into gaming as much as I am, having a quality keyboard and mouse is very important. I want something that can withstand the abuse I give mashing buttons running through the mean streets of Oman in Battlefield 3, or simply fighting demons with my raid in World of Warcraft. The quality of these can mean the difference between fragging an enemy or being on the receiving side of an RPG to the face.

So today, I’d like to share my experiences with a mechanical keyboard that I have had the privilege of using so far. One thing is for sure, if you are looking for a mech keyboard with macro keys, then this one is not for you.

So without further ado let me introduce the Thermaltake Meka G1.

Overview:

The first thing I would like to point out is that this keyboard uses Cherry MX Black Switches. With that I’d like to share this link for those who are unfamiliar with the different switches.

I’m sure a lot of people will notice the big Thermaltake logo, which is probably not a big deal, but might actually turn some people off. This piece of equipment is a contender for the Heavyweight Championship, coming in at 4.8 lbs. Don’t get me wrong, the weight is actually more of a good thing, as it makes it feel that this will last a lifetime of button mashing, and helps as well in preventing the keyboard from sliding around. Speaking of button mashing, Thermaltake has put an estimated lifespan of 50 million key strokes on this heavyweight. That’s right: 50 MILLION. Do take note that this number is meant for the switches themselves, which helps me point out another great advantage of this keyboard. The key caps used here are the same as on WASD Keyboards, which means if at any point you wish to change them, you can purchase those sold separately on website.

At the top of the keyboard, there are several extra functions attached from F1 to F7 which serve as multimedia buttons for gamers who want instant control of their audio.

The cable spans a total length of 1.5 meters (about five feet) and majority of it is braided with “military grade” material. This can be a bit of problem though for those routing the cable in tight spaces as the material proves to be very stiff.

The other half is standard wiring which branches out into 4 connectors. 1 USB is dedicated to powering and operating the keyboard while the other is strictly for the USB hubs, and 2 analog jacks for a headset and a microphone. As I have tested, the speed of transferring data makes plagging into the latter two practically the same as plugging directly to into the motherboard.

As you can see in the picture above, a USB to PS/2 adapter is included as well to eliminate ghosting and n-Key rollover, provided that any one individual can hit 30 keys at the same time (which would be quite unnatural quite! -ed).

Oh and as seen in the first picture, a removable palm rest is included for people who prefer it, although I don’t think I can imagine using the keyboard without it as the keys are bit higher than the usual gaming keyboards.

Conclusion:

These conclusion points are based entirely on my opinion, and of course can and will differ from other users.

Strong Points:

  • Strong and durable keys
  • Cherry MX Black Switches
  • Dedicated USB connectors
  • Detachable palm rest
  • Military grade cable that protects and manages the inner cables effectively

Weak Points:

  • Doesn’t feature programmable keys
  • No key backlighting
  • Thick cable quite difficult to route
  • Price is a tad bit high

If I needed to summarize the keyboard in one word, it would be beastly! The build is very solid, and it gives me pleasure just typing on this. Since my fingers are quite big, the tactile feedback of the switches is just amazing as it assures me that I pressed the correct key, and the spacing between them is just enough to make sure that I don’t press another by accident. The difference between this and my old Sidewinder X6 is literally night and day. I would definitely recommend this to anybody looking for a good mechanical keyboard with Black switches, as the pros outweigh the cons tenfold. I haven’t the regretted my decision buying this, and I’d bet you wouldn’t either.

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