Razer Tartarus V2 An Artist Review

This blog post contains affiliate links, which helps to support this website at no extra cost to you. 

If there is one complain I have when using drawing tablets, it is the number of physical buttons available. I’m currently using a XP-Pen Artist 12 drawing tablet and it only has 6 buttons plus a small touch bar. Granted the Artist 12 is a great and affordable drawing tablet with a 1080p screen that be purchased at around $200 to $250. I managed to get mine during a sale for slightly less than $200 back in July of 2019. You can also check out the Pro version along with other tablets from XP-Pen.

As I continue to use the Artist 12 on a daily basis, being unable to use my keyboard in a comfortable manner is starting to affect my productivity. You see, I have a relatively small desk and wasn’t able to fit the keyboard next to my drawing tablet without to shift things around constantly.

Fast forward a couple of months later, my friends gave me a birthday present I would not have bought for myself, at least for the reason I had in mind. It was the Razer Tartarus V2, a one handed keyboard with 32 programmable keys and of course, RGB. The original intended use for such keyboard is for gaming but it turns out, this is a the perfect companion device to go with any drawing tablet.

The Razer Tartarus V2
The Razer Tartarus V2

Saves A Lot of Space

The Razer Tartarus V2 is small, about 1/3 the width of a full size keyboard. This allows me to have it sit comfortably next to the Artist 12 tablet.  Having both devices close to each other makes it less straining on my arms and wrist, at least in my opinion.

Programmable Keys

With 32 programmable keys, the Tartarus V2 allows me to set macros, which are sequences of keystrokes mouse actions, or menu actions. Like for an example, I’ve set the ‘Undo’ function to the single round button on the Tartarus V2.  With a single press, I am able to trigger the ‘Undo’ function instead of having to press the default Ctrl and Z keys. This one handed keyboard also has 3 profiles you can set. This allows you to have different key customization for each profile. Currently I only have 2; one for drawing and one for gaming.

Comfort

The Razer Tartarus V2 has a palm rest and an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to use for long hours. My only small complain is that I have a bit of trouble reaching certain keys (mainly 01 and 05) located on the top left and top right. Blame it on my small hands.

Having used the Tartarus V2 for over 6 months, I can say for sure that I can no longer do any graphic work without this one handed keyboard on my side.

P.S There are plenty of other one handed keyboard brands out there besides the offerings from Razer. As long as they support programmable keys, you are good to go.

Please follow and like us:

5 Things I Dislike About the Nintendo Switch

Previously, I talked about the 5 things I like about the Nintendo Switch. This time, let’s switch things up a bit and talk about my 5 dislikes about Nintendo’s latest console

Low Battery Life

A common complaint about the system. The Switch generally last between 2 and a half to 3 hours depending on the game you are playing. In comparison the 3DS has a battery life of 4 to 6 hours.

Low Storage Space

The Switch comes with a 32GB internal storage space, which is very low by today’s standard. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild takes up 13.4GB which is roughly more than 40% of the available memory. In reality, we have less than 32GB since a certain portion is dedicated to the console’s operating system. Sure, you can easily increase the storage space by purchasing a SD card which brings me to my next point …

Hidden Costs

Alright, I need to clarify that this ‘hidden costs’ point is a case by case scenario. For an example, I myself didn’t purchase the Pro Controller (I find the Joy-Cons with the attachment works well enough) but I did buy a 64GB SD Card since game cartridges are hard to find (from where I’m from) and quite a number of games are digital only. Not to mention essential accessories like hard case, screen protector and cartridge holders. I personally find that the hard case is a must have for the Switch. 

Comparing that with a Playstation 4 or Xbox One, you don’t really need to purchase additional stuff to get it up and running, except for games of course …. or PSN Plus / Xbox Live …. or a TV … or a table to hold the TV … okay … think I’m getting off track here.

Oh and you might want to purchase a powerbank if you plan on using the Switch outdoors. That’s another hidden cost.

Unable to Backup Saves

At the time of this post, there’s absolutely no way to backup our game saves. While I’m sure Nintendo will eventually come out with a solution to fix this issue in the future, it’s quite baffling that we can’t even perform a simple copy-to-pc kind of backup.

Flimsy Kickstand

This is just a minor complaint but I wished Nintendo made a sturdier kickstand. While it is not as bad as how CNET made it out to be, the Switch does feel like it’s going to tip over when you try to operate the power or volume buttons with one hand.

Please follow and like us:

Why You Should Get A Hard Case For Your Nintendo Switch

As a hybrid gaming console, you will probably find yourself playing the Nintendo Switch outside your home once in a while. Unlike the 3DS which sports a clam-shell design that gives it some form of protection, the Switch is pretty much ‘bare’. It doesn’t help that the Switch’s screen is using plastic material instead of glass, making it prone to scratches. As a Switch owner myself, I definitely recommend getting a hard case if you plan to bring the device outdoors.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through that link. This helps to keep my blog going. Thanks for your support!

Better Protection

A hard case provides better protection overall compared to sleeve ones. Sure, you sacrifice some slimness but knowing that your Switch will not likely to be crushed (when placed inside a luggage with other things) or damage during an accidental drop, I think it’s worth it.

Extra Storage

Most hard cases comes with extra storage space, allowing you to store things like game cartridges, Joy-Con’s wrist strap or ear phones.

Extra Leverage

Playing the Switch in tabletop mode can cause some strain on one’s neck since you need to look down at a certain angle. With a hard case, you can prop the Switch on it for extra height. It also protects the back of the Switch if you happen to accidentally knocked it over.

If you are looking to buy a hard case, I recommend that you get the official Nintendo Switch Carrying Case and Screen Protector bundle [Play-Asia], a product by Nintendo themselves. The one I’m currently using is by Keys Factory. Unfortunately it’s currently out of stock on Play-Asia and nowhere to be found on Amazon.

Alternatively, here are some other cases from Play-Asia

Posts that might interest you:
5 Things I Like About The Nintendo Switch

 

Please follow and like us:

The 5 Things I Like About The Nintendo Switch

After fighting through of what seems to be an endless horde of people, I managed to snatch the last Switch away from the store counter, emerging victorious. The scene of the battlefield was glorious … the crushing facial expressions of those behind me, the sound of girlfriends slapping their boyfriends, the cries of young children, the anger roar of parents … all because they failed to get a Switch.  It was truly a survival of the fittest.

……..

Okay I kid. I actually pre-ordered mine weeks before and just walked right in to pick it up. There were ample of stocks available for walk-in customers, at least at the game store where I bought my Switch from. I would imagine the above “glorious” scenario only applies to new iPhone releases.

Anyway, having played the Switch for a good 2 weeks now, here are the the 5 things I like about Nintendo’s latest console.

The Switch (umm … literally)

Without a doubt, the best feature of the Switch is the ability to switch between handheld and TV mode on the fly. The process is simple; pop the main unit into the dock and the game will appear on your TV screen within a few short seconds. Same goes to when you remove the main unit from the dock.

This is something I have always dreamed of having every since I started gaming during the 16 bit era. The closest thing we had at the time was the Sega Nomad but *sigh* it was much too late my dear friend.

Instantly Resume

While this feature isn’t something new (both the PS4 and Xbox One are capable of resuming from where you left off), the Switch allows you get back into the action fast. Just hit the Power button to pause or resume your game. I find myself doing this a lot, especially when you have a wife and kid.

Thin and Lightweight

The Switch weigh less than the Wii U Gamepad and it is much slimmer too, making it easy to carry around. Unfortunately due to its size, you probably still need to put it inside a bag or a carrying case.

Comfort

The Switch is surprisingly comfortable to hold. The Joy-Con buttons have a nice feel to it, similar to the ones found on the 3DS. Analog sticks are a bit on the small side but nothing game breaking.

After two hours of playing Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, I did not experience any kind of cramp or discomfort.  Having said that, I did had to position my right hand at a certain angle in order to get a better feel of the right analog stick. To get the best BoTW experience, it is recommended to play with the the Joy-Cons attached to the Joy-Con grip or buy a Pro Controller.

Standard Charging Port

USB-C isn’t exactly a common standard (yet) compared to its A and B brothers, they are definitely better compared to proprietary charging ports. It allows us, the consumers to look for 3rd party alternatives, like this USB-C powerbank by Anker. I’m glad the folks over at Nintendo went with this decision.

That’s about it for this topic. Coming up next, 5 Things I dislike about the Nintendo Switch.

Please follow and like us:

8BITDO SFC30 Gamepad

Recently, I was bitten by the nostalgic retro bug and decided to pick up the 8BITDO SFC30 Gamepad, a wireless Super Famicom controller that works with iOS, Android, Windows & Mac OS. Below is my bitesize review of the product.

Packaging


From the packaging itself, you can probably guess that this is going to be a well made product. The SFC30 Gamepad sits nicely between by 2 protective foams. Below it is a box containing the instruction booklet (in both English and Mandarin), a flat USB cable and a 30th Anniversary keychain. Color me impressed.

Product Quality

It has been over 20 years since I held an actual Super Famicom or Super Nintendo gamepad (yes, I’m pretty old) so I can’t really make a direct comparison between the SFC30 and the original. Holding the SFC30 Gamepad in my hands, it felt really good and sturdy with none of those cheap plastic feeling. Buttons have that nice ‘clicky’ sound and doesn’t feel mushy. The D-Pad however feels a tad too stiff for me. Not a deal breaker but would be nice if it was softer.

Getting Started

You have a choice between Bluetooth and wires USB connectivity. At the point of this writing, I’ve only tried connecting it to my PC via Bluetooth and it was up and running within minutes. As far as I can tell, there wasn’t any noticeable lag. Playing Contra 3 on the SNES (via emulation) felt really good, granted I died a lot. Geez I totally forgot how hard that game was.

Battery Life

I don’t have an exact measurement but the gamepad is still running since its first charge, clocking about 10 hours of gameplay in total. Considering how light the SFC30 was, I wasn’t expecting much from the battery life but this is a nice surprise. I heard it’s possible to get 20 hours of play time out of a single charge. Wow!

Overall Thoughts

When I first ordered the SFC30 Gamepad, my expectations weren’t much. When it comes to 3rd party retro gaming products, more than often the build quality doesn’t live up to the original. This product however, went beyond my expectations and blew it out the window. If you looking to get into retro gaming, look no further. I would assume the same build quality applies to all other 8BITDO products. Hmm … wonder when will I get bitten by the retro Sega bug?

If you are looking to buy the SFC30 or any other gaming related products, check out the links below. Each time you buy from them, you will be helping out the site, in return I will be able to bring in more product reviews in the future.

I picked up the SFC30 from Play-Asia, a popular online game store located in Hong Kong.

8BITDO SFC30 Gamepad (Super Famicom)
8BITDO SNES30 Gamepad (Super Nintendo)

Retro Receiver (SNES / Super Famicom)
This is a nifty product that allows you to connect and play on your SNES or Super Famicom system wirelessly using PS4, PS3, Wii Remote, Wii U Pro and all 8bitdo controllers.

Please follow and like us:

Using Hori Zero Air Pitahari Filter

 

zero-air-pitahari-filter-for-new-3ds

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through that link. This helps to keep my blog going. Thanks for your support!

Over the years of owning portable game consoles (from DS / PSP to 3DS / Vita), Hori will always be my first choice when it comes to accessories. While I do admit that their products are a little high on the price side, their quality outweighs it. Just make sure that the Hori products you get are authentic ones. There are a lot of fakes out there.

For my New 3DS (n3DS for short), I went ahead and purchase the Zero Air Pitahari Filter. The difference between this and other Hori screen protectors is that small dirt particles doesn’t cause air bubbles to appear. Having said that, you would probably presume the price would be higher compared to regular protectors due to its ‘tech’. Surprisingly, Zero Air is actually cheaper compared to Hori’s Standard Film screen protector. Go figure.

I really have to give credit to Hori for coming out with ingenious ways to apply screen protectors. Just take a look at the video below and you will see what I mean.

*Sigh* if only such methods were available during the DS / PSP days. I remember going through 3 screen protectors while applying them on my PSP. Either it was misaligned or there are dust particles beneath it.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the Zero Air Pitahari Filter. It was easy to apply, there’s no loss in screen quality and there are no ‘rainbow’ effects from all viewing angles. The only negative point I can think of is that, once it’s applied onto your screen, it is pretty much ‘glued’ onto it. I personally had trouble peeling the bottom screen portion off to get rid of dust particles. To avoid this problem, just make sure the screen is dust free before applying the protector.

If you are looking for more Hori accessories, do check out Play-Asia.com. It’s one of the few places I know that sells authentic Hori products. Been buying from them since 2008.

Please follow and like us:

The Logitech G700s Is A Good Wireless Gaming Mouse

logitechg700s

It started off as a small issue. My 3 year old Razer Mamba’s (2012 edition) internal battery died. It wouldn’t charge regardless of what I plugged it into. Seeing that the mouse was pretty old and my warranty has long expired, I’ve decided to just continue using it as a wired mouse. It was all nice and good until one fine day the mouse decided to totally break down. So much for that.

Read moreThe Logitech G700s Is A Good Wireless Gaming Mouse

Please follow and like us: