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KitGuru @ Insomnia 40

KitGuru spent the weekend at Newbury Racecourse attending the UK's largest LAN gaming event, Insomnia 40 (i40).  Being gurus of kit, we were mostly interested in the hardware on show from the numerous exhibitors.

First of all we had a look at Immacula's stand, displaying products from Alienbags, SteelSeries, Synology and Zotac.  They had a few exciting new products on show from SteelSeries with a whole host of existing products from all four companies.

The Spectrum 4xb and 5xb headsets are the latest in SteelSeries' range and are designed for use with the Xbox 360.  Both feature retractable unidirectional microphones for use with in-game chat and use the Spectrum AudioMixer which allows control of microphone and headphone volumes independently in-game.  The Spectrum AudioMixer can also be purchased seperately which allows any 3.5mm headphones and microphones to be used with your Xbox 360.

The 5xb is similar to the 7H headset (review coming shortly) as it can be dismantled into three pieces for easy portability.  The durability of the cable and microphone was demonstrated to us by some serious yanking on the cable and microphone which stayed firmly in place with no damage.  We look forward to reviewing these headsets fully sometime in the future.

SteelSeries also had their new Shift keyboard on display which appears to be very similar to their existing Zboard, featuring interchangeable keysets.  We also had a quick look at the Siberia Neckband headset which is fully iPhone compatible.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a limited edition orange Siberia V2 headset which is similar in design to the red one we reviewed a while back.  We have to say the orange finish looks even better in the flesh than it does in the photos and is our favourite colour scheme yet for this headset.  The availability of this is very limited as there are only ten in the country so if you want one then you'll need to be quick!

Zotac had a variety of products on display including the GeForce 480 AMP! graphics card and H55 ITX Motherboard.  The main feature of their sand however, was a competition to win a Zbox mini-PC which required entrants to assemble it in the quickest time.  We were shown by a Zotac representative how it could be assembled in under 20 seconds!  This included installation of the hard drive, RAM and screwing the side cover in place!

Synology were showcasing their latest NAS management software, version 3.0 (beta). We were given a brief insight into its new features, the most notable of which is multitasking.  They have also created an Andriod app (similar to the existing iPhone app) which allows access to some features of the drive from anywhere in the world.  This includes IP camera control using finger gestures.  Check out our review of the Synology DS710+ NAS Server.

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