"It's the most wonderful time of the year..." especially if you're confined to your home with a penchant for video games.  Check out this year's holiday gift guide for some of the hottest necessities for all of your stuck-at-home gaming needs. We have headphones, mice, games, keyboards and more.

RAZER

HAMMERHEAD TRUE WIRELESS PRO ($199.99):

Hammerhead True Wireless Pro - THX certified, noise canceling, pro gaming earbuds

Hammerhead True Wireless Pro - THX certified, noise canceling, pro gaming earbuds

Last year Razer surprised the mobile gaming world with the Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds and we loved them for on the fly mobile gaming domination as well as every day use. This year, with notes taken from the original, Razer created a better, more refined and aurally superior sequel branding it with a befitting “Pro." I have to say that last year’s HHTW were amazing but sadly for me, the earbuds refused to sit snuggly in my ears and would constantly fall out with any brisk movement. My girlfriend, however, never had issues with their fit.

Hammerhead True Wireless Pro - Tear down

Hammerhead True Wireless Pro - Tear down

Fast forward to the present, I was excited to see that the newly redesigned HHTW Pro had solved the problem of fit by engineering the earbuds to fit inside the canals and not in front. HOORAY! And because Razer ALWAYS delivers in titanic form, along with the redesign, they also threw in hybrid active noise cancellation, dual voice microphones, THX certification and a 20 hour battery. Oh yeah, they also included seven pairs of silicon tips and one pair of premium Comply foam tips, to make sure you had the best fit possible, for no extra charge! 

Razer

7 pairs of silicon tips and 1 pair of Comply foam tips mean you will definitely find the right fit.

The HHTW Pro charging case is almost twice the size of ver. 1 which means it won’t fit into your jean's 5th pocket but it is still small enough to not be noticeable in your pocket. Prompt charging is possible through USB-C through the case with extremely easy pairing through the mobile HHTW app where you can activate noise canceling, choose THX, preset EQ settings or customize your own audio stage. After picking the right tips, I fired up a favorite playlist and with THX activated I was impressed by how rich the music was coming out of such a tiny package. It's easy to get large encompassing sound from a 40mm and/or 50mm driver but a 10mm driver buried in a stick-earbud?!? 

Gen 1 vs. Pro.

Gen 1 vs. Pro.

Razer has done it again. Surprisingly big sound in such a tiny package.

Razer has done it again. Surprisingly big sound in such a tiny package.

Highs were tight, mids filling and bass hit low and solidly. Next up were a few videos via YouTube (where I always have delay issues) and the latency was unnoticeable, which is fantastic! While playing Call Of Duty Mobile the HHTW Pro performed flawlessly and delivered sound exactly where it needed to be which always gives me an upper hand at keeping my KDR in the positives. At times I did find myself reaching for the headband and realizing "oh yeah, these are earbuds..." Only Razer has been able to deliver game ready, music banging headphone/headset-like sound that can fit inside your pocket!

OPUS ($199.99)

Opus

THX certified, active noise cancelling & comfort rolled into an aural escape from the noise of the world

My first impression when I got the Opus was adoration. Immediately I was drawn to the clean lines that dance a tango of modern and minimalism. The Opus is showered with elegance and beauty and compared to my more expensive Bose QuietComfort 35, the Opus wins hands down in the looks department. I really appreciate the tamed and subtle branding versus blatant label stamps all over. Packaging was luxurious with a magnetic closure, smoked translucent lift-off shell revealing the carrying case and the Opus nestled within. 

clean lines, intuitive control and plush snug fit makes the Opus a delight.

clean lines, intuitive control and plush snug fit makes the Opus a delight.

Set up was a simple task, charge the headset, download the Razer Opus mobile app, allow any firmware updates and the Opus is ready to unleash its audible gifts. One of the notes of refinement that I really appreciated was the system sounds that the Opus made when powering on and pairing with my phone. When powering on the Opus plays a unique ascending tone and the opposite for powering down. When pairing, the Opus fires off a submarine-like sonic ping as it searches for its host, which is very cool and something I don't remember being in any of my many Bluetooth devices. The Opus app is necessary for choosing preset EQ settings with my favorite being THX, which is aurally explicit and when coupled with the Opus' ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), transports you into the feeling of being inside a hermetically sealed soundproof studio during your favorite jam session.  

The Opus, owning a pedigree in sound and ownership in design and function.

The Opus, owning a pedigree in sound and ownership in design and function.

Controls are easy to find and figure out with two (power & ANC) buttons on the left and three (volume up, multifunction center and volume down) buttons on the right. I really liked the auto-pause when removing the headphones which is a nice premium feature that is not available on most headsets. The most important feature of these top tier headphones is the sound. I listen to many different styles of music and the Opus expertly delivers all of them with rich mids, crispy highs and cavernous lows. After countless hours of use, I never experienced any ear fatigue. Quite honestly, during these stay-at-home, work-from-home times, these may very well become my daily drivers as they are able to block out ALL ambient sounds. Bravo to Razer for releasing the Opus, a delightfully true-to-its-name work of audiophilic art. 

KISHI ($99.99):

Last year we let readers know about the Junglecat, which was mostly geared for Razer 2 phone users (and a small list of other phones)...this year Razer released the Kishi, opening the flood gates to many Android (USB-C based) and iPhone users and granting them the ability to experience quality controller-based game play in the mobile world.

here is the list of officially compatible phones from Razer.  

here is the list of officially compatible phones from Razer.  

One of my biggest pet peeves with mobile games are the rudimentary swipe-only interactions, which can get boring quickly. Thankfully, mobile FPS games have expanded into the realm of pocket gaming, however touchscreen controls will FOREVER SUCK! Here to save the day...Kishi offers a collapsible compact full service controller that completely overhauls mobile gaming in a fun and playable way with the only caveat being, not all games are compatible. Here is an extensive list of compatible games, that will definitely keep your cravings curbed. Some popular games like COD Mobile & PubG are not compatible, yet, but I've read in Razer forums that developers are working on fixes and hopefully will be released soon in a firmware update.

Kishi connected to the Razer 2 phone = mini Android Switch! 

Kishi connected to the Razer 2 phone = mini Android Switch! 

I've also read that PPSSPP works with the Kishi and that means a whole universe of emulated Playstation games are at your disposal!

TURTLE BEACH

Stealth 600 ($99.95) & 700 ($149.95) Gen 2 Wireless:

New design, new mic, same legendary performance...

New design, new mic, same legendary performance...

Last year we were wowed by the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp with its app customizable settings and exemplary sound quality, it continues to be one of our favorite top tier go-to headsets whenever we binge a session. This year Turtle Beach dropped the Stealth 600 & 700 Gen 2 Wireless headsets with some new design changes from the previous generations. 

With the 600/700 Stealth G2, Turtle Beach really took “stealth” to another level with its cleaner oval lines that step away from the older rounder shaped earcups, complimented by a totally re-engineered hideaway flip down mic with the mute feature built into the folding mechanism. To mute you click up about half an inch and reverse to unmute. I really loved that when you’re done with gaming, a quick flip up and the mic disappears into the earcup. 

cleanly designed hideaway microphone with a 2-step mute feature makes this a very svelte package

cleanly designed hideaway microphone with a 2-step mute feature makes this a very svelte package

Turtle Beach has always excelled at fine tuning and crafting sound profiles that just work well. The new 700 Gen 2 no longer has Gen 1’s 7.1 surround sound but was injected with the Superhuman Hearing sound technology that aids in never missing a footstep. I was actually surprised at how well the sound translated to activity all around me as bass and mids are halved, heightening audible awareness which was a definite plus in my game sessions. Another feature that the 600/700 Gen 2 came equipped with is the ability to use with the Nintendo Switch, which is exciting! I have yet to find a wireless top tier headset that is compatible with the Switch until now. There is a catch, the Gen 2s can only be used with the Switch if it is docked and with the Stealth USB dongle.

smaller foot print with a lesser chance of being snapped off.

smaller foot print with a lesser chance of being snapped off.

Another premium feature on both sets is variable mic monitoring allowing you to hear yourself in ear, which makes it so much better when talking trash to an opponent or yelling call-outs to your team.

So the big question, what are the differences between the 600 and 700 Gen 2 headsets. Outside of the $50.00 price jump, the 600, a very capable headset, does fall short in comparison to the 700’s upgraded feature set as listed in the graphic below:

Stealth 600 Gen 2 vs. Stealth 700 Gen 2 = fight!

Stealth 600 Gen 2 vs. Stealth 700 Gen 2 = fight!

I’ll admit the added upgrades on 700 Gen 2 are well worth the small bump in price, but if your budget is ridiculously tight especially after buying the new PS5 or Xbox Series X, you won’t be disappointed by the 600’s excellent top shelf performance, and yes, these are compatible with both PS4 and the new PS5's 3D Audio.  Xbox versions are also available and are forward compatible for the newly released consoles.

ROCCAT

ELO X STEREO ($49.99):

Top tier construction, fit and audio in a cross all platform headset at an affordable price.

Top tier construction, fit and audio in a cross all platform headset at an affordable price.

Roccat recently dropped a new series in their gaming headsets line entitled ELO and we got a chance to check out the new X Stereo wired set. First off, it is very apparent that a lot of thought and engineering went into the design of the ELO line with solid focus on fit, comfort and utility, which is crucial for long hours of use while gaming on console or desktop. The X Stereo is the only ELO headset that is not powered which means there are no LED accents and it is not compatible with the AIMO eco-system.  

PS4, PS5, all Xbox's, cellphones, MP3 players & even your mixer, the ELO X Stereo has no boundaries.

PS4, PS5, all Xbox's, cellphones, MP3 players & even your mixer, the ELO X Stereo has no boundaries.

A cool feature about the X Stereo, not available on the other two ELO offerings, is its cross-platform compatibility with any device that accepts a 3.5mm plug.  When plugged into my PS4 this headset performed loudly like a champ regardless of being stereo only. This is most likely due to the precision tuned 50mm drivers which really create a much larger soundstage in ear. Mic output was also crystal clear with Truspeak Tech inherited from parent company, Turtle Beach. Thankfully I was able to get solid confirmation from my COD Cyber Attack crew.  When testing the X Stereo on a few Zoom calls, the audio sounded GREAT and everyone expressed how clear my mic was. I also tried these on my laptop and Pioneer DAP MP3 player and was blown away by how perfect the vocal stylings of Etta James played back and in contrast, how decadently bass heavy "Bury a Friend" was delivered. I was even able to use the X Stereo in place of my Sony MDR DJ headphones on my DJ rig at home without any issues and with impressive audible return.  Who knows, maybe Roccat will one day make a "Gamer-to-DJ" crossover headset that you'll see glowing on the heads of your favorite DJs at the next Electric Daisy Carnival... whenever that may be.

ELO 7.1 AIR ($99.99):

Wireless USB 7.1 surround sound headset with incredible sound in a comfortable fitting package

Wireless USB 7.1 surround sound headset with incredible sound in a comfortable fitting package

PC gamers have something to be stoked about with the release of Roccat's ELO 7.1 Air, a wireless, surround sound behemoth that boasts excellent comfort and incredible amplified sound for gameplay, movies or music via your PC.  Set up was easy, install the Swarm app, plug the USB dongle and your headset into your computer, let the app install any firmware updates and then you're ready to go.  The 7.1 Air is outfitted with precision tuned 50mm drivers blessed with 7.1 surround sound, offering an immersive world of audio that can accurately map out your in-game worlds or intricately breathe life into layers of sounds in movies or reveal instruments and background vocals that you may have missed in your favorite songs. To add to your gaming advantage, the tiny power button on the left is a two-stage quick push setting for Turtle Beach's exclusive Superhuman hearing feature where bass and mids drop significantly and highs become accentuated to audibly expose any crouch-creeping enemies as they close in on your location.  If the Superhuman hearing setting isn't enough, the Swarm app will easily open a world of many audio/mic customizations with ease.  Make a note that there is no preview/live adjustments so after you adjust you need to apply the change in order to hear the difference.  

a wireless powerhouse of sound for the avid PC gamer

a wireless powerhouse of sound for the avid PC gamer

One of my favorite features in this amplified wireless headset is mic monitoring and the 7.1 Air is one of the crispy-cleanest with the ability to fine tune it even more!!! With a 24 hour battery everyone will have unrestricted enjoyment without the need of charging until you call it a night. My only neutral comment is that both the ELO Stereo and Air do not have mute LEDs, at the end of their mics, to alert you that you are excommunicado with your crew. If you are in the market for a wireless PC headset, this new kid on the block gets one of my highest recommendations and is a must have.

VULCAN TKL PRO - COMPACT ($159.99):

Behold the Vulcan TKL Pro Compact, a not quite 60% but under 70% optical keyboard in mechanical garb.

Behold the Vulcan TKL Pro Compact, a not quite 60% but under 70% optical keyboard in mechanical garb.

Here we are a year later and the Roccat Vulcan Aimo 122 is still my favorite mechanical keyboard with its beautifully minimalist design and radiant RGB LED keys, but one of the issues that I have noticed as well as many gamers across the world is the size. Being a keyboard with a 10 key pad, it can get cumbersome to utilize the glowing panel in a comfortable tactical way, especially on cramped desks. Roccat must have been listening to many prayers because welcome the Vulcan TKL Pro (VTP) which is a 60%-ish keyboard and it is divine!

Smaller, lightning fast and easily portable with detachable USB-C cable, this is a desktop dream.

Smaller, lightning fast and easily portable with detachable USB-C cable, this is a desktop dream.

A little backstory about 60%-65% keyboards, they are shorter and are “tenkeyless” dropping the bulky number pad, hence the acronym “TKL”. Why a 60%? Mainly it gives gamers of all calibers more versatility to cater to their gaming styles. Some like to use their keyboard sideways or they want to have a tighter closer gaming footprint with their mouse. Most gamers have both so the VTP is a legit addition to any serious PC player.

The VTP is blessed with all of the premium engineering and style of its bigger heftier brother the Vulcan Aimo 122 but in a smaller form and also introduces the new Titan Switch Optical which have been designed to deliver the light-speed of an optical key but also retain the feel of a mechanical switch. These new optical switches are game-changing and faster than others out there and have been rated to have a lifecycle of 100M keystrokes, which means they’re meant to last through all of the vigorous key banging your gaming needs require. Another feature is the detachable USB-C cable which allows the VTP to be packed up easily without needing to wrap your cable around your keyboard, which can possibly damage both keys and cord. If you're in the market for a smaller set up, look no further, your 65% champion is here!

BURST PRO ($59.99):

Roccat's ultralight weight pro performance mouse weighing in at 66 grams.

Roccat's ultralight weight pro performance mouse weighing in at 66 grams.

I've always been a fan of a lightweight mouse for all things computing, which is a definite must when it comes to gaming. Last year we featured the Kain 120 AIMO (89 grams) and it proved to be a force to be reckoned with. This year Roccat released an ultralight honeycomb RGB monster, the Burst Pro, and it is quite the beast! Out of the package the Burst Pro is extremely light and conservatively could pass for many other mice in the gaming arena , but all that changes once plugged in. Immediately the Burst Pro ignites exposing a hidden skeletonized frame under a smoked translucent shell, which protects it from dust and other accidental spills.  

All the "ultralight" mice I've seen available run with the exposed honeycomb or circular cuts, which give dust and moisture a direct route to internal components, which is a no no.  On top of being a feather-light 66 grams the Burst Pro is outfitted with Titan optical switches that outperform mechanical switches and are rated at 100M clicks while they rest on heat treated PTFE skates that ensure this mouse slides lightning fast over any surface. Being part of the AIMO eco-system also means that this skeletonized beast can radiate whatever your customizable heart desires.

SENSE AIMO XXL MOUSE PAD ($59.99) & MID-SIZE ($39.99):

competition grade mousepad complimenting the AIMO intelligent light eco-system...

competition grade mousepad complimenting the AIMO intelligent light eco-system...

A completionist is plagued with getting all of the pieces to create the final complete picture and it’s impossible to have a solid gaming experience if you don’t have a performance grade mouse pad. Roccat made sure to really inject some excitement into their new Sense Aimo XXL & Mid-Size mouse pads. Let’s be honest, it’s a mouse pad!!! But the Sense is truly so much more. 

a mouse pad to light up any darkened desktop

a mouse pad to light up any darkened desktop

After unpacking this gigantic pad, it immediately conformed without any annoying edge lift or roll, displaying a hard to miss translucent rib that runs along the edges of this wafer thin neoprene-type sheet. With a simple plug into the PC, an otherwise inanimate piece of material comes to life with a pulsing breath of blending colors with two programmable zones.  As part of the AIMO eco-system, all that’s left is linking the ELO, Vulcan, Burst Pro and the Sense together via Roccat’s SWARM app and "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" (peep out the synchronicity below!)  Now let’s kick some zombie ass and prestige up!

HYPERX GAMING

CLOUD II WIRELESS 7.1 ($149.99):

wireless premium 7.1 surround sound in a lightweight ultra comfortable package

wireless premium 7.1 surround sound in a lightweight ultra comfortable package

HyperX has taken their gamer-favorite Cloud series into the wireless realm with the much appreciated 7.1 surround sound feature. The Cloud II Wireless is hands down, one of the most comfortable gaming headset I have tried, with an extremely durable headband, earcups that caress and extremely light weight.  In my testing, the Cloud II Wireless proved to be wearable for many hours of gameplay with zero ear fatigue. Along with excellent long term wear-ability, a 30 hour battery ensures that all of you die-hard/try-hard players will be able to keep grinding without the need to recharge before you pass out from mental exhaustion. 

Lightweight and durability galore, "come on baby, let's do the twist"

Lightweight and durability galore, "come on baby, let's do the twist"

One of my favorite features on the Cloud II Wireless is mic monitoring, a feature that I wish was standardized on all gaming headsets but seems to only be available on premium top tier units. This feature allows you to hear yourself in the headset during your game chats. Uniquely, this is the first gaming headset that I have used that was outfitted with 53mm drivers instead of the industry standard of 50mm, which technically should yield a bigger soundstage and theoretically more sound.  I wasn't able to tell the difference when switching from this to another 7.1 wireless, but I can confidently say that the sound from the Cloud II Wireless is exquisite. While playing Call of Duty Cold War Zombies, I truly felt engulfed in my game as the 7.1 surround quickly alerted me of unseen zombies coming from all sides, so much so that I was able to hit level 37, solo, with only two shotguns as my weapons.  

lightweight comfort + excellent sound reproduction = winning headset!

lightweight comfort + excellent sound reproduction = winning headset!

The only neutral comment I have would be the lack of settings memory which could enable you to pick up your headset and go, instead you will need to re-activate mic monitoring and dial in your volume-sweet spot each time you power up. Regardless, these audibly rock with excellent sound, crystal clean mic output and superb lightweight comfort, the Cloud II Wireless is a feather weight champion for the gamer in you or your household.

PULSEFIRE SURGE RGB MOUSE ($54.99 MSRP on sale $39.99):

HyperX Gaming

Pulsefire Surge with 360 customizable RGB lighting

No cap, I dream of a ridiculously overclocked Ryzen 9 5950x liquid cooled PC coupled with dual RTX3090 graphics cards, enough LED lighting to light up the night's sky, an battalion of 120mm jet turbine cooling fans and a transparent LCD monitor-walled tower, but the reality is I’m still saving my pennies until I get there.  That being said, I do have a very capable gaming laptop with an awesome RGB keyboard that has always pined for a solid performing RGB mouse to compliment its existence on my desk. Introducing the HyperX Pulsefire Surge. Being the only 360 RGB performance mouse in the HyperX arsenal, it was the obvious choice for my laptop setup. The video below gives you an idea of what it looks like on my keyboard. 

Weighing in at 100 grams, I will admit this mouse is heavier than I’m used to but after plugging it in, I was surprised to at how well the large skates glided with ease and were void of any surface lag. With customizable LED effects using the Ngenuity PC app, I settled on the wave pulse that would oscillate through a plethora of soothing colors. 

The Ngenuity app unlocks a world of RGB customization

The Ngenuity app unlocks a world of RGB customization

The pluses don’t end there, with 16,000 dpi, premium Omron switches rated at 50M clicks and a cloth braided cable, this is an illuminated performer at a very affordable price. 

PULSEFIRE HASTE ULTRALIGHT MOUSE ($47.99):

the honeycomb skeletonized Pulsefire Haste weighing in at a paltry 59 grams...

the honeycomb skeletonized Pulsefire Haste weighing in at a paltry 59 grams...

If you do end up needing a bit more performance in a lighter package, the Pulsefire Haste is designed for victory! Coming in at a paltry 59 grams, the Haste resides in the top five lightest mice that I know of.  With its tactile open-air honey comb design this ultralight rodent packs quite a punch with specialized TTC Golden micro dustproof switches, 16K DPI and the PixArt PAW 3335 sensor which gives you pinpoint precision and lightning fast responsiveness. 

LUCIDSOUND

LS15P X LS15X ($99.99):

trimmed down, lightened up and slapped with faux carbon fiber the LS15 is dressed to impress.

trimmed down, lightened up and slapped with faux carbon fiber the LS15 is dressed to impress.

Lucidsound has released a new LS15 wireless headset for Playstation and Xbox consoles and boy are they nice! If you've read my previous guides, you'll know that I've always been a big fan of Lucidsound and since their launch in 2016 they have continuously produced high end audiophile headphones geared for gaming.  For reviewing purposes I'll be referring to the Playstation version of the LS15 but please note that it covers the Xbox version as well.    

beautifully designed, filled with function, the LS15 delivers amazing sound at an affordable price.

beautifully designed, filled with function, the LS15 delivers amazing sound at an affordable price.

The LS15 has arrived and is the first release from Lucidsound after it was purchased by PowerA gaming peripherals, earlier this year.  After unboxing this wireless headphone it's welcomingly apparent that the LS15 has undergone some light refreshing changes. Last year's wired LS10 is a close relative to this new release and instead of re-upping with cheap looking shiny plastic arms, the LS15 is adorned with cool faux carbon fiber accents along the earcups and part of the headband. The LS15 also sheds some of the bulk that the higher end models have all carried. 

Under the new ownership, I'm not sure if the upcoming higher end models will continue to use their trademark dual metal arms with round earcups or follow the lead of this new design change, only time will tell. In this instance construction is similar to the LS10 but more refined.  Also returning are earcup control wheels with volume on the left earcup wheel coupled with push down mute and mic volume on the right wheel. I have to express that these controls continue to be my all time favorite.

Innovative jog wheels on each earcup provide volume and and mic controls with the flick of a wrist.

Innovative jog wheels on each earcup provide volume and and mic controls with the flick of a wrist.

Lucidsound has always been a leader in excellent audio with precision tuning and that continues to ring true.  50mm drivers continue to deliver impressive highs, satisfying mids and encompassing lows which can be altered with EQ presets at the push of a button on the right earcup.  One change that I was impressed with was the new voice prompts that let you know exactly what is happening with your headset and also escalates the refinement of this headset.  If you weren't aware, Lucidsound wireless headsets have always implemented amplification and mic monitoring which is continued on with the LS15 and is something usually found in more expensive headsets.  This holiday season, if you're interested in an amazing headset but don't have a big budget, the LS15 is resoundingly the best bang for your buck at only $99.99.

LENOVO GAMING

LEGION Y27GQ-20 27 WLED G-SYNC MONITOR ($629.99):

Legion's lightning fast brute...the Y27gq-20 27 inch WLED G-SYNC gaming monitor.

Legion's lightning fast brute...the Y27gq-20 27 inch WLED G-SYNC gaming monitor.

One of the vital components to a PC gaming rig is obviously the monitor.  I have always squeaked by with an inexpensive 1080p LG monitor have always been content.  Because I spend most of my time gaming on consoles, I have to admit that my PC gaming requirements do not out weigh the importance of my abilities to edit photos and video.  Everything in my PC world was a peacefully accepted existence until I received a very large box from Lenovo Gaming, which contained their top-of-the-line EXTREME gaming monitor, the Legion Y27gq-20 27 Inch WLED G-SYNC, on loan.  What the...First and foremost, this is a BEAST that happens to be ALL SCREEN thanks to the micro bezels surrounding a blindingly fast QHD 2560 x 1440 165hz Kraken monster of the gaming seas.  I mean we are talking about wiping out any and all jagged/streaking lines, destroying motion blur as if The Flash dwelled beneath the screen and exorcising any spooky instances of ghosting.  My brief experience with the Legion Y27gq has been utterly breathtaking as everything I've fired at it has only been met with beautiful reproduction and zero flaws.  Generally, the larger your screen, the less crispy it gets.  Not the case with this beast.  While I was writing, I had music videos playing on YouTube and I was amazed at how beautifully clean Dua Lipa's face was while she sang "Don't Start Now" on the large 27 inch screen.  Set up is surprising easy as everything locks in with ease.  HDMI, DisplayPort and other cables are included.  

beautifully designed with blue accents and one hell of an upper cut in visuals.

beautifully designed with blue accents and one hell of an upper cut in visuals.

As a gaming monitor, this dominates in a small group of competitors and is geared to deliver nothing but the truest distortion free playback.  As an editing monitor, I feel confident in saying that this is an exemplary tool for 4k editing.  Truth be told, this review was meant to be handled at my offices where my extreme PC resides but I recently learned that during the pandemic our offices closed down for remodeling and I was only allowed to pick up my packages.  My only hope is that Lenovo will be kind enough to send out another loaner when I'm under better circumstances.  Until then my home PC experience will be left wanting and hoping for the Legion's return...

X1 FOLD (starting at $2,499.00):

the first full functioning all-screen laptop that folds...mind blown!

the first full functioning all-screen laptop that folds...mind blown!

Taking a quick step outside of the gaming box, Lenovo recently dropped one of the most unique "laptops" of 2020.  Introducing the X1 Fold, the first folding laptop that's nothing but touchscreen!!!

the X1 Fold with a beautifully engineered seamless hinge with a folding touchscreen maxing out at 13".

the X1 Fold with a beautifully engineered seamless hinge with a folding touchscreen maxing out at 13".

Now let's be serious, this is not your average laptop and the price tag does reflect a certain carte blanche approach to spending, but if this is you, then this folding phenom is the laptop you want.

13" touchscreen, coupled with the Mod Pen means unlimited creative endeavors!

13" touchscreen, coupled with the Mod Pen means unlimited creative endeavors!

Equipped with a capable Intel i5 and 8GB of RAM, this book like laptop is more than capable of tackling any and all word processing, finance calculating and/or multi-media tasks with ease.  You can even jump on for some mobile gaming sessions but don't expect to dominate in the more GPU-hungry PC gaming realm, especially ones that require more robust CPUs and GPUs on steroids.

touchscreen keyboard is great but I'd rather go with the Mini Keyboard.

touchscreen keyboard is great but I'd rather go with the Mini Keyboard.

The X1 Fold has a default touchscreen keyboard which is nice but for an additional $229.99, Lenovo offers a magnetic mini keyboard that folds perfectly into the Fold's cavity and is full QWERTY so typing on the go is a breeze.  

A magnetic mounted mini keyboard that folds into the X1 adds to the panache of this tiny powerhouse.

A magnetic mounted mini keyboard that folds into the X1 adds to the panache of this tiny powerhouse.

Add the "Mod Pen" into the mix and now you have an extremely portable-to-large-screen creative tool that is ready to work when your creative juices begin to flow, no matter where you are.

Need more viewing area? No problem, pull the keyboard and open for all the screen your heart desires!

Need more viewing area? No problem, pull the keyboard and open for all the screen your heart desires!

If Santa Claus was real, this would be the device (with all the extras) that I would be writing to him about... HEY SANTA! HOOK A STARVING EDITOR UP!

ACTIVISION

CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS COLD WAR:

COD Black Ops Cold War is here, bring on the faster paced slaughter!!!

COD Black Ops Cold War is here, bring on the faster paced slaughter!!!

If you're like me, you are a hardened OG, multiple repeat tour veteran of the monstrous Call of Duty franchise.  I remember the first time I played COD 1 when it was released in 2003, on my Gateway 2000 desktop with the old school craptacular analog weighted rubber ball mouse (remember those?).  I was hooked and continued to game via Windows until the PS3 was released in 2006 with COD 3 released just before.  Talk about game-life changing!  I've been such a COD fan, I actually took my heart on our first date to the EPIC star-studded Activision Black Ops 3 release party at the Staples Center 10 years ago and she and I are still going strong.

the complete Call of Duty legacy...

the complete Call of Duty legacy...

What a journey it has been, we've gone from vintage world warring, bionic jumping, space traveling and zombie raving over the years, with the last release being Call of Duty Modern Warfare and bringing with it, the mega multiplayer kill fest, Warzone.  I can't begin to tell you how many hours I have spent enjoying gameplay with my friends from all over the country in Battle Royale/Plunder matches or the crazy amounts of time playing Cyber Attack in Multiplayer, up until Infinity Ward BROKE the revive feature, ultimately RUINING the enjoyment of the game. Yes Infinity Ward, I'm calling you out with the anger of millions of other Cyber Attack players!!!

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War multiplayer gameplay at its best.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War multiplayer gameplay at its best.

This past November, Activision, Treyarch and Raven Software released Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War on all platforms and it has been engaged by millions as we all continue to be confined to our homes due to the ever-present viral pandemic.  After many hours of various play, I can say that Cold War's faster paced gameplay has made it impossible for me to go back to Modern Warfare, which now seems extremely sluggish like my 17 year old Gateway 2000 PC.  I won't lie, Cold War has a ton of bugs that still need to be hashed out by developers, like terrible intermittent in-game chat, broken online friends lists, extremely slow load ups, blue screen crashes and gameplay dynamics in Hardcore mode.  The list is lengthy with many more issues, however, for the first time in a very long time, I actually love the "Core" dynamics and have been spending a lot of time killing random opponents online.  Cold War's campaign mode is also really good with a solid storyline however I have been noticing bad character renderings here and there, hopefully this is something that can be fixed with updates.  And then there is ZOMBIES...oh how I have missed playing Black Ops Zombies...

one of the most beloved game modes in the Call of Duty universe...

one of the most beloved game modes in the Call of Duty universe...

Hands down, Cold War Zombies is the encompassing redemption of this rocky footed game release.  The gameplay is ridiculously good and seamless, without any of the same gameplay issues that plague Multiplayer.  The current "Die Maschine" map is an expansive multi-layered playing field with so many cool and quirky Easter eggs and tricks embedded within.  My friend Marx202 and I have already completed the objective and killed the "Big Boss" but the game still continues to be fun even after winning, until the next, harder map drops...and it is coming very soon.  Should you get COD Black Ops Cold War? I would say YES!  All of these issues will be fixed and fine tuned in the coming weeks and underneath the various flaws, shines a brilliant gold sheen of exciting, involved game play which has been the greatest monotony-destroyer in the suckiest year (2020) of our lives... 

ASTRO GAMING

ASTRO X ACTIVISION X CALL OF DUTY - A10 ($59.99 - $69.99):

Must have headset for the die hard Call of Duty fan.

Must have headset for the die hard Call of Duty fan.

Gaming Goliath Activision teamed up once again with gamer favorite Astro to release another member of the Call of Duty branded A10 headsets, to commemorate the new Black Ops Cold War release.  Based on the entry-level Astro A10s, the COD branded headset in red and black colorway is a must have for all die hard Call of Duty fanatics (presently sold out on Astro's website).  Of all of the sets we have reviewed these are in the most affordable category and still pack a solid punch in gameplay audio.  With 40mm drivers, the highs are sharp and the lows are deep and even though the soundstage is less refined than other high end headsets, these still do a good job for any gamer.  

fan favorite and sold out on the Astro website.  Still available at BestBuy & Target

fan favorite and sold out on the Astro website.  Still available at BestBuy & Target

The COD BO CW A10s are also designed with more of an aggressive gamer asthetic.  My only neutral comment is the unfinished raw edges of this headset tend to feel razor sharp and uncomfortable to the touch.  Other than that, the A10 Cold War headsets are good performers and well worth the affordable price.  PS, these sets come with a redeemable code for an in-game charm!

And there you have it, a comprehensive guide to so many goodies that are sure to bring any gamer you know and love, great joy....and as we get closer to the end of a horrible 2020, I'd like to wish you and yours a safe and healthy holiday filled with only the best that life has to offer.  Now go sign on and let's crush these online noobs!

Related Content