Rectron is one of South Africa’s largest distributors of computers and other related gear, and for the past two years they’ve had a stand at rAge to show off the latest cool stuff from companies like Gigabyte, Corsair, Intel and more recently AORUS, Gigabyte’s premium laptop brand. This year, Rectron’s stand plays host to Acer’s Predator family, as well as a host of gaming monitors, computer cases, and peripherals. There’s so much stuff to dive in to here, and so much more will be at their stand for a hands-on comparison. Let’s check it out.
“The Experience Centre”
This year, Rectron wanted to give gamers more hands-on time with the peripherals and kit that the company distributes to retailers and PC stores. To make this happen, the Rectron booth will have a separate display with three laptops that visitors can use with a range of peripherals that they can take off the shelf, plug in to these notebooks, and fiddle around with the product and see how it works for them. The hands-on experience, as Rectron described it to me, will include keyboards, mice, headsets, and even mouse pads. The brands that you’ll run into here are Corsair, Gigabyte, and Cooler Master, so there’ll be some mechanical keyboards for you to try out as well. Also, if you’re thinking of buying a mech keyboard for the first time, definitely try to make a turn here, since the hands-on time is important for deciding what switch type you prefer.
Grabbing most of the attention this year will be Acer’s Predator products, a brand revived by the company, which is seeing growth among gamers thanks to their strong design and performance. You’ll be able to get your hands on the Predator 15 and 17, two new notebooks from Acer’s range, which include new cooling technology, fans with metal blades, and anti-dust technology. If I’m not mistaken, the Predator 17 on display could also be housing a GTX 980M and feature a 4K display, but that’s just going off the specs sheet that Acer has on it. Its an impressive machine either way.
On display will be the Predator G6 desktop powered by Intel Skylake hardware, and the Predator Tablet 8-inch, which looks really sweet with four front-firing speakers and a Intel Atom X7 chipset. Although gaming tablets aren’t really a thing (NVIDIA is only somewhat successful with the Shield Tablet), the speaker design might be what’s needed to make the Predator 8 a hit with gamers and anyone who wants to watch media on it. Also on the show floor will be the first local example of Acer’s curved 34-inch G-Sync capable X34 gaming monitor, featuring a IPS panel boasting a native 3440 x 1440 resolution and a 100Hz refresh rate if you choose to overclock the panel using the built-in settings in the OSD. I haven’t had much experience with curved 21:9 monitors, so this will be my first.
Corsair’s part of the Rectron stand will be showing off the brand new STRAFE, a mechanical keyboard that is no-nonsense and comes with either Cherry MX Red or Brown switches. The STRAFE is a very different design to their previous products, and it’s a very understated design that I personally like. Two months ago Corsair also launched their new VOID gaming headsets, which feature 50mm drivers, RGB lighting, unidirectional noise cancellation, and virtual Dolby 7:1 surround capability.
Gigabyte will be showing off their entire range of Skylake products, which includes motherboards from the B150, H170 and Z170 chipsets. From budget options all the way to tear-inducing wallet smashers, there’s something for everyone to yearn for there. Gigabyte will also be showing off their new range of NVIDIA GTX 950 graphics cards, including the GTX 950 Extreme, one of the meatiest GTX 950 variants out there with a very good-looking cooler.
Cooler Master will have their range of Master Case chassis on display and there’ll be some examples which will be modded by local talent. The Master Case is a new design direction for Cooler Master, and one that was difficult to accommodate for because the chassis design had to be modular, to allow for different configurations as well as enable modding to be easily done. Some of Cooler Master’s peripherals should also be on display, and I hope to find a QuickFire XTi and see how much has changed since I bought my QuickFire Pro.
Last, but not least, of the highlights from the stand will be BenQ, who will be bringing along their RL2460 gaming monitor (24-inch, 1080p, 60Hz), which is an interesting product for anyone interested in video streaming or HDMI video capture, as well as what could be an unannounced monitor that has a native resolution of 2560 x 1440 and is compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync. I’m not sure if my Rectron contact confused G-Sync with FreeSync, which is AMD’s name for their take on variable refresh rates, but I’m quite sure that he said G-Sync. If true, that monitor would be almost identical to the XL2730Z, which boasts similar specs but is compatible with the FreeSync standard.
If you’re at rAge expo and find yourself wandering around for cool stuff for your treasure hunt with friends, stop by Rectron’s stand and see if there’s anything on your list that you can tick off while there!