Are you one of those PC gamers who like to play with the lights out for maximum depth and immersion, but often find yourself using memory and guesswork when if comes to using keymapped actions?
If so, Trusts GXT 830 Avonn gaming keyboard might be the solution to all your problems, and at £24.99, it's likely to suit most budgets.
It certainly looks the business too, with its attractive chunky design, and glowing keys which succeed in lighting up the keyboard without causing any unwelcome glare.
This sturdy keyboard offers a range of quality of life features, like rainbow wave illumination with adjustable brightness, anti-ghosting, direct access keys, and gamer mode – which basically disables the Windows key functions, making it impossible to 'tab out' to your desktop by accident - all while boasting the kind of fast, responsive performance to satisfy even the most demanding gamers.
Trust's gaming keyboard works straight out of the box, requiring no drivers or setup process. I have to admit that it took me a little while to work out how to turn the illuminated keys off and on. A reference sheet is provided, but makes no obvious mention of the fact that a specific combination of keys must be pressed in order to either dim the lights, or remove them altogether. The solution involved watching a Youtube instruction video created for this explicit purpose.
For purposes of putting the GTX 310 through its paces I decided to play World of Warcraft Classic. This older, more complicated version of Blizzard's famous massive multiplayer online game benefits from literally dozens of keymapped spells and abilities. Speed and responsiveness are crucial to success.
Being able to clearly see the keys, even while playing with the lights out, certainly helped a great deal with immersion, and I soon had my Priest's various healing spells attached to convenient key combinations.
Keeping my friends’ health bars nicely topped up as we ran through one of the game's many dungeons proved to be a breeze, and it soon became apparent that the mechanical keys made a huge difference to the game; providing a truly fluid and responsive experience.
If you're still using a conventional keyboard for your gaming, you may discover that switching to a dedicated gaming keyboard like the GXT 830 –RW Avonn gives you a competitive edge, and certainly won't break the bank.
GXT 310 Radius gaming headset
Bundled with my gaming keyboard was Trust International's GTX 310 Radius gaming headset. Retailing at £19.99 the headset is designed to work with a whole range of gaming devices: PS4, Xbox One, Switch and of course your PC or laptop. It comes with a handy adaptor for use on the latter platforms. I'm a proud PC gamer, so no prizes for guessing which device I used to put the device thought its paces.
Like the keyboard, the headset requires no drivers or setup for the PC, working 'straight out of the box', although it does require a PC set-up with its own appropriate sound hardware and drivers.
Like many people I use my PC for other purposes than just gaming, and use an external USB sound module rather than onboard sound. Unfortunately I was unable to get the headset's microphone to work with the GTX 310, and was obliged to use the onboard sound instead, which fortunately worked flawlessly.
Pro tip: make sure your microphone volume levels are turned all the way down before using this headset to talk to anyone. The microphone is pretty sensitive!
After firing up our Discord channel I can confidently say that the GTX 310 (recognised instantly by the Discord server) proved capable of almost blowing out the ears of my fellow gamers, which is a far cry from my old (budget) headset, which had constantly required me to have my mic volume set to maximum.
After plaintiff cries for me to turn the thing down to levels that wouldn’t cause deafness it became apparent that the lowest-possible microphone volume on my PC's sound settings, with the boost feature turned off was more than sufficient to make my voice come across loud and clear to my gaming friends.
In return, the powerful 40mm speaker provided clear audio fidelity. Ambient sounds, effects, dialogue and game music come through with sharp clarity – as did the voices of my team mates, and we were able to coordinate our efforts with no trouble at all.
The headphones are well-cushioned, and comfortable to wear. I felt they fit possibly a little too snugly to begin with, whereas loosening them caused them to slip. This situation did not last though, as the headset seemed to gradually adjust to the shape of my head, eventually causing me to almost forget I was wearing it.
Overall I'm very pleased with my new headset. It has the price of a budget product – but seems to have all the functionality of far more expensive models... which is certainly not a bad thing.
The Trust GXT 830-RW Avonn is available for an RRP of only £24.99 amd the Trust GXT 310 Radius Gaming Headset for £19.99 from Argos, Currys PC World and Game.