Value for Money - 83%
Quality - 91%
Look/Feel - 89%
Extra's/Features - 85%
When I was in high school Creative Labs and Sound Blaster was a staple for any gamer here in South Africa. They had and still make the best sound cards in the world! But would you believe me if I tell you that they also make a really good mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse? Well, I was really shocked and surprised by how well they perform! So Creative sent me their Sound BlasterX Weapons Crate, which consists of the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08, the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 and the Sound BlasterX AlphaPad. This bundle is exclusively made for the US Creative.com store. The Weapons Crate is a customized case that holds your arsenal for your favourite gaming event(there is even a custom foam insert that keeps everything nice and safe).
Creative really put a lot of thought when they created the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08, from custom OMRON mechanical switches to a custom sound controller on the keyboard. Creative worked with OMRON to design there own mechanical switches called PRES(Perceive-React-Execute Switches). They even got the travel distance of the switch down to 1.5mm(compared to 2.0mm on some other brands). There is even a 26-Key Rollover and Anti-Ghosting on the keyboard….why you want to press that many keys at the same time are way above me(unless you love to take your loss on your keyboard). A nice touch for me on the Vanguard K08 is the Matt finish and the sound control. This will be less likely to leave finger marks and just looks way awesome. They also added an extra High-Speed USB pass-through port to free up space on the back of your rear panel on the PC. You can also program all 109 keys on the Vanguard, out of the 109 keys you even get 5 macro keys(good for League shortcuts or any game.) The Macro keys are located on the left side of the board, it does take a while to get used to them but when you are used to them they can help you out in a tight spot.
Ok so let’s move on to the Sound BlasterX Siege M04, taking design cues from all the best gaming mouses in the market you get a sleek smooth running bright gaming mouse. The Siege M04 uses top of the line PixArt PWM3360, a 32-bit high-speed microcontroller with a polling rate of 1000Hz polling rate and a native 12,000DPI sensor. What this means for you is that your next sniper shot that you take in Overwatch or even the new Quake will be almost confirmed! I mainly use the Siege M04 for some League of Legends and I can see an improvement in my playing style. Another nice feature that they implemented on the Siege M04 is braided in fabric(the Vanguard K08 cables is also braided). The Siege M04 is not a lightweight mouse, but also not to heavy. With just the right weight(for me) it really glides over almost any surface.
The Seige M04 and the Vanguard K08’s RGB lighting(yes it has RGB) is part of Creative’s new Aurora Reactive lighting system. This can all be controlled by Creative’s app called Sound Blaster Connect. From here you can change the colours(16.8 million of them), you can choose between 10 premade profiles and if that is not to your style even create your own. You can even set each individual LED’s on the keyboard to any colour you want. Then you can also change performance settings for the keyboard and mouse. On your mouse performance settings panel, you can change your DPI cycle(the super awesome Sniper Button, which is located on the bottom lefthand side) and even you Lift-Off distance!
There is only one or two stuff off the set that is a bit disappointing, firstly that they are not yet available in South Africa and you would need to order from the states. Luckily the Rand/Dollar exchange is doing good. So the crate might work out a bit expensive, but you can order the Vanguard K08 and Siege M04 separately. The other problem(and this is a bit more nitpicking) is that the colour mix at the moment is a bit sluggish. But then again for a first attempt they really, really did an awesome job. Converted to SA Rand, they Siege and Vanguard would be able to compete with our current top gaming peripherals brands. Coming in at R780 for the Siege M04 you can expect almost the same type of performance as an R1000 mouse, same goes for the Vanguard K08(here it would be between a R1500 and R2000 mechanical keyboard)
Overall I really love the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 and Siege M04, they even play better than my Steelseries Merc Keyboard and Razer Deathadder(the original version). I would suggest this to any gamer that needs a new keyboard or mouse. The Vanguard K08 has a really good response rate and types like a dream! The Siege M04 fits my hand like a glove and feels like a natural extension when I play my games. This is your local mad scientist signing out….now to find a local distributor for Creative!
Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 Spec
- ColourMatt Black
- Dimensions21.5cm x 46.5cm x 3.76cm
- Lifespan70 Million actuations
- Switch TypeMechanical – OMRON PRES
- Switch Spec – Actuation Force45g
- Switch Spec – Acutation Distance1.5mm
- Switch Spec – Total Travel Distance3.5mm
Sound BlasterX Siege M04 Spec
- Dimensions135.6mm x 67.65mm x 43mm
- Weight110g(without cable) and 143g(with cable)
- ColourSemi-Matt Black
- Lifespan50 Million Clicks
- Optical SensorPixArt PMW 3360
- Sensor Specs – DPI12,000
- Sensor Specs – Polling1000Hz
Estimated RRP: R3577.43 ($299 USD) for Sound BlasterX Weapons Crate
Estimated RRP: R1699.77 ($139.99 USD) for the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08
Estimated RRP: R775.14 ($64.99 USD) for the Sound BlasterX Siege M04
- I really love the feel of the Siege M04, smooth as butter
- The Vanguard K08 and Siege M04 can stand there ground against the big boys in the industry
- The audio control on the Keyboard is a live saver!
- The Weapons crate might not be for everybody(luckily you can buy them separately)
- Not available in SA stores yet (At date of this review)