Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard
Produced by Kingston Technology. Review unit provided by producer.
If you know the technical specifications that your cherished gamer wants from a keyboard, you'll want to refer to the official site to see if this fits the bill. Technical savvy aside, I do spend a minimum 10 hours a day using a keyboard, so practical experience I've got in spades, and I've never been quite so happy with a keyboard as I have been with the Kingston HyperX Alloy FPS.
Fair warning, the Alloy is loud. If you have to sit in the same room as the recipient, you should know what you're getting into. The click-clack of the keys - something a passerby might describe as "nails on a chalkboard" level of grating - is actually a profoundly important aspect of the experience. To me, it's almost like a metronome, offering a percussive, dynamic rhythm to work by that always keeps pace with you. The mechanical keys offer incredible precision for gaming, and the extra resistance make it harder to accidentally press keys.
I can't say whether Alloy is a keyboard fit for professional gamers, but I can recommend it for just about any professional that also happens to be a gamer.
Produced by Nintendo. Released November 11, 2016.
I've put this item up here on the gift guide because it is cool as fuck for any retro game fan. 30 of the very best NES classics crammed into a box that channels the console's look and easily hooks up to your modern TV. It even comes with a classic NES Controller that's compatible with all your Wii/Wii U controllers! It really is the perfect gift, if you can manage to get your hands on one.
Nintendo has been having a lot of trouble keeping this one stocked, with many retailers reporting shipments in the single digits. If you've absolutely got to get one, eBay is your best bet. Otherwise, find a retailer and bug them every day about when they are getting new stock in, and hope you can swoop in and get one before the scalpers do.
Razer DeathAdder Elite
Produced by Razer. Review unit provided by producer.
If you've been a PC gamer for any length of time, you've probably heard of the Razer DeathAdder. First released in 2006, the mouse has been a stale of Razer's lineup for a decade. It's been changed and updated over the years, with the DeathAdder Elite being the newest, most advanced version yet.
The design of the mouse hasn't changed much, so if you liked the feel of the DeathAdder in the past, it will feel just as good to your hand now as it did then. The changes have taken place under the hood, including a new sensor that offers up to 16,000 DPI. Razer says this is the "fastest sensor in the world." Razer has also replaced the switches in the DeathAdder Elite, packing in new mechanical switches from Razer and Omron that are designed to last for up to 50 million clicks.
The one small design change that stands out is the addition of rubber grips on either side of the mouse, increasing control. You can program the lighting into any color or pattern you like, and all seven buttons are fully customizable. It's everything you'd expect from a Razer gaming mouse.
Logitech Prodigy Series
Produced by Logitech. Review unit provided by producer.
Logitech is well-known as a company that produces quality gaming hardware, but for some gamers, the premium pricing can be prohibitive. That's why Logitech launched the Prodigy line this year. The new line packs the high-end performance that you'd expect from Logitech into a much more affordable package. While you might not get every single high-end feature, there's no skimping on performance.
The G231 Headset is lightweight and comfortable to wear, thanks to breathable cloth earcups. It offers quality sound, a good microphone, and compatibility with PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
The G403 Mouse is available in wired or wireless configurations, with wireless coming at a $30 premium. Its shape will be familiar to anyone who ever laid their hands on a Microsoft Intellimouse, as it recalls the lines of that classic mouse. With a rubberized scroll wheel, side buttons, and a DPI range from 200 to 12,000, the G403 will fill most every mouse need you have.
The G213 is a spill-resistant membrane keyboard that offers fully customizable RGB lighting. It's spill resistant, includes an integrated palm rest, and dedicated media controls. With the response and performance of a high-end gaming keyboard in a sub $70 package, you really can't go wrong.