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  1. #1

    Living Room PC Gaming (Wireless mice and lap desks)

    I am moving to a new flat next month and due to it being a bit smaller we're unlikely to have room for more than one desk. As my other half is an architecture student her need for a desk rather greater than my need to indecisively look at my Steam backlog and then watch a Giant Bomb Quicklook instead. As such I seem to have the following options:

    • Sell my PC and make do with my PS3
    • Sell my PC and buy a gaming laptop
    • Use my PC with a TV and a lapdesk

    The last of these seems the most attractive, especially as I can probably set up the room in a way that would mean I could sit fairly close to the TV (under 6 feet) which hopefully should minimise any UI problems. And as luck (or lack of it) would have it both my mouse and TV have broken meaning I need to replace them anyway. I was wondering if anyone else is using a similar set up and could point towards any pitfalls.

    My primary concern is the lap desk. I hear good things about the Ikea Dave but am a bit worried that at 60cm it is too narrow. My current set up in 70cm plus but I doubt I use all of my large mousepad. Also have wireless mice and keyboards becomes less of a heavy, laggy mess then when I last used them 10 years ago? If so are they available at a reasonable price (100ish for the pair)?

    It is worth noting that I don't play multiplayer shooters more than a handful of times a year and always at a low level so input lag merely needs to be acceptable not amazing. Mouse and keyboard would mainly be used for strategy, adventure and single player first person games. I would also avoid using it for anything other than gaming and films with a tablet or cheap laptop taking over for browsing the web and productivity.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    I use a wireless mouse and I don't notice any lag, I'm not the world's best or most avid FPS player, but there's nothing wrong with my aim. For normal gaming there's nothing wrong with it (by that I mean someone who isn't obsessing over stats, dpi ratings and whatever). I would imagine that keyboards will leave a similar experience, you'll only notice it if you really look for it. As for space, currently I need to move my mouse about 8 cm to traverse 3420 pixels.

    Mind you, if you are a little inventive you might be able to work out a solution that will fold away or be used for something else when you are not PCing.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    I've been using a Summera pull-out shelf to house my keyboard and mouse. It's basically the same width as the Dave and it is a bit narrow, but enough for my compact full keyboard (43.5 cm) and a standard mouse pad. The pad is rotated 90deg (portrait you could say), and the keyboard is still overlapping it, but it's no biggie.

    Wireless lag is not noticeable as far I can tell (except when coming back from a power saving state of course). The component to pay more attention to is the keyboard. Make sure it has no power saving feature that stops transmitting a keypress after some time: I used to have a Microsoft wireless keyboard that did just that and it made any shooter a pain to play (my character would stop walking in the worst possible moment), to the point I had to dust off an old wired keyboard just for that.

    Another thing to look for is support for a decent amount of keypresses at the same time.

    For that set up it's probably mandatory to use bluetooth devices, bog standard wireless desktops have very little range.
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  4. #4
    Activated Node Lykurgos's Avatar
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    A solution I find works great:

    > La-Z-Boy Cool Chair (lots of chairs with very wide arms would do, but not all chairs will work so well)
    > Wireless Mouse & Keyboard (no problems experienced at all with response time, I'm not a pro-gamer)
    > Mouse Mat on one of the chair arms
    > Keyboard resting on lap

    This works so well, that I've actually replicated the lounge set-up in my dedicated study/computer room. I've not found any other solution which combines comfort and function so very well, and I've tried a lot.

    An alternative I've used is a lap desk which is just that, a wide, curved freestanding surface which sits on your lap to provide a flat base for mouse + keyboard, with a adjustable padded underside. I much prefer that to something like the Ikea Dave, because it makes it so much easier to adjust position, get into and out of place. I used this solution whilst sitting in an Ekornes Stressless Vegas before I got my La-Z-Boys. It also worked very well, but not quite as well as the La-Z-Boy set up because it was that bit more awkward to sit down and get up and out of the chair again. With the La-Z-Boy I literally just grab my keyboard, whereas with a lap desk or Ikea Dave you'd be needing to slide around and position the desk.

    I honestly searched for weeks before I found the surface thing that I have, and I think I finally came across it in a mobility store. Would you like me to post pics so you can try and find it too?
    Last edited by Lykurgos; 14-08-2012 at 08:22 PM.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the suggestions Lykurgos. Unfortunately getting new furniture is pretty much out as there isn't really room and I'm not sure I'd get away with having a chair with a fridge in the arm instead of a sofa.

    Any recommendations for lap desks? My worry is that ones I have used and seen previously are a touch to unsteady perhaps due to my spindly legs and unmanly stance when sitting. I have had similar problems when using a keyboard on my lap as well. However I can see they'd be much more convenient for putting away than an adjustable table.

    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    The component to pay more attention to is the keyboard. Make sure it has no power saving feature that stops transmitting a keypress after some time: I used to have a Microsoft wireless keyboard that did just that and it made any shooter a pain to play (my character would stop walking in the worst possible moment), to the point I had to dust off an old wired keyboard just for that.
    Thanks for the warning. Are you using a a particular keyboard that avoids this problem? And what wireless mice are you all using. I use my palm and have pretty big hands so I tend to like larger mice. I currently use a Deathadder that shapewise I'm very happy with.

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    I use a Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000, probably discontinued now, because it is similar in size and shape to my old Intellimouse, ie. large and ambidextrous, working off my motherboards inbuilt Bluetooth.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradePenguin View Post
    Thanks for the warning. Are you using a a particular keyboard that avoids this problem?
    I can't recommend a specific model, but what I've gathered at that time, it seemed that was a Microsoft feature and Logitech wireless keyboards didn't have it. That keyboard being a gift, I had to stick with it so I never found out myself: when it died, I just went back to a wired model - wireless for me was just a matter of reducing clutter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    I use a Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000, probably discontinued now, because it is similar in size and shape to my old Intellimouse, ie. large and ambidextrous, working off my motherboards inbuilt Bluetooth.
    +1 for MS mice, the basic shape has been maintained for years and I'm quite happy with it. It fits quite right under my palm, then again my hands are averagely sized.
    Last edited by alms; 15-08-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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  8. #8
    Good news on the Microsoft mice as the X8 looks like it might well suit me. Unfortunately it seems it isn't widely stocked and I do like to grip an mouse before I buy.

    Any tips on what makes a good TV for PC gaming? I'm getting rather bored of looking at reviews and going to a shop is little help as they never seem to bother to adjust the colour, brightness etc so they all look ruddy awful.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    I haven't been in the market for a long while, last time I had to pick one (not specifically for gaming), I remember most reviews were useless, but the boards over at avforums.com were not.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    I haven't been in the market for a long while, last time I had to pick one (not specifically for gaming), I remember most reviews were useless, but the boards over at avforums.com were not.
    They look very useful indeed. Already subscribed to several threads which are looking for the same things as me. Essentially I need to hunt out one of Panasonic's plasma models from last year on sale.

    Quote Originally Posted by janeiro1209 View Post
    then again my hands are averagely sized.
    This is beautifully mysterious.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradePenguin View Post
    This is beautifully mysterious.
    I'm going to kill the mystery for you: It's a spammer.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    I'm going to kill the mystery for you: It's a spammer.
    Sadly I knew this, I just thought is carried a touch more beauty than the average. I would like it if my penis enlargement adverts were in the form of slightly awful oblique teenage poetry.

    Quote Originally Posted by janeiro1209
    I'm glad that somehow I was able to support them.
    specifically about playing games the wrong way
    then again my hands are averagely sized.
    Last edited by ComradePenguin; 17-08-2012 at 03:31 PM.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    I'm sure it's just a perspective problem, but I almost feel like these freaking bots are stalking me!

    Anyway, glad to hear you've found your target. Maybe post a follow-up later when you've put everything together so we can take a peek?
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    I'm sure it's just a perspective problem, but I almost feel like these freaking bots are stalking me!

    Anyway, glad to hear you've found your target. Maybe post a follow-up later when you've put everything together so we can take a peek?
    I'll certainly keep you all updated. I know this a thing that is increasingly interesting to people, especially those moving over from consoles that are near their end of life. Should become even better if the Big Picture mode on Steam does enter beta in September.

    I move a week tomorrow hopefully so I suspect there won't be significant progress for a couple of weeks until we settle in. We also need to check how large a TV we can fit in before it becomes embarrassing.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node
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    Find a tv with very low input lag and good motion resolution (response time) or you'll be sorry:p

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Find a tv with very low input lag and good motion resolution (response time) or you'll be sorry:p
    Indeed. The plasma I'm looking at, once all the processing guff is turned off, rates well for this so it shouldn't be a problem but thanks for the heads up.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Good luck with the move!
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  18. #18
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    I use a wireless keyboard+mouse as my regular desktop keyboard.

    Specifically the previous generation of this which works perfectly fine. The keyboard is full sized but half-travel which drives some people crazy. It works perfectly well, functions exactly like a wired keyboard and has some extra functions that seem to work fine, I use alkaline batteries in it cause the power consumption is so low, Ive changed em twice in the keyboards lifetime (3 years or so).

    The mouse also works fine, no noticeable lag, is quite basic though, 3 buttons and a wheel, good enough, consumes quite a bit of power so i use NiMH batteries (change em every other month or so). the mouse also starts to act wonky when batteries are low but otherwise indistinguishable from a wired model.

    If you have the lap space they make a bigger model that looks nice and would probably buy if this one failed. The mouse is certainly a more buttony type.

  19. #19
    Update: I have bought a lovely new TV which is due to arrive on Saturday as such the search for wireless bits and bobs has moved up a gear.

    Thanks for the tips Inverselaw. Those certainly look promising. I tried a Logitech G700 yesterday and whatever the coating is felt oddly awful. It was also a touch too small so is anyone aware of a massive wireless mouse, preferably not ambidextrous as I like to rest rather than drag my pinkie.

    I am currently using the cunning plan of not unpacking my PC till this is sorted to keep me motivated. Unfortunately McPixel came out on Andorid so this may not work.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    I use this:
    http://img.tomshardware.com/de/2006/...remote1big.jpg
    for the mouse.

    It's a surprisingly accurate gyroscope motion sensing mouse, equivalent to the old optical Intellimouse. That way I can use a full size keyboard on my lap and use this thing in the air. mainly play single play/co-op so if you're a die hard multiplayer dude I can't recommend this.
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