Sunday, February 26, 2017

Visit to Techno Mart: Korea's Electronics Supermall

This weekend I decided to take a trip to Techno Mart in Gangbyeon to pick up some peripherals. Most PC rooms are outfitted with high enough quality products, but the fact that I do not have to invest into building a PC while in Korea allows me to test more peripherals. It all started because I wanted to purchase a Logitech G1.

The Logitech G1, a mainstay of nearly all PC rooms across South Korea. Great little mouse that has stood the test of time. The lift off distance is problematic, but I can't see any downsides to playing RTS and MOBA type games with this mouse. The G1 has gained quite a following through the years, and some South Korean eSports pros can still be seen using it. If I wanted to buy one in person, I knew Techno Mart would be the place to go. Thankfully the weather was great, so I decided to take the bike out.

Had to fuel up at McDonald's first though! The ride takes about a half hour from where I live in Guri to Gangbyeon. Luckily I can stick to the bike path for almost the entirety of the trip, no near death experiences on the road today. 

Lock the bike up and go! Techno Mart is part of a huge mall with nearly anything you could want to buy. Clothing, food, instruments, and most importantly electronics. The good stuff is on floor seven, the computer floor. 

From hardware to peripherals, Techno Mart has it all. There are numerous different sellers on the floor, so it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Some are certainly more welcoming, knowledgeable, and helpful than others. You can usually haggle a bit on larger ticket items, but I haven't had much luck with cheaper products. On the other hand, many sellers will have the same items, and the prices do vary. Take your time when shopping at Techno Mart! Most of the owners don't speak English well from my experience, but I speak enough Korean that they usually don't bother trying. 

Although I would never buy one while in Korea and primarily using PC rooms, I love keyboards. This shop specialized in keyboards, and had a wide variety of brands and switch types. Maybe the coolest thing I saw today was this little box from Corsair designed to let shoppers feel the difference between switch types. Blues all the way baby.

How cool is that. A keyboard signed by professional Starcraft player YellOw (홍진호). I was never the biggest fan of Starcraft, but I do like YellOw, especially with his appearances on Korean variety shows. Cool to see how an eSports player can transition like that in Korea. The worker there was friendly, but made sure to explain to me that this was only a display model. I'll have to come back and buy a keyboard here before returning to the US. After a bit of browsing it was time to get what I came for, a G1.

I decided to go back to a man I purchased some things from previously. Nice middle aged guy who runs the shop with his wife, very knowledgeable and energetic about peripherals. Although out of frame (ㅠㅠ), he did have a G1. Unfortunately, after asking if I could buy one he laughed a bit. It is then that I realized this would be no easy task. On to the next one! How hard could it be to find this cheap, silly, little mouse? 

Too hard it turns out. There were probably 50 G1s on that floor with cut cords, but not a single one for sale. I returned back to my go to shop and bought a Cougar Speed 2 (Large) mousepad ($25), JBL earbuds ($22), and a Logitech G102 ($20). The G102 is Asia exclusive as far as I know. It is modeled after the G Pro, and considerably cheaper. I decided to go with it after reading all the positive reviews on the forums. The owner of the store was knowledgeable as always and explained to me the differences between the G Pro and G102, notably the sensor. 

So in the end I still don't have a G1, but who wants one of those anyway? It's a mouse for ants and will click if you blow on it. Also, you know what they say about 1000dpi, it's 600 too many. Don't even get me started on that LOD, I could play without putting the thing down... I bought one off Gmarket and it will probably get here tomorrow >.>

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