Cooler Master Releases MasterKeys Pro Series Keyboards

Cooler Master released their newest series of keyboards, the MasterKeys Pro series. The new MasterKeys Pro is available in two versions so you get just the size you need, want, and prefer, whether you like a full sized keyboard or rather a TKL without the num pad. Both versions feature the same functions and customizability, so pick which is best for your gaming needs. The full-sized version is called the MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL version is called the MasterKeys Pro S.

The Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro has a minimalistic design, but don’t let that fool you. The keyboard features full RGB backlighting with multiple effects and full customizability. On top of the extra bright LEDs, you find the Cherry MX switches of your choice, whether that might be red, brown, or blue switches.

It appears like a very simple keyboard when looking at it, but the MasterKeys pro is anything but simple. It is built with a 32-bit ARM processor which increases the possibilities when it comes to on-the-fly macro recording as well as general features. Most keyboards rely on software solutions to handle things and you can use Cooler Master’s software tool to configure and set up your keyboard to match your needs, but you don’t have to. You can do everything software-free too via the on-the-fly system built into the MasterKeys Pro keyboards.

“The MasterKeys Pro offers multiple lighting modes. Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and other responsive effects. You can choose between red, brown, or blue switches to match your tactile preference,” said Kevin Yang, Peripherals Product Manager. “And you get all the features, whether you prefer a full size keyboard or a tenkeyless design. In addition to easy-to-use software, we are working on a Software Development Kit (SDK) to truly help Make It Yours.”

Cooler Master needed to completely redesign the interior of the MasterKeys to fit both the original Cherry MX switches as well as the much bigger and brighter LEDs used here. The end result looks stunning and should provide you with a stable partner for your online battles. The sleek lines, refined symmetry, and a heavy-weight quality build will help you keep things clean and simple. Speaking of clean and simple, the full-sized L version comes with hidden positioning grooves on the bottom of the keyboard, giving you 180° cable management and the ability to keep your keyboard and desktop sleek and organized regardless of arrangement preference.

The keys themselves have a soft-to-touch and long-lasting UV coating for a great experience and long-lasting effect that won’t result in missing letters and discolored keys.

Both the MasterKeys Pro L and MasterKeys Pro S are available in Europe from today, March the 15th, for a recommended retail price of €169 and €139 respectively. If all that peeked your interest, then you should check out our full review of the MasterKeys Pro S for an in-depth analysis and verdict.

Roccat Ryos MK FX RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Roccat are back on eTeknix once again, this time with the latest and hopefully, their greatest keyboard they’ve ever produced! The new Roccat Ryos MK FX RGB Mechanical Keyboards takes everything we know and love about the already fantastic Ryos range, and gives it a glorious RGB switch upgrade, allowing Roccat to take their already impressive lighting engine to a whole new and far more colourful level.

“The Ryos MK FX offers fully customizable, ROCCAT®-enginereed Per-Key RGB illumination in two convenient modes: preset and custom. This means you can add awesome special effects in 16.8 million colors to your keystrokes, configure your keyboard to highlight your in-game and application key bindings, your modifier keys, your system controls as well as your macro sequences and cool-downs plus much, much more.” – Roccat

Of course, aesthetically pleasing lighting effects are one thing, but the Ryos MK FX is no slouch in other departments and is easily one of the best-equipped keyboards on the market today. With full 16.8 million colour lighting, two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors with 2MB of flash memory ensuring lag-free processing of lighting, macros recording, Cherry MX switches, AlienFX, Roccat Talk, Easy-Shift, dedicated macro keys, thumbster keys, n-key rollover and more.

“Do you pick style or performance when you look for the perfect weapon to add to your gaming arsenal? Do it the ROCCAT way: pick both. Purpose built for hardcore gamers, the Ryos MK FX is the most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard on the market. Using all of ROCCAT’s industry expertise and gaming experience, the Ryos MK FX boasts a feature set so comprehensive and a design so eye-watering you’ll be leading the pack by miles – complete with 16.8 million color per-key RGB illumination.” – Roccat

The packaging keeps in theme with all the other Roccat keyboards we’ve seen, but one noticeable difference is the extra aura of colour around the keyboard; very colourful!

A few technical details around the box tell us that we’ve got MX Brown switches, the UK layout and some of the cool features of the board, but since we’ve already discussed these, let’s move on and open up the box!

With the outer slip cover removed, you’ll find a sturdy inner box with a Ryos logo.

Inside that, the Ryos keyboard, protected with a lot of cardboard spacers to keep it safe, as well as a custom plastic top cover and some plastic strips to prevent scratches in transit.

The keyboard comes hard-wired with a thick braided cable and has dual USB headers for extra power, as well as a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks for pass-through connectivity.

G.Skill Announces RIPJAWS KM780R Keyboard Models

G.Skill’s latest two RIPJAWS mechanical keyboards aren’t actually new ones, but rather the current ones with a reduced accessory package and thereby also a reduced price. There might be quite a few people out there that wouldn’t mind saving a few bucks on the hardware and not get the parts that they don’t need or want on the side.

The two new G.Skill keyboards are the RIPJAWS KM780R RGB and KM780R MX keyboards and they are just the same as the KM780 versions when it comes to the keyboard itself.

The KM780R models offer highly responsive and extremely durable Cherry MX key switches that are rated for 50 million keypresses without losing the same mechanical feel, a military-grade aluminum plate in a brushed black anodized finish, and the full suite of extra macro keys, onboard keyboard profiles, and media control keys with the digital LED volume display. These keyboards will also be available with the choice of Cherry MX red, brown, and blue flavors.

So what is the difference between the KM780R and KM780 series? As previously mentioned, it is the accessory pack. With these reduces version you don’t get the gaming keycaps, the puller tool, and the keycap box. All things that one can go without or already might have extra from a previous keyboard. Let’s face it, you only need on puller tool to remove your keycaps. It saves money, it saves resources, and it saves you the hassle of finding a place to put all the extras. In return, you get a keyboard that is $10.00 cheaper on the recommended retail price.

These new G.Skill RIPJAWS KM780R RGB and KM780R MX models are currently available on Amazon.com, but they will be sold via G.Skill authorized partners worldwide at a later unspecified date.

What do you think about these reduced package models? Is it a good or bad thing? Are the savings enough for you to let go of the extras or would you still get the full product version? Let us know in the comments.

G.Skill KM780 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


When it comes to gaming peripherals, G.Skill aren’t usually the first brand that come to mind. This isn’t surprising, given that G.Skill are well-known for their memory products, but they’re a fairly new player when it comes to gaming hardware. Of course, we recently reviewed their new gaming mouse, the MX780 RGB, and it was absolutely amazing, so if this keyboard can capture even half of the quality of that product, we should be in for a real treat here today.

“100% Cherry MX mechanical key switch in RGB backlighting, per-key programmability, on-the-fly macro recording, 6 extra macro keys, full media control with LED volume display, foldable mouse cable holder, and custom gaming keycaps. The RIPJAWS KM780 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard is designed and built with durability and practicality in mind for the ultimate gaming and typing experience.”

The Ripjaws KM780 is backed to the brim with features that will appeal to a gaming audience. There are macro keys, RGB lighting effects, custom key caps and so much more. Just check out the official product trailer below for a quick rundown of some of the cool features this keyboard has to offer.

Equipped with Cherry MX brown switches, you know that you’re going to be getting a familiar and reliable level of performance from this keyboard, but with so many other features such as the detachable wrist rest, USB pass-through, mouse cable holder and more, it should be able to make its own unique entrance to what is already a very busy part of the gaming market.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a colourful image of the keyboard on the front, as well a quick rundown of some of the major specifications.

Around the back, a more detailed breakdown of the features on offer, but we will take a much closer look at all of these in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find a few curious extras, such as this little box that can be (optionally) clipped onto the chassis of the keyboard.

On the interior, you’ll find custom gaming key caps, as well as a key cap pulling tool.

There’s also a sturdy wrist rest, which can also be (optionally) mounted to the chassis of the keyboard.

 

TteSports Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


RGB keyboards are all the rage right now, with every major manufacturer churning out updated and new models of their hardware with fancy new colour customisation features. TteSports aren’t the first or the last to join this race, and the extremely popular Poseidon series now features RGB Kailh mechanical switches, giving us the Poseidon Z RGB. The keyboard comes in a choice of Blue and Brown switches, giving you a nice selection between tactile and acoustic response.

RGB lighting is one thing, but without customisation it isn’t much fun. You’ll find a range of presets on offer that will allow you to adapt the colour scheme to your liking.

“The POSEIDON Z RGB Gaming Keyboard – A simple yet astonishing spectrum keyboard; it offers extreme customization options for users to play with, energizing you with the colors to take gaming style to the next level with experiencing the colorful of life. With the layering and colorbar concepts, our basic customizable backlighting has been evolved for extreme customization. It gives a spectrum of visual effects featuring 16.8 million colors and provided users the easiest way to tune and most importantly, it colors up your life!”

Check out the video below for a quick look at the features on offer from the Poseidon Z RGB.

On-the-fly macro recording, 100% anti-ghosting, 104 Key rollover, on-board memory and so much more, this should be an interesting keyboard, so let’s get cracking and take a closer look.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a clear image of the keyboard on the front, as well as the switch type; Kailh Blue.

Around the back, a more detailed rundown of the features, as well as that oh-so-important TteSports certified sticker. This means that the keyboards switches are guaranteed for five years! That’s pretty incredible and should give customers some confidence in the build quality.

Aside from the keyboard, there’s not a whole lot in the box, just the warranty policy and the quick installation guide.

The keyboard comes hard-wired with a fairly standard USB cable, nothing fancy, but nothing bad either.

Michael J. Fox Demonstrate Nike Self Lacing Shoes From Back To The Future

Yesterday was the day for Back To The Future fans, the day that Doctor Brown and Marty McFly travelled to the future and we were promised dreams of hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoelaces; two out of three isn’t too bad is it?

First we had the hoverboard, made by Lexus, the hoverboard floats but does require you to have a metal floor beneath it. And now we even have Nike revealing the self-tying shoes that we dreamed of. Not only did Nike make these, but who did they send a pair to? None other than Michael J. Fox.

More than happy to show them off when he appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show Live, showing off how a button on the side of the ankle can be used to tighten and loosen the laces, meaning you no longer need to tie all those knots.

As if this wasn’t good enough, all proceeds from the shoes will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation, a charity dedicated to helping conduct research into Parkinson’s Disease. While Fox owns one of the only pairs at this moment in time, more are set to go on auction next year with the hopes to help raise funds to eliminate Parkinsons within our lifetime.

A great gadget and a great cause, what more can you ask for?

Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


Corsair is one of the most recognisable brands in the PC market, with a huge range of products, such as power supplies, chassis, coolers and more importantly today, peripherals. Their latest keyboard is the second in the Strafe series, but it’s a little bit special, as it’s not only a premium grade mechanical keyboard, but it also features the new Cherry MX Silent switches!

Mechanical keyboards have a reputation for being noisy, at least when compared to the common membrane switch keyboards. Of course, the switch type does vary, as black and red switch are not too noisy, but blue and green have that tactile click. You can mediate this a little with some 0-ring mods, which dampen the action and noise quite well, but these new switches go one further, by adding the dampening directly into the switch housing.

This keyboard is available in three formats, Cherry MX Red, Cherry Mx Brown and Cherry MX Silent, which Corsair say is “30% quieter than any mechanical switch on the market”.

Check out the video below as Corsair talk us through the latest features of this feature packed new keyboard, including a great explanation of what is possible with the Cue software and RGB lighting.

The keyboard is very well equipped, with USB pass through, 104-key rollover, RGB lighting, the new switches, built-in memory and more.

Corsair isn’t fooling around here either, this may be an expensive premium grade keyboard, but Corsair not only offer more features than the competition, but they also do it for less money; if that doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. So enough mucking about, let’s get right in and take a closer look at what the Strafe has to offer.

The packaging is typical Corsair gaming colours, with a stunning image on the front and the main specifications dotted around the edges.

Around the back, we’ve got a more detailed run through of the features, such as the RGB lighting and gaming keys.

The first thing you’ll find in the box is this handsome wrist rest, which has a gripped texture to it.

It completely optional to use and can be mounted to or removed from the keyboard in seconds.

Also in the box, a set of WASD gaming key caps for FPS gaming.

As well as a MOBA set, giving you lots of flexibility.

Oh, let’s not forget this handy key cap removal tool.

G.Skill Announces Two New Mechanical Gaming Keyboards

G.Skill is probably most known for their memory products, but they do make other things too. The newest products that just had their availability announced are the new RIPJAWS series KM780 RGB and KM780 MX mechanical gaming keyboards with Cherry key switches.

The difference between the two new keyboards is basically the lighting effects that you can have. As the names already suggest, one of them comes with full RGB back lighting.

The new RIPJAWS series keyboards are built with Cherry RGB or MX key switches and are available in the choice between brown, red, and blue switches. The switches themselves are mounted directly through a solid 2mm aluminium top plate, effectively locking down the keys for a solid typing experience.

You can switch out keys tops easy as you may already be used to from your current mechanical keyboard. Replace the important WASD keys as well as the surrounding ones with ones that easier to feel and spot in hectic gaming situations and helps to keep everything in your control.

As with most gaming keyboards, this one also comes with quite a few extra buttons and functions. You get six macro buttons that you program to your needs. There are also multiple modes to switch the layout and settings of the buttons. Media control buttons are also part of the deal and it comes with a nice integrated LED volume display too.

The cable holder on the back helps you keep your desk organized and you can use it for mouse, headset, or game controller cables of your choice. The keyboard also features an extra USB port and audio jacks for easy connectivity of your extra devices.

The new G.SKILL RIPJAWS series mechanical gaming keyboards will begin rolling out worldwide starting from late September 2015 via authorized distribution partners. Both RIPJAWS KM780 RGB and KM780 MX are already available on Newegg.com at $159.99 and $119.99, respectively. Cherry Red and Browns will be initially available, while Cherry Blue will be available at a later date.

 

CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


The gaming division of legendary component manufacturer Coolermaster, CM Storm, has made some great peripherals over the years. Their gaming keyboards are certainly worthy of your attention, not only because of their smart designs and flawless performance but also because of their incredibly durable build quality. It’s with this in mind that I’m very excited about our latest product review, the brand new Quick Fire XTi mechanical keyboard, which comes packed full of cool features that are no doubt going to appeal to a lot of people.

The new keyboard features genuine Cherry MX switches, so you know you’re getting great quality right there; we have MX Greens at our disposal today. The keys feature a rather funky lighting system too, which has both red and blue backlights, so while not full RGB, you do still get a range of 35 colours per key. On top of the lighting colours, you can use ActivLite per key illumination, with a range of presets, 4 profiles and brightness options, giving you plenty of fun customisation options. There’s also macros, repeat rate adjustments, NKRO, 1000Hz/1ms polling and more!

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with the switch type detailed and a lovely image of the keyboard on the front.

Around the back, a run down of the features, although we’ve already listed these above and will take a much closer look in a moment.

In the box, I’m very happy to see a detachable micro-USB braided cable,

TteSports Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


TteSports is one of the most recognisable names in the PC gaming market, offering a huge range of products that a loved by gamers at home and pro gamers alike. They’re also well-known for being fiercely competitive prices and features, which is never a bad thing. Their latest mechanical keyboard comes well equipped with Kailh Brown switches, LED backlighting, a slim chassis and more, so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

The keyboard is heavy, as most mechanical keyboards are, but not so heavy that you would feel tired carrying it to a LAN party. another important aspect of this keyboard is that it comes with a very impressive 5-year warranty on its mechanical switches; that’s a very nice thing to have.

Check out this video from TteSports for a quick overview of some of the features that have gone into the Poseidon Z.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a clear image of the keyboard, as well as some funky lightning graphics, the TteSports Certified Warranty sticker, and of course, the Brown Switch badge.

Around the back, you’ll find a quick run down of the major features, such as the multimedia shortcuts, windows key disable, LED backlighting and more.

In the box, aside from the keyboard (obviously), you’ll find a quick installation guide and a warranty policy booklet.

Corsair Gaming STRAFE Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


The latest Corsair mechanical gaming keyboard is here at last! The Corsair Gaming STRAFE is their first new keyboard brand in years, although given the success of their K-series keyboards, as well as the RGB editions that followed, it’s easy to understand why Corsair haven’t been rushing to release a replacement.

This keyboard is designed for gaming, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t promise to offer a lot to day-to-day desktop users. Mechanical keys offer premium build quality that should last many years without the keys response fading, as you often find with membrane keyboards. We’ve got the MX Red edition of the STRAFE in the office today, so those fast keys should be quick and super responsive, which will be great for typing, such as the review I’m using it for right now, or for gaming, especially if you play frantic games such as DOTA II.

The STRAFE doesn’t bring a lot of new technology to the table, but it does pack some promising specifications that should satisfy the needs of any keen PC user. We’ve got super quick Cherry MX Red, Blue or Brown mechanical switches, per-key red LED programmable lighting, onboard memory, Cue-Software customisation and more; that’s certainly all the basics covered!

Here is quick video from Corsair to discuss some of the features of the STRAFE and there’s also a nice section that shows off the LED lighting features of the keyboard. Now, let’s jump right to it and take a closer look at what this keyboard has to offer.

The packaging features the new Corsair Gaming branding, that’s right, no more “tramp stamp”. We now have the faster-looking version of the old Corsair ships logo and it looks great!

All the major features are detailed on the box, perfect for those picking one up at retail who want to know a little more. The packaging looks pretty fancy, usually a good first impression that you’ve got a premium product in your hands.

Turtle Beach Impact 700 Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


Recently, I’ve been getting engrossed in the world of Turtle Beach peripherals. The company announced they would be breaking away from being an audio only company, set to explore the world of keyboards and mice and we were very impressed with the products we saw at CES 2015. More recently, we’ve been lucky enough to play around with their gorgeous GRIP series mice, such as the GRIP 500 which we recently review and if that’s just a taste of things to come, we should be in for a real treat with their keyboard products.

“The Turtle Beach IMPACT 700 premium-quality backlit mechanical PC gaming keyboard sports Cherry MX Brown key switches for a smooth responsive, tactile feel and laser-engraved keycaps with keyboard-controlled adjustable soft-to-hard red backlighting and multiple illumination modes, all set in a steel-reinforced chassis for stability and maximum durability. Six-key rollover with full anti-ghosting gives fast-moving fingers instant and accurate gameplay control even when hitting multiple keys, including double or triple taps. The IMPACT 700 also includes 3.5mm mic and audio jacks, and two USB 2.0 ports with direct audio pass-through to support a gaming headset and mouse.”

You can’t go far wrong with a mechanical keyboard and since the Impact 700 is equipped with Cherry MX switches, we already know were going to get a great quality product. However, given the rather high price of the Impact 700, which we’ll get to in a little while, I’m expecting or at least hoping for something really special from Turtle Beach and their new keyboard.

The model I have at my disposal today comes equipped with Cherry MX Brown switches and as you can see from the packaging, it follows a similar design to most other Turtle Beach products.

A few cool features on the back of the box, such as audio and dual-USB pass through, LED back-lighting, a steel-mounted chassis and more!

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started, the keyboard, obviously, as well as a quick start guide, some extra key-caps and a key-cap pulling tool.

The extra key-caps are particularly interesting, even if they’re almost unnecessary. There’s replacement WASD keys, which has a white block around the letters, that’ll let more backlighting through and help you better differentiate the keys. Then we have some rather funky alternative key-cap replacements, such as GG, InCTRL and NoCTRL, they’re just a bit of fun, but I like them.

the Impact 700 comes hard-wired with a rather bulky, but incredibly durable sleeved cable. The thickness is dictated by the fact that the keyboard has two USB headers and two 3.5mm cables.

The key-caps are of a very high quality, with a really nice silky black finish to them. They are laser etched to allow the LED backlighting to shine through and have a nice clear font on them.

Like most keyboards these days, the F-Keys also act as multimedia keys, which can be accessed via the Fn-Shift key; I prefer dedicated multimedia keys, but this is certainly better than nothing.

More multimedia functions here, this time for volume control.

The LED brightness can be dialed up or down using F11 and F12, again, via the Fn-Shift function.

The arrow keys are as you would expect and the key spacing is pretty standard stuff; nothing to complain about, that’s for sure.

Those with a keen eye will notice I don’t have a UK layout keyboard here today, but UK/US will be available dependant on your region when the keyboard is released.

The 700 is quite a chunky keyboard, but that’s no bad thing as it’s as durable as it looks. The Steel chassis on the interior does add weight, but it also means the 700 is strong, rattle free and isn’t going to slide around your desk in the heat of battle.

The included key-cap removal tool is a welcome bonus, as it makes cleaning and general maintenance a lot easier. It also means it’s nice and easy to swap out the stock key-caps for the included alternatives.

Such as these lovely WASD keys which you can see below.

Around the back of the keyboard, you’ll find a pair of USB ports and a pair of audio jacks. This is perfect for connecting your other peripherals, such as a gaming mouse, microphone, headset and similar devices, without having to fiddle around behind your computer.

There are four side and tough rubber grips on the base of the keyboard, giving it a firm hold on your desk.

the kickstands are plastic, but they’re thick and strong, so it’s unlikely they’ll break anytime soon; they’ve also been treated to small rubber grips of their own so you don’t lose too much traction on your desk.

CM Storm Quickfire Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


There’s no shortage of gaming keyboard on the market, but one brand in particular has always stood out for me personally, Cooler Master. They’ve proven time and time again that they can make a great keyboard, with excellent performance and some of the best build quality in the business, which is why I was eager to test out their very popular Quickfire Ultimate. It’s no secret that this keyboard has been on the market for a while now, but it’s still a big seller for Cooler Master and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about; although given their past successes in our reviews, I have a pretty good idea.

The Quickfire Ultimate is available in a range of Cherry MX switches and LED backlighting configurations. The model at my disposal today is the Cherry MX-Brown with Red LED backlighting (SGK-4011-GKCM1). Cherry switches are world renowned for their exceptional performance and build quality, so we can expect the same high performance from them as you would in any other Cherry equipped mechanical keyboard. The keyboard packs a few interesting bonus features too, such as the 1000 Hz/1ms polling rate, full N-key rollover, high quality ABS key caps, a rubber grip coated chassis, multimedia control keys (via F-shift), Win lock and a removable braided cable.

The Quickfire Ultimate is pretty straight forward in terms of design, but there are a few lines cut into the top right corner, and a few more on the bottom left edge; they don’t add to the function of the keyboard, but they do break up what would otherwise be a bland design.

The key caps are a curved design as well as a very light texture, which should provide you with a more accurate finger resting position and extra control.

Along the F-keys you’ll find a range of extra features. on the F1-F4 keys you can control the backlighting features; these are accessible via the F-shift key.

F5-F11 features the multimedia controls, which are perfect for controlling your music while gaming, as well as your systems master volume levels. F12 features a Windows lock control, because no one wants to accidentally return to desktop while gaming!

The Insert and Delete keys allow you to toggle between 6-key and N-key anti-ghosting/rollover modes.

While the top of the number pad has 8ms, 4ms, 2ms and 1ms response rate modes; this means you can control and configure ever feature of the Quickfire Ultimate directly from the keyboard, with no need for external software.

The keyboard has quite a thick chassis with a very slight curve from front to back, giving the keys a near-flat layout that is ideal for gaming. The thick chassis goes a long way to explaining the weight of the keyboard, it’s chunky and heavy; I certainly wouldn’t want to drop it on my foot, but at least I’m confident that the keyboard wouldn’t be the thing that broke.

Around the back you can see that the keyboards braided cable channels through a small cut-out at the back.

The cable goes through one of three routing channels on the underside and into a microUSB port on the center.

There are four tough rubber grips on the underside to keep the keyboard from sliding around your desk, and there are two durable kickstands, each with rubber grips on them.

Cooler Master have included a key cap removal tool, which is great for helping you keep your keyboard in excellent condition, as it makes cleaning the keyboard a much easier task.

QPAD Launches MK-90 High-End Mechanical Keyboard with Enhanced Lighting

QPAD announced their brand new MK-90 mechanical keyboard with full RGB lighting on top of the already known and popular features in the series. The MK-90 comes with either red or brown mechanical switches that are rated to last 60 million strokes. It is built on a steel plate for enhanced durability and also features a white plate inside to enhance the light effects.

Speaking of the light effects, the MK-90 has full RGB lighting that lets you chose any of the 16.8 million colours. You can customize it to highlight your gaming keys, match your ambient lighting or let it inspire you with effects like breathing, trigger, explosion or rainbow waves.

Other features know from the MK-80 and MK-85 are also present, such as the FN key to quickly change settings, USB and audio pass through and gold plated connections. The new QPAD MK-90 will be available in March for a recommended price of €169.00.

Thanks to QPAD for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of QPAD

CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-i Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


CM Storm, the gaming division of legendary manufacturer Cooler Master are back once again with their latest mechanical keyboard. OK I tell a slight lie there, this keyboard isn’t exactly their latest, but it is the first time I’ve been able to get my hand on one for review. We’ve had a lot of fun in the past testing CM Storm products, as they rarely disappoint us thanks to their excellent performance and competitive price tags. The CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-i is a popular choice with a lot of gamers, so I want to see what all the fuss is about.

The Quickfire Rapid-i comes in a choice of Cherry MX switches; Blue, Brown and Red. I have the MX Brown switch model at my disposal today. The Rapid-i features a five level, five mode white LED lighting system, ABS grip coating, N-key rollover and more; pretty much everything you would expect from a mechanical gaming keyboard.

The model we have at our disposal today is a TKL style keyboard, this means it’s had the number pad removed to give the keyboard a much smaller ten-keys-less form factor. The cut down size saves space on your desk, but it also makes the keyboard a lot easier to transport, it should even fit in your backpack when you’re heading out to a LAN gaming event.

The key caps feature a light coating to them that adds a little texture and grip and they’ve been laser etched to allow the LED lighting to shine through. Another thing that stands out is that the chassis under the keys is finished in white, which contrasts nicely with the soft-touch rubber finish of the keyboards exterior chassis.

From the F-keys you can control the polling rate and lighting settings, these are accessible via an FN-Shift key.

General multimedia controls are located on the right side of the keyboard; these are accessible via the Fn-Shift key. The media keys are located in such a way that you can quickly change the volume, or skip through songs with one hand; no need to take your left hand off the all important WASD keys!

The chassis around the keyboard is pretty slim, so you’re certainly going to save even more desktop space with the Rapid-i.

The keyboard is a little heavy, but that’s hardly uncommon for a mechanical keyboard and in terms of durability, this keyboard should survive more than a few hard knocks and bumps.

Around the back of the keyboard you’ll find the CM Storm logo just below where the soft-touch rubber finish ends. On the left side you’ll find a micro-USB port; nice and simple.

There’s four rubber grips on the base of the keyboard to help keep it from sliding around your desk.

The flip up feet are plastic, but they feel pretty robust compared to most keyboard feet and there’s a wide rubber grip on the base of each foot.

CM Storm included a key-cap puller in the box, which means you can easily strip the keys down and maintain your keyboard. As you can see, we’ve got MX Brown switches, with white LEDs. Here you can also better see the white finish on the interior of the keyboard, this will no doubt help reflect the white LED lights better, giving a nice underglow effect to the keyboard.

Finally, we have the included USB cable, which comes fitted with gold-plated connectors and a high quality black braiding.

Cherry MX-Board 3.0 MX Blue, Red, Brown & Black Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


The name Cherry is synonymous with mechanical keyboards, their switches are used in a vast amount of mechanical keyboard from pretty much all major manufacturers such as Cooler Master, Corsair and Logitech to name but a few, and they have been using MX switches for many years now. With so many brands using their switches, it’s more than likely that most of our readers have owned a Cherry MX switch keyboard.

Mechanical switches are well-known for their durability, long life span and tactile feedback. The only downside of the switches is that their quality often comes with a big increase in price compared to membrane switch keyboards. Which is something that Cherry seem well aware of as their latest Cherry MX-Board 3.0 keyboards come in at a super affordable price of around £50-60. Still expensive, but certainly cheaper than a lot of competing mechanical keyboard products, so it’ll be interesting to see what this keyboard has to offer at this price range.

The MX-Board 3.0 comes in a choice of four switch types, Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Black and Red. Fortunately for you I have all four at my disposal today, so not only do I get to take a closer look at the keyboards, but also get a real feel for the differences between each switch type and the tasks each switch is best suited to.

The MX-Board 3.0 doesn’t come fitted with a rest, but you can buy the Cherry Palmrest separately for around £15-20.

The box is really nicely design with a stylish image of the keyboard on the front. The only difference between each box is that the logo in the top right corner shows what switch type is installed.

Around the back we have an international breakdown of the main features and specifications (see above).

Each box also has a quick run down of what each switch type offers in terms of force and travel distance. Blue offer an audible and tactile “click” when pressed, requiring a little more force to press.

Reds are linear and very smooth to press, offering minimal resistance and are generally a much faster switch to press.

Black switches are also linear like the reds, but require more force to press.

Brown are smooth and softer like the red switches, but have a feel that is closer to black switches.

All of the keyboards come nicely packaged to prevent damage in transit.

In each box you’ll find the keyboard, a USB to micro USB cable, two large rubber grips, kick-stand rubber feet and a simple user guide.

Corsair Expands MX Switch Choices On K70 Mechanical Keyboard

Corsair have already won plenty of awards for their awesome Vengeance series K70 mechanical gaming keyboard, in fact, they even got one from us here at eTeknix when we reviewed it last year. Now Corsair have announced that the award-winning Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard comes in two new variants. The gorgeous black aluminium finished keyboard comes fitted with red LED backlit keys, on top of the original Cherry MX Red switch, the keyboard is now also available with Cherry MX Blue and Brown keyswitches. Similar to all Vengeance gaming keyboards, the latest K70 doesn’t miss when it counts due to genuine German-made Cherry MX switches, the most popular and accurate mechanical keyswitches for gamers.

“The sophisticated aesthetics of the refreshed Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard starts with an anodized black aluminium chassis for long-lasting durability and timeless style. Vibrant red backlighting shines through each key, oozing an industrial look capable of complimenting any gamer den. The overall backlighting can be adjusted to four levels of intensity while the lighting for each key can be independently enabled or disabled. The key-by-key lighting customization allows users to highlight just the keys they need to emphasize, such as WASD, and then save the setting directly to the K70’s onboard memory.” Said Corsair in a recent press release.

“We re-evaluated all of the available key switches on the market including new clones of the Cherry MX,” said Jason Christian, product manager for gaming keyboards and mice at Corsair. “None could match the consistent performance and reliability across the keyboards like the original German Cherry MX switches.”

Vengeance K70 features:

  • Never miss a keystroke: the combination of  a 100% anti-ghosted matrix, full n-key rollover and 1000Hz reporting rate provide lightning fast accuracy that you can always count on
  • Media maven? Multimedia controls give quick access to volume, skip tracks, play, stop, and pause
  • Useful USB port supports accessories such as a Vengeance gaming headset or mouse
  • Rest your wrists with a removable soft-touch pad that provides extra comfort for lengthy gaming or typing sessions
  • Get that pro look with alternate red-colored, contoured textured keycaps for the WASD keys and 1-6 keycaps for additional customization
  • Available in three different Cherry MX mechanical switch types to suite different gaming and typing preferences:
    • Cherry MX Red – for smooth, linear key response for ultra-fast double and triple taps without a tactile “bump” or audible click
    • Cherry MX Brown switches – for fast and precise actuation with a light tactile feedback “bump” for comfortable typing and minimal audible click
    • Cherry MX Blue switches – for great gaming performance with an assertive tactile feedback and audible click that can be helpful when typing

The new versions Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard will be available in April with a suggested retail price of $129.99 USD backed with a two-year warranty. I absolutely loved the original K70 keyboard, it’s easily one of the nicest mechanical gaming keyboards on the market today and while I do live Cherry MX Red switches, I would much rather have Blue or Brown switches, so thank you Corsair for noticing that many gamers are moving away from MX Red switches.

What switch type do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thank you Corsair for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Corsair.

Ozone Strike Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Pro gaming, LAN gaming, online gaming, eSports, or just dragging Draugr around Skyrim on your own, it doesn’t matter what type of gaming you prefer, PC gaming has a whole lot to offer. It doesn’t matter which style of gaming you pick either, one of them or all of them, having the right tools for the job however does matter and having a great keyboard, mouse or controller at your disposal can not only improve your performance, but it can go a long way to improving your overall personal experience and comfort while you play.

The Strike Pro has been launched with one thing in mind, gaming. Everything about it is focused on improving your gaming experience and performance and Ozone are quite keen to shout about its abilities, so today I’ll be expecting nothing short of excellence to see if the Strike Pro really lives up to all of its own hype.

Mechanical keyboards are a prime choice for the gaming market, the switches used for each key offer a lot of precision and feedback that you often don’t find in a lot of membrane keyboards. Of course this is mostly just preference and many people still choose to play using a membrane keyboard, but one cannot deny the accuracy and speed that is offered by Cherry MX switches. Ozone offer a choice of popular switch types, Black, Red, Blue and Brown, but today we will be taking a look at their keyboard equipped with Cherry MX Reds, a very popular choice with gamers.

Specifications wise, the keyboard is very well equipped with 104 mechanical switch keys (fully mechanical), a 1.5 meter braided cable, 64KB on board memory for storing macros and profiles, full Nkey rollover! As well as an array of lighting modes and gaming modes.

The packaging is really nice on the Strike Pro, with a few major features detailed on the front, a really nice image and a cool cutaway that lets you get hands on with the arrow keys, a great way of testing out the mechanical switch types.

Around the back we have a very detailed break down of all the major features, but of course we will take a closer look at those in just a moment. There is also an endorsement from Samsung Pro-Game Team star Cho “Mata” Se-Hyeong;

“ For me there is no other option but mechanical keyboards. And there is no other option but the new Ozone Strike Pro. Cherry MX Switches, HUB & Audio inputs, Red LED Backlights, fancy design… So yes, I have many reasons to choose this amazing keyboard for my professional gaming sessions.”

In the box I found a small CD-ROM with all the basic drivers and software on it, of course I’m not going to use that as I will be downloading the latest from the official website, but it’s always nice to see them included. There is a full colour user guide that shows you all the major features of the keyboard, as well as a break down of different mechanical switch types. Finally you’ll find four spare grips for the underside of the keyboard, as well as a large vinyl sticker that would be perfect for the back of your monitor or the side of your PC chassis.

Zowie Celeritas Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Pro Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Zowie have made their name in the gaming industry by being laser focused on pro gaming and eSports, and rightly so, because when it comes to making high performance gaming equipment there really isn’t a better testing ground than competitive gaming. The pros want the best tools for the job, the peripheral or component that will give them that advantage over their opponents, no matter the cost. Then at the end of the day, you’ll find consumers will want the same hardware because they know it’s the product used by winners, much like how Formula 1 works to promote consumer cars brand names.

The Zowie Celeritas has some bold claims to it and given Zowie’s heritage of working closely with some of the biggest pro gamers in history such as Abdisamad ‘SpawN’ Mohamed, Young Ho ‘Flash’ Lee and Ho Jun ‘Ho-Jun’ Moon, all of whom helped develop this keyboard, we know they mean business. In a bid for maximum performance the Celeritas features mechanical switch keys, with 18K gold plated switches, gold plated USB connection, nylon key caps and most importantly the fastest response time of any keyboard on the market today.

“The primary feature of the ZOWIE CELERITAS is the newly developed ZOWIE RTR (Real Time Response) technology which allows the user to define the repeat-response of their presses to be 1x, 2x, 4x or 8x of the normal repeat-response for a keyboard when using the PS/2 connector. RTR allows gamers to gain a higher responsiveness from their keys and thereby increase the pace of movement in FPS and Racing games or possibly even increase the APM in RTS. How fast do you like it to be? We give you the possibility so you can define your most comfortable repeat-response.” – Zowie
“With an actual response-time of only 0,2 seconds, the ZOWIE CELERITAS has the fastest response-time of any mechanical keyboard currently on the market.  Furthermore it features anti-ghosting, supporting all keys through PS/2 and 6 keys through USB. For your information, the definition of a “normal response-time” for a keyboard is 0,5 seconds.” – Zowie
Now I’ll admit, gold plating and super low response times are for the most part marketing buzz words, your average gamer will likely never notice anything different about a 0.5 and 0.2 second response time for example, but what really matters is that at the end of the day, does this look, feel and perform like a premium gaming keyboard, so long as we can answer that, everything else is just a bonus.

General functions

  • 6 keys Anti-Ghosting through USB
  • 18K Gold Plated mechanical switches and USB connectors
  • Ability to change the “Windows”-key to “Ctrl”
  • Multimedia controls
  • Highly durable metal inner chassis
  • Ergonomic design saves space and offer full comfort during use
  • Connector: USB / PS2 (by USB to PS2 converter)
  • Cable Length: 1.8m / 5.8 ft.

PS/2 functions

  • Full Anti-Ghosting with PS/2
  • ZOWIE RTR technology provides 4 levels of repeat-response (normal, 2x, 4x, 8x) – PS/2

Dimensions

  • Width: 44 cm
  • Length: 16 cm
  • Height: 2,5 cm

The Celeritas comes in a fairly unassuming grey box, there is a sneaky look at the keyboard through a small window, but this only gives away the colour of the keyboard model as there is a plastic guard over the keys that hides most of the visual details.

Around the back of the box we have something I’ve never seen before, the entire user manual! Details of how to configure the windows key (more on that soon), response rate and change the LED light colour are all here, as well as a multi language breakdown of the main specifications.

There wasn’t a huge amount of stuff in the box, just the keyboard its self, a Zowie sticker and a PS2/USB adaptor.

Cooler Master Show Off Keyboards At Insomnia i49

Cooler Master Show Off Keyboards At Insomnia i49


Insomnia i49: Cooler Master are back in Telford for i49 and are teamed up with CyberPower UK to show off the latest in their line-up of headsets, keyboards, mice notebook coolers and chassis plus more.

One of the newest additions to the peripheral line-up is the Mech keyboard – being shown off in the UK for the first time. The Mech has a aluminium and steel reinforced build with professional cherry MX switches under the keys as well as 5 macro profiles offering up to a total of 75 macro combinations. The special feature of this board is its customisable capability. Cooler Master designed this board with the modder in mind, hoping that they will come up with a plethora of different designs and flavours to awe at.

Alongside the Mech, the ever popular Quick Fire Pro and TK keyboards are on display in a pair of colours and a variety of switch types – the blue switch so popular that Cooler Master’s event partner CCL ran out of stock on the first day of the exhibition!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/KHlVd3dMNPo[/youtube]

Cooler Masters Trigger keyboard is regarded to have a great, strong build and to prove this, the team have a video on show demonstrating how Cooler Master put this to the test by running it over with a series of vehicles and testing it straight after.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNrHJ9h7IIU[/youtube]

Stay tuned as we have more coverage for you from Cooler Master and the rest of i49 here in Telford. Be sure to check out the live gallery where you can get a quick glimpse of the action as we see it here: http://www.eteknix.com/insomnia-i49-summer-2013-live-gallery/