It’s been a very interesting time for Turtle Beach, with the revealing their new desktop peripherals at CES 2015, we’re now very excited to have them in the eTeknix office. We’ve already looked at their new gaming nice, the GRIP 500 and the GRIP 300, as well as their full-size mechanical keyboard, the IMPACT 700. Today, we’ve got their first Ten Keys Less (TKL) keyboard, the Impact 500.
“The Turtle Beach IMPACT 500 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for PC and Mac combines precision and power in a minimalist, tenkeyless keycap layout for minimum distance and smaller keyboard footprint. For that sharp, tactile feel, the Impact 500 features Cherry Blue MX mechanical switches that deliver gold-standard responsiveness. Six-key rollover with full anti-ghosting means fast-moving fingers can control games without the fear of missed moves and dropped instructions. And a rubber-coated, steel reinforce chassis provides rock-solid stability in a small footprint occupying less space on your desktop.”
TKL keyboards are very popular with LAN gamers, as they’re much easier to chuck in your bag and transport. They’re also great for those who don’t rely on the number pad, as their compact size frees up a huge amount of space no your desk, which means more room to move your mouse, so they’re perfect for those with limited desk space too.
The Impact 500 TKL comes equipped with the very popular Cherry MX switches, in this case, we have Cherry MX Blue on our sample.
In the box, you’ll find the keyboard, a detachable braided USB cable and a quick start guide.
The keyboard design is pretty straight forward, but not so basic that it is boring, as there’s no doubt that this is still a very nice looking keyboard.
The keyboard is a little heavy, as is the case with most mechanical keyboards. It feels pretty rugged and very well made overall, so it should stand up to lifetime of abuse from those long gaming sessions and LAN events.
The 500 has a slight slope to its design, with a slow curve on the key layout from front to back; this should provide you with a comfortable typing position, but it can be raised further with the kickstands at the back.
The key caps are of a very good quality and they don’t bottom out on the chassis of the keyboard, giving you nothing but the tactile sensation of the MX Blue switch when you’re typing.
There’s an Fn-Shift function on the Impact 500, this gives you access to some basic multimedia, volume and windows lock keys along the top of the keyboard.
There’s also a small LED light on the Windows Lock/F9 key so you can see when this feature is enabled.
To keep the exterior bezel to a minimum, the CAPLK and SCRLK indicators are located just above the INS and HOME keys, further helping to save desk space, without compromising on key spacing or the need to make the chassis bigger.
The arrow keys are located quite close to the corner, but since the keyboard is rather slim here, you won’t need the use of a wrist rest. The keys are slightly recessed into the body of the keyboard too, giving you an even slightly lower design overall.
The trim around the keyboard is nice and clean with no ports or anything on show.
There’s a cable track on the underside of the keyboard, allowing you to take the USB cable out the left, right or back of the keyboard.
The Mini-USB connector is recessed under the keyboard, so it’s unlikely you’ll accidentally pull the cable out of its fitting.
Here you can see the cable attached to the keyboard; nice and simple.
There’s four rubber grips on the underside of the IMPACT 500, so it won’t slide around your desk while you’re gaming. There’s also two small rubber grips on the kickstands so you don’t lose the grip when using the extra feet.