Reviewed: January 2, 2005
Type: Backlit Keyboard
Command Pad Features
So youíve got your high performance mouse, your 120 GB hard drive, gig of ram, Dolby 5.1 surround sound speakers, and all the other bangs and whistles that make up your ultimate gaming system. You roll over in your sheets at night sweating at the prospect of firing it up in a scant few hours you now allow your opponents to quake in fear at your absence. Whatís this though, after a scant hundred hours of gaming your Ďwí key ceases to respond to your loving caresses to move forward? Your spacebar is pressed to the ground, but you have yet to jump? This is outrageous, you have not yet even begun to frag and a keyboard is going to prevent those noobs from getting whatís coming to them?
Fret no more friends Saitek has heard this howling in the darkness and has responded with a light to guide your path. Itís blue, and comes from your new keyboard, the Saitek PC Gaming Keyboard. Now before you all shout ďHalleluiah!Ē and run to the drive thru baptismal, Iíll hit you with the caveat up front. This keyboard feels like a laptop keyboard, the keys have action in them, but they arenít the crisp punches of normal desktop keyboards. If you like your keyboard to feel (and sound) more like a typewriter, then donít go for this model. If you donít care or actually like the softer (and quieter) keys, then by all means head towards the light.
The backlighting feature is admittedly quite cool, but it is certainly more for effect than functionality. If you are playing in a dark room and lighting a black keyboard from behind it only makes the letters on those keys even harder to see. It would have been much wiser to have the actual letters on the keys transparent so the cool blue light could shine through the alphabet. As it is, the backlighting is only useful for finding your keyboard in the dark, not the individual keys.
So now you have blue backlighting and soft keys, but donít go running off just yet to impress friends and humiliate enemies. Thereís more to be had here than simple aesthetics and comfort (they include a wrist rest that is adjustable, custom fitted, and patented), all of the keys used by gamers have been reinforced, so you donít have to go out and get another keyboard just because when you go to type that paper for school your ďwadsĒ cluster is no longer functional.
For an extra tasty bit of icing on this already choice piece of cake, there is also a nine button number pad with two function keys in the box. Whatís this for you may ask; the keyboard already has a number pad. Well, my unobservant friend, itís a programmable 27-button pad for all of your macro-ing desires. The Smarch Technology software is extremely easy to setup and use and you can save your favorite command sets as profiles and have them load each time you start a specific game.
All of this advantage comes at an affordable $59.95. While this might seem expensive for a keyboard, if you have to replace this just half as often as you would any other keyboard isnít it already worth the price on durability alone?
No high-end gaming system can be without a high quality piece of equipment like this and be complete. So crack open your cases and install those neon blues, because heaven forbid that your tower and your keyboard lights clash.