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Key-bored

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May 2, 2007 4:45:38 PM

Heya people,

I was wondering if you guys have any suggestions on keyboards? I don't want a really big keyboard that takes up too much desk space (like the G11 or G15), but it would be nice to have some media keys. I was thinking about getting the Enermax Aurora keyboard, as I like the look of it and the laptop style keys, yet it's still full-sized. However, it's a little bit pricey (more expensive than the G15). The other keyboards I was looking at are the Saitek Eclipse and the Saitek Eclipse II. I like the media keys on the Eclipse II, but not sure if I like the way it looks. Plus, the backlit keys on both Saitek keyboards is a bit of a gimmick that I don't care about. The only reason I looked at the Saitek's is because I don't want a cheap keyboard that can only handle 3-4 simulatenous key presses.
I'd be pairing this keyboard with a Logitech MX Revolution, as I like the free-spinning wheel. That said, I was also considering the MX 3200 keyboard and mouse combo, but not sure if I want to go without the free-spinning mouse.

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May 3, 2007 10:43:12 AM

I just ordered a Saitek, because I am old and half blind so the lit keys might might help, will give more details at 11.
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May 3, 2007 6:57:55 PM

Going to have to be your decision, but I really like the Eclipse II. Backlight looks cool with my Razer Copperhead pulsing red next to my slightly UV glowing wood case :) 
May 3, 2007 9:17:14 PM

Yeah, I quiet like the sound of the Eclipse II (although, I'm not too bothered about the lights thing). I was looking at one of the Cherry keyboards on scan.co.uk, but there aren't any reviews available for it on the web. It's a shame, as it's quite cheap, and exactly what I want - basic media keys, low-profile. Only thing I'm a bit worried about with the Eclipse II (besides being a lightly bit pricey) is that it looks bigger than most keyboards with the corners that stick out. May not sound like much, but if it is bigger, it won't fit in my backpack when I take it for LANs.
May 3, 2007 10:36:33 PM

I bought the original Eclipse a couple years ago - the famous "laser cut" key alphanumerics started wearing off under normal usage. So now my "N" key looks like a big blue blob and some of the other letters show a lot of wear. Basically I think the laser-cut keys amount to a laser cut template and spray-paint technology. After a while the paint wears off...

I also bought the new Eclipse II keyboard with my new rig, a couple months ago, and it seems much more substantial than the original one. I haven't noticed any wear whatsoever on any keys, plus I like the intensity and blue/red/purple backlight color selection, and the multimedia keys work flawlessly with XT without having to load keyboard drivers (maybe they're built into XP media center edition). Only complaint I have is that I really prefer a long backspace key (yeah, I make a lot of typing mistakes :)  ) and a reverse-L type Enter key.

Finally, I prefer my "ANY" key (as in "PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE :)  )to be on top of the keyboard not underneath...
May 3, 2007 11:11:00 PM

I hope I'm right in thinking that all UK keyboards come with the reverse L-style enter key. All my previous keyboards have it, as do all the keyboards at uni, so here's to hoping. I may get the Eclipse II, but I'm thinking I'll try out the Cherry keyboard. If it's crap, I'll send it back and get the Eclipse II (although, if I have enough money, I might get the more expensive Enermax Aurora keyboard - I really like the low profile buttons and the aluminium look).
May 4, 2007 12:24:50 AM

Go for the best - the one and only LOGITECH!

Go for a Black Logitech Classic Keyboard. Very ergonomic , easy to use and buttons ain't hard. Also has multimedia buttons.

Cost $ 14 > £7
May 4, 2007 2:50:36 AM

Hows it compared to the Logitech G-15 gamer's keyboard? I have one of those to replace my original Eclipse, and it is about an inch bigger all around, not including the LCD panel on top.

The Eclipse II is a nice keyboard, especially if you like the color-changing backlight. It only lacks the reverse-L Enter key, but does have the long backspace key. I think I've only had one keyboard (an IBM PC-AT keyboard) that had both the long backspace and reverse-L Enter key. And it weighed a ton :)  ..
May 4, 2007 3:05:25 AM

Don't hesitate to get the Eclipse II because of it's size. It isn't any bigger than normal and it fits fine in my Oakley backpack which is an average sized bag. I can zip it up just fine. It surely is more high quality than the first Eclipse too.
May 4, 2007 9:00:41 AM

Quote:
Go for the best - the one and only LOGITECH!

Go for a Black Logitech Classic Keyboard. Very ergonomic , easy to use and buttons ain't hard. Also has multimedia buttons.

Cost $ 14 > £7


The problem I find with cheap keyboards is that they're normally limited to 3 or 4 simulatenous keystrokes. However, this is less of a problem for me now, as I use a gamepad for most games - only use mouse and keyboard for strategy and FPS.
I have heard a lot of good things about the Eclipse II, I'm just wondering if the Eclipse will be ok, as it's cheaper. Bit worried about the keys wearing off though...
May 4, 2007 11:29:31 PM

I find no keystroke problems with the Logitech I mentioned. And I type like lightning :)  It's light as well. Comes with 3 yrs. warranty (!)


I can't comment on the Logitech G-15. But, it's not appealing to me! Who plays with keyboard these days, anyway? Ppl usually get a PS2 controller and a PS2 to USB converter and plug it into their PC. And it's much smoother.
May 9, 2007 6:05:40 PM

Hi DarksideDragon,

I'm thinking exactly the same as you - a new keyboard and mouse. I got the VX Revolution for my laptop and I like it so much I'm going to go for the MX Revolution for my desktop!

Onto the keyboard... I've been looking around the same ones as you the past few days and thought the G11 and G15 are a bit too big also. I think I've finally deided on the Saitek Eclipse II! I also don't care much about the lighting but I'm sure I'll use it now and again. I also think it looks nice and the colours will go with the MX revolution and my monitor!

This might give you a wee hand:
Mouse: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2076486,00.asp
Keyboard: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2077671,00.asp

Let me know what you decide...

Cheers.
May 10, 2007 8:13:15 PM

Yeah, I'm leaning towards exactly the same choice as you! I'm a bit dubious about the MX Revolution, as I don't see much point in the thumb wheel - I'd rather it was cheaper and just had the freespin wheel. Because of this, I had a good look at the MX 3200 wireless set from Logitech. But, I hate the fact that the F-keys are small and oddly positioned. It also looks ugly IMO, and doesn't have lights for caps, numpad or scroll lock (although it appears on screen when you press the button). For those reasons, I'll probably steer clear. I have seen a low-profile Cherry keyboard on scan.co.uk. I'm considering buying it to see what it's like, and then I'll send it back and get the Eclipse II if I don't like it.
May 15, 2007 11:09:33 AM

I ended up ordering the MX and Eclipse II!

I got the MX yesterday and really like it. At first I thought it was a little big and the thumb wheel was in the way, but it just took a little getting used too. I kinda liked the thumb wheel idea cos I think it could work well with Vista but also because hopefully it will give me extra keys in games. I can check that tonight and let you know if your interested?

If you fancy the freespin wheel and not the thumb wheel, then you should check out the VX Revolution. The main differences are: it's smaller - still comfortable though; it doesn't automatically freespin - there's a switch instead; it's cheaper; and it runs on a single AA battery - but then there's battery costs.

I'll let you know how I get on with the Eclipse II if you like?
May 15, 2007 3:14:31 PM

Are you located in the UK? If so this might not work for you (accessibility, shipping, etc.) but I ran across these Deck Backlit Keyboards when looking for a keyboard sans number pad (I detest those number pads!). There are a bit flashy at first glance but they can be modified quite a bit to lessen the impact of all the back-lighting. The boards do seem to be solidly built. Might be worth looking into anyway.

Edit to add: Now that I have read your initial post a bit more closely, it seems you are not interested in backlighting. The Deck keyboards allow for the backlighting to be turned off but it is one of the features you would be paying more for so I am not sure you would be interested.

.
May 15, 2007 8:38:04 PM

Cheers for looking adnoto, but I'm the opposite to you. I can't do without the number pad!! Always use it for entering numerical data. It's the sole reason I've never even considered getting a DiNovo Edge.

jonomcleish - cheers for the update on the MX. My housemate has one, so I know it's nice, and I guess the extra buttons could be useful in games like SWAT and Rainbow Six where you use a fair amount of keys. I've looked at the VX, but I don't find it's very comfortable (too small). Plus, I couldn't do without the middle mouse button, and not having the auto freespin defeats its purpose for me. An update of the Eclipse II would be useful!! What's it like sizewise? Also, something I'm interested in - how many simultaneous keystrokes does it allow? With some racing games, I can't do certain things with my current keyboard. For example, in NFS Most Wanted, I can't steer whilst using nitrous and accelerating at the same time.

Cheers again for the help, everyone! I'm fairly sure now that I'm going to go with the MX and Eclipse II. Only question now is whether I get a HD2900XT or 8800GTS 640MB...
!