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Looking for an LED backlit keyboard w/ laser etched keycaps

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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October 20, 2012 7:59:51 PM

I'm looking at getting a gaming keyboard and have done a lot of research on mechanical switches, and comparing different keyboards, but ultimately what I'm looking for right now is a keyboard with blue LED backlighting and laser etched keycaps (for durability/longevity).

So far pretty much the only one I can find is the Corsair K90, which I also really like due to the aluminum chassis, but it certainly would be nice to compare some other products, I don't want to really feel like that's my only option (even though it seems to really hit all the right points for me - although it's a LITTLE disappointing that Corsair didn't make all the keys mechanical).
October 23, 2012 11:00:07 AM

if you want laser etched keycaps then the only backlighting option available would be the type which appears as a glow between the keys and not through the letters in the keys themselves since laser etching burns the image into the key (making the depression black).

the style of keycap where one color (in this case clear) is created and then a dark plastic shell is added on top with a cutout for the letter is just as durable if not more so then laser etching. i know one of the major mechanical keyboards uses them. i think it is deck keyboards but i could be wrong (it could be das).

i know that deck has models with blue backlighting in mechanical keyswitches.
October 23, 2012 1:56:30 PM

ohhhh ok, I was under the impression that "laser etched" meant they cut out the letters on the keycaps with a laser, and therefore the keys would never fade because (in a way) they're not even there!

Also, I actually prefer the glow, I think it looks better than just seeing blue letters.

Thanks for the info! Also, do you think I should worry about the LEDs fading over time? because we've recently redone most of our lighting in our home with LEDs since they're sooooo efficient, and will pretty much last as long as we'll ever need them. Do keyboard manufacturers sometimes cheap out with their LEDs, and therefore they won't last very long (either die completely or noticeably fade)?
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October 23, 2012 3:58:40 PM

i do not know of a keyboard in which the keys are cut by laser and the space where the letter would be is left blank, ie with nothing there. however, it is quite possible that some processes might use lasers for cutting out parts.

unless the letters are clear or at least translucent (as on many keyboards where the letters glow), all the leds would do is look pretty. they would serve no other function. my opinion is that glowing keys in general serve no purpose as if a room is dark enough to warrant glowing letters then viewing a monitor is going to damage your eyes. i will agree that they can look pretty if they are not too bright.

as long as the current running through the leds does not fade the light output from the leds should not fade. it is possible for leds to burn out but as you mentioned, they typically have a long lifetime.

some manufacturers cheap out by not providing enough leds under the keys which equates to an uneven glow. for clear-letter keycaps ideally each key should have a led.
October 24, 2012 3:55:48 PM

Well I'm still a little unsure as to the whole laser etching process because the keys on the K90 are very clearly white, but they are advertised (and mentioned by product reviewers) as being "laser etched".

As for the glowing keys, well ya I have 3 blue LED fans on my case, and my stereo receiver has blue LEDs to highlight the volume knob, display and CD tray. So I kinda just want a keyboard to complete my glowing desk :)  As for the monitor, well I rather aggressively control the backlight of my monitor so that it never emits too much light that would damage my eyes.

That's what I figured, thanks :) 
!