Are Premium Gaming Peripherals Worth Your Money?

Keyboard: Saitek's Cyborg

Saitek’s new gaming keyboard, the $80 Cyborg, borrows heavily from the Saitek Eclipse, a keyboard designed for geeks, but not necessarily for gamers. In comparison, the Cyborg has gamer written all over it. The unit is large next to most competitors, but all of the keys and the touch panel at the top of the keyboard are well-spaced.

The integrated touch-sensitive readout is a unique feature. In place of media control buttons or dials, the touch panel allows you to change the volume and key brightness, as well as switch between “human mode” and “cyborg mode” by pressing specific areas on the panel. The panel isn’t an LCD display. Rather, you can tell which functions are active based on whether the corresponding symbol is illuminated on the panel.

Cyborg mode disables the Windows key (so that you don’t accidentally press it while gaming) and allows you to customize the key backlighting of different keyboard areas. You can choose among a handful of colors for the general backlight. But, in cyborg mode, you can pick the backlight color you want specifically for the WASD keys, arrow keys, numeric keypad, and the rest of the keyboard as well. You can also turn backlighting off in certain places, while leaving it on in others.

The WASD keys are covered with a smooth, metallic finish, which makes them instantly identifiable to the touch. Overall, the keys are well-spaced and rise a little higher than competing models, so they should feel familiar to anyone not accustomed to gaming keyboards.

Whereas the X6 and the G19 have programmable keys on the left side of the keyboard, the Cyborg has six programmable switches down the left and right sides. These angle up from the board's plane, and they click down and back up with a firmer feel than regular keys. This way, you’ll never mistake them for normal keys. Unfortunately, you only get 12 of them.

The keyboard backlighting changes based on whether the keyboard is in “cyborg” mode or “human” mode. For general use, you’ll want the keyboard in human mode, but most advanced features are only available in cyborg mode.

The Cyborg also sports a powered USB hub, as well as stereo output and microphone input jacks. With these, you can attach additional devices directly into the keyboard instead of feeding cables to the back of your computer.

Gaming on the Saitek Cyborg reminded me of why the Eclipse and Eclipse II are such popular keyboards. The keys feel solid under your fingers, and the keyboard is heavy enough that it doesn’t move during intense gaming. The touch panel is a fingerprint magnet, but it’s a fun alternative to discrete media keys.

  • liquidsnake718
    Ive been looking at the G19 for some time now, ever since it came out, but I am not sure if I should just go for the Sidewinder x6 or the G15 which is still good and at a reasonable 80-100dollars where Im from....
    Should I get it or wait for my next build..... x6? g15?
  • scorc25
    I recently just purchased a Saitek Cyborg keyboard. Very impressed with it, loving it the moment we touched. Ive used the first Saitek Eclipse, and then the Eclipse 2. The Eclipse 3 is out there; the Cyborg is basically just the gamer edition of it.
  • Keyboard: SteelSeries MERC Stealth
    Mouse : Roccat Kone
    Mousepad: Roccat Sota
    Headset : Roccat Kave
  • volks1470
    bah on fancy gaming peripherals. I'm still using a roller-ball PS2 port mouse and keyboard and they work great. Price? Free, because nobody wants cheap stuff like that!
  • fleeb
    I am waiting for Logitech G110. Looks nice and will not cost $200.
  • JimmiG
    Since I'm a flight simmer, I own both a CH Yoke+Pedals and a Saitek X52 Pro. I also bought an "A4Tech" laser gaming mouse - a discount brand but the mouse itself compares to any Logitech or Razer rodent...for half the price. For keyboard, I'm using a $10 no name corded keyboard :)
  • Fortunex
    I don't need the $100+ keyboards or anything, what REALLY makes a difference in my playing is how smooth the feet of the mouse are, and how comfortable the mouse is.

    I had a $10 cheap ass mouse, was the most comfortable mouse I've ever used, but then the cord wore down and it stopped working, and I lack the skills to fix it. Bought a Microsoft Habu, didn't like it at all. Bought a Logitech G5, love it. Bought a steelseries mousepad, OH MY GORSH. My KDR in games (particularly sniping in TF2, where headshots are near essential) nearly doubled. EVERYTHING is so much smoother when compared to my (what I thought was smooth) desktop. It just glides, no more rugged, scratchy mouse movements, it's amazing.

    For keyboards, I have a Razer Arctosa, which I bought because I LOVE the flat keys, and the low profile. No need for fancy backlighting or macro keys, I just want it to be easy to type with and the keys to not be curved.

    I'd advise ANY gamer who doesn't already have a mousepad to get one.
  • IzzyCraft
    Are they worth it eh not really

    Are they pretty just about every time.
  • cyb34
    I got a G15 v2 and a G9. They are worth every penny.
  • anamaniac
    Preiphereals are worth it.
    Full 7.1 sounds, 7000 DPI mouse, 9x 2560x1600 monitors, G(insert number here) keyboard, soft leather chair with fully adjustable tilt, proper desk...
    You could have a boring powerhouse, or a crappy computer but with all the fixings. It's nice having the extras.