Taking A Quick Glance
I mentioned that I was evaluating the MediaPilot in general terms, not for gaming purposes. Despite that, I couldn't help but at least take a glance at it as a gamer. Last year I did a round-up of units sold to me as gaming keyboards but found most of them flawed. The one I liked the best was BTC's 9019URF which was similar in some ways to the MediaPilot, but still suffered from some awkward button placement and really needed a number pad. The Belkin has the number pad and a few more of the features you would want in a media keyboard also used for gaming. And of course, programmable keys never hurt for gaming either.
A Suggestion From Me(dia) To You
Like the 9019URF, the MediaPilot is light, responsive and has great range. But the Belkin has an advantage - availability. In fact, by the time you read this, they should be relatively widely available. As for the BTC 9019URF, good luck finding it anywhere, even online. I do know that its price was sub-$100, which would make it more attractive to those of us on a tighter budget than the $125 MediaPilot. But the 9019URF didn't function as a universal remote, have a recharging base or a number pad.
Overall, if you have a media center PC, you should take a good long look at Belkin's MediaPilot.
Saitek's Eclipse: Light Done Right
Damn The Technology! Full Speed Ahead!
In July of last year I reviewed Saitek's original keyboard aimed at gamers, which bore the uninspired moniker "Gamer's Keyboard." More clever in design than in name, I thought it was a pretty good keyboard definitely worth recommending. But it wasn't without its weaknesses.
It had a separate device called a Command Pad which was programmable and was good in theory, but made it feel like it was reaching a little bit too far - trying to be more than it needed to be.
It was also illuminated, which is not a negative at all. In fact I mention in the review that it helped me type my article late into the night. However, on the older model, the illumination only showed the keys' outlines in silhouette; you couldn't make out the numbers or letters on the keys themselves, so it was hard to tell which was which. This was really a constraint of the technology rather than a fault of the board - keyboard keys are opaque.
Well, Saitek prides itself on being one of those companies that actually listens to its consumers. They heard those quietly whispered complaints scattered across the web and decided to do something about it... technology be damned!