Turtle Beach Impact 500 Mechanical Keyboard Review

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Product Tour

With the Impact 500, Turtle Beach took the approach that many tenkeyless customers prefer not just a more compact keyboard, but also a more staid design. As I mentioned at the top of this article, the simplicity of the Impact 500 reminds me of the Nixeus Moda v2, with the primary difference being that the Impact 500 has its keys set into a rather deep "bowl," whereas the Moda v2 has them mounted directly on top of a backplate.

There are pros and cons to both design ideas. A bowl design is harder to clean, for sure, and it's not as striking, but the Impact 500 hides all the "business" of the switches, so the resulting visual is a sort of all-black effect. The keys are black, and so is the chassis, so the sense you get is that the Impact 500 is this solid, brick-like rectangle.

The surface of the chassis has an attractive, slightly rubberized soft-touch look. Usually, as with some of Razer's keyboards, you quickly besmudge that pretty finish with hand and finger grease, but Turtle Beach obviates this issue to an extent by keeping the surface area so minimal that there isn't much room for your grease stains to show up.

There are no additional ports on the Impact 500; the sides and back are smooth. The only aberrations are three tiny notches—one each on the left side, right side and back side—to accommodate the cable. It's a design element for which Turtle Beach should be lauded, as it's the same T-groove routing for the cable that we saw on the Nixeus Moda v2. You can route the cable directly out the back of the keyboard or run it out the left or right sides, depending on your desk setup and preferences. The only issue I see is that there isn't much clearance for the cable in the notched-out area, so if you run it left or right, I worry that there's undue stress on the connector.

The cable is detachable (it has a mini-USB connector) for better portability, and it sports a black braided design with red accents.

There are no lights on the Impact 500 save for the Caps Lock, Scroll Lock and Windows indicators. The Windows indicator light is on the F9 key, and you can activate it with Fn+F9. The other two are mounted below the PrtSc, ScrLk and Pause Break keys. All three light up in red to match the red highlights in the cable.

Turtle Beach eschewed any dedicated media buttons in favor of compactness, instead forcing some of the F keys into double duty. F5, F6, F7 and F8 offer play/pause, stop, backward and forward controls, respectively, and the F10, F11 and F12 keys give you volume controls.

I do not have full details on the key caps (per my note above explaining that Turtle Beach has not confirmed several specs). From simple observation, though, the caps are plastic with printed lettering.

The chassis is almost exactly the same width and height as the Nixeus Moda V2, although the Impact 500 is a few millimeters thicker.

(Update, 5/10/16, 8:45am PT: Fixed typo.)

  • avatar_raq
    There are many better or comparable option cheaper. Pass.
  • ZeusGamer
    This looks exactly like the Steelseries Quickfire TK that I bought maybe a year or two ago. It was much cheaper than this maybe like ~$70.
  • Gam3r01
    Did anyone expect something better from TB?
  • whimseh
    Yikes, $130 for no backlighting.. no number pad... This keyboard is basic AF.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Yikes, $130 for no backlighting.. no number pad... This keyboard is basic AF.

    No backlight is indeed strange, but the absence of the number pad isn't a loss for many people - personally, I'm glad to see more and more TKL boards appearing on the market, there's a lot of people that want a quality mechanical keyboard but really have no use for NumPad, so it just forces them to keep the mouse further to the right. I wouldn't call a keyboard "basic" for not having one - it's like calling a car "primitive" because it doesn't come with a trailer.
  • bradsctt
    I find the US pricing quite interesting, as i recently saw this KB for only $110 NZD (75 USD). That makes it much more compelling, when other options such as the Corsair K70 are approx $100 NZD more.
  • therealduckofdeath
    The price isn't "a little" steep. It's twice the price it ought to be. 6KRO-only, no backlight, no nothing. This is a $70 keyboard.
  • Nailli
    There are way better ten-keyless boards out there that are a hell of a lot better than this one. Such as the Filco Majestouch Minila Air for starters.

    I'd only pay $70 at the most for this garbage.
  • synphul
    Personally I'd agree, it's as if they waited for years to jump the 'mechanical is the new black' bandwagon (for those who don't know mechanical keyboards used to be the standard before cheap rubber dome membrane switches and didn't cost a small mortgage). The price is a bit overrated for what it offers.

    Granted it's a basic design which can be harder to come by (surprisingly). The cherry mx switches and others like kailh are quite common in $60-80 keyboards many of which have 10key, with or without gaming macros and rgb led backlighting.
  • IspotU
    I have always thought that TB was mostly console peripherals. I think I will stick with my black widow keyboard. Sorry can't recommend this product as a viable option to my gaming customers, and friends.