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Turtle Beach Impact 500 Mechanical Keyboard Review

Tests And Performance

Key Rollover

The Impact 500 offers 6KRO, plus the modifier keys, and we can confirm that spec. As to why Turtle Beach opted for 6KRO instead of 10KRO or NKRO, this ensures a baseline for all users: Whether you're on a new PC, old PC or a Mac, the 6KRO will work.

Audio

Something Turtle Beach should be commended for is the fact that there are few extraneous noises when you're typing. With many keyboard designs, you'll hear an extra "ping" when you strike the keys, or the spring noise may be noticeable (as in the case of the Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum). You do get a bit of "ping" at times, but I noticed it only when I banged the keys especially hard, and sometimes on some of the larger keys.

Certainly the deep "bowl" design of the Impact 500 aids this noise reduction, and the already-loud clicky Blue keys help by masking whatever noise it does produce. That is to say, in terms of sound, the Impact 500 provides a relatively clean typing experience.

Performance Notes

With Cherry MX Blue switches on board, you can certainly use the Impact 500 as a gaming peripheral, although it almost begs you to use it primarily as a typer. I was perfectly happy gaming with the Impact 500 under my fingers, and the typing experience ended up being excellent, too, for the most part. At first, I noticed that some of the keys seemed to stick a little, but after many days of use, they all loosened up.

One issue I have with the Impact 500, though, is the Costar-like stabilizers on the larger keys. Allowing that there's a certain amount of subjectivity here, and that those types of stabs do have some fans, I dislike them. Objectively, they're difficult to remove for cleaning (without breaking the tiny plastic inserts), which alone is enough for me to avoid them. However, I also find that they have too much rattle and movement, and if you screw them up at all when removing a key cap, the stabilization can be wrecked such that you have to strike the key in the exact center to ensure optimal performance. Indeed, on the Impact 500 I noticed some ineffective actuation when I struck some the larger keys off-center.

(And yes, I know that you can mod Costar-style stabs somewhat, but I don't believe that having to modify a product to achieve optimal performance is acceptable.)

  • avatar_raq
    There are many better or comparable option cheaper. Pass.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Gam3r01
    Did anyone expect something better from TB?
    Reply
  • whimseh
    Yikes, $130 for no backlighting.. no number pad... This keyboard is basic AF.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply