Features & Specifications
Although there are few objective tests you can reasonably perform on a keyboard, there are numerous objective factors to weigh when considering what keyboard you want to spend your hard-earned money on.
In our reviews, we include the basics, including the make and model of the keyboard, type of form factor (for instance, tenkeyless versus numpad included), switch type (and the specifications thereof), any additional ports, key rollover, polling rate, OS requirements, weight, dimensions, and price, as well as more detailed aspects of each product, including the type of material used to make the key caps, the type of key cap character printing used, the type of cable used, and the microcontroller(s) on board.
Sample Specification Table:
We also examine the software and lighting (if any) on each keyboard. We use each feature of the software to illustrate how it works in practice, and we thereby can determine if there are any glitches or other performance issues. (Typically, the software and lighting are tied together.)
We also completely disassemble each keyboard to better examine its build quality, and also to get a look at the design of the cable assembly and the microcontroller(s).
Verifying Key Rollover
A common claim that keyboard manufacturers make concerns key rollover. Some keyboards claim 6-, 10- or N-key rollover, which is typically written 6KRO, 10KRO or NKRO, respectively. Using simple publicly available and free tools, we are able to confirm and qualify these claims.
The primary tools we use are the AquaKeyTest (link hosted here) and Switch Hitter (link hosted here), which are simple but handy little applications that show when keys are both depressed and registering with the PC. We double check those results with the Microsoft Applied Sciences online tool.
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