Skip to main content

Turtle Beach Impact 700 Mechanical Keyboard Review: The Sweet Spot?

Conclusion

At the top of this review, I stated that the Impact 700 could be a sweet spot for many users in terms of design and features and also that the price was troublesome considering certain feature omissions. What I mean by that is that if you forget about the price for a moment, the Impact 700 is a fine balance of more refined "mature" design sensibilities and fun stuff like glowing lights.

Many users don't care to trick out their keyboards with the equivalent of rave lighting, with complicated game-specific profiles and layered effects and pulsations, but they may still enjoy a little backlighting. The Impact 700 has, simply, all-red lighting with a couple of effects available on the device itself. (And you can turn the lights off entirely.) One knock on the lighting, though, is the inconsistency around the edges of the key areas.

Those same users often don't want a flashy keyboard that looks like something Master Chief would game on, and thus the chilled-out, simple, all-black rectangle chassis design (against which that red lighting really pops) is appealing. Further, many of those users spend as much time typing up reports and spreadsheets as they do blasting their way through Call of Duty (probably more, actually), so the Cherry MX Brown switches are ideal, as they offer more-quiet performance than Blues (for an office setting) but still give you some semblance of the smoother action of Reds.

There's no software to mess with, either; you just plug the thing in and get going. With the passthrough ports, that gives you a quick plug-and-play experience for your keyboard, mouse, headphones and so on.

Further, the build quality is excellent, thanks largely to the steel backplate.

But...at some point you have to look at the price tag and wonder where your dollars are going. The Impact 700 costs nearly $200--an "impact" on your wallet, indeed. To put that in perspective, that's pricier than anything Razer or Corsair make, and you don't get those choice value-adds like RGB lighting, software to program lights and macros, game profiles, or an extra bank of macro keys.  

By no means am I suggesting that you need any of those features to have a great gaming keyboard, but at this price point, one expects the moon.

Further, fairly or not, Turtle Beach does not have the gravitas as a keyboard maker to demand such a premium. The Impact 700 is a fine product, but the price needs to be sliced in half.

Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.