Around one year ago, when I was shopping for a new PC, I was on the look for a nice keyboard separately. As, I bought just the PC unit alone, to get the most out of that for the price (MESH), then I already had a monitor and then I bought a mouse, keyboard and speakers all separate.
I did this as generally speaking, with technology revolving PC's... I wouldn't bank on getting the best of the best from a single company. Most specialize in certain sectors for a reason. Some specialize in display and graphics, hence, monitors are to be best bought from them. Others specialize in sound, so get speakers from them, and others specialize in reliable PC functioning, such as MESH.
Then you have a company like Saitek, which is a rather niche brand and known to provide excellent gaming keyboards with illuminate keys. I myself am not an avid gamer, though I was an obsessive one as a young teen but, on the Playstation and PS2.
Anyway, my friend recommended this keyboard to me and I only just managed to get it as most places were out of stock, as it appears this is a rather popular choice. I paid around £40 for it which, is a little pricey, as I've seen others here say. It's certainly not the most expensive and, to be honest, I'd rather pay a little bit more if I'm getting quality anyway.
So is it worth it? well if it were totally worth it I doubt I'd of said it's a 'little pricey'. So all in all probably not. It is however a very nice keyboard and the best feature for me is the illuminate keys. This feature comes in handy at night when I'm surfing uh... shopping (cough) websites and need to see things in the dark. Wink.
The keys are fairly soft and make for very comfortable typing and there's media buttons (play, stop, volume) on the keyboard as well. Oh, and there's even a little 'dimmer' knob to turn the light up and down on the keys which is a nice addition, as you can control the brightness exactly. It's probably this feature which justifies the price in Saitek's mind to be honest. There's also three different colours (blue, red and purple) that you can choose from for your keys.
All in all, this is a great keyboard with a solid build.
))--Why i chose--((
I bought this keyboard based on a few factors. The illumination, the looks and the basic shortcut keys. I had this as Christmas present one year (sad I know) but all in all its something I use every day so it was useful and a lot better looking than my previous boring Microsoft Keyboard, so a pretty good present in the end.
It comes with a wrest and the usual angle adjustment. The wrest clips on fairly easily but personally it looks better without it. It's not a particularly comfy wrest either so I don't really use it. It could have done with a softer padded material really. The keys are soft touch but not silent, they have a slight lightness to them, but I'm used to the more solid laptop keyboards.
- Gaming look two tone Black and Silver design
- 3 colour illuminated backlit keys and gaps between keys
- Brightness control
- Attachable wrest
- Additional media buttons
- USB plug and play installation
The layout is good, nothing special in terms of addition keys apart from the basic Media Player shortcuts which is nicely located above the numeracy pad. In the centre of which is a dial that changes the brightness of the backlight. There is also a button that cycles through the backlight colour options as well as an option to turn it off. The Letter font is really crisp and clear, slightly bigger sized than normal too.
- A little expensive at £35-£40
- This keyboard will not work for bios navigation or any pre-boot options, a little annoying as you have to keep a spare keyboard if your system crashes and you need to boot in safe mode
- The keys could be a made softer to touch.
- The wrest isn't good
I bought this keyboard a few years ago for about 30 quid. What tempted me was the fancy lights and the fact that it was a gaming keyboard. The lights are fun for all of two minutes before you get board and just leave it on one of the colours. You can cycle through red, blue and purple, there is also a dimmer on the keyboard that allows you to set the level of the lights. What makes this special is the volume keys and the play and pause keys but even then, you are probably not going to use these much. This means that i paid 20 quid for the extra functions on the keyboard, which in hindsight are not worth it. You could just buy a media center remote and use that instead.
The keyboard is well built but after all these years the keyboard has become really mucky and a few of the keys are now starting to stick. I broke the clip on the enter key when trying to clean it, so i rarely use that key now. The letters have also started to fade, but that is to be expected after all the use it has had. It connects via a usb so you may need a usb to ps2 adapter if you have an ancient PC or one with no free usb ports, although it would be cheaper to buy a usb hub in that case. This is meant to be a gaming keyboard, but apart from having the keys light up in the dark, i cannot see any reason why you would use this for gaming as opposed to any bog standard keyboard.
Saitek are a brilliant company, i have a game pad made by them, i lost the wireless transmitter and they sent me a new one by post for free. I may try asking them for a new enter key and see what they say. But overall i would probably give this a miss unless you are impressed by fancy lights.
I spend most of my day in front of the computer, so my mouse and keyboard are two of the most used items and having a quality product really counts. The Saitek Eclipse II keyboard is fit for heavy duty use, it has a sturdy and solid build and you can feel that it is well crafted and put together - I went through several cheaper models but wasn't satisfied with them as they weren't comfortable to use and they felt cheap and flimsy, but I knew the Saitek Eclipse II was the one as soon as I hooked it up.
The keyboard has illuminated keys, which means you can see the letters and numbers light up, which is perfect for typing in the dark, but if you are a regular user, typing in the dark shouldn't be a problem as you will most likely be able to type without even looking at the keyboard.
However, the illuminated keys is still a nice touch because it simply looks cool and when I'm working in the dark, it provides a very nice and soft ambient lighting effect. You can switch the backlight colours from red, to blue to purple, with a dimmer switch that allows you to adjust the brightness of the backlighting.
There are volume controls and a mute audio button on the keyboard itself, which is handy and convenient (including a play, forward/skip buttons but I've never used them).
The only downside and negative aspect of this keyboard is that it isn't really suitable for gaming purposes* (if you need to press a combination of keys repeatedly) - actually if you are a gamer, you may be aware of the key-lock phenomenon, which is not something I ever had to contend with in all my years of computer use until I was playing a game of Worms Armageddon and it involves the use of tapping the space key repeatedly in conjunction with multiple arrow up/down/left/right keys. If you press more than 3 or 4 keys simultaneously, any further key presses don't get registered. This will not be a problem for most users, but if you are a gamer and need a keyboard without the key-lock, then you may want to look at the other Saitek gaming boards.
I originally bought this keyboard from a local PC shop on the condition that if it had key-lock I would return it, but if not, I would keep it, since they weren't sure, but after taking the keyboard home and using it, I was slightly disappointed that I couldn't use it well for gaming, but was so pleased with the quality and feel of the keyboard that I kept it - which speaks for itself.
I bought the Eclipse II because my keyboard was way past its life expectancy. I am an aggressive typist and I use this keyboard for several hours a day. If you're not a similar user then that won't mean anything, but if you've ever broken a keyboard through use like I have then you'll appreciate me mentioning that!
The keyboard is solid and sturdy, it had a good weight so doesn't move around. It can be used flat or angled-there are two height adjusters, both of which are sturdy and haven't failed me yet. The wrist wrest (that's a tongue twister, try saying it!) has three settings also: snug against the keyboard, 1 cm gap and 2 cm gap. I use all of these because I like to change my typing position to prevent strain or cramp. So 3x3 = 9 different positions for comfort.
Under the keyboard are large rubber feet to prevent damage to your desk. These are very high quality and also help to stop movement.
The back lighting is what attracted me to this keyboard and also why I chose it over others. You can change the lighting to blue, red, purple or off. It isn't just on or off, there is a dimmer dial which allows you to find your optimal brightness. I have read reviews saying this is pointless, but I use it frequently, adjusting to suit the lighting in the room and I find it invaluable. On full brightness the lighting is bright, but any glare is blocked by the keys. Not only do the inter-key spaces illuminate, but also the letters on the keys (they are laser etched). I rarely type un-illuminated, but with no illumination the keys are easy to see and letters appear white.
The keys are the basic qwerty keyboard with media keys (play/pause, stop, skip forward/back, volume up/down, mute) and an illumination colour change key. There is also the dimmer mechanism. I often find when I buy a keyboard that the extra keys are not useful for me, but I make frequent use of the media keys (for windows media player-I can't comment on any other software). If you find you make use of extra keys then this might not be the keyboard for you unless you're willing to make the sacrifice.
The keys provide mild resistance, my preference for typing, and make a muted noise due to built in cushioning, with the exception of the space bar which is louder. So when you're hammering away at the keys trying to kill that boss in Oblivion, your girlfriend wont throw cushions at you! :)
USB 2.0 connection and no need for software since the keys are basic. I've used this on Windows XP, Windows Vista and linux with no problems.
This is without a doubt the best keyboard I have ever owned. At around £40, it is not cheap but well worth the investment.
© L Wade 2009 - submitted only on dooyoo.