Gaming Keyboard

Good Gaming Keyboard – G413 Mechanical in Silver and Carbon!

UPDATE: Hands on the with new Silver G413 – it’s beautiful!

Hot on the heels of the excellent TKL Gaming Keyboard just released (Ten Key Less, it basically means no numpad :P), those fine folks at Logitech G have just released another TWO new metal keyboard options for us!

Full sized but lightweight with high strength aluminum alloy top casing for added rigidity along with a slim, blade-like form factor thanks to the way the keys raise off the board – they’ve done something brilliant here within the keycaps and the LED lighting on these doesn’t suffer from the light leakage issues you may have experienced in the past with other slim metal board designs, the package even includes extra gaming keycaps that are interchangeable with the ones in the keyboard as well as a keycap puller to get those keys out when you feel like it.

 

One of the best bit’s about these new G413 is they both feature a USB passthrough so you can charge your smartphone from the keyboard, an excellent feature that should be on every gaming keyboard! They’ve also added a nice cable route pathway on the bottom of the keyboard too ensure everything stays super tidy 🙂

The media, brightness and volume controls are now integrated as secondary functions accessed via the F keys. and you can also setup your favourite programmable macros for games via the Logitech Gaming Software suite. Two distinct versions are available, the first is Carbon Black with a red LED backlight and the second is a super cool looking Silver G413 version with white LED.

Good Gaming Keyboard – The Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum

UPDATE: This amazing keyboard is available in NZ now!

Not to be confused with the previous Orion Spark the new Logitech G Orion Spectrum is what happens when a company listens to customer feedback and adjusts to make their products even better.  An awesome version of the G910 from Logitech is incoming – The G910 Orion Spectrum!

With a darker look, RGB logo and those ultra fast Romer-G mechanical switches to give you incredible responsiveness, this sleek RGB Mechanical keyboard actuates your presses faster than standard mechanical switches.  This faster actuation gives you faster response for the winning edge in battles where every move you make matters.

A small detail in the keycaps has been adjusted to be smoother allowing for easier finger travel between them during the more complex maneuvers we all attempt while in the heat of battle.

As with the original Orion Spark the Spectrum allows for some pretty extreme customisation via the Logitech Gaming software, you can tweak keyboards lighting effects and mark individual keys by colour to keep track of spells and game commands.  Each key’s backlight can be customised from a palette of 16.8 million colors. The key letters are entirely illuminated for a beautiful, evenly-lit glow with minimal light leakage 🙂  You can also download ARX Control app for your smartphone (here are links for Android and Apple) which introduces some second-screen capabilities.  Use your smart phone or tablet screen to display in-game info, vital system statistics and more.  The keyboard’s adjustable smart dock positions your phone perfectly at the top of the keyboard.

We’ve really put this keyboard through some extremely enjoyable game testing and happily give it our full recommendation – the Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum is GOOD!

This keyboard is outstanding top to bottom, in-game integration for lighting effects is simply outstanding – check out the video below as we test this with Counter Strike: Global Offensive using the key lighting to signal the number of rounds left in our clip.

 

Good Gaming Keyboard – The Zalman ZM-K900M

GGPC Recommends ZM-K900M

We first caught a glimpse of the Zalman Gaming Keyboard at the recent Computex 2016 Expo and it captured our attention immediately, so good were the first impressions of this keyboard that we returned for another go with it the next day.

What made the the Zalman Keyboard stand out?

– No drivers or software needed
– Solid build with a nice key layout
– Excellent features (especially the built in microphone, macro recording including mouse clicks and lighting options)

To begin with, the ZM-K900M has the ability to customise everything directly from the keyboard and will store your choices via the keyboards internal memory. This means that you can create a macro and save when connected to any computer without having to install dedicated software. It doesn’t end with gaming macro either, you can customize everything on the K900m from the keyboard and when you connect it to another system all your perfectly tuned settings will be ready to enjoy right away – no sync, no hassle.

For those of us that use macro while online gaming we can also quickly adjust the speed of the macros and utilize loop and timing as needed, this helps ensure our commands will work even if we end up in a match with a less than ideal internet connection.

The keyboard itself has some of the cleanest RGB lighting we’ve seen, it’s well constructed with very little flex when trying to bend, there are non-slip rubber feet on the kickstands and a cable management channel underneath allows you to direct the braided cable (which is also really high quality) out the left or right of the keyboard to suit your setup. The switches used are called Kailh and feel just like Cherry MX blue with quick press and satisfying click. The keyboard’s built in microphone adds a further layer of effects not often seen and with the EQ feature your RGB lighting can be used to provide some excellent visuals while you type, game or listen to your favourite tunes.

How is it in action?

Having no software makes this one very different from the other gaming keyboards we’ve used recently, usually we would talk about how what game configs were pre-available for download but seeing as this keyboard is really about doing it yourself for yourself we thought we would jump into a game to see what’s involved and how it really works.

When it comes time to customise things and create your perfect layout we recommend starting out by making our keyboard a uniform colour, we choose a deep blue as this would make it easy for the goto keys to stand out (to do this push Fn+DEL and then select your chosen colour from the RGB rainbow that has appeared on the keyboard).

We then highlighted the WASD keys in a vibrant white so they could always be found easily should our fingers wander away, this is done by first pushing Fn+7 to enter colour mode, then press Fn+= to enter key select mode, from here simply click the any of the keys you want to be a certain colour, then tap Fn to bring up the rainbow and select your preference. We continued to customise our 1,2,3,4 weapon keys in other colours so they would also stand out and finishing off the look with our interact, sprint, reload and melee keys. (on a side note, if you change your mind about the base colour and want to change your surrounding keys while leaving your custom ones set you can push Fn+INS to do this)

Happy with our basic layout it’s time to make some macros!

We wanted to create something that uses both mouse and keyboard presses to complete so we’ve streamlined the motion of switching to C4, throwing a charge and then switching back to our primary weapon. We then created a quick detonate charge macro and finally made a switch to pistol, unload the clip, and then return to primary weapon – this is possible on the ZM-K900M because its macro can include mouse clicks!

Making these was actually very easy, there are a bunch of ready to program macro keys around the middle of the keyboard so for our C4 macro we started out by pressing and holding FN+O for 3 seconds then release at which time the keyboard began recording which is signaled by a little blinking light at the top left – from here it was as simple as pushing 4 (for C4) then left mouse click (deploy a charge) and finally 1 (to switch back to primary) – we continued through in the same fashion to make our other macros – so much fun but it sort of feels like cheating!

We’ve done something a little different to show off how well the live macro recording works with timings 🙂 We thought it would be fun if we jumped on a Gaming PC and went for a little drive in Dirt Rally while recording, then restarted the race and had the keyboard macro do the driving for us – surprisingly it worked!

Although this one’s a bit harder to master than something with dedicated software that’s what sets this Zalman Z-Machine Gaming Keyboard apart from the rest, and with some very unique and excellent features we are happy to add this fine keyboard to our GGPC recommends list – the ZM-K900M Gaming Keyboard is GOOD!

 

Good Gaming Keyboard – Cooler Master Masterkeys

Masterkeys Lite is GOOD

Cooler Master have got another new gaming keyboard – well actually this one’s a combo!

Introducing the new Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite 🙂  Unlike the above gaming keyboards which use the Cherry MX this new value keyboard is packing CM’s own mem-chanical switch which not only feels great but also conforms to the Cherry MX standard shape so we can add aftermarket custom key caps very easily, it’s still early days for the Maker Hub but we’ll be keeping an eye on this for 3D printable models to appear, until then Thingiverse certainly has more than enough to keep us modding!

Masterkeys LiteWhile the Masterkeys Lite Keyboard might not be quite as bright as its big brothers this keyboard still produces that clean RGB LED glow we’re in love with.  They’ve added something really interesting to the kickstands by running a grippy texture along the back so when you’ve got the keyboard laying flat it still sticks to your desk like glue.

Even though the target is value this keyboard is still very well built and you can change the LED lighting to suit you setup quickly and easily from the keyboard itself without additional software or drivers needed, simple must haves like disabling the windows key (which is printed with a Cooler Master logo on this keyboard) can be done easily by pushing Fn+F12 and you’ll also find a host of media and lighting controls can be accessed in the same way.

The included mouse is a nice shape has an LED indicator that flashes in several colours as you change though the DPi settings lighting up the scroll wheel and also a thin strip at the base of the mouse, you can make this glow constant and even cycle to a RGB breathing mode by clicking the DPi shift + scroll wheel simultaneously  – awesome stuff Cooler Master!

The version we have to play with has a L on the box as well which leads us to believe a second 10keyless version might be on the way which is always nice (UPDATE: Yep, there’s a new S version), in any case this is certainly the best entry level combo we’ve had the pleasure of using in a long time (since the Cooler Master Devastator II actually) and we’re happy to give this new value gaming combo our GGPC recommends badge – the Masterkeys Lite is GOOD!

 

 

 

Good Gaming Keyboard – SteelSeries Apex M500

The Steelseries Apex M500 delivers the gaming features from the popular Apex series giving you the keys to victory (lol nice pun SteelSeries).  A tournament-grade backlit mechanical gaming keyboard built to meet the requirements of top level gamers, SteelSeries really have created an excellent keyboard for gamers that game – with features we’ll actually use and an emphasis on quality that is well received.

We’ve gotten hands-on with this epic new piece of hardware and the Apex M500 is certainly does it’s job well, the sleek design gives you everything you need in a professional gaming keyboard, without the fluff 🙂

Created with the toughest plastics and reinforced with a battle-hardened steel back plate, they’ve gone to extra lengths to ensure the construction and materials can withstand anything thrown its way.  A standard key layout means no learning curve and no surprises and with Cherry key stems, gamers can swap out the keycaps for a custom set and everything fits perfectly.

With the SteelSeries Engine software you can easily customize your keyboard with macros, setting these up has never been easier and text based, key-press, and-on-the-fly macros can all be programmed and set with ease.  Your profiles aren’t limited to just your keyboard either, you can program any key to cycle between your keyboard, headset, and mouse profiles.

You can even auto-deploy your exact settings right when you launch your games, crazy cool.

Combine all this with the smaller details like cable management channels underneath, rubber non-slip kickstands and a beautiful evenly lit glow from the blue LED (also the base plate is blue which is nice) and you’ve got a well thought out, quality keyboard.

Now that we’ve had a game or 12 with this excellent new peice of gaming tech we are happy to give it a well deserved recommendation to anyone looking for a new mechanical gaming keyboard at a great price – The SteelSeries Apex M500 is GOOD!

The SteelSeries Apex M500 is available overseas but we haven’t seen stock land in New Zealand yet so keep your eyes on our NZ computers blog and we’ll update as soon as this epic nww keyboard arrives!

Steelseries Apex M500 is Good

 

Good Gaming Gear – Asus Cerberus Gaming Keyboard, Mouse and Mousepad

CerberusBanner

CerberusSwitchAsus have just released a new gaming gear combo named the Cerberus and it’s a pretty impressive setup for those looking to kit themselves out on a budget.  The bundle consists of a gaming keyboard, mouse and mousepad which all come in separate boxes so I expect we’ll be seeing all the items available separately soon.

Taking a closer look at the combo the comparison must be made with the Cooler Master Devastator gaming bundle as the keyboards are very similar in design, this is not a bad thing at all for Asus with CM version being an extremely well reviewed budget gaming combo!  There are a few differences though and the Asus version can display the keys backlight in red or blue depending on your preference – it’s important to note that the red bars on the side will  still glow red though even if the keys themselves are set to blue.

The tactile feedback of the keyboard is nice with good resistance and spring, the spacebar responds to being pressed even of the very edges and removing the keycaps reveals the splash resisting switch – an integrated drain hole prevents liquids from being trapped inside the keyboard and ensures easy cleanup should you accidentally give your keyboard a bit of your drink while gaming 🙂

CerberusMouseThe Cerberus mouse at first glance appears ambidextrous but with the thumb buttons being placed on the left side it’s certainly a preferred right hander.  It’s a four button design well suited for 1080p gaming, the sides have non-slip rubberized grips and the cable is a solid 1.8 meters.    The cable is braided (same with the keyboard) although the USB connection for the mouse is anti corrosive gold which is nice 🙂  Unlike the keyboard the LED on the Cerberus Mouse changes depending on your DPI settings – Red is 500, Green is 1000, Blue is 1500 and the LED turns pink at 2500 (max).

Finishing the combo off is a pretty sweet Cerberus mouse pad featuring the three headed dog logo in all its glory, the texture gives good control for your mouse and the stitching on the sides is excellent.

Overall, it looks like Asus might just have created the perfect starting set for a new gaming pc gamer and we’ll get some more pictures up on the GGPC Instagram so you can take a closer look at this awesome new kit!

 

 

Good Gaming Keyboard – Logitech G610!

Logitech has unveiled two new mechanical keyboards, the Orion G610 brown switch and G610 red switch, using the same sleek chassis as the recently released G810.

The 610’s differ from the the G810 by using Cherry MX instead of their own in-house Romer-G switches and feature white backlighting instead of RGB.   You’ll still be able to assign your button macros on F1 through F12 to suit your favorite games and by selecting and personalizing each individual key light via the Logitech Gaming Software makes keeping track of spells and other commands is a breeze 🙂

 

Logitech – The Division GEAR UP BONUS

TheLogitechDivision

UPDATE: This promotion has now ended

The only thing better than getting new stuff is getting new stuff with other new stuff included for free.  If you’re on the hunt for a new gaming keyboard, chances are pretty good Logitech have what you’ve been searching for.

Two awesome keyboards + one sweet BONUS for you – The Division is available now with the Logitech G810 Spectrum and G910 Orion Spark gaming keyboards 🙂

G810angleThe Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum RGB is the newest keyboard from peripheral powerhouse Logitech.  It’s a full-size keyboard with great appeal to both at gamers and regular chaps who use their keyboard for…  I don’t know, regular things I guess 😛

It features full RGB lighting along with excellent media controls and the G810’s classy design won’t take up all the space on your desk either, which is a pretty nice option to see in the gaming keyboard lineup indeed.

G910PhoneIf you’d like something a little more “full featured gamer” look no further than the massive Logitech G910 Orion Spark Gaming Keyboard.  Customize your favorite game with 9 individually programmable G-keys, the Orion Spark supports up to 27 commands across three profiles for maximum convenience and you can mark keys by colour to keep track of spells and game commands with the customisable lighting options – each keys letter is entirely illuminated for a beautiful, evenly-lit glow.

You can even mount and use your smart phone or tablet to display in-game info, vital system statistics and more via the Arx Control app.

Two beautiful and very different keyboards, and for a limited time – if you Gear UP with Logitech – The Division could be yours as well!

 

Good Gaming Combo – Cooler Master announce the Devastator II

 

devastator2

UPDATE: The Devastator II Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo is available now

A lot of us are familiar with the current CM Storm Devastator combo (I’m actually typing this with one right now) and know it’s a great value combo, so how have Cooler Master improved on the design?

Cooler Master say the Devastator II takes the best features of its predecessor and makes them even better.  The keyboard now has a crisp, mechanical response thanks to exclusive “mem-chanical” switches,  these switches add several components to the keys themselves adding a most satisfying click to each keypress which is pretty nice and also extends the testing life to a whopping 12 million – double that of the previous generation!

This combo is sure to be a steal whether you’re new to PC gaming or a seasoned veteran, we can’t wait to get our hands on it 🙂