Creative Labs SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08 Gaming Keyboard

All right, it looks like we are reviewing another fine product from Creative Labs, and this time, it is the SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08, a gaming keyboard. Well, if you are familiar with any keyboard reviews that I have done in the past, then you know that I am going to type my report using the product.

So how does it fare? It feels like I can type a lot faster on this guy. Part of it is that its design with OMRON, PRES (Perceive-React-Execute Switches) which allows for rapid-fire keystrokes. Yeah, there is a diagram showing how fast a typical key gets pressed versus one from the SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08. The shaving of a few seconds really makes it faster, by about 25 percent.

Let’s talk about the keys, and not just the speed. There are 109 fully programmable keys on this guy, with five of them on the left side as M1-M5. This is really designed to up your game, and the game it seems designed for is Final Fantasy XV (the Windows version).

Since this is a gaming keyboard, then you know what that means, a lot of pretty lights on the keys. It has this Aurora reactive technology which gives it the power of a lot of colors similar to the northern lights themselves with 16.8 million colors.

It is because of this wonderful glow that comes with two USB plug-ins to make it work. I’m grateful that my computer recognized it right away, but I had to wonder why the cables were so darn thick.

It’s quite something, and I’m not even finished writing about the benefits. It has some buttons made for media playing, and this really cool rotary volume control. I forgot to mention the detachable wrist rest.

Before I forget, Creative Labs sent us the SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08 for an unbiased review. I am going to say that it is a good gaming keyboard and give it a good recommendation. It is available on the Creative Labs website for $139.99.

Snakebyte Key:Board Ultra Hands-on Review

Every once in a while, I receive something in the mail/UPS/FedEx/DHL that I didn’t expect, and so I feel a need to review it. This is what happened to me today with the Snakebyte Key:Board Ultra, and since this is a keyboard review, I feel compelled to type my review on it to get a better idea of what is going on.

First of all, I need to talk about its arrangement. I am not certain how well you can do this as a reader, but go in closer for a close-up. On the first glance, it looks like a QWERTY keyboard, but it is in fact a QWERTZ keyboard.

This is going to show my ignorance, but it would appear that the “Y” and “Z” keys have switched places. I’m going to assume that this is how it is supposed to be for certain languages, as I noticed that the instructions on the box are in English, French, and German. This would explain why some of the vowels on the right side have those two dots over them, and I am not certain what those are called. As I said before, I am ignorant, and I’m pretty certain that you can switch it. As it were, it defaults to the keys that I am used to hitting on a QWERTY, which means “Z” is “Y” and vice versa. It makes sense if you type with it.

I found that the Shift key on the left side was a little too small. Normally, it is two keys thick, but it is only one key, with mistakes ending up with the “\” symbol before a small letter.

This is a mechanical keyboard made for professional gamers, and I am assuming that it means you can use it for speed, because I feel a certain increase in the speed at which I am typing this out, minus on the aforementioned keyboard errors that I keep making. Still, the programmable macros ought to be able to help the PC gamers out there.

Also as a bonus are the 18 different types of lighting effects, which really make the keyboard stand out in the most effective way. Heck, it seems to fit in with the Christmas lights for the holiday season.

The construction is also this cool metal frame that even has a rubber coated hand rest. It really is quite something, and you can find out more information about it on the Snakebyte site. Now, here is where I normally put the price of what I am reviewing, but honestly, I just can’t seem to find it no matter how many Internet searches that I have done.

Our Review of the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Backlight

Last year, I had the opportunity to review the wireless Matias Aluminum keyboard. I suppose that it only seems justified that I review the Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Backlight.

If you recall from that review, I said that the basic design was essentially an Apple keyboard. I said that I said that I was having trouble attaching it to my PC, and said that I would put some Bluetooth on it. As much I would like to say that Matias took my advice, I think that they were just developing the Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Backlight.

You can definitely see that the backlight certainly gives the Matias wireless keyboard a Minority Report feel. I don’t think I could come up with a better adjective, actually. Considering that both the Quiet Pro and Ergo Pro keyboards, which I have also reviewed, sport an ebony look, the blue glow is very awesome change of pace.

Since this is a wireless keyboard, and Bluetooth, then you are going to want a good battery. Fortunately, this one is set with 1,600 mAh, which I am told is five to 12 times bigger than most wireless keyboards, which is good enough for a year. I am also told that there is a second rechargeable battery just for the backlight, and this one will last one or two weeks in between charges. By the way, charging is done via Micro-USB to USB.

Now it is time to talk about the Bluetooth capability. I suppose that is good for all kinds of devices like iOS, Android, Windows, or…I’m sure there is something else that I am forgetting. While I am on the subject of operating systems, I should say that the wireless keyboard has Mac-friendly function keys.

If this sounds like something that interests you, you can get it on the Matias site for $139.

Cherry Keyboards, Part 2: MX Board Silent

So, it is another day with a Cherry product, and I really want to make some terrible pun on how this G80-3000 MX Board Silent is the cherry on top. owever, I don’t really want to do that, but I will tell you all about this.

First of all, the MX Silent switches have Gold Crosspoint contact technology. Again, I clearly don’t know much about keyboard technology to know what contacts are, but I think it is underneath the keys and work as silencers or mufflers, maybe?

The MX Board Silent does have some noise-optimized MX key switch for patented noise reduction, with some integrated 2-component stem that can minimize the bottom-out and top-out. Again, I just don’t really know what that means.

So let us talk about what we should talk about. Is it quiet? I would say yes. I have tried out other “quiet” keyboards that turned out to be louder than the one that I regularly use. What you want to have is a keyboard that you can use while another person is taking a nap.

I’ll go ahead and end with some more features like the N-Key rollover for simultaneous operations of up to 14 keys without any ghosting. Just to let you know, this 104 key keyboard is compatible with both Mac and PC.

If you want more information about this product, head on over to the Cherry site. If you want to buy it, head on over to a site like Amazon and pay about $149.00 for it.

Cherry Keyboards, Part 1: The G80-3850 MX Brown 3.0

Cherry max board 3.0This is going to be some great reviews this week with Cherry, makers of some great keyboards, as well as being known for Maraschino. Just kidding on that last part, but I do like the Cherry MX-Board 3.0 USB Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown Switch.

In case you are wondering about the Brown switches, this is apparently the color of the switches underneath the keys, and as far as I can tell, are not visible by the user. There are other colors available, such as Black, Red, and Blue. The Brown switches are tactile with some actuating force of 55 cN with a switching port of 2.0 mm.

The other colors have some weird specs as well, and I am not certain about those. However, I had a chance to try it and it feels really…smooth. As most of you know, I review every keyboard by writing a report on it. Case in point, this one, and I am surprised that it is so quiet. It is also easy to install as you just plug it in

This particular one has a full QWERTY layout with over 50 million operations per key, then there is an N-key rollover with up to simultaneous operations of up to 14 keys without any ghosting effects.

If you want to check this out, head over to the Cherry website here for more information and it can be purchased on Amazon for about $132.77.