I have to say that I’ve never owned an “aftermarket” Keyboard in my life. I don’t know if I ever felt like I truly needed one and since my PC gaming days have dwindled since 2005, I figured it wasn’t a worthy investment. However, I am happy to say that I have been proven wrong. Thanks to Roccat, I have made the jump into the 21st century of articulate PC gaming peripheral. The crazy part about it, Roccat isn’t some long tenured company with years of massive market experience. The German based company, that recently made its move to North America, has only been around for 5 years…which is a big deal in terms of what kind of established PC gaming companies dominate this market. Needless to say, I’m extremely impressed with my German brethren and while I don’t have an expansive background with aftermarket PC gaming hardware, the first experience is the one that leaves the biggest mark. In typical “Squid” fashion, I’m gonna roll with my Dig It/Dog It format. Lets roll.
- First things first. Aesthetically, this keyboard is beyond slick. I’m a big fan of the royal blue/black color scheme and what makes it even better is the illuminated keys and indicators. Never had a keyboard that lights up and since I enjoy dark rooms in a sweltering Texas summer, this keyboard keeps me from using my phone to showcase my rusty typing skills. Ergonomically, the keyboard is easy on the wrists/palms and the keys don’t feel like I need a pneumatic nail gun to press them in. I’ve used it for almost a week now (missed some time due to E3) and I haven’t felt like this keyboard has gotten tiresome or has put extra wear on my hands/fingers. It’s larger than any previous keyboard I have ran across, in terms of length (509mm) but it is super light and thin for how long it is. I didn’t mess with the height since I enjoy it being flat but it is not a dramatic difference in profile. If you enjoy keeping the boxes from your gaming equipment, you’ll enjoy that the packaging just screams “That’s right, I’m a badass product.”
- So I’m pretty new to all the multimedia functions attached to keyboards like the Isku and a keyboard of this caliber could easily overwhelm someone like myself. Surprisingly, it was the total opposite. An easy driver installation and a quick guide on how to navigate your favorite websites and latest tunes with simple macros is extremely easy and rewarding. I had never used my keyboard to its true multimedia form until now but that goes to show you just how streamlined and effective the Isku is. Of course it might take the user some time to remember them all (I have over 20 setup just for basic computer usage). The Isku driver is easy to navigate and word choice helps you fully understand your choices. A lot of thought was put into this product and its effectiveness with all types of users.
- Speaking of keys, there is an option on the Isku that allows you to redefine an “EasyZone” area on the keyboard. This takes up the typical ASDF format and the surrounding area. You can completely redefine each key press and what it correlates to. Wanna make Q do two separate button presses at once or attach it to specific game like Left4Dead? The Isku has you covered. All of these selections are covered by EasyShift [+] function. Of course I’m a Macro noob, so all of this is extremely cool to me haha. Regardless, it should be to you as well. On top of all of these extra options, the keyboard is chalk full of extra command buttons from the left to the right and even an area with keys specifically built for your thumbs. I don’t know if I will ever need this many buttons but those of you who are hardcore MMO or even Adobe product users, this will become extremely handy.
- I still don’t know how to work this next portion but consider it the “Ultimate Combo” for a fighting game. The Macro Live! button records up to 36 programmable movements/key presses to play back or assign to a separate key altogether. 36 not enough? You can switch between 5 profiles, each with their specific key combos/commands. Like I said, I’m new to this but is that like cheating? Haha.
- Anti-Ghosting is capable on the Isku, which is a big deal for me, since I love to play Audiosurf every chance I get. I’m sure it’s even more impressive for those who need to push more than 3 buttons at any given time.
- Roccat Talk. Cool feature that allows your Roccat products to communicate back and forth with one another, setting up key commands that change the DPI of your mouse or manipulate a specific function you setup for your gaming profile. For more information check the Roccat Kone+ plus review below.
- I played Audiosurf, Team Fortress 2, Diablo 3 and Sims 3 on my Roccat, all to perfection. Well actually my wife played Sims 3 and loved it…I swear.
- The addition of the M function keys have caused me to mistype from time to time. It’s not a huge issue, since I was become used to the location of the keys and their size but for someone who is not used to keyboards such as the Isku, it can become a bit annoying.
- It took me a bit to get used to having to press a secondary button for capslock or “Billy Mays Mode” but honestly I’m being nit-picky here.
- Mentioned before, the Isku is pretty large. I had to place my mouse on top of my desk, while the Isku took up the entire “KB/M drawer” built into my office desk. It’s a slight annoyance but I quickly got over it.
- BLUE KEY ILLUMINATION
with 6 brightness levels
- 3 Easy Shift[+]™ Zones
for easy key duplication
- 36 easy-to-reach Macro Keys
including 3 Thumbster keys
- Macro Live! Recording
with dedicated M-Rec button; 180+ macros in 5 profiles
- 8 CONFIGURABLE MEDIA & HOTKEYS
25+ assignable functions
- Medium-height keys
with an optimum keystroke & pressure point;
advanced anti-ghosting; 1000Hz polling rate
- ROCCAT™ DRIVER + MACRO MANAGER
incl. Sound Feedback; Macro Presets for games,
multimedia and office apps
- Extra-large GRANULAR wrist rest
with special surface texture
- Integrated cable channels
for better device organization
- Non-slip base
with lock-on keyboard feet
- Ultra-fast profile switching
5 Profile-Status LEDs
- ROCCAT™ TALK© – SET BONUS
by combining products
- Illuminated keyboard with 123 keys
- Enhanced anti-ghosting capability
- 3 programmable Thumbster Keys (T1-T3)
- 5 programmable Macro Keys (M1-M5)
- 20 additional Macro Keys (Easy Zone)
- 5 Profile-Status LEDs
- 3 Status LEDs (Caps Lock, Easy Shift[+]™, Num Lock)
- 1000Hz polling rate, 1ms response time
- 2m USB cable
Visit Roccat’s Website: http://www.roccat.org/home/
Roccat’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ROCCAT
Kone + Review: Click Here