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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Thermaltake eSports MEKA G1 Keyboard
Closer Look: Thermaltake MEKA G1
Thermaltake MEKA G1 Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts
Conclusion

Thermaltake MEKA G1 Keyboard Review

Tt eSports is Thermaltake's gaming division focusing on gaming peripherals and accessories and also the gaming culture, their latest entry is the MEKA G1 MEKA G1 KB-MEG005US mechanical gaming keyboard. Mechanical keyboards made with the purpose of gaming are fast becoming popular and there are a good handful of companies marketing their wares if you know where to look. Today Benchmark Reviews has the MEKA G1 in for testing and we aim to see if it is worth the $139.99 MSRP that thermaltake have set.

The MEKA G1 uses the popular Cherry MX Black mechanical switches and it has two built in USB ports and also microphone and headphone pass through ports to make connecting your peripherals easier. A removable palm rest is included along with seven multimedia function keys and a heavyweight 1.5m "Military Grade" braided cable. All of these features make the MEKA G1 more than a standard mechanical keyboard and enhance everyday use.

The MEKA G1 certainly looks the part, it is nice and compact and prefers a more professional look over it's flashy counterparts. The MEKA G1 looks and feels very well constructed and weighs a little over 3lbs which gives re-assurance that it won't buckle under the pressure it is sure to endure. If this is the sort of keyboard you have been looking for then read on to find out if it has what it takes as we test it in a variety of games and applications.

Thermaltake_MEKA_G1_Mechanical_Keyboard_Intro.jpg

Features and Specifications

  • Interface: USB
  • Operational system: Windows 7/Vista/XP
  • Number of Multimedia keys: 7
  • 2.0 USB port: 2
  • Mic-In &SP Out jacks
  • Switch lifecycle: 50 Million keystrokes
  • Switch brand: Cherry Black switch
  • Cable length: 1.5m military grade cable
  • Detachable palm rest
  • Body dimension (LxWxH): 430x160x40mm

Manufacturer: Thermaltake Ltd
Product Name: MEKA G1
Model Number: KB-MEG005US
Price As Tested: $119 at Amazon

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Thermaltake.



 

Comments 

 
# SuggestionCharles 2011-01-13 19:29
For keyboard tests you should use Aqua's Keytest to see if NKRO is functioning properly.
#geekhack.org/showthread.php?t=6643

You should also do testing on the USB HUB, it has been suggested that the USB Hub on the MEKA G1 is just a USB 1.1 controller.
For a USB 2.0 HUB you should see sequential reads & writes between 28 & 30 Megabytes per second.
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# Steelseries 6GV2Poldo 2011-01-13 19:43
It looks like a Steelseries 6Gv2
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# its a 7g not a 6gv2zanz 2011-01-13 22:34
its a 7g not a 6gv2, the 7g has usb, audio extenders and a palm rest, the 6gv2 is just a keyboard with no rest usb or audio
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# 6Gv2Poldo 2011-01-16 04:28
Sorry, I meant the key layout. ;)
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# hmmmmmmmfafkac 2011-01-13 22:58
for record, USB is not capable of full anti-ghost and nkro, cherry black MX switches are silent and no tactile
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# Have you read the article?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-01-14 00:31
@ Charles: I will test with Aqua Keytest when I get a moment and post back. There is no need to test the bandwith of the USB ports as they only support 100mA max anyway.
@Poldo: I mentioned this in my article...
@fafack: I read the complete data sheets on Cherry MX switches, I have also read several articles talking about the difference between the colors. It appears you read the pros and cons and ignored the article.
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# hmmmfafkac 2011-01-14 00:44
i have steelseries 6G V2 so i know how cherry MX blacks feel, and i would never switch to membrane keyboard if i can help it
it should be scribed as no tactile and silent, its true that i didnt read whole article
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# RE: hmmmSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-01-14 06:35
I also have the 6Gv2, and I have tested the 7G also. I explained in my testing results how I felt about the Cherry Black MX keys, please take a read to see if you agree.
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# RE: Have you read the article?Charles 2011-01-14 06:41
Testing the bandwidth of the USB port is actually should be done; a USB 2.0 Flash Drive like those from Patriot, Crucial, SanDisk and other manufacturers high end lines can easily reach the upper limit of 25MB/s of the port.
If the port is actually a USB 1.1 Hub then those devices will be limited to less than half that speed (around 12MB/s)
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# CharlesSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-01-14 08:51
I tested with Aqua's keytest and NKRO works fine.

I also tested the USB ports using the AIDA 64 disk benchmark and I have uploaded an image to my photobucket.
#i945.photobucket.com/albums/ad297/hatchet_2009/AIDA64_R.png

Looks like the ports are USB 2.0
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# RE: CharlesCharles 2011-01-16 04:38
Thanks, I'm glad you did both tests as it makes suggesting this keyboard (and thus linking to this review) easier.
Many keyboards offer "USB 2.0" hubs and they are actually just 1.1 bridge ports or hubs which can cause some terribly slow speeds on modern flash drives.

As for the Ghosting & NKRO testing, a limited number of mechanical boards saying they have NKRO have actually been wrong about that.

If at all possible, could you show a screen-shot of the keyboard using AKT, under USB (even if you have NKRO) the max you'll get is 6 normal keys with 4 Modifiers being active at once.
Modifiers are CTRL, ALT, Shift, & Tab.

Still, showing that the board can hit any random 6 keys at once without a problem is more than enough as most keyboards experience blocking at 2 keys even because they use the very old IBM Key Matrix. Though even for gamers, most of the time you won't need more than 6KRO.

Though I do know I specifically use around 7-8 keys at a time during some games; it's only a few titles (Simulation & Rhythm games.)
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# RE: Thermaltake eSports MEKA G1 KeyboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-01-16 11:56
NKRO when connected via USB is six keys max.

NKRO when connected via USB with all modifiers active (CTRL, ALT, Shift and Tab) is four keys max.

Hope this is helpful enough without a screenshot, print screen won't register due to the NKRO limitation while I am holding the other keys down.
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# RE: RE: Thermaltake eSports MEKA G1 KeyboardOlin Coles 2011-01-16 12:08
Thank you for fulfilling all of the extra requests, and going beyond the norm for your review.
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# RE: Thermaltake eSports MEKA G1 KeyboardDarkdriver 2011-02-06 05:50
It would be great if you could make a comparison between the MEKA G1 and the Zowie Celeritas (for gaming needs). I have to decide between those two keyboards, since I don't know which switch type to take. Unfortunately there is no possibility to test a mechanical keyboard in a shop here.
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# RE: RE: Thermaltake eSports MEKA G1 KeyboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-06 11:14
As you say the main difference seems to be the switch type... I have a couple of guides you could take a look at that could help you to make up your mind.

##overclock.net/keyboards/491752-mechanical-keyboard-guide.html

#hothardware.com/cs/blogs/mrtg/archive/2009/03/09/mechanical-key-switch-keyboards-demystified.aspx
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# RE: Thermaltake eSports MEKA G1 Keyboardeclipse 2011-12-21 03:03
"Cons:

- Full anti-ghosting only works with USB to PS/2 adapter "

THATS NOT A CON OF THE KEYBOARD THATS BECAUSE OF THE USB PROTOCOL
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# RE: RE: Thermaltake eSports MEKA G1 KeyboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-12-21 13:10
It wouldn't be a con if the MEKA G1 were fitted with a PS/2 connector as standard, with an optional PS/2 to USB adapter.
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