|Roccat ISKU Illuminated Gaming Keyboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Friday, 28 October 2011|
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Closer Look: Roccat ISKU
In this section we will be taking a look at the design and aesthetics of the Roccat ISKU Illuminated Gaming Keyboard and get our initial opinion.
The Roccat ISKU box is very informative with all of the main features detailed on the front. The flipside of the box has more info and goes into much more detail on these features.
As I am in the UK, I have in my possession a British layout version of the Roccat ISKU of which there are 19 different layouts in total. The ISKU is absolutely huge and will take up a lot of your desk real estate. This is good for me as I have larger than average hands, the large built in wrist wrest comes in really handy too. The Roccat ISKU measures approximately 51cm x 25cm.
Roccat describes the keys as medium height for optimum keystroke, this means that they are somewhere in between laptop style flat keys and full size regular keyboard keys. The blend of different blacks used on the ISKU gives it a nice unique look.
On ergonomic keyboards we would see a nice sculpted curve on the side profile shot, on the ISKU the keys are all completely level. In theory this means that after long periods of typing your hands will become tired and fatigued quicker on the ISKU compared to an ergonomic keyboard, a trait which most mechanical keyboards have as standard. Each key has a slight curve to it which helps a little in differentiating keys without looking at them while you are typing or gaming.
Here are the three EasyShift[+] zones, note that the EasyShift[+] key takes the place of the Caps Lock key. This can be changed in the ISKU settings utility but Caps Lock is bound to "EasyShift + T1" by default. The M-Keys and the T-Keys are doubly programmable which means they can have two functions bound to them, one is default and one activated by the EasyShift[+] key. The main EasyShift[+] key area shown above in blue can have any macro or predefined action applied to each individual key.
Roccat have been very clever here by allowing you to have a function modifier on keys that are around the area where you would normally have your hand placed. This should appeal to gamers from every category be it FPS, RTS, MMO, etc. The media keys (top middle) are preset to media functions and can have other predefined functions applied to them. To the left of the media keys is a large button labelled REC, this is the "Macro Live! Recording Button". This feature makes recording macro's so simple, and dare I say pleasurable, to record. One click of this button and the ISKU will talk to you via your speakers or headset asking you to choose a macro key, next the ISKU will ask you to perform your macro and press the record button to save your macro. The ISKU will then confirm by voice that your macro has been successfully recorded.
Another cool feature of the ISKU gaming keyboard are the cable channels. These allow you to route the cable out where you prefer and in a way that suits your setup, this is a feature that has been implemented on other gaming keyboards but not to this level. Better still you can also route other peripheral cables using these channels for a super tidy setup. There are six rubber pads on the bottom of the ISKU and the feet have rubber end caps on them to help stop it sliding around, these work best when they are clean so if you find your keyboard sliding around all you need do is give these a wipe (along with your surface) and normal grip shall be restored.