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Roccat ISKU Illuminated Gaming Keyboard E-mail
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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Friday, 28 October 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Roccat ISKU Illuminated Gaming Keyboard
Closer Look: Roccat ISKU
Roccat ISKU Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Illuminated Keyboard Final Thoughts

I have come to the conclusion that the only real benefits of the Roccat Isku Illuminated gaming Keyboard are EasyShift[+] and Roccat Talk. Sure the Blue illumination gives it a different edge but it isn't really essential to gaming, the rubber dome keys are nice when they are new but it is only a matter of time before they wear out. The wrist rest while nice and large is moot because they keys are all flat and not in the least bit ergonomic, this means after really long periods of typing or gaming you will become fatigued or have slight aches. Don't be put off by this paragraph though because for now at least the ISKU is the only keyboard that is Roccat Talk compatible, so until Roccat make another this is the only way you can take advantage of this feature, and what a great feature it is.

EasyShift[+] is such a great idea and it has been really well implemented on the ISKU keyboard. There are 20 keys in the vicinity of where your hand normally resides when you are gaming and they are only a modifier click away. This is made one step better when you pair the ISKU keyboard with the KONE[+] mouse using Roccat talk, I have the EasyShift[+] keys on both devices set to control either device and it really opens up the possibilities of configurations to a whole new level. The limit really is your imagination and memory span. Add to this that you can have five profiles on each device and you can now start to realise the amount of possible configurations that are literally only a few clicks away. The best case scenario from this team up of peripherals is for an RTS gamer, in this category a lot is dependent on Actions Per Minute and I think the ISKU/KONE[+] combo will really excel here.

Roccat_ISKU_Illuminated_Gaming_Keyboard_Intro_600.jpg

Roccat ISKU Conclusion

In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the Roccat ISKU Illuminated Gaming Keyboard rating out of 10. A high score does not necessarily mean that it is better than a similar mouse which has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the ISKU Keyboard is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.

The Roccat ISKU illuminated gaming keyboard performs exactly as expected for a USB rubber dome keyboard, there is nothing exceptional about its performance but at the same time there are no problems with its performance so we break even.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and blue is one of my favorite colors. Red/black is nice but has been done to death so it is nice to see something different now and then. I would have liked the option to switch between blue/red/green to suit my mood, which would have been a nice feature. I'm quite glad that Roccat didn't make the whole external case from glossy plastic as this may have spoiled the design because the glossy parts are easily tainted.

The Roccat ISKU is very well constructed but feels very lightweight. There aren't too many occasions where your keyboard would get an absolute pounding but it would be nice to know that your keyboard would be able to stand up to it should such an event occur. If I were to release some rage onto the ISKU keyboard I don't think it would last too long. After all, in the heat of the moment it wouldn't be too unusual for a gamer to release some frustration into their keyboard.

Functionality is very good with the Roccat ISKU, the media keys are a nice addition as well as the M-Keys and T-Keys. Being able to disable the windows keys are a blessing for an FPS gamer such as myself. The blue backlit keys are nice but if you are looking at the keyboard when you are gaming then you won't see the screen. The cable routing could not have been executed better, I really like having the option to go to the left or the right dependant on your setup. The EasyShift[+] keys really make this keyboard and the Roccat talk compatibility extends that capability more. I love the macro live recording feature and I don't even use macros, it's just so easy and super quick that even grandma could do it.

Availability of the Roccat ISKU is limited in the USA but can be purchased for £69.99 (Amazon UK) in the UK which is equivalent to approximately $110 USD at today's exchange rate. This price is quite high but the ISKU has quite a few tricks and unique features up it's sleeve that almost merit this price, making this a tough one to call.

Pros:Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

+ EasyShift[+] feature
+ Dedicated media keys
+ Roccat Talk compatible
+ 180 macros possible, 500 actions per macro
+ Simplistic yet intuitive macro recording
+ Varying levels of illumination and idle dimmer
+ Anti slide rubber grips
+ Turn on/off Windows keys, TAB and Left Shift
+ Sound feedback for macro recording and profile switching
+ Cable routing channels
+ Great potential for high APM
+ Wrist rest built in

Cons:

- Rubber dome keys
- Very light keyboard, doesn't feel strong
- Some keys not fully illuminated unless you look directly down at them
- Glossy parts hard to keep clean
- Takes up a lot of room on your desk (51cm x 25cm)

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.50
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.00
  • Functionality: 9.75
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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