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Old 11-07-2011, 01:36 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default SteelSeries Shift Gaming Keyboard Review

If you're the type gamer who spends more than the normal amount of time tweaking your peripherals, then the Shift keyboard from SteelSeries deserves your consideration. Not only does it allow you to configure every single key, it also enables you to record macros on-the-fly and even switch out the entire keyset for another.

Read through Jamie's in-depth look at SteelSeries' Shift gaming keyboard and then discuss it here!
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:04 AM   #2
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I've always hated those keyboards, hell I won one at a lan party and traded it for my XFI Gamer. It's no surprise they still fail. Good review though Jamie.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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I find it ironic that the shift key has a problem on a keyboard called Shift.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:22 PM   #4
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Great review Jamie!

First my apologies for replying so late. It's weird because I read through keyboard reviews like they were my last. I have a fetish for keyboards. Love this peripheral for some weird reason. But here I was suffering from a combination of lack of memory or feeling lazy.

Your review left me with a few questions...

I loved the keyboard concept. It's quite frustrating that I can only see this type of commitment to innovation and feature-full products on the gaming market. I can never get tired of saying this: Those of us whose keyboards are our main working tool, expect the same type of commitment; the same type of innovation. I'd really love to start seeing keyboard makers concentrate on us too. Just like when typewriters were acknowledged for being examples of technological innovation, keyboards didn't suddenly solve all our typing problems. They are in fact mostly still medieval tools when we think on what could be achieved.

1. ... And one of those things is exactly the Shift ability to change the whole key set. Do you know if this extends to being able to change to other language keyboards? This would be awesome for those of us who work on 2, or 3, and sometimes even more languages.

2. ... The problems you experienced with the Shift key. I confess I searched a bit on the web. I couldn't locate anything similar being reported. Could this be some issue with your particular keyboard? Did you get any feedback from SteelSeries on this?

3. How does the keyboard feel to a typist? Do keys being pressed offer some feedback? Could this be used by regular typists?

...

Two things I loved and hated about it:

Loved: The whole key customization possibilities. An absolute dream!

Hated: Small Function Keys. Again with this nonsense! And especially when the vertical space on thos pictures surely indicate those keys could have been normal size. I don't understand this fad of making those keys small.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:42 PM   #5
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1. This link shows you the different keysets available and the supported languages.

2. It's possible that the shift key could be a hardware related fault with this specific board, but the problem didn't always occur. Recent firmware updates may have fixed the issue since i have not experienced it in the last few weeks.

3. I did provide some feedback on the feel in the my final thoughts...
Quote:
Key spacing is a little bit wide, providing a better feel for key placement, but due to the fact that the keys themselves are not actually attached to the keyboard, they do wobble a fair bit on the rubber domes below. This results in a sort of 'squishy' and spongy feeling to the keys. Key travel is still normal for a full height key, but with the usual rubber bounce for feedback.
The keys are the normal - some might call pathetic - feedback from the rubber/silicone. Key presses just slide through the rubbers break point, there's the bounce when you connect, but that's about it, the normal dull and squishy rubber feeling, not much click or sharp contact.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:34 PM   #6
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For those of you interested, I recorded a short video of a rather nauseating software issue, not mentioned in the review. When resizing the window, the screen would wobble randomly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=455IH_Cy16I

Yes, now you get to listen to my delightfully posh British accent...

Another issue I came across was limited to the WoW Cataclysm keyset, where hovering over keys to edit would result in the highlight being offset.



Another random issue (although not really an issue) is the rather haphazard firmware update method... I'll leave this pic with you and let you try and figure it out...



6ft arms anyone?
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:40 PM   #7
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Hmm... only minimum language options for standard keysets. As usual, Portuguese, the 6th most spoken language in the world is left out in favor of Korean (17th) or German (10th). I'm not sure I'll ever cope with this. But whatever....

Did read that paragraph, but somehow missed the bit about the feedback. Thanks.
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