94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
No more writer's block,
This review is from: Mad Catz V.5 Keyboard for PC (Personal Computers)
There's something about the feel of these quiet keys that draws me back. The keyboard has features that seem especially suited for a writer. First of all the keys feel unusually smooth to the touch and the edges are soft so for someone who types fast, the sensation of moving over the keys is more pleasant than other keyboards I've used. Each depression offers a light resistance that is consistent all the way down which I find not only provides good feedback but is very satisfying. I seem to make fewer typos. I've used several other keyboards that have too light a touch to suit me. With those, I either skip letters because I think I've depressed the key all the way, but actually haven't, or conversely repeat letters because the key goes down too fast and stays down a fraction too long. I find the action of these keys to be perfect.
My requirements for a keyboard were that it had to be corded to work reliably with my computer, i.e., fast all the time with no lag. The keyboard had to have audio adjustment buttons so I could mute the sound easily when on the phone and alter the sound level as well. I find the sound level adjustment better than my previous keyboard because each depression of an adjustment key makes a noticeable difference so usually only a few depressions are necessary to get the change I want. It takes 25 depressions of 'louder' key to go from no sound to top sound, so there's a good range, but I hear a difference each time I press it. Perhaps my previous keyboard was unusual, but it seemed like I had to press a key a hundred times to make a difference.
The right most of the four hot keys above the number pad adjusts the backlight from off, on-bright, on-dim, off again. The bright is too much for me so I'm happy to have a less bright setting. I wouldn't have chosen red, but it serves the purpose. The backlight feature is especially useful to me when I'm typing in the late afternoon and darkness creeps up. If I'm engrossed in something, turning on the backlight allows me to continue working until I come to a good stopping point and can tear myself away to turn on the ceiling light. The other good thing about the backlight is that it shines through the letter on each key. Hopefully this will ensure that these keys remain readable long after other keyboards' letters have worn off.
My keyboard didn't come with the software to program the function keys, but the enclosed booklet gives the website where it can be downloaded if needed. I only program the function keys with macros in Word and Excel so I don't need the software for fancier operations and can't speak to that.
The detachable wrist rest isn't the keyboard's best feature for a writer. It's great for a gamer who may be using the letter keys with one hand and the arrow keys or number pad with the other, but for someone who has both hands on the keyboard all the time, the wrist rest doesn't provide even support for both hands. Still that hasn't slowed me down.
I like the ledge above the function keys, which I use to rest a pen, and I like that the lock indicator lights are obvious (in the center above the function keys), bright and clearly marked so I can instantly tell if I've got something locked that shouldn't be--instant notification when I hit the Caps Lock key by mistake.
The keyboard's protruding corners seem a needless design affectation, but don't interfere with the function I like so much. So far, I'm more satisfied with this keyboard than any in my past experience and highly recommend it.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 11, 2011 2:13:17 PM PDT
I need to replace my keyboard which is now 7 years old and, as usual, I went to Amazon to check out my options and to read customer reviews. I was intrigued by this lighted keyboard and, after reading this review, I will most likely purchase this keyboard. Thanks Amazon, I love ya!!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2011 3:38:33 PM PDT
Thanks. I hope you like this keyboard as much as I do. I'm beginning to see a little rub-off on some keys after nearly a year of extensive use, but not as much as on other keyboards I've used. I also like the fact that when the computer goes to sleep the keyboard light goes off and then relights when I hit the space bar to wake things back up.
Posted on Sep 21, 2011 6:49:28 PM PDT
I have a Saitek keyboard, and have loved it from the moment I got it!
The reason I wanted to comment, is that I especially like the protruding corner design, because I don't keep my kb on my desk. I have it in my lap while surfing or gaming, and stand it on edge on the floor when I need to move around. I lay it flat when I'm done for the night. These edges make it easy to pick up and move around with one hand, without having to worry about touching keys inadvertently.
I'm not a touch typist - and the N and S keys are mere smudges now after 2 years - but I've memorized those, so I'm not in trouble . Anyway, I've never paid much attention to the aesthetics of my kb, so long as I can see what keys I'm using. I still want a new one. ;)
You've written an informative and interesting review. I may just pick one of these up because of it. Thank you!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 9:48:54 AM PDT
Thanks. I never thought of the corners as handles sort of, but can now see how that would work.
I recently got a new desktop computer and even tried the keyboard that came with it--briefly--but for permanent use I've installed this one. It is so much better. It's interesting to me that as some of the paint on the keys has worn away now, I can still see the letter much more clearly because of the back lighted surface.
Posted on Nov 29, 2011 4:33:36 AM PST
Great review - I was debating between a Logitech keyboard and this one, and the touch of the keyboard, as you describe it, made the decision. The Logitech features a 'laptop' feel - I don't know why anyone who types a lot would *want* that.
I did have trouble downloading the software and drivers - actually, I haven't managed to download the driver yet. (The keyboard works fine with Vista's generic driver.) Something isn't working correctly on the web page - you select download, and it just spins.
One thing I really like about this keyboard is the absence of media buttons. My cats were always opening and closing the cd tray, starting e-mails and opening browser windows ;) I don't mind the sound buttons, but the cats aren't allowed to surf the internet.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 6:29:25 AM PST
Funny about the cats :). I didn't download anything when I plugged this keyboard into my XP PC and when I upgraded to a new one with Win7, it again just worked with no special efforts. I agree about the feel of a laptop type keyboard. I make way too many typos on that sort of keyboard. I do like my Logitech trackball mouse though.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2012 9:50:13 PM PDT
In reply to the wearing of the keys. I'm a gamer and I am constantly bashing on the WASD keys and CV keys. Where my nails have scratched the paint has worn off, but where pad hits no paint has come off whatsoever. I actually enjoy the light seeping through from my nails. But, it's not like you are staring at the keys when typing so technically wearing of the keys doesn't really matter.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2012 9:53:22 PM PDT
Oh, and also to the drivers. I didn't download any software or drivers and mine works just like it should the Function keys and all. I am on a Macbook Pro. The Function keys work just as the shortcuts do on my laptop. So yay for that.
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