on October 6, 2012
For one, the shipping was EXTREMELY fast! I ordered this on October 3rd, it shipped on October 4th, and I received it on October 5th! And that was with standard shipping! I was a little skeptical about purchasing this because, honestly, I have never heard of Roccat before. However, the reviews were good and the products looked nice.
The keyboard is surprisingly lightweight compared to my U7 Luxeed Keyboard (which doesn't have any macro keys or numpad for that matter. The keys press down nicely and are not too far apart and not too close together. It feels very nice typing on it and doesn't bother me while I'm playing games for hours a day. I haven't gotten much use out of the macro keys, but they are easy to set up, and when you press the macro record button, instead of a beep or noise, it actually says "Select a macro key to start recording" and when you cancel the macro recording, it says "Macro recording aborted." It says it through your operating system (ie. your speakers or headphones) not the keyboard itself. That is better than having some beep and then trying to figure out which beep is which.
One thing to note about this keyboard is that the boarder is flat black with a textile feel and the part around the keys is a glossy black. I knew this before purchasing, and I admit it makes the keyboard look very well and stand out, but it does get very dirty with fingerprints and dust very quickly.
Also, in order for the capslock key to work, you have to press and hold the T1 key then press the capslock key. Without pressing the T1 key, it functions as a macro key. To some, this my be convenient or inconvenient depending on your style of play.
EDIT: The above mentioned is enabled by default. There is an option in the keyboard drivers software to have the capslock key act as a capslock instead of a macro key.
Overall, the keyboard is amazing! I am glad I bought it and I expect to have this keyboard for a very long time. I highly recommend this keyboard to anyone that is looking for an amazing gaming keyboard. I will definitely be checking out more of Roccat's products!
on November 29, 2014
Where do I begin. This is an amazing keyboard. I absolutely love my Roccat keyboard. The design is very sturdy and you can tell they took their time and knew what they were doing. I mean come on, its German built. The ability to have every color behind the keys is so cool. The breathing effect of the lighted keys is awesome. Plus I have this teamed up with my Roccat Kone XTD mouse and the experience is unlike anything else. I have been PC gaming since Doom and this thing blew me away. So much customization with the keys as well as within the Roccat Talk software. If you don't know what I am talking about, go to their website and see for yourself.
The only thing that could make this keyboard better would be to have Cherry MX switches. It is a membrane keyboard but I assure you it is not one of those sticky keys kind of membrane keyboard. Roccat does have the Ryos model keyboard with the MX switches but they are not able to create all the colors that the Isku can.
In regards to their warranties and Roccat as a company. My Kone XTD mouse started having issues after about a year and a half. It was double clicking when I clicked it once, I contacted Roccat through their website and within one day I had a response. Their customer service rep didn't even care when I had purchased it. His response was something like this, "I'm sorry to hear about the issues with you Kone, please provide use with your info and we will send you a brand new one." I sent them in my old one, spend $3 on shipping and got a brand new one within about a week. The customer service rep assigned to my claim kept me up to date every time we reached a new step in the process. Roccat's quality of their products and the quality of the Customer Service has made me an advocate for life. I know own four different Roccat products. Isku FX keyboard, Kone XTD mouse, Kave XTD 5,1 head set and the Raivo 2mm Gaming mouse pad.
I would ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT A DOUBT recommend this and any other Roccat product to everyone
on November 2, 2015
The Good: Surprisingly responsive membrane keys, more macros functions than you can shake a stick at, wonderful ergonomics and design, compatible with AlienFX, powerful and easy to use software
The Bad: Not many fancy proprietary hardware pieces, not very useful if you aren’t a macro person
Gaming keyboards are just as important as mice; the buttons are probably the most important thing of all, the gimmicks and extra stuff comes last. Second most important thing in a gaming keyboard is ergonomics and how it’s designed physically. Some keyboards have large desktop footprints with giant wristpads or strange key shapes and proprietary key layouts. I spend over a week shopping around for the right keyboard to replace my Alienware TactX keyboard. Not that it broke or I hated it, I absolutely love the TactX keyboard, I just wanted something new and different. First on my list was the key type. Did I want Cherry MX keys or membrane? The TactX keyboard is an excellent Cherry MX keyboard, but it’s very loud and “clacky” and the key height is very high. I loved how far apart each key was, but I was ready for something new.
The Havit Leggermeier was my first choice
Havit Lammergeier: My first choice but only available online
Logitech G710: A solid Cherry MX keyboard, but I didn’t like the design of the buttons
The Logitech G910 is a beast of a keyboard, but I still didn't quite like the design.
Logitech G910: A beast of a keyboard, but I still didn’t quite like the design.
My first pick was the Havit Lammergeier which had a wonderul design and Cherry MX keys, but it’s only available online. Remember, any decent gaming keyboard is going to start at around the $100. I also thought about the Razer Deathstalker Ultimate, but at $250 it was ridiculously expensive, had a laptop style keyboard setup and the Razer touchscreen has been abandoned and hasn’t been updated in a while. My next thought was the Corsair Chroma series with their nice LED lighting, simple design, and Cherry MX keys. However, it was just too simple for me. I wanted something a little more flashy, something with a unique layout. I also looked a Logitech keyboards, but they were also very simple in design and seemed overpriced for what they didn’t offer. After this I looked at Cyborg keyboards, as the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 was nearly $300 and had a lot of amazing features. After testing it and looking up extensive reviews, the software is shoddy and the hardware is cheap. I personally fiddled around with one and it didn’t seem like it was made of $300 material.
Razer Deathstalker Ultimate is one of the most expensive keyboards on the market, but has cheap feeling mechanical laptop keys and the touch screen has been abandoned.
Cyborg S.T.R.I.K.E. 7: The most expensive and elaborate keyboard on the market. It feels cheap, the keys aren’t great, and the software is shoddy.
Corsair K70: A great feeling Cherry MX keyboard, but with a very simplistic design and a giant wristpad
Corsair K70: A great feeling Cherry MX keyboard, but with a very simplistic design and a giant wristpad
With the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 being the most expensive keyboard on the market right now I went and looked at some lesser known brands such as Roccat, Gearhead, Mionix, Thermaltake, Azio, and TTe Sports. While these brands don’t make terrible products, they just aren’t the #1 brand that everyone knows such as Razer, Logitech, Corsair, or Mad Catz/Cyborg. Several of these brands offered Cherry MX keyboards, but they just didn’t feel right, something about them felt cheap, loose, or just awkward. I then went over to the Roccat Isku keyboards, but they only offer membrane keyboards and I was hesitant. I tapped away on a few keys and noticed how soft yet responsive they were. I continued tapping away at an Azio Levertron Mech5 keyboard right next to it with Cherry MX keys and realized how much better the Isku keyboard felt. The design was simple yet somehow unique and sleek, but all these Cherry MX keyboards looked crazy, futuristic, and had so many buttons, switches, and gizmos that it could make your head spin. With the even $100 price tag I grabbed the Isku FX keyboard specifically since it was compatible with AlienFX and had customizable LEDs.
Right out of the box the software was extremely easy to install. No CDs were included (who needs them these days?) so just a quick driver download was needed on the website. The software installed on Windows 10 64-bit with no hitches at all; after I opened the software it prompted to do a firmware update on the keyboard which went smoothly. This was probably the easiest hardware driver I have ever had to install; even Razer’s software can have problems from time to time. Once the software was open it looked overwhelming. The Isku is designed for people who love macros and keyboard shortcuts. There is a dedicated row of shortcuts on the far left, but the Isku has a special Easy Shift+ key function that can double all your shortcuts. On the bottom of the keyboard there are three “Thumbster” keys that allow you to do whatever you want with them. These are great for reloading in games, crouching, or switching to your favorite weapons. They are located just right, but I feel you will need to have larger hands to reach them.
The Isku FX allows up to five profiles to be switched on the fly, this is for people who may have a lot of shortcuts for different games. Blue LEDs are at the top left to tell you which profile you are on, and no there is no dedicated profile switch key, that’s what all these macro buttons are for. Next to the profile LEDs is a live record button. Press the button and a guy with a gravely voice will walk you through the macro recording process. This is great and takes away those confusing menu screens to record macros, however, that option is still here. At the very top are your media keys, a browser button, and a button for My Computer, but again you can change these if you want. Next to these is a button to turn the LED lights on and off which is a nice feature. Then the rest of the keyboard is pretty standard affair.
As for the rest of the software, the macro options are insane, and it even lets you program buttons by milliseconds of when they activate, it’s crazy. Another tab allows you to use the F keys as more macros if the 16 before weren’t enough. Another tab allows you to alter the “Easy Zone” keys, which are around WASD, to completely change what they do normally or add a secondary macro via the Easy Shift+ key. This is great if you are playing an MMO with a mouse and don’t want to use the top number keys or switch to the keypad. This is also useful if you are using a program that has a lot of shortcuts; now you can have them all right next to each other. The Advanced Control tab allows you to change the lighting effects, enable AlienFX, and various other options. The Roccat software also comes with an achievement system which is odd, but it’s here. There are 16 achievements in total, I have yet to unlock any, but it’s very interesting and kind of strange.
The keys feel fantastic and I can’t stress this enough. Membrane keys are usually shoddy, but these click very quietly and had a lot of response and don’t feel mushy. I felt the keys are a little closer together than most Cherry MX keys, but not by much and I quickly got used to this and forgot all about it. I also like how I don’t have to press the keys down so far, as people with smaller hands tend to cramp up on Cherry MX keys.
Overall, the Roccat Isku FX keyboard is amazing, and surprisingly so for a membrane keyboard. If you are on the fence about membrane keyboards or are a hardcore Cherry MX fan, I suggest giving this keyboard a shot. Out of several membrane keyboard I tried this was the only one that felt decent, so I understand the hate behind those kinds of boards. The software is some of the best out there for hardware, and there are so many customization options it will make you dizzy. Even if you don’t use macros this is a wonderful keyboard, has great lighting effects, and well worth the price.
on May 30, 2015
I wanted to like this more than I do. I tend to work a lot in the dark, as I hate reflections on my monitors when I'm doing color work. That makes using a keyboard a bit tricky at times, so I finally got an illuminated one.
With this one, I can set custom colors & effects for 5 different apps/games, easily with the driver software. However, since this is a non-standard feature, it doesn't play nice with KVM switches. If I plug this into the keyboard port on a KVM, the keyboard works, but I lose the extra features like the application detection or custom keys. If I plug it into the KVM's USB hub, I get all that back, but then I lose the hot-key switching ability; it's an either-or situation. I contacted Roccat and they don't have a solution for this and do not support KVMs. If you're only using it on a single computer, then you're set; the features work great.
As for the keyboard itself, it does feel a bit cheap, unlike Roccat's mice, which feel great. It has an enormous wrist rest on the front, which I find very annoying; I prefer the space bar to be only an inch or two from the front edge so I can keep the keyboard closer to the edge of the desk, but with this, even with if overhanging the edge of the desk, the keys are still about three inches further away. The wrist rest is also not cushioned in any way; it's a rough textures styrene plastic, and it's not removable; it's the same piece as the entire top of the keyboard casing. It's not rounded, and those angles you see in the photos are pretty sharp, and my forearms are already getting irritated by them.
The keys are also on the cheap side. I've been using a Logitech wireless keyboard for the past 13 years, and while its keys are not the mechanical grails they could be (they press against a membrane inside), they do move quite nice. The Isku keys feel more like what you'd find on a toy keyboard, and are not ergonomic in any way; there's no curve difference between rows, so every key feels the same, except the F and the J. This is not a keyboard for writing, and without the curved tops (these key tops are all perfectly aligned with one another, making the keyboard very flat), I don't see how this would be a great gaming keyboard either. I'm a bit ticked that a keyboard in this price range has such cheap keys, when a $20 (or less) Logitech has such better keys.
After a couple weeks with this, even though it's a nice looking keyboard, I'm starting to wish I went with their next model up which uses Cherry keys (arguably, the best keys you can get), or a more basic, illuminated keyboard like the Deck (which also uses Cherry keys).
I got this based on my experience with their Kone mouse, which is a really nice mouse (but apparently also has KVM trouble).