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Xoxide Black PS/2 Illuminated Keyboard: Everyone needs a gimmick. The question is, does the gimmick overshadow the usefulness? When it comes to glowing keyboards, perhaps so.

Date: October 13, 2003
Supplied By :
Written By:


As we know the keyboard is one of the most important peripherals for the computer. There are a lot of different brands, types and models out on the market. As more mods become commonplace, the peripheral gets more high tech as well. Everyone loves aesthetics as long as it doesn't increase the cost and affect the uesfulness of the product. Case windows, and CCFLs for example don't do anything to hurt the case, but it is an added cost. For some, the look they are after is worth the cost. What happens though, when we modify something we actually need to use on a daily basis?

Today we will be lookin at the . What is so special about it? Well it glows in the dark; a nice blue, EL light under the translucent keys shine out of the keyboard. Other than considering this cool look and style, we will be testing this unit for more for it's comfort and ease of use.

Specifications

Dimensions: 406x181x51mm
PS/2 Interface
99 keys
Mid-Size Keyboard
Translucent white keys
Blue EL wire lights up keys
Soft tactile feedback
On/Off switch to control light
Compatible with all Windows operating systems
Black PS/2 Illuminated Keyboard

When I received the keyboard it was packed in a rather plain box, with no stickers or labels on it. For 59$ US it would be nice to have the brand, model or some sort of graphics on the box but to my surprise there was nothing. Ahh well I guess this is not important to them, and to be honest, it wouldn't have really added anything of value anyways.

At a first glance the keyboard is very simple with no extra key functions. You won' find any fancy buttons like "Home", "Sleep", "Mail", etc. This keyboard is as basic as it gets, except for the translucent white keys.

Staying on topic about the aesthetics; I am sorry to say, but the black plastic that the keyboard is based simply looks cheap. Again, at 59$ US, you would have expected it would have something more fancy, like a gold plated shell. I suppose that since the keyboard glows in the dark, we won't see the black plastic in the dark.

Moving on to ergonomics, the first thing I checked for is "How do you adjust the height of the keyboard?" To my surprise I found out that there are no adjusting legs to change the height of the keyboard! I guess we'll have to get used to it the way it is. Since there is no height adjustment legs, at least the manufacturer had the foresight to add four pieces of rubber so it won't shift while you type.


The "feel" of the keyboard is one positive of this keyboard. The keyboard has the same feeling, shape and touch of a laptop keyboard. The keystrokes are also quieter than a laptop, but as with most laptop keyboards& the space bar is too small. You will find yourself accidently hitting the Alt and delete keys quite a bit. Another problem is it takes a while to figure out how much pressure to press down on the key to get a response. Sure, after some practice you will get used to it, but in the meantime... $@$!#!@#!@$%

For the lighting; you have an (on / off) switch which is really nice since you don't want this thing glowing when you don't need it to. You don't have to put it into an external power source either, as the PS2 port supplies the power needed. One thing to note. When the backlight is illuminated there is an annoying high pitch noise that comes from the keyboard. I suppose if you have a loud PC, this is no big deal, but if not, this will drive you crazy after hearing it for 15 minutes. (Ed. Note: I got disgusted with this high pitched whine almost immediately).

Despite the noise and all the inconvenience regarding the lack of adjustable height... in the dark the look of the EL light was really nice. The uniform blue light under the keys was really great match with my blue led PSU. Too bad the LED on the PSU is facing the back.

Final Words

If your striving to make your computer look more like a spaceship and you are not bothered by noise (deaf gamers, and bad musicians) I guess this keyboard would make you happy. If you are looking for comfort, usefulness and silence I don't think this keyboard is for you.

Despite the blue EL light, the small size (useful for tight spaces), and like the laptop style of keyboard, there really is nothing spectacular about this keyboard. I've tried really hard to find an upside, but I will not lie, stick with a more robust keyboard. It's a shame a more ergonomic (touch and sound) design wasn't used. because in the dark, this is a good looking keyboard.

If it had a nicer finish, adjustment legs for height, more responsive keys and a longer space bar, this keyboard would have had a place in my heart. Simply put, this product has been prematurely put out on the market before it was thoroughly tested and ready. For 59$ US, I'd rather go buy a MS or Logitech keyboard instead.

Pros: Nice blue light under the keypad, switch for on / off

Cons: Unresponsive keys, space bar is to short, noisy, cheap black finish, expensive.

Bottom Line: I think they should take this product back to the drawing board and get it redesigned. I'm sure that once they address these problems (and there are plenty) they will have a better keyboard on their hands.

If you got any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.

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