Gaming Keyboards – Why Are They Confusing?

What is a gaming keyboard?

Firstly, what we need to look at is what do the words “gaming keyboard” actually mean. Well I will tell you that it is exactly what you think it is. It is a keyboard for gaming. Now with most people it stops there because they think that just because it is a gaming keyboard it can only be used for gaming and nothing else. They don’t realise that a gaming keyboard can be used for much more than just gaming. So this article is aimed at giving some advice in regards to choosing the right gaming keyboard for you. I remember my first programmable gaming keyboard (the Logitech G15) and how I struggled with it. The only reason why I wanted it, was because it was the best on the market at the time and I felt for that reason I needed to own one. I had absolutely no idea what to do with it or what I was going to use it for. I did however, almost add another feature to it’s already impressive list of pre-installed features by illustrating just how effective the keyboard can be in a game of cricket or anything involving a bat. It really irritated me because I did not need it for all the functions and because they were there, I felt I had to use them all. I did use them all in the end, but that was only because I advanced my game play and in doing so required more functions out of the keyboard.

So let’s take a look at some of the aspects that we will have to deal with when looking at gaming keyboards.

The features installed on a gaming keyboard and what they actually do
The terminology used in gaming keyboards
What are the best types of gaming keyboards
How do we know which is the right type of gaming keyboard for us

Now many people are already gamers, serious or not and know exactly what the features are and what they can do. But there are as many people out there that don’t know what the features are supposed to do and whether the features are in fact what they actually need. So I have put together a list of the features that you will find on gaming keyboards and below I will explain each one of them more clearly.

Here is a list of the features that you will find installed on gaming keyboards. I would like to add, that not every gaming keyboard has all of the features mentioned below installed on them at the same time.

LCD Display screen
Programmable G-keys (for macros and macros on the fly)
Back Lighting
Anti-Ghosting
In game mode switch
Media controls
Detachable Key Pad
High Speed USB Ports
Automatic Profile Switching
Cruise Control

Now as we can see there are many features that you will find installed on a gaming keyboard, but the important thing now is to know what they can do and when to use them. Let’s take a closer look at the features and see how they can be used for gaming but also for outside of gaming.

The LCD Display screen is a screen at the top of the keyboard (typically in the middle) which displays a host of information to you during game play. An example of the information displayed is; vital game statistics, system statistics, VOIP communication data and you can even see what server your friends are playing certain games on, such as World of Warcraft. You can also watch photo slide shows on the screen as well as YouTube videos (this feature is only on the Logitech G19). So there we can see how good the LCD screen is. Outside of gaming you can still see system statistics displayed, but only on the Logitech G19 can you watch videos and photo slide shows.

Programmable G-Keys (or game keys) are keys that can be programmed to execute certain commands. You can program multiple keys to be executed with a single keypress. So in other words, if you have a command which you would like to execute but it has more than one keystroke required then you would program a G-key to perform all those keypresses for you. Now this is vital in game playing, especially in strategy and role-playing games. But programmable keys can also be used in everyday computing. I own the Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard and I use the programmable key feature to program my passwords and small snippets of text which is normally login information. This is a great feature for those that work with databases or anything where numerous logins are required. It is also good for designers and editors where numerous keypresses are sometimes required.

Back Lighting is a really cool feature. This is standard on all gaming keyboards irrespective of all the other features mentioned above. Basically what this feature does is illuminate the keys from underneath. There are typically three levels of brightness for the back lighting, however all though back lighting is standard on gaming keyboards not all of them have the same colours or as many colours as others do. The Logitech G19 and G510 are gaming keyboards with a host of different colours, whereas others have only three or just one. This is not only good for gaming especially if games are played in low lighted or even dark areas, but also a great asset to changing the style of your workstation. There are people out there that just want a new look for their workstation and backlit keyboards do the trick.

Anti-Ghosting is a feature whereby missed keypresses are in fact actually recorded and not voided. This happens with multiple keypresses albeit not frequently but without anti-ghosting the keypresses won’t be recognized.

In game mode switch is a feature which disables the Windows/Context key during gameplay, so you don’t accidentally get kicked out of your game. Which I am sure has happened to all of us at some point.

Media controls, this feature is great as you can control volume, playback and mute from the keyboard itself. This feature works for headsets that are connected to the keyboard and also for the sound emitting from the computer itself. So there is no need to find the controls on the screen if you want to quickly turn down the volume.

Detachable Key Pad. This is also a really neat feature as you can move the keypad to either the left or the right side, depending which hand you are more comfortable using for operating. Again, this feature is another feature you can use outside of gaming.

High Speed USB Ports are a great advantage as you can Plug and Play with comfort. Also through this feature you can transfer data between devices, such as MP3 Players and Flash Drives and you can do all this while charging your devices that are battery-powered. Another great feature that can be used outside of gaming.

Automatic Profile Switching is a feature that allows you to automatically or manually change the profile you are in or want to be in. With the automatic function, the keyboard detects the application you are running and automatically applies the profile that you previously set for that application. Really cool feature especially if you like to play in different modes (Microsoft Sidewinder X6 had this feature).

The cruise control feature is also a really handy feature to have as it allows you to continue an action without having to hold down all the different keys required to perform the action. You can even use the cruise control function for up to four keypresses (installed on the Microsoft Sidewinder X6)

So as we can see all the features that are installed on a gaming keyboard can also be used for everyday computing, although the obvious design factor was initially for gamers in the first place. Another thing we must look at is the structural design of the keyboard. First thing we will notice is that some of the keyboards are slightly bulkier than a standard keyboard. Now this is to be expected as the keyboard itself houses more keys, requires more space for electrical components and other hardware utilities that are required for game play. But what is also great about the design of gaming keyboards, is that they are designed for ergonomic purposes. This is because gamers spend a lot of time in front of their keyboards and they are more prone to wrist, arm and hand discomfort than users of a standard keyboard. So the idea behind ergonomically designed gaming keyboards is to install some features that will reduce the risk of wrist discomfort overall. These features include; detachable and adjustable wrist wrest, keyboards with zero slope designs, different keyboard feet lengths for effective raising or lowering of keyboards for comfort and also keys that can accommodate softer keypresses.

Now I am not sure how familiar you are with the terminology that is used in the gaming keyboard field, but below is a list words that you will come across with regards to gaming keyboards.

WSAD – This is the four keys that you use to control movement which is typically your W, S, A & D keys.

ANTI-GHOSTING – Typically in a standard keyboard (or dome switch keyboard), the design is in such a way that the keyboard uses columns and rows of wires. Through this design the results that occur can be inaccurate when lots of keys are pressed at once. When this happens the dropped keys become “ghosts”. With keyboards that have anti-ghosting capabilities, they use a small dab of carbon at each switch site to prevent the contact of the keys from shorting the rows or columns of wires. In doing so, this allows the keyboard to decode each key press separately.

MACROS – A macro is a collection of operations and property values that can be applied to an existing visualization or visualizations. So in other words macros are not linked to the objects or visualizations to which they are applied but when they are used, the operations or property settings will be applied to the objects currently selected. This means that property settings can be applied to multiple visualization types, unlike property settings in styles.

OPTICAL – Optical is basically a device used for producing or controlling light. So if you took an optical mouse for example, it would be a mouse that produces light and in doing so uses the light to register it’s movement on your computer.

ULTRA POLLING – Ultra-polling in gaming mice increases the amount of times the firmware on a mouse reports it’s tracking data to the computer to 1ms (1000hz). In doing so, it reduces the interval between each transmission of movement calculations and therefore giving the cursor on the screen a smoother and more precise feel with increased responsiveness.

HYPER RESPONSE – On a hyper response button, there are two stages that go into the development of the button. This is basically to ensure that it can always be actuated no matter where it is pressed and also how quickly is it pressed. So therefore if you don’t completely press down on a button or don’t press hard enough, the button will still actuate and you will not lose response time.

ON-THE-FLY – This is basically just when you doing something in a hurry or to create something quickly when needed.

G-KEYS – These are basically game keys. The keys that you can program with macros.

ERGONOMICS – This is basically a study to see how things interact with the human body. So if you were to take a pen for example; holding it for long periods of time and writing with it could eventually cause discomfort to the hand and wrist. By making the design of the pen more ergonomically, it would allow for long periods of use without causing discomfort. This study is applied to everything that interacts or can interact with the human body

Now the only answer I can give you about which gaming keyboard is the best is simple. It depends entirely on what you want to use the keyboard for. The industry is lead to believe the Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard is the best on the market and to a certain degree it is. It has all the features that other keyboards have but more advanced and it is designed with serious gamers in mind, therefore lending itself to being classed as the best gaming keyboard ever. But in my opinion a gaming keyboard, or anything for that matter is only as good as what you need it for. If you don’t need it for a lot of things then don’t buy one that can do everything.

With regards to what gaming keyboard is best for you, well again that depends on what you want out of it. If you are a novice gamer with little experience with programmable keyboards, then it is probably better to take a gaming keyboard with either no programmable keys or a keyboard with a limited number of programmable keys. However in saying that, many of the gaming keyboards have really good instruction manuals and CDs. But again, if you only need a few keys that can be programmed then don’t buy a gaming keyboard with massive amounts of programmable options. So it all boils down to what you need it for. If you take the time to think clearly about what will you want to get from a gaming keyboard and read all the reviews on the different types of gaming keyboards, then your decision won’t be wrong.

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Gaming Keyboard Review

Gaming keyboards are pretty special and come packed with extra or premium features which set them apart from their standard brethren. This article will also talk about some of the parts of the gaming keyboard that make them different from their normal counterparts and well as address some of the best models on the market.

A gaming keyboard has the following uses:

These keyboards are built with durable materials which make them to be robust. A robust keyboard will easily handle intense hammering. A low quality keyboard will be worn out easily by intense hammering. Gaming keyboards do also have programmable keys. Keyboards with programmable keys can comfortably be used for playing different games. In such keyboards, the keys can be programmed to be suitable for a particular game and when the game is over the keys can be returned back to the QWERTY format.

Because games are normally played in dark environments, the gaming input devices usually have built-in LED lights. Gamers will enjoy playing games using keyboards designed for games as these keyboards usually have ergonomic designs that facilitate top comfort during the gaming process. Plus, the built-in lights will help you never miss that vital keystroke which will save the day and possibly save the raid.

Different people have different opinions concerning the best gaming keyboard. Reviewed below are just but some of the highly rated keyboards available at reasonable prices. One of the top rated keyboards is called Logitech G15. This top rated keyboard not only has comfortable keys but it also has LED lights that make it easy to see the keys in dark environments. The Logitech keyboard can be programmed from an LCD display located at the top most part of the keyboard. Some gamers find this keyboard to be expensive. The price of this keyboard is around $100. Some gamers also criticize this keyboard for lacking an USB input.

The Saitex Cyborg is the latest brand available in online and offline shops. This functional keyboard is manufactured by a company called Saitex. The Cyborg has 12 function keys on its left side and also on its right side. This keyboard also has touch sensitive controls and LED lights for lighting the keys. The most used keys like the space bar are specially reinforced to withstand the abuse of long gaming sessions. Found in this keyboard is also a sound card and a USB input. Some gamers have raised concerns about the weight of this keyboard. This keyboard is considered by many to be bulky. The retail price of the Cyborg is around $80.

The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 is another gaming keyboard with positive reviews. This well designed keyboard has quite a number of programmable keys and retails at around $60. The affordable price of this keyboard makes it one of the most competitively priced keyboards for gaming available in the market. The best gaming keyboard is the one that is comfortable to use and available at an affordable price.

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Top Gaming Keyboards Have Become Vitally Important in Online Games

Gaming has turned into a preferred routine for a lot of people. Probably the most common type is playing games on a PC. Over the past few years many top games happen to be playable on the net and on a laptop computer or home PC. This provides yet one more dimension and option of online gaming for anyone. One of the required gear for this is a keyboard. A gamer keyboard is sort of a normal key-board which enables consumers to use it to experience certain game titles with a personal computer. These types of computer keyboard are specifically designed to manage PC games and enable folks to more efficiently perform their actions when gaming on the PC.

As with the majority of other products, a keyboard comes in many varieties and styles. A proven way to identify which PC keyboard is best in your case is to go over reviews of gamer keyboards. By reading over these evaluations, you’ll be capable to find the one that’s best suited for your demands. The reviews also mention countless attributes and benefits of each keyboard so that you can learn all about what to search for when buying one. User reviews of keyboards for games are the very first source to check out when looking to buy a gaming keyboard.

One of the finest models of keyboards are manufactured by Microsoft. The SideWinder X6 is one that might have less capabilities compared to the Logitech models, however it’s got some unique functions that make it advantageous. A Microsoft keyboard includes a completely detachable numeric pad that allows for simpler access to your computer mouse. The keys of a Microsoft keyboard are large so they will furthermore reduce your typing mistakes. A Microsoft gaming keyboard also provides management of up to 90 macro combinations so you’ll get a significant advantage when playing on a Desktop. When having a Microsoft gamer keyboard, you likewise have a continuous actionkey that operate the functionality of any other key that you use when you touch the pair together. This enables for quicker functionality and efficiency. VLC and iTunes can also be managed with the Microsoft gaming. Using a Microsoft gaming keyboard is an excellent choice for PC game play especially for video games like Warcraft.

Yet another popular model based on countless keyboard reviews is almost any Logitech keyboard. Logitech is possibly the finest maker of keyboards for gaming. The Logitech G19 in particular is the best model built by Logitech. The Logitech model includes quite a few useful and progressive capabilities which can help you perform at your very best in games such as Warcraft. A Logitech keyboard has a keys backlight that allows it to be personalized with several different hues as wanted. Utilizing a Logitech keyboard you’ll get around 36 macros along with having the ability to turn off the contextual menu. This enables for the prevention of interferences when you’re playing a computer game such as Warcraft. If you are into FPS and RPG video games, Logitech’s gaming keyboard is the very best for these particular kinds of games. A Logitech keyboard also features numerous USB connectors which permit consumers to attach extra hardware to the keyboard and Personal computer.

In accordance to the numerous keyboard for games ratings the two very best are produced by Logitech and Microsoft. The numerous gaming key-board ratings demonstrate that these gaming keyboards are great for all kinds of video game titles. Even so one game in particular is best suited for keyboards based on the gaming keyboard reviews and that’s Warcraft. This video game is a RPG game that’s quite popular and frequently played on a Computer. To experience the best performance in WoW, you will need the best keyboard.

A wireless gaming keyboard offers you a bonus when playing online games. Gaming keyboard reviews will provide you with all the info you’ll need to assist you determine which keyboard is right for your needs.

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