As we have noted in recent reviews, the popular Asian brand Tesoro has been expanding into the North American market. One of Tesoro’s major product offerings that is now competing with established North American brands is its keyboard selection. With PAX South hours away, Tesoro has given us a sneak peak of their new keyboards: the Excalibur Spectrum and Lobera Spectrum.

In months past, we’ve covered Cougar’s continued foray into the gaming-oriented keyboard market, one example being the mechanical 600k. Cougar now seems to be targeting the more budget-minded gamers with their most recent release, the 200k.

We opened CES 2015 with a tour of MSI’s gaming suite, home to the company’s new monstrosity of a gaming laptop: The GT80 Titan. Among new video cards, unique docking stations, and accessories, MSI’s most interesting product for 2015 is its unholy fusion between a mechanical keyboard and an 18” notebook. The GT80 SLI Titan is the world’s first gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard, bolstered further by SLI GTX 980M GPUs.

ibm-backplateIBM Model M metal backplate. Source: Geek Hack.

One of the reasons the IBM Model M – one the most widely-used original mechanical keyboards – is regarded so highly is its high, durable build quality. The durability stems from its steel backplate, used for mounting the mechanical switches; similarly, high-end mechanical keyboards of today often use metal backplates for switch mounting. While metal backplate mounting is widespread in mechanical keyboards, other materials -- such as plastic and PCB -- are also used to mount switches, with each having their own advantages.

Today, we’re looking at keyboard backplates and comparing metal vs. plastic and PCB options.

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The mechanical keyboard market has become overwhelmingly competitive due to the multitude of manufacturers releasing their own product lines. Every case manufacturer on the market, more or less, has now produced some sort of peripheral; they’re all trying to get in on it. Sticking out in such a crowded market can be a challenge.

That being said, case & cooler manufacturer Cougar seems to be resolute about making a name for itself in the gaming-oriented keyboard market.

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Continuing this weekend's trend of consumerism, “Cyber Monday” sees the introduction of several more PC hardware and video game sales. Note well that, despite banners on retail websites, sales at this point in the year will remain a constant until the final days before the 25th. Most shockingly, we found a $160 R9 280 3GB GPU, $870 Y50 gaming laptop, 480GB SSD for $180, cases / coolers, CPUs, and a 49" HDTV.

These buyer's guides we've published may provide further assistance, in the event the below (active) sales do not contain what you're after:

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Back when computers were becoming commonplace in business, mechanical keyboards such as the IBM Model M, were common. The Model M uses springs that buckle under pressure to complete a circuit, allowing for a letter to be typed. For the way the springs function, they are aptly named “buckling springs.”

Then, the rubber dome was invented.

The rubber dome is literally a dome of rubber that, when depressed, completes a circuit and causes a letter to be typed. While these seem to be very similar, they differ substantially in feel and design. Buckling springs allow for faster, more tactile and loud clicky-clack typing. Despite the advantages of a buckling spring, rubber domes are much cheaper to produce, so now rubber domes are by far the most common switch used in keyboards.

It's rare that we see innovation where suppliers already dominate a market. Keyboard switches are one such market: Cherry undoubtedly boasts the largest foothold with its colored MX switches, with Kailh grasping at part of that western stronghold. Most major keyboard manufacturers source switches from one of these two companies, including Thermaltake for its Poseidon Z (Kailh) and Rosewill for its Apollo (Cherry). Logitech decided to stray from these solutions, though it has made use of Cherry in the past.

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We discussed Logitech's new “Romer G” switch solution in full detail at PAX Prime this year. The company invested in development of the new “Romer G” switch that debuted in the G910 mechanical keyboard we're reviewing today, primarily boasting greater endurance. Romer G switches have a shorter actuation depth (quicker key presses), a more damped feel, and a large, centrally-positioned gap for brighter LEDs that are magnified by a lens. Most switches host some sort of plastic or spring hardware centrally, constricting space for an LED (though Corsair came up with its own solution).

In this review of Logitech's G910 RGB mechanical keyboard, we'll look at the Romer G switch tech, specs, backlight programming, and overall quality.

Tucked away in a suite just outside the bustling convention center streets of PAX Prime, we met with Logitech to discuss the introduction of their new “Romer-G” mechanical keyboard switch. Logitech's G910 “Orion Spark” RGB mechanical keyboard spec includes the Romer-G switch, a decisive split from the industry's Cherry MX and Kailh obsession. The G910 is Logitech's first keyboard to feature the updated switches and aims to compete with other RGB boards on the market.

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The new switches make several noteworthy steps away from what we're used to in Kailh and Cherry MX, with each tweak primarily around typing precision, switch endurance, and feel.

We didn't feature a Weekend Sales Roundup last week due to the greatness that was PAX. If you missed our PAX coverage, then go back and read our first-hand looks at various hardware components and games over here. This week we have a mid-tower case for $70, a mechanical keyboard for $100, a 500W PSU for $30, and a GTX 780 for $450. Keep posted to our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts for more sales, articles, and builds as quickly as we can get them to you.

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