You know what they say about buses? Well it appears that you can say the same about keyboards – and no I don’t mean the comment about backends.
Just a few weeks after the venerable old input device received a well overdue technological makeover in the form of the Optimus OLED, two other companies are at it.
Designed around the same illuminated theory, both devices show you don’t have to be in a fully lit room to have fun. First up, the Eclipse from Saitek (above) is a radical looking mother that uses semi transparent keys so that “cool blue” lighting can slip on through. Saitek says the approach has been fine tuned so that no blurring occurs, which we have to say is rather important because hitting “S” and running backwards when hitting “5” and switching to a rocket launcher or some such thing is only going to make you look like a sissy.
As for the styling, that’s just to enhance the sheer poser effect, which is a perfectly good enough reason in my book. Retailers will see the light immediately and if you give them £39.99 they may just let you have one.
Following it up is the Gaming K1 keyboard from Raptor. Out now (and costing a hefty £85 including VAT) its design is a little more old school, so will probably split customers between it and the Eclipse immediately. It also takes a different approach to the Eclipse simply using eight glow in the dark keytops so gamers can map out their control patterns, but – in essence – it should work much the same (unless you aspire to play flight sim in pitch blackness).
Like those glow in the dark stars we all had (if you didn’t you missed out big time), the keytops charge from any natural or artificial light source during the day then shine out when the moon comes to play. Should you be worried about hitting the non-illuminated keys, eight keylocks are supplied to… well, lock them.
Completing the K1’s old school appeal is the fact it is built on the chassis of a Cherry keyboard and has a 30 per cent shorter key stroke than normal. Once again, this has no doubt divided readers even more acutely between the two products, so I’ll not even try to recommend one above the other.
Anyway, if you’re up for a little night action (and to be fair, who isn’t?!) pick one of these up. On the other hand, you could just keep praying for the Optimus, but you’ll probably need a second mortgage and be in for a very long wait.