Saitek is not the first company to launch a device that is supposed to replace the keyboard for gamers. Belkin has offered the Nostromo Speedpads for some time and some of you might remember the Claw from Australia. However, the Pro Gamer Command Unit – PGCU for short in this review - differs from the above by having more keys – backlit ones at that – while also being extremely customisable and it’s got a mini hat switch.
Let’s start with the keys; there are no less than 21 of them, although the 21st is a shift key that allows for two functions per button. The silver coloured keys are backlit and seem like they’ve almost been borrowed from the Eclipse Keyboard. As with the Eclipse the keys are actually made from clear plastic and have been given a coating of silver paint. This means that the numbers on the keys are lit through by the backlight, which makes them easier to see in the dark. However, this only applies to key 1-14, the rest aren’t backlit. Keys 2, 5, 6 and 7 have the W, A, S, D and arrow key directions printed on them. I would have liked some kind of a notch on one of them to make it easy to locate them without having to look at the PGCU.
For once your thumb will end up doing more than just hitting the space bar as the PGCU has two thumb buttons, as well as that mini hat switch to make you work your thumb muscles. Saitek is the master of adjustable joysticks and some of that technology has gone into the PGCU. This means that the thumb pad can be moved in/out and be tilted from side to side. So depending on the size of your thumb and your personal preference the thumb pad can be adjusted for comfort and easy of use.
The palm rest has a blue LED in the top of it and a blue plastic stripe running down it which the LED lights up. This is also were the shift key is located and you press it with the palm of your hand. What I’d really liked to have seen here is an adjustable palm rest, as I found the angle and the distance between it and the keys to be slightly uncomfortable.