I went out and bought the Saitek Eclipse keyboard today, to replace my Logitech UltraX keyboard. In a keyboard, I want a few things:
- Full, standard layout, no silly rearrangement of PgUp/Dn, Del, Ins, Home, End etc
- A standard Enter key
- Few if any “media buttons”
- Comfortable typing
- Finally, because this is used with a laptop, an USB connector
It turns out finding a keyboard that matches these specs wasn’t that easy. The UltraX has a brilliant key layout, but it’s so thin – the key travel is almost non-existant. Like a laptop keyboard, only less sensitive and more noisy.
Most “standard” keyboards are both cheap and decent, but they normally feature PS/2 connectors, and the PS/2 -> USB converter is an expensive piece of kit (about 400 NOK or 60$). Thus, I was stuck with a selection of “media keyboards” with an abundance of extra buttons and weird key placement.
Eventually I decided to go for the Eclipse. It’s got a good key layout, the only extra buttons are increase/decrease volume, mute, and light setting. It’s got a blue backlight, which looks OK and… shocker coming up here: Enables you to type in the dark. Even if you don’t know your way around your keyboard without looking at it ;) Fortunately, the light setting button can turn off the light or dim it, which is very handy.
Key travel and sensitivity is nice. The space button is larger than normal, but that is no hindrance. The wrist rest is adjustable – it can be extended towards you. I found this immediately useful.
To conclude, after using it for a short while, I like this keyboard. However, if you can live with PS/2 and all you need is a decent keyboard, it’s obviously just as good to go with a good OEM type standard keyboard. If you do need the USB connector, find backlighting a nice feature, want a quality keyboard without a billion extra buttons you never use and think spending ~500 NOK (roughly 50$ I believe) is OK, this could be for you.