Only for the old-school, the Thermaltake MEKA G1 gaming keyboard is a traditionalist at heart, which could be to your advantage.
I’m not going to pretend that I remember how amazing the IBM Model M keyboard was. I know I used one for many years, but I’m of the emo-new-school-wimp variety who’s very happy with the squishy soft keyboards of today. However, there’s a school of thought — especially among pro gamers — that the Model M was the pinnacle of finger-banging goodness, and it’s this crowd that the Thermaltake MEKA G1 keyboard is hoping to lure.
The MEKA G1 is laid out identically to the old Model M, forgoing any fancy dedicated multimedia controls or glowing volume orbs in favour of a simple, clean layout. According to the MEKA G1, all we need are 12 good ol’ function keys and a numpad to keep us happy. It doesn’t even glow in the dark. The only nods to additional functionality are a headphone and microphone extension cable.
Instead of fluff, what you’re paying for is a keyboard based on mechanical switches; Cherry MX Black mechanical switches, to be precise. If you’re a world-dominating pro gamer with the reflexes of a cybernetic ninja, you’ll immediately notice the 1,000Hz polling rate of these switches.
This is actually noticeable under benchmarking — using PassMark Keyboard Test, the keys showed that they’re around five times as fast as a standard keyboard when it comes to hitting WASD. For those of us without superhuman reflexes, you’ll probably just notice that you need to press the keys much harder than usual. But, if you plan to use your keyboard well into the 22nd century, each key’s ability to handle up to 50 million keystrokes is probably also appealing.
If you often daydream about the way real keyboards used to feel, or absolutely require split-second reflexes in today’s games, you’ll probably love the MEKA G1’s uniquely heavy key presses. For the rest of us, like playing guitar, this thing looks cool but is actually quite painful to use on a regular basis.
Bennett RingAvailable from Thermaltake, retailing for $169
.APC rating: 7/10