When it comes to gaming keyboards there are dozens upon dozens of various keyboards that claim to be for gaming and claim to sport some of the best technology out there. The truth of the matter is, many of them simply opt for a cheap and flashy design that ultimately isn’t any more functional or useful than the next gaming keyboard. Thermaltake has gone out and attempted to remedy this issue by creating an entire line of gaming keyboards based off of their Tt eSPORTS
series of gaming products. In the case of today’s keyboard Thermaltake created the MEKA G1 which is a mechanical gaming keyboard which in theory makes it good for gaming as well as typing. They’ve also released a gaming mouse pad to make gaming easier for those that don’t have smooth surfaces to game on, or prefer a softer surface for gaming. As such, today, we’re taking a look at a Tt eSPORTS (by Thermaltake) Combo of the MEKA G1 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
and the Dasher Gaming Mouse Pad
. We’re going to evaluate their effectiveness as gaming peripherals and determine if they’re worth getting.Key Technologies
On the Thermaltake MEKA G1
, the extra connectors route the audio directly to the PC, and the extra USB output allows the USB ports on the keyboard to have sufficient power to be consistently effective. Also, using the PS/2 adapter rather than using straight USB allows the keyboard to bypass the USB controller when reporting key presses. This is because on USB ports, polling rates affect the frequency at which the CPU checks the device for a change in status. This is significant because it can be delayed by other programs taking up CPU resources. Using PS/2 however, requires no polling, as it applies a hardware interrupt which instantly reports key presses without wasting CPU resources, although the difference between a PS/2 and USB connection is negligible at best. PS/2 also provides the benefit of when there are issues with the USB drivers and the keyboard then becomes useless and one must search for a PS/2 keyboard. Having a keyboard that does both is definitely helpful.
Also, most keyboards that interface using a USB port would limit the keyboard to only being able to report six key presses at any given moment, while going through a PS/2 port allows for an unlimited amount (this is known as Key Rollover).
Another noticeable aspect of the keyboard is the type of mechanical switches it uses. Not all mechanical keyboards will feel/act/respond the same. There are five types of switches made by Cherry (which is the most widely used manufacturer of mechanical keyboard switches).
There are Black switches which are considered ideal for gaming. This is because they have a smooth and linear key press. A very small amount of force is enough to register a key press, and since there is no “clicky” feel, it allows the user to very easily and quickly double tap keys.
Blue switches are almost the exact opposite of the Black. They require the user to completely depress the key in order to register the key press. However, there is a very satisfying and distinct click when the key has been fully depressed, which makes for very accurate typing (no accidental presses). Blue switches are considered ideal for typing, although some people enjoy gaming with them. However, due to their tactile/clicky nature, it becomes difficult to easily/effectively double tap keys, and the time required for a full press may slow down gamers.
Although the Black and Blue switches are the most common, there are still three other switches produced by Cherry.
The Brown switches are considered a middle ground between the Black and Blue switches. They have a tactile feel, but no click like the Blue switches. The tactile feedback occurs about halfway down to let the user know the key press has registered.
Clear switches are very similar to the Brown switches, although many people consider them to have a stiffer feel and have a more distinct tactile feel. However, Clear switches are rather uncommon and difficult to find.
Red switches are essentially a lighter version of the Black switches. However, they are extremely rare, and were at one point listed as out of production although some sources say Cherry has begun production of them again. Keyboard enthusiasts can create the same feel/performance of a Red switch by combining a spring from a Blue or Brown switch with the stem of a Black switch. The Red switches are less popular than the Black because there is so little pressure required to register a key press that most typists often hit keys accidentally.
For more information about mechanical keyboard switches, click here
The MEKA G1 is equipped with Black switches which have proven to be highly effective and responsive for gaming.
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