Pros: Good build quality (plate mounted, heavy), Will not slide around, Cherry MX Black ( could be con )
Cons: Terrible key-cap printing, Keys fade after a few days of use, Cherry MX Black ( could be pro )
They're cherry MX black switches, they are linear switches and they don't have a tactile feel when depressed. The amount of mass that is needed to depress the keys is given to be about 60 grams. How significant is this? The switches will definitely take some getting used to, that's for sure. If you're using this keyboard for your employment (say you're a programmer, like myself) and you have to write lines of codes or labs/essays (if you're a university student) this keyboard will tire out your hands in no time. As there is no tactile feedback, it is sometimes difficult to recognize if you've depressed a key or not and mistakes are imminent.
This isn't what they keyboard is meant for though, and it's not going to contribute to a negative score for this review. The board is meant for gaming, and it's not bad for it. I think it really depends on what type of game you're playing, though. For games where screwing up a key press for clutch situations is a main part of the gameplay (say, league of legends), this keyboard might not be the best. That's because you don't feel any tactile feedback for pressing the keys, and might not recognize that you've pressed (or haven't pressed) them. Of course, bottoming out the keys will smack against the bottom of the key depression and you will hear the noise resulting from that, but your hands will get SORE if you depress these keys fully all the time, even when gaming.
For these reasons, the switches involved in the keyboard get a 7.5/10. This is a completely opinion based matter, so if you're a fan of the black keys then obviously these cons shouldn't be an issue for you.
This keyboard has some serious build quality. It's a very heavy keyboard, it definitely won't slide around your desk. It should be noted that the elevation of the keyboard can't be changed, but this shouldn't be an issue because it is already slightly elevated by two platforms on the top left and right corners of the keyboard. The keyboard is plate mounted, which contributes to most of the weight.
Not much to be said, it looks like a brick and it defnitely feels like one too. You will see nothing fancy here, it doesn't look bad, but it's not something that should be marveled either. For ~140$, you can make up your mind whether or not this is good or bad. For me, it's mediocre.
While for a regular membrane keyboard you might not consider this much of an issue, this is pretty important for a mechanical keyboard. Enthusiasts will spend upwards of 60$ for custom made keycaps to conform to their needs. This is where the keyboard takes a bit of a dive. After two days of use, YES, two days, the keycaps already started to fade away. Why, you ask? Well it's because of the way they're put on the keyboard. Steelseries uses a form of laser etching, that without going through too much detail, attracts dirt like a magnet.
- Black keys
- White print that attracts dirt
It is virtually impossible to get this dirt off once it soaks into the key-printing. That makes for a pretty disgusting looking keyboard after just a few weeks of use. Why they would put such cheap key-printing on an otherwise decent keyboard is beyond my comprehension, but they did it. This is something that angers me; I pay significant money for a product that sits on my desk and is in my view all day, it should retain it's aesthetics for at least a year, let alone two days.
Regardless, you will find issues with this keyboards keycaps, my prediction is that after a years time the majority of the keys that are used a lot will barely be visible.
Due to these factors, the keycaps get a 2/10.
The total score is a 24/40 (60%)