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XArmor U9BL-S My first mechancial keyboard (with a few bugs)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi folks! I wanted to both review my experience with my new XArmor U9BL-S and maybe solicit a bit of help at the same time. ^.^

First, let me thank you guys for introducing me with the basics on mechanical keyboards. Every search I performed lead back to that sticky post on top!

Some positive notes:
This keyboard is unlike any rubber dome keyboard that I've used in the past. I don't get that cheap feeling plastic creaking after I bottom out a key and then press harder. These cherry MX brown switches feel so controlled and light. I don't need to bang on each key like other keyboards. The letters actuate noticeably faster; I find that when playing StarCraft II, I would give a hotkey command just milliseconds second before I select the unit to give it to because I'm used to the key not actuating until it bottoms out. This is a good problem to have and I look forward to playing that much faster once I get used to it!

Some cons:
The font is noticeably misaligned on the keys. For instance, the 9 character is printed at least a millimeter higher than the 0 character on the adjacent key. Shown here:
http://i.imgur.com/ay7YL.jpg

The space bar touches and hooks onto the right alt button such that hitting the space bar also actuates the right alt key. I had to file them both down so that I can hit the space independently of the alt key. Then I raised the Alt key just a couple millimeters above where it normally rests so that it always sits above the space bar.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgZi_n9903Y"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgZi_n9903Y[/ame]

The scroll lock key will not actuate when connected to my work laptop in it's docking station. Every other keyboard does. I understand that the scroll lock key isn't used often nowadays, and may not have been fully tested before this went out the door. After some trial and error, I noticed that holding down SL, hitting a combination of any 2 arrow keys, releasing SL and then hitting SL one more time actuates the SL key.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQpmTyOcb8Q&feature=related"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQpmTyOcb8Q&feature=related[/ame]

When hooked up to my desktop computer, this keyboard only registers with the device manager half the time. To resolve it, I have to plug in a second keyboard into the USB port, restart the computer, then plug this XArmor keyboard back in. XArmor tech support says it's because of the motherboard. All my other PS/2 keyboards work without a problem. I have reset the CMOS, updated bios, and reinstalled windows without success. I ended up using the PS/2 to USB adapter and had to forgo N-key rollover and interrupt based typing.

Conclusion:
I have figured out workarounds for defects that should not exist on a such a keyboard. If anyone knows a better solution to any of my cons, please let me know! With these workarounds in place, this keyboard is a great tool. I will add that typing on this keyboard as I'm doing now is a zen feeling. However, I'm not sure what percentage of that is due to the switches themselves vs the entire keyboard package.
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post #2 of 11
There is alot of dislike of this keyboard over at geekhack mainly because of those reasons that you listed above, their quality control is still pretty miserable based on your review. Can I ask you when you purchased this keyboard? As well as pictures of the serial? They have noted that certain batches of these keyboards have specific issues. And that feeling is definately the mx browns and their keycaps =) they feel great.
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post #3 of 11
Sounds like what I hear a lot about XArmor QC (along with what I experienced myself). They make a very attractive package in terms of price and features, but the quality doesn't seem to live up to what they promise frown.gif
post #4 of 11
Which motherboard is this with the flaky PS/2 port?
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post #5 of 11
Did you also notice that the backlight did not turn off when you shutdown your system..... AND the backlight would turn off when you booted?
Once again...
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post #6 of 11
Seeing any difference in the world of PS/2 interrupt based typing and good old packet based USB typing?
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekw808;13572655 
Can I ask you when you purchased this keyboard? As well as pictures of the serial? They have noted that certain batches of these keyboards have specific issues.

Two weeks ago from EuroGeek via Amazon. Is the serial on the back? Which batches of keyboards? Could you link me please?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripster;13573780 
Which motherboard is this with the flaky PS/2 port?

MSI X58 Platinum - 3.9 BIOS
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo;13573812 
Did you also notice that the backlight did not turn off when you shutdown your system..... AND the backlight would turn off when you booted?

That's something that I'll have to check after work. I noticed that in the instances where it started working again, the numlock didn't light up by default as is normal. And when the keyboard wasn't detected, the numlock did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripster;13575273 
Seeing any difference in the world of PS/2 interrupt based typing and good old packet based USB typing?

I can't imagine that there would be any "noticeable" difference. Any improvements would likely just be in my head. But that's where I tend to spend my time. ^.^

Oh, here's a weird thing. I noticed that if I "restart" my computer, the keyboard doesn't register with windows device manager but if I shutdown and power on again, it works! (Windows 7 x64 SP1 btw)
Edited by Zii - 5/20/11 at 11:13am
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Roo
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post #8 of 11
Yeah, that restart thing is a well known behavior.

Interesting it wasn't an Asus motherboard though. Or even a P8 chipset.

I think PS/2 is on it's last legs.
Edited by ripster - 5/20/11 at 3:09pm
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripster;13576882 
Yeah, that restart thing is a well known behavior. In my link above.

Interesting it wasn't an Asus motherboard though. Or even a P8 chipset.

I think PS/2 is on it's last legs.

I see what you mean:

http://www.overclock.net/keyboards/491752-mechanical-keyboard-guide-1154.html#post12732942

Now to use my google-fu to force Win7 to load ps2 drivers.
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Roo
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80GB Intel x25-m & 7x 2TB Samsung Spinpoint F4 BluRay&HDDVD Reader/DVD writer w/Lightscribe Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 3x 24" Viewsonic 
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo;13573812 
Did you also notice that the backlight did not turn off when you shutdown your system..... AND the backlight would turn off when you booted?

Nope, the backlight always turns off right when windows exits.
Roo
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 MSI X58 Platinum CrossFire MSI 5850 Twin Frozr II 6GB STT 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
80GB Intel x25-m & 7x 2TB Samsung Spinpoint F4 BluRay&HDDVD Reader/DVD writer w/Lightscribe Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 3x 24" Viewsonic 
KeyboardPowerMouse
XArmor U9BL-S Silencer 750 Quad MX518 
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Roo
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 MSI X58 Platinum CrossFire MSI 5850 Twin Frozr II 6GB STT 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
80GB Intel x25-m & 7x 2TB Samsung Spinpoint F4 BluRay&HDDVD Reader/DVD writer w/Lightscribe Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 3x 24" Viewsonic 
KeyboardPowerMouse
XArmor U9BL-S Silencer 750 Quad MX518 
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