7 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 7 reviews of the Roccat Isku. Experts rate Roccat Isku 8.4/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Roccat Isku and Roccat Keyboards.
At the time of writing, the Isku FX is ROCCAT's range-topping keyboard. Appropriately it's packed to the gills with features and capabilities lesser keyboards tend to eschew. No, it's not a mechanical keyboard, but despite this is it still worth your hard-earned dollars? Read on and find out! Today I'm playing with something that's a little bit out of the ordinary. You see, your humble Techgage scribe here has been using mechanical keyboards almost exclusively for the last few years now. Only when I'm at my day job or when I'm on my laptop do I not use a mech. However, I promise you that I won't let my preference for mechs color my review. The ROCCAT Isku FX is a membrane keyboard with dome-type switches. It is currently the company's top-of-the-line gaming keyboard. Soon, that title will shift on over to the company's first mechanical, Ryos. As you can see, the Isku FX quite stylish. Especially noteworthy are its trapezoidal outline, its chiseled surfaces, and the glossy black finish on the chassis. The embossed ROCCAT logos in the middle of the integrated wrist rest also catch the eye, as does the satin finish on the keys and the textured matte finish of the aforementioned wrist rest.
There was a time when my de facto response for “which gaming keyboard should I buy” would've been something Razer-flavored—likely the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate ($140). Keyboard recommendations are serious business: You'll spend all of your work and play time hammering away at these slabs of plastic, and Razer's mechanical wares are solid, capable devices with excellent customization options—in spite of onerous software. Roccat's Isku FX gives me pause. It's a bit cheaper than most gaming keyboards at $90, and offers loads of programmable keys and on-the-fly macro recording. But the Isku FX's keys aren't mechanical, which accounts for the disparity in price. That's unfortunate—I'm a sucker for the clackity-clack of a cluster of Cherry MX Blue switches, and going back to comparatively soft membrane keys felt wrong, somehow. I got over it. The Isku FX's keys are comfortably sized and evenly spaced, so I had no trouble settling right in to work and play. The keys are backlit, and you can toggle the brightness and disable the annoying pulsing effect through Roccat's software.
Every once in a blue moon I'll be perusing the interwebs and I'll see a nifty ad that I'll actually click on. God forbid that I actually click on an ad with the chance that I might inadvertently install a virus that will eat my computers insides, BUT when that blue moon happens I set all care aside and do it anyways. During one of those very select times I saw an ad for a rather compelling keyboard made by this company that I've never heard of: Roccat Side note: Someone needs to let me know how to say this companies name… is it Row-cat, Rock- cat or Rocket? Either way, I heart the name. It makes your mind think and the logo is pretty kick ass to look at. I'm a big corporate logo nerd and I love the thought and design that goes into a cool name/logo. Back to my epic ad story; after clicking on the ad I was transported to a black and blue world of epic gaming peripherals. After flipping through a couple of the very sexy products it took me about negative 4 seconds to message Bob via Facebook and say, “You need to get products from this company called Roccat”. He replied instantly with something that made me quite happy, “They're already on their way, a keyboard and mouse.”
The ROCCAT Isku combines flash with features. It's got a nice color scheme and the product's description claims it is “the world's smartest gaming engineering”, but will the actual product deliver? For a keyboard, it comes at a rather steep price: the lowest we've seen is around $100 online, and the highest around $140. Keep reading as we check out this keyboard. The ROCCAT Isku seems to be an interesting product, and we were eager to review it. The Isku comes with the tagline, “Act Faster, Conquer More” as a nod to its ridiculous number of macro combinations. To be clear, the Isku is not a mechanical keyboard, which we were somewhat disappointed with. However, most mechanical keyboards have a limited features list, and the main selling point of mechanical keyboards is the mechanical key switches. However, you can't have it all, and the keyboard does have a nice tactile response despite using conventional rubber-dome switches.
This being my third and final Roccat accessories review, I've come to the conclusion that the German engineers behind these things can't decide if they want to focus on comfort or technology, and end up throwing everything they've got into both. The Kave 5.1 headset is really comfortable and the Kone+ mouse is really comfortable. Here's a keyboard, one of the most basic components to computer usage, and I'm yet again falling in love with the comfort of Roccat's product line. The ISKU Illuminated keyboard is the most comfortable keyboard I've ever used. That's mostly thanks the mechanical keys and extra large wrist-pad. Ever used one of those keyboards that has that spongey material where your wrists land? Those things are bull shit. They get super dirty and grimy from your sweat, ultimately resulting in a disgusting end-user experience. The ISKU keyboard forgoes this and instead proposes a nice, sloped incline up to the keyboard. Once you've got your fingers on the keys, it's hard not to fall for the way things click and react definitively to your inputs. As someone who types all day professionally, I can't overstate how nice the ISKU's mechanical keys are.
The Roccat Isku is a gaming keyboard with 123 keys, 25 programmable macros, 5 user profiles with handy LEDs to let you know which one you're using, and a 1000 Hz polling rate for lightning-fast control. What's more, it even has backlit keys! This keyboard has been designed and built for gamers, but what's unusual about this particular model is that it has laptop-style keys. So instead of the chunky mechanical keys seen in competitor gaming keyboards, the Isku has slim keys that aren't very deep. This should, in turn, mean that the keys are pretty quiet. So has Roccat brought us the best of both worlds in one sleek new product? Well, no! In fact, Roccat has taken a standard, entry-level keyboard and packed it into a fairly mediocre gaming-style casing with sub-standard backlighting, noisy keys and a disappointing finish. First of all, the blue backlighting isn't particularly visible in daylight, even when pushed up to its maximum setting. It doesn't even light up all the keys—in fact, the backlight control key itself isn't illuminated, nor are the multimedia keys (volume, audio/video playback controls etc.). However, when you turn the backlighting off the keys look dark and it can be hard to make out their markings.
The keyboard has long been the primary input device on the PC, so what can Roccat do to convince us the Isku keyboard is the finest example of button-pressing technology known to man? QWERTY boards were around long before the monolith was dropped on prehistoric man so its got quite a task on its hands in the innovation stakes, but, by Jove, I do believe it's managed it. As well as being heavily laden with extra keys and media buttons there's also a little bonus feature for those of the Roccat faithful. It has recently released a piece of software called Roccat Talk, which enables different bits of its hardware to talk (clever name, eh?) to each other. The perfect rodent partner for the Isku then is Roccat's own Kone[+] mouse. But what possible benefits could be had from having your mouse and board chatting away? Shift unleashed The key to this cross-peripheral chatter is the EasyShift[+] function it added to the Kone mouse a while ago. This is an alternative to spraying a gaming mouse with more buttons than even the great lord Cthulu could manage and means that by holding down a single button other functions can be assigned to each of the other buttons.
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