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Cooler Master Q Alloy Keyboard Review

Former staff writer    -   August 10, 2003
Category: Input Devices
Coolermaster
Price: $34 USD +/-


Introduction

While some companies nowadays are designing keyboards with "special features" or with the ability to temporarily specialize in a particular program with the help of additional parts, the Q Alloy Keyboard from CoolerMaster is simply a regular keyboard, in terms of function. What makes the keyboard stand out, however, is in its design and aesthetics.

Features & Specifications
  • Notebook computer-styled flat key layout
  • Spring-equipped short keystroke mechanism
  • Slim and stylish profiling
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Suitable for long hour business usage
  • Fully compatible with Windows 9x/Me/2000/XP
  • Intended for use as a desktop, or web surfing keyboard
  • Dimensions: (414 × 166.5 × 28) mm
  • Weight: (720 ± 20) grams
  • Cable length: 1.5 meters
  • Interface: USB only
  • 104 keys (107 on Japanese model)



  • In-depth Look

    Even though this keyboard is intended to be used more as a piece of office equipment than a soon-to-be-abused gaming keyboard, I have had no problems with it through several hours of games like Counter-Strike or Unreal Tournament 2003. Also, unlike traditional keyboards, where certain keys are segregated into groups, this keyboard has all of your standard keys clustered together into one group, similar to that of a notebook.

    For a desktop keyboard, it has a strange layout of keys, but it is only a matter of getting used to the new layout before you'll be totally familar with the positioning of certain keys, such as the INSERT, DEL, HOME, END, PGUP and PGDN keys.

    The base of the keyboard is also recessed, giving the keyboard the appearance that it is floating (something that I find visually appealing). As well, its four rubber feet at the corners ensures that the keyboard stays put even during the midst of deathmatching. However, there are no tabs that allow the keyboard to stand on an incline like a traditional keyboard does, so users that prefer an inclined keyboard to type on might not enjoy having to adjust their hand/wrist positions in order to type.

     

    The clicking of the keys is just as quiet as that of a notebook, and on top of that, it feels better than typing on a laptop. I didn't run into any problems while using this keyboard to type out this review. In fact, as a keyboard that will be "typed on" for extended periods, I really enjoy the feel and quietness of it, and it certainly does seem like I could keep on typing for extended periods of time (provided I had that much stuff to type in the first place... when classes begin, I'll be sorry I said this).

    Conclusion


    The Q Alloy Keyboard is a very nice product, with its high points being the very quiet keys, as well as the nice compact finish. All of this comes at a cost though, and this keyboard is definately one of the more expensive non-cordless keyboards you will encounter. As well, some users might not like the fact that the keyboard works only via the USB input, since it uses up one of their ports. Including a PS/2 adapter should prove useful, as pretty much all the other keyboard manufacturers have. Overall, this is a great keyboard, and typing has never been more comfortable, but at its high cost I would not call this a "must have" product.

    Pros

    • Very light, stylish and compact
    • Great for extended typing sessions
    • Easy to carry for LAN parties

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • 1.5m cable may seem short for some users



    1. Cooler Master Q Alloy Keyboard Review
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