IOGear IKON Gaming Keyboard Reviewajmatson -
Category: Input Devices
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IOGear IKON Gaming Keyboard Introduction:
When I hear a colleague creating their next epic gaming build, all I hear is CPU this and graphics card that, but what I never hear is how they picked out that cherry keyboard that will give them the gaming edge. Input devices are overlooked way too much in the works of building, but they are just as important as that fast CPU to give you the advantage over the competition. There are many gaming keyboards on the market today, so how do you choose the right one? Well, we are here to help you make your decisions by giving you the most information. One of the newer gaming keyboards on the market is from the IOGear Kaliber Gaming series. IOGear offers an assortment of keyboards for your needs, including the one we will be looking at today: the IKON Gaming Keyboard. The IKON Gaming Keyboard offers features to entice the budget-minded gamer that wants the best bang for his buck. It was designed from the ground up to meet gamers' needs and offers features that top-of-the-line keyboards offer with a fraction of the price.
The IKON Gaming Keyboard strives to give the same mechanical feel like the higher end keyboards, but to keep costs low, IOGear created an innovative key structure that uses the membrane design with that positive "clicking" feel. In addition, the company adds 26 anti-ghosting keys, Windows key lockout, WASD/arrow key swapping, and water resistant internals in case you spill that energy drink while on a 24-hour gaming binge. To top it off, the IKON has a customizable 3-color LED backlighting so you can game all night long. So how about we dig in and look closer at the IKON Gaming Keyboard.
IOGear IKON Gaming Keyboard Closer Look:
The IKON packaging has that sleek gaming look all around it. On the front, you can see a picture of the keyboard along with the IOGear, Kaliber Gaming, and IKON logos. In addition, there are a few of the standout features listed here, including 26 anti-ghosting keys, adjustable 3-color LED backlight, and WASD/arrow key swap. Moving over to the back is a more detailed list of the specifications and features of the IKON Gaming Keyboard. In addition to the features listed on the front of the packaging are the water resistant design, Windows lockout, and the membrane-structured POM plunger keycaps.
The packaging opens using a flap and tab design like a lot of keyboards these days use. When you flip open the flap, you get a glimpse of what is included in the box. The IKON is a simple design and included in the box is the keyboard itself and the documentation. Following the "keep it simple" standard, you have all you need, no more no less.
Now that we have the IKON Gaming Keyboard out of the packaging, we can get a better look at the design. At first glance it may look like any other keyboard, but don't let the looks fool you. There is a standard keyboard layout that we see on most keyboards with a few tweaks, such as the added function keys and shortcuts. One thing I would like to see, which is just a preference, is a gaming keyboard that is not hard set with the Windows logo. Gaming these days are on many operating systems, including Linux and Apple. It would be nice to have key caps included that can be changed, but that does not take away from this specimen.
I have to say I do like the font that IOGear choose for the IKON; it gives it that gamey, futuristic look. The WASD keys have supplemental arrows under them, which help guide you to the movement keys for gaming. They can be switched with the arrow keys as well, which also have a smaller WASD on them. It would be nice if there were some sort of raised portion of the WASD keys to help guide your fingers when not looking at the keyboard. Under the right shift key is the settings key and the function key. These keys aid in enabling the lockout function for the Windows key and setting the LED back-light color. To the top right is the Kaliber Gaming logo and the LEDs for the lockout, caps, scroll, and num lock. If you view the IKON from the side, you can see that the keys are raised higher than most standard keyboards, giving you that look and feel of a mechanical keyboard.
There is a single USB cable to power and use the IKON Gaming Keyboard; there are no other buttons or switches on the top or sides. One thing I would have liked to have seen on this keyboard that a lot of other gaming keyboards have is a thicker, maybe braided, cable. The cable used is not that flimsy, but would be better to have a covered cable that can protect your purchase. Also, a big negative for me that might sway my purchase of this keyboard is the lack of added USB ports and MIC/Headset ports. When I am gaming, I prefer to plug my headset into the keyboard instead of having to reach down to the floor and stretch my headset cable to the tower. This is a feature that I feel every keyboard should have. To raise the keyboard up a bit for a better feel, there are two fold-out legs that can be extended to give the keyboard a nice height adjustment. Each of the tabs has rubber on them to help keep the keyboard from slipping.
Finally, we can see the back-lighting options that are available on the IKON Gaming Keyboard. There are three that you can choose from that can be cycled by pushing the key with the cog wheel. The colors you can choose from are blue, cyan, and green. When the keyboard goes into a "sleep" mode, all three colors will cycle until you press a key and return it to normal mode.
Now that we have had a good look at the keyboard, we can get into the testing. Since there is no software needed for the IKON, we can jump right into the use and feel.