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Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Challenger Prime Gaming Keyboard Review

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Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Challenger Prime Gaming Keyboard: Closer Look

Once removed from the box and unwrapped, we can get a closer inspection of this keyboard. The layout of the Prime is similar to many other keyboards with the 10-key on the left and the programmable Macros on the right. On the back is little holes that acts as spill outlets for anyone who accidentally spills something on the keyboard. Now this won't stop it from being sticky and certainly not 100% waterproof from an a spill while its on. If it survives the initial spill than the cleanup should be simple. The keys themselves are on a thin rubber membrane instead of having individual key switches. This gives an overall different feeling and takes a lot less pressure to get the keys to register. In return, the tactile response is a lot less in my cases and is something you have to get use to.

 

 

The Challenger Prime has six programmable macro keys on the left, which can be switched between three profiles, totaling 18. These keys are programmed within the Thermaltake software and will be covered in detail on the next page. Smack in the center is a dial, with the soul purpose to control the lights brightness. I don't think it's necessary to have something that big, and space could be saved by either adding this a secondary setting for the F keys or have two small buttons. It doesn't take away from the keyboard itself, but it is a bit of a space waster.

 

 

Here are some quick shots showing the extra keys laid out above the F-Keys. Left of the brightness dial are three dedicated profiles, along with the mail and home buttons. On the right are the volume, mute, and generic media player buttons. All these can be very helpful to have direct access rather than needing a key combination to use. On the other hand, even more space could be conserved if some of these were mapped as a secondary function or at least smaller keys.

 

 

Below the keys is a non-removable wrist guard, which could be an issue for anyone who needs desk space. This part of the keyboard is of a sightly different texture with a little bit of built in grip, so your hands don't slide off. So far, after using it for a month, I haven't even thought of it being an issue when it comes to comfortably.

 

For your viewing pleasure, I went ahead and took apart the keyboard. As I suspected before, it didn't have the feel of switches behind keys and, in fact, it is just a rubber membrane with singular rubber pieces for each key. Now this isn't bad per say, but I can't see this lasting anywhere near other similar keyboards or what a conventional keyboard would. This is because the frame is very flexible and could easily make one those individual rubber pieces to fall out, causing the key to no longer function. So when factoring in the price, this keyboard may not be able to handle the abuse, but at that price point can you really complain?

 

 

The keyboard has a back light of three colors; Red, Blue, and Purple. The brightness can be changed via the dial at the top, while the colors or pulsing can be changed in the software or the secondary keys surrounding F12 and Print screen. The picture below is how crude the lighting is, but it does the job. When the room lights are on, the keys are still just as bright when turned to full. Also the light is more or less evenly spread, wxcept for the top, which is not lit at all.




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