Thermaltake MEKA G-Unit Mechanical Keyboard ReviewBluePanda - October 3, 2013
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Thermaltake MEKA G-Unit Mechanical Keyboard Closer Look:
From the top down the keyboard almost looks naked without it's pants on… I mean it's wrist rest, but also really makes it look rather small and wide. Perhaps I've just looked at it too much with the rest in place that this sort of looks funny. At this point, though it took some typing on it to actually notice, take a closer look at the right return (enter) key. It's the classic big one. This gives you a shorter right shift and the pipe/backslash key left of it (rather than below the backspace).
The back of the keyboard, like most, isn't super exciting. If it were too exciting we'd never type on the right side. There is a large U shaped grove in the top edge of the keyboard. In a picture ahead you'll see the USB cable plugs into the back edge of the keyboard with a right angle bend; thus, if your case sits to the left of you the cable won't naturally want to go that way. Route the cable through the grove and now you can plug to the left. I will say it is a most unusual cable routing pattern compared to most we see on the market these days – perhaps a quick afterthought just before release? Otherwise all that's left to see back here are the rubbers for slip protection and the flip-flop feet for you high riser typers.
The explanation for this rather wide keyboard is rather obvious with the three sets of tightly packed keys adding up to a full twelve macros. T1 to T12 runs from top to bottom in numbering and are separated in sets of four to perhaps let you find what you are looking for quicker. The rest of the keys appear normal from this angle only leaving you wondering about the buttons above the Esc key – patience grasshopper.
The right side of the keyboard has a little addition to the number pad as well. The Num Lock key has an LED indicator that shows whether it is toggled on or off, which I guess this is as good a point to mention that all the toggle keys have this: Scroll Lock, Caps Lock, and Num Lock. As you can see, some fancy media keys (note the volume down is on the right while the volume up is on the left – backwards?) take up the standard location for such indicators – but honestly I like the in-key notifier. Back to the special keys; you have a full set of volume controls: up, down, and mute, and a key to cycle through the different brightness for the lighting you'll see later. I much prefer these single function keys than having to press and hold a shift-sort of function to get my media keys.
If you have been patient, or otherwise skipped ahead, you can now know what these mysterious keys are/do. You might have guessed they are for switching profiles you have set up in the software. Press the furthest left (the one that looks like an almost rewind switch) and you can toggle between "Normal" and "Game" mode. With the software installed you will see a red overly show up on the screen indicating the switch. The other three buttons marked with a 1, 2, or 3 indicate a change in profile. The software allows you to set up three individual profiles with your pre-programed corresponding macros. Back to the right of the keyboard we've already discussed the media keys and a closer up shot of them just reminds you how simple and obvious their use is.
The flippy flappy feet on the bottom have rubber on both the flap edge as well as the back of the flap so no matter which way you prefer to type, you won't have to worry about the keyboard sliding about.
As one of my favorite pictures, this next one shows off the Cherry MX red switches beneath the ESC key. Though it's nothing particularly exciting as most of us have seen almost every variation of mechanical switch by now – it is still neat looking at what it all comes down to. Reds are a personal UN-favorite of mine, but there seem to be a lot of people out there who really enjoy them. Personally, I think they feel like I'm typing on a rather fat person's flab and it's just a constant mush, mush. Why bother with mechanical switches if a) you don’t get to click, b) you don't get to clack, and/or c) it doesn't feel much different than a standard membrane keyboard? Anyway – that's clearly my opinion; I await the many of you Red lovers to rant away in this review thread forum post…I just don't understand the love there.
Enough about what I think about the Red switches – this keyboard is available in other switch types as well – obviously not the Red Switch Edition specifically, but there's plenty of G-Unit to go around. The other picture I share here shows off the rear dual USB ports and two audio ports (headset and mic). The tiny USB-MINI port is for the keyboard cable. Surely it's just more cables to fill your desk but in some cases it's a lot faster than getting to the back of your computer to get all set up for a long night of gaming. I will just go ahead and say it here – the audio output is LOUD. Even turned all the way down the output still plays audibly – it isn't silent. You can mute, but Volume null doesn't give the expected silent. It didn't sound great up top, but that’s more a lack of the headphones being capable of being pushed that hard. You will NOT have any problem getting enough volume from the audio outputs; it just ramps up really quick.
The cable is a rather stiff yet bendable braided cable. The keyboard connection end has a USB-MINI connector like I said above. You can see the right-angle bend in the picture below which causes that need for the under-keyboard cable routing. The other end is a standard USB plug. Both ends are gold plated and ready to last many plugs and unplugs. A nifty Tt branded Velcro cable tie and ESPORTS velvet bag keep you nice and tidy on the go – just don't forget and leave this somewhere; it won't be hard to find a replacement cable but you won't do much at home or a LAN party without it.
These next few pictures really just provide a little more of a rounded look of the keyboard, giving you an overall idea for the height of the keyboard, general size, and general up-close look at the keys themselves. The little red accents are quite nice despite my usual blue and black theme at my desk; I foresee some future modding here.
Overall the keyboard doesn't look too bad. It takes up a little more room with the Macro keys, but if you are buying this keyboard, you are likely buying it to have those additional keys. The red switches are standard red switches and in my opinion a bit loud for reds (though I don't like reds much, so generally I try not to use them often). The detachable arm rest and cable are great options for on the go and allow you to pack up small. In general it is a nice sturdy build; but I guess the next important fact is how it performs… keep reading to find out just how well it handled my rage smashings.
Before we leave completely, I know you are dying to see the LED regions lit up. Here are a couple last shots to feed you there.