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-- Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard
-- Category: Review
-- Posted by: dave303
-- Posted on: 2006-11-23
-- Price: ~ $69.99 USD
-- Pages: 1 [ 2 ]
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One of the more important things for me is the layout of the keyboard. As mentioned before, the Eclipse II has gone back to the familiar 104 key setup.  My old cheap keyboard which I was using prior to buying the original Eclipse, has seen its share of years and it's starting to look a little ragged and dirty.

It's time to retire this keyboard to the guest computer, I can't have someone coming over to play games having a better keyboard than I do!

This is a look at my desk from last week.  I still keep that old PS/2 keyboard to use with my KVM and some of my older systems, but the Eclipse is the main keyboard that I use.  It also glows with a nice and bright so I can find things without turning on the lights in my office!

The first generation Saitek Eclipse is going to go on my test computer, while the new one will take its place on my main system.  The new keyboard also has side lighting effects that display the current color.

Let's take a closer look at the backlighting which serves as this keyboard's main attraction.  The first set of pictures will be with the lights on, as this shows the backlight colors with the greatest accuracy.  The default color when you reboot your machine is blue.

The next color on the list is red.  This is the brightest color on the keyboard and fits some computer mod themes.

Purple is the next and final color.

After purple, there is an option of no backlight, for those people who want a nice-feeling keyboard without any glowing lights.

Now, some quick pictures in the dark going through the same cycle (skipping out on the "off" as I'm sure you don't want to see a black image)

This next image wit the purple lighting you can see how some areas are more bluish and others (like the sides) are definitely reddish.

Taking a longer exposure with at ISO 1250 results in a grainy image but allows me to show the difference in lighting when using the dimmer switch.

Over the last few days, I have used the new Saitek Eclipse II keyboard from Xoxide for doing my daily web surfing, writing reviews, programming, and a couple of rounds of gaming.  The response from the keys is very nice and it makes me wish that my work would be willing to buy me a keyboard like this to use instead of the OEM Dells.  The layout of the Eclipse keyboard is just right, changing the design might be 'more ergonomic' but for a touch typist too old to change his stripes, the traditional layout is a must.  The choice of using black for the keys and silver for the keyboard gives it a nice look, but I do feel that the backlighting isn't as bright on this version, which may be a result of the darker keys.  It's also nice to have a dimmer control for the lights rather than a toggle switch to control the brightness.  I also think that by going to a more traditional rectangular shape, they have lost some of the individuality that characterized the original Eclipse.  The media keys are not etched or backlit, which makes them hard to find while watching a movie with the lights off.

I would like to thank Xoxide.com once again for sending over this keyboard, and remind you that Xoxide does offer some insane discounts during their Operation X sales on the first of every month.



Pros:

  • Three backlight color choices
  • Dimmer switch for adjusting brightness
  • Keys are responsive and have a good, solid feel


Cons:

  • Illumination not as bright as previous version
  • Purple color inconsistent (reddish side lighting)
  • Media keys are not laser etched

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