Just a quick post about my new keyboard.
This is the arrow-pad-less design, i.e. it has a numpad but no arrow cluster. It's backlit, and I got one with MX blue switches.
Basically, it's a good value, relative to market prices, at $90 US. The switches are mounted to a blue plastic backplate, the LED has a number of brightness levels as well as a "breathing" mode, and the keyboard came clean and well-functioning.
Opening it up to the extent that I could revealed a fine soldering job on the 3 joints I could see, and no dust inside. My experience with another budget LED keyboard, the Rosewill RK-9100BR, was that it had dust inside.
However, like the CM Storm Trigger I also previously tried, the box came with some sort of... misprinting, like it got splashed with something during an intermediate stage of printing. Unlike that Trigger, however, there was no dust on the keyboard (in the box), or inside the housing as was the case for the Rosewill.
The keyboard is light. Well, it's not as large as full-sized keyboards. But it's definitely made of plastic, throughout. The stabilizers are Cherry style, but there is no squeaking or clicking apart from the switches themselves.
This keyboard, from what I've read, is made by CM's "mystery OEM." It's made in China. But it seems to have good QC. One thing that concerns me is that there is a slight play when one pushes a switch housing. So, taking off the keycap and pushing the switch a little from side to side causes it to wiggle every so slightly. I have no idea what this means, if it's normal, if it matters. This is just an observation.
The keyboard has a mini USB port and comes with the usual 6 foot braided cable. I think braided cables are overrated, but whatever. It's also probably gold-plated. Because consumers want to make sure their digital keyboard is sending a clean signal to the computer.
I'm using it on a mac, and it works as expected. It has the normal numpad issue, which is wonderfully addressed here: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=20826.msg400349#msg400349
This enables the numpad, which is wonderful. I'll probably figure a way to link the script to the numlock key sometime in the next millenium.
6KRO works in OSX. I assume it works in windows. The keybaord also has a 6/N toggle via FN+ESC, which I haven't tested. One oddity is the behavior of the backlight of the function key, which turns off sometimes when some mysterious combination of brightness-adjustment keys is pressed, the comes back on under similar conditions.
Two nice things are: 1) it comes with a plastic keycap puller. Win. 2) the blue backplate reflects enough of the LED light to illuminate the symbols on the lower parts of keys. They're not bright; I'd prefer something more Deck-style, or like the KeyCool, et al., but it's better than the other boards I've seen, where the symbols were essentially dark.
One bad thing: the font. I like square fonts, but this is ridiculous. Pubescent, I'd say. At least it doesn't reek of patchouli, like Deck's, and it's not as over-the-top as the BlackWidow, but... those A's. Ew.
All in all, it's a good value. Sorry about the rambling nature of this review, this is what procrastination sounds like. But I'd say this is a winner, all in all. It has 95% of the functionality at 65% of the price.