Relatively unknown within the South African market, Speedlink has started to make a splash with its lower-priced gaming peripherals. These consist on keyboards, controllers, and mice. I’ve had some time to play around with the Speedlink Virtuis gaming keyboard and decide if it’s worth your hard-earned money.
The Virtuis is a mid-range gaming keyboard contender. While it doesn’t feature LED panels or an ergonomic design, it does have backlit keys and macro customisations. It might be an option for those wishing to have more than highlighted WSAD keys on their gaming keyboard.
The overall design is very plastic and feels almost rubbery. It sure looks like a gaming beast, but doesn’t completely feel like it. The unit is slanted towards the back and has extensions to raise it, but overall it’s slightly too high. If the unit were 3-4mm thinner it would be more comfortable, but even someone with large hands, such as myself, will find it difficult to type.
One of my favourite features are the backlit keys. The keyboard has built-in red LEDs, which can be adjusted via a control panel, or on the keyboard itself. The lights can either be at 50%, 100%, pulsate or off. After a few minutes of inactivity, they automatically switch off in order to save power. It’s helped on those late nights when trying to punch out a first draft.
The keyboard comes with its own control panel software and unique driver. Within the software, you are able to customise the nine additional keys featured on the keyboard. You can alter one of the five profiles at a time. Each of these allows you to map the M keys, as well as Insert, Home, Page Up, Page Down, Delete, and End. These keys can be mapped to a basic Windows function, such as opening your email program or a created Macro. Macros can consist of 25 keystrokes, which count the pressing down and lifting up of a key as different strokes. You’re then able to further customise the Macro by recording key delays and looping the entire sequence.
One of the more prominent features consists of the profiles and program allocation. A program can be assigned to one of the profiles. When you open the program in question the keyboard will automatically switch to that profile and all of its allocated keys will be active. This feature comes in very handy when jumping between your desktop and World of WarCraft.
Typing can be an infuriating process. All of the keys take some force to push down, more so than a standard keyboard. The SHIFT keys, in particular, are quite the nuisance. They don’t always pick up when hit – whether it’s a pressure issue within the key or pressure spacers – and will require you to press them several times. While writing this review I became aggravated with just how difficult it is to capitalise letters.
It’s an overall decent gaming keyboard. I recommend this keyboard for anyone wanting a decent gaming setup, but who wouldn’t be typing anything more than fifty words at a time.