Sporting a fancy blue backlight and a stylish black colour scheme, Microsoft's latest entry into the gaming peripherals market, the Reclusa keyboard, is sure to turn a few heads. While it doesn't have the extra of competing products, it's still a strong all-around input device and should do the trick nicely for gamers after something a little more eye-catching than their regular keyboard.
- Blue backlight, Responsive
- Features not as good as some other competing models that are available
A good all-around keyboard, the Reclusa won't offer the same functionality as some competing products, but it is more than adequate for gamers who are after a stylish, simple option.
Microsoft advertises this model as having a faster-than-normal response rate when keys are pressed. The response rate means everything to gamers; faster mice for more accurate shooting, faster LCD monitors for minimal ghosting. However, when it comes to keyboards, we've never really noticed a difference. Sure, the Reclusa was quite quick and we experienced no responsiveness issues during our testing, but it wasn't noticeably faster than other unit's we've used.
It sports a standard desktop design, with deep keys that are quite comfortable to type on. If it was really going for fast response, we feel Microsoft would have been better off implementing a scissor key setup. In saying that, the Reclusa more-than-adequately does the job. As it's a large unit, the layout of the keys is very spacious, with plenty of room for shortcut keys and extra functionality.
There are two shortcut buttons on either side, along with six programmable shortcut keys, which default to the standard combination of email, Web and media functions. Also present are two jog-wheels, which default to control the volume and track-skip functions. Using the profile manager software, these can be mapped and saved as profiles for your various games, and then switched between in the blink of an eye.
Aesthetically, the Reclusa is quite smooth, with a glossy-black finish that will look right at home with a modern computer setup. The blue backlight, on the other hand, contributes a slightly space-age style and helps keep the keyboard illuminated for those long gaming sessions that last into the early hours of the morning. We didn't find it quite as effective as the backlight on the Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard, which actually illuminates the keys themselves, rather than the area behind them, but it did the job.
Also included in the unit is a detachable wrist-rest, which we found comfortable, but not necessary.
Overall, this model brings a few nice features to the table, and should prove to be a reasonable choice for most gamers. It doesn't quite have the extra features of something like the Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard, but as a basic alternative, it's a solid product.
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