Enermax Aurora keyboard

Enermax Aurora - XSreviews

Introduction

Enermax aren’t well known for their peripherals, and especially not their keyboards. That’s because this is the first, and hopefully it won’t be the last.

About Enermax

Enermax Technology Corporation was founded in1990 by a group of young professional, enthusiastic, and high-tech oriented people in Taiwan . The Enermax founders left high-profile positions from prestigious computer firms, bringing over 10 years of professional experiences to our own firm.

The main products we carry are switching power supplies, PC cases, industrial PC cases, pedestal and tower server cases, CPU coolers, second fans, mobile racks and other peripherals. Enermax has its own design groups and production line. For convenience and better service to our customers worldwide, Enermax has established branch offices with warehouses in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley in United States, Paris in France, Milan in Italy, Tokyo in Japan, Hamburg in Germany, London in UK and has distributors providing service in nearly every major city around the world. Enermax is always looking for the latest cutting edge technology to offer our clients. Enermax’s own designing engineers work around the clock to come up with the best solution and product to meet the demand of the market. Now, Enermax is engaged in developing more powerful types of products to serve customers in the future. To provide efficient coordination, after sales services and technical support to customers is our primary purpose. The Enermax R&D department is proud of its strong engineering background. We focus on developing new products for both potential and existing markets. We also emphasize on new product types, product functions, design and quality. Each year, we release an average of 4 new series of products. Our R&D equipments are sourced both locally and imported from Japan. Based on our product development procedure, we have developed a team of experts to ensure that our products are manufactured to the most rigorous and highest standards imposed by the industry.

First Look

Whole box view - XSreviews

The external packaging for the product was very promising; it is covered with pictures of the keyboard that it hides. The main constituents of the front are glossy, whilst the background has a matt finish. It really gives the idea of the quality of the product.

Back of box - XSreviews

The back of the package describes all of the keyboards features and the ‘special’ design aspect of it. These include the zero-degree tilt, the ‘scissor’ key operation, the 2 slot USB and the audio I/O ports.

Before I continue, I must mention that the scissor key design isn’t that exclusive. My older Logitech laptop style keyboard also used this ‘technology’. This isn’t a major gripe just that the packaging seemed to make out the fact that this was a technology designed by Enermax and used by them exclusively.

In Detail

Out of the box - XSreviews

Once you’ve broken out the keyboard from the box, you will be greeted with the cold feel of brushed aluminium. Around the keys there is an angular bevel which has been polished to a mirror shine. Also, running along the top of the keyboard is a polished strip going through the lock LED’s. The Enermax logo is also polished and sits at the top left of the board. Overal, the keyboard has a very professional design and appearance which is exactly what it should be as this keyboard is aiming for that niche; laptop keyboards aren’t great for gaming.

Beveled keyboard edge - XSreviews
Enermax logo - XSreviews

The weight of this keyboard is amazing, for a design that utilises mainly aluminium it’s surprisingly heavy. This means that it won’t move whilst typing and it also makes the keyboard seem very sturdy and well made, which of course, it is.

Polish cloth - XSreviews

To make sure that you keep the vast expanse of aluminium looking its best, Enermax kindly supply the board with a small, and actually very useful polish towel. I found myself using this little towel a little too much to keep this baby looking its best…

USB hub - XSreviews

On the back of the keyboard you will find the 2 port un-powered USB hub. Situated on the right of keyboard, it provides you with a place to easily stick in your pen drives and possibly your mouse. As its un-powered, more greedy devices won’t work in it and Windows will kindly tell you that there isn’t enough power. In reality, I didn’t really find these slots all that useful but others might; they are definitely a good idea.

Audio I/O - XSreviews

Looking on the left side of the board, you will find the audio I/O slots for front audio (green slot) and the microphone (pink slot). Personally, I find that these are really not that useful as my headset has a lot of wire meaning that it can easily reach round the back of my rig with cabling to spare. Plugging it into the Aurora would add to the cable clutter. They would however be very useful for people whose speakers don’t reach their rig, or if you have a stand-alone microphone (e.g. with a webcam).

The keyboard feet are rubberised meaning that they will grip on any smooth surface and stay put. The whole keyboard is also surprisingly thin for such a feature packed board. It is a slim wedge design that will fit almost anywhere.

Lock LEDs - XSreviews

The Caps lock, Scroll lock and Number lock LED’s are blue and shine brightly when turned on. Unfortunately the shine from the nearby LED if turned on will bleed into the others, meaning that it looks like more than one lock is on. Not a major issue just that it takes away slightly from the professional design.

Testing

I personally prefer the laptop style keys that this Enermax board provides. I have always found that they are easier to use and for some reason I can type faster on them. When I first started using the Aurora, I found that it felt like I had to really hit the keys to get them to work. However, after about 3 days I passed this ‘breaking in’ phase and the keyboard felt fine.

The keyboard doesn’t really make typing any faster, but it generally feels quality and it’s a joy to type on as a result. The keys also sound great when pressed.

One thing that began to annoy me, was the fact that there are no multimedia keys, which are normally present along the top of the keyboard. Enermax has decided against these and it means that there is no easy way to mute, change the volume as before. This obviously wouldn’t matter to someone who doesn’t use the buttons. Whilst I miss them, I think that the keyboard looks better as a result.

One thing to note about the aluminium body of the keyboard, it gets really cold if the ambient temp of your room is low. This can make typing difficult for the first few minutes whilst it warms up from your body heat.

When I was testing the board, there were no problems apart from the Enter button. For some reason it now pings off when its hit on the far left side, which means that I have to spend a few minutes putting it back on, and the scissor technology is very difficult to put back together. This is more than likely a one off fault that isn’t replicated on other Auroras made by Enermax.

As is usual with laptop style keys, typing is a breeze and goes faster than on a normal keyboard. However, when it comes to first person shooters the keyboard falls down. Because the keys are so smooth and there isn’t much height difference between them, it’s hard to touch-feel the WASD keys all the time, and often your fingers will slip off the keys. Fortunately, once you have used the board for awhile, you soon get used to it.

Conclusion

The Enermax Aurora is truly an upper-class keyboard. With its elegant style, and superb performance, there are few things to fault this keyboard on. Designed for the extreme typer, this keyboard with fulfil all of your word-processing needs.NB. The Aurora is being released early Feb07, so although you may have to wait a while it will be well worth it.

Pros Cons
Looks great Expensive
Great to type on Cold aluminium
Professional design No multimedia shortcut keys

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