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Saitek Eclipse Illuminated Keyboard

Introduction

Saitek is a company that for years has prided itself on producing top quality sound equipment and computer gaming controllers. However, apart from one other, the Saitek Eclipse was their first foray into the world of gaming keyboards; and let me tell you ladies and gents, they hit the nail squarely on the head.

About Saitek

Founded in 1979, Saitek entered the gaming market in 1993 and since then has grown to become a major brand in gaming peripherals for the PC. All our products are designed by gamers for gamers, to help them get the best out of their favourite PC games.

Our 2004 range includes many exciting new products, as well as enhancements to our existing product range to improve their performance further. We’ve also refined our manuals and programming guides to make it even easier to install and customize Saitek controllers.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our products. All our controllers are produced in our wholly-owned factory to ensure that they perform to the highest standards today and for many years to come. Saitek PC Gaming – superb design; total control

Saitek’s take on the Eclipse

Our award-winning keyboard design just got better! The Eclipse PC keyboard features patented TrueVu key illumination for use in any light, from day to total darkness.

True-Vu key illumination through the keys! The Eclipse 104-key keyboard features patented Blue LED key illumination and backlighting, Zero-Slope design and adjustable wrist rest for ergonomic comfort. It is a Plug’n’Play design with USB connector. Compatible with Windows 98, SE, ME, 2000 and XP.

  • Features
    Three lighting levels: High / Low / Off
  • Volume control / Mute
  • Adjustable keyboard angle
  • Adjustable wrist rest
  • Black finish and silver keys with laser-cut lettering.

First Look

The Saitek Eclipse Keyboard comes in a very fetching blue and black box with plenty of lens flare and space like abstract imagery to add to the spacey feel of the keyboard. There is also a large picture of the Eclipse on the front and back of the box so that you have a good idea what it looks like.

kboard

For those of you that didn’t know what the Saitek Eclipse looked like before viewing that picture you will no doubt be intrigued by its interesting shape. It is not flat and rectangular like the keyboards of old, but almost bone shaped. In fact, when looking up close it is clear that while making a fetching shape for the keyboard it was also designed to waste as little desk space as possible which is excellent, especially for those with small desk space.

The box also has a nice list of features for you to have a look at before purchasing this beast, always a bonus.

kboard

kboard

kboard

The Saitek logo and Eclipse keyboard are both shown in clear white fonts. No fancy graphics for that part of the box.

A Closer Look

Well as you all will have guessed from the eye candy on the box, this keyboard looks amazing. It is simply stunning to behold with all the lights off. Every single key on the keyboard is illuminated, allowing for much easier keyboard navigation in the dark. However this does remove the excuse that “It was dark!!11” when you typo :).

kboard

kboard

Now for some dark shot pictures, 3 words: o, m, g.

kboard

kboard

Testing

I ran this keyboard through some little tests (as well as taking pictures and drooling) to see if it stands up to its reputation as a good gaming keyboard. For my testing I used the keyboard for general typing on MSN messenger. I used it for gaming on FEAR and for keyboard shortcuts on Battle for Middle Earth.

For general typing this keyboard is a dream. The keys are just the right height so your fingers don’t accidentally slip but at the same time don’t feel too far away from other keys. The keys themselves make a wonderful little clunk noise when you press them down, unlike other “silent” keyboards when you don’t even know when you have pressed the keys!

In FEAR this board performed beautifully. Dutifully obeying my commands to run away from that little scary girl. Er I mean… kick the crap into her :)

Needless to say, battle for middle earth was played in equal comfort and with equal gaming prowess. The Saitek Eclipse board allowed me to quickly shift form doing keyboard shortcuts to typing insults to my fellow players with ease.

Conclusion

The Saitek Eclipse gaming keyboard is a fantastic piece of kit, and unless you can shell out for some of the more expensive boards out there the Eclipse should be your first port of call when looking for a new gaming keyboard.

ProsCons
Very bright backlightAttacts dust easily and it shows
Awesome looks
Clear keys in the dark
Smooth keystrokes
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