To test this keyboard I played Call of Duty 2 for a prolonged period, using the WASD keys on the Genius, and then again using the game pad buttons, making use of the reprogrammability of the keys, and any macros I wish to setup.
Normal Keyboard: In-game
Well it performed like any generic keyboard would and was as intuitive as you’d expect from most keyboards, not really much to report. The keys weren’t clunky like you find on some boards, but the caps lock button did get in the way. Despite that drawback, I found this way of playing the game very good. Comfort wise the Star Cruiser could do with a wrist rest as it’s quite a high keyboard and doesn’t support your wrist as well as I’d like.
GamePad – In-game
In a word; irritating. I go back to the point that the keyboard is too squashed up, the game pad is just too small for my hands and as such its uncomfortable and hard to use. On a normal keyboard the keys are the right size for most people’s fingers, on the game pad they are too small meaning you can push 2 buttons at once. The layout is annoying because: the 4 buttons at the side are in the wrong place I.E. not a few centimetres to the right where your thumb naturally lies. The jump button is also too small compared to the space bar, they key I’m used to using for jumping, which means I end up pressing control on the normal keyboard instead of jump (ironically, although not in a "ha ha, "way, this usually does exactly the opposite of what I want and crouches the player. Usually getting me killed). Other problems include the reload button which is default to the escape button. Since when has the reload button ever been escape? And even more annoying is you can’t reprogram it in game because by pressing that button it takes you out of key select mode… well done Genius.
The software that comes with the Luxemate, I’m afraid just doesn’t seem to work. I tried and I read the instructions but it just didn’t work for me. The macros I created were never carried out and if I was on a memory slot with a macro the gamepad didn’t work either. Maybe it’s my fault but even by there instruction I still couldn’t do it so maybe Genius sneed to rethink the software, or at least their documentation on how to get it working. Regardless though, any proramme such as this should be simple enough to learn as you go. The only aspect of the key reprogramming which did seem to work as changing the music player key’s default of opening Windows Media Player, to starting up iTunes.
In general windows use the keyboard was mediocre. It wasn’t as irritating as trying to use the gamepad but it was again a bit small for word processing and the lack of skip buttons became apparent the longer I used it. For example I am listening to music right now as I write this review and if a song pops up I don’t like that I have to click off the review to click next on my media player. This is just enough time for me to lose my train of thought and have to start a paragraph over.
This board will set you back about £30. This is an about average price for a high-end gaming periperhal similar to perhaps the Razer Tarantula, or Lycosa. The only problem here though, the Luxemate is far from a high end gaming peripheral.