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Review: Saitek’s Lighted Keyboards
June 25, 2005
Author: Geno Manufacturer: Saitek
Department: Hardware Model: PZ30AU and PZ08A
Article Type: Review Time Spent: 3 months
 
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Introduction




Saitek is a company most of you will know for their gaming peripherals, like joy sticks and driving wheels; however, they have recently branched out into the specialty keyboard market. First came the backlit PC Gaming Keyboard, which was followed shortly by the “Thru View” lighted Eclipse. Both keyboards are nearly identical. With only two significant differences, we will be reviewing them both in a single article, and will point out those differences.

Please note that the Backlit PC Gaming keyboard is NOT red as shown in the images used for this review. The red keyboard was painted for an upcoming mod project. If you are interested in painting your keyboard, you can find an excellent how-to article here. The stock color is a very nice silver.


First Impressions


The first thing you notice about these keyboards is the weight. They are heavy--not too heavy, but the kind of weight that comes with high quality building materials. They feel solid enough to conk somebody over the head with. If you’re old enough to remember the old IBM keyboards, then you know what I mean-- nothing flimsy or easily broken here.


A Look at the Keyboard


I have heard several people refer to these keyboards, or the design itself, as “The Dog Bone”, and you can see why in the first image above. I am not sure why Saitek went with this particular shape; however, I suspect it was largely a matter of aesthetics. It's a nice look, and I like it. The center image above shows the function lights area of the keyboard. When any of the lock keys are depressed, a VERY bright blue LED lights--some may find this annoying.

The right image above shows the four special function buttons. From left to right they are; volume down, volume up, mute, and the control for the lighting. Thankfully, Saitek resisted the urge to cram umpteen function buttons onto this keyboard. As you can see in all the images, the key layout is pretty standard. “F” keys along the top, cursor position keys in the middle, and the number pad on the right--basic, and we like it that way.


 
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